Monday, August 11, 2008

REVIEW: Rachael Ray Nutrish for Pets

Rachael Ray Nutrish for Pets
Where to Find:
Rachael Ray

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A few weeks ago we received a big box of the brand new dog food and treats, Rachael Ray Nutrish for Pets. I was very excited when I learned that Rachael (love her!) was launching a pet food line and even more excited to learn that it is charity driven! A portion of the proceeds from every bag sold will go to Rachael's Rescue and help pets in need.

As you might guess, this review box arrived to a very eager crowd just waiting to test it out. Here we have 2 of the infamous Lapdog Creations staffers, Lola and Teutul checking out the goods...


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The dog food comes in two varities, Beef & Brown Rice and Chicken & Veggies. While the quality is not as high as I would like to see (especially with Rachael's name on it), it is not awful either. For a supermarket store variety, this is probably one of the better ones available. Meat is the first ingredient in both varities, which is great to see, however both also contain corn and soy which are not so good. Corn meal is near the top of the ingredient list and corn is commonly associated to allergies in dogs, plus many dogs often have difficulty digesting it. Soybean meal is also near the top and is used as a grain filler (despite Rachael's website boasting "no fillers"), whereas higher quality foods do not use soy products. Animal fat is also near the top and throws up yet another red flag. When I looked this up on Dog Food Project, I found this disturbning statement: "Note that the animal source is not specified and is not required to originate from "slaughtered" animals. The rendered animals can be obtained from any source, so there is no control over quality or contamination. Any kind of animal can be included: "4-D animals" (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), goats, pigs, horses, rats, misc. roadkill, animals euthanized at shelters, restaurant and supermarket refuse and so on." Doesn't sound very appetizing, does it?

However, as stated when compared to other supermarket dog foods, this is definitely an above average kibble. For those who don't read the ingredients or shop for a higher end kibble for their pets, this would certainly be a step up.

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Isaboo's Booscotti (Peanut Butter & Bacon flavors) and Isaboo's Grill Bites (Bacony Burger & Beefy Burger flavors) are both typical of many treats found in Petco and the like. They are not all natural or organic, as many of the new treats are these days, and do include ingredients such as corn, soy and high fructose corn syrup. Since they're only an occassional treat, I can live with giving my dogs some here and there. All 4 Lapdog testers have tried them and seemed to enjoy the taste. I would like to see the Booscotti come in a larger size though, as I was surprised at the small round shape given the name!

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I love Rachael and love what she is trying to do to raise awareness and funds for homeless pets, as well as to educate the public on the Pit Bull breed - love Isaboo! While I personally wish she made a higher quality food such as Chicken Soup for the Dog or Wellness, I understand the mass marketing ability of Nutrish for Pets. While it will not be the kibble of choice for myself and my dogs, it is not awful either.

The winner of the Lapdog Creations Pampered Paw Gift Basket from a previous review was drawn via random number generator... Congratulations Paula! Will you please email me your snail mail addy? For those of you who did not win, you can still order your special LC gift here. Enter coupon code LDCG073108 and not only will you get the basket for the special $22 price, but you will save an additional 5% discount as well!

27 comments:

Anita said...

Great review! I agree that I love what she is trying to do about awareness... but I do wish it was higher quality. Good info there! :)

Channon said...

In all the commotion of late, I don't think I've mentioned that I think Sissy has a corn allergy. Scratch, scratch, in addition to her anal gland issues, so we won't be trying RR's stuff. Too bad...

dogquilter said...

Thanks for doing the review. I rarely buy grocery treats preferring the higher quality too but it's good to know for those who do. I never totally realized how gross some of the processing was...yuck but thanks for the info.

Paula said...

Whoo Hoo! Thank so much Nichole and furry crew!
How exciting!

By the way I loved the review you did on the RR's Nutrish for Pets
I was wondering about that new food and was amazed to read about the 4 D's info too. Whoa I had no idea.
I am glad she is making a decent store brand food and is trying to make a good effort for pet awareness and rescue.
I also would have liked to seen some better ingredients in the kibble.
She is still new to the game so maybe she will in the future!
would like to post a link to this review on the next DoT post if that is okay?

