Taste of The Wild vs Merrick: Which is The Best For Your Dog?

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When choosing food for your dog, what you possibly want is to see positive changes in his health and wellbeing. Sadly, however, the pet food market has tones of different types, brands, and flavors, making it harder to choose. Since we can’t have all of them at once, in this article we’ll do a side-side comparison of Taste of the wild vs Merrick dog food.

The two are amongst the few best and most trusted providers, especially when it comes to high-quality canine nutrition. They both depend on real whole foods from the farm and natural environment as the ingredients on their recipes. Hence, the reason thousands of owners have entrusted the health of their pets to them.

Even so, just recently, that trust was partially broken and both Taste of the wild and Merrick pet care suffered a huge blow. The brands were mentioned together with 14 others in what the leading team considered as the “Grain-free Grief”.

Anyways, that will be a subject for later in the discussion. As for now, we’ll compare the various key aspects that might be helpful when looking for the best dog food.

Don’t worry, we’ll not be biased in any way. The article not only discusses the good qualities of the brands but also where they have failed and need improvement. Then, in the end, you can help us make a definitive decision on which wins between Taste of the Wild vs Merrick.

You may also like: Taste of the Wild vs Blue buffalo

A Basic Overview on the Brands

Taste of the Wild

As we mentioned in the Taste of the Wild Review, the brand is still pretty young, having debuted in 2007. It, however, is part of the Diamond Pet Foods, a US-based top provider of pets diet that has been active since 1970.
To serve everyone’s needs, Taste of the Wild produce dog nutrition that’s not just high-quality, but affordable as well.

Just as the name, the formulation of the encompassed recipes borrows from what the wild dogs eat in the wilderness. Hence, the reason you’ll find ingredients like venison, bison, and wild boar.


Similarly, the brand has a high reputation for producing nutrient-rich dog food when using quality and wholesome ingredients. It opened the doors in 1988 through its founder Garth Merrick and the wife. Hence, the name “Merrick” Petcare.

The company is dedicated to delivering premium dog food that can bring out the health benefits you can see. They are surely dedicated to ensuring every owner watches his pet live the healthiest, happiest life possible. So, the team obtains fresh and real whole foods from natural sources without considering any artificial additives or cheap fillers.

Through their long-established experience, Merrick pet food company has recently introduced the Full Source dog food lineup. The diet is available in two different forms and around 6 different flavors, which all focus on promoting overall health.

taste of the wild vs merrick

Comparing The Taste Of The Wild vs Merrick Dog Food

Table 1: A Quick Summary On Taste Of The Wild And Merrick Dog Food

Facts  Taste of the Wild  Merrick
Mission Provide high-quality and affordable dog food options  Work hard and provide superior nutrition that improves the lives of pets
First Ingredient  Real Meat  Real Meat
Dog Food Brands 3 types 7 Types
Dry Food Flavors About 16 at the moment  50
Wet Food Flavors 5 57
Toppers No 17 options
Dog Treats No Yes
[about 40 different recipes]
Cat Food Yes Yes

Table 2: The Various Ingredients In Taste Of The Wild And Merrick Dog Food

Ingredients  Taste of the Wild Dog Food Merrick Dog Food
Carbohydrates Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, brown rice, sorghum, & millet  Brown Rice, sweet potatoes, Oatmeal, & Potatoes
Proteins Venison, Pea, Lamb, Fish, Egg, Bison, wild boar, Buffalo, Beef, Millet, Lentils, Dried Yeast, And Poultry  Beef, Poultry, wild boar, venison, Bison, Fish, Lamb, bacon, Dried Yeast, Eggs, peas, & rabbit
Fiber Cracked Pearled Barley, Quinoa, Fava Beans, & Guar   Gum, Barley, Peas, Alfalfa, Pumpkin, Guar Gum
Vitamins Dried Chicory Root, Garbanzo Beans, Apples, Raspberries, & Essential Supplements   Alfalfa, Apples, Blueberries, Chicory Root, Cranberries & Essential Vitamins
Minerals Salt, Tomatoes, Carrots, Chickpeas, & Supplements   Carrots, Green Beans, Salt, Chickpeas,& Supplements
Fatty acids Canola Oil, Chicken Fat, Fish, Fish Oil, Flaxseed, Chia Seeds & Sunflower Oil   Fish Oil, Fish, Canola Oil, Chia Seeds, Flaxseed, Chicken Fat, & Sunflower Oil
Antioxidants Raspberries, Blueberries, Apples, & Vitamin E Supplement   Cranberries, Blueberries, Apples, Parsley, & Vitamin E Supplement
Flavors Natural Flavors, Natural Flavor   Rosemary Extract, Natural Flavors, & Natural Flavor.
Preservatives  Mixed Tocopherols Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid

Types of Pet Food Available

When it comes to options, Merrick has 7 different food types and over 157 recipes that they have divided into dry, wet, toppers, and treats. As such, the brand can be a great alternative if you have peaky eaters or you would like to be giving your dog different tastes from time to time.

Since every pet’s individual, Merrick has further divided their recipes into different life stages, breed size, and recipe attributes. Hence, making it easier to choose the perfect diet for the unique need of your dog.

For the Taste of the Wild, on the other hand, they have 3 dog food brands that constitute 21 different recipes in total. The brand is yet to introduce treats for the training purposes or toppers and mixers for improving the flavor of the dry dog food kibble. But they do have a limited selection of puppies.

Ingredients Use

While comparing Taste of the Wild vs Merrick pet care in ingredients use, we can say they somehow have a tie. As we mentioned, both brands craft their dog recipes from wholesome foods sourced from farms and wilderness. Also, they both use real meat as the first ingredient. Thus, offering high-quality protein for boosting the overall growth and optimal muscle strength if your dog is active.

None of the providers is into artificial additives, not even for flavors or preservatives. The brands hugely rely on the original flavors from used ingredients and a natural flavor, which usually comprises plant or animal sources like fish, meat, spice, and vegetable. Then, for maintaining freshness they add mixed tocopherols, although Merrick also uses Citric acid.

Nutritional Value

As per the requirements by AAFCO, these two brands do attach their dog food packages with the contained guaranteed analysis. In which case it becomes possible for the buyer to efficiently choose the favorable essential nutrients as per the dog needs.

When matching pet food, though, this reported guaranteed analysis has to be converted to a dry matter basis so that you can have a meaningful comparison. The dry matter basis represents the essential nutrients content while ignoring moisture, which could otherwise compromise the results.

After comparing the content level of various products, we got varying results as the makers usually prepare each diet uniquely. Merrick, however, won on the crude protein content of the kibble as they have more options over 35%.

Then Taste of the Wild led with a few points ahead on the fiber content.
Both brands are a win on the fat content, with the dry kibble at 17% and the canned formula at 20%.

Product Safety

As the owner and the Chihuahua or Beagle part of your family, your dream is to always serve nutrition that’s nutritious and safe.

While the top pet food brands have always tried to deliver, most of them have had several production flaws that rendered them to retract some recipes.

With Merrick, for instance, they have had six recalls, whereby five involved Salmonella contamination and one high level of beef thyroid hormone.

Meanwhile, Taste of the wild has had only one recall in 2012, which also involved contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

In 2019, however, these two brands were amongst the 16 popular healthy pet food providers under FDA investigation. This comes after a report that the grain-free nutrition blocks the absorption of taurine and increases the risk of heart disorder. How true this information is still a misery as it seems to target the top natural and holistic manufacturers.

But who knows, maybe it’s true these diets are linked to cardiac problems or perhaps not. Maybe the “research paper” that states these dog meals are “harmful” is just trying to drive these companies out of business. Then, the consumers turn to the “good” brands, which possibly aren’t pasture-raised and are filled with GMO ingredients.
As we know, the joy of every parent and a royal brand is to provide only what is safe and helpful to the pets’ health. No way should you provide your dog with food with grains, yet his body doesn’t digest them positively. The same goes for your dog intolerant to chicken and or other ingredients.

