Taste of the Wild Information
Taste of the Wild is a relative newcomer to the pet food market, having launched back in 2007. While this might seem like a long time, some of Taste of the Wild’s main competitors have been in business for over 30 years or longer.
Their products are produced by Diamond Pet Foods Inc, which is owned by Schell & Kampeter Inc. Diamond Pet Foods Inc also produces other dog and cat food ranges such as NutraGold and Diamond Naturals.
If you would like to learn more about Diamond, take a read of our Diamond Pet Food Review.
Taste of the Wild Pet Food is produced solely in the United States, in five separate facilities. These facilities include two in California, one in Missouri, one in South Carolina, and the final one in Arkansas.
All of Taste of the Wild’s traditional recipes are based on the natural diet of a region and ecosystem of the United States. Examples include Pacific Stream Formula, which is based on the ecosystem of the North-Western United States.
Another example could be the Southwest Canyon Formula, which closely resembles the natural diet of the Canyons of Arizona, New Mexico, and California.
Taste of the Wild is wildly available for purchase in the United States, Canada, and around the world at thousands of retail pet food stores. You can also purchase Taste of the Wild from almost all of the major pet food websites like Chewy, Petflow, and Amazon.
Taste of the Wild Product Range
Taste of the Wild has a reasonably broad product range and produces formulas for all the core varieties of dog food. Dry dog food gets the strongest focus with a large range of adult formulas and a select number of puppy formulas.
These puppy formulas are very close in ingredients and nutrition to their adult counterparts, which will make transitioning a newly adult dog a simple task.
Taste of the Wild also produces a select number of canned dog food formulas. Just as the puppy formulas mimic their adult versions, the canned dog food recipes all have a dry food equivalent. While their ingredients and nutrition are drastically different from their dry counterparts, the core meat or fish ingredients used remains the same.
Prey is Taste of the Wild’s limited ingredient range and is designed for dogs with severe allergies or sensitivities. There are three formulas within this range, and they are almost identical except for the single source of meat or fish they utilize. They have a very limited number of vegetable ingredients, far less than many other limited ingredient ranges.
In September 2019, Taste of the Wild launched its first grain-inclusive range called Ancient Grains. This is likely a reaction to the fears surrounding Legumes, Potatoes, and other non-grain carbohydrate ingredients.
You can read more about the potential concerns with a high legume diet here.
This is quite a contrast from Taste of the Wild’s origins and years ago introducing a grain-inclusive range would have been unthinkable.
Taste of the Wild’s cat food range is a lot smaller than its dog food range. However, there is still some variety to choose from. There are a small number of dry food formulas designed for adult cats, each with its own theme.
In a similar fashion to the wet dog food offered by Taste of the Wild, the wet cat food recipes are closely linked to the dry food counterparts in ingredients and themes.
The Prey range also has two cat food formulas, and they are very similar to their dog food counterparts with a single source of meat and a limited number of vegetable ingredients to help prevent allergies or sensitivities.
Taste of the Wild Nutrition
We believe that Nutrition is one of the core factors that should affect your choice of pet food. We break down the nutrition of pet foods based on calorific proportions.
This calorie breakdown allows you to see what percentage of the nutrition of the food is coming from Protein, Fat, and Carbohydrates.
As a rule of thumb, pet foods with a balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates are considered to be superior to those high in carbohydrates and lower levels of protein and fat. Below we have averaged the nutrition of all Taste of the Wild’s products based on the product type.
Taste of the Wild’s dry dog food range features above-average proportions of protein and significantly above average proportions of fat. The proportion of carbohydrates is below average in most recipes.
For the price range that Taste of the Wild competes in, this nutrition is satisfactory. There are other brands that can boast higher levels of protein, but that level of protein may only be required for dogs who are very or extremely active.
Taste of the Wild’s canned dog food range features significantly above average proportions of protein and fat. This is combined with a significantly below-average proportion of carbohydrates.
This overall nutritional profile is very satisfactory and suitable for the vast majority of dogs. While there are brands that have a negligible portion of carbohydrates, a small portion such as that in Taste of the Wild formulas, is perfectly acceptable.
If you are interested in learning more about canine nutrition, we highly recommend reading our Dog Food Guide.
Taste of the Wild’s dry cat food range features above-average proportions of protein and fat and a below-average proportion of carbohydrates.
