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Home > Dogs > Natural Balance Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Natural Balance Dog Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Natural Balance Dog Food - Featured Image

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Natural Balance dog food a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Natural Balance is a brand of dog food that was first created in Burbank in California back in 1989 by Dick Van Patten. This company aims to produce high-quality pet foods that meet your dogs’ nutritional requirements and consists of high-quality meats and proteins.

The health of your pet is Natural Balances’ top priority, and they seem to keep up to these standards when it comes to the quality of their dog food. This brand sells a range of different dog foods under several different categories and offers dry, wet, and freeze-dried dog foods. They are also one of the few dog food brands that offer vegetarian-based dog foods.

If you are interested in learning more about what Natural Balance pet foods have to offer your dog, then this article will tell you everything you need to know!

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At a Glance: The Best Natural Balance Dog Food Recipes:

Image Product Details
Natural Balance Grain-Free Salmon and Sweet Potato Natural Balance Grain-Free Salmon and Sweet Potato
  • Salmon as the main ingredient
  • Formulated for sensitive stomachs
  • Does not contain any artificial colors or flavors
  • Second place
    Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula Dry Dog Food Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula Dry Dog Food
  • Free of soy, dairy, and gluten
  • Ideal for dogs who cannot eat meat-based ingredients
  • Available in a wet and dry formula
  • Third place
    Natural Balance Chicken and Sweet Potato Shreds Natural Balance Chicken and Sweet Potato Shreds
  • Ideal for both puppies and adults
  • Highly digestible ingredients
  • Contains added vitamins and minerals
  • Natural Balance Freeze Dried Raw Natural Balance Freeze Dried Raw
  • Dogs love the taste
  • Good for dogs with a sensitive stomach
  • Work well as training treats
  • Natural Balance Gentle Balance Formula Natural Balance Gentle Balance Formula
  • Excellent skin and coat
  • Kibble size approximately the same size of a dime
  • Balanced nutrition for all breeds of adult dogs
  • Natural Balance Dog Food Reviewed

    Who makes Natural Balance Dog Food and where is it produced?

    The Natural Balance brand is currently owned by The J.M. Smucker Company. This company is also well-known for owning some other popular brands of pet products. Natural Balance was previously merged in 2013 with Del Monte Pet Foods, but they were owned by J.M. Smucker Company only 1 year later. They started as a small company based in California but have now expanded with the main headquarters being located in Burbank with facilities in both California and South Carolina. Natural Balance dog foods ingredient sourcing is not specified; however, they do say that their dog foods ingredients are manufactured in the United States.

    Which Types of Dogs is Natural Balance Best Suited For?

    Natural Balance dog food has six categories for its formulas which include limited ingredient (L.I.D), delectable delights, vegetarian, targeted nutrition, original ultra, and platefulls recipes. They also produce wet (canned), dry, and freeze-dried dog foods which gives you the option of choosing between the different textures and ingredients you want to feed your dog.

    This brand of dog food will be suitable for all dog breeds and life stages because they have a recipe for every dog—including recipes for puppies under 1 year of age. The freeze-dried recipes seem to be the best for dogs with allergies because they contain a single source of protein. Most of the foods contain limited ingredients which makes it easy for you to determine if the food has the right ingredients according to any allergies or food sensitivities your dog might have.

    Since Natural balance also has a vegetarian dog food recipe available, which is rare, and you can purchase dog foods from this brand that contains the same essential nutrients as their meat-based recipes if it is advised by a veterinarian to feeding your dog a meat-free diet.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    Natural Balance dog foods seem to have decent ingredients for the money you pay. Most of the recipes from this brand have limited ingredients and are grain-free, however, the ingredients will vary depending on the recipe you choose.

    The foods contain a good number of essential vitamins and minerals that are ideal for dogs, such as vitamin E, zinc, and iron in the form of amino acids. High-quality proteins are the main ingredients in the recipes and some recipes include flaxseed for coat and skin nourishment.

    Proteins are the main ingredient in most of Natural Balance’s recipes and the limited ingredient recipes do not contain any soy, grains, or gluten. All of Natural Balance’s recipes are made without artificial colors and preservatives.

    The only controversial ingredient found in some of the Natural Balance dog food recipes is canola oil and tomato pomace, which are under debate as to whether they should be included in dog food.


