Taste of the Wild is a pet food brand owned by Diamond Pet Foods, which has its headquarters in Meta, Missouri. The brand’s mission is to create nutrient-packed, affordable cat and dog food that mimics their wild ancestor’s diet. Taste of the Wild is especially well-known for using less common proteins in its formulas, like bison, venison, and roasted duck.
If you’d like the brief version of this review, our overall verdict is that Taste of the Wild is a decent, highly-reviewed option for those who want something different from more standard types of dog food at an affordable price. But we still have our concerns about the brand—in particular, its history of lawsuits. In this post, we’ll share all there is to know about Taste of the Wild dog food.
At a Glance: The Best Taste of the Wild Dog Food Recipes:
Taste of the Wild Dog Food Reviewed
Here, we’ll get into the detailed Taste of the Wild dog food review. Is Taste of the Wild a trustworthy brand? Who makes Taste of the Wild food? Which recipes are the most popular? Read on to find out more.
Who Makes Taste of the Wild Dog Food and Where Is It Produced?
Diamond Pet Foods, which is based in Meta, Missouri, makes Taste of the Wild pet food. Diamond Pet Foods is a family-owned company that, according to its website, manufactures all its pet food in the United States. Its facilities are located in South Carolina, California, Arkansas, and Kansas.
However, some of the ingredients Diamond Pet Foods uses are sourced from outside the US, including folic acid and taurine from China due to the lack of availability elsewhere. Other countries Diamond Pet Foods sources ingredients from include Belgium, France, and Canada.
Which Types of Dog Is Taste of the Wild Best Suited For?
Taste of the Wild produce formulas suitable for puppies, adult dogs, senior dogs, and pregnant or nursing mothers, so it’s fine for dogs of all ages. Due to Taste of the Wild’s inclusion of less common protein sources in its formulas (venison, bison, etc.), it doesn’t have a huge selection of flavors to pick from in comparison to other brands that use more standard proteins.
That said, you’ll certainly get more interesting and unique flavors from Taste of the Wild, so if your dog has exotic tastes, this may be the perfect brand for them.
Which Types of Dogs May Do Better With a Different Brand?
If your dog eats grain-inclusive foods, Taste of the Wild doesn’t have the best selection on offer as most of their foods are grain-free. As per Taste of the Wild’s website, there are only four grain-inclusive options on offer. Also, Taste of the Wild’s protein options may be a little too exotic for picky dogs or those that prefer more standard recipes.
Taste of the Wild offers some of its adult formulas as suitable for senior dogs, but please speak to your vet about this, as some senior dogs need specialized diets. The same goes for if your dog has a health issue that may require a special diet. For example, for dogs with sensitive stomachs, you may want to check out Hill’s Science’s Sensitive Stomach & Skin recipe.
Hill’s Science offers a variety of recipes for different types of dogs, like size-specific formulas and formulas targeting different areas of health, like digestive issues, weight control, and mobility.
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
Now, we’ll take a close look at Taste of the Wild’s key ingredients and share controversial ingredients some of their recipes contain.
Protein Sources and Chicken Meal
Protein sources that Taste of the Wild uses are venison, Angus beef, fowl, bison, wild boar, fish, and lamb. These proteins make up the primary ingredient of each recipe. Taste of the Wild uses chicken meal and chicken fat in some of its recipes, so be careful if your dog has poultry allergies or sensitivities.
Taste of the Wild recipes are infused with K9 Strain Probiotics, which are added post-cooking to ensure that the cooking process does not kill them off. Probiotics support your dog’s immune system and digestive system, so these added probiotics are beneficial.
We checked out Taste of the Wild’s most popular recipe, the High Prairie Grain-Free Recipe with roasted bison and roasted venison to see if we could spot any controversial ingredients. As mentioned above, chicken meal and chicken fat can cause allergies in some dogs, and both were present in this recipe.
Controversial ingredients also present were tomato pomace, potato protein, pea protein, and sodium selenite. Tomato pomace has been subject to controversy because it contains tomatine, which is a potentially harmful substance. That said, according to PetMD, unless your dog eats a seriously large amount of tomatine—which is unlikely—it’s doubtful that it will cause serious harm.
Peas and potatoes are controversial because the FDA has linked them to a potentially higher chance of developing canine heart disease. The research into the potential link between grain-free diets and heart disease is currently ongoing.
Taste of the Wild was listed by the FDA as one of 16 brands with possible links to the disease—just something to be aware of, but nothing has been proven as of yet and there have been no recalls of Taste of the Wild products on this basis.
