Actor Dick Van Patten founded his own pet food business in 1989 and named it: Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods. The pet food manufacturer’s base of operations is located in Pacoima, Los Angeles, California.
Joey Herrick is the current President of Natural Balance and he claims they have hired top veterinarians and nutritionists to develop their respected brand and formulas.
Where Joey once helped stock local pet food retailers with their products, the organisation has grown exponentially and they now sell their wares worldwide.
Natural Balance takes quality control very seriously because they understand that a pet’s health is very important.
As part of their quality assurance program, Natural Balance has a laboratory that tests for nine specific contaminants and toxins like salmonella for example. These test results are available online to promote transparency and to hopefully appeal to consumer confidence in the product.
The dry dog food varieties offered by Natural Balance are balanced for all dog life stages. Our review of Natural Balance Original Ultra Small Breed Bites reveals it contains the following main ingredients:
• brown rice,
• lamb meal,
• duck meal,
• chicken fat (preserved with natural mixed tocopherols),
• tomato pomace,
• natural flavour
• canola oil
This particular Natural Balance recipe features smaller-sized kibbles to accommodate smaller breed dogs and puppies. Also, the texture is purposefully manufactured to help promote healthy teeth and gums for dogs.
The primary protein source in Natural Balance Origin Ultra Small Breed Bites Dry Dog Formula is chicken, which is an excellent primary natural protein source.
Instead of an immediate secondary protein source this recipe jumps straight to an abundance of brown rice, which sounds good for digestion but is not the typical leading ingredient for a natural pet food recipe.
Functional food can be described as food that not only offers nutritional benefits but also helps to prevent disease and promote good health.
According to an article published in The Journal of Nutrition (1998)entitled: ‘Selected Fructooligosaccharide Composition of Pet-Food Ingredients’:
Dietary supplementation of FOS, if proven effective in promoting a more remedial colonic bacterial population and in decreasing fecal odor components, will depend on FOS contribution from pet-food ingredients. … No FOS were detected in … brown rice …
It can be argued that a wholegrain such as brown rice is not the highest grade ingredient for promoting a healthy digestive system however the addition of oatmeal and barley balance the equation.
Potatoes and carrots are good natural fillers while the duck meal and tomato pomace bring the quality of core ingredients down a notch.
Chicken fat and canola oil bring the fatty acids to the mix.
Overall, the ingredients in Natural Balance are actually a decent nutritious and functional balance.
Amazon user Cleo admits ‘The quality is probably as good but just not their favourite’.
There are lots of dogs out there that like CGD’s that ‘…just turn their nose up at …’ the stuff.
Despite the complaints about the taste there are lots of five-star product reviews. LAJayne likes the size of the kibble: ‘My dogs love it but it goes too quickly! The size of the bites is great and easy for my dogs to pick up and chew’ whereas james F. Patton says he: ‘Couldn’t believe all the meat by-products my other dog food had. This made my dog calmer and he has quite a bit of energy’.