Taste of the Wild is a dog food. It is manufactured by Taste of the Wild Pet Food, a company that has its headquarters in Meta, Missouri, and operates pet food manufacturing plants in South Carolina and California as well. Although Taste of the Wild (TOTW) is a fairly recent brand, it has become very popular among pet owners. The brand’s product line is quite popular among pets as well, if you were to ask Kobi, the Alaskan Klee Kai’s, opinion.
Kobi’s breed is not much older than TOTW pet foods. The Alaskan Klee Kai is a Spitz breed of dog closely resembling the Siberian Husky, even including its fur markings. The Klee Kai is a smaller breed however. It is more suited to have as a companion animal than to be used as a working dog pulling a sled.
In addition to manufacturing their own brand of pet food, the company outsources a portion of is production to Diamond Pet Foods, its parent company that is also headquartered on Meta, Missouri. This is worth noting because of recall issues which will be discussed a little later.
A Close Look at the Taste of the Wild Product Line
The product line currently consists of 5 canine formula products, 2 puppy formula products, and 4 feline formula products. Each of the canine formulas is available in cans and as kibbles, as are the puppy formulas.
There are a number of good reasons for producing a variety of dog food products, besides the obvious fact that it is good business to do so. One reason is that dogs should be eating in accordance with their genetic makeup. Their cravings will sometimes tell you what is best for them, although it must be admitted that most dogs will eat the bad as well as the good. This is something you can research on your own, or check with your vet.
A second reason is that a change in diet is quite often a good thing. Your dog will eat its food if it is hungry and healthy, but changing the formula on occasion is often a good practice to follow. Dogs, like people, can sometimes get bored with the food given to them. All Taste of Wild canine products feature a mix of lean meats, vegetables, and eggs; and they are all rich in low-fat protein. None of their products contain grains, nor do they contain the chemicals that will be found in some of the other brands on the market.
This brand of canine food may seem to be somewhat on the expensive side. These products are not however gourmet foods similar to those marketed in expensive little cans. Nevertheless, when the primary ingredients in the meal you have placed in your dog’s dish are roasted bison and roasted venison, a dog like Kobi might be forgiven if it becomes a bit spoiled over time. Bison, venison, duck, fish, and chicken are after all, similar to the types of food canines, like their cousins the wolves, seek in the wild.
A look at each of these five major products reveals the following:
• Southwest Canyon Canine Formula – This product, marketed as a stew in cans, and also sold as kibbles, is based on wild boar. Peas and beans have been added for their ease in digestibility and as energy nutrients. A mix of vegetables and fruits have also been added for their antioxidant values. Other key ingredients are egg whites, to promote a shiny coat, flaxseed oil, and a variety of vitamin and mineral supplements. This formula is suitable for both growth and maintenance. The protein count is high, at just under 30%.
• High Prairie Canine Formula – This dog food is based around bison and roasted venison. It contains beef and lamb as well. Vegetable additions include peas and potatoes, both of which are rich in carbohydrates. This formula may be unique in the dog food world in that tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries have been added for their antioxidant qualities. High Prairie also features vitamin and mineral supplements, which are common to each of these products.
• Pacific Stream Canine Formula – Dogs like fish too. Especially northern breeds like Kobi, the Alaskan Klee Kai. Smoked and non-smoked salmon, together with sweet potatoes, are the key ingredients. Salmon and sweet potato dog foods have become popular recently, no doubt because of the taste, but also because this happens to be an especially healthy combination. The use of smoked salmon may however be unique.
• Wetlands Canine Formula – As the name suggests, the ingredients in this canine food are built around a base of roasted and smoked fowl. The fowl in question is primarily duck, although chicken fat is one of the ingredients, and quail and smoked turkey have been added to the mix. If you purchase this particular formula, be aware of the fact that your canine friend may be eating better than you are; but that is what a good dog sometimes deserves. Berries and Omega fatty acids are included in the blend.
• Sierra Mountain Canine Formula – This selection is based on lamb. There is no “wild” meat present, but lamb is always great tasting, and in this case the prime ingredient consists of roasted lamb in gravy. Two of the other major ingredients, peas and sweet potatoes are easily digested and are good sources of energy. Regular potatoes, tomatoes, dried egg, and the usual TOTW combination of fruits, berries, and vitamin and mineral supplements have been added as well.
Lamb is widely used in pet foods. Lamb contains lots of protein, and dog food based on lamb can be a good choice, and at times the only choice if you pet suffers from food allergies. Eggs are also loaded with protein and, as mentioned earlier, can significantly contribute to a pet’s glossy coat. Sweet potatoes are especially rich in carbohydrates. Dogs need carbs, but they don’t need a lot of them. The main reason for including this vegetable in several of these products lies in its vitamin, iron, and calcium content, plus the fact sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber.
