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Taste of The Wild Dog Food Review

Last Updated May 19, 2021

Known for its use of very unusual animal proteins like bison, Pacific salmon, wild boar, and roasted duck, just to name a few, Taste of the Wild dog foods offer pet parents not only viable alternatives to mainstream brands, but it could very well be the only source of well-balanced nutrition for your hound. Putting real, high-quality ingredients into each formulation that mimics the kind of food that ancestral dogs fed on in certain regions of the nation like the Sierra Mountains, the Rockies, and the Wetlands, just to name a few, the Taste of the Wild brand of dog food is one of canine food products that pet parents are always happy to give to their pets. In this review, we’ll try to look at the brand’s 5 best-selling variants that you can also give to your hound.

Taste of The Wild Dog Food Review

1

The label may read “with real roasted bison and venison”, but the TOTW High Prairie Canine Recipe actually contains buffalo, lamb, and chicken as its principal animal protein sources. Consistently garnering positive dog food ratings, the High Prairie TOTW dog food is one of the best especially if you consider the numerous Taste of the Wild dog food reviews. The inclusion of novel proteins really makes the High Prairie a preferred variant especially for those who are looking for a grain free dog food formulation.

The addition of 5 different strains of probiotics helps ensure your pet gets optimum digestive and immune system health. There are prebiotics, too in the formulation, alongside a bevy of fruits and vegetables like tomatoes, raspberries, and blueberries. The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids may not really be the ideal 1:4, but it sure is better than most dog foods with these essential fatty acids. Surely pet parents who gave the High Prairie excellent dog food ratings can’t be wrong.

Amount of calories for every serving: 370 per cup

Minimum amount of proteins: 32%

Minimum amount of fats: 18%

Maximum amount of moisture: 10%

Maximum amount of fiber: 4%

First five ingredients: buffalo, lamb and chicken meals, peas, and sweet potatoes

5 strains of gut-friendly microorganisms accounting for 1 million CFUs

Specification:
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • Model: 418581
  • Weight: 30 pounds

2

If you’ve got a hound that absolutely adores fish, it will love the TOTW Pacific Stream Canine Formula with Salmon in Gravy. This Taste of the Wild canned dog food formulation comes with salmon and its broth which is mixed with sufficient water just to meet the moisture requirements of dogs. In addition to the fresh salmon included in the formula, the Pacific Stream also comes with turkey and turkey liver, further adding to the delicious taste of the wet dog food.

Also included are eggs, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, tomatoes, raspberries, and blueberries. It is the kind of grain free dog food that is best for convalescing hounds as well as very young puppies that are still learning to switch from all-milk diets to one that includes solids. The Taste of the Wild Salmon recipe is rich with antioxidant vitamins as well as health-giving minerals that your dog can truly benefit from. It’s the closest thing to an ancestral dog diet that you can give to your modern hound.

 

Amount of calories for every serving: 379 per 13.2 oz can

Minimum amount of proteins: 7%

Minimum amount of fats: 3%

Maximum amount of moisture: 82%

Maximum amount of fiber: 7%

First five ingredients: salmon and fish broth, turkey and turkey liver, and water

Specification:
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • Model: 074198610778
  • Weight: 9.9 pounds

3

If you’re wondering what ancestral dogs in the Appalachian region ate in their time you only need to get the Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed Canine Formula. Since it’s for small breeds many pet parents actually consider this a Taste of the Wild puppy version. With venison and lamb forming the core of its animal proteins, the Appalachian is the perfect meal for the perfect pup. The 100 million colony-forming units of microorganisms are guaranteed to give your small dog the level of digestive health it needs to help process all the nutrients necessary for its growth and development.

Adding to the nutrients provided by deer and lamb are those sourced from duck and ocean fish. This also gives the Appalachian grain free dog food a healthy dose of EPA and DHA necessary for boosting the immune system and ensuring that the nervous and cardiovascular systems are at their peak performance. The Appalachian TOTW dog food boasts of an exceptional proportion of proteins and healthy fats without the worries caused by gluten allergenic ingredients.

Amount of calories for every serving: 370 per cup

Minimum amount of proteins: 32%

Minimum amount of fats: 18%

Maximum amount of moisture: 10%

Maximum amount of fiber: 4%

First five ingredients: venison, lamb meal, lentils, peas, and garbanzo beans

5 strains of probiotics accounting for 100 million CFUs

Specification:
  • Brand: Taste of The Wild
  • Model: 418036
  • Weight: 5 pounds

4

This Taste of the Wild salmon recipe is more like the canine version of one of man’s most prized delicacies: smoked salmon. It may not enjoy the rave dog food ratings of the High Prairie, but it sure makes for a healthy alternative especially if you’ve got a hound that is already fed up with meat-based diets. The Pacific Stream with Smoked Salmon contains some of the best catches of the sea, combining it with naturally-caught wild salmon to give your pet a kind of diet that is truly a feast.

