Taste of the Wild has a saying, “we don’t make anything we wouldn’t feed to our own pets.“
Is this the secret behind this premium dog food brand’s growing success?
(They’ve only been around since 2007).
Or is there more to the story?
So: What is the behind the scenes driving force which has propelled this family owned company into the dog food manufacturing industry’s top ten spots. Let’s find out, shall we!?
Compare this product with Amazon Best Sellers in the Best Dog Food category.
Why review Taste of the Wild?
Because their products are quickly becoming the go-to choice for caring dog owners across the globe. In fact: Taste of the Wild is one of the fastest growing pet food brands on Earth.
Now: Anytime we see such an industry trend, we find it necessary to do exactly what our furry friends would, if they wanted to retrieve a toy or a bone . . . a little digging!
Only in our case it doesn’t just benefit us, but the entire dog loving community. So, let’s see what Taste of the Wild is all about.
Whoever came up with the name for the company deserves all the credit in the world, because it’s catchy as it is relevant, in terms of their marketing strategy. Which is: No one knows what dogs should eat, better than nature; i.e. their own DNA.
Packaging: You can see it, and feel it, in their packaging. A bear catching salmon in a furious pacific stream, with wolves around watching. Or the wolves themselves eyeing a herd of buffalo, a fox watching two deer lock horns. This brand really does bring the wild sensation to your dogs food bowl.
So: They took on the challenge of creating a dog food as nature intended, but did they succeed?
Ahead: We’ll review Taste of the Wild’s history, manufacturing practices, safety and quality controls, where and how it’s made, how it’s rated, recalls issued, and more.
Is Taste of the Wild Dog Food Safe?
Each of the formulas produced by this brand is designed by their nutritionists and veterinarians to fulfill specific nutritional needs for dogs; while adhering to stringent safety and quality standards.
Things Taste of the Wild does to ensure quality and safety:
“Safety first. Quality always.” This is the motto Taste of the Wild follows when making dog food. They are of the belief that you have high standards for the food your dog eats, and they in turn have equally as high standards for how it’s made.
In order to ensure the safety and quality of the kibbles that your dog ultimately ends up chewing, the company continuously monitors:
- ingredients used
- production processes as a whole
- production environment
- and the finished products.
Resulting in: The manufacturing company doing the following weekly/monthly safety and quality protocols:
- 45,000+ monthly finished product nutritional tests
- 180 monthly oxidative stability tests on fats and oils
- 1,300+ weekly microbiological tests
- 6,000+ monthly ingredient nutritional tests
- 1,075 weekly mycotoxin tests
Bottom line on safety: Taste of the Wild is a safe dog food brand as far as we can tell from all the information available to us. Worth mentioning: It was involved in a recall back in 2012 issued by it’s manufacturing company (Diamond Pet Co.) that you can read more about in our recalls section below.
Rumors: We’ve seen an uptick in complaints involving Taste of the Wild on the internet by dissatisfied consumers making various claims.
But: As far as we can tell, nothing has happened since 2012 to suggest that safety standards have been lowered. No recall has officially been announced by Taste of the Wild since. In fact, quite the opposite may be true, as the manufacturing company strengthened it’s commitment to food safety.
Who Makes Taste of the Wild Dog Food?
Taste of the Wild is manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods. It is a family owned and privately held business; founded in Meta, MO in 1970 when two brothers-in-law purchased a former milling company.
Founders: Gary Schell (President) & Richard Kampeter (Director of Marketing)
Director of Veterinary Services: Dr. Melissa Brookshire M.D.
They’re proud of their Midwestern values, and the fact that they have resisted outside influence and corporate thinking, by staying a private company.
“Every pet deserves the very best, and that includes yours!” ~ Diamond Pet Foods
Fun fact: In a span of six years, the company went from doing $35 million to $1.15 billion dollars.
Note: Many dog owners are (reasonably) concerned by the fact that Diamond Pet Foods manufactures Taste of the Wild, due to Diamond’s numerous recalls. But: It’s also important to note that Diamond is a huge manufacturer with numerous brands, and that Taste of the Wild was only involved in one recall back in 2012.
Brands by Diamond Pet Foods:
- Diamond Naturals
- Diamond Naturals Grain-Free
- Diamond Care
- Nutra-Gold Grain-Free
- Nutra Nuggets Global
- Nutra Nuggets US
- Premium Edge
- Taste of the Wild
- Bright Bites snacks.
Company goal: Diamond pet foods publicly stated goal since the 1970’s has been to “produce high-quality, premium pet food, at a price your average pet owner could afford.“
These days the company serves a global market of over 100 countries, from Europe to the Americas, and all the way through the Middle East to Asia. It has over 800 employees.