While above average, the nutrition offered by Taste of the Wild’s dry cat food products is not particularly satisfactory. Cats are obligate carnivores and do not need to consume a higher proportion of carbohydrates in their diet such as this.
Taste of the Wild’s canned cat food range features an above-average proportion of protein, an average proportion of fat, and an average proportion of carbohydrates.
Once again, while the nutrition offered by Taste of the Wild’s canned cat food products is above average, it is not satisfactory. The proportion of carbohydrates present is too high, especially for a canned recipe, and would be better replaced with additional protein and fat.
If you are interested in learning more about feline nutrition and what an obligate carnivore means, head on over to our Cat Food Guide.
Taste of the Wild Ingredients
We consider Taste of the Wilds ingredient range to be above average. Named meats are present in every one of its formulas, and in most cases, their recipes contain multiple named meat ingredients in the first five listed ingredients.
Not only are these meats and fish placed high up on the ingredient list, but there is a wide variety available.
This variety allows owners to find a recipe that their dog enjoys, even if they are a particularly picky dog. Below is a selection of the high-quality meat and fish ingredients used in Taste of the Wild recipes.
High-Quality Meat & Fish Ingredients
Some of these ingredients are worthy of highlighting. Uncommon meat ingredients like Venison and Buffalo can be an option for dogs with severe or multiple allergies. This is as a dog is less likely to have consumed them in the past and so is less likely to have a reaction.
You can read more about diets for dogs with allergies in our Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods Guide.
Salmon is also worthy of mention. Salmon can provide some of the highest levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids of any meat or fish. These Omega Fatty Acids can provide a range of health benefits such as improving the health of a dog’s skin and coat and improved cognitive function.
- Pea Flour
- Pea Protein
Sadly, Taste of the Wild makes use of two of the most common Pea By-products in Pea Protein and Pea Flour. We consider these ingredients to be of lower quality when compared to whole vegetables.
Find out more about Pea Protein and Pea Flour in our article Peas, Pea Protein, Pea Flour, and Pea Fiber in Dog Food.
In addition, they are often used in a technique known as Ingredient Splitting.
Ingredient Splitting involves dividing a single plant-based ingredient into multiple sub-ingredients such as Peas, Pea Protein, and Pea Flour. By doing this, they will appear further down the ingredient list and mislead consumers about the overall proportion of meat and vegetable ingredients.
Find out more about Ingredient Splitting in our article Ingredient Splitting in Pet Food – Exposed.
Other Notable Ingredients
In Taste of the Wild’s new grain inclusive recipes, they make use of a small range of grains such as Sorghum, Millet, Brown Rice, and Barley.
Grain ingredients such as these can be controversial additions to pet food recipes with many being strongly against their use. However, there are also strong supporters of grain ingredients, especially those that feed brands like Purina.
Regardless of your opinion, these grain ingredients can provide a mix of carbohydrates, plant-based protein, fiber, and select vitamins and minerals.
If you are interested in learning more about these specific grain ingredients, check out the below articles for an in-depth look.
Tomato Pomace is an extremely popular addition to pet food recipes and is found in most Taste of the Wild dry food formulas. It is used as a reliable source of soluble fiber.
Many dogs can benefit from additional soluble fiber in the diet to ensure that they have regular digestion and stools. Outside of this fiber content, Tomato Pomace provides little nutrition.
You can learn more about Tomato Pomace in our article Tomato Pomace as a Pet Food Ingredient?.
Flaxseed is another regular addition and is used by many pet food brands. Flaxseed is probably the best plant-based source of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids which many believe can provide dogs and cats with several health benefits.
Examples of these benefits including an improvement in the condition of a dog or cat’s skin, fur, or coat and a reduced risk to certain health issues.
You can learn more about Flaxseed and its benefits in Flaxseed In Dog Food.
Canola Oil isn’t a common addition to pet food recipes but does see some use by brands like Taste of the Wild. Canola Oil is a vegetable oil and can be used as a source of fat. Canola Oil is often used in pet food recipes to help bind the food together in a consistent texture.
You can learn more about Canola Oil in our article Canola Oil In Dog Food.
Taste of the Wild Animal Testing
Testing of pet food on animals is a controversial subject and rightly so. Taste of the Wild states that it does conduct feeding trials. However, they argue that these tests are observational and non-invasive.
They allow the animals to choose between two foods to find out their preference. We do not believe such testing is anything to be concerned about and will not harm or distress the animals involved.