As you go down the list of ingredients for any of these products, and the list tends to be a long one, you may begin to wonder of some of the ingredients are really necessary, or worse yet, if any of them can be harmful. Take the time to research these ingredients and you will discover that each serves a positive purpose. When TOTW Pet Foods created these formulas, they knew what they were doing.
For example: If you are unfamiliar with the term chelated minerals and wonder what they might do to your pet, the answer is simple. These are minerals that have been processed so they will bind with protein and be better absorbed in the digestive tract. A mineral that passes right on through is of little benefit to your pet. A fair percentage of protein in these products comes from vegetables. That is all right, but a dog needs meat protein as well. The balance between plant and animal protein does however appear to be satisfactory.
What Dog Lovers are Saying
Most notably, the general consensus is that this brand of pet food is a good buy for its price, and because of the high nutritional value in each package or can, a given amount goes a little further than is the case with many other well-known brands.
• As canine lovers like to point out, dogs are carnivores. They do not require carbohydrates in large amounts, they do not normally eat vegetables, and they do not eat grains. TOTW products are low in carbs, and they are grain-free. Vegetable and fruits have been added for their vitamin and antioxidant properties. As a result, your pet is likely to be as healthy, or healthier, than dogs in the wild.
• Many of the reviewers like the fact that TOTW’s meat content is higher than is the case with most other brands of dog food. This is particularly true for the kibbles, which do not contain grains or fillers.
• TOTW is definitely a premium dog food but it is no more expensive than several well-known brands that could also be considered to be premium products.
• Dog Food Advisor and Dog Food Analysis both give excellent rating to this product line; the latter giving it 6 stars out of a possible 6. Dog Food Advisor gave TOTW 5 out of a possible 5. The ratings were based on the ingredients and the meat content.
• Many individual reviewers have commented favorably on the balance between cost and quality this brand has achieved. This is due in part to the high nutritional value in each of the products. Consequently, for the dry formulas, a bag goes a bit longer than a similar sized bag of most other brands.
• None of the products contain ingredients considered to be common causes of allergic reactions in dogs. It is nevertheless advisable to read the list of ingredients before you buy. Some owners have commented that allergy symptoms their dog had been experiencing either cleared up, or began to do so, when switching to this brand.
• One of the few negatives about this brand, which have been voiced by individual pet owners and dog food reviewers as well, has to do with the recalls Diamond, the parent company, has had in the past. More about that next.
By and large, whether you browse the customer reviews on Amazon, or visit several websites specializing in pet care and pet food reviews, you will find that the TOTW brand gets very high marks.
Taste of the Wild Recall
Product recalls almost always taken as safety precautions. Human foods, whether processed or fresh, have at times been subjected to recalls for one reason or another. Commercial dog food, which is a processed food, is no different.
In some brands, certain ingredients have been found to be toxic or potentially so. This is more apt to be the case with a product that relies heavily on chemicals that are added for coloring, taste enhancement, or as preservatives. Wet dog food can sometimes be subject to contamination during processing and canning.
What has concerned some users of TOTW canine food, or has caused potential customers to look elsewhere, it’s the fact that the parent company, Diamond, has been the subject of several recalls in the past. A bad batch does not necessarily make for a bad product, but consumers still have valid reasons to be concerned when their favorite brand has suddenly been removed from the shelves.
TOTW processes most of its own pet food, but they also outsource some of their manufacturing to their parent company. It should be recognized however that the Taste of Wild brand has never been subjected to a recall. This product line has been safe to purchase since its inception, and there is little reason to believe that this safety record is going to change. Any of the products discussed above, whether wet or dry, can be purchased with complete confidence.
Where to Buy Taste of the Wild
Taste of Wild products are not apt to be found on the supermarket shelves. This brand is however featured in many, if not most, pet shops and stores, which would be the first place to look if there is one conveniently located near you. A quick check of the company website’s distributor locator indicates that these products can be located in every major city, and in a majority of smaller cities and towns.
If all else fails, you can look to Amazon. The average price for a 30-pound bag averages out to about $45. A 15-pound bag is a little more than half the price, but shipping is free for most of the dry products if you get the larger bag. The same is true with the puppy formulas. If you elect to go with the wet food, a 12-pack costs $40 or just over, including free shipping. A variety pack is also available.
Whether your canine friend is an Alaskan Klee Kai named Kobi, a Siberian Husky, a Yellow Lab, or a Beagle, it should appreciate any effort on your part to locate and purchase a bag or several cans of this high-quality, and great tasting, canine food. Both wet and dry foods contain completely natural and beneficial ingredients, and what dog could resist a meal of roasted bison or smoked salmon or duck?