Serving a worldwide network of professionals, including:
- nutritious-conscious dog owners.
That’s not all: The company states it firmly believes and practices nutritional integrity, food safety, and has built state-of-the art facilities to ensure latest technology is used to create the best possible dog food, that they themselves are proud to feed to their own pets.
Now: Speaking of facilities, you want to know where the stuff is actually made, right?
Where Is Taste of the Wild Dog Food Made?
Made in the USA: Taste of the Wild is made in five state-of-the-art factories across the United States.
U.S. Headquarters: P.O. Box 156, Meta, MO 65058.
Satisfaction guaranteed: Should you have any questions, comments, or concerns about a specific product, Taste of the Wild offers a satisfaction guarantee. Simply get in touch with them using the below info.
Contact info: 1-800-977-8797 and/or 1-800-342-4808, contact form.
U.S. Manufacturing Facilities: California (2), Missouri (1), Arkansas (1), South Carolina (1).
To learn more about the Diamond facilities where Taste of the Wild is manufactured (the ultimate dog food you see on the store shelves), check out the video below:
Safety and quality oriented: Via implementation of the latest technological advancements, Taste of the Wild is manufactured using comprehensive food safety system ensuring it’s safety, nutrition, and quality.
Note: Every Diamond Pet Foods facility is audited annually for adherence to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), which is administered by NSF International. To pass the audit, the product must be proven to have the “identity, strength, composition, quality, and purity that it is represented to possess.”
AAFCO: All Taste of the Wild products are formulated to meet the nutritional levels and guidelines set forth by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Feeding trials: Only observational, non-invasive ones. Basically their nutritionists just look at which food the dog chooses to eat first, given a choice between two or more.
Where does Taste of the Wild source their ingredients from?
The short answer: Taste of the Wild is manufactured utilizing global suppliers, as well as domestic.
Examples: Potato protein from Germany, select nutrients from China, lamb from New Zealand, and chicory from Belgium.
Why? Because the global supply chain is complex, and most companies use global suppliers. Because sometimes, the highest quality ingredients come from global suppliers.
Proprietary probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial in maintaining digestive health and a healthy immune system; they do so by keeping bad bacteria at bay and maintaining a healthy balance.
Each Taste of the Wild formulas is enhanced with their proprietary K9 Strain Probiotics which promises: species-specific strains, guranteed viability, and stringent purification (free of contamination).
Close relationships with trusted suppliers: Be they local or global, Taste of the Wild’s priority is to source the absolute best ingredients available. By forming close relationships with ingredient suppliers and vetting them via a stringent process, Taste of the Wild ensures quality in it’s ingredients.
Long-term relationships: On top of having close ties to their suppliers, Taste of the Wild believes in nurturing them and not switching sources often, or bidding on suppliers, as some other industry firms do regularly. This helps them keep an eye on quality, safety, and discover price efficiencies as well.
Sustainable and humane ingredients: Taste of the Wild goes out of their way to ensure the ingredients they source are good for the environment and the animals were treated well.
Carefully selected quality ingredients including:
- pasture-raised venison
- spring-fed trout
- cage-free turkey and duck
- sustainably sourced salmon
- pasture-raised venison
- bison and beef
Ways in which Taste of the Wild ensures ingredients and product quality:
- a commitment to food safety
- on-site product testing
- mycotoxin control
- microbial testing
- water quality controls
- air quality controls
- (product) test and hold program
Worth mentioning: Ingredients sourced are from suppliers who do not use ethoxyquin, and the formulas are not irradiated. No use of artificial colors, flavors, and/or preservatives either. No corn, no soy, no by products.
Now: You know how Taste of the Wild is made and by whom, let us now take a look at where to buy it.
Who Sells Taste of the Wild Dog Food?
Taste of the Wild products can be found at retail partners throughout the world.
Whether you’re buying in-store, online, or are traveling and need to find a store in a foreign country, Taste of the Wild is abound. Continuing their fast growing trend, with no slowing down in sight.
Where to buy Taste of the Wild dog food?
From Wal-Mart to Tractor Supply Co., from PetSmart to Pet Supplies Plus, to your favorite and local mom-and-pop pet store; Taste of the Wild dog food can be easily purchased. Ranging from a short drive, to the convenience of your own fingertips, as you order online from one of the numerous e-commerce outlets.
To find your nearest location: If you’re looking for a place to buy Taste of the Wild, simply visit their Where to Buy – Search Tool and you’ll be presented with in-store, online, and global options.
