Taste of The Wild Dog Food Review

Taste Of The Wild Dog Food Review -  A Complete Analysis

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Looking for a high-protein, low-carb kibble for your pup? Then you’re probably considering this classic dog food. Our Taste of the wild dog food review has everything you need to know about this well-known brand.

  • Taste of the Wild is one of the original grain-free dog foods available
  • It’s an American brand, although the lamb and beef used are raised in Australia
  • They offer both grained and grain-free options in different flavours

Taste of the Wild Dog - 3.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Wetlands canine formula: Duck (12.5%), duck meal (12.5%), chicken meal (12.5%), sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg products, ocean fish meal, potato protein, roasted quail (1%), roasted duck (1%), smoked turkey (1%), tomato pomace, minerals, dried chicory roots, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract.
  • Named Protein First: Yes (first three ingredients)
  • Dog Food Type: Dry kibble
  • Recipe Range: Grained and grain-free, multi-protein recipes. Puppy options are available.
  • Suitable For: All ages.
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: No

Taste of the Wild Dog Review

Taste

Ingredients

Protein content

Additives

Variety

Price

Taste of the Wild (TOTW) is one of the OG dog food brands when it comes to grain-free dog food. They pride themselves on offering recipes that replicate what “ancient” canines would get in the wild. Here’s what you should know about it:

Taste 5/5

We found that most pups seem to love the taste of this kibble. This is probably because of the high-protein, high-fat recipes: those are naturally more appetising for your dog. Many owners also mention that their picky eaters loved this kibble and were happy to have it at mealtimes, so you might want to try your luck with this one!

Owners also report their dog’s coat and overall energy are up after feeding with TOTW, again, probably due to the high-protein formula. The only issue you might encounter is the lack of smaller kibble for toys and small dogs.

Overall, these are tasty recipes that will work for most dogs. We’re giving this brand 5 out of 5 in the taste category.

Ingredients 4/5

Taste of the Wild is a well-known dog food that’s been around for ages, and it’s well-loved for a reason! They have two main lines: grained and grain-free. Their grain-free recipes are their most popular options and contain zero rice, corn, or wheat.

The overall composition of their food is similar, even when comparing the grained to the grain-free. All of Taste Of The Wild’s recipes pack at least 30% protein (some reach 33%), with a very respectable 16% to 18% minimum crude fat. Although they don’t disclose the specific carbohydrate percentage, looking at the ingredient lists and the rest of the composition they make up between 30% and 40%, which isn’t bad for a kibble.

The ingredients themselves vary from one recipe to the next, but all of them are based around an entire “diet”. They claim their recipes try to emulate what your dog would eat if they lived in the wild, so all the recipes include a variety of main ingredients, including at least two animal meats.

We like that at least the first two ingredients in all recipes are meat, and in most recipes, it’s the first three ingredients. The rest of the food is comprised of peas, sweet potatoes, potatoes, lentils, and chickpeas, or with barley, sorghum and millet. We appreciate that even the grained recipes try to stay away from corn and wheat, plus none of the recipes has extra gluten added.

Besides the main proteins and carbohydrates, these recipes include other protein and flavouring sources like egg and roasted meats (turkey, duck, or quail).

Our team lobed the short and sweet ingredient list, as well as the indication of specific percentages for the main ingredients. It’s always nice to see a pet food company being clear about its recipes!

We like this kibble, so we’re giving Taste of the Wild 4 out of 5 in this category.

Protein content 4/5

This is where Taste of the Wild shines. Because they try to replicate the diet of “ancient canines”, the majority of their recipes are multi-protein. We like this approach because feeding dogs a diverse diet can lower the chances of developing food intolerances [1], and it can also help keep their gut bacteria healthy [2].

PRO TIP: Proteins are the most common food allergens in dogs! Before stocking up on dog food, remember that feeding the same food for years on end can increase the chances of your dog getting allergies and intolerances to common proteins.

As for the protein percentage, we’re happy with the guaranteed analysis showing around 32% for all recipes. This is well above the AAFCO minimum percentage of 18% and will keep your dog healthy and active. It’s worth noting that this protein percentage is in-line with the “sport and active dog” recipes marketed by other brands: you might want to keep that in mind if you were wondering about switching your pup.

The actual protein in these recipes is nice. And we appreciate that, even though the food is made in the US, the venison and lamb used in the Australian recipes come from Australian producers.

Our team liked that the first two to three ingredients in all recipes are animal meat, plus, there are other extras like eggs, roasted meats, and extra meal-type ingredients (like ocean fish meal) to round up the recipes. This is more variety than the usual kibble recipes available!

A word of caution about the high protein percentage: while most dogs will do well with these recipes, those with kidney issues should consult with a vet. Since the kidneys are responsible for eliminating waste from protein metabolism, not all dogs can handle a diet high in meat [3].

