Taste of the Wild Dog Food Review | Ratings | Recalls

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Taste of the Wild is a unique pet food brand that produces formulas based on your dog’s ancestral diet.

This brand has experienced rapid growth in recent years but remains a family-owned company. Taste of the Wild founders created the brand based on the idea that domestic dogs thrive on diets that their inner wolf would crave.

Every Taste of the Wild Formula is high protein. Recipes feature unique meats like roasted duck, wild boar, and bison. But, their recipes are significantly more affordable than brands that use similar quality ingredients.

Although this smaller company only offers three main product lines, dog owners can find a suitable Taste of the Wild formula for nearly every dog. I’m a vet tech who frequently recommends this formula for dogs who need high protein diets.

Keep reading this Taste of the Wild dog food review to learn more about this brand’s history, controversies, and ingredient quality.

About Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild uses high-quality ingredients to formulate recipes that mimic the natural diet of wild canines. All formulas emphasize animal protein as the primary source of energy and nutrients. And every recipe meets AAFCO daily nutrient recommendations.

The founders of this brand believe that dogs do best on the ancestral diet they evolved to eat. They worked closely with veterinarians and nutritionists to develop an accurate recipe to replicate what your dog’s ancestors ate.

This company only has 3 product lines and a limited number of formulas. Dog owners can select from grain-free, grain-inclusive, and limited ingredient options. But instead of distinguishing their products by flavors, Taste of the Wild recipes are based on geographic diets.

Examples of recipes inspired by geographic locations include High Prairie, Pacific Stream, and Appalachian Valley. This brand also offers formulas specifically for puppies and small breeds.

Most Taste of the Wild reviews recommend their dog food. But some pet parents have concerns over their parent company, the Diamond Pet Food group. This group has a history of several recalls. But only one recall involved Taste of the Wild.

Taste of the Wild History

Taste of the Wild’s parent company, Diamond Pet Foods, launched in 1970. Brothers-in-law founded the company to make high-quality, affordable pet food. 

The family portfolio also includes the Diamond Naturals pet food brand. Taste of the Wild is Diamond Pet Food’s premium brand of high protein dog foods. These ancestral-based recipes remain some of the company’s most successful products.

Taste of the Wild began to expand sales internationally in 1985 when the second generation of the founder’s family took the lead. Today, the family-run business is the fifth-largest pet food company in the world.

Where is Taste of the Wild Dog Food Made?

Diamond Pet Food is based in Meta, Missouri. This family-owned company manufactures Taste of the Wild dog food formulas. However, Taste of the Wild does not mention its parent company on the brand website. The brand likely wants to distance itself due to Diamond’s recall history.

Taste of the Wild formulas are produced in the United States. The company has five manufacturing facilities based in California, Missouri, Arkansas, and South Carolina.

The brand also sources most of its ingredients from US suppliers. The only imported ingredients are foods with limited availability domestically. The lamb used in Taste of the Wild dog food comes from New Zealand. 

Legal Issues and Controversies

Although Taste of the Wild has only experienced a single recall, the brand has been subject to several lawsuits. All of the lawsuits filed against the brand involve serious allegations of dangerous problems with their products.

A February 2019 lawsuit claimed that Taste of the Wild dog food tested positive for arsenic, pesticides, and lead. All of these materials are toxic for dogs. An earlier lawsuit from August 2018 also alleged that the company did not disclose the heavy metal and BPA content in their products.

The first major lawsuit against Taste of the Wild followed their May 2012 salmonella-induced recall. Contaminated dog food produced by Diamond Pet Food caused an outbreak that infected dozens of people and pets. The company ultimately settled the suit.

A June 2019 investigation by the FDA identified a link between cardiac disease and certain dog foods that included Taste of the Wild. But the FDA report also cautioned that a direct link is not certain.

Ingredient Quality

taste of the wild

Taste of the Wild formulas use significantly higher quality ingredients than most dog foods. These recipes stand out due to the inclusion of novel animal protein sources like venison and buffalo. Most dog foods rely on chicken or beef as the primary ingredient.

All of their recipes use multiple sources of high-quality protein to replicate the omnivorous diets of wild canines. Using different meats in a dog food recipe ensures that your dog receives a broad range of essential amino acids.

High volumes of quality meat boost the crude protein content of these formulas. Typical Taste of the Wild recipes have a protein content of around 30%. This is exceptionally high and ideal for active dogs or breeds with large muscle mass.

Some grain-free formulas use potatoes and peas as alternative sources of carbohydrates for dogs with grain sensitivities. And ancient grains used in the grain-inclusive Taste of the Wild recipes are a healthy source of energy and nutrients.

If your dog has cardiovascular concerns, you may want to avoid the grain-free formulas. High volumes of potatoes and peas may cause a higher risk of heart problems.

