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Northwest Naturals is owned by family business, Morasch Meats, founded in 1956. Morasch Meats was the first USDA meat manufacturing facility to produce raw frozen pet food according to USDA human food guidelines, Northwest Naturals claims to provide the highest quality, most convenient and best value raw frozen pet food products using green environmentally friendly process controls.
The company produces raw and freeze dried foods in their own facility in Portland, Oregon. Raw foods are sold in nuggets, chubs and 25 lb bulk “dinner bars.” The freeze dried foods are the same formula as the raw.
Raw food fans should note that Northwest Naturals does use High Pressure Pasteurization (HPP) as a kill step. This doesn’t affect their product score, but is definitely worth noting.
The food is considered a low risk dog food, with an overall rating of 8.8, with no points lost for light processing. While average carbohydrates are very low, the Beef products are calculated to contain a moderately high level of 15% carbs. However, the only way to calculate carbohydrates in dog food is using the Guaranteed Analysis numbers, which provide minimum levels of protein and fat and thus could be higher. If higher, this would reduce the calculated carbohydrate level. Protein in the foods averages 45%. In a couple of cases (foods with trout in the recipe), the fat content is much higher than protein, which is a concern because too much fat impacts gut health, and toxins are stored in fat.
The company doesn’t claim its foods are non-GMO, although produce is locally sourced. Apples, a food known to be genetically-modified, are in the recipes, in some cases in the top 5 ingredients. Excessive minerals added to the food also suggest lower quality ingredients.
The average score of Northwest Naturals dog foods and each sub-brand are listed below. Click on any line below to view the individual foods and scores.
Northwest Naturals Raw Dog Food is considered a low risk food with an average score of 8.8%. No points are lost for light processing. The line is generally low in carbohydrates, averaging 5% on a dry matter basis. However, carbohydrates as calculated in the Beef recipe exceed 15% and the recipe loses a point for that. The Raw line loses points for having higher fat than protein in their Trout recipes, as well as excessive added minerals in all foods.
Salmon in these foods is wild-caught in Alaska, but other fish in the recipes, including their fish oil, appear to be from farmed fish. The food does not provide the omega-6:omega-3 ratio, which is a concern since AAFCO allows a very inflammatory ratio of 30:1.
Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Dog Food is considered a low risk food with an average score of 8.9%. The Freeze Dried foods are the same formulas as the Raw line, making them a convenient alternative to raw. No points are lost for light processing. The line is generally low in carbohydrates. As with the Raw line, the Beef & Trout is significantly higher in fat than protein.The foods lose a quality point for excessive added minerals, suggesting a lower quality food that’s lacking naturally occurring minerals from whole food sources.
Produce in the recipes is locally sourced but not organic. While salmon is wild-caught in Alaska, other fish and fish oil in the recipes appears to be farmed, making it less nutritious.
Northwest Naturals Dinner Bars Dog Food is considered a low risk food with an average score of 8.9%. No points are lost for light processing. As with the other lines, the foods are generally low in carbohydrates, except for the Beef recipe which loses a point for having more than 15% carbs. The Trout and Beef & Trout recipes loss points because they’re higher in fat than protein.
The Dinner Bars line is raw food in a bulk format of 25 lb bars scored in 4 oz servings, so it’s a good option for multi-dog households with plenty of freezer space.
Excessive added minerals imply a lower quality food that’s lacking naturally occurring minerals from whole food sources. Salmon is wild-caught in Alaska, but other fish in the recipes, including their fish oil, appear to be from farmed fish.
Northwest Naturals Chicken & Salmon raw chubs were recalled in February 2018 due to potential listeria contamination.