Nutro vs Natural Balance

Nutro vs. Natural Balance

In this comparison article for Nutro vs Natural Balance, we'll highlight the key differences between these two pet food brands. To properly compare Nutro 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 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 Natural Balance Review Page.

Guaranteed Analysis: Natural Balance 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. Natural Balance Dog Food

Dry Dog Food Nutro Natural Balance
Crude Protein 27.0% 25.9%
Crude Fat 15.1% 12.6%
Crude Fiber 4.6% 5.4%
Wet/Canned Dog Food Nutro Natural Balance
Crude Protein 41.4% 38.8%
Crude Fat 23.3% 19.1%
Crude Fiber 5.8% 7.1%

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.

Natural Balance and Nutro both provide roughly the same amount of crude protein. For wet dog foods, Nutro typically provides a little more protein (about 2.57% 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, Nutro guarantees 2.47% more fat than Natural Balance. Although this difference is relatively small, it's still a notable difference. In addition, Nutro wet dog foods also provide more fat than Natural Balance wet foods.


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

Nutro Cat Food vs. Natural Balance Cat Food

Dry Cat Food Nutro Natural Balance
Crude Protein 38.8% 36.0%
Crude Fat 17.5% 13.4%
Crude Fiber 5.3% 5.9%
Wet/Canned Cat Food Nutro Natural Balance
Crude Protein 51.7% 46.2%
Crude Fat 23.1% 19.7%
Crude Fiber 5.2% 7.0%

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 Nutro and Natural Balance. We can see that Nutro guarantees about 2.71% more protein than Natural Balance. In addition, Nutro wet cat foods also provide more protein than Natural Balance 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.

Our analysis shows that Nutro guarantees 4.05% more fat than Natural Balance dry cat food recipes. For wet cat foods, Nutro typically provides a little more fat (about 3.33% more).


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

Nutro Pet Food Ingredients vs. Natural Balance Pet Food Ingredients

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

Pea Protein
Brewers Rice
Caramel Color
Tomato Pomace
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

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

Iron Oxide
Pork Plasma
Whole Wheat
Wheat Gluten
Vegetable Oil
Feeding Oatmeal
Corn Gluten Meal
Dried Corn Syrup
Ground Whole Wheat
Meat And Bone Meal
Powdered Cellulose
Pea Protein Isolate
Semolina Wheat Enriched With Niacin
Animal Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

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

Beet Pulp
Canola Oil
Poultry Giblets
Canola Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid)

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

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

Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

Product Safety: Recall History of Nutro & Natural Balance?

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

Natural Balance has been recalled 5 times.

  • July 21, 2007: ofbotulinum toxin
  • May 4, 2012: Salmonella
  • June 18, 2010: Salmonella
  • April 27, 2007: Melamine
  • April 17, 2007: Melamine

Price Comparison: Which Brand Is More Expensive?

Dry Dog Food Nutro Natural Balance
Per Pound $2.19 $2.57
Per Calorie $0.0013 $0.0016
Dry Cat Food Nutro Natural Balance
Per Pound $2.86 $3.06
Per Calorie $0.0017 $0.0020
Wet Dog Food Nutro Natural Balance
Per Pound $4.51 $4.88
Per Calorie $0.0129 $0.0099
Wet Cat Food Nutro Natural Balance
Per Pound $6.65 $5.03
Per Calorie $0.0150 $0.0115

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 Nutro 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 Nutro 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 Nutro 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 Nutro Pet Foods

You can purchase Nutro pet foods from the following stores:









Where To Buy Natural Balance Pet Foods

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










Type Of Pet Foods Available

Product Nutro Natural Balance
Dry Dog Food 65 Recipes 27 Recipes
Wet Dog Food 46 Recipes 31 Recipes
Dog Treats 28 Treats 33 Treats
Dry Cat Food 25 Recipes 14 Recipes
Wet Cat Food 53 Recipes 39 Recipes
Cat Treats

Compare Pet Food Prices Across Multiple Pet Stores

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