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Nutro vs. Diamond Naturals: Which Dog Food is Better?

Can't decide between Nutro vs. Diamond Naturals for your pup's next meal? Find out all you need to know about these dog food manufacturers in this comparison!

Last Updated: September 22, 2020 | 8 min read

Dog looking at Nutro Dog Food

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Are you struggling to find the perfect dog food brand for your canine companion? Narrowed your search down to Nutro vs. Diamond Naturals and can’t decide which one is best? Choosing the right diet is important for your dog’s overall health, making it important to research the best brands that are out there.

Each of these dog food manufacturers has something special to offer in terms of nutrition, so how do you decide which one serves your dog best? Today we’re going to make your search easier and break down two popular food brands: Nutro and Diamond Naturals dog foods.

Let’s break down each brand in terms of history, recalls, ingredients, and more! By the end of this guide, we hope to help you make your final decision between the Nutro and Diamond Naturals dog food.

Nutro Ultra Puppy Food
Our Rating

Puppy Food Pick

Nutro Ultra Puppy

View at Chewy.com
Diamond Naturals Adult Food
Our Rating

Adult Food Pick

Diamond Naturals Adult

View at Chewy.com
Nutro Senior Formula Dog Food
Our Rating

Senior Food Pick

Nutro Senior Formula

View at Chewy.com

Note: Clicking the above links will take you to Chewy.com, where you can get additional product information and customer reviews. If you make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Brand History

Diamond Naturals Dog Food
Both Nutro and Diamond Naturals have reputable brand histories.

Each brand has a unique history that has helped them become the brand they are today. With some of our favorite pet food companies being around for quite some time, it’s always interesting to hear about their journey to the point they are now.  To help you get a better understanding of their mission, let’s dive into their history!

Nutro

Nutro is a well-known dog food brand that made its way into the pet food arena 90 years ago. From their humble beginning to now being a subsidiary of Mars Incorporated, they have grown to be one of the most well-known options for natural and grain-free pet food. With being the first dog food brand to create natural options, they have some standing in this realm of dog food.

From the start, Nutro has focused on serving dogs of all kinds with their range of diet options. With having so many natural and grain-free options, they can better help dogs with sensitivities, special diet needs, and everything in between.

Nutro is considered a premium dog food brand. While we’ve reviewed Nutro’s most popular dog foods in-depth, we’ve also compared them against other manufacturers. You can see those reviews below. Nutro is also one of our favorite dog foods for Labradoodles amongst many other breeds.

Here’s a few different brands we’ve compared Nutro against in the past:

Diamond Naturals

The Diamond Pet Food company began creating their diets in 1970. Since they started nearly 50 years ago, they have grown into one of the largest dog food manufacturers around the world. Their promise to create natural and high-quality diets have captured the hearts of dog owners around the world and has helped them grow into the company they are today. Though this company has expanded so much, they still take pride in being a family owned company with Midwestern values.

Diamond Pet Food also owns Taste of the Wild, and other dog food brands. Diamond Naturals is also considered a premium pet food brand, as is Taste of the Wild who they are often compared against, even though the same company owns both. They are a reputable brand with an excellent history in the pet food industry.

Recalls

Food Recall History
Both Nutro and Diamond Naturals have excellent reputations in their handling of recalls.

Now that we’ve introduced you to the Nutro and Diamond Naturals dog food brands, let’s discuss their past with food recalls. Understanding their experience with recalls and how they handle them can help us better understand a company, so let’s dive in.

Nutro

Nutro has experienced 3 food recalls throughout their 90 years of being in business. This is very low compared to some other brands. This is just another reason why Nutro is well thought of in the dog food industry.

March of 2007: Multiple brands belonging to Mars Incorporated were recalled due to possible melamine contamination in their products.

September of 2009: This recall involved possible plastic contamination in their factory. This incident involved a worker’s hard hat falling into the supply line, causing pieces of plastic to fall into some of their products. Due to their fast action, no pets were affected.

December of 2015: A batch of treats were recalled due to possible mold contamination. Thankfully, no pets were affected.

