Taste of the Wild is a big brand in the pet food arena, offering both dried and wet foods. But are they the right foods for you, but more importantly, your beloved friend? Well, here in this Taste of the Wild dog food review, we take you through everything you need to know to make that decision properly. From their brand history to available formulas and the benefits they will have for your dog.
Taste of the Wild offers both grain-inclusive and grain-free recipes. This is important to cater to every pet owner, no matter where they sit, on the grain vs. grain-free debate. They also offer a wide variety of meat protein sources or flavors catering to the preferences or dietary needs of all dogs.
Taste of the Wild also has two product lines, its standard kibble line and its limited ingredient kibble line, known as Prey. These are great formulas for those canines with sensitive digestive systems. So, let’s jump straight into the overview of the brand.
At A Glance: Taste Of The Wild Favorites
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Taste of the Wild is a well-known pet food brand that is owned and manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods. Diamond Pet Foods was founded in 1970, and the owning family set out to provide premium pet food that is affordable.
In 2007, their journey began, and they focused on the increasingly popular natural, high protein, and grain-free diet. Before this, Diamond Pet Foods had suffered from several product recalls. Taste of the Wild was their new product line with much better quality ingredients, better protein sources, and far fewer fillers.
Taste of the Wild has five plants based across California, Missouri, Arkansas, and South Carolina. This is where they produce and package their formulas. Their website states they use both domestic and international ingredients. Although sourcing ingredients overseas is not ideal, they state that they have a stringent vetting process in place. This ensures that the ingredients they use are of the best quality. Unless you buy a super-premium brand, this is almost always the case, and it is usually the micro-ingredients that they source.
There has been only 1 instance of a product recall in May 2012, but this was not limited to Taste of the Wild. This affected many brands, all of which were manufactured in Diamond Pet Food’s facilities. Thousands of pets became ill across America after consuming food that was contaminated with salmonella. Thankfully, there have not been any Taste of the Wild recalls since, which is a good track record for such a big brand.
Dog Food Ingredients
Taste of the Wild prides itself on offering premium foods at budget prices. Similar to another favorite budget brand of ours, American Journey, they provide high-quality ingredients proving to be great value for money.
Their kibbles use a variety of meats, including beef, bison, wild boar, fish, fowl, lamb, and venison. On average, their dried kibble products range from 25% to 32% protein, which is above the advised percentage that the Association of American Food Control Officials recommends. So you know Fido is going to get all the meaty goodness and amino acids he needs for a healthy body.
Taste of the Wild also lists several vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, peas, and legumes. They do not offer pea or legume-free dog food. They also list a variety of fruits, such as blueberries and raspberries, in addition to vitamin and mineral supplements. These ingredients provide your pooch with all the nutrients and superfoods he needs to keep his immunity healthy.
Their grain-inclusive formulas use ancient grains, such as quinoa, chia seeds, millet, and sorghum. They do not use corn, wheat, or soy, as these are controversial filler ingredients that are known to be hard for some pooches to digest.
Each formula prides itself on being easy to digest. They use gentle grains for their grain-inclusive options and prebiotic fibers such as dried chicory root in their grain-free options. The probiotic ingredients listed not only promote healthy bacteria in his gut but also guarantee live microorganisms to keep everything healthy and regular. They typically use five probiotic ingredients in their formulas, such as lactobacillus acidophilus and bacillus subtilis.
Taste of the Wild Dog Foods
Taste of the Wild has two product lines. One line is their standard kibble, simply known as Taste of the Wild. The other line is called “Prey,” which is a limited ingredient formula. This formula is aimed at dogs with extra sensitive digestive systems using simplified formulas. They also produce wet canned foods that are from their standard line. Let’s take a detailed look at each:
High Prairie Grain-Free Puppy Formula
- Real buffalo is the first ingredient.
- Made from sustainable sources.
- Omega fatty acids for skin & coat.
- No corn, grain, wheat or fillers.
- Made in the United States.
- 370 Calories per cup.
- 28% Protein, 17% Fat, 5% Fiber.
Taste of the Wild has two different flavors in its grain-free puppy food line. The High Prairie dog food is the most popular and is a great pick for any breed that has a sensitive stomach. Their grain-free puppy formulas are one of our favorite dog foods for the American Bully and also one of our favorite dog foods for the Pitbull.
There are 2 grain-free puppy formulas in their flagship product line, which are also suitable for large breed dogs. Due to guaranteed DHA levels, the puppy formulas are also ideal for pregnant and nursing mothers. The Pacific Stream salmon puppy formula is also chicken and egg-free, which is great for those pups with these intolerances.
They don’t break down their puppy formulas based on size. So depending on your breed, you may opt for a formula that’s specifically tailored to the size of your puppy. You can find the top foods for giant breed puppies here, and small breed puppy food right here.
Ancient Grains Adult Formula
- Smoked salmon is the first ingredient.
- Crafted with older less refined grains.
- Digestible probiotics for gut health.
- Fatty acids for skin & coat health.
- Made in the United States.
- 392 Calories per cup.
- 30% Protein, 15% Fat, 3% Fiber.
Taste of the Wild is their flagship line. In total, there are 13 dry foods available. 9 of these are part of their grain-free line. Their adult formulas are designed for all dogs in all life stages. Unfortunately, there are no senior kibbles designed with the specific needs of seniors in mind. Glucosamine and chondroitin levels are not listed on their packaging or their website, so we cannot say whether it meets the needs of senior pooches.
The kibble pieces are small enough for most dog breeds, and this includes toy dog breeds. However, if, for some reason, your pup is a picky eater, it might be better to select a dog food with a smaller Kibble size. American Journey has several formulas with smaller-sized kibble when compared to Taste of the Wild. But most dogs will do well with Taste of the Wild’s kibble, regardless of their size. Their grain-free foods happen to be one of the top food options for Labradors, who are known to have sensitive stomachs.
