Natural Balance Dog Food

Last updated date: November 27, 2018

DWYM Score
7.7

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We looked at the top 1 Dry Dog Food and dug through the reviews from 7 of the most popular review sites including Dog Food Advisor, Petsumer Report, Dog Food Guru, Labrador Training HQ and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Dry Dog Food you should buy.

Overall Take

In our analysis of 128 expert reviews, the Natural Balance Natural Balance Dog Food placed 10th when we looked at the top 18 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 15, 2019:
Checkout The Best Dry Dog Food for a detailed review of all the top dry dog food.

Expert Summarized Score
6.9
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.2
1,533 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets is a plant-based dry dog food using a limited amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars. Recommended.
- Dog Food Advisor
Chicken is first, overall meat content is good, grains are of high quality, fruits and vegetables present, salmon oil for Omega fatty acides (with flax as well).
- PetFoodRatings.org
Natural Balance takes pride in the fact that they put human-grade meat in their formulas. The grains and vegetables are marketed as high-quality, as well.
- Dog Food Guru
Natural Balance Dog Food is one of the rare dog foods that is loved by both pet owners and by the veterinarian. Both the dry and canned foods are primarily meat-based, meaning that neither product has a great deal of “filler” material. This means a healthier meal for your dog, as well as a meal that the dog will enjoy.
- PetFoodTalk.com
October 26, 2018 | Full review
Natural Balance Dog Food reviews boast an overall positive report for these top 5 lines of dog food. With this brand of dog food, you really cannot go wrong with whichever line you choose. A wide range of needs are met by this brand of dog food from overweight to vegetarian. All dogs can find a food that works for their bodies and their health needs. Customers report being very pleased with this dog food brand, and puppies love the taste and benefits. This is a great choice for dog food and should be considered for all dogs as a top choice for everyday nutrition.
- Labrador Training HQ
October 13, 2018 | Full review
When it comes to their dry food offerings, this brand offers a wide variety of options in several different product lines. The Fat Dogs Low-Calorie line is designed for dogs that need to lose weight and the LID Limited Ingredient Diet line is for dogs that have food sensitivities or allergies. The Ultra Premium line of products features complete and balanced nutrition for dogs in different life stages, all made with quality ingredients.
- Pawster
May 15, 2016 | Full review
What experts didn't like
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
- Dog Food Advisor
Minus: - Most minerals listed do not read to be chelated or proteinated (for better mineral absorption). - Supplements can be sourced from China; risk of poor quality control. - Contains Sodium Selenite – potential risk form of selenium. - Contains copper sulfate, supplement recently linked to liver disease. - This food does not appear to contain probiotics (friendly bacteria that benefits the intestinal system and in turn the immune system of the pet). - Contains Canola Oil; controversial oil linked to health risks.
- Petsumer Report
Still, why the use of brewers yeast?? It puzzles me why they’d use excellent ingredients otherwise, then use an alcohol-making side-product. Hmmm. At least it’s fairly far down the ingredients list.
- PetFoodRatings.org
The ingredients look good. However, there’s one ingredient we’re a little worried about: sodium nitrite. It’s a carcinogenic ingredient. Also, some Natural Balance formulas contain grains that can cause allergic reactions in dogs. If your dog has food-based allergies, you’d be better off putting him on a grain-free diet.
- Dog Food Guru
Unless the dog has a particularly finicky stomach, there are relatively few problems to look out for with this brand.
- PetFoodTalk.com
October 26, 2018 | Full review
In May 2012, the FDA issued a recall for a variety of dry pet foods due to potential salmonella contamination.
- Pawster
May 15, 2016 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

Helps minimize the number of ingredients dogs are exposed to Encourages large breed dogs to chew properly, eat slower Supports clean teeth & healthy gums for large breed dogs No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives

Overall Product Rankings

1. Wellness Core
Overall Score: 9.6
Expert Reviews: 8
2. Orijen Tundra
Overall Score: 9.6
Expert Reviews: 9
3. Taste of the Wild Grain Free
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 8
4. CANIDAE All Life Stages
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 8
5. Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 7
6. American Journey
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 3
7. Blue Buffalo Wilderness
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 8
8. Fromm Classic
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 9
9. Horizon Dog Food
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 5
10. Natural Balance Dog Food
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 7
11. Nature’s Recipe
Overall Score: 7.4
Expert Reviews: 8
12. Iams ProActive Health
Overall Score: 6.2
Expert Reviews: 6
13. Royal Canin
Overall Score: 6.0
Expert Reviews: 7
14. Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Dog
Overall Score: 5.8
Expert Reviews: 8
15. Purina ONE SmartBlend Natural Formula
Overall Score: 5.6
Expert Reviews: 6
16. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive
Overall Score: 5.5
Expert Reviews: 4
17. Pedigree Adult Complete
Overall Score: 5.3
Expert Reviews: 7

An Overview On Dry Dog Food

Dogs are like members of our families, so of course, we want to keep them as healthy and happy as possible. The foundation for that is proper nutrition. A consistent, high-quality diet is the key to keeping your dog looking and feeling great. Feeding your dog the best dog food will keep them functioning at their best and can ward off chronic diseases, leading to a longer life. Dry dog food is very common and convenient, as it does not require refrigeration.

There’s a ton of different types of dry dog food out there, so the choices can be overwhelming.  You should look for dog food that is labeled as “complete and balanced,” which means the food contains the minimum amount of all the nutrients necessary for dogs. This standard is regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials. Keep in mind that buzzwords like “premium” and “immune supporting” are not regulated and should not carry much weight in your choice.

Just as with human food, you want to make sure your dog is eating a diet with real, whole foods and one that is free from artificial preservatives and additives. Make sure your dog’s food contains a high-quality animal protein source, like lamb, chicken or turkey. Leading brands, such as Orijen Tundra, contain multiple protein sources, including chicken, turkey, flounder and egg.

Many veterinarians recommend avoiding dog food that contains grains like corn, wheat and soy, as dogs do not need these starches. Although many healthy dog foods contain carbohydrates in the form of fruit and vegetables, brands like Taste of the Wild tout their grain-free recipe.

Other healthy ingredients include probiotics, which benefit the intestinal and immune systems, and minerals. Minerals should be chelated or proteinated for maximum absorption.

Some dogs need special diets, and diets should be adjusted for puppies and senior dogs. The right dog food for your pet will meet all of their needs and come at an affordable price.

DYWM Fun Fact

Dogs have been humans’ companions for more than 30,000 years. In the beginning, man’s best friend’s diet did not get the consideration it does today. Dogs generally ate the scraps that were left over from their humans. Around 1860, businessman James Spratt introduced the first commercially prepared dog food. Official nutritional requirements for dogs and cats were established in the mid-1980s. Dry dog food, or “kibble” as we know it today, became popular in the 1950s.

As of 2017, commercial pet food was a $26 billion industry. These days, a lot of pet parents are turning to online retailers like Amazon and Chewy to get their dog food delivered straight to their door.

The Dry Dog Food Buying Guide

  • Make sure to feed your dog the proper amount. Overfeeding your dog ups their risk of obesity and associated health problems. There are some formulas to determine how much you should be feeding your dog depending on their size and breed, and your veterinarian can also provide you with guidance.
  • Puppies need small, frequent meals, while adult dogs can eat just one to two meals per day. Some dogs are grazers, meaning that they will eat small amounts throughout the day, but many more will eat all the food that is given to them at a time, which is why it’s important not to overfeed them.
  • Price is an important factor in dog food, as it’s one of the major ongoing expenses associated with being a pet owner. A higher price tag does not necessarily translate to a superior product. A moderately priced brand such as Nature’s Recipe scores high marks for its quality.
  • To keep your dog’s food fresh, make sure it is sealed. Some brands come with resealable tops, or you can put it in an airtight container, preferably made of glass or stainless steel. Make sure you keep your dog food in a cool, dry place. Moisture and heat can compromise the food’s safety and quality.
  • Just like human food, dog food has an expiration date. Dry dog food is generally good for one year. Never give your dog food that smells or looks spoiled.
  • It’s important that the food you choose is a good fit for your dog. If your dog rejects a food or it makes them sick, it may not be the optimal choice for them. Consult with your veterinarian to find the type of food that’s best for your pet.
  • Make sure you wash the bowls your dog eats and drinks from regularly, ideally every day. Once a week, they should be sanitized with a bleach solution. Stainless steel bowls are the easiest to keep clean.