Nulo vs Vital Essentials

Nulo vs. Vital Essentials

In this comparison article for Nulo vs Vital Essentials, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Nulo and Vital Essentials, 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 Vital Essentials vs Nulo comparison, we've utilized average data to make general comparisons. If you'd like to see individual product reviews, visit our Nulo Review Page or Vital Essentials Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Vital Essentials vs. Nulo

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.

Nulo Dog Food vs. Vital Essentials Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Nulo Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 36.9% 52.6%
Crude Fat 20.3% 30.0%
Crude Fiber 5.2% 5.4%

Crude Protein Comparison For Dog Food

Dogs require twenty-two amino acids to sustain life. Twelve of these amino acids are synthesized naturally, the remaining ten are consumed. Protein is the nutrient which provides some or all of these ten essential amino acids.

On average, Vital Essentials dry dog food recipes contain 15.75% more protein than Nulo recipes. Clearly, there is a significant difference between the protein content of Nulo and Vital Essentials.


Crude Fat Comparison For Dog Food

Like protein, fats are an essential part of a dog's body. Fats are needed for the proper development and function of the canine body.

When you look at the average percentages of crude fat for dry dog food, it's clear that Vital Essentials provides significantly more fat. On average, Vital Essentials guarantees about 9.70% more protein than Nulo.


As you can see, Nulo and Vital Essentials guarantee a similar amount of crude fiber.

Nulo Cat Food vs. Vital Essentials Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Nulo Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 44.3% 55.7%
Crude Fat 19.0% 24.4%
Crude Fiber 5.1% 3.5%

Crude Protein Comparison For Cat Food

Cats require twenty-two amino acids to sustain life. Eleven of these amino acids are synthesized naturally, the remaining eleven are consumed. Protein is the nutrient which provides some or all of these eleven essential amino acids.

The comparison table above shows that Vital Essentials dry cat foods provide significantly more protein than Nulo. More specifically, Vital Essentials guarantees at least 11.36% more 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):

  • Help transport nutrients across cell membranes
  • Fats produce metabolites, which help control inflammation
  • Maintain healthy blood pressure
  • Slow the growth of yeast infections
  • Fats improve the taste/texture of food.

The table shows that Nulo provides far less fat than Vital Essentials. The difference in fat content is roughly 5.37%.


Vital Essentials and Nulo both provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber.

Nulo Pet Food Ingredients vs. Vital Essentials Pet Food Ingredients

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

Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid)

Product Safety: Recall History of Nulo & Vital Essentials?

According to our records, Nulo has never been recalled.

Vital Essentials has been recalled 4 times.

  • July 8, 2015: Listeria monocytogenes
  • Jan. 15, 2016: Salmonella
  • Feb. 24, 2018: Salmonella
  • April 16, 2018: Salmonella

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Nulo Vital Essentials
Per Pound $14.42 $27.55
Per Calorie $0.0075 $0.0123
Dry Cat Food Nulo Vital Essentials
Per Pound $3.21 $37.38
Per Calorie $0.0019 $0.0215

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 Nulo or Vital Essentials, 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 Nulo or Vital Essentials will depend on your shopping habits.

Pet owners who use our price comparison feature typically save more than 25% off retail prices for Nulo and Vital Essentials. 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 Nulo Pet Foods

You can purchase Nulo pet foods from the following stores:







Where To Buy Vital Essentials Pet Foods

You can purchase Vital Essentials pet food products from these retailers:








Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Nulo Vital Essentials
Dry Dog Food 17 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 19 Recipes
Dog Treats 8 Treats 32 Treats
Dry Cat Food 11 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 24 Recipes
Cat Treats 8 Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores

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