This dog food review is about Natural Balance Original Ultra Puppy Food. The Complete name of the food is: Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance® Original Ultra® Whole Body Health® Chicken, Brown Rice, Duck Meal Puppy Formula
This company was founded by actor, Dick Van Patten in 1989 and has a large testing facility in California where they test to assure that the product is safe.
The company was merged with Big Heart Pet Brands and joined the J.M Smuckers Company in 2013.
This product appears to be a high quality dog food intended for puppies of all sizes up through their first birthday.
A review will follow. While it seems that the food is superior, I could find no mention of where the raw ingredients were obtained or where the food was manufactured.
However, there is claims on the Natural Balance Website that one can always go an check for recalls and get information on testing which is a plus.
The food is widely available on the internet and can be purchased from most large pet superstores as well as many smaller specialty stores.
The following information was obtained from the Natural Balance Official Website
We use Sarah Irick’s Scale for evaluating the ingredients of a dog food.
Starting with 100%, Natural Balance Original Ultra Puppy Food:
-2 Lost 2 points because it contains chicken fat
-1 Lost 1 point because I contained salt
+3 Gained 3 points because it contains vegetables other than corn
+3 Gained 3 points because it contains fruits
+1 Gained 1 point because the food contains oats (5th ingredient)
+2 Gained 2 points because two other animal protein sources (Duck and Eggs)
Total Score 106 A+
The numbers do not always tell the whole story.
This is obviously a high quality product. Look at the first five ingredients, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Dried Peas, and Oats.
Most of the animal protein sources can be found in meat meals.
In this case, Chicken Meal and Duck meal is offered. Peas add an additional plant protein source.
Oats is considered a high quality grain source.
There is not corn, wheat or soy products.
Many people think these ingredients are the source of many canine allergies and in fact, they may be the culprit of some allergy sufferers.
More importantly, they are actually considered cheap grain sources that are found in most low cost dog foods and have negligible nutritional value.
Natural Balance Original Ultra also contains DHA. This compound is a natural omega-3 fatty acid essential in neurological development of the brain and nervous system and vision in young mammals.
It is being used in human infant food and is now being promoted to improve brain development and assist with vision in young puppies.
Before weaning, puppies get DHA from their mother’s body tissues and through nursing. Once weaned, DHA comes from the diet.
Some research studies suggest that the addition of DHA in the diet improves learning and makes training easier for the puppy.
There are several good sources of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, considered to be essential fatty acids because the dog’s body does not manufacture them. They must be obtained through the diet.
Taurine is an addition to this food. Once thought to be necessary only in cat diets, many manufacturers are now adding it to dog diets.
It is an amino acid added for heart health. Another plus is the addition of chelated minerals, which bond to proteins making digestion easier.
This rating scale demands the lost of points if chicken fat is part of the recipe. It is a highly digestible fat source needed for energy.
It can be a negative if there is an allergy to chicken but since the main meat protein source is chicken, that is likely not the case.
The company was hit by the massive 2007 pet food recall as was many other companies.
They issued a voluntary recall of some of the products that may have been contaminated. The puppy brand reviewed here was not part of that recall.
No one food is right for every dog and it is ultimately up to the dog's owner to make a choice.
Reviews such as this one will hopefully make decision making a little easier.
Just because a food is rated A or B, you may find that your dog does not eat it well or has digestive upsets.
The dog could have sensitivities to ingredients in the food or an actual allergy to it.
That does not make the food bad, rather, it just means that it is not right for your dog.
The dog reviews available on Small Dog Place are based on an analysis of ingredients and any additional information that we can obtain from the company.
Any questions or concerns you may have about a particular food should be addressed with your veterinarian.