Finally, sodium selenite is controversial because some worry about the potential for toxic effects if too much is added to dog foods.
A Quick Look at Taste of the Wild Food
Taste of the Wild has been recalled only once, in 2012, due to testing positive for salmonella. It has also been the subject of other lawsuits.
A lawsuit was filed in 2019 for the alleged presence of arsenic, lead, pesticide, and other toxic materials. Another was filed in 2018 for the presence of heavy metals, pesticides, acrylamide, and bisphenol A (BPA) in Taste of the Wild Foods.
A claim has also been made against Diamond Pet Foods for false advertising. Allegedly, tests found grain in foods labeled “grain-free”. A class action settlement agreement was made.
Reviews of the 3 Best Taste of the Wild Dog Food Recipes
The below reviews are on three of Taste of the Wild’s bestselling dog foods.
1. High Prairie Roasted Bison and Roasted Venison
Taste of the Wild’s High Prairie formula is its most popular dry dog food. It’s made with real meat and contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 to support healthy skin and coat, probiotic fiber in the form of dried chicory root, and antioxidants from fruits and vegetables including sweet potatoes, blueberries, and raspberries. This recipe also contains vitamin E and added probiotics to support digestive health.
It contains a minimum of 32% protein, 18% fat, and 4% fiber. According to some happy customers, this recipe has helped their dogs with health issues like allergies and some have noticed that their dogs have become less smelly since starting on it. It also seems that many dogs love eating this food and can’t wait for dinner time.
On the other hand, some users weren’t happy with the product because their dogs didn’t like the flavor, though this is pretty normal. Others have claimed that their dogs ended up with runny poop as a result of eating this food, so it may not sit well with every dog. It’s important to check the ingredients because if your dog has an allergy to poultry, this will not be the best choice for them due to the use of chicken meal.
2. Pacific Stream Grain-Free Recipe with Smoked Salmon
Another very popular Taste of the Wild recipe is this grain-free recipe with smoked salmon for dogs with fishier tastes. According to the label, sustainably-sourced smoked salmon is the main ingredient, and the recipe is egg-free and contains no chicken meat, chicken meal, or chicken fat, so it may be a better option for dogs with allergies.
Like other Taste of the Wild products, the smoked salmon recipe contains antioxidants from fruit and vegetables and probiotics to aid digestion. The protein level is 25% minimum, the fiber level is 15%, and the fat level is 3%.
Some users have been feeding this recipe for several years and have had positive experiences, with some commenters mentioning shiny coats and teeth and the recipe’s allergy friendliness as two top benefits. In terms of negative reviews, some have found the packaging difficult to close and some dogs simply weren’t keen on the flavor, but this can happen with any dog food you try for the first time.
3. Ancient Stream with Ancient Grains with Smoked Salmon
This protein-rich (30% minimum) formula is made with smoked salmon as the main ingredient and contains ancient grains like quinoa, chia seeds, sorghum, and millet, which are high in protein and fiber. Antioxidants come in the form of these grains and a variety of fruit and vegetables like blueberries, tomatoes, and raspberries. Probiotics are added.
This recipe contains 15% minimum fat and 3% minimum fiber. Some users have found this recipe to be beneficial for their dogs with digestive skin issues, whereas others didn’t find it suitable for their dogs, citing loose stools. This can happen when changing dogs over to a new recipe, however, so make sure to transition dogs gradually onto new foods.
What Other Users Are Saying
Checking out what others are saying is the best way for us to get a better insight into how good a product actually is. The Taste of the Wild recipes we’ve explored have, by and large, gotten very positive feedback from users and reviewers.
However, not every user is going to have a good experience—some dogs simply don’t like certain flavors and some foods just aren’t suited to some dogs. Every time you try out a new dog food recipe, you run the risk of your dogs not being keen on it or it not sitting well with them. If your dog has a specific health issue, please speak to your vet before switching their food.
Overall, we decided to give Taste of the Wild dog food a score of 4/5 stars. We love Taste of the Wild’s emphasis on creating recipes that mimic what a dog would eat in nature and its commitment to using quality, natural ingredients in its foods.
We knocked off one star for Taste of the Wild’s recall history and history of lawsuits, but that doesn’t erase the fact that this is an incredibly popular brand with a lot of happy customers. If your dog is fed up with more traditional dog foods, Taste of the Wild may be well worth a try. Just remember to transition gradually and consult your vet before changing foods if your dog has health issues.