As a side note, while most of the recipes are multi-protein, here in Australia we can also get Taste of the Wild’s prey line. These are grained recipes built around a single protein. While not claiming to be single-protein recipes (so not appropriate for elimination diets) they might work if your dog prefers a specific protein over others.

The only thing we’d improve about the protein would be the addition of animal organ meats (like liver, brain, or heart). These are rich in micronutrients and are like what a “wild dog” would eat after hunting prey. Of course, most kibble recipes don’t include innards so it’s no surprise TOTW doesn’t either.

Since we like the varied protein sources and the overall composition, we’re giving this brand 4 out of 5 in this category.

Additives 4/5

This brand’s ingredient lists are short and sweet. Besides the main ingredients (2 to 3 proteins and 2 to 3 main carbohydrates), the rest of the list is short. Nevertheless, they have added a few gems worth mentioning:

  • Chelated minerals: This is one of the best features of this food. Chelated minerals have been bound to a protein to make absorption easier. These recipes include potassium, zinc, manganese, copper, and iron, and all of them are chelated to ensure your dog absorbs as much as possible. Chelated minerals are rare in medium-range dog food, so we’re thrilled to see them here.
  • Fat sources: Most of the recipes have flaxseed, chicken fat and salmon oil as the main protein sources. The “prey” line only has sunflower oil, so we’d rather go with any of the other options. Flaxseed and salmon oil have the advantage of adding naturally occurring Omega-3 fatty acids, that help fight chronic diseases and keep your dog healthy.
  • Probiotics & prebiotics: TOTW adds several probiotics to their food to help feed your dog’s microbiome. Of course, probiotics die at high temperatures like the ones used to cook kibble. Nevertheless, the fermentation product (used in the kibble) feeds the good gut bacteria in your dog’s GI. Overall, it’s a great addition to any dog food.

There are also some extra veggies added to the recipes, but their proportion is minimal.

We like the additives in these recipes, so we’re giving Taste of the Wild 4 out of 5 in this category.

Variety 3/5

This brand offers a relatively limited variety when compared to other classic dog foods available in Australia. Nevertheless, there’s enough variety to accommodate most dogs. For example, you have the choice between grained and grain-free recipes, and the prey line features three recipes based around a specific protein type instead of a mix (trout, turkey, or beef).

Most of their offer is mixed-protein recipes that are supposed to imitate what a “wild canine” would eat. You also have Taste Of The Wild puppy food available, with two different recipes to accommodate your puppy’s taste (high prairie and pacific stream).

We liked that there is a small-breed formula with smaller kibble, which would be perfect for small and toy-sized pups that have a hard time chewing on large pieces. There is no large-breed puppy formula available, but they state their adult and puppy formulas can feed large-breed puppies. Looking at the high protein percentage, we would agree with this statement although you’ll need to do careful portion control.

There are no senior dog formulas, which is likely because those recipes tend to be lower in protein. Overall, we like the variety so we’re giving this brand 3 out of 5 in this category.

Price 4/5

For a kibble with these ingredients, our team found the prices to be good. This is especially useful if, like us, you have a dog that eats a lot or if you’re feeding several dogs. This brand is cheaper than high-end dog foods, but still packs some great ingredients that tend to only be on more expensive options.

Of course, consider this kibble is made in the US, so a big part of the cost goes to transportation. However, this is a mid-range food with nice ingredients, so we’re happy with the price. We’re giving this brand 4 out of 5 in this category.


Do Not Buy If…

While we like this brand, you might want to look elsewhere if you:

  • Want air-dried or raw food: Taste of the Wild only offers traditional kibble, so none of the ingredients are raw or air-dried.
  • Would prefer to buy local: This food is manufactured in the US, even if some of the meats are sourced in Australia. This means the carbon footprint is important. If keeping your dog food sustainable is essential for you, this isn’t the right choice.
  • Need a single-protein diet: Even their prey line isn’t marketed as single-protein, so this isn’t the right choice if your dog needs to go on an elimination diet.

Final Verdict

This is one of the best traditional kibbles out there! We like the composition and the price point, so we’d recommend this option over most out there.

Of course, be mindful of the high protein percentage if your dog has kidney issues! We recommend talking to your vet if that’s your case. Overall, we’d say go for it if you’d like to try this kibble with your dog.

Want to read more dog food brand reviews? Check out the below:

References

  1. VCA Animal Hospitals. Food allergies in dogs. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/food-allergies-in-dogs
  2. Morris Animal Foundation. The amazing world of the canine gut microbiome. https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/article/amazing-world-canine-gut-microbiome
  3. Today’s Veterinary practice. Dietary guidelines for dogs with chronic kidney disease (CKD). https://todaysveterinarypractice.com/nutrition/diet-dogs-ckd-chronic-kidney-disease/
Eloisa Thomas

Eloisa Thomas is a dog lover & anthropologist. She enjoys writing content that will actually help people understand their dogs better. Eloisa is able to use her expertise to write informative posts on canine behaviour and training.

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