We strongly believe that invasive or laboratory testing of animals is a cruel and outdated practice and one which we hope will see a significant decline.
Taste of the Wild Recalls
Based on our research (FDA, AVMA, DogFoodAdvisor), we believe that Taste of the Wild has a very limited recall history. This could be correlated to the fact that Taste of the Wild is a relatively new brand, as mentioned earlier.
However, this could also be a sign of the quality of their production, manufacturing, and thoroughness of their testing processes. Despite this, Taste of the Wild is not recall-free and has the following recall history.
May 2012 – Potential Salmonella Contamination
This recall affected the following batches of Taste of the Wild food – Taste of the Wild dry dog food and cat food with production codes containing the number “2” or “3” in the 9th digit AND with the letter “X” in the 10th or 11th digit; AND a “best by” date of Dec. 9, 2012, through April 7, 2013.
This recall was due to potential Salmonella contamination which poses a serious risk to both pets and humans. For this reason, products are regularly recalled if there is a hint of risk of Salmonella contamination.
Learn more about the risks of Salmonella in pet food in this article by Banfield Pet Hospital.
In addition, there was a class-action lawsuit related to this recall, which was settled in 2014 with those dog owners who were affected.
As this recall is over eight years old, you need not overly concern yourself as its effects have likely long past. However, this does not mean you should look out for any future recalls on Taste of the Wild products or any other brand.
We strongly recommend that you be vigilant of any future recalls from Taste of the Wild or any other pet food brand to ensure that your pets remain safe and healthy.
Best of Taste of the Wild
Dry Dog Food
While most of the dry food recipes from Taste of the Wild provide very similar nutrition, the Wetlands Formula edges out the rest due to its superior protein and fat proportions. The nutrition provided by this formula is ideal for the majority of dogs, including those who are active.
This satisfactory proportion of protein and fat are sourced from the large range of poultry ingredients present in the formula. Examples include Duck, Chicken, and Turkey.
The formula also includes a mix of legumes, such as Peas and Sweet Potatoes. These sum to a satisfactory proportion of carbohydrates, which is not overly excessive. These ingredients also offer a modest sum of dietary fiber to aid digestion.
Wet Dog Food
As we mentioned earlier, Southwest Canyon Wet Dog Food Formula featured within our Best Canned Dog Food article as one of the most nutritious formulas available at an affordable price.
While there are other canned formulas by Taste of the Wild, Southwest Canyon is by far the best.
The principal ingredients of the formula are Beef, Beef Broth, and Beef Liver. There are some other ingredients, including Egg Product, Lamb, Wild Boar, and Peas.
These red meat ingredients are ideally suited to a dog’s diet. The formula also contains Potato Starch, which can be considered a low-quality ingredient in large portions but doesn’t appear to be significant in this recipe.
Limited Ingredient Dog Food
Prey is quickly establishing itself as an excellent quality Limited Ingredient dog food. Currently, there are three varieties available, Beef, Turkey, and Trout. Each of these formulas is very similar and contains a simple mix of ingredients.
They contain a single source of meat or fish, Lentils, Tomato Pomace, and Canola Oil. Although each of these meat or fish ingredients may be common allergens, it is very likely that at least one of them is suitable.
The nutrition of these formulas is above average, but it is likely that a significant proportion of their protein content is derived from Lentils, which some would argue is inferior to animal protein.
Due to the three different recipes that Prey offers, it could be suitable for dogs that suffer from a range of meat and fish allergies. However, the dogs must be able to consume a large portion of lentils without suffering an intolerance.
Dry Cat Food
Taste of the Wild’s dry cat food range is very small, but of the two recipes within it, our favorite is Rocky Mountain Feline Formula.
Rocky Mountain’s nutritional profile is what gives it an edge. It has a significantly above-average proportion of protein and fat when compared to other dry cat foods. This balance of nutrition is an accurate depiction of a cat’s natural diet.
The high levels of protein and fat within the formula are thanks to an ample portion of Chicken Meal, Salmon, and Venison. Chicken Meal is the most abundant of the three, but the portion of Salmon is still significant. Sadly, there isn’t enough to provide a satisfactory level of the Omega Fatty Acids.
