Nutrition - 9/10
Ingredients - 10/10
Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy is a high-quality dry puppy food. Its nutrient profile is above average and it provides above average quantities of protein and fat. While the proportion of carbohydrates could be lower, this balance of nutrients is very satisfactory and suitable for the vast majority of puppies. It contains a range of well-sourced high-quality ingredients with a focus on poultry and fish ingredients such as Turkey and Salmon. Despite containing fish ingredients, the level of the Omega Fatty Acids in this formula is unremarkable. The formula also contains a range of Legumes and Sweet Potatoes which are considered a high-quality source of carbohydrates. Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy contains a wide range of vegetables and a reasonably large range of poultry and fish ingredients which may make it unsuitable for puppies with serious allergies or sensitivities.
Satisfactory Nutrition Profile High-Quality Meat and Fish Ingredients No Grains
Slightly Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion
A Full review of Freestyle Grain Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy By Nulo
The ideal nutrition for a dog is entirely dependant on their unique circumstances. However, a high proportion of protein and fat combined with a lower proportion of carbohydrates is most appropriate nutrition profile for the vast majority of dogs. Dog’s are very capable of consuming a high proportion of carbohydrates, but a diet high in protein and fat is more appropriate and a better reflection of their natural ancestral diet.
Carbohydrate Content Analysis
Dogs use carbohydrates as a simple energy source. Dogs do not require significant carbohydrates in their diet and they are commonly added to reduce cost and increase shelf life. As the chart above displays, a maximum of 29% of Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy calories are derived from carbohydrates. Please note that this is the maximum amount of carbohydrates as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of carbohydrates is likely to be a lot lower. This is significantly below average for a Puppy Food.
The majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be from the vegetable and starch content of this puppy food. Ingredients such as Chickpeas, Sweet Potatoes and Peas will be discussed in-depth later on. This is somewhat above what we would consider the ideal proportion of carbohydrates. That being said, they are from a reasonably high-quality source and this percentage is an overestimate.
Protein Content Analysis
Dogs use Protein for growth, development, and maintenance. Excess protein can be burned as calories. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 32% of Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy calories are derived from protein. Please note that this is the minimum amount of protein as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of protein is likely to be higher. This is significantly above average for a Puppy Food.
This will be a sufficient amount of protein for the majority of puppies but may be inadequate for those who are very active. This protein appears to be sourced from the large range of poultry and fish ingredients such as Turkey, Trout, and Salmon. These are considered high-quality sources and contain the full range of amino acids. The minority of this protein proportion is from plant-based proteins. This protein is considered of a lesser quality.
Fat Content Analysis
Dogs use fat as a concentrated energy source. In addition, fats also play a role in development and maintenance. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 39% of Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy calories are derived from Fat. Please note that this is the minimum amount of fat as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of fat is likely to be a lot higher. This is significantly above average for a Puppy Food.
The fat present in this puppy food appears to be sourced from the poultry and fish ingredients which are an ideal source. Examples include Turkey and Salmon. This low estimate of fat content is more than sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of even the most active puppies.
Overall Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy contains an average of 3,742 kcal/kg, 441 kcal/cup
Once again please note that the values in this section are calculated using the products guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis only lists the minimum and maximum values and as a consequence, these can sometimes be an inaccurate representation. As a rule of thumb, most dog foods will contain slightly more protein and considerably more fat than their guaranteed analysis. This will have the knock-on effect of reducing the relative amount of carbohydrates present. However also note that every dog food is different and some will be considerably closer to the guaranteed analysis than others.
Guaranteed Analysis – Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy
Pet foods in the United States are legally required by the AAFCO to have a guaranteed analysis on their packaging. A guaranteed analysis must display certain nutritional information. This is similar to how nutritional values are now commonly displayed on food for human consumption. The information that must be displayed includes Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Crude Fiber, and Moisture. Some guaranteed analysis will contain additional information. The guaranteed analysis for this product is listed below.
- Crude Protein (Min) – 33.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 18.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 4.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Calcium (Min) – 1.0%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 0.9%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.75%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.50%
The ingredients of pet food are disclosed on the packaging of the product as a list in descending order. Therefore the ingredients at the start of the list make up the bulk of the pet foods content. As a consequence, the quality of these primary ingredients is the most significant factor in determining the quality of pet food.
However, ingredients listed further down the ingredient list should not be ignored, especially if they could have adverse or harmful effects on a pet.
- Turkey Meal
- Salmon Meal
- Sweet Potatoes
Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients
In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review
The meat and fish ingredients of dog food are without a doubt the most important. They are critical as they provide the majority of the protein and fat that dogs desperately need. Also, these ingredients would have made up the bulk of dogs ancestors diet. Therefore, the quality of a dog food formulas meat and fish ingredients is crucial. Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy contains four sources of meat or fish.
The primary meat source present is Turkey. Turkey is a considered a high-quality source of protein. Some of the beneficial nutrients contained in Turkey include Vitamin B6 and Niacin. Unfortunately, Turkey does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Turkey. However given that Turkey is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will be relatively high after the cooking process.
Another meat source present is Turkey Meal. Turkey Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Turkey Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Turkey but in higher concentrations. This includes the high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6.
Another fish source present is Salmon Meal. Salmon Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Fish Meal is a concentrated form of fish that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Salmon Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Whitefish but in higher concentrations. This includes Vitamin B12 and Selenium.
Another fish source present is Trout. Trout is considered a high-quality ingredient and source of protein. Trout has a range of benefits including very high levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Also, it is rich in Potassium, Vitamin B12 and Trout contains fewer contaminants such as Mercury than other fish. Unfortunately, just as with meat, Trout contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Trout. However given that Trout is not one of the primary ingredients, its proportion will be relatively low after the cooking process.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy contains Peas and Chickpeas. These are members of the legume family of vegetables. Legumes are famous for having a relatively high amount of protein for a vegetable. Legumes also contain a high amount of fiber, which is important for healthy digestion. Pet foods often use legumes as a replacement for grains in grain-free pet food. Protein from vegetables such as legumes should not be a replacement for protein from meat. Instead, it should act as an additional protein source.
Sweet Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and a source of complex carbohydrates. Sweet Potatoes are considered superior to traditional Potatoes as they contain more fiber and a more extensive range of vitamins and minerals. Some examples of vitamins and minerals that are abundant in Sweet Potatoes are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium. The higher amount of fiber and the range of micronutrients in Sweet Potatoes mean that they are considered a high-quality ingredient despite containing mostly carbohydrates.
Dried Chicory Root or Chicory Root Extract is an additive or supplement to dog food. It can provide a range of health benefits including soluble fiber to enable regular passage of stool, probiotics to aid and promote digestion, as well as potentially eliminate or prevent intestinal worms. While these benefits are not fully proven, there is strong evidence behind them. The proportion of Chicory Root used in most dog food recipes is tiny and does not contribute meaningful nutrition. Find out more in Dried Chicory Root In Dog Food.
Full Ingredient List – Nulo Freestyle Grain Free Turkey & Sweet Potato Puppy
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Chickpeas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid), Sweet Potato, Yellow Peas, Deboned Trout, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Yeast Culture, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Tomatoes, Dried Carrots, Dried Blueberries, Dried Apples, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Iron Proteinate, Niacin, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Selenium Selenite, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract.