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Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food Reviews: Is It Good For Dogs?

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Last Updated: May 2, 2024 | 8 min read | Leave a Comment

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Beagle next to bag of Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food kibble on the ground.

Rachael Ray Nutrish is a premium brand of dog food made by celebrity chef Rachael Ray. Ray and her team behind Nutrish have been serving tasty meals to pets since 2008. Recipes are based on real meals Ray prepared for her Pitbull Isaboo. There is much more to a brand than the name or face on the label, and many pet owners wonder if Rachael Ray dog food is a good pick for their pets.

Is Rachael Ray good for dogs? Is it healthy? And is it worth the price? Many answers depend on your pup’s taste preference, dietary needs, and budget. We look at recipe variety, ingredients, nutritional analysis, and more to help you decide if this brand is a good match for your fur baby.

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Rachael Ray Dog Food Review

Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food logo

Product Name: Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog Food

Product Description: Rachael Ray Nutrish is a line of natural, premium wet and dry dog food.

Summary

Rachael Ray Nutrish makes premium dog food from all-natural ingredients. Food is crafted and developed by celebrity chef Rachael Ray and a team of veterinary nutritional experts. We think their recipes are well-formulated and nutritious, though the brand only makes traditional wet and dry foods. 

Our team determines our overall rating of dog food based on several factors, including nutritional value, quality of ingredients, variety, pricing, customer service and reputation, customer reviews, and more.

 

 

 

 

Overall Score

3.5

Pros

  • All-natural ingredients.
  • No fillers.
  • Named animal proteins. 
  • Easy to digest.
  • Grain-free and grain-inclusive options. 
  • Small breed and puppy formulas. 
  • High protein options.
  • Wet and dry food selections. 
  • Some products made in the USA.
  • No recalls on dog food. 
  • The brand also makes cat food. 

Cons

  • Wet food is made in Thailand. 
  • No fresh meal options. 
  • Higher price than some other commercial options. 
  • Recipes include some controversial ingredients like corn.
  • No veterinary diet options.  

Key Features

  • Dry foods are all made in the United States
  • Whole ingredients
  • Wet and dry varieties
  • Good variety of recipes
  • Widely available

Rachael Ray Dog Food Product Lines

The brand offers several varieties of wet and dry dog foods. Ray partnered with pet nutrition experts to develop all recipes based on meals she has made in her own kitchen. Selections include grain-inclusive and grain-free recipes. Rachael Ray also makes puppy-specific chow and formulas for smaller breeds, soft meat treats, and dog chews.

Dry Dog Food Lines

Rachael Ray Nutrish dry kibble options.

The brand offers three lines of dry food, with 14 different products.

  1. Nutrish – The original Nutrish line offers nutritious selections formulated from natural food ingredients. Nutrish traditional kibble uses real animal proteins, vegetables, and healthy grains. This line includes nutrition formulated for puppies, small breed, zero-grain, limited ingredient, and high protein recipes.
  2. Nutrish Big Life – The Big Life product line formula is for breeds over 30 pounds. The Big Life line includes chicken or beef kibble, veggies, healthy grains, and the brand’s Nourish Bites. Nourish Bites are tender meaty pieces mixed in with crunchy kibble.
  3. Nutrish Dish – This line of crunchy kibble is made from fresh protein and includes real fruits and veggies owners can see. These kibbles contain no fillers or added corn, wheat, soy, or grain.

Wet Dog Food Lines

Rachael Ray Nutrish wet food options.

Nutrish offers three lines of wet food with 12 products to select from.

  1. Premium Pate – Smooth pates with real meat and vegetables and no fillers.
  2. Wet Food Tubs – Tasty, premium wet food recipes using animal proteins, veggies, and, in some cases, grains.
  3. Chunks and Gravy – Premium wet food formulas in savory gravy. This line features the brand’s Whole Health blend, which supports body, mind, and energy.

Dog Treats

Rachael Ray Nutrish treat options.

Nutrish offers three doggy treat options. Soft meat treats come in Chicken, Bison, and Turkey favorites. Hard chews come in Beef and Chicken varieties, including peanut butter and bacon. Soup Bones are long-lasting chews that come in several varieties.

Is Rachael Ray Good?

Overall, Rachael Ray makes good quality pet food, but this depends on your pup’s needs, personal experience, and who you ask. Dogs in different stages of life have varying nutritional needs, so what is best for one pup may not be suitable for another. The brand gets consistently high reviews among customers. That said, some pet owners have had bad experiences, and owners may be concerned about some ingredients in specific product varieties.

Meat meals, for example, are often cast in a bad light but are not necessarily a lower quality ingredient. Other pet owners may worry about grains and wheat gluten. We explain more about the specific ingredients Rachael Ray uses below.

Ingredient Analysis

Below, we discuss the ingredients used in Rachael Ray’s dog food products. Many contain chicken, and some contain eggs, soy, wheat flour, or gluten, which may not be a good fit for pups with specific dietary allergies. However, not all recipes contain these, and limited ingredient options are available.

Whole Ingredients

The brand uses various whole-food ingredients, starting with animal proteins. These include beef, chicken, bison, lamb, salmon, turkey, and venison. Produce contains apples, blueberries, carrots, green beans, spinach, tomatoes, peas, and pumpkins. Fats include chia seeds, chicken fat, fish oil, poultry fat, sunflower oil, and whole flaxseed. Recipes use high-quality, recognizable, and named ingredients with no unnecessary additives like artificial colors or preservatives.

Meat Meal

Meat meals are often described as lower quality or lesser than fresh or whole meats. This reasoning is somewhat due to the push for human-grade pet nutrition options entering the market. However, a meat meal is not always, or even usually, a bad ingredient.

Many meat meals use high-quality meats and are a nutritious, concentrated protein source. Meat meals are easier to digest than whole proteins. This preparation makes the protein easier to incorporate into dry kibbles. On the other hand, meat by-product meals are only sometimes high quality. They can include lower-quality animal parts like feathers and cartilage that offer little to no nutritional value. Other meat meals use bones, organ meats, and tissues. These meals are high in protein and nutrients, even more so than fresh muscle meats.

Nutrish only uses named meat and fish meals in their recipes, no by-product meals.

Grains

Some dogs need grain-free diets, but not all. Grains are often touted as fillers, but this is not the case in higher-quality foods. Grains like rice and barley add fiber to a canine’s diet to aid in digestive function and bowel regularity.

Other Controversial Ingredients

  • Corn: Corn has a reputation as a pet food filler but is not always used that way. Corn offers fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, linoleic acid, and fiber to a dog’s diet. High corn content can affect digestibility, but corn is not a bad ingredient in moderation. It’s, however, an ingredient some dogs may be allergic to.
  • Corn Protein Concentrate: Corn protein is a good source of essential amino acids and dietary fiber. It is easy to digest and can boost healthy skin and coat.
  • Soybean Meal, Flour, and Grits: Soy is often described as a filler or lower-quality ingredient in pet foods. However, soy offers essential amino acids, high in protein, and low in fat. It is, however, another top culprit for dietary allergies.
  • Wheat and Wheat Gluten: Some pups are allergic or sensitive to wheat. However, for those who are not, it’s a healthy source of protein and carbohydrates as long it is not used as a filler.
  • Canola Meal: Canola meal is a vegetable protein. It boosts protein content and adds essential amino acids.

Rachael Ray Nutrish provides a breakdown of every ingredient on its website and explains its role in the recipes. We appreciate this feature as it offers some explanation and transparency into what goes into the food and why.

Nutritional Analysis & Pricing

All of Rachael Ray’s dog food recipes offer complete and balanced nutrition according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines. Recipes are balanced for the life stage and age listed on the packaging. Recipes include healthy ingredients such as:

  • Easy to digest protein and fiber
  • Named animal meats
  • Omega fatty acids from fish oil and flaxseed to support skin and coat health
  • Essential amino acids like L-carnitine (to support healthy weight and metabolism), taurine (for the immune system and heart health), and glycine to support cellular health
  • Nutrient and vitamin blends to support overall health, growth, and development

Below is a brief nutritional analysis of some of Rachael Ray Nutrish’s most popular dry food recipes. Dry products are made in the U.S., though it is not specified where.

RecipeFirst Five IngredientsCrude Protein (Min)Crude Fat (Min)Crude Fiber (Max)Kcal/cupPrice
Real Beef, Pea & Brown RiceBeef, Beef Meal, Soybean Meal, Whole Corn, Grain Sorghum25%13%4%365 $47.68 ($1.19 / lb) (40-lb bag)
Limited Ingredient Lamb & Brown RiceLamb Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Peas, Pearled Barley20%13%4%325 $25.25 ($1.80 / lb) (14-lb bag)
Bright PuppyChicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Soybean Meal, Whole Corn28%16%5%390 $23.58 ($1.68 / lb) (14-lb bag)
Little BitesChicken, Chicken Meal, Soybean Meal, Whole Corn, Grain Sorghum26%16%4%391 $23.58 ($1.68 / lb) (14-lb bag)
Peak Protein Open Prairie with Beef, Venison & LambBeef, Chicken Meal, Whole Dried Potato, Natural Pork Flavor, Tapioca30%15%5%335 Check Amazon for availability (12-lb bag)
Zero Grain Salmon & Sweet PotatoSalmon, Chicken Meal, Sweet Potato, Turkey Meal, Pea Starch26%14%5%355 $24.73 ($2.15 / Pound) (11.5-lb bag)
Big Life Chicken, Veggies & BarleyChicken, Chicken Meal, Soybean Meal, Dried Peas, Ground Whole Corn25%12%5%355 $63.98 ($1.60 / lb) (40-lb bag)
Dish Beef & Brown Rice with Veggie & Fruit BlendBeef, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Brewers Rice, Peas26%14%4%350 $28.89 ($2.51 / oz) (11.5-lb)

