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Nutro vs Essence

Nutro vs. Essence

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

Guaranteed Analysis: Essence vs. Nutro

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.

Nutro Dog Food vs. Essence Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Nutro Essence
Crude Protein 27.0% 40.9%
Crude Fat 15.0% 20.0%
Crude Fiber 4.7% 5.9%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Nutro Essence
Crude Protein 42.6% 46.2%
Crude Fat 24.2% 32.6%
Crude Fiber 6.1% 6.0%

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.

The comparison table above shows that Essence dry dog foods provide significantly more protein than Nutro. More specifically, Essence guarantees at least 13.87% more protein. For wet dog foods, Essence typically provides a little more protein (about 3.65% 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.

There is a relatively large difference between the fat content of Essence and Nutro. On average, Nutro dry dog food recipes contain 4.92% less fat than Essence recipes. In addition, Essence wet dog foods also provide more fat than Nutro wet foods.


There is a relatively insignificant difference between the crude fiber content of the two brands. With regards to wet dog food, Nutro and Essence also provide roughly the same amount of crude fiber.

Nutro Cat Food vs. Essence Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Nutro Essence
Crude Protein 37.3% 44.1%
Crude Fat 17.1% 20.9%
Crude Fiber 6.1% 4.8%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Nutro Essence
Crude Protein 54.6% 46.2%
Crude Fat 22.4% 31.8%
Crude Fiber 5.1% 4.8%

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.

Nutro dry recipes contain 6.74% less protein than Essence dry recipes. This difference in protein content is a notable difference between Essence and Nutro. In addition, Nutro wet cat foods also provide more protein than Essence 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.

There is a small difference between the fat content of Essence and Nutro. We can see that Essence guarantees about 3.81% more fat than Nutro. In addition, Essence wet cat foods also provide more fat than Nutro wet foods.


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

Nutro Pet Food Ingredients vs. Essence Pet Food Ingredients

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

Iron Oxide
Pea Protein
Pork Plasma
Whole Wheat
Brewers Rice
Wheat Gluten
Caramel Color
Tomato Pomace
Vegetable Oil
Feeding Oatmeal
Corn Gluten Meal
Dried Corn Syrup
Ground Whole Wheat
Meat And Bone Meal
Powdered Cellulose
Dried Tomato Pomace
Pea Protein Isolate
Animal Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

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 Nutro.

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

Product Safety: Recall History of Nutro & Essence?

Nutro has been recalled 4 times.

  • Sept. 30, 2009: small pieces of melted plastic
  • Dec. 13, 2015: Mold
  • May 21, 2009: incorrect levels of zinc and potassium
  • March 16, 2007: Melamine

According to our records, Essence has never been recalled.


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 Nutro Pet Foods

You can purchase Nutro pet foods from the following stores:


82 Recipes In-Stock Today

69 Recipes In-Stock Today

66 Recipes In-Stock Today

Where To Buy Essence Pet Foods

You can purchase Essence pet food products from these retailers:


15 Recipes In-Stock Today

Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Nutro Essence
Dry Dog Food 54 Recipes 6 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 45 Recipes 6 Recipes
Dog Treats 12 Treats
Dry Cat Food 10 Recipes 3 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 39 Recipes 3 Recipes
Cat Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores