Today we’re reviewing Simply Nourish dog food to help you decide whether or not it’s a good choice when it comes to feeding your beloved pup.
History & Background
Simply Nourish is a line of dog food sold exclusively by PetSmart and promises wholesome, healthy ingredients for your canine.
PetSmart claims that Simply Nourish uses natural ingredients only, avoiding harmful additives that can commonly be found in other dog foods. They pride themselves on not using artificial dyes or additives at all.
Simply Nourish is an US-based dog food, manufactured by American Nutrition. They manufacture in three locations: Woodland, WA, Ogden, UT, and Hazelton, PA.
American Nutrition was founded in 1972. They are a quality and trusted manufacturer, and consistently meet USDA, FDA, and AAFCO standards.
There have been no Simply Nourish dog food recalls, to our knowledge – although there have been recalls of Simply Nourish’s pet treats.
Simply Nourish Dry Dog Food Formulas
Simply Nourish offers a variety of dog food formulas. We’ll cover some of the main types of dog food in the Simply Nourish line below.
Simply Nourish has a decent selection of dry dog food formulas – we counted over 25 variations.
Types of Simply Nourish dry kibble include:
1. Simply Nourish (Standard)
Simply Nourish (Standard)
Simply Nourish’s classic line of dry dog food featuring a standard protein (chicken or lamb) with a healthy, wholesome grain.
The standard Simply Nourish formula features relatively affordable recipes with lamb and chicken as main protein options, alongside healthy grains like oatmeal or brown rice. The standard Simply Nourish recipes come in several variations based on your dog’s breed and age.
- Lamb & Oatmeal / Adult
- Chicken & Brown Rice / Adult
- Chicken & Brown Rice / Small Breed Adult
- Chicken & Brown Rice / Small Breed Senior
- Chicken & Brown Rice / Large Breed Puppy
- Chicken & Brown Rice / Large Breed Adult
2. Simply Nourish Grain-Free
Simply Nourish Grain-Free
A line of grain-free kibbles that rely on peas and potatoes for carbohydrates, rather than traditional grains.
Simply Nourish’s grain-free formula features recipes that rely on peas and potatoes rather than grains for carbohydrate sources. These recipes have become less popular since the FDA’s report regarding the correlation between grain-free dog food and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs.
Still, for owners who prefer a grain-free option due to a dog’s issues digesting traditional grains, the Simply Nourish Grain-Free line does offer several options based on your dog’s age and breed, although there is not much variation in protein options.
- Chicken with Peas & Potatoes / Adult
- Chicken with Peas & Potatoes / Puppy
- Chicken with Peas & Potatoes / Large Breed Adult
- Chicken with Peas & Potatoes / Small Breed Adult
3. Simply Nourish Healthy Weight
Simply Nourish Healthy Weight
A weight-management line designed to help obese dogs lose weight and stay healthy.
Simply Nourish’s Healthy Weight line aims to help overweight dogs shed a few pounds by relying on healthier, leaner proteins like turkey and chicken, along with a focus on complex carbohydrates like brown rice to help your dog feel full.
Recipes also include glucosamine and chondroitin to support healthier joints – a big bonus for older dogs, who are commonly those who suffer from obesity.
- Turkey & Brown Rice
- Turkey & Brown Rice / Small Breed Adult
- Turkey & Brown Rice / Large Breed Adult
- Chicken & Brown Rice / Small Breed Puppy
4. Simply Nourish Limited Ingredient Diet (LID)
Simply Nourish’s Limited Ingredient Diet (LID) line of food is designed to have as few as ingredients as possible, helping owners cut out any suspected food allergies out of their dog’s diet.
Simply Nourish Limited Ingredient
This limited ingredient line features single source animal proteins and no white potatoes to limit potential allergens.
These recipes feature a single animal protein source, so that you easily avoid problematic proteins. LIDs are also great for conducting elimination diets. In many traditional dog foods, you may have a mix of animal proteins, like turkey and chicken meal, or beef and salmon meal. However, Simply Nourish LID recipes feature just a single animal source (so, for example you may have lamb and lamb meal in a recipe, but not chicken).
Simply Nourish’s LID line is also made without fillers, artificial flavors, colors or preservatives. It also cuts out white potatoes and chicken, and is even made with NON-GMO canola oil. Carbohydrates include peas and lentils, rather than potatoes.
Simply Nourish Limited Ingredient Diet Recipes:
- Lamb & Pea
- Salmon & Sweet Potato / Adult
- Salmon & Sweet Potato / Puppy
- Salmon & Sweet Potato / Large Breed Adult
- Salmon & Sweet Potato / Senior Dog
5. Simply Nourish Source
Simply Nourish Source
A specialized high-protein formula with a mix of meats, with peas and potatoes serving as the main carbohydrates.
Simply Nourish Source is a line of dry dog food with a big emphasis on protein. Simply Nourish Source relies on a mix of high-quality animal proteins, featuring meats and meat meals as the first ingredients for a protein-packed formula.
High-protein dog food formulas are often great for working dogs, dogs who are extremely active, or dogs who need help gaining weight.
Simply Nourish Source is also a grain-free formula, relying on peas and potatoes for its carbohydrates. This may not be ideal for owners who are looking for a grain-inclusive dog food option. It’s also important to note that these are not single-protein sources – many recipes feature multiple animal proteins.
Simply Nourish Wet Dog Food Formulas
Simply Nourish also offers several varieties of wet canned food, with their “shreds” line as well as their “pate” line.
Generally, wet food tends to contain higher amounts of protein than kibble. Of course as a result, wet food tends to be more expensive per serving than dry kibble dog food.
Ideally, a mix of wet food and kibble is a great choice, providing a nice combination of nutrition and affordability.
1. Simply Nourish Shreds
Simply Nourish Shreds is the main line of Simply Nourish wet food. These recipes feature a meat + meat broth, along with veggies and carbohydrates, depending on the recipe.
- Chicken & Rice Stew Adult
- Chicken & Pasta Stew Adult
- Chicken & Rice Stew / Small Breed
- Chicken & Pasta Stew / Small Breed
- Chicken & Rice Stew / Small Breed Puppy
- Chicken & Rice Stew / Puppy
2. Simply Nourish Shreds Grain-Free
The grain-free Simply Nourish Shreds are a solid option for owners who want a canned wet food formula that does not contain grains.
- Chicken & Beef
- Beef & Vegetable
- Chicken & Vegetable
- Chicken & Tuna
- Tuna & Salmon
- Chicken & Beef / Small Breed
- Beef & Vegetable / Small Breed
- Chicken & Vegetable / Small Breed
- Chicken & Tuna / Small Breed
- Tuna & Salmon / Small Breed
3. Simply Nourish Pate
Simply Nourish’s Pate line appears to be single-source proteins. So, for example, while the beef recipe contains beef, beef broth, add beef liver, it does not contain chicken, lamb, or any other outside animal meats.
Simply Nourish pate also contains a healthy dose of veggies and fruit, with carrots, peas, blueberries, and cranberries. Carbohydrates include sweet potatoes, brown rice flour, barley, and oatmeal.
- Chicken / Puppy
- Chicken / Senior
- Chicken / Small Breed
4. Simply Nourish Limited Ingredient Pate
Simply Nourish’s Limited Ingredient Pate relies on a formula similar to the standard pate, but with fewer ingredients and a bigger reliance on pea protein and sweet potato for carbohydrates, rather than grains.
- Fish & Sweet Potato
- Turkey & Sweet Potato
- Venison & Sweet Potato
- Lamb & Pear
5. Simply Nourish Source Shreds
Similar to the dry Source formula, the wet Source Shreds line features an emphasis on protein. These recipes have a mix of quality animal proteins from multiple sources, packing tons of protein that’s ideal for active working dogs.
- Beef & Lamb
- Chicken & Turkey
- Duck & Venison
- Beef / Small Breed
- Chicken / Small Breed
- Duck/ Small Breed
- Lamb/ Small Breed
6. Simply Nourish Source Pate
The Pate version of the wet Simply Nourish Source features the same emphasis on protein, with high-protein recipes ideal for active pooches.
- Chicken & Liver
- Lamb & Turkey
- Pork & Beef
- Turkey & Bison
Simply Nourish Food Toppers
Simply Nourish’s line of wet food toppers are designed to be paired with kibble, enhancing your dog’s meal with an added dash of flavor and meaty goodness.
They’re similar to canned wet food, but use smaller quantities and are meant to enhance meals, rather than serve as a standalone dish.
Using a food topper and mixing it in with dry kibble is a great way to encourage a picky dog to eat their entire meal.