Taste of the Wild is also available online at retailers such as Amazon.com, Petco.com, and Chewy.com
How Does Taste of the Wild Dog Food Rate?
Dognutrition.com rates Taste of the Wild as an above-average brand, earning an impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars. With a variety-rich, grain-free focused product line (made using a higher protein content, from quality meats than the conventional dog foods), Taste of the Wild accomplishes their goal of a premium dog food at an affordable price; being cheaper than some of the more expensive, yet comparable, grain-free high-protein brands (i.e. Orijen).
When it comes to Taste of the Wild: Most everyday dog lovers, as well as industry professionals report being happy with feeding Taste of the Wild to their dogs at all life stages. Though some have concerns about it’s parent company (Diamond). But: So far the consensus is that since 2012, Taste of the Wild seems to be immune to the problems they have experienced with their other brands. We hope it stays that way!
How do their ingredient ratios rate: Taste of the Wild dry dog food encompasses an above average protein (32%), above average fat (18%), and a below average carbs content (42%); when compared to other dry dog foods. Taste of the Wild wet dog food boasts an above average protein (44%), below average fat (19%), and a near-average carbohydrate content (42%); compared to other wet dog foods.
Which Taste of the Wild Dog Food Is Best?
So much depends on this answer: your dogs lifestyle, current diet, current weight, lifestage, etc.
Only you and your vet truly know which of the Taste of the Wild products is the best for your dog.
But: We can make a solid recommendation on what others have been raving about in general.
Good wet food recommendation: The Taste of the Wild (Grain-Free) Canned Dog Food Variety Pack – [Wetlands, Pacific Stream, High Prairie, and Sierra Mountain] [Pack of 12]. It offers top-quality grain-free dog food in a variety of flavors that dogs across the globe are chowing down! [See it on Amazon.com]
Good dry food recommendation: The Taste of the Wild (Grain Free) High Protein Natural Dry Dog Food – Venison & Bison formula. A great protein-rich natural dog food options with optimal amino acid profile, vitamins and minerals, fruits and veggies, fatty acid blend, and a proprietary probiotic. [See it on Amazon.com]
Important: Always consult with your vet before experimenting with different foods on your dog.
Can puppies eat Taste of the Wild dog food?
Yes. Taste of the Wild has two impressive puppy-oriented formulas:
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy [See it on Amazon.com]
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy. [See it on Amazon.com]
Now: On top of the puppy-specific formulation above, you can feed any of the All Life Stages – Taste of the Wild products to puppy dogs (i.e. the Pine Forest Canine, Southwest Canyon, and Sierra Mountain Canine formulas). These are made to nourish dogs at all stages of their lives, from a young pup to a wise senior.
The puppy-specific and all-life-stages formulas contain specific nutrients that help the development of your pup; like added DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), that aids in the development of eyes and the brain.
You’ll notice the following letters accompanying each recipe below. This is the recipes pertinent AAFCO nutrient profile (if we’re able to locate it on the company’s website).
- All Life Stages
Important: We feel it important to state that many websites do not reliably indicate which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are deemed safe for large breed puppies.
Now: You may see it on some of the recipes below, but we typically do not include this data in our reports. Make sure you examine the actual packaging for this information.
Taste of the Wild Dry Food
- Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon [A]
- Taste of the Wild Pine Forest [A]
- Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain [A]
- Taste of the Wild Wetlands Formula [M]
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula [M]
- Taste of the Wild Appalachian Valley Small Breed [M]
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Formula [M]
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula [A]
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy Formula [A]
Taste of the Wild Canned Food
- Taste of the Wild Wetlands Canine [A]
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Canine [A]
- Taste of the Wild Sierra Mountain Canine [A]
- Taste of the Wild Southwest Canyon Canine [A]
- Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Canine [A]
Taste of the Wild PREY Limited Ingredient Dog Food
- Taste of the Wild Angus Beef Limited Ingredient Formula [A] [Dry]
- Taste of the Wild Trout Limited Ingredient Formula [A] [Dry]
- Taste of the Wild Turkey Limited Ingredient Formula [A] [Dry]
Below is a list of all (if any) recall incidents tied to this brand. It encompasses an analysis of all dog food recalls dating back to 2010, and pointing out any releases directly related to this product line.
Note: If you don’t see any recall below, it means either of these two things. 1. There have been no recalls directly related to this product line. 2. We have not yet updated the section to reflect a recent recall.
Recalls related to Taste of the Wild:
- Reason: Potential contamination from the Salmonella bacteria.
- Source: FDA report dated May 5, 2012. Voluntary recall.
