The Nature's Goodness Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2023
This brand is affordable and easy to find, but should you give it to your dog? In today’s Nature’s Goodness dog food review, we go over everything you need to know about these recipes.
Related: The Best Dog Food Australia.
Related: How To Choose The Right Dog Food?
Related: How Is Australia’s Dog Food Industry Regulated?
Related: What is AAFCO? The Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Related: What Is the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)?
Related: AAFCO vs PFIAA: Dog Food Standards Comparison Australia.
Related: Understanding Guaranteed Analysis Levels in Dog Food.
Related: Real Meat vs Meat Meal.
Quick Pick - Our Best Rated Dog Food
Our Number 1 Pick -
Petzyo Dog Food
- Ethically sourced Kangaroo, Chicken or Salmon, sweet potato & superfood extras
- Iron-rich & low fat proteins
- Three Omega 3 and 6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
- Made in Australia
Australia's Nature’s Goodness Dog Food Reviewed
Nature's Goodness - 3 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Chicken, duck and garden vegetables recipe: Meat and meat meals (kangaroo, chicken and/or beef and/or lamb), vegetables and vegetable meals (peas, soy, sweet potato, potato, garlic, tomato), tapioca and potato starches, chicken fat stabilised with natural mixed tocopherols (source of vitamin E), beet pulp, chicken gravy, salt, whole oil seeds (canola and linseed), chicory root Inulin (prebiotic), yucca, essential vitamins and minerals, natural antioxidants, kelp meal, egg powder.
- Named Protein First: Yes.
- Dog Food Type: Grain-free kibble, grain-free wet food and treats.
- Recipe Range: Dry kibble (chicken, duck and vegetables; wild game and sweet potato; chicken and vegetables); wet food (homestyle beef with carrots and potatoes; chicken, duck and vegetables; kangaroo, sweet potatoes and green beans; lamb and vegetables)
- Suitable For: Adult and puppies
- Cost: $$
- Australian Owned: Yes (by Real Pet Food Co)
Nature's Goodness Dog Food Review
Most pups love this brand. According to owner reports and comments, Nature’s Goodness is usually a hit. Since Australian law doesn’t prescribe it, this brand does not indicate what kinds of flavourings are used in the recipes nor whether these are artificial or natural. This lack of information is common in the pet food industry, although we’d like to see more transparency.
Because of this, we’re giving this brand 4 out of 5 in this category.
All Nature’s Goodness recipes are grain-free, with an overall acceptable composition. The recipes feature 24% minimum crude protein and 14% crude fat, which is slightly above minimum AAFCO requirements . However, the ingredient list shows some signs that the manufacturers have cut corners.
This brand does “ingredient bulking”. This is a common practice among pet food manufacturers to make recipes look better.
In this case, the first three ingredients are categories rather than items: “meat and meat meals”, then “vegetables and vegetable meals”, and finally “tapioca and potato starches”. Each of these has different sub-items, that we can only presume change depending on ingredient availability and season. Seasonal changes are common, but it makes it difficult to feed allergic dogs and diagnose intolerances.
This ingredient list also splits ingredients. Although both potatoes and sweet potatoes are listed under the “vegetable” category (second ingredient), the third ingredient is straight up potato starch. Ingredient splitting is another tactic used to make a list look better: if both potatoes and potato starches were lumped together, it’s likely meat would not be at the top of the ingredient list.
Whenever we see these strategies, it’s a sign a manufacturer wants to make a recipe look better and higher in protein than it is. As it stands, these recipes are quite carb-heavy, with plenty of starch to comply with the manufacturing process of kibble. We’re taking off 2 stars because of the sneaky tactics.
As with most dog food options nowadays, protein is the first ingredient in the ingredients list. However, this doesn’t mean that meat is actually the main component of the food. Looking at the rest of the list, these recipes have three main ingredients: meat (as meat and meat meals); vegetables and starches. And you guessed it, starches are vegetable-based and the “vegetable” category already includes starchy veggies like potatoes and sweet potatoes.
This means that starches make up about two-thirds of the food, while protein makes about a third. This is common among traditional kibble recipes, because the manufacturing process requires the mix to be heavy in starch.
Our team also had some questions about the protein itself. As we mentioned above, this brand lumps ingredients together. The “protein” consists of “meat and meat meals” that detail poultry, beef and lamb in all recipes except from the “wild game” option that includes kangaroo among the possible meats. While the listed meats are a nice protein source, it also appears the specific percentage of each component changes from batch to batch. If you are dealing with a sensitive dog or want to stick to single protein foods, this is not the brand for you.
It’s important to also note the total protein percentage (24%) comprises all protein sources. This includes both animal and vegetable protein. Because both soy and peas are among the vegetables listed, vegetable protein is likely a significant portion of the total protein accounted for. Although bulking up protein with soy is a frequent occurrence, it is slightly deceiving for consumers especially when meat is supposed to be the “main ingredient”. Vegetable protein has been shown to be harder to digest and absorb , so in general animal protein should be prioritised.
We’re taking off 3 stars in this category because of the heavy and poorly disclosed use of vegetable protein.
Nature’s Goodness doesn’t have any impressive extras. Beyond the core elements of the food, the recipes list a generic vitamin and mineral list (without specifying its components), some oil, “natural antioxidants” and a few extras for fibre (chicory root and choline).
These recipes do include kelp meal and egg powder as the last and second-to-last ingredient, but the actual amounts of these ingredients are likely very low.
However, at this price point this is expectable and at the very least the recipes don’t have more fillers than expected. We’re giving this brand 3 out of 5 in this category.
Despite the apparent variety, all recipes have virtually the same ingredient lists. The same three core components, and the only slight change is the addition of kangaroo to the meat mix of certain recipes (notably wild game).
Overall, it gives us the feeling of sneaky marketing, which although common, serves to make foods look better than they should. Considering the recipes are the same, we’re taking off 4 stars in the variety category.
If anything, this brand is affordable. Of course, it makes sense considering the recipes don’t guarantee specific ingredient proportions and with the high probability that ingredients change from batch to batch. The use of “meat and meat meals”, as well as the heavy use of soy and peas lowers the overall manufacturing cost, since it decreases the use of actual animal protein.
We’re not sure if the lower cost is worth it, since you’d have to supplement this food with extra protein toppers such as innards or boiled meat. We’re taking off 2 stars from this category.
Do not buy if…
While affordable, this brand might not be for you if you:
This is a budget food, and it shows in the ingredient list. If you’re in a pinch, this is a good enough option. However, we would supplement with a homemade topper to bump up the protein content and rotate this food with other brands.
- “AAFCO Dog and Cat nutrient profiles”. Association of American Feed Control Officials. Retrieved June 27, 2023. https://www.aafco.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/Model_Bills_and_Regulations_Agenda_Midyear_2015_Final_Attachment_A.__Proposed_revisions_to_AAFCO_Nutrient_Profiles_PFC_Final_070214.pdf
- Hill et al. (2001). “The effect of texturized vegetable protein from soy on nutrient digestibility compared to beef in cannulated dogs”. Journal of Animal Science, 2001. Retrieved June 27, 2023. https://academic.oup.com/jas/article-abstract/79/8/2162/4683177