Food Topper flavors include:
- Source Beef
- Source Chicken
- Source Seabream
- Digestion Support Grain-Free Chicken & Pumpkin
- Hip & Joint Grain-Free Chicken
- Skin & Coat Grain-Free Oceanfish
Simply Nourish Quality
Simply Nourish dog food gets 4 out of 5 stars from Dog Food Advisor. As far as dog foods go, this is a pretty good rating. Good, but not stellar.
What earns Simply Nourish this rating? We’ll discuss below.
Simply Nourish Ingredients
Of course ingredients vary amongst Simply Nourish dog food formulas. Today we’ll be focusing specifically on Simply Nourish’s Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Kibble Recipe, as this is one of their most popular formulas.
Simply Nourish Dog Food Ingredients:
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Barley, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Flaxseeds, Pea Fiber, Potassium Chloride, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Carrot, Dried Kale, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Blueberries, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxin Hydrochloride, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Citric Acid (Preservative), Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Rosemary Extract.
Core Protein: Chicken & Chicken Meal
When reading the ingredient list, you’ll see that chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients in Simply Nourish’s ingredient list.
Seeing the first ingredients are chicken and chicken meal is a good sign – it’s always great to see whole meats and protein-specific meat meals (rather than mystery, unlabeled meat meals).
Generally, owners should want to see the first 2-4 ingredients in their dog food be meat. While 3 or 4 is ideal, it’s quite rare, and those formulas tend to cost quite a bit more. Still, having two trusted, reliable protein sources is great.
Carbohydrates: Brown Rice & Oatmeal
Next on the ingredient list are the carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates are a sticky subject. You see, dogs don’t technically need carbohydrates in their diet at all. They only require protein and fat.
A diet based too heavily on carbohydrates can be dangerous for a dog, and unfortunately many cheap dog food formulas pack their food with carbohydrates because:
- Carbohydrates are cheap and plentiful
- Carbohydrates help the food last longer and be more shelf-stable
- Carbohydrates are needed in order to manufacture the kibble
Many modern kibbles contain 4x more carbohydrates than is estimated to have been in your dog’s ancestral diet. It’s estimated that past wild canines had a diet containing just 14% carbohydrates, compared drastically to today’s doggie diet of 46-74% carbohydrates.
Still, carbohydrates in and of themselves are not bad for dogs – it’s just the excessive amount that can be unhealthy. All good things in moderation, as they say.
As far as carbohydrates go, oatmeal and brown rice are decent quality.
Although some owners prefer feeding their dogs grain-free formulas, most dogs won’t suffer and can even benefit from complex carbohydrates in their diet.
The carbohydrates in Simply Nourish are estimated to be at around 45%.
As noted above, that’s still quite a bit more than the canine ancestral diet, but as far as kibbles go, 45% is fairly low – many kibbles have a much higher carbohydrate percent.
In this case, oatmeal and brown rice are fine carbohydrate ingredients, and are common carbohydrates found in quality grain-inclusive dog foods. Oatmeal and brown rice are high-quality carbohydrates and are a great pick, so long as you’re not in need of a grain-free recipe.
Controversial Ingredients: Canola Oil & Tomato Pomace
Simply Nourish contains a couple of controversial ingredients that are worth mentioning.
New Formula Update:
Simply Nourish has updated their formula, with the section below now invalid – Simply Nourish’s Chicken & Brown Rice recipe no longer contains canola oil or tomato pomace. We don’t want to completely delete the info below, as we think this information is important and helpful for owners when assessing various dog foods.
In the new recipe, there is only one semi-controversial ingredient – pea fiber. Pea fiber contains a mix of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber from pea hulls. Pea fiber is actually an agricultural by-product, and while is offer some fiber, there is no other nutritional value for dogs in pea fiber.
Even with pea fiber included, it’s so low on the ingredient that there’s likely no concern for owners.
Simply Nourish Controversial Ingredient (Old Formula)
The first is canola oil.
In this formula, canola oil is listed as the 7th ingredient. Why do some folks have an issue with canola oil? Largely because it can (but not always is) derives from genetically modified rapeseed.
Rape seed oil is considered toxic because it contains erucic – a poisonous substance. However, canola oil only has trace amounts of erucic. Still, detractors claim that canola oil can lead to nervous system issues, blindness, immune disorders, and other health problems.
