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Merrick vs Natural Balance

Merrick vs. Natural Balance

In this comparison article for Merrick vs Natural Balance, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Merrick and Natural Balance, we'll use up-to-date nutritional and price information.

There are many factors to consider when choosing the best pet food brand for your pet. Factors such as ingredient quality, guaranteed analysis, product safety, brand history, and cost are among the most important factors to consider.

Throughout this Natural Balance vs Merrick comparison, we've utilized average data to make general comparisons. If you'd like to see individual product reviews, visit our Merrick Review Page or Natural Balance Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Natural Balance vs. Merrick

According to AAFCO, all pet food labels must provide a guaranteed analysis of nutrient content. The analysis must provide guaranteed minimum percentages of crude protein and crude fat, and maximum percentages of crude fiber and moisture.

All percentages used in this comparison are averages reported on a dry matter basis.

Merrick Dog Food vs. Natural Balance Dog Food

Dry Dog FoodMerrickNatural Balance
Crude Protein35.9%27.6%
Crude Fat17.2%14.4%
Crude Fiber4.2%5.2%
Wet/Canned Dog FoodMerrickNatural Balance
Crude Protein43.9%39.7%
Crude Fat21.1%20.5%
Crude Fiber8.3%8.5%

Crude Protein Comparison For Dog Food

Protein is an extremely important part of your dog's diet. Without sufficient protein, dogs can develop a wide-range of serious health problems.

When you look at the average percentages of crude protein for dry dog food, it's clear that Merrick provides significantly more protein. On average, Merrick guarantees about 8.26% more protein than Natural Balance. For wet dog foods, Merrick provides more protein (about 4.25% more).


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Fats are an absolutely vital component of a balanced canine diet. Not only do fats provide energy, but they also serve important roles in the normal development and function of your dog's body. For example, fats help dogs produce prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation among many other significant functions.

According to our data, Merrick guarantees 2.83% more fat than Natural Balance. Although this difference is relatively small, it's still a notable difference. For wet dog foods, Merrick and Natural Balance provide roughly the same amount of fat.


Merrick and Natural Balance both provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber. With regards to wet dog food, Natural Balance and Merrick also provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber.

Merrick Cat Food vs. Natural Balance Cat Food

Dry Cat FoodMerrickNatural Balance
Crude Protein40.5%36.8%
Crude Fat15.7%14.3%
Crude Fiber5.1%5.5%
Wet/Canned Cat FoodMerrickNatural Balance
Crude Protein46.9%46.7%
Crude Fat21.3%20.2%
Crude Fiber6.0%7.1%

Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food

Protein is an extremely important part of your cat's diet. Without sufficient protein, cats can develop a wide-range of serious health problems.

There is a small difference between the protein content of Merrick and Natural Balance. We can see that Merrick guarantees about 3.68% more protein than Natural Balance. For wet cat foods, Merrick and Natural Balance provide roughly the same amount of protein.


Crude Fat Comparison For Cat Food

There are many ways in which dietary fat contributes to the overall health of our feline friends. Here is a short list of benefits provided by fats (not exhaustive):

  • Fats help with the digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • Reduce inflammation associated with arthritis
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Prevent or reduce the likelihood of certain heart problems.
  • Aid in the development of the retina and visual cortex.

There is a relatively insignificant difference between the crude fat content of the two brands. With regards to wet cat food, Merrick and Natural Balance also provide roughly the same amount of crude fat.


Both brands provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber. With regards to wet cat food, Natural Balance and Merrick also provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber.

Merrick Pet Food Ingredients vs. Natural Balance Pet Food Ingredients

Merrick and Natural Balance both use the following controversial ingredients in many of their products:

Canola Oil
Pea Protein
Caramel Color
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Merrick.

Garlic
Meaty Femur Bone
Powdered Cellulose

Here are some of the controversial ingredients used only by Natural Balance.

Giblets
Beet Pulp
Brewers Rice
Tomato Pomace
Feeding Oatmeal
Poultry Giblets
Dried Tomato Pomace

We believe that certain pet food ingredients are linked to adverse health affects; these ingredients are classified as harmful.

Merrick and Natural Balance both use the following harmful ingredients in many of their products:

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

Here are some of the harmful ingredients used only by Natural Balance.

Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex

Product Safety: Recall History of Merrick & Natural Balance?

Merrick has been recalled 6 times.

  • Jan. 28, 2011: Salmonella
  • Aug. 8, 2011: Salmonella
  • July 2, 2010: Salmonella
  • Aug. 3, 2010: Salmonella
  • Aug. 13, 2010: Salmonella
  • May 23, 2018: elevated levels of beef thyroid hormone

Natural Balance has been recalled 6 times.

  • July 21, 2007: ofbotulinum toxin
  • May 4, 2012: Salmonella
  • June 18, 2010: Salmonella
  • April 27, 2007: Melamine
  • April 17, 2007: Melamine
  • July 3, 2020: elevated levels of choline chloride

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog FoodMerrickNatural Balance
Per Pound$6.15$5.23
Per Calorie$0.0036$0.0029
Dry Cat FoodMerrickNatural Balance
Per Pound$4.09$3.69
Per Calorie$0.0025$0.0023
Wet Dog FoodMerrickNatural Balance
Per Pound$5.97$6.27
Per Calorie$0.0126$0.0137
Wet Cat FoodMerrickNatural Balance
Per Pound$7.55$7.63
Per Calorie$0.0168$0.0183

The average cost-per-lb is heavily influenced by the varying amounts of moisture present in each brand's food products (wet vs. dry food, dry vs. freeze-dried food, etc). However, the average cost-per-kcal eliminates the influence of moisture. Therefore, the average cost-per-kcal is the better metric to consider.

If you'd like to calculate the average cost-per-day or cost-pet-year of feeding Merrick or Natural Balance, input your pet's weight into our cost analyzer widget.

Averages price data can identify whether or not there exists a significant price difference between two brands. However, the actual price that you'll pay for Merrick or Natural Balance will depend on your shopping habits.

Pet owners who use our price comparison feature typically save more than 25% off retail prices for Merrick and Natural Balance. In addition, we currently have some great coupons for our readers.


Disclosure: PawDiet has an affiliate relationship with stores featured (or linked-to) in this article. We are compensated for referring customers. Thank you for shopping with our retail partners!

Where To Buy Merrick Pet Foods

You can purchase Merrick pet foods from the following stores:


127 Recipes In-Stock Today

107 Recipes In-Stock Today

102 Recipes In-Stock Today

18 Recipes In-Stock Today

Where To Buy Natural Balance Pet Foods

You can purchase Natural Balance pet food products from these retailers:


89 Recipes In-Stock Today

79 Recipes In-Stock Today

82 Recipes In-Stock Today

16 Recipes In-Stock Today

Type Of Pet Foods Available

ProductMerrickNatural Balance
Dry Dog Food53 Recipes39 Recipes
Wet Dog Food58 Recipes27 Recipes
Dog Treats35 Treats33 Treats
Dry Cat Food18 Recipes16 Recipes
Wet Cat Food50 Recipes43 Recipes
Cat TreatsNoneNone

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores