Nom Nom Dog Food Review
Nom Nom was founded in 2014 as a direct-to-consumer brand that makes “personalized” gently cooked, frozen foods for dogs at its own kitchen facilities in Nashville, Tennessee and the San Francisco Bay Area. It was reported in January 2022 that Mars acquired Nom Nom and will operate it as an autonomous brand.
For our Nom Nom dog food review, we’ll look at the food ingredient quality and safety of the company’s single line of food. Our dog food reviews are based on these criteria.
Nom Nom Review
Package Ingredients for Nom Nom Beef Mash Recipe: Ground beef, russet potatoes, eggs, carrots, peas, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, natural flavor, citric acid, calcium carbonate, taurine, vinegar, fish oil, sunflower oil, choline bitartrate, water sufficient for processing, iron amino acid chelate, zinc gluconate, vitamin E supplement, copper gluconate, niacin (vitamin B3), manganese gluconate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), riboflavin (vitamin B2), cholecalciferol (source of vitamin D3), potassium iodide, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement
Based on our evaluation criteria for ingredient safety and ingredient quality, Nom Nom is considered a high risk dog food.
Here are our concerns:
High In Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates in this line average 35% as calculated on a dry matter basis, which is excessively high. Dogs have no nutritional requirement for carbohydrates. Excessive carbohydrate is an indicator of low quality foods as it’s often used to keep costs down. Large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance.
Excessive Added Vitamins and Minerals
This line loses ingredient quality points for excessive added vitamins and minerals. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Ideally, these nutrients should come from whole food sources. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes.
Contains Seed Oil
Some of these recipes contain sunflower oil, a highly processed and inflammatory oil that’s an inexpensive alternative to higher quality animal fats and oils.
Unnamed Animal Ingredients
Unnamed animal ingredients are a sign of low quality. This line contains fish oil that can be made from any type of fish. Unnamed animal ingredients are often a less expensive, low quality ingredient that can be made from rendered waste of many proteins.
Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are some of the issues with Nom Nom line:
As a cooked food, this line loses an ingredient safety point. Heating foods will cause losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Minimal or no processing is preferred.
High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients
These recipes contain foods in the top 5 ingredients that are known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residue. Unless organic, when crops are spray-dried with Roundup, they contain more glyphosate/herbicide residue than other crops, even genetically modified ones. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases.
GMO Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients
Recipes in this line contain known GMO crops in the top 5 ingredients, including spinach and russet potatoes. There are limited safety studies on genetically modified and Roundup Ready crops, although they are lacking in nutrients compared to non-GMO foods. GMO crops also strip nutrients from soils, require increased pesticide risk and may be involved in bee die-off.
The use of rice in several recipes costs ingredient safety points due to potential arsenic contamination. Arsenic is a significant concern with rice since it naturally absorbs arsenic that can contaminate the water it’s grown in. Arsenic is linked to chronic health issues.
Recipes in this line contain natural flavor, which is added to make processed food more palatable. But natural flavor is often either MSG or animal digest, both low quality ingredients with limited safety studies.
View The Entire Review on Dog Food Reviews
Is Nom Nom A Good Dog Food?
Nom Nom has one line of gently cooked, frozen food, with 4 recipes. These recipes score an average of 4.6/10, making it a high risk dog food. The ingredient quality score is lowered by the high carbohydrate level. The food also loses ingredient quality points for excessive vitamins and minerals, which often indicates suggests poor quality ingredients that need fortifying to meet nutrition standards.
Other ingredient quality concerns include fish oil without specifying the species of fish or whether it’s from farmed or wild-caught fish, and the use of sunflower oil and canola oil, seed oils that are highly processed and potentially inflammatory.
As a cooked food, Nom Nom loses ingredient safety points for moderate processing. Heat used in cooking can deplete nutrients.
Other ingredient safety concerns are ingredients known to contain higher pesticide or herbicide residues, and ingredients known for GMOs in 2 recipes. Natural flavor is another concern, because it’s often animal digest or MSG, both low quality ingredients with limited safety studies.
One concern doesn’t affect the Nom Nom score, but it’s worth noting:
Does Not Provide Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio
Nom Nom does not state the omega-6:omega-3 ratio in their foods. While this is true of most foods, it’s a concern because AAFCO allows a very inflammatory ratio of 30:1. Diets rich in omega-6 fats can cause chronic inflammation and disease.
NOM NOM DOG FOOD RECALLS
Nom Nom has been involved in one voluntary recall, as follows:
Nom Nom has no record of any dog food recalls. However, they did voluntarily recall several lots of cat food in July 2021 for potential listeria contamination.
We evaluate and score dog foods based on two criteria:
Are the Ingredients High Quality?
Here are some common low quality ingredients or markers we look for:
- Is there excessive carbohydrate content, which can cause gut imbalances?
- Does the food contain unnamed proteins, which are low quality?
- Does the food use cellulose (wood pulp) as a source of fiber instead of real food?
- Are there excessive vitamins and minerals added in place of real food nutrition?
- Are there excessive added amino acids or plant proteins instead of expensive meat protein?
- Does the food contain inflammatory processed seed oils?
How Safe Are the Ingredients?
Many ingredients come from unhealthy, inflammatory sources or are full of pesticides so we look for:
- How processed is the food?
- Does the food contain known genetically modified foods?
- Does the food contain ingredients known to be high in pesticides?
- Does the food contain natural flavor, which are often MSG or animal digest?
- Does the food contain rice, which is high in arsenic?
Each food is objectively evaluated by these criteria and a score is assigned using the average of ingredient quality and safety. This is NOT a paid list and there are no affiliate links. Dogs Naturally has partnered with DogFoodReviews.com to make sure dog owners have unbiased, objective criteria to help them choose the best dog food on the market. You can view the full Evaluation Criteria at DogFoodReviews.com.