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Taste of the Wild: Dog Food Review

Brand Reviews By Kelsey Snyder 13 min read July 29, 2021

Taste of the Wild is a popular dog food brand that markets a number of different formulas and recipes for dogs of all shapes and sizes.

Below, we dive into the complete Taste of the Wild product line and explain everything you need to know so you can decide if its a good fit for your four-footer!

No time to read? Just check out a few of our favorite Taste of the Wild recipes!

Taste of the Wild Dog Food: Our Favorite Recipes

Picking a Dog Food: Do Your Homework

Whether you need dog food for a cute little Chihuahua or something that’ll please a picky pooch’s palate, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide to selecting a dog food before settling on a new recipe for Rover!

How to Select a Dog Food 101: A Step-by-Step Guide

It not only explains the things you’ll want to look for when picking a food for your dog, it also outlines many of the things you want to avoid.

Taste of the Wild History & Background

Let’s start by examining the history and background of Taste of the Wild, so you can understand the basics of the brand’s approach and values.

Taste of the Wild

Our Rating: 5/5

Date Founded: 2007

Parent Company: Diamond Pet Foods

Last recall: 2012

Most Popular Recipe: High Prairie

Taste of the Wild is a family-owned brand that’s part of the Diamond Pet Food label (which was first founded by brothers-in-law Gary Schell and Richard Kampeter in 1970).

The Taste of the Wild brand first came into existence around 2007, with the goal of offering a healthy, high-quality dog food, based on “wild” ingredients, thus giving dogs the chance to enjoy a “taste of the wild” at affordable prices.

Taste of the Wild recipes are made in the USA at one of five facilities, though some ingredients are sourced internationally from trusted suppliers.

The brand’s manufacturing facilities are Safe Quality Food Certified and undergo routine safety tests, including those designed to test ingredient nutrition and monitor for the presence of mycotoxins and microbiological organisms of interest.

Taste of the Wild was an early part of the rise in grain-free kibbles, as the brand opted to embrace protein-based formulas that were made without corn, soy, or wheat. Additionally, many of their recipes were based around unique proteins, such as venison and bison, making them attractive choices for dogs suffering from food sensitivities. 

Recently, they’ve added several in-demand formulas to their roster, including grain-inclusive, puppy, and small breed options, bringing quality ingredients to your dog’s bowl for a few bucks more a bag than the standard fare. This has earned the brand a legion of devoted customers. 

While the price difference between Taste of the Wild and generic brands is notable, it’s still a lot cheaper and more convenient than trying to source ingredients yourself.

Taste of the Wild History

Taste of the Wild Recall History

As of 2021, Taste of the Wild has only had one recall, which occurred back in 2012, along with fourteen other brands under the Diamond label.

This voluntary recall was due to potential salmonella contamination, and several pets and humans were sickened. A lawsuit was filed and eventually settled for $2 million, with the company covering the veterinary bills for those affected.

With only one recall to date several years ago, Taste of the Wild appears to be running a tight ship now in the quality department, giving some peace of mind to us pup parents who cringe every time we hear of a pet food recall.

Taste of the Wild Formulas & Recipes

Taste of the Wild markets three different basic formulas (product lines).

Each is represented by a number of different specific recipes, which contain a variety of different proteins and other ingredients. One of their formulas features nutritious grains, while the other two formulas are comprised solely of grain-free recipes.

The three formula lines include: 

  • Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Dog Foods (the brand’s original product line)
  • Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains (the brand’s grain-inclusive product line)
  • Taste of the Wild PREY (the brand’s limited ingredient product line)

We’ll discuss each of these formulas in greater detail below.

Taste of the Wild Formula #1: Grain-Free Dog Foods

Taste of the Wild’s grain-free formulas center around high-quality protein, and they always include a real, whole protein as the first ingredient.

The specific proteins used vary by recipe, and you’ll have plenty to choose from. A few of their most popular proteins include familiar ingredients like salmon, lamb, and beef, and exotic options, such as wild boar, water buffalo, and venison.

Several of the recipes in this formula line contain multiple proteins, so those with doggos suffering from sensitivities should carefully examine ingredient lists before purchase.

Included proteins may be complete, such as salmon or beef, or rendered into an animal-specific meat meal powder.

Meat meals sound icky on the surface, but provided they’re animal-specific, they’re a great source of protein and are commonly used in dog kibble. 

In other words, “lamb meal” is perfectly fine, but you’ll want to avoid generic “meat meal,” as it could contain a variety of unsavory or unsafe proteins.

Taste of the Wild uses several of these meals in various formulas, including duck meal, chicken meal, lamb meal, and ocean fish meal. While we probably wouldn’t consider it a deal-breaker, the term “ocean fish meal” is a bit too generic for our liking since that can be just about any fish in the sea. Literally.

Following the protein is a complex carbohydrate for energy, such as potatoes, peas, or sweet potatoes and legumes, like lentils or garbanzo beans. These complex carbohydrates are high in fiber, aiding in digestion and a surprising source of protein too.

However, with recent research correlating these ingredients with DCM in dogs, you should speak with your vet before making the switch to a grain-free diet. Not every grain-fed dog develops the heart condition, but it’s something to be mindful of.

DCM issues aside, it’s not that controversial of an ingredient list, though some people dislike the GMO aspect of canola oil. Nevertheless, the oil is a decent source of flavor, calories, and fatty acids. Others dislike the nondescript nature of egg product, which contains added protein and vitamins.

Rounding out the ingredient list are fruits like tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries, which provide antioxidants and fiber. Vitamin and mineral supplements, as well as plenty of prebiotics and probiotics are also included to prevent deficiencies and support healthy digestion, respectively.  

Taste of the Wild’s grain-free formula contains a solid 32% protein composition.

Key Features:

  • Water buffalo and lamb meal are the first ingredients
  • Also includes chicken meal, bison, venison, and beef for added protein
  • Fiber-rich formula aids in digestion
  • Supplemented with taurine for muscle and heart health
  • Excellent source of prebiotics and probiotics 
  • Contains omega-3 fatty acids for coat, eye, and brain health
  • Has no corn, wheat, or grains 

*Based on Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Canine Recipe

Sample Ingredient List: Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food

Want to check out the ingredient list for yourself? Here ya go!

Ingredients List

Water buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas...,

potatoes, chicken fat, egg product, roasted bison, roasted venison, beef, natural flavor, tomato pomace, potato protein, pea protein, 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, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid

Taste of the Wild Grain-Free Formula Recipes: Grain-Free Options for Your Dog

Taste of the Wild offers nine different recipes as part of their grain-free formula line:

  • Appalachian Trail Small Breed Canine Recipe 
  • High Prairie Canine Recipe
  • High Prairie Puppy Recipe
  • Pacific Stream Canine Recipe
  • Pacific Stream Puppy Recipe
  • Pine Forest Canine Recipe
  • Sierra Mountain Canine Recipe
  • Southwest Canyon Canine Recipe
  • Wetlands Canine Recipe
Great for Owners Who Want a High-Protein, Grain-Free Food

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

TOTW Grain-Free

Taste of the Wild High Prairie

Nine different protein-rich, grain-free recipes that are packed with fruits, flavor, and nutritional “extras.”

Taste of the Wild Formula #2: Ancient Grains 

Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains contains many of the same high-quality proteins as their grain-free line, including mainstream options, like lamb and salmon, and rarer picks, such as pork, water buffalo, and roasted quail.

Real meat and animal-specific meat meals are both used to achieve the brand’s protein goals, and ensure that your doggo has plenty of energy and is able to produce big, strong muscles.

The marked difference between Taste of the Wild’s original formula and their ancient grains line is the inclusion of grains, including millet and sorghum.

Grains provide energy and a boost to digestion courtesy of fiber and pack a fair amount of vitamins and minerals.

The Ancient Grains line does not contain any potato product, a complex carbohydrate commonly used in grain-free formulas and possibly linked to DCM in dogs.

Other ingredients include chia seeds and salmon oil for omega-3s and added taurine for muscle health. Like their grain-free formulas, Taste of the Wild also fortifies their Ancient Grains product line with prebiotics and probiotics for improved digestion.

Like most other Taste of the Wild formulas, the Ancient Grains line does contain dried yeast, which receives mixed reviews among owners. Some believe it can trigger food allergies, while others argue it provides an immunity boost and protein. Talk to your vet about dried yeast if you’re not sure whether or not it’s right for your pooch.

Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains boasts an impressive 30% crude protein level.

Key Features:

  • Salmon and salmon meal are the first ingredients
  • Fiber-rich formula aids in digestion
  • Fortified with taurine to keep your dog’s muscles and heart healthy
  • Contains supplemental prebiotics and probiotics 
  • Includes omega-3-rich ingredients, like salmon oil
  • Features pearled barley and brown rice (both of which are nutritious, whole grains) 

*Based on Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream Recipe

Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream Canine Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients List

Salmon, salmon meal, ocean fish meal, grain sorghum, millet...,

cracked pearled barley, dried yeast, canola oil, brown rice, smoked salmon, natural flavor, tomato pomace, salmon oil, quinoa, chia seed, salt, potassium chloride, DL-Methionine, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract, L-Carnitine, 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, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid. 

Taste of the Wild Ancient Grains Recipes

  • Ancient Mountain Canine Recipe
  • Ancient Prairie Canine Recipe
  • Ancient Stream Canine Recipe
  • Ancient Wetlands Canine Recipe
Great for Owners Who Want a Grain-Inclusive Food

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

TOTW Ancient Grains

Taste of the Wild Ancient Stream

Four different recipes that are each made with tasty proteins, nutritious whole grains, and antioxidant-rich produce.

Taste of the Wild Formula #3: PREY

Taste of the Wild’s PREY line offers limited-ingredient formulas that are perfect for dogs with food allergies or intolerances.

But even though these are limited-ingredient recipes, they feature the same great proteins as Taste of the Wild’s other formulas, including trout, turkey, and beef.

