Take a quick browse through the dog food aisle at your local pet supplies store and you’ll quickly be overwhelmed by all of the options. Dog food is an important aspect of your canine’s overall wellness and choosing the proper food plays an essential role in your dog’s health, physical activity, and happiness.
Dog owners are tasked with selecting a food that is delicious and full of quality ingredients. Perhaps even more importantly, they must do so on a budget whenever possible.
Taste of the Wild is one of the leading manufacturers of natural dog foods. Many owners gravitate to its colorful packaging, adorned with pictures of wolves hunting their prey in the wild.
While it may not be the least expensive product on the shelf, many dog food buyers continue to choose this product for their canine companions. Is it worth the investment?
Before you decide to switch your dog to the Taste of the Wild brand, you should ensure that you have all the facts.
Below you will find all the important information you need to know in our Taste of the Wild dog food reviews.
- High Prarie Grain-Free
- Wetlands Grain-Free
- Sierra Mountain
- Pacific Stream Puppy Formula
- High Prairie Puppy Formula
About the Manufacturer
Diamond Pet Foods, Inc., the company that produces Taste of the Wild dog food, was originally founded in 1970. At the time, they focused primarily on producing livestock feed. Only a small portion of the food they produced was marketed toward dogs, and it was only distributed within a 100-mile radius of their factory in Meta, Missouri.
Today, the company has expanded to include other production plants – one in Lathrop, California and another in Gaston, South Carolina. Diamond Pet Foods, Inc. remains a family-owned and operated business. The two major families that manage it, the Schell and Kampeter families, continue to keep the company privately held.
Taste of the Wild Dog Food Overview
One of the main appeals of purchasing Taste of the Wild dog food is the fact that it is all produced right here in the United States.
You don’t have to worry about quality control coming from a foreign country, food that has spent too much time on the shelf, or any of the other assorted concerns that come from importing a product such as dog food.
Their Taste of the Wild dog food was originally debuted just over a decade ago in the year 2007. It was marketed to fill a need in the market for more natural dog foods that contain quality ingredients with a grain-free diet.
The Taste of the Wild dog food formula is designed to give canines more of the ingredients that they would supposedly eat in the wild. These products are based on the “ancestral diet” of the dog. As a result, most products tend to be much higher in crude proteins and fats compared to other leading dog food brands.
Taste of the Wild produces several different types of dog food, puppy food, and cat food. Every formula contains meat as the primary ingredient, whether that means meat, fish, or fowl.
Many of their recipes also offer supplementary proteins that complement this meat source. They offer a variety of these proteins including sources such as:
- Wild boar
- Smoked trout
- Roasted duck
- Angus beef
Whether your dog eats dry kibble or canned food, Taste of the Wild produces a formula that is certain to please your pup.
Their product line-up contains over twenty different varieties of canned and dry dog food so that you can find the formula that works best for your adult dog, pregnant dog, senior dog, or puppy.
Taste of the Wild Recall History and Lawsuit Information 2019
Diamond Pet Foods has a history of recalling some of its livestock feeds, but only one recall has ever been listed for Taste of the Wild. This recall dates back to May 2012 and was caused by a salmonella outbreak at their South Carolina production facility.
A class-action lawsuit was filed against the company as a result of this outbreak. The lawsuit was settled in 2014, two years later, and did provide compensation to owners for animals that became ill or died due to the contamination. Since then, the product has been continuously stocked on pet store shelves and many canines appear to consume it without issue.
The possibility of a recall exists within almost any industry. Diamond Pet Food was quick to recall their food and seek a resolution to the problem. While you may still want to take caution with their products, they have been free of any recalls for close to seven years.
On the other hand, as of this writing, there are two current lawsuits filed against the company. The first was filed in August of 2018, claiming that three varieties of Taste of the Wild dog food (Grain-free High Prairie, Grain-free Pacific Stream, and Wild Prairie Puppy) contained pesticides, heavy metals, acrylamide, and BPA.
The second was filed 2/28/2019, claiming that five more varieties include those same ingredients:
- Grain-free High Prairie
- Grain-free Pacific Stream
- Grain-free Wild Prairie Puppy
- Southwest Canyon with Beef in Gravy
- Southwest Canyon with Wild Boar
Test results demonstrated that there were approximately 12,200 mcg/kg of lead in the dog food varieties listed. Based on the weight of a thirty-pound dog and the recommended feeding chart, this means that a single dog is consuming 2,440 mcg of lead per day.
This figure is higher than the National Research Council regards as safe in dogs (2,000 mcg per day). While the difference may not seem like much, you may want to think twice before exposing your dog to this level of lead. Particularly if your dog is already prone to kidney issues, this level of lead could prove dangerous to your canine companion.
Click here to read a copy of the lawsuit and consider researching the accusations further to make an informed decision.
Taste of the Wild Food Safety and Quality Protocols
Diamond Pet Foods has developed a comprehensive food safety program in its effort to adhere to the safety of their products. These safety protocols include the constant monitoring and testing of their raw materials, production facilities, processes, and finished foods of its brands, including Taste of the Wild.