Raspberries, tomatoes, blueberries, lentils, and potatoes are also added to provide your pet with the right amounts of nutrients it needs. There are prebiotics and probiotics, too that work well to help provide hounds with a digestive system that is fully capable of processing almost anything. This TOTW dog food is perfect for all breeds and in all life stages. If it’s grain free dog food in a sumptuous salmon and ocean fish flavor you’re yearning for, then the Pacific Stream is for your dog.

 

Amount of calories for every serving: 360 per cup

Minimum amount of proteins: 25%

Minimum amount of fats: 15%

Maximum amount of moisture: 10%

Maximum amount of fiber: 3%

First five ingredients: salmon and ocean fish meal, potatoes, peas, and sweet potatoes

5 strains of probiotic microorganisms accounting for 1 million CFUs

Specification:
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • Weight: 5.1 pounds

5

Pet parents living in wetlands will surely love the sumptuous duck flavor of the Wetlands Canine Formula with Fowl in Gravy by TOTW. The formulation comes with premium-quality duck and chicken. The brand didn’t stop there, however. The Taste of the Wild canned dog food also includes smoked turkey, eggs, roasted duck, roasted quail, and ocean fish in a grain free dog food formulation to give your pet the best-tasting fowl dish it can ever have. It’s the perfect meal for water-loving hounds as well as those that are already tired of the same usual stuff of beef, chicken, or lamb.

The addition of potatoes, peas, raspberries, tomatoes, blueberries, and sweet potatoes give the Wetlands exceptional nutrient profile that only these ingredients can provide. One thing that is worth mentioning is that the Wetlands formulation doesn’t come with water. Instead, it uses the broth from its duck and chicken recipe to deliver the moisture that dogs need. It could also very well be the best Taste of the Wild puppy formulation.

Amount of calories for every serving: 372 per 13.2-oz can

Minimum amount of proteins: 8%

Minimum amount of fats: 3.5%

Maximum amount of moisture: 82%

Maximum amount of fiber: 1%

First five ingredients: duck and duck broth, chicken liver, chicken broth, and dried egg product

Specification:
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • Model: 60215
  • Weight: 30 pounds

6

Taste of the Wild With Roasted Lamb Dry Dog Food

With beef as the first ingredient, you can be sure that Taste of the Wild has prioritized flavor and protein over everything else. Just as it should be for any dog, protein is put to the forefront of Taste of The Wild’s grain-free recipes. This Southwest Canyon recipe is made to suit dogs at all life stages, with a delicious combination of flavors including beef, wild boar, lamb, and shell-free eggs. Many typical dry dog food brands have a bad habit of using fillers, complex carbohydrates, and animal by-products to pad out their recipes, but Taste of the Wild only uses the best high-quality ingredients.

The protein content of Taste of the Wild’s Southwest Canyon recipe sits at a healthy 29%, fur reliable muscular recovery, and support for any active pooch. They have also included the use of sweet potatoes as a rich source of fiber to aid healthy digestion. The addition of canola and salmon oil in this flavor-filled recipe provides omega fatty acids to maintain healthy skin and fur, which are commonly affected if your dog struggles with food sensitivities.

Amount of calories for every serving: 360 kcal/cup

Minimum amount of crude protein: 29%

Minimum amount of crude fat: 15%

Maximum amount of moisture: 10%

Maximum amount of crude fiber: 5%

First five ingredients: Beef, pea protein, garbanzo beans, lamb meal, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols)

Specification:
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • Model: 2164_28_TDB
  • Weight: 5 lb, 14 lb, 28 lb

7

Taste of the Wild Dry Dog Food With Wild Boar

Taste of the Wild’s Sierra Mountain dry dog food states the first TWO ingredients as being lamb and lamb meal. This clearly shows the amount of focus they have put into getting that meaty flavor and densely packed protein content into this delicious grain-free recipe. Not only is it chock full of tasty roasted lamb meat, but this food will also introduce a slew of nutrients, antioxidants, and probiotics into your dog’s diet. These additional ingredients are all carefully chosen to boost your dog’s immune system, as well as maintain it.

