Nutra Thrive Review: Legit or Hype?

By J.R. Duren
HighYa Staff
Published on: Jan 9, 2019

Nutra Thrive from Ultimate Pet Nutrition is an all-natural, superfood pet supplement you add to your dog’s food that provides, the company claims, a balance between good and bad bacteria and promotes healthy digestions.

What makes the product unique is its widespread claimed effects on your dog’s health, which, according to the product’s website, helps your dog “live a long, happy life.”

The supplement is the creation of Dr. Gary Richter, “one of America’s most renowned holistic veterinarians,” the site says. Richter runs Ultimate Pet Nutrition, the company behind the supplement. At the time of publishing, the company’s only product was Nutra Thrive.

Richter is also the author of a book titled, “The Ultimate Pet Health Guide: Breakthrough Nutrition and Integrative Care for Dogs and Cats”. At the time of publishing, the book had 57 reviews on Amazon for an average rating of 4.3 stars.

The supplement seems to have all the pedigree you’d want out of a dietary supplement for your dog. However, it's going to take some deeper analysis to understand how the product works, what’s in it and what the American Kennel Club says about the possible side effects of this supplement.

We’ll also discuss Nutra Thrive’s pricing as well as our general thoughts about its pros and cons.

How to Use Nutra Thrive

This supplement comes in powdered form and is intended to be used at every meal. It’s flavored like bacon and includes a variety of “vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and digestive enzymes.”

You simply add the proper dosage to your dog’s bowl of food, pour in a bit of water into the bowl and then mix the food and supplement around until you can’t see the powder anymore and it’s evenly coating the food.

The website notes that you’ll need to stir your dogs’ food more if you can see any Nutra Thrive. If you need to add more water to finishing mixing the power in, go ahead.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the dosage suggestions that Nutra Thrive provides:

  • 0-30 lbs.: 1 scoop per meal
  • 30-50 lbs.: 1 ½ scoop per meal
  • 50+ lbs.: 2 scoops per meal

If your dog eats twice a day, then you give half the recommended dosage at each feeding.

This pretty much sums up how you’ll give your dog this supplement on a day-to-day basis.

As for which types of dogs can use this supplement, the website notes that it’s best-suited for any dogs that are suffering from conditions that “could be caused by insufficient nutrition.” An example of these conditions include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Bad smells
  • Flatulence
  • Tiredness
  • Abnormal stools
  • Achy joints
  • Anxiety
  • “Lackluster coat”

The real question is whether or not the ingredients in Nutra Thrive will work. We will address this in the next section.

Nutra Thrive’s Ingredients, Their Benefits, and Possible Side Effects

Nutra Thrive has three main groups of ingredients that they call the Superfoods Blend, Super Canine Blend and their Probiotic & Enzyme Blend.

The product’s website provides a photo of the back label, which allows you to see exactly which ingredients they include in each of the blends featured in the pet supplement. The following bullet points list some of the ingredients in each blend:

  • Superfoods Blend: Carrot, Reishi, shitake and maitake mushrooms, Methyl-sulfonylmethane , Spirulina, Chlorella
  • Super Canine Blend: Glutathione inactive yeast, Beef liver
  • Probiotic and Enzyme Blend: Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum
  • Vitamin and Mineral Blend: Kelp, Biotin, Riboflavin, Folic acid

Detailing each of the ingredients would be tedious, so we’ve done some research on one or two ingredients in each blend, or the blend in general.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) notes that mushrooms aren’t necessary for a dogs diet but that carrots are a great alternative.

“Dogs do not need mushrooms in their diet, so play it safe and give them a different reward, like a carrot stick or slice of apple, instead,” the AKC’s mushrooms page says.

If you are going to give your dog mushrooms, the AKC recommends giving them to your dog plain and