Diamond Naturals

Diamond Naturals prides themselves in their superior facilities. Despite of this, they have had a few recalls in their past. There haven’t been any recent recalls based on our research.

December of 2005: There was a recall of diets made in the South Carolina facility due to possible aflatoxin contamination.

April of 2012: There was a recall involving many of their dry formulas that occurred due to possible salmonella contamination.

May 2012: Diamond Naturals experienced another recall of all their diets due to potential salmonella contamination.

March 2013: Recall involving one of their kitten formulas due to low levels of thiamine in the diet. This did not affect any dog food from what we can see, based on our research.

Food Ingredients

Dog Food Ingredients on Table
Both Nutro and Diamond Naturals use natural ingredients in their dog food formulas.

Each diet’s ingredients are what makes them so special, and is what helps you make your final decision in choosing the best diet for your furry friend. In order to see whether Nutro and Diamond Naturals will serve your dog best, let’s see what each brand has to offer in terms of ingredients.

Nutro

With being the first dog food brand to create natural diet options, Nutro takes pride in the quality of their ingredients. Nutro always uses real protein as the first ingredient, as well as being free of any meat byproducts. Not only are they dedicated to using quality protein, but they are always free of any artificial flavors or preservatives.

Nutro also offers many grain-free diet options for our sensitive furry friends. Aside from their grain-free options are the multiple sensitive grain options as well. The sensitive grain options only include grains that are less likely to cause allergies, making it a better option for the dogs that do still consume grain. In addition to their grain-free and sensitive grain features are the many vitamins and minerals that come along with their diets. These ingredients help to offer immune support, joint support, as well as help in promoting skin health.

Diamond Naturals

Diamond Naturals aims to offer a holistic and tasty diet for our canine friends. With offering ingredients from real meat, fruits, veggies, and more, they target your dog’s health at the core. With having sensitive grain options and grain-free options to choose from, each dog can find what they need with Diamond Naturals.

Though their diets contain real meat, they also contain meat meal as a large portion of their protein source. Though we’d prefer a diet to only contain real meat as the main ingredient, they claim the meat meal contains 300% more protein than real beef. Their diets also include probiotics, DHA, omega fatty acids, and glucosamine and chondroitin for joint support. 

Range Of Formulas

Nutro Dog Food
Both Nutro and Diamond Naturals have a wide range of food formulas.

Our dogs go through many life stages throughout their time with us, meaning they require different diets throughout that time as well. Nutro offers 5 different diet lines that include options for different sizes and ages, and Diamond Naturals offers 13 different dry diets and 3 canned diets. Each brand has something unique to offer in terms of formulas, making the choice challenging when comparing the two.

In order to help you make your final decision between Nutro and Diamond Naturals, let’s discuss each option and see which diet fits your canine companion best!


Puppy Formulas

Nutro Ultra Puppy Formula

Nutro Ultra Puppy Formula
  • Top choice for puppies.
  • Non-GMO ingredients.
  • Made with farm-raised chicken.
  • Antioxidants for immune health.
  • No artificial colors or flavors.
  • 360 Calories per cup.
  • 28% Protein, 15% Fat, 4% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Our puppies require extra calories and nutrients to help them grow, meaning they need a special diet for this time. A high-quality puppy food will cater to their need for extra calories, DHA for healthy brain development, and any extra nutrients that these brands can offer to help our puppies thrive. Now that you understand the importance of a quality puppy formula, see what each brand has to offer in this category!

Nutro

Nutro has 9 puppy formulas across each of their lines. 5 diets are from their Wholesome essentials line, 1 diet is of their Ultra line, 2 diets are from the Max line, and they also offer one grain-free option as well. Their Wholesome Essentials line offers a variety of flavor options for both small and large breeds, giving your pup a choice at their favorite taste.

Diamond Naturals

 Diamond Naturals offers 1 large breed puppy diet, 1 small breed puppy diet, and a diet that is approved for all life stages. Each of these diets only has 1 flavor to choose from, and they are not grain-free

Winner

 Though we love the quality ingredients that Diamond Naturals offers in their diets, Nutro wins this round due to their variety of choices for our growing puppy friends. With having multiple lines and even a grain-free option, Nutro caters to a larger variety of growing puppies.


