Rachael Ray Nutrish dog food features a collection of premium formulas that offers specialty recipes at affordable prices.
This pet food company is unique thanks to its founder, the TV personality and celebrity chef Rachael Ray. Ray’s mission to create dog food that is both nutritious and delicious continues to drive the company today.
Several of the unique flavors come from Ray’s kitchen, making this pet food brand ideal for picky eaters. The company also thoughtfully uses high-quality ingredients to produce a wide variety of formulas to suit the unique needs of individual dogs.
Combined with an affordable price, these attributes make Rachael Ray dog food an appealing option for many dog owners.
So I used my experience as a vet tech and canine nutrition nerd to research this popular brand and help pet parents choose the best diet for their pup.
Keep reading this Rachael Ray dog food review to learn more about the company, its product ranges, and its history.
About Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish is a boutique pet food brand created by chef Rachael Ray and produced by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition.
This company offers several varieties of specialty dog food suitable for dogs of all ages and sizes. Their Just 6 limited ingredient diets are especially popular with owners of sensitive pups.
All recipes feature real meat as a primary ingredient and contain nutrient profiles that are compatible with AAFCO guidelines. The company is also known for using safe, high-quality ingredients based on real whole foods.
Although Rachael Ray Nutrish is a relatively young and small brand, they have grown into a successful company in the pet food industry. One of the main drivers of the company’s success is its affordability. These dog foods are far superior to competitors with similar price points.
Another aspect of this pet food brand that sets Rachael Ray dog food apart is their commitment to philanthropy. Nutrish donates a portion of every sale to the Rachael Ray Foundation, which funds Rachael’s Rescue. These charities specialize in providing support to at-risk shelter pets.
History of Rachel Ray Nutrish Dog Food
Rachael Ray decided to start her own dog food company after having difficulty finding quality dog food for her family pit bull. Ray wanted her beloved pet to eat as well as the entire family.
Rachael Ray dog food is a product of a collaboration with Ainsworth Pet Nutrition. Ainsworth management reached out to Ray after listening to her speak passionately about pets. They wanted to formulate a brand of dog food based on the celebrity chef’s cooking.
Ainsworth is an established leader in the pet food industry. The company began in 1933 in Meadville, Pennsylvania under the direction of its founder, George Ainsworth Lang. J.M. Smucker company recently acquired the company.
Rachael Ray dog food only began hitting the selves in 2008. But Nutrish products quickly become one of the most popular lines in Ainsworth’s family of pet food brands.
Where Is Rachael Ray Dog Food Made?
The J.M. Smucker company took over manufacturing Rachael Ray dog food after it acquired the brand from Ainsworth Pet Nutrition in 2018.
Ainsworth had facilities in Meadville, PA, Greenville, PA, and Frontenac, KS. All Rachael Ray Nutrish products are made in the USA.
Company packages state that the company prepares recipes in American Facilities with safe, quality ingredients.
Although Rachael Ray dog food is made in America, Ainsworth and J.M Smucker are not as forward with ingredient sourcing.
The ingredient glossary on the Nutrish website states that several of the ingredients also come from the US. But many do not have sourcing information.
Rachael Ray Dog Food Brand Lines
There are several product lines of dry food and wet food offered by Rachael Ray dog food. Always consult your veterinarian before making any changes to your dog’s diet.
Rachael Ray’s flagship Nutrish product range offers an extensive line-up of dry and wet dog foods. These basic formulas have unique recipes designed for dogs of different ages and sizes. The recipes also feature different flavors based on real chicken or beef.
All of the dry formulas in the flagship Nutrish line are grain-inclusive. They are not corn-free, but the recipes exclude gluten and include whole grains like brown rice for extra fiber. Additional sources of fiber like beet pulp act as a prebiotic to support digestive health.
Owners of sensitive dogs should consider the Nutrish wet formulas. Unlike Nutrish dry products, the wet foods contain no corn, wheat, or soy.
These products also contain soy. Soy is often used in pet foods as an inexpensive way to boost protein content. But plant protein is not as bioavailable to dogs as animal protein. So your pup may not be able to efficiently digest all of the protein in these recipes.
Still, the Nutrish line is an affordable option for dog owners looking for basic dog food that contains nutritious whole food ingredients.
Zero Grains formulas from Rachael Ray use meat first recipes that exclude any grains or gluten. This product line features 4 dry dog food recipes based on chicken, turkey, salmon, or beef.
All recipes in the Zero Grain line up have no corn, wheat, soy, or gluten. Instead, grain-free Nutrish recipes use wholesome vegetables like sweet potatoes as an alternative source of digestible carbohydrates. Peas and tapioca provide additional gluten-free carbohydrate sources.
These formulas have a moderate protein content suitable for a wide range of dogs. The moderate fat content from flaxseed and animal fats is also ideal for most dogs.
Protein from U.S. farm-raised animals offers excellent digestibility for enhanced nutrient absorption compared to plant-based ingredients. But like some other grain-free formulas, the high volumes of peas and potatoes in this recipe are not ideal for dogs with heart conditions.
Rachael Ray dog food reviews share that this product can help manage the adverse reactions associated with grain sensitivities. But not all picky dogs find the flavor appealing.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Dish is a small collection of dog food products that feature whole food ingredients you can see.
U.S. farm-raised meat is always the first ingredient. And there is never any corn, wheat, gluten, or soy used in the formulas.
These dry dog food formulas feature real pieces of chicken, fruits, and vegetables mixed in with the kibble to reassure owners that their pets are receiving whole food nutrition.
Most dry dog food only includes highly processed pieces of kibble where the original ingredients are not visible.