These meat and fish ingredients are combined with a mix of whole Sweet Potatoes, Peas, and some vegetable by-products. Sadly, none of these ingredients are ideal for a cat’s diet. The saving grace is that the portion of these ingredients present in the rocky mountain formula is quite low.
Wet Cat Food
The canned version of Rocky Mountain Formula also features as our favorite canned cat food recipe from Taste of the Wild.
It may surprise some to discover that the canned version of this recipe actually provides a worse nutritional profile than the dry equivalent. While the portions of protein and fat are still above average, they are not quite as impressive.
However, the source of this protein and fat remains the same. Chicken, Salmon, and Venison all feature again.
The source of the formula’s carbohydrates also remains constant. There are Peas, Pea Flour, and Potato Starch present. Sadly, these are not high-quality ingredients, especially for a canned recipe.
Limited Ingredient Cat Food
Taste of the Wild’s Prey cat food is extremely similar to their Prey dog food range and minimizes the number of ingredients it uses.
The above Turkey recipe uses a large portion of Turkey as its primary ingredient. This Turkey can provide high-quality protein and fat to a cat and is a reliable source.
Outside of this Turkey, the only other two major ingredients are Lentils and Sunflower Oil. The Lentils provide a portion of carbohydrates, plant-based protein, and fiber while the Sunflower Oil boosts the overall levels of fat.
With only three major ingredients present, this recipe from Taste of the Wild aligns itself well with the Limited Ingredient concept.
Taste of the Wild Related Articles
Taste of the Wild vs. Acana – Dog Food Brand Comparison – This article gives an in-depth comparison of two very popular brands for those who want to make an educated choice.
Product range, nutrition, ingredient quality, and recall history are all compared, and our recommendations are provided.
Best Canned Dog Food – Taste of the Wild’s Southwest Canyon Wet Dog Food Formula is one of a select number of formulas to be featured within our best canned dog food guide.
The recipe is placed in the value section of this guide, as it is a high-quality formula that can be purchased at an affordable price.
Best Dog Food Without Chicken – The dry dog food version of Southwest Canyon Formula features within this article which aims to provide consumers with a wide selection of Chicken-Free formulas.
Chicken is a common allergy for dogs, and bringing awareness to the best dog foods without any chicken ingredients is important.
Best Dog Food Without Potatoes – Taste of the Wild’s Appalachian Valley Small Breed Formula takes its place within this article that digs into which brands and formulas are free from Potatoes and Potato By-products.
It uses vegetables like Peas and Chickpeas as its primary source of carbohydrates.
Best Dog Food With Bison – Bison is an unusual dog food ingredient but is one that is growing in popularity and use.
This article discusses Bison and highlights some of the formulas available that use it, including the High Prairie recipe from Taste of the Wild.
Sunflower Oil In Dog Food – Sunflower Oil is present in many premium brand dog foods. It is included because of the healthy fats it contains, which can provide dogs with some health benefits.
Learn more about Sunflower Oil and which brands use it in this article.
Canola Oil In Dog Food – Canola is another Oil commonly added to dog food. However, when compared to Sunflower Oil, it is considered to be far more controversial.
This article digs into the history of canola and why brands choose to add it to their recipes.
Best Hypoallergenic Dog Foods Guide – Allergies for dogs can be complex and confusing, but our article provides you with all the information you need to know, including common allergens, symptoms, testing methods, and solutions.
Taste of the Wild Prey features here as one of our suggested Limited Ingredient formulas.
Peas, Pea Protein, Pea Flour, and Pea Fiber in Dog Food – As discussed earlier, Pea By-products are a controversial ingredient and one which many consider to be a low-quality ingredient.
This article discusses the different types of Pea By-products, as well as other topics surrounding Peas such as Dilated Cardiomyopathy.
Potatoes, Potato Protein & Potato Starch in Dog Food – Peas aren’t the only dog food ingredient that has by-products. Potato By-products are less common, but they do see use, especially in some canned products.
This article discusses the various types and if they can provide any meaningful nutrition.
Ingredient Splitting in Pet Food – Exposed – Ingredient Splitting has also been discussed earlier on this page. It is a sinister technique and one that we hope to raise awareness of.
Sadly, it appears that it may be intentionally being used in some Taste of the Wild recipes.
Taste of the Wild Full Product Range
Dry Dog Food (Kibble)
Wet Dog Food (Canned)
Dry Cat Food (Kibble)
Lowland Creek Feline Recipe
Wet Cat Food (Canned)