This is a recipe perfectly fit to be used with puppies all the way through to adult dogs, made to support your dog through all life stages. It is even suitable for small breed dogs up to large breed dogs. Taste if the Wild’s Sierra Mountain recipe comes with all the nutritional value and delicious taste you need to keep your dog fit and healthy. This is a food to see your dog through their entire life.

Amount of calories for every serving: 338 kcal/cup

Minimum amount of crude protein: 25%

Minimum amount of crude fat: 15%

Maximum amount of moisture: 10%

Maximum amount of crude fiber: 5%

First five ingredients: Lamb, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, egg protein, lentils

Specification:
  • Brand: Taste of the Wild
  • Model: 9569
  • Weight: 5 lb, 14 lb, 28 lb

Is Taste of The Wild a Good Dog Food?

Company Information

Taste of the Wild is a brand that strongly believes in the existence of a genetic link between dogs of the past and the pets that we have today. The emphasis is on the formulation of premium-quality, grain-free dog food that is based largely on the ancestral diet of dogs. Each formulation is designed specifically by in-house veterinarians working closely with veterinary nutritionists to come up with a near-historically accurate representation of what dogs in the past flourished on.

The brand is well-known for producing dog food that is based on the geographic diets of ancestral dogs. These include the Southwest Canyon, Pine Forest, Canyon River, Sierra Mountain, Wetlands, High Prairie, Appalachian Valley, and Pacific Stream. Their Appalachian Valley formulation is specifically geared for small breeds while the High Prairie and Pacific Stream also come with puppy formulations in addition to the all-life stages presentation.

According to various Taste of the Wild dog food reviews, the brand is under the Diamond Pet Food group. Unfortunately, this is where some pet parents have misgivings about the brand because of Diamond’s peculiar history of product recalls. It should be safe to say, however, that there were no product recalls that are specifically targeted at Taste of the Wild variants.

Why Choose This Brand?

There are many reasons why a lot of pet parents consider the Taste of the Wild as an excellent choice when it comes to dog food. Here are some of the reasons why.

High-quality novel proteins

While TOTW has variants that come with chicken and beef as their principal animal proteins, a greater number of the TOTW dog food products come with unique animal proteins such as venison, bison, and buffalo, just to name a few. This can have remarkable implications especially in dogs that are known to be allergic to chicken and beef. Because the dog’s body has not yet developed hypersensitivity to these novel or unique proteins, the likelihood of TOTW dog food causing food allergies in dogs is very minimal. The other benefit is that the formulations come with moderate to high levels of proteins that should easily translate into healthier hounds.

You may also like our guide on High Protein Dog Food.

Grain-free formulation

There is an increasing number of pet parents who realize the implications of going for grain-free dog food formulations. Unfortunately, many dog foods that are labeled as grain-free seem to forget that chicken and beef are also allergenic. As a matter of fact, chicken and beef are more allergenic than soy, corn, and wheat. Since TOTW uses unique or novel animal proteins its grain-free formulation, thus provides a much safer and more effective hypoallergenic diet for pets that may have issues with hypersensitivity reactions.

Take a look at our review of Dog Food for Allergies.

Easily digestible ingredients

Since Taste of the Wild uses only select novel animal proteins and easily digestible carbs, pet parents can feel more secure in the knowledge that their pet will be able to utilize all the nutrients found in its food. Moreover, the addition of prebiotics and probiotics help improve overall digestion, ensuring that the different nutrients such as antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fatty acids are efficiently absorbed by the dog’s small intestines for distribution throughout its body.

Exceptional nutrient profile

Taste of the Wild provides a well-balanced nutrient profile for all of its formulations. It is fully compliant with the standards set by the AAFCO for the various life stages of dogs. They do have specialty diets for small breeds as well as for puppies. Generally, however, one can always rely on the fact that Taste of the Wild always takes into consideration the proportion of nutrients that canine ancestral diets may have had. Also, by capitalizing on geographic or regional idiosyncrasies, the brand is able to fully utilize the bounties of the land. This helps ensure that the nutrient profile for each variant is as close to what the ancestral diet would look like.

Find out more about Popular Dog Food Brands.

Labrador puppies with feeding bowls

Let’s Take a Look at Ingredients

A careful analysis of the ingredients contained in each TOTW dog food reveals that it has an exceptional choice of unique or novel animal protein sources. Whereas other brands of grain-free dog food have chicken or beef in their formulations, Taste of the Wild boasts of a selection of a variety of animal proteins that are specific to each geographical region.