    A Quick Look at Natural Balance Dog Food

    • High-quality meats are the first ingredients
    • The recipes are formulated with good scientific principles
    • Each food has over 20 different flavors to choose from
    • Their dog foods are divided into six different categories
    • Vegetarian dog food recipes available
    • More expensive than your average dog food
    • Has had a few recalls for salmonella contamination

    Recall History

    The Natural Balance brand seems to take the safety and quality of their pet foods seriously, and the recipes undergo various testing procedures to make sure they meet the standards. This brand also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee because they run tests on each batch of dog food before it can be bought. Although Natural Balance is careful with the food they produce for consumers, there are a few recalls associated with the Natural Balance brand.

    • In March 2007 there was a report from AVMA for several Natural Balances canned foods because there was a concern over possible melamine contamination. Both wet and dry dog foods were recalled.
    • 4 months after this recall, in July 2007, the FDA recalled four cans of food for possible botulinum contamination.
    • The FDA recalled certain patches of the sweet potato and chicken dry food because there was a concern over salmonella contamination in June of 2010.
    • In May 2012, another recall for this brand from the FDA was issued for another salmonella contamination that affected most of the dry dog food recipes.


    Reviews of the 3 Best Natural Balance Dog Food Recipes

    Let’s look at some of Natural Balance’s most popular dog food recipes and see what they have to offer your dog.

    1. Natural Balance Salmon and Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food

    Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Salmon and Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food

    This dog food is a limited ingredient and grain-free dog food that has salmon as the main ingredient and protein source. It also includes potatoes as a grain-free fiber source for digestive health. It is formulated for dogs with sensitive stomachs, allergies, and irritable skin with a balance of nutrients to support your dog’s immunity.

    This is a great recipe for dogs who should not be eating grains, soy, or gluten as advised by a veterinarian due to health issues, and like all Natural Balance dog food recipes, this food does not contain any artificial colors or flavors.

    It has a moderate level of protein at 24% with a good fat content of 10%, with 4.5% of fiber which is mainly from the sweet potato. The guaranteed analysis falls within the ideal percentages for an adult dog.

    • Salmon as the main ingredient
    • Free from artificial colors and flavors
    • Rich in omega fatty acids
    • Pricey

    2. Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula Dry Dog Food

    Natural Balance Vegetarian Formula Dry Dog Food

    This is a meat-free dog food recipe that replaces common meat-based protein sources with barley and peas. The food is also free of soy, dairy, and gluten which may be ideal for dogs that have allergies to these ingredients and need a vegetarian diet. It is a dry kibble that is made with limited ingredients, but there is also a canned formula for the same food available.

    Brown rice is the main ingredient in this food, followed by grains and canola oil. This food only just meets the AAFCO’s minimum daily recommended protein percentage at a low 18%. The low protein content is mainly due to brown rice and grains being the main ingredients. This is popular dog food for owners who want to feed their dog a vegetarian-based diet, but make sure you clear it with your dog’s veterinarian.

    • Ideal for dogs who cannot eat meat-based ingredients due to health reasons
    • Contains all the essential nutrients a dog would get from meat-based foods
    • Available in a wet and dry formula
    • Very low protein content
    • Feeding a vegetarian diet needs to be discussed with a veterinarian first

    3. Natural Balance Chicken and Sweet Potato Shreds Wet Dog Food

    Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet Chicken and Sweet Potato Shreds Grain-Free Wet Dog Food

    This is a canned dog food with meaty shreds that form a complete and balanced dog food for all dogs, including puppies and adults. This food does not contain grains and has a limited number of ingredients which makes it better suited for dogs who need a grain-free diet for health reasons.

    The recipe is highly digestible for maximum nutrient absorption and contains added vitamins and minerals to help support your dog’s immune system. This food has a protein content of 11% per tub which comes from chicken as the main ingredient followed by sweet potatoes which are a good source of fiber.

    • Ideal for both puppies and adults
    • Highly digestible ingredients
    • Contains added vitamins and minerals for immune support
    • Contains canola oil

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    What Other Users Are Saying

    • HerePup – “Natural Balance carries out nine tests on every batch of dog food and shares the results, so you can always be confident your pet is safe.”
    • Pet Food Guru- “Natural Balance has full confidence in the quality of its ingredients, and the company wants dog owners to feel that way.”
    • Amazon – As pet owners, we always double-check with Amazon reviews from buyers before we buy something. You can read them by clicking here.



    Natural Balance dog foods aim to provide dogs with complete and balanced nutrition from carefully tested ingredients. They have different categories of dog food available to appeal to the different needs of dogs, whether it’s a grain-free, limited ingredient, or vegetarian diet. This dog food brand offers three different types of dog foods, which include wet, dry, and freeze-dried foods.

    Overall, Natural balance seems to be a good brand of dog food for most dogs, with mostly positive reviews from customers.

    Featured Image Credit: Chewy

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