California Natural Lamb Meal and Rice Dry Puppy Food

Editor's Review: 4 / 5.0
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Designed with the health of your growing puppy in mind, this formula by California Natural offers a balanced diet that should help your puppy thrive. Puppies need an extra boost of vital building blocks that come from vitamins and minerals in order to build a strong foundation of bones, teeth, and joints. Simple and pure, this formula provides that nutrition without adding harmful ingredients that might put your puppy’s growing body at risk.

Quick Look

Nutritional Content

  • Protein 26.0% min.
  • Fat: 16.0% min.
  • Fiber 2.0% max.
  • Moisture: 10.0% max.

Kcal Information – Calories Per Cup

Due to the high caloric needs of puppies, this formula contains 4,247 kcal per kilogram or 535 kcal per cup.


This formula comes in three sizes: 5lb, 15lb, and 30lb bags. The cost will vary, and the larger quantity bags are usually cheaper per pound. Costs average approximately $1.83 to $2.80 per pound.

January 17, 2013
California Natural Lamb Meal and Rice Dry Puppy Food


Main Ingredients

  • Lamb Meal – An excellent source of animal protein that contains less saturated fats than many other meat products. Lamb is a popular meat in dog foods and contains many valuable minerals and nutrtients, including tryptophan, selenium, and vitamin B12. It is also a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Those concerned with the quality of animal meal should keep in mind California Natural’s commitment to not using by-products.
  • Brown rice – a source of complex carbohydrates, brown rice is generally easily digested by dogs, once cooked. It contains dietary fiber, as well as other nutrients, including B vitamins, magnesium, and selenium.
  • Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Natural Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid) - a significant source of the fat in this formula is plant-based. While sunflower oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids, it is lacking omega-3’s.
  • Rice – is also included as a complex carbohydrate. Assuming this is white rice, it may have a slightly lower nutritional value and lower dietary fiber than the brown rice listed above.
  • Natural Flavors – a common ingredient in dog foods, it would be nice if the source and quality of the natural flavors was cited.

Other Ingredients

  • Potassium Chloride
  • Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Betaine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Beta Carotene, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Folic Acid)
  • Minerals (Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate)
  • Sea Salt
  • Taurine
  • Rosemary Extract

AAFCO Statement

This formula, while specifically formulated to meet the needs of growing puppies, meets the nutritional requirements for dogs in all life stages according to the AAFCO dog food nutritional profiles.

Product Overview

California Natural brand’s commitment to quality, balanced nutrition shines in this puppy formula, as well as their theory that sometimes, “less is more.” Upon review, pet owners will find a short list of ingredients, each with a specific purpose designed to maintain the health and energy levels of their growing puppy. This makes it a food that puppies should enjoy eating, and one that pet owners can be confident feeding.

Both protein and fat levels are relatively high in this formula, as well as the kcal content. This ensures that a growing puppy has adequate nutrition to support his active puppy bouncing while providing necessary building blocks for a life of health. While a better fat source such as an animal fat could be desired, the protein source is excellent. Lamb meal is a concentrated source of protein, allowing for higher levels of several nutrients due to the lower moisture level compared to fresh lamb.

Sunflower oil is high in linoleic acid, an unsaturated omega-6 fatty acid which is vital to your puppy’s health, and can also help promote a healthier skin and coat. Vitamin E is also present, and since it is an antioxidant it may help to prevent some forms of cancer, arthritis and other disease processes that can cause damage to your pet’s body.

Rice is considered to be a highly digestible form of carbohydrate, and is not usually associated with the digestive and allergic problems of some the more commonly used grains, such as wheat and corn. If this were an adult formula, we might be concerned that rice is included twice in the ingredient list, making it a higher percentage of the overall caloric content, but since this is a puppy formula, the added boost of energy provided by these carbohydrates is less of an issue.

California Natural’s commitment to wholesome, high quality ingredients make this a highly recommended source of nutrition for your puppy. There are no real issues of concern in this formulation, giving pet owners greater confidence in the nutrition their dog is receiving. The use of sea salt is just another small touch to naturally add the essential nutrients sodium and chloride. This formula is recommended for puppies from weaning up until about 12 to 18 months of age. Pet owners should consult with their veterinarian to decide on a feeding regimen specific for their puppies needs. Overall, California Natural Lamb Meal and Rice Dry Puppy Food appears to be an excellent quality, USA made product.

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