The 4 Best Taste of the Wild and Merrick Dog Recipes

1. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Bison& Venison Dry Dog Food

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The diet consists of a superior blend of nutrients and vitamins to boost the healthy lifestyle of your dog. It features wholesome food compounds from various sources of the farm and wild.

The number #1 ingredient is real meat from buffalo, beef, roasted bison, and roasted venison, but it also has peas and egg products. So, it’s pretty rich in protein for growth and to promote the development of lean, strong muscles. It has sweet potatoes and potatoes as the main source of carbs. Hence, very effective for a dog sensitive to corn, wheat gluten, or any other grain.


  • It’s complete and balanced nutrition
  • Has high-quality protein
  • Contains no grains, fillers, or artificial additives
  • Palatable and highly digestible
  • Includes antioxidants to promote overall well-being and immune system health
  • Has essential omega fatty acid for healthy skin and coat
  • It’s rich in fiber and probiotics to support gut health

2. Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Real Salmon Dry Dog Food

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This is a great alternative that you can get to support the daily nutrition and health requirements of your dog. It has a real salmon as the first ingredient and the main source of protein and other dozens of vitamins.
The dog food has superior carbs from multiple tubers to support the active lifestyle of your pouch. And there’s also a moderate amount of omega-6 fatty acids to help improve the coat appearance.
Likewise, the diet does contain high levels of probiotics and prebiotic fiber. Hence, very supportive of digestion and maintaining intestinal health.


  • It has high-quality protein for growth and muscle development
  • Features vitamin A supplement for enhanced vision
  • Contains no wheat gluten, corn, or fillers
  • Prepared in the USA
  • Includes taurine to improve brain and heart function
  • It has hardworking antioxidants to support overall well-being

3. Merrick Limited Ingredient Real Salmon & Brown Rice Kibble

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If your dog is quite active, this diet can be very helpful during the training and afterward. Not only does it have digestible salmon protein, but also brown rice, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes, which all are rich in carbs and fiber. Thereby, keeping your pet’s energy tanks full throughout the day while still supporting healthy digestion.

The dog food has sunflower oil which works with the added Niacin to improve the condition of the skin and coat. It also has vitamin d3 and calcium to support healthy bones and reduce the risk of joints problems.


  • It’s a specialty diet for sensitivities and allergies
  • Has high-quality fish protein and dietary fiber
  • Palatable and easy to digest
  • Excellent for normalizing poop
  • Has taurine to improve heart and brain function
  • Uses natural flavor and preservatives
  • It can help improve vision

4. Merrick Real Beef and Sweet Potato Grain-Free Puppy Dog Food

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This is a specialty diet to help cater to the needs of your puppies and enable them to grow to healthy adults. It features a lovely blend of nutrients, starting with top-quality protein and fat to support the general growth and development.

The protein is mainly from real deboned beef, which is the number #1 ingredient. But the formula also has peas, lamb meal, salmon meal, and deboned salmon to supplement the additional amino acid.

The kibble has very active antioxidant properties from vitamin E supplements, apples, and blueberries. So, your furry family will have a better chance to fight off the free radicals and improve his immune system health.
Still, the dog food has optimal levels of glucosamine and chondroitin to support the hips and joints of your growing pup.


  • It features premium protein and fat to support growth
  • Excellent for bones and joints
  • Has amino fatty acids to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat
  • Can helps support eyes health
  • Includes taurine to boost heart function
  • It maintains freshness with citric acid and mixed tocopherols

Taste of the Wild or Merrick Dog Food

Overall, both Taste of the Wild and Merrick are spectacular brands to consider when you want nutrition for your dog. The two have natural and holistic diets that comprise of wholesome high-quality ingredients from the farm and the wilderness. Furthermore, the two producers craft dog food formulas with multiple essential vitamins that your pet needs to grow and maintain his health.

Even so, Merrick diets are relatively expensive when compared to recipes from the Taste of the Wild. For this reason, many owners lean towards the latter to meeting the nutrition requirements of their pets even though they have lesser options.

Despite being pricey, however, Merrick pet care does have more dog foods to choose from. Hence, can come in handy if you prefer serving your dog different flavors at different times. The provider even has a selection of treats that you can use to motivate your dog during training.

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