Taste of the Wild is one of the leading brands when it comes to natural, grain-free dog food. With a focus on quality ingredients and nutrient-rich recipes, Taste of the Wild aims to provide dogs with the kind of diet they would follow in the wild.
But are their formulas as good as they claim? And how do they compare to other top grain-free dog food brands? This detailed review takes an in-depth look at Taste of the Wild’s ingredients, nutrition, recalls, prices and more to help you decide if it’s the right choice for your dog.
An Overview of Taste of the Wild Dog Food
Taste of the Wild is made by Diamond Pet Foods, one of the largest pet food manufacturers in the world. Their grain-free formulas are all inspired by what dogs would eat in nature, with plenty of meat, fruits, and vegetables.
Some key things to know about Taste of the Wild:
- Owned by Schell & Kampeter, Inc. Taste of the Wild is a family-owned company known for quality.
- Made in the USA. All Taste of the Wild formulas are made in the USA with globally-sourced ingredients.
- Grain-free recipes. They use premium meat, fish, fowl, eggs, fruits, vegetables and legumes. No corn, wheat, filler, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
- Natural formulas. Contains no by-product meals and focuses on quality, natural ingredients.
- Limited ingredient diets. Their novel protein formulas use unusual proteins like bison, trout, boar, venison, etc. Great for dogs with allergies or sensitivities.
- Probiotics added. Contains species-specific probiotics to support digestion and immunity.
- Antioxidant-rich fruits & veggies. Berries, tomatoes, and other antioxidant-rich produce help fight disease.
- Variety of flavors. With unique proteins like duck, salmon, trout, boar, bison and more.
Now let’s take a closer look at their key product lines and formulas.
Taste of the Wild Dog Food Product Lines
Taste of the Wild currently offers two main grain-free product lines:
1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie
Key Features: Bison, Beef, Lamb, Venison, Fowl, Eggs, Fruits, Veggies
Their High Prairie line focuses on unique proteins like bison, venison, lamb, and fowl to provide high-quality nutrition. It comes in both puppy and adult formulas.
High Prairie Puppy Formula: Bison, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, eggs, canola oil. 370 kcal/cup.
High Prairie Adult Formula: Bison, beef, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, canola oil. 370 kcal/cup.
High Prairie Small Breed: Bison, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, chicken fat. 370 kcal/cup.
2. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream
Key Features: Salmon, Ocean Fish, Fruits, Veggies, Legumes, Probiotics
The Pacific Stream line provides omega-3 rich proteins from salmon and other fish. It’s also available in both puppy and adult varieties.
Pacific Stream Puppy: Salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, canola oil. 360 kcal/cup.
Pacific Stream Adult: Salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, canola oil. 330 kcal/cup.
Pacific Stream Small Breed: Salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, chicken fat. 370 kcal/cup.
They also offer a limited variety of canned/wet foods, treats, and supplements.
Next, let’s dive into their key ingredients and nutritional value.
Key Ingredients in Taste of the Wild Formulas
Taste of the Wild focuses on quality, species-appropriate ingredients inspired by a dog’s natural diet. Here are some of the key components in their recipes:
Their first two ingredients are always real meat, fish, or fowl. This includes:
- Bison – A lean red meat packed with protein, iron, and B vitamins. Helpful for building lean muscle.
- Beef – A nutrient-rich red meat that provides iron, zinc, and B vitamins. A natural source of glutamine for gut health.
- Lamb – An easily-digestible meat containing high-quality protein. Also provides iron, zinc, and B12.
- Venison – Lean wild game meat with bioavailable protein sources. Naturally low in fat.
- Salmon – An excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil. Supports skin, coat, joints, brain, and heart health.
- Ocean Fish – Provides protein and beneficial EPA/DHA omega-3s. Varieties like trout and mackerel are very digestible.
- Fowl – Lean poultry sources like turkey and duck offer complete, bioavailable protein.
They also use fresh, raw, or dehydrated varieties of most protein sources.
Fruits & Vegetables
Taste of the Wild includes antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables like:
- Sweet Potatoes – Excellent source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta carotene. Also provide potassium.