For instance, the High Prairie comes with real buffalo meat, lamb, bison, and venison – animals that one can readily see in prairies. The Pacific Stream comes with salmon and ocean fish while the Sierra Mountain features lamb as its principal animal protein. The Wetlands comes with duck, quail, and turkey while the Rocky Mountain variant contains venison and salmon, although its principal animal protein is chicken. The Pine Forest features venison and lamb while the Southwest Canyon variant boasts of wild boar, although the main protein is beef and lamb. The Canyon River features trout and ocean fish while the Appalachian comes with venison, lamb, and duck as its animal proteins.

The protein content of the TOTW dog food range from as low as 25% to as high as 32% for its dry food formulations. The Taste of the Wild canned dog food variants come with at least 7% proteins. It may look lower than its dry food counterpart, but it really is more protein-rich if you try to compute only for its dry matter weight. Whether it is dry or canned dog food one can always expect the protein content of the Taste of the Wild brand to be of the highest possible quality. The novel proteins also make them ideal for dogs that are already allergic to chicken and beef.

True to being a grain-free dog food the Taste of the Wild formulations never contain allergenic grains like corn, wheat, and soy. However, the brand also recognizes the importance of carbs in the health of dogs. It provides an interesting selection of healthier and more wholesome carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, lentils, and peas. Unfortunately, if you have a pet that is diabetic, you may want to steer clear of potatoes and sweet potatoes as these are very starchy foods that have high glycemic indices.

The inclusion of tomatoes, raspberries, and blueberries provides additional nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants that can provide a host of benefits for your pet.

Other ingredients that are mainstays in the TOTW list include prebiotics, probiotics, and essential fatty acids.

Read here our review of Lamb Dog Food.

Taste of the Wild Dog Food Guaranteed Analysis

To give you an idea of what to expect with Taste of the Wild’s food selection, we have put together a guaranteed analysis to show you everything there is to know about their ingredients list. For this analysis, we have randomly selected a food flavor from the above selection to analyze.

Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed

Ingredients:

Venison, Lamb Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Lentils, Pea Protein, Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Product, Duck Meal, Pea Flour, Tomato Pomace, Natural Flavor, Ocean Fish Meal, Salt, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

Caloric Content:

3,719 kcal/kg, 370 kcal/cup

Guaranteed Analysis

CRUDE PROTEIN32.0% min
CRUDE FAT18.0% min
CRUDE FIBER4.0% max
MOISTURE10.0% max
ZINC150 mg/kg min
SELENIUM0.35 mg/kg min
VITAMIN E150 IU/kg m
TAURINE0.12% min
OMEGA-6 FATTY ACIDS2.8% min
OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS0.3% min
TOTAL MICROORGANISMSNot Less Than 80,000,000 CFU/lb min

Taste of the Wild Product Lines – Differences and Which One You Should Choose

Taste of the Wild’s dog food selection is split into two major product lines: Taste of the Wild, and Taste of the Wild PREY. Each had been created with a specific diet style in mind, with each range benefitting dogs differently depending on their needs and sensitivities.

1. Taste of the Wild PREY

Their PREY range is “the pursuit of simplicity”, and contains only limited ingredient cat and dog food. This means all recipes included in the Taste of the Wild PREY range are grain-free and are also free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, as well as avoiding animal byproducts. This food consists of only four ingredients or less, with these ingredients typically being; animal protein, lentils, tomato pomace, and sunflower oil.

By eliminating grains and artificial ingredients from their PRAY dog food range TotW are basing their PREY food entirely on your dog’s natural diet. These grain-free diets are also made with no genetically modified organisms (GMO), meaning you get only the cleanest, simplest, high-quality food they can make. Simple food high-quality dog food with a high protein content for delicate stomachs and dogs with food sensitivities.

2. Standard Taste of the Wild

The typical Taste of the Wild dog food range is more complex than the PREY range, with the guarantee to dog owners that they are providing your dog with everything they will need to stay happy and healthy. They have designed every meal with your dog’s ancestry in mind, basing each food on the protein source it uses. They have used science to create the right dog food for your pup. With balanced nutrition, rich flavor, dense protein content, and plenty of amino acids and antioxidants to strengthen and protect your dog’s immune system.

3. Ancient Grains

Their standard dog food line also includes an ancient grains selection. Where many dog owners are led to believe grains are to be avoided at all costs, they can actually be beneficial to dogs without grain allergies. Their ancient grains line has recipes including grain sorghum, millet, quinoa, and chia seed. Grains are naturally high in fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and omega fatty acids. the grains selected for this food range are particularly densely packed with these benefits. So if your dog can handle grain, it is well worth a try.