Per the Quality Assurance section of its website, Taste of the Wild claims some of its safety and quality protocols include:
- 1,075 mycotoxin tests per week
- 1,300+ microbiological tests per week
- 180 oxidative stability tests on fats and oils per month
- 6,000+ ingredient nutritional tests per month
- 45,000+ finished product nutritional tests per month
Dry Dog Food Guaranteed Analysis
Understanding what goes into the production of your dog’s food is essential if you want to make a wise decision about their health.
In order to help you see which foods contain the most nutrients for your canine, we compiled this chart with all of the leading dry dog foods offered by Taste of the Wild.
|Formula||Protein||Crude Protein||Crude Fat||Crude Fiber|
|Ancient Mountain||Roasted Lamb||25.0%||15.0%||3.0%|
|Ancient Prairie||Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison||32.0%||18.0%||3.0%|
|Ancient Stream||Smoked Salmon||30.0%||15.0%||3.0%|
|Ancient Wetlands||Roasted Quail, Duck, and Smoked Turkey||32.0%||18.0%||3.0%|
|Angus Beef Limited Ingredient (Grain-free)||Angus Beef||27.0%||15.0%||5.0%|
|Appalachian Valley Small Breed Canine (Grain-free)||Venison and Garbanzo Beans||32.0%||18.0%||4.0%|
|High Prairie (Grain-Free)||Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison||32.0%||18.0%||4.0%|
|High Prairie Puppy Recipe (Grain-free)||Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison||28.0%||17.0%||5.0%|
|Pacific Stream (Grain-free)||Smoked Salmon||25.0%||15.0%||3.0%|
|Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe (Grain-free)||Smoked Salmon||27.0%||15.0%||5.0%|
|Pine Forest (Grain-free)||Venison and Legumes||28.0%||15.0%||5.5%|
|Sierra Mountain (Grain-free)||Roasted Lamb||25.0%||15.0%||5.0%|
|Southwest Canyon (Grain-free)||Wild Boar||29.0%||15.0%||5.0%|
|Trout Limited Ingredient (Grain-free)||Trout||27.0%||15.0%||5.0%|
|Turkey Limited Ingredient (Grain-free)||Turkey||30.0%||15.0%||5.0%|
|Wetlands (Grain-free)||Duck, Quail, Turkey, and Legumes||32.0%||18.0%||4.0%|
While this chart demonstrates the basic nutritional content for all of their dry dog food options, you’ll notice that there are a few basic formulas available to choose from. Most of their recipes are fairly standard and are designed for the typical adult dog.
All Taste of the Wild foods meets the guidelines set out by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance. In addition, all of their formulas have more protein than the minimum recommended amount by the government (18 percent for an adult dog). By comparison, you will see that the crude protein amounts in all of the above recipes far exceed this minimum.
While this can be extremely beneficial for your dog, you may want to take it into consideration if your dog has pre-existing issues with their kidneys or liver. The amount of protein in the food may be too much for their bodies to handle. These organs will have to work overtime to process the extra protein, upsetting the delicate balance of the digestive tract.
Taste of the Wild Limited Ingredient Formulas
One of the things that truly sets Taste of the Wild apart from other brands is their limited ingredient diets, known as the PREY collection.
Available with proteins including angus beef, trout, or turkey, these foods contain only four main ingredients. If you have a dog sensitive to many different types of ingredients or food allergies, this is likely the route that you will want to go.
In their Angus Beef version, you can expect to find just four simple key ingredients:
- Pasture-raised beef
- Lentils for additional protein, fiber, complex carbohydrates, and nutrients
- Tomato pomace for soluble fiber and antioxidants
- Sunflower oil for healthy fats and omega fatty acids
The latter three ingredients are also key in the other versions of their limited ingredient formulas. Each bag of PREY is made with non-GMO ingredients, 80 million CFU per pound of probiotics, and no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Taste of the Wild Dog Food Reviews
Beyond just their limited ingredient dietary formulas, Taste of the Wild commits to using quality ingredients in all of their products. Every recipe is created without artificial colors, preservatives, or flavors.
Your furry friend is going to love the taste of these meat-laden recipes without the need for any artificial flavors. With the long list of potential recipes to choose from, owners can help even the pickiest dog to find something they enjoy.
Furthermore, every recipe is rich in antioxidants that help to support your dog’s overall health. They specifically bolster the immune system with guaranteed levels of zinc, selenium, and vitamin E as well.
A quick glance at the ingredient list for any of their kibble foods gives a great deal of insight. In order to better examine the products used in the production of their food, we are going to look at one of their most popular varieties:
The full ingredients list contains:
Buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, roasted bison, roasted venison, beef, natural flavor, tomato pomace, potato protein, pea protein, ocean fish meal, salt, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin D supplement, folic acid
For our purposes, we can take a closer look at the first five ingredients to get an idea of what the majority of this food consists of.
Protein As the First Ingredient
All Taste of the Wild dog foods has their protein source as the primary ingredient. In this case, buffalo, lamb meal, and chicken meal are all used to give your dog a source of protein.