High Prairie Grain-Free Adult Formula
- Grain-free formula.
- Popular buffalo high-prairie flavor.
- Probiotics for gut health.
- Omega fatty acids for skin & coat health.
- Made in the United States.
- 370 Calories per cup.
- 32% Protein, 18% Fat, 4% Fiber.
Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains carries four different flavors in a grain-inclusive dog food line. The Ancient Grain formulas are fantastic for dogs that can tolerate grain. This is a premium dog food and has a premium price tag. You’ll find that this formula is on par with other bigger brands like Blue Buffalo or Nutro’s grain-inclusive dog food formulas.
The Ancient Stream flavor is the most popular formula of Ancient Grains and has Smoked Salmon as the primary ingredient. Like all of Taste of the Wild’s formulas, it’s made in the United States. It contains no corn, wheat, fillers, or artificial flavors of any type.
The Ancient Grains line also includes proprietary probiotics that will help prevent digestive issues. It also has a solid protein content of 30%, which does a great job promoting lean muscle. It’s also a great option for picky eaters, as most pups seem to enjoy the taste based on feedback from other dog owners.
Limited Ingredient Prey Adult Formula
- Limited ingredient dog food.
- DHA for brain development.
- Promotes lean muscle growth.
- Grain and GMO-free.
- Great for dogs with sensitive stomachs.
- 343 Calories per cup.
- 30% Protein, 15% Fat, 5% Fiber.
This line is designed for those dogs with sensitive digestive systems, thanks to their limited ingredients. There are 3 Prey products, with each formula having just 4 key ingredients. The first ingredient is the meat source, which is either beef, trout, or turkey. The following three ingredients are always lentil, tomato pomace, and sunflower oil.
Their Prey line is grain-free only, and they have aimed at all life stages again. There isn’t a recipe specifically designed for the puppy or senior life stages or small or large breeds. Unfortunately, this product line is not available on Chewy, but it is available on their website and other online platforms.
Sierra Mountain Wet Food Adult Formula
- Grain-free formula.
- Prebiotic fibers for digestion.
- Nutrient-dense with real fruits & veggies.
- Great as a dry food topper.
- Made in the United States.
- 351 Calories per can.
- 8% Protein, 4.5% Fat, 1% Fiber.
The wet canned food that Taste of the Wild offers is only available in their standard line, and there is nothing from their Prey limited ingredient line. In total, there are 5 wet food options, all based on a gravy recipe. They are also all grain-free, and each product lists the chosen meat source as the number one ingredient.
There are no specific puppy or senior wet foods and no wet foods for small breeds. The wet lamb recipe is suitable for pregnant and nursing mothers.
Dog Health Impacts
Many dog owners choose to feed their pups Taste of the Wild because they offer a high protein content that typically costs less when comparing them to other brands. In addition to this, each product focuses on digestibility, which usually means less gas and firmer stools.
Following on from that, they also always use natural ingredients, which mostly never irritate a dog’s digestive system. With natural veggies and fruits and added vitamin supplements, his immunity is kept strong. Adding more vegetables or fruits to his diet can help to keep him feeling fuller for longer and aid in losing weight. Try adding ingredients such as raw zucchini or even fruits like pineapple or kiwi. Just be sure to do it in moderation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it made in the United States?
Yes, all of their foods are manufactured in the United States, and their ingredients are responsibly sourced.
Is this a good dog food brand?
Yes, it's quite popular, and many dogs seem to do well with their formulas. With that being said, your pup may benefit more if they have a special condition. For example, if you have a Gassy Dog, there are dog food formulas made specifically for that condition. The same goes when picking a dog food for a pup that has bad breath.
Are all the formulas AAFCO approved?
Yes, Taste of the Wild's foods are all AAFCO approved.
Which flavor or formula is best for large breed puppies?
While taste can be an individual preference, the high prairie puppy formula is the most popular formula for large breed puppies. If your large breed puppy is a picky eater, you may need to test a few different recipes or formulas.
How much should I feed my puppy?
We recommend that you stick to the manufacturer recommendations, and do not overfeed your dog. Usually, serving sizes are based on dog weight and/or breed.
Which particular formula is best for my pup?
While the high prairie food flavor is the most popular, it will be your choice depending on your dog's dietary needs when it comes to the formula. As mentioned, Prey is a limited ingredient line, and then you'll have your grain-free and grain-inclusive formulas depending on your dog's dietary needs.
Does Taste of the Wild cause heart disease?
The FDA conducted a study that linked some cases of DCM to grain-free food. There was no substantiative evidence to prove that grain-free or specific brands were consistently linked to DCM in dogs.
Overall, Taste of the Wild is a high-quality brand that offers good-quality products. The only criticism that we have of Taste of the Wild is that they have a limited range of products. Especially when compared to other similarly well-known brands.
For example, they do not offer specific breed-size kibbles or special dietary requirement kibbles such as weight management formulas. Their standard kibble pieces might be too small for toy breeds. Some larger breeds might not find the usual kibble sizes large or crunchy enough. They also focus almost their entire range on all life stages, whereas many other brands offer a wider variety.
However, they always use natural ingredients without any additives, preservatives, or colors. Their formulas are full of named meat sources, and they never use meat by-products. Their formulas all provide a well-balanced diet as well as providing grain-inclusive and grain-free options too. For more product-specific information, read our Sierra Mountain review.
If your pooch doesn’t need a specific kibble, Taste of the Wild should be a brand you strongly consider. You’ll be making a wise investment in the longevity and long-term health of your pup.