Adult Formulas

Diamond Naturals Adult Formula

Diamond Naturals Adult Dog Food Formula
  • Top pick for adult dogs.
  • Budget-friendly pick.
  • Made with natural ingredients.
  • No corn, wheat or fillers.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 329 Calories per cup.
  • 25% Protein, 15% Fat, 3.5% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Nutro

Nutro offers a total of 42 adult kibbles. Each of these lines has a variety of flavor options for adult dogs, and offers options for small and large breeds. Aside from their many flavor choices are the few grain-free diet options they offer as well.

Diamond Naturals

Diamond Naturals offers 9 different adult kibbles, as well as a diet that is approved for all life stages. Among these diets are a variety of flavors, breed sizes, athletic ability, weight management, and even a grain free option.

Winner

Though Nutro has more options when it comes to adult kibbles, we really loved the unique choices of Diamond Naturals. With an extreme athlete formula, a weight management formula, and a sensitive skin and stomach formula, we think Diamond Naturals wisn this round.


Senior Formulas

Nutro Senior Dog Food Formula

Nutro Essentials Senior Formula Dog Food
  • Our pick for senior dogs.
  • Non-GMO ingredients.
  • Natural fiber supports digestion.
  • No by products, corn, wheat, or soy.
  • Made in the United States.
  • 317 Calories per cup.
  • 23% Protein, 12% Fat, 4% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Our senior friends need a bit of extra support as they age, so it’s important to find a diet that offers them the nutritional care they deserve. Let’s see what each diet has to offer in their senior formulas. 

Nutro

Nutro offers 8 different recipes for our aging canine friends. 4 are from the Wholesome Essentials lines, 2 are from the Ultra line, one diet is grain-free, and the last is from their Max recipe. Each of their diets includes omega fatty acids, and some even include glucosamine and chondroitin for joint and immune support. Each of these choices offer a variety of large and small breed options.

Diamond Naturals

Diamond Naturals offers 1 senior dog diet, along with 1 other diet for dogs of all life stages. Each of these diets are made with chicken, but their senior diet subs rice for oatmeal and egg.

Winner

With Diamond Naturals only offering 1 senior dog food, it’s clear that Nutro is the winner of the senior formulas round. Nutro offers so many tasty varieties for our senior friends, while Diamond Naturals only offers one that is specifically for aging pups.


Canned Food

Nutro Limited Ingredient Canned Food

Nutro Canned Dog Food
  • Our canned food pick.
  • Lamb is the first ingredient.
  • No artificial colors or flavors.
  • No grains, corn, or wheat.
  • Great as a topper or meal.
  • 502 Calories per can.
  • 7% Protein, 7% Fat, 1% Fiber.
View at Chewy.com

Sometimes our pups crave a bit of extra flavor and hydration! Whether your puppy is not quite used to dry kibble yet or have a senior friend that needs a soft food option, a canned diet may be the best choice for you. Let’s see what Nutro and Diamond Naturals have to offer in the canned food arena. 

Nutro

 Nutro has 19 canned food recipes across their lines, all of which are 100% grain-free. These canned diets range in life stages, and offer different textures and flavors for our furry friends to choose from.

Diamond Naturals

Diamond Naturals offers 3 different canned diets for our canine companions. They offer flavors of chicken, beef, and lamb, and cater to adult dogs with these recipes.

Winner

Though Diamond Naturals offers a few flavor varieties, Nutro wins the canned food round for their wet food diets that serve multiple life stages. Diamond Naturals took a hit in this round due to only offering adult canned food, while Nutro offers many varieties.


Final Thoughts

While each diet offers impressive quality, there is one diet that stands apart due to its variety of choices. Though Diamond naturals is a respected brand in the pet food industry, we’re going to crown Nutro as the overall winner due to their many diet choices for canine friends of all kinds.

Between the two, Nutro dog food is the winner today. With that being said, we still think both dog food manufacturers provide excellent nutrition for your pup. Both Nutro and Diamond Naturals take pride in their natural diets, and we’d be happy to serve our dogs any of the above!

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