Lamb meal and chicken meal are both meat meals, meaning that they have been cooked down to reduce their moisture content. As a result, both of these products contain more concentrated protein than simple lamb or chicken alone.
This is a good thing for owners who want their dogs to have as much protein as possible. It is one of the reasons why the High Prairie Canine Recipe has the highest crude protein amounts of all Taste of the Wild dog foods at 32.0 percent.
Sweet potatoes might seem like an interesting choice, but they are necessary to create a well-balanced dog food. Grain-free diets must still include a source of carbohydrates to fuel your dog’s energy.
These root vegetables are an excellent addition because they are complex carbohydrates that can give your dog energy for hours to come. They also contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium.
Last but not least, the final ingredient of the top five is peas. Much like sweet potatoes, they may not seem like an obvious choice to feed to your canine.
However, these peas pack a powerful punch when it comes to vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber among other things. Depending on what type of pea is used in this formula, it may even serve as an additional source of protein.
You will find that the ingredients list is similar for any of their top-selling varieties including:
- High Prarie Grain-Free
- Wetlands Grain-Free
- Sierra Mountain
- Pacific Stream Puppy Formula
- High Prairie Puppy Formula
One of the other major things that needs to be mentioned in regards to the ingredient list is the probiotics. Taste of the Wild promises that every bag of this formula (and many of their others) will contain 80 million CFU per pound of guaranteed probiotics.
Dried chicory root appears to be the prominent source of prebiotic fiber in this formula, though you will see some other fermentation products throughout the ingredient list including:
- Dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product
- Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product
- Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product
- Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product
- Dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product
What purpose do these bacteria serve? Both humans and dogs need good bacteria to live in their gut. These bacteria keep your canine healthy by boosting the immune system and helping him to digest his food more easily. They also help to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria that can form in the gut, including E. coli and salmonella.
Many veterinarians recommend that your dog consume these products as part of a regular diet. By ensuring that they are already packaged in your dog food, you can avoid purchasing pricey supplements.
While Taste of the Wild may not be the cheapest food on the shelf, you could be saving a great deal of money over purchasing a cheaper name brand that still requires you to purchase supplements for your dog’s probiotic and gut health.
Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains
Unlike many of the leading natural dog food brands, Taste of the Wild does have a few recipes that contain ingredients known as “ancient grains.” These ingredients are thought to remain unchanged over the course of time and provide a steady source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids.
When combined with protein and probiotics, these ancient grains can pack a powerful punch for your dog’s overall nutrition. The protein remains the primary ingredient in this dog food, but it is closely followed by ancient grains such as:
- Grain sorghum
- Chia seed
Only four of the recipes offered by Taste of the Wild, for example, Ancient Stream with Real Smoked Salmon, will include these ingredients. If you want your dog to stick to a grain-free diet, you will still have plenty of other options on the shelf. However, this can be a great way to enrich your dog’s diet without introducing heavily processed grains that could jeopardize their health.
Most people want to know what they can anticipate spending on a bag of dog food. Choosing a high-quality food for your dog often comes with a higher price tag. After all, premium ingredients are more expensive. The good news is that a bag of 28-pound Taste of the Wild dog food is relatively affordable compared to other premium dog foods.
How long will a 28-pound bag last you? It is recommended that dogs receive roughly ½ cup per ten pounds that they weigh.
For example, if your dog weighs sixty pounds, the Taste of the Wild feed chart found here recommends feeding them three full cups of food per day. A twenty-eight-pound bag should yield approximately 120 cups.
Where to Buy Taste of the Wild
Although generally not found in grocery stores, most major and specialty pet retailers will carry Taste of the Wild products. The company advises only to purchase their foods from vetted Authorized Retailers to guarantee the quality and consistency of product. Major online retailers included on their authorized list include Amazon, Chewy, Petco and others.
Summing Up Taste of the Wild Dog Food
Overall, Taste of the Wild recipes may be a great addition to your beloved canine’s diet. They offer a wide variety of formulas for dogs at all life stages from puppyhood to adulthood. Their grain-free and limited-ingredient options are great for dogs with allergies or sensitive stomachs.
If you want to include some grains in your dog’s diet, their Ancient Grains lineup is another great option. Even the pickiest dog is certain to find a flavor he loves in one of these affordable bags of quality dog food.
When you have a decision to make about your dog’s health, you want to be confident about what is hidden in the ingredient label on your dog food. For some, the ongoing lawsuit may provide pause, warranting further due diligence and a search of reviews from other users.
In light of the unresolved developments, we will do our best to update this article upon further announcements. It is important to have all the facts and we hope this in-depth Taste of the Wild review allows you to make the best choice for you and your canine.
A big-dog lover, successful marketing executive, and website developer, Brian founded Canine Weekly in 2016. Brian lives just outside of Seattle with his wife and child. Brian grew up with labs and the family is eager to get another Labrador once their newborn is a little older. Brian is the former owner of Canine Weekly.