- Potatoes – Easily digestible source of carbohydrates, B vitamins, potassium and vitamin C. Provide lasting energy.
- Blueberries – Rich in antioxidants that fight disease and support immune health. Also high in manganese.
- Raspberries – Packed with antioxidants, fiber, manganese. Help reduce inflammation.
- Tomatoes – Good source of vitamin C, biotin, potassium. Also contain lycopene, an antioxidant.
- Broccoli – Nutrient-dense green veggie high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium. Promotes healthy digestion.
- Peas – Contains protein, folate, manganese, and phosphorus. Also high in lutein for eye health.
They contain moderate portions of starchy veggies and fruits to mimic the natural diet of wild canines.
Grains & Legumes
Taste of the Wild formulas are 100% grain-free. Instead, they use highly-digestible legumes as carbohydrate sources:
- Chickpeas – Provide complex carbs, fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, potassium. Considered a low glycemic ingredient.
- Peas – Excellent source of dietary fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Easily digestible.
- Lentils – Slow-burning carbs, lots of fiber. Also contain protein, folate, manganese, iron, and phosphorus.
Legumes give dogs long-lasting energy while keeping blood sugar stable. They are easier to digest than grains for most dogs.
Oils & Fats
Healthy fats provide energy and support skin, coat, brain, and joint health. Taste of the Wild uses:
- Canola Oil – Plant-based oil high in omega-3s and monounsaturated fats. Also contains vitamin E.
- Chicken Fat – Naturally rich in linoleic acid to nourish skin and coat. Also enhances flavor.
- Herring Oil – Provides anti-inflammatory omega-3s EPA and DHA from fish oil. Supports brain development.
- Salmon Oil – Excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Contains both EPA and DHA.
Fats make up around 15% of calories in Taste of the Wild formulas.
Vitamins & Minerals
Taste of the Wild meets AAFCO standards for complete and balanced nutrition. All recipes are supplemented with chelated vitamins and minerals including:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin E
They also add calcium carbonate as a source of calcium and chondroitin/glucosamine for joint health. Overall, their nutrient profiles are dense and species-appropriate.
Probiotics & Prebiotics
All Taste of the Wild formulas contain K9 Strain proprietary probiotics. These live microorganisms help support healthy digestion and immunity.
They also add prebiotic fiber from chicory root, dried chicory root, peas, lentils, yucca schidigera, and dried fermentation products. This nourishes the good bacteria in a dog’s gut.
Recall History of Taste of the Wild
Taste of the Wild has been affected by one recall in their history:
- May 2012 – Salmonella risk led to a recall of one production run of Taste of the Wild dry dog food. About 6,000 cases were recalled. No illnesses were reported.
Other than this isolated incident, they have not been affected by any additional recalls from 2007 to the present. They take product safety and quality control very seriously.
However, it’s important to note their manufacturer Diamond Pet Foods has been affected by numerous recalls over the years. But Taste of the Wild maintains their own stringent standards for suppliers and facilities.
Taste of the Wild Reviews
Taste of the Wild is generally very well-reviewed by pet owners:
- Product Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars on Chewy.com based on over 48,000 reviews. 4.8 out of 5 on Petco based on over 5,400 reviews. Consistently earns high marks.
- Ingredient Quality: Most reviews praise the focus on quality ingredients like real meat, fish, and produce. Dogs seem to love the taste and natural flavors.
- Coat Health: Many note improvements in coat softness, shedding, and skin after switching to Taste of the Wild. Omegas and vitamins likely help.
- Stool Health: The digestibility and fiber sources produce small, firm stools according to most. Probiotics support healthy digestion.
- Picky Eaters: Works well for many picky dogs who rejected other foods. Strong natural flavors appeal to finicky appetites.
- Allergies: The limited ingredients are tolerated well by dogs with food sensitivities. Novel proteins like bison, trout, etc are especially helpful.
- Puppy Growth: Provides steady energy and nutrition to fuel growing puppies. Most report healthy development.
The biggest complaints relate to quality control issues, with some bags arriving moldy, stale or bug-infested. However, these seem to be isolated cases.