Kenyetta said...

Great Review!
Congrats to Paula and Elisa!

Father of the Fourth said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your post. It was very informative...I currently feed my dogs Nutro Ultra and read that it's not so great any more. What do you feed your dogs?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the review! My husband and I have 2 ex-racing greyhounds, and they do have sensitive stomachs and can't eat just anything...I guess we'll have to pass on the food :( hopefully Rachael work on the quality in the future.

Anonymous said...

I had my German Shepherd puppy on Wellness food, she had loose stools and was very thin. I tried Chicken Soup for the Puppy Lovers Soul and her situation did not improve- she was underweight and unhealthy-looking. We switched to Rachel Ray, and not only did her loose stools disappear, she gained weight, and when I took her to the vet, his first remark was 'Oh! She looks SO much better!' This food rocks.

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with this review. I was excited to hear that RR was making a dog food until I looked at the ingredients. I was very disappointed and very surprised--it is not quality food and I'm surprised she allowed her name on it. It's practically grocery store food. My dog's allergic to corn and no way would I give her this food. I makes me think that RR's doing this just to make more money, as a marketing scheme, and that she wasn't really involved in the production of this line, or if she was, she can't know much about dogs and dog health. Anyhow, I'm sorely disappointed and wouldn't recommend it. I'm surprised the one person here said their dog got healthier on it--maybe b/c it's high in fat.

Nancy said...

My Sophie will continue to eat Wellness, thank you very much. This review saved us some time, effort and money.

I hope this isn't inappropriate. In my Etsy shop I'm donating 100% of the proceeds on certain (clearly marked) listings to the effort to create an off-leash dog park in South Kingstown, RI. It's a wonderful project that's long overdue. Check out my shop if you care to: bellflowerdesigns.com

Anonymous said...

I checked out this review right before I was planning to go to the store to consider Nutrish for my German Shepherds. Not now. They are on Canidae. Given the expense, I was trying to find a quality alternative and assumed that given Rachel's love for dogs she would put her name on a high quality product. I will continue to give up stuff for me to be able to afford high quality food for my dogs.

sueb said...

I am really surprised that Rachael Ray would put her name on a dogfood of this poor quality. I did buy this for my dog, Bella, but no longer. I need to feel secure in knowing that no 4D animals are in the food I give my pet.

Anonymous said...

Just bought Nutrish for my Maltese and Yorkie...so far they've licked off the wet food and spit out the pellets. Has this happened to anyone else. Maybe it just take some getting used to. Will keep you posted

Misty said...

This is a great review. This is also an amazing dog food. I am impressed with the quality, and the chicken and veggies one is perfect for my papillion. He is highly allergic to beef, he has convulsions when beef is ingested, and I was happy when I saw no beef whatsoever in the Chicken one. Plus the food made his breath problem go away.

Sheryl said...

Folks, I don't know what is in Rachael's dog food but it is the ONLY dog food I've been able to find that my 6 year old mini pinscher will actually eat!!! Thank you Rachael!!!

kadacozarh said...

My dog had been having kins trouble and I had put him on Iams and he was doing better-then I saw the Nutrish and it was fairly pricey so I figured it was good too. He liked it but after going through about 40 lbs of it his skin was bad again. This time I switched him to Purina One and I have never seen him have such a glorious coat. He is 5 years old and his coat is softer and shinier than it has EVER been. I highly recommend Purina One.

Anonymous said...

I have a Golden retriever 1 yr. old. I have bought my first bag of Nutrish. My dog ate it with no problem. I have heard that a dog food that is well digested will make a dog have less "Poop" piles in the yard. I have noticed less waste in the yard, perfect form. I plan to cont. to buy for now. Will have to wait and see if any itching or skin problems. I have bought the pure chicken dog foods, it took a while for stools to become formed. Will see.

Suzanna said...

This food looks better than most "grocery store" foods. There is a large percentage of dog owners that care a lot about thier dogs but don't feel that the dog should eat better than the owner. My dog ate up the sample of Nutrish and we are going to try it for him again. Also, according to RR website all of the proceeds from this food go to charity so if Ray is doing it to make money that's where the money is going.

I don't see anything wrong with Ray producing a dog food that is made to be a superior mass merchandiser quality - there is a niche for it and it does a great job of filling it.

Carol said...

I have had puppies that take to RR food better then my high end food. I think its great and would buy it again. The only concern I now have, is where its stated on here that the meat comes from "4D animals" I am surprised nor impressed at that.For the prices the grocery stores sell RR I would expect it to not include 4D animals.I am glad she is producing it for a great cause and compliment her for that but hope in the future she is more picky about the types of meat she uses.Great review and glad to see the truth

Anonymous said...

As someone who is considering the RAW diet for my dogs, I read your review about RR's Nutrish with interest, and an awareness of the shortcomings of commercial dog foods, canned and dry. It would seem that "natural" and "holistic" are simply marketing tags to get the gullible public to part with more of their dollars for less product. (A 4# bag of Nutro Holistic Dog Food goes for $11+, for example.)

Bottom line: There still is no commercially prepared all-natural, healthy dog food. For an idea of proper canine diet, I would recommend reading "Give Your Dog A Bone" by Dr. Ian Billingsley, DVM. It's a real eye-opener.

Anonymous said...

My wife and I have 3 retired greyhounds and been using the beef and brown rice for a month now. All three of them loves it, have no issues, have good poo and its helping a good cause. We wish it came in bigger bags and will continue on using it.

Anonymous said...

I have two chi mixes and both were under weight with really loose stool. I bought Rachael Ray's food on a whim and they both have gained weight, have firm stool and their coats are have a great shine now. Prior to this switch we had been giving them kirkland brand canned food mixed with rice, steamed veggies and so boiled ground beef. I am happy with the results of the Nutrish food and think I will stick with it for a good long time.

Anonymous said...

I have been feeding my lab mix Nutrish for the past year. She chewed her feet constantly before and someone suggested I try a new food. Since she has been eating Nutrish, she has had no probelms with allergies at all. We have bought a few different brands throughout the year simply due to the convenience. Every time her allergies started up again. We are back and sticking to it. Thanks RR -M & J

Rocky said...

i think nutrish is bad for my dogs . i have 8 dogs.i dont like the 4d stuff and my dogs scratch all the time.so bad it wakes me up in the night.i thought rachael would look after our dogs but i can see she is just like the rest.when i see isiboo i thought she would take care of our dogs.i am glad i read the reviews.shame on you rachel..take pride run your company like your house hold

Dianne said...

I purchased RR dog food and my dog loves it and so I told a friend.Her dog loves it, too.
When I read these reviews, I called Ainsworth, the manufacturers and asked about the ingredients and was told that no
4D meats are used and ingredients are USDA inspected and approved. I do not know who posted the wrong info but I believe Rachel's people.
My dog's coat looks shiny, she does not scratch, and still likes the food.

genevil said...

It's important to note that, while dogs evolved from wolves, they are not wolves anymore. Lately it seems like everyone is on a kick about giving their dogs an all meat (or very nearly all meat) diet, but dogs evolved alongside humans for over 30,000 years so they've actually evolved to thrive on a diet that mirrors our own. Long story short, unless your dog has a specific allergy, there's no need to avoid ingredients like corn and soy. Just like with a good human diet, variety is the key. I think this looks like a great food and I think I'm going to be switching my dog to it, along with supplementing his diet with some of the great pet recipes on Rachel's website.

Tracy said...

Wish me luck. I bought the Nutrish Healthy Weight today. I have one baby who is over weight and the other is a picky. So far they both love it and have not had any issues that I read about in the reviews on other sites. I don't know if they are Rachel haters or just have sensitive dogs. I am now a bit worried though about the negative reviews. I will keep an eye out for any allergic reactions or loose stool. I just want happy healthy little guys.