I had the opportunity to try two recipes from Ultimate Pet Nutrition’s Nutra Complete line, their Premium Beef Dog Food and their Premium Pork Dog Food. Each of these products is made with US-sourced meat, 100% freeze-dried for maximum nutrition, and includes superfood fruits and vegetables as well as prebiotics and supplemental vitamins and minerals.
On paper, Nutra Complete appears to be a high-quality, premiere freeze-dried food worth the elevated price tag. But how does it really perform?
I have two dogs that helped me try out these diets: Ragz, a 12-year-old Dalmatian mix who weighs about 30 pounds; and Papyrus, a 14-year-old Chihuahua who weighs about 7 pounds. They both have experience eating freeze-dried foods.
Find out what I liked and disliked about these diets, how much my dogs enjoyed eating them, and if I’d consider switching to Nutra Complete Dog Food in my full, hands-on review, below.
At a Glance: The Best Nutra Complete Dog Food Recipes
|Our Favorite||Nutra Complete Premium Beef Dog Food||
|Nutra Complete Premium Pork Dog Food||
|Nutra Complete Premium Chicken Dog Food||
Nutra Complete Dog Food Review
All Nutra Complete Dog Food recipes feature 100% freeze-dried raw morsels. These morsels are similar in size and shape to large dry kibbles. But because they’re not exposed to heat during processing, they retain more natural nutrients, antioxidants, and enzymes than typical dry kibble. But unlike true raw food, these diets can be stored and fed the same way kibble is.
There is a lot to love about this dog food. And my dogs were eager for me to open the bags so they could test out the recipes for themselves.
But before we get into how much we liked Nutra Complete, let’s take a closer look at the company, what dogs this food is best suited for, and what’s in the bag.
Who Makes Nutra Complete and Where Is It Produced?
Nutra Complete is made by Ultimate Pet Nutrition, a holistic pet food and supplement company started by veterinarian, Dr. Gary Richter. The company was founded in 2017 and is based out of Encino, California.
Dr. Richter, who was named “Holistic Practitioner of the Year” by the American Holistic Veterinary Association in 2019, worked with a team of veterinarians to create this dog food line to be a complete and balanced diet for adult dogs.
Uniquely, all the meat used in these diets is sourced and processed in the United States. All their products are also manufactured in the USA.
Which Type of Dog Is Nutra Complete Best Suited For?
The fat and protein content of Nutra Complete varies slightly by recipe, but all have around 34% of each. This makes them higher-calorie diets than the average kibble or wet food. Because of this, these diets are an excellent choice for working and active adult dogs.
Nutra Complete can also be a good choice for less active dogs. Because each bag contains more calories, ounce for ounce, you just need to feed less of it compared to regular kibble.
It is also worth noting that, because of the higher than average protein and fat content of these diets, they contain fewer carbohydrates. Because dogs’ systems evolved to process fat and protein as their main sources of energy, these diets are metabolized more cleanly. Dogs who struggle to lose weight on traditional dog food tend to maintain a healthier weight on high-protein diets, so long as they are fed an appropriate amount to meet their caloric needs.
Which Type of Dog Might Do Better With a Different Brand?
Currently, there are only three recipes available from Nutra Complete: beef, pork, and chicken. Each features only one type of meat, which is great for dogs that have food allergies. At least, so long as they are not allergic to beef, chicken, and pork.
Both chicken and beef are included in the top three most common meat allergies dogs develop. Pork is far less common, however, and the Premium Pork Dog Food recipe would likely be a good option for dogs with meat allergies.
Other common allergens for dogs include wheat, corn, and soy. None of Nutra Complete’s recipes include grains or soy products, making all of them a safe option for dogs with common plant-protein allergies.
If your dog does suffer from a wider array of food allergies, you may consider trying Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried raw food diets instead. Both their Duck Duck Goose and Absolutely Rabbit recipes contain only exotic meats and are grain-free, making them suitable for most dogs with food allergy concerns.
