Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Small Breed
Dog Food Review

Nutro Natural Choice Puppy food  Reviewed by Janice Jones   
|Last Updated 05-23-2023

Lee, from Ontario Canada writes. 

"Teddy is now on NUTRO Natural Choice Puppy, Small Breed, Chicken, Whole Brown Rice and Oatmeal but I was considering another brand and want to find out which one is best."  

Teddy is a Bichon Frisé Puppy.

So, Small Dog Place accepted the challenge and researched Teddy's dog food.  This is what we found...

Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Food is made by the Nutro Company, headquartered in Tennessee, just outside of Nashville and has been in business since 1926. 

All food is made in facilities located in the U.S.A.

The company also makes the popular dental chew, GREENIES® DOG TREATS.

Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Small Breed Dog Food ReviewNutro Natural Choice Puppy Small Breed Dog Food Review, Requested by Teddy's Dad

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NUTRO Natural Choice Puppy

This food comes packaged in two sizes: 4 lbs., 8 lbs.

It is indicated for small breed dogs up to 1 year of age and 25 pounds at maturity.

The company makes an interesting claim about kibble size.  Its unique kibble shape is designed to reduce tartar and plaque buildup.

For a small dog, this is important. The kibble is about the size of a pencil eraser making it easy to eat even for the smallest of small breed puppies.

From the Nutro Company Official Website...

The following information was taken directly from the Nutro Company Website.

Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Food Ingredients

NUTRO Natural Choice Puppy, Small Breed, Chicken, Whole Brown Rice and Oatmeal

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Whole Grain Oatmeal, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Rice Bran, Natural Flavor, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Soybean Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Selenium Yeast, Biotin, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Decaffeinated Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein (min.)    28.00%
Crude Fat (min.)    18.00%
Crude Fiber (max.)    5.00%
Moisture (max.)    10.00%
Linoleic Acid (min.)    3.50%
Calcium (min.)    1.00%
Phosphorus (min.)    0.90%
Zinc (min.)    250 mg/kg
Niacin (min.)    250 mg/kg
Biotin (min.)*    2.5 mg/kg
Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) (min.)*    0.10%
Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) (Min.)*    0.05%
* Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles

Calorie Content of Nutro Natural Choice Puppy Food

Metabolizable energy 3,791 kcal/kg, 391 kcal/cup (calculated)

Nutritional Adequacy Statement

NUTRO® Small Breed Puppy Chicken, Whole Brown Rice & Oatmeal Recipe Dog Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for growth, gestation and lactation.

Review of NUTRO Natural Choice Small Breed Puppy Chicken, Whole Brown Rice & Oatmeal Recipe

There is no one "perfect" way to evaluate dog foods and there is no one formula that is best for all dogs.  Each dog is different so what works great for one may end up being a disaster to another.  Please keep that in mind while checking out our view.

Using the Beginning with 100%

This food lost points:

-2 points:  Has the same grain twice in the first five ingredients (Whole brown rice and Brewers Rice)

-2 points:  Contains chicken fat
-2 points:  Contains soybean oil
-1 point:  Contains salt

This food gained points:

+1 point:  Contains Oatmeal
+1 point:  Contains Sunflower oil

Total Score:  95 A

This is a high quality dog food that uses chicken as its primary meat source with added plant based protein sources (pea protein) to increase the overall protein content. 

According to most reviews on a variety of websites, the food is tasty according to their dogs and recommended by their owners. 

Most dog owners report that their dogs eat the food willingly, even picky eaters and have no adverse gastrointestinal upsets.  Many puppy owners report that they continue to use Nutro products well into their dog’s adult years.

Beyond the Numbers

The numbers do not always tell the whole story about a dog food. Nutro Natural Choice Puppy food has much going for it in terms of quality.

  • The food contains no corn or wheat which is the source of some allergies in dogs.
  • The food does not contain any artificial colors, preservatives or flavors.
  • Guarantee on the bag states “The only brand guaranteed to improve skin and coat.”  This is a plus for dogs that have allergies or skin problems.
  • Contains DHA (Docosahexaenoic Acid).

DHA 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

This company received some negative reviews posted on sites such as Consumer Affairs during the massive pet food recalls of the 2007-2008.  Not only did this company fall victim, but many others did as well.

More about this Massive Dog Food Recall of 2007

No one food is perfect for every pet.  Each puppy has its own constitution and it is the responsibility of the pet’s owner to make the final decision about an appropriate food. 

NUTRO Natural Choice Puppy, Small Breed Chicken, Whole Brown Rice and Oatmeal is an excellent choice as a premium brand of puppy food.  

You will know that your puppy is thriving on a particular food if

  • He eats the food readily
  • Seems satiated until the time of his next meal
  • Shows no adverse GI symptoms (vomiting or diarrhea)
  • Continues to grow and gain weight
  • Produces firm stools
  • Appears happy and healthy
  • Has normal energy level

Purchase Nutro Puppy Foods Directly from this page.

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Other Nutro Products Worth Checking Out...

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