Other whole food ingredients include whole fruits and vegetables. These formulas do not contain any artificial additives or common allergens. But they do feature added probiotics and healthy fats to support your pup’s overall health.

Taste of the Wild Dog Food Lines

Taste of the Wild offers three core product ranges to meet the basic needs of nearly every dog. Always consult your veterinarian before changing your dog’s diet.

Taste of the Wild Prey Limited Ingredient Diets

Taste of the Wild Prey

Taste of the Wild’s product line of limited ingredient diets uses a simple recipe to provide balanced nutrition to sensitive dogs. All of the formulas in this product range only have four primary ingredients.

Whole meat from a single type of animal acts as the main source of protein. A single protein source is vital for sensitive dogs to prevent the development of new allergies. High protein levels from animal meat also maximize digestibility.

Other ingredients include alternative sources of carbohydrates, like lentils. Corn, wheat, and other grains are common allergens that can trigger adverse reactions in some dogs.

Every recipe also includes a source of healthy fat. Omega fatty acids help promote coat and immune health to reduce the risk of itchy skin conditions.

Fortification with precise amounts of vitamins and minerals ensures that these simple recipes can meet your dog’s daily nutrient profiles. And an 80 million CFU/lb culture of propriety probiotics supports digestive health to optimize nutrient absorption.

Taste of the Wild Grain Free Dog Food

Taste of the Wild Grain Free

Taste of the Wild offers several grain-free formulas inspired by the natural environments where wild canine ancestors lived. All of these recipes use multiple unique sources of animal meat to offer a high-protein diet that excludes grains.

Grain-free Taste of the Wild products depend on peas and potatoes as alternative sources of carbohydrates. So these formulas may not be suitable for dogs with heart issues.

Natural antioxidants from fruits and vegetables boost overall health. And a high crude fat content includes several sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Most of the vitamins and minerals in this recipe come from natural sources. But any added minerals are chelated with amino acids to maximize absorption.

Like all Taste of the Wild products, this line also uses a proprietary K9 strain of probiotics to support digestive health. Most reviews from pet parents notice improvements in the overall health of their dogs. But the high caloric content may not be suitable for overweight dogs.

This product range includes formulas exclusively designed for puppies and small breeds. But all of the recipes are suitable for most breeds and life stages.

Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains

Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains

The Ancient Grains product line features grain-inclusive recipes for dogs without grain sensitivities. Most dog foods use common allergens like corn and wheat as grain-based ingredients. But these recipes feature ancient grains instead.

Ancient grains like millet, sorghum, and quinoa provide a healthy source of concentrated carbohydrates. Some dogs with high metabolisms or blood sugar concerns need constant sources of digestible carbohydrates from their diet.

Compared to refined grains, ancient grains are much higher in fiber and nutrients. But even the grain-inclusive recipes from Taste of the Wild are still high protein.

This product range still uses the same high-quality, diverse animal proteins as other lines. All Taste of the Wild formulas depend on meat as the primary ingredient.

Taste of the Wild Recall History

Taste of the Wild only has one recall in its history. But the recall occurred for a relatively serious reason. Here is the information about the salmonella recall that affected Taste of the Wild dog food.

  • May 2012 – The FDA reported Salmonella contamination of all Taste of the Wild dry dog food in a specific production lot. The affected lot had a “best by” date of December 9, 2012 through April 7, 2013. [1]

Salmonella is a harmful bacteria that can cause severe illness in dogs and humans. Unfortunately, the Taste of the Wild recall resulted in the infection of many pets and owners. Humans can contract the bacteria from handling contaminated dog food.

The company has not experienced any other recalls since 2012. But Diamond Pet Foods has struggled with several recalls in the past.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. [2]

Our Verdict: Is Taste of the Wild Good Dog Food Brand?

Taste of the Wild dog foods are an excellent choice for dog owners who want to feed a protein-focused diet that minimizes fillers.

This pet food brand uses high-quality ingredients and novel proteins to create formulas that replicate the natural diet of your pup’s ancestors. The unique proteins used in these recipes are also ideal for sensitive dogs who suffer from allergies to common ingredients.

Although there are cheaper pet food brands on the market, few can match the value provided by Taste of the Wild. This brand offers well-balanced nutrition without using the fillers and additives of other affordable brands.

Diamond Pet Foods has struggled with recalls in the past. But Taste of the Wild remains committed to improving the quality and safety of their products.

Talk to your veterinarian today to determine if your furry best friend could benefit from the high protein ancestral diets offered by Taste of the Wild.

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Caroline Cochran is a former veterinary technician who is passionate about helping fellow dog lovers learn about canine nutrition. Her best friend is a rescued Great Pyrenees named Syrah, who is also very enthusiastic about dog food.

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