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
All three recipes from Nutra Complete are made predominantly of meat and organs. They also include a number of superfood fruits and vegetables, as well as some added nutrients.
Meat and Organs
One of the greatest selling points of this brand is that each recipe contains 95% meat ingredients. This is a huge improvement over typical dog kibble, which contains just 3% to 25% meat, on average. Because dogs evolved to eat meat, their bodies are primed to absorb nutrients from these sources over nutrients from plant-based foods.
The first ingredient in all three recipes is a whole meat product, which includes muscle meat, fat, and skin. This type of meat ingredient provides lean protein, energizing fat, essential amino acids, and many necessary vitamins and minerals.
Following that is at least one type of organ meat. Kidneys, hearts, and livers are rich in nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, and phosphorus. These ingredients deliver many of the micronutrients that aren’t found in muscle meat.
Fruits and Vegetables
Each Nutra Complete recipe also includes about 4% vegetables, fruits, and some miscellaneous superfoods.
Nutrient-dense vegetables, including spinach, carrots, and broccoli, add enzymes, vitamins, and antioxidants to the blend. Low-sugar fruits, such as blueberries and cranberries, add even more to that healthy antioxidant load.
Other notable superfood ingredients include ginger, pumpkin seeds, dried kelp, and flaxseed. These help round out the natural vitamins and minerals present in the recipes and add another heaping of antioxidants and powerful phytochemicals known to support canine health.
Given all the powerful ingredients already included in these recipes, I was surprised to find Nutra Complete also contains added synthetic and naturally occurring nutrients.
Taurine, potassium chloride, zinc amino acid complex, and more are added, I presume, to ensure all essential nutrient needs are met. Given the amount and quality of the meat ingredients included, I would think most of these bases are already covered. But, given that our dogs often eat the same food day after day without variety, it’s good to be sure everything they need makes it into every bowl.
All recipes utilize mixed tocopherols as a natural preservative and include no chemical preservatives, dyes, or other dangerous additives.
How Easy Is It to Feed?
One of the greatest benefits of freeze-dried dog food is that it provides many of the same advantages as raw food without the mess or hassle. Even more so than many freeze-dried diets I’ve tried, I found Nutra Complete incredibly easy to feed.
The feeding recommendation on the back of the bag says to mix the freeze-dried kibbles with a little warm water and to let it sit for 3 minutes before serving. This is less time than it takes to rehydrate large freeze-dried chunks, which is nice. But it does require a touch more work than feeding simple dry kibble.
However, the bag also notes that these morsels can be fed straight, without water.
I tried feeding both ways. In the mornings, I added the dry morsels to my dogs’ treat balls (they were the perfect size!). In the evening, I added water and let the bowls sit before serving. I didn’t notice any problems either way, and my dogs were equally eager to eat the food up no matter how I presented it.
Do Dogs Like It?
I can only speak for Ragz and Papyrus here, but they absolutely loved Nutra Complete. I fed them the pork and the beef recipe and they seemed to enjoy each equally. The second I opened the bags, they were in my face trying to find out what I had. And they didn’t hesitate to vacuum it down the moment I filled their bowls.
Neither dog showed any negative effects from eating these diets despite a quick transition from their normal food.
However, my dogs are used to freeze-dried diets. If you’re switching your dog from kibble to Nutra Complete, it is worthwhile to do it slowly over 10 days as the bag recommends. Meat-based foods take much less time to digest than high-carbohydrate diets and it can take the stomach time to adjust.
Is It Worth the Money?
Compared to the average dry kibble diet, you will pay a lot more to feed your dog this food. But it’s also a much higher quality food than most kibble diets out there.
If you compare Nutra Complete to other freeze-dried foods on the market, you’ll find the price is right on point. Stella & Chewy, one of the first freeze-dried food companies, also includes 95% meat in most of their recipes. Like Nutra Complete, they are also grain-free and use only superfood fruits and vegetables to round out their diets. Both options are priced very similarly when you purchase through Chewy.