Taste of the Wild Pricing
Taste of the Wild is priced in the mid-range for premium dog foods:
- 5 lb bag: $15-$22
- 15 lb bag: $40-$55
- 30 lb bag: $50-$70
This compares reasonably to brands like Blue Buffalo, Merrick, and Wellness Core for natural, grain-free foods. Taste of the Wild offers similar quality at a lower cost.
They also regularly offer sales, coupons, and loyalty programs to help save on multiple bags. So you can often get their food for 20% off or more. Sign up on their website for discounts.
Compared to grocery store brands, Taste of the Wild costs around 2-3x as much per pound. But you get far superior ingredients for the price difference.
Price Per Pound
Based on 30 lb bag prices, Taste of the Wild costs about:
- High Prairie Adult: $1.67 per pound
- Pacific Stream Adult: $1.83 per pound
So it rounds out to roughly $1.75/lb for their core formulas. Very reasonable for the quality.
Where to Buy Taste of the Wild
Taste of the Wild is sold at just about all major pet supply chains in the US, including:
- Local pet stores
You can also buy directly online through their website TasteOfTheWildPetFood.com which offers a store locator tool.
Brick-and-mortar retailers will have the best selection of grain-free flavors and formulas. But online sites like Chewy often have better prices when buying in bulk.
Taste of the Wild Dog Food – The Bottom Line
Overall, Taste of the Wild offers high-quality natural nutrition at a reasonable price point. Their grain-free formulas focus on quality proteins, digestible carbs, healthy fats and natural ingredients.
- Excellent ingredient quality (real meats, fish, produce)
- Grain-free, carbohydrate-limited formulas
- Made in the USA
- Contains species-appropriate nutrients
- Most dogs love the taste
- Improves skin, coat, digestion
- Limited recall history
- Reasonably priced for premium food
- Manufacturer (Diamond) has recall history
- Isolated quality control issues
- Not as many exotic proteins as some (Zignature, etc)
- Some formulas use peas and legumes
Overall, it’s a very nutritious and affordable option, especially for owners seeking grain-free nutrition. Dogs with allergies also do very well on their limited ingredient recipes.
Just be aware of the potential for rare quality control issues. Check each bag carefully upon arrival. But tens of thousands of happy pet owners feed Taste of the Wild with great results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Still have questions about Taste of the Wild dog food? Here are answers to some commonly asked questions:
Q: Is Taste of the Wild good quality?
A: Yes, Taste of the Wild is very high quality. They focus on premium proteins, digestible carbs, probiotics, and natural ingredients. Their formulas are highly nutritious and resemble a dog’s natural diet.
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Q: Is Taste of the Wild grain-free?
A: Yes, all Taste of the Wild formulas are 100% grain-free. They use digestible carbs like sweet potatoes, legumes and produce instead. Great for dogs with grain allergies.
Q: Is Taste of the Wild made in the USA?
A: Yes, Taste of the Wild is made exclusively in USA facilities located in South Carolina, California, Missouri and Arkansas.
Q: Does Taste of the Wild contain artificial preservatives?
A: No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives are used. They focus on natural preservation using mixed tocopherols.
Q: Is Taste of the Wild good for puppies?
A: Yes, their puppy formulas provide the right blend of proteins, fats, carbs, and nutrients to fuel healthy growth and development. Highly rated by owners of growing pups.
Q: Is Taste of the Wild good for allergies?
A: Yes, it’s a great choice for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. Their limited ingredient diets minimize risk of reactions. And novel proteins like bison, trout, etc are uncommon triggers.
Q: Is Taste of the Wild good for senior dogs?
A: Yes, but the standard adult formula may be too high in protein and fat for some seniors. Fortunately they offer a Senior Meat formula with ideal nutrition for older dogs.
Taste of the Wild is a quality choice for owners looking for natural, grain-free nutrition for dogs. Their uniquely sourced protein formulas offer complete balance, excellent digestibility and tasty flavors most dogs love. While quality control has been an issue in rare cases, they offer great nutrition at a very affordable price point for premium dog food.