The following chart shows the nutritional analysis of several popular wet meal formulas. Nutrish wet food is produced in Thailand.

RecipeFirst Five IngredientsCrude Protein (Min)Crude Fat (Min)Crude Fiber (Max)CaloriesPrice
Chunks In Gravy Real Chicken & VeggiesChicken Broth, Chicken, Liver, Soy Protein Concentrate, Pumpkin, Peas8%5%1.5%365 Kcal/can $27.87 ($2.86 / lb) (12/13 oz cans)
Premium Pate Real Beef & PumpkinBeef, Beef Broth, Pumpkin, Beef Liver, Apples7%5%2%400 Kcal/cup $25.70 ($2.64 / lb) (12/13 oz cans)
Chicken Paw Pie TubChicken Broth, Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Egg White9%5%2%239 kcal/80z.tub $9.99 ($2.50 / lb) (8/8 oz tubs)

Rachael Ray Dog Food Recalls

Nutrish dog food has not had any recalls since its start in 2008. The cat food line was recalled in 2015 due to high levels of Vitamin D, affecting several cat food varieties.

Rachael Ray Worth The Money?

Nutrish’s prices are very reasonable. Though more costly than some other brands, the high-quality ingredients and variety stand out. Prices fluctuate based on the retailer and recipe, but they are very affordable overall. They are much lower than many human-grade, raw, and fresh options, offering top taste and nutrition. You get a lot of nutrition for the price, and the Nutrish recipes are superior to many budget grocery store options.

Another thing that stands out as a big positive is the company’s dedication to helping needy animals. A portion of every sale goes to the Rachael Ray Foundation, which donates that money to help provide medical care, supplies, and other necessities to needy dogs and cats. We would like to see a large breed and senior formula to better suit the needs of all ages and breed sizes.

My Personal Experience With Rachael Ray Dog Food

Dog eating wet Rachael Ray Nutrish Dog food.
My pup Falkor as he is chowing down on his favorite Nutrish recipe.

As a huge cooking show enthusiast, I wanted to try the Nutrish brand for my pets, mainly due to being a Rachael Ray fan. Upon researching the recipes, I found that the Little Bites recipe was a great option to give to my smaller breed dogs. I am very concerned about kibble that is too large or hard as it can cause injury to her much tinier teeth and gums.

My Chihuahua, Cookie, a five-pounder at full growth, needed small breed formulas due to her delicate teeth. The size and texture were perfect for her. I appreciated the brown rice and fiber, which helped keep her bowel movements regular. She also really liked the taste.

My other pup, Falkor, is a Poodle Beagle mix under 20 pounds and a slightly picky eater. He enjoys this small-breed kibble and has no trouble fitting it in his more petite mouth or chewing through it. We have tried the wet foods, too, and he enjoys the wet food tub recipes, particularly the Chicken Paw Pie. They give him plenty of meat taste, flavorful broth, and real veggies. He also loves the Soup Bones treats but eats them quickly, so I can only give him a small piece at a time.

Healthy Dog Treat Options

Dog treats are just as important as healthy food. Most dogs like meaty treat options, but there are many more varieties to consider. If you are looking for meat-free options, check out our review of the top vegan dog treats.

Ultimately, Rachael Ray’s is worth considering due to its ingredient quality, recipe selection, and brand values. All in all, the choice comes down to your pup’s dietary preferences and needs. If you are considering adding fresh foods to your dog’s bowl, learn more in our reviews of the best human-grade dog foods. These include fresh, dry, canned, and treat options.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

Danielle is a pet owner with over 30 years of experience. She has worked as a professional researcher for many years and is dedicated to providing the best research and information to help pet owners. Danielle spends countless hours researching the latest pet care, health, nutrition, and training developments. Danielle has tested and researched over 100 brands of dog food and counting. She works alongside a professional and experienced team to bring the best, most accurate, and up-to-date information to our readers.

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The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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