Nutra Complete is also priced similarly to Primal Freeze-Dried Dog Food. But the latter only includes 80% meat in most of their recipes, making Nutra the better buy.
Given the ingredient quality, the amount of animal product included, and the fact that the meat is sourced in the USA, I say Nutra Complete is worth the expense.
A Quick Look at Nutra Complete Dog Food
According to the FDA, Nutra Complete Dog Food has, to date, never been recalled.
Reviews of the 3 Best Nutra Complete Dog Food Recipes
I had the chance to try Nutra Complete’s beef and pork recipes with my dogs Ragz and Papyrus. The company also has a popular chicken formula available.
1. Nutra Complete Premium Beef Dog Food
This recipe contains 95% US-sourced beef, beef liver, beef kidney, and ground beef bone. It also includes Nutra Complete’s signature superfood blend which features a number of nutrient-dense ingredients, including flaxseed, dried kelp, blueberries, and spinach. The recipe is rounded out with various added vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
My dogs, who are used to freeze-dried beef dog food, absolutely loved this recipe. After a short transition period, they both handled the food very well and had no negative reactions to it whatsoever.
2. Nutra Complete Premium Pork Dog Food
This recipe contains 95% USA-sourced pork, pork heart, and pork liver. Like the other recipes, it also contains Nutra Complete’s signature superfood blend and added vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It’s grain-free, soy-free, and has only a single protein source, making it a good choice for dogs with food allergies.
My dogs have never had a pork-based food before, but that didn’t stop them from gobbling this diet up. After transitioning them onto this recipe, they happily ate it dry or wet and had no negative reactions.
3. Nutra Complete Premium Chicken Dog Food
This recipe contains 95% US-sourced chicken, chicken heart, chicken liver, and chicken gizzard. It also includes Nutra Complete’s standard list of superfood fruits and vegetables and added nutrients. Chicken is a common allergen in dogs, but for those who can handle this protein source, this recipe is a great option.
My dogs did not get to try this flavor, but from my hands-on review of the other two recipes, I’d feel confident ordering this recipe as well.
Our Experience With Nutra Complete
I’m not going to lie, I’m a big fan of freeze-dried dog food. It has so many of the same benefits as a raw diet but is much easier to feed and doesn’t require special storage or handling. So, I was very excited to test out Nutra Complete.
I’m happy to say that both Ragz and Papyrus really enjoyed Nutra Complete. As I transitioned them to the new diets, they preferred to pick the Nutra Complete morsels out of the bowl first every meal. They tolerated the new food well during the transition and continued to do well on it once they were eating it straight.
Neither one had any digestive issues or other problems while on this food. And I noticed both had improved stool. Not only was it more solid than when they eat kibble, but they pooped less frequently and in smaller amounts—a good sign this food is highly digestible.
This didn’t surprise me considering these diets are loaded with healthy, biologically appropriate meat and organs and a handful of healthy superfoods. And they have more protein from animal sources than most other diets on the market.
That said, there might be some room for improvement. The meat is sourced in the US, but it isn’t listed as being free-range, grass-fed, or organic. This is, of course, a balancing act as switching to organic ingredients would come with a price hike that many owners couldn’t afford.
Overall, I found these diets easy to feed and was very impressed by the ingredients used. Ragz and Papyrus enjoyed them and had no negative reactions to either the pork or beef recipe. I will definitely be buying this brand again in the future.
Nutra Complete Dog Food is a great option for owners looking to improve on the standard kibble diet.
These freeze-dried recipes are loaded with energizing protein, healthy fat, and antioxidant-loaded superfoods. They contain 95% US-sourced meat to nourish your carnivore canine and are nearly as easy as dry kibble to store and feed. Plus, dogs go crazy for this food—just ask my pups!
Like other freeze-dried dog food products, you’ll pay more for these diets. But given the quality ingredients and benefits you’re sure to see when switching from processed dog food, we think Nutra Complete is more than worth the investment.
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