NutriSource vs Vital Essentials

NutriSource vs. Vital Essentials

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

Guaranteed Analysis: Vital Essentials vs. NutriSource

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.

NutriSource Dog Food vs. Vital Essentials Dog Food

Dry Dog Food NutriSource Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 29.5% 51.7%
Crude Fat 16.9% 26.4%
Crude Fiber 7.1% 2.2%
Wet/Canned Dog Food NutriSource Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 44.7% 53.4%
Crude Fat 34.1% 33.1%
Crude Fiber 6.8% 6.6%

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 Vital Essentials provides significantly more protein. On average, Vital Essentials guarantees about 22.22% more protein than NutriSource. Similarly, Vital Essentials wet dog foods provide significantly more protein than NutriSource wet foods.


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.

The comparison table above shows that Vital Essentials dry dog foods provide significantly more fat than NutriSource. More specifically, Vital Essentials guarantees at least 9.51% more fat. For wet dog foods, NutriSource and Vital Essentials provide roughly the same amount of fat.


Our analysis shows that NutriSource guarantees 4.92% more fiber than Vital Essentials dry dog food recipes. For wet dog foods, NutriSource and Vital Essentials provide roughly the same amount of fiber.

NutriSource Cat Food vs. Vital Essentials Cat Food

Dry Cat Food NutriSource Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 36.7% 51.9%
Crude Fat 17.6% 18.2%
Crude Fiber 8.2% 3.3%
Wet/Canned Cat Food NutriSource Vital Essentials
Crude Protein 46.8% 60.9%
Crude Fat 33.8% 28.6%
Crude Fiber 5.0% 3.7%

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.

Vital Essentials dry cat foods clearly provides more protein than NutriSource. In fact, the difference between the protein content is roughly 15.24%, which is a significant amount. Similarly, Vital Essentials wet cat foods provide significantly more protein than NutriSource wet foods.


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.

NutriSource and Vital Essentials both provide roughly the same amount of crude fat. For wet cat foods, NutriSource provides more fat (about 5.14% more).


There is a relatively large difference between the fiber content of NutriSource and Vital Essentials. On average, Vital Essentials dry cat food recipes contain 4.96% less fiber than NutriSource recipes. For wet cat foods, NutriSource and Vital Essentials provide roughly the same amount of fiber.

NutriSource Pet Food Ingredients vs. Vital Essentials Pet Food Ingredients

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

White Rice
Pea Protein
Brewers Rice
Dried Tomato Pomace

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

Here are some of the harmful ingredients used only by NutriSource.

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

Product Safety: Recall History of NutriSource & Vital Essentials?

According to our records, NutriSource 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 NutriSource Vital Essentials
Per Pound $2.19 $31.24
Per Calorie $0.0012 $0.0142
Dry Cat Food NutriSource Vital Essentials
Per Pound $2.57 $38.77
Per Calorie $0.0015 $0.0220

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 NutriSource 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 NutriSource 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 NutriSource 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 NutriSource Pet Foods

You can purchase NutriSource 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 NutriSource Vital Essentials
Dry Dog Food 29 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 12 Recipes
Dog Treats 9 Treats 30 Treats
Dry Cat Food 5 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 14 Recipes
Cat Treats 8 Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores

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