Updated February 2022
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Buying guide for best Natural Balance dog food

There is no shortage of important decisions for dog owners to make. However, none may be more significant than the type of food to feed your dog. The right dog food will support your dog’s physical health and give you peace of mind.

For over 30 years, Natural Balance has produced food that keeps dogs happy, healthy, and full of energy. Founded by actor and animal welfare advocate Dick Van Patten in 1989, Natural Balance offers a range of recipes for every dog. You can find a Natural Balance formula that works for your furry friend regardless of age, size, lifestyle, or dietary restrictions.

Natural Balance makes wet and dry dog food in formulas that cater to all sizes and ages as well as those that target specific types of dogs. Our guide takes a close look at the brand so you can make the best choice for you and your dog. If you’re ready to give Natural Balance dog food a try, take a look at our top picks.

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Like most dog food companies, Natural Balance offers complete satisfaction. If your dog isn’t a fan, you can return the unused portion of food for a full refund or exchange it for a new formula.

Key considerations


Natural Balance offers different lines of dog food, some that are more general and some that are specific to dietary needs or goals.

  • Original Ultra: This line offers a complete approach to your dog’s health and wellbeing, offering plenty of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Both dry and wet food formulas are included in this line as well as options with and without grains. Chicken is a primary ingredient in all of the dry food recipes and most of the wet food formulas.
  • Delectable Delights: This line of wet food is designed for picky eaters. These recipes can be enjoyed alone or used as a topper to create a more inviting meal for your selective dog. This line is best suited to smaller dogs. Pumpkins, green beans, and sweet potatoes are some of the more inviting secondary ingredients included.
  • Limited Ingredient Diets (L.I.D.): Featuring a wide range of protein sources, this line caters to those dogs with sensitivities or allergies to certain foods. Both wet and dry food options are available as well as those with grains and those without. Duck, salmon, and bison are some of the primary ingredients in this more diverse line. These recipes are among the more expensive options from Natural Balance.
  • Synergy: The single formula in this line is designed for those dogs with digestive issues. It features chicken and brown rice. The ingredients include a balance of fiber and protein as well as prebiotics to help your dog’s digestive tract get back on track.
  • Fat Dogs: The single recipe in this line caters to dogs in need of some weight management. The low-calorie, high-fiber formula keeps your dog energized while also easing digestion in the process of losing weight.
  • Vegetarian: Natural Balance has a dry and wet formula of meat-free dog food. Brown rice, oat groats, and potatoes are used. This line is less expensive than others as it doesn’t contain meat.


Most Natural Balance dry food formulas come in three sizes. Small bags run four to five pounds, while medium bags range from 10 to 15 pounds. Large bags run from 24 to 30 pounds. Buying larger bags of dog food costs more upfront but has a better price-per-pound ratio than buying smaller bags. Just make sure your dog likes the formula before you invest.

Natural Balance wet food often comes in packs of 12 but can also be purchased individually. Wet food comes in 6- and 13-ounce cans.

If you don’t have any old food to use to transition to a new Natural Balance formula, then feed a smaller amount of food over the course of a few days. Giving too much new food instantly can upset a dog’s stomach.




Natural Balance offers an assortment of tasty treats for your furry friends. With no artificial flavors or colors, these treats can be used to boost a dog’s energy or as a sweet reward for a job well done. Natural Balance’s line of treats includes limited-ingredient chewy and crunchy options as well as treats tailored to certain types of dogs or diets.

  • Mini-Rewards: With less than five calories, these treats are great options for training and rewarding your dog without fear of packing on the pounds. These treats are made with limited ingredients.
  • Jumpin’ Stix: This line of treats is targeted to those active adult dogs who could use a little boost in their hips and joints. They also come in mini sizes for smaller dogs. There are limited-ingredient options.
  • Belly Bites: The main ingredient – either chicken, duck, or salmon – is accompanied by chickpeas and peas in these semi-moist treats. Belly Bites are good for all sizes and ages.
  • Dental Chews: Dog dental chews promote strong gums and teeth. They also improve your dog’s breath. You can find some Natural Balance chews in limited-ingredient form as well.
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Taurine is added to all Natural Balance recipes. It’s used to promote heart health and combat dilated cardiomyopathy, a common ailment affecting dogs and cats.


Dog bowls: MidWest Stainless Steel Snap’y Fit Dog Bowl
You’ll need a few dog bowls come chowtime. We like this stainless steel option from MidWest that can snap to a crate for convenient feeding.

Elevated dog bowls: Pawfect Pets Premium Elevated Dog Diner
For larger dogs, you may want to opt for a higher feeding setup. This elevated dog bowl set by Pawfect Pets is durable, effective, and minimalist.

Slow feeder dog bowls: Outward Hound Fun Feeder Interactive Dog Bowl
If your dog quickly inhales all her food, you may want to think about a slow feeder bowl. This option from Outward Hound compels your dog to take her time when eating meals.

KONG dog toys: KONG Wobbler Dog Toy
For dispensing treats, we recommend the popular KONG Wobbler, which will not only excite your dog but make him work for his reward, too.

Natural Balance dog food prices

For under $20, you can purchase any small bag of Natural Balance dry dog food as well as any bag of treats. Medium bags in the Vegetarian line are also available, as are some 12-packs of 13-ounce wet food.

For between $20 and $40, you can find most medium bags of Natural Balance dry dog food. However, certain premium ingredients, like venison, push medium-size bags into the expensive range. Most 12-packs of 13-ounce wet food are also in this range.

For $40 to $60-plus, you’ll find large bags of Natural Balance dry dog food and a handful of medium-size bags in the Limited Ingredient Diets line.

Natural Balance does not add any coloring dyes or agents to their food. As a result, the kibble can be a variety of colors based on the meat or vegetables it’s made from.



  • Transition slowly. Mix old and new formulas of dog food and gradually increase the new formula over the course of a week to transition. If your dog is particularly sensitive, transition across two weeks.
  • Monitor body weight. You should weigh your dog about once a month to check for gains or losses. Any changes will be partly due to food intake, which should then be adjusted accordingly to keep your dog healthy.
  • Wash dog bowls. While your dog will surely lick the bowl clean, make sure to wash your dog’s bowl regularly. This will prevent contamination and offer a fresh meal to your deserving dog.
  • Watch behavior. When changing foods, keep an eye out for any new or excessive itching, scratching, shedding, or panting. These behaviors may mean the new food isn’t agreeing with your dog.
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Natural Balance offers a loyalty program for their customers. If you buy a certain amount of pet food, you’ll eventually get a free purchase.


Q. Do puppies need a specific dog food formula?

A. Puppies often require more food than adult dogs as they are growing quickly and thus need more vitamins, minerals, and protein. However, they don’t necessarily need a formula that is targeted specifically for puppies. While Natural Balance does offer both dry and wet food formulas that are meant for puppies, they also have a wide range of options in all lines that are satisfactory for dogs of all ages. The choice is up to you, your dog, and your veterinarian.

Q. How do I know if my dog needs a limited-ingredient diet?

A. Your veterinarian can inform you of any allergies or sensitivities your dog has, which can develop over time and with age. Limited-ingredient diets may be better for older dogs and can help prevent excessive itching, scratching, or shedding. More serious problems arising from your dog’s diet can be vomiting or diarrhea. Consult with your vet on the best diet for your dog.

Q. Should I give my dog wet or dry food?

A. Generally, dry dog food is more popular among pet owners. Dry food is easy to store, lasts a long time, and tends to be cheaper. However, some dogs prefer the smells and tastes of wet food, and they may benefit from the extra water to keep them hydrated. Dry kibble, though, aids in dental and gum health, keeping teeth cleaner. Some owners and dogs prefer one type of food over the other, while others mix a bit of both. Once again, consult your vet with any issues.


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