- What was recalled: Thousands of units. All sizes of Taste of the Wild dry dog food.
- Production Codes:
- With the number “2” or “3” in the 9th digit
- AND the letter “X” in the 10th or 11th digit;
- AND “Best by” date of Dec. 9, 2012 through April 7, 2013.
- Production Codes:
Result of the 2012 recall: The result of the above, which itself was part of a much bigger recall issued by the parent company Schell & Kampeter Inc. doing business as Diamond Pet Foods, was a class action lawsuit.
Case name: Marciano v. Schell & Kampeter Inc. d/b/a Diamond Pet Foods, et al., Case No. 2:12-cv-02708, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.
Who was affected: Customers who bought certain Diamond manufactured pet food products in 2011 and 2012. The claim form deadline ended on 7/11/2014.
Allegations: The class action lawsuit alleged that the company “manufactured and distributed certain pet food products that led to illness and death of some animals that consumed them.“
The outcome: The class action was settled in 2014, with Diamond Pet Food providing monetary compensation to owners of animals who fell ill or died as a result of the contamination.
Worth mentioning: No recalls since 2012 have involved Taste of the Wild, and there is nothing that scientifically suggests that one recall in the past will lead to another in the future. Recalls happen, especially when a company becomes as colossal as Diamond Pet Foods. We can only hope that companies that experience them, end up gaining a priceless lesson as a result.
So: From the track record Taste of the Wild has had since, we’re glad to see that this may be the case.
The Bottom Line
From what we were able to gather in this brand review of Taste of the Wild, there is good reason behind the fact that they’re one of the fastest growing dog food brands. Such as the following.
Their grain-free product line is an excellent choice for caring dog owners looking to minimize possible allergens and fillers. Most of their ingredients are of high-quality, and though some are sourced globally, a good majority seems to come from the USA land. The unique choice of rare protein sources may be a gift from the doggy heavens for dogs allergic to common protein sources.
Taste of the Wild offers a diverse line of formulas, suited for all types of dogs, including:
- small breeds
- large breeds
- senior dogs
- active dogs
- adult dogs
- pregnant or lactating dogs
- dogs with allergies
- athletic dogs
- working dogs
Proper quality assurance protocols
We tend to be overly concerned, and curious, with compliance and safety measures the manufacturer behind the brand has in place. When it comes to Taste of the Wild we’re impressed by their stated “safety first, quality always motto,” manifested in: commitment to food safety, on-site product testing, mycotoxin control, microbial testing, water & air quality controls, test and hold program.
Philosophy behind the product
Premium pet food at an affordable price. The belief that every pet, no matter the household or shelter, deserves the best possible nutrition. Staying a private company and looking beyond the short-term quarterly-profit driven business model most public companies must adhere to.
What we’d like to see: The brand continue with it’s current philosophy when it comes to formulating quality dog food and not “sell out” and stop caring about nurturing it’s well established long-term vendor partnerships; which enable them to source premium ingredients at an affordable price.
Note: Regarding our brand analysis or product reviews; we do not accept money, samples, or gifts from pet food companies or manufacturers for special favors or considerations.
We welcome our readers to share coupons and discounts with us that we may have missed in our search.
We were unable to locate any coupons and/or discounts on the Taste of the Wild website.
Now: Should you make a purchase by clicking the buying tip below, you will help us keep the lights on; as we will receive a referral fee from the online store. (Which in no way inhibits our independence and objectivity).
Notes, References & Updates
Please review the below when analyzing this article further.
- Descriptions and analysis expressed on this site are strictly the views and opinions of the author.
- Dognutrition.com do not test any dog food products.
- The accuracy of the information herein is dependent heavily on and correlated with the integrity of information provided by the dog food company in question.
- We strive to get all the info correct, but we do not and cannot guarantee it’s completeness or accuracy. Additionally, we do not have the resources to ensure the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.
- Each analysis is offered in good faith and is intended to help you make a more informed buying decision when it comes to purchasing dog food.
- Due to the unique biological identity of each dog, none of our analysis are meant to suggest or guarantee that feeding a particular dog food will result in any specific response in their diet or offer any specific health benefits.
- Our Company – Taste of the Wild
- Pet Food Industry – Top Pet Food Companies
- Diamond Pet Food – History
- GMP Compliance Audits – NSF International
- Consumer Affairs – Taste of the Wild
- Top Class Actions – Diamond Pet Foods
- Short-Termism in Business: Causes, Mechanisms & Consequences
Have an experience with this dog food you’d like to share? Or perhaps the post itself? Please know we rely on the tips of our readers and welcome your comments.