Some dog owners feed whole food diets based on raw ingredients. But these homemade formulas often have nutritional deficiencies and imbalances. Rachael Ray’s dish line features pet foods that offer the best of both worlds.
Owners can choose between grain-free and grain inclusive recipes in this line up based on chicken or beef.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Peak line is a product range that includes both wet and dry recipes. All Peak formulas boast nutritionally dense recipes designed to satisfy instinctual cravings with a high 30% crude protein content.
All of these recipes use multiple sources of animal composition protein to provide a comprehensive profile of amino acids. This concentrated amount of protein is ideal for dogs with high energy demands.
The evolutionary canine diet depends on animal protein from real meat as the primary source of nutrients. These formulas are easily digestible and help support the development of lean muscle mass.
Rachael Ray dog food reviews highly recommend the wet dog foods in this product line up for ensuring fussy eaters with high metabolisms consume the energy they need to thrive.
Two available Rachael Ray Nutrish Just 6 recipes offer a limited ingredient diet that provides comprehensive nutrition from only six key ingredients.
Dogs who suffer from food allergies or intolerances need elimination diets to avoid the allergens responsible for adverse reactions to their diet.
Common allergens include corn, wheat, soy, gluten, dairy, egg, beef, and potato. The Just 6 line up eliminates all of those ingredients.
Dog owners can choose between Turkey and Lamb recipes. Both use a novel single source of protein to help discourage the development of new allergies to other protein sources.
The only additive included in these recipes is fortification with vitamins and minerals. This fortification is essential for ensuring that this simple food meets your dog’s daily nutrient requirements.
Pet parents give this Nutrish line an excellent product rating as a good dog food for managing allergies in sensitive pups.
A brand-new addition of SuperMedleys to Rachael Ray’s Nutrish line offers super-premium recipes formulated with the highest quality ingredients possible.
Superfood ingredients like spinach, pumpkin, and blueberries work together to support overall health with concentrated levels of antioxidants.
High levels of omega-3 fatty acids from flaxseed and fish oil also help promote healthy skin and coat.
These dog food products also have added taurine to support a healthy heart. Nearly every ingredient contributes to the nutritional support offered by this diet for the entire body.
These formulas are ideal for dogs who need additional brain, vision, or muscle support.
Lentils in this recipe offer a unique source of fiber and protein that helps support a healthy metabolism. However, these products do include soy. So they may not be suitable for some sensitive dogs.
The quality of ingredients in Rachael Ray dog food is significantly above average. This company has a reputation for using real ingredients that include animal protein from real meat.
There are no nutrient-deficient fillers, artificial flavors, or colors. Recipes only use starchy sources of carbohydrates from rice or potatoes. And real produce adds natural sources of vitamins and antioxidants.
Some dog food companies do not use animal protein as their primary ingredient. But every product in the Rachael Ray Nutrish line features real meat as the first ingredient.
Animal-sourced amino acids are essential for the optimal health and development of your pup.
Specialty recipes in the Rachael Ray line up use carefully selected ingredients to offer specific nutritional support for different health concerns. Dogs with allergies can benefit from the limited ingredient diets that eliminate allergens.
The company also offers nutrient-dense, high-protein formulas for dogs with increased energy needs. There are varieties of pet food for every life stage, even pregnant dogs.
Beet Pulp and Iron oxide are some controversial ingredients found in certain Rachael Ray dry dog food formulas. Although Beet Pulp is an excellent source of fiber, some owners think of it as a cheap filler with limited nutritional value.
Iron oxide is a naturally occurring rust often used as food dye. Nutrish recipes do not use artificial coloring, but any dye is an unnecessary additive.
Some varieties of this brand are also relatively lower in omega-3 fatty acids when compared to competitors. Fish oil is a rich source of these healthy fats. But Rachael Ray dog foods use more poultry fat and olive oil.
Rachael Ray Dog Food Recalls
Rachael Ray’s Nutrish brand also makes cat food. The sole FDA recall of any Nutrish products occurred in June 2015 and involved wet food for cats that had low levels of Vitamin D.
There is no history of any Rachael Ray canine products being recalled.
However, the FDA did identify Rachael Ray dog food as one of 16 pet brands linked to heart disease in pets. Still, the organization is not certain that diet is the direct cause of these heart issues and an investigation is ongoing.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date.
Legal Issues and Controversies
Rachael Ray dog food faced a large class-action lawsuit in 2018 for deceptive advertising. The lawsuit claimed that it was misleading to market Nutrish formulas as “natural” recipes since they contain glyphosate.
Glyphosate is a chemical used as a pesticide that can have detrimental health effects. Most lawsuits against pet food companies are dismissed based on what a reasonable consumer may believe.
But surveys reveal that nearly 66% of consumers believe natural dog food does not use toxic pesticides.
A federal judge eventually dismissed the lawsuit after laboratory tests demonstrated that glyphosate levels were significantly lower than the FDA limit.
I recommend Rachael Ray dog food as an excellent choice for pet owners on a budget who want to feed their furry friends a premium diet.
The unlikely beginnings of this company began with the personal pet of a celebrity chef and grew into one of the most popular dog food brands available. All Nutrish formulas are inspired by Rachael Ray’s own recipes, offering flavorful options for picky pups.
Although this boutique company does not have the wide selection of some other pet industry giants, their unique product lines offer a recipe suitable for nearly every dog. The company has experienced some legal troubles, but all lawsuits have been dismissed by federal judges.
This Rachael Ray dog food review demonstrates why many pet parents prefer the quality and affordability of Nutrish formulas.
Always remember to consult your vet before changing your dog’s diet. But if you think your four-legged family member deserves to eat as well as you do, consider Rachael Ray Nutrish dog food formulas.
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