Ultimately, there isn’t enough research to say for sure how good or bad canola oil is.
The thing is… you probably use canola oil in your own cooking. It’s quite common. So unless you’re really 100% committed to having no genetically modified foods in you or your dog’s diet, it probably isn’t anything to stress out about too much.
In fact, some people even say canolia oil can be a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. So we aren’t ready to throw the baby out with the bathwater quite yet.
Now ideally – yes, you’d rather see fish oil in your dog’s food over canola oil. Why is fish oil preferred? Fish oil contains EPA and DHA – two fatty acids that have a high bio-availability to dogs (and humans too) with positive effects.
While fish oil is preferred, most agree that even plant-based omega-3 fatty acids are better than none at all, so there are still plenty in favor of canola oil depending on what camp you talk to.
Tomato pomace is the other controversial ingredient – it’s the 6th product in this formula. So what exactly is tomato pomace? It’s the by-product that happens as a result of processing tomatoes into soups, ketchup, juice, etc. Basically, it’s tomato leftovers.
Some would tell you tomato pomace is a cheap dog food filler. Fillers are generally frowned upon, as they’re a cheap way for dog food companies to make their content numbers look more impressive and decrease production costs. However, others say tomato pomace is a great source of fiber and don’t have an issue with it.
Whether or not you’re pro tomato pomace, truth be told, there is likely so little that it’s not liable to make a big difference in the quality of the dog food.
In some other dog food formulas, you may see tomato pomace higher on the ingredient list – in that case you may want to be more concerned.
Ingredients: Flaxseed & Chicory Root
Flaxseed is another ingredient in the Simply Nourish formula. This is good to see, as flaxseed is a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed is also another great source of fiber for Fido!
Chicory root can also be found in the Simply Nourish food. Chicory root is rich in inulin — another natural source of soluble dietary fiber. Chicory root is also a prebiotic that can help promote healthy bacteria to aid in your dog’s digestion.
Ingredients: Veggies & Fruits
Simply Nourish uses whole foods in their formulas – and the decent list of whole vegetables and fruits is great for any owner to see.
This formula contains carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and blueberries – wholesome, real fruits and veggies for your pooch!
Advantages of Simply Nourish
Simply Nourish uses high-quality ingredients and lists real meat proteins as their first ingredients, which is a core component of good dog food.
The inclusion of whole fruits and vegetables, plus the lack of color dyes and additives, gets a big thumbs up. Simply Nourish makes big claims saying that they provide healthy, nutritious dog food with only real, authentic ingredients. I think they live up to these standards quite well.
Simply Nourish also comes from a trusted manufacturer based in the US, which is always a plus. This tends to be a brand that’s popular with fans of PetSmart.
We also love that Simply Nourish has such a variety of formulas – from large breed to limited ingredient, they have something for any and every pooch.
Disadvantages to Simply Nourish
There have been some reports of owners finding maggots or worms in the kibble upon opening. This can happen when a bag is compromised (aka rips or tears) at a manufacturing factory.
While this isn’t extremely common, it happens enough that owners should be on the lookout and always examine the kibble prior to letting your dog dig in.
This issue has mostly been reported when purchasing Simply Nourish from 3rd party providers with questionable sellers. To be safe, we’d recommend ordering Simply Nourish from Chewy or PetSmart only – not Amazon, where some compromised bags have been sent out.
Simply Nourish Review: Final Thoughts
Simply Nourish is a solid dog food option for ingredient-conscious owners looking for nutritious kibble for their canine.
Simply Nourish delivers on their promise of wholesome, real ingredients. Their food features a good percentage of protein with complex carbohydrates that are superior to the standard wheat and grain carbohydrates found elsewhere.
The lack of any recent recalls means owners can rest relatively easy – there is the concern over bug-contaminated kibble, but we think as long as you check bags for tears or openings prior to feeding, you should be fairly safe.
We love Simply Nourish a 4 out of 5 star rating. Not the best on the market, but pretty decent quality at a reasonable price.
Eager to try Simply Nourish? You can find it a PetSmart or can order it on PetSmart’s website online.
Let us know – what do you think of Simply Nourish? Share your experiences in the comments!
Disclaimer: K9 of Mine is unable to purchase every dog food reviewed in person. Instead, we rely on copious amounts of research and user feedback to inform our reviews. We use information provided from manufacturers as well as third-party sources to provide a thorough overview of various dog food brands.