Real meat is always the first ingredient, and these recipes actually leave out meat meals entirely.

Instead, all PREY recipes are made with a single animal protein, which allows pet parents to avoid allergy-triggering ingredients.

The PREY line is grain-free, with energy and fiber supplied by lentils, a small legume containing a fair amount of protein. Tomato pomace provides added soluble fiber for improved digestion, though some disregard it as a “filler” ingredient.

As with other grain-free formulas, PREY may put your dog at risk of DCM, so speak with your veterinarian before making the switch

Although Taste of the Wild PREY recipes are pretty simple recipes, they still contain a variety of nutritional extras. For example, they contain sunflower oil and salmon oil to give your dog brain- and eye-supporting omega fatty acids, while included prebiotics and probiotics give your pupper’s gut a healthy boost of immunity.

These recipes are also made with non-GMO ingredients, and they contain no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

Taste of the Wild Trout Limited Ingredient Recipe contains 27% crude protein.

Key Features:

  • Turkey is the first ingredient
  • Limited ingredient formula contains no meat meals
  • Grain-free recipe contains no corn or wheat
  • Fortified with taurine for muscle and heart health
  • Made with supplemental prebiotics and probiotics 
  • Sunflower and salmon oil provide omega-3 fatty acids

*Based on the Taste of the Wild Trout Limited Ingredient Recipe

Taste of the Wild PREY Turkey Ingredients

Ingredients List

Turkey, Lentils, Tomato Pomace, Sunflower Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor...,

Dicalcium Phosphate, Salmon Oil (Source Of Dha), Salt, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, 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 D3 Supplement, Folic Acid. Contains A Source Of Live (Viable), Naturally Occurring Microorganisms.

Taste of the Wild PREY Recipes

  • Angus Beef Limited Ingredient Recipe
  • Trout Limited Ingredient Recipe
  • Turkey Limited Ingredient Recipe
Great for Dogs with Food Allergies

This is a sponsored placement, in which an advertiser pays a fee to be featured in this article. Learn more

TOTW LID recipes

Taste of the Wild PREY Turkey

Three different limited-ingredient recipes made with a single animal-based protein to help avoid triggering food allergies.

Taste of the Wild Advantages & Pros

Taste of the Wild is a premium dog food brand, which shuns most problematic ingredients and instead uses safe, high-quality, nutritious ones. They offer a fair mix of formulas and recipes, allowing you to find the one that works best for your dog, whether he needs a grain-free or grain-inclusive diet. 

The proteins included in these recipes are especially impressive, and allow you to choose from things like basic turkey or beef, to less common proteins, like trout or venison. For those who like to alternate proteins, it’s a dream lineup. 

Affordability is another major selling point of the brand, with quality ingredients giving your dog the promised “taste of the wild ” without costing an arm and a leg. This allows you to save money for other important doggo needs, such as treats and toys.

Taste of the Wild Pros and Cons

Taste of the Wild Disadvantages & Cons

There isn’t much to dislike about Taste of the Wild, though we would like to see more recipes under their grain-inclusive and limited-ingredient lines.

Also, the brand doesn’t offer any chicken-based recipes (though several of the recipes do include chicken meal). We know chicken is an allergy-triggering ingredient for many pups, but it’d be nice to see a chicken option included for those of us who do like it. If you want something poultry-based, you’re limited to turkey or duck.

Another potential drawback is that many of these recipes are made without grains. Given the correlation between grain-free options and DCM, many owners are opting to avoid these types of foods. However, this isn’t the brand’s fault, per se, as many of today’s biggest brands offer grain-free options to meet consumer demand.

If we had to be super picky, we’d say that larger bag options would be ideal for those of us with multi-dog families who go through a lot of food. With the largest bag being 28 pounds, you might find yourself ordering these foods more often than other brands who offer 30-, 35-, or even 40-pound bags.

Final Thoughts on Taste of the Wild

Overall, we highly recommend Taste of the Wild as a quality kibble at an affordable price.

The protein options are top-notch, and they’re always first in line on the ingredients list. And many of their recipes feature proteins in the second and third slots as well as intermingled further down the list. 

The company offers grain-free and grain-inclusive options too, so every doggo can have the diet that works best for his system. Carbohydrates sources are nutritious, and include things like potatoes, lentils, quinoa, and more, which will provide your pup with fiber and energy. 

The addition of prebiotics and probiotics to every recipe is excellent too, improving doggy digestion and helping his belly run its best so he can focus on more important things like playing.

***

What do you think about Taste of the Wild? Does your dog enjoy it at home? Does he have a favorite recipe of theirs? Let us know in the comments.

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Written by

Kelsey Snyder

Kelsey is a K9 of Mine contributor who has worked with dogs as a shift runner and office manager of a boarding kennel. When she’s not writing, she can be found throwing a ball or losing at tug of war. An animal lover to the max, she lives in South Jersey with her husband, her five dogs Boomer, Taj, Batman, Maya, and Moxie, some kitties, and two grumpy turtles.

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