Which Do I Choose?

That is entirely dependant on the individual dog. If your dog is highly sensitive to allergens in their food, it may be best to stick with the Taste of the Wild grain-free PREY range, limiting the possible allergens to only 4 ingredients. If your dog still reacts, this will at least help you to narrow how what is causing the reaction. If you have a pooch with an iron stomach that has never experienced any problems with their food, then the ancient grains range carries many benefits to your dog’s over health that are well worth considering. However, if you are wanting to go with the classic dog food, there is absolutely nothing wrong with going for the classic Taste of The Wild dry dog food, or even their wet dog foods if you’ve got yourself a fussy eater.

Taste of the Wild Dog Food Recall History

There has been a single case of major recall in the history of Taste of the Wild. In May 2012, several thousand units of Taste of the Wild were recalled due to positive test results for salmonella. Dozens of humans, as well as an undisclosed number of pets, fell ill during the multi-state salmonella outbreak which had been caused by various brands of pet foods contaminated with the virus. All dog food recalls at this time had been manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods in one of their large pet food manufacturing facilities.

My Pet Needs That:

  • Uses premium quality animal proteins as the first ingredient
  • Utilizes only real, high-quality ingredients in all of its formulations
  • Uses real broth instead of plain water in many of its Taste of the Wild canned dog food preparations
  • Always includes wholesome carbs like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and peas
  • Includes tomatoes, raspberries, and blueberries as mainstay providers of antioxidants
  • Doesn’t contain corn, wheat, soy, or any other allergenic grains
  • Highly digestible ingredients
  • Includes prebiotics and probiotics in its dry grain-free dog food formulation
  • Less expensive than other specialty dog food brands

My Pet Doesn’t Need That:

  • May be pricier than other brands
  • A subsidiary of Diamond Pet Foods which has a significant product recall history

 

Taste of the Wild is an exceptional brand of dog food that boasts of using unique and novel animal proteins as its main ingredient. It provides well-balanced nutrition for all dog breeds and comes in a remarkably delicious, nutrient-rich, and grain-free dog food formulation.

Warning: When buying online, always ensure that you are purchasing a legitimate product, as there are many companies that will sell imitation products that can be easily mistaken for the real thing.

Taste of The Wild Dog Food FAQs

Taste of the Wild is a proud family business, with all of their food being made in the USA. They choose their ingredients from carefully selected reliable, sustainable sources both locally and around the globe. Taste of the Wild has five state-of-the-art facilities located throughout the US. Two of their manufacturing facilities are based in California, with one each being in South Carolina, Arkansas, and Missouri.

Taste of the Wild pride themselves on being a grain-free brand with only a few grain-inclusive options. The majority of their pet food is formulated to provide your cat or dog with only the very best nutrition to keep them happy and healthy. They are careful to provide that nutrition in the form of fruits and vegetables such as peas, sweet potatoes, blueberries, tomatoes, raspberries, and dried chicory root. As well as including high-quality, well-rounded protein like lamb, venison, salmon, fowl, boar, and bison.

Yes. Taste of the Wild can be fed to dogs anywhere past the 6-week mark all the way through to adulthood. Taste of the Wild even provides a clear guide with each bag or can of food to show you how much to give to your pooch at each stage in their life. And with such a carefully selected formula for the ideal nutrition, it would be good for any puppy.

Yes. Taste of the Wild has created a balanced grain-free diet that is ideally suited to senior dogs. Senior dogs have a tendency to struggle more with their digestive system and weight control in old age. Some breeds in particular are more pre-disposed to obesity in their old age than others. Taste of the Wild has reduced the number of needless fat and carbohydrates that are the culprit in these instances. However, you should always monitor your senior dog’s weight to be safe and speak with your veterinarian for additional advice if you feel you need it.

Absolutely, in fact, Taste of the Wild food is suitable for all sizes of dog breed. They are extremely open about their formulas meeting the nutrition levels and starts established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages. This ranges from small dog breeds to large dog breeds, providing the appropriate nutrition for all.

Eloise Hands
Eloise is the owner of a Malamute/Akita cross, a first-time mum, and an animal enthusiast from England. She comes from a family which has never gone a day without a pet (or 3!), and over the years has learned all the best tips and tricks to raising a difficult pet. A knowledge that she has put to good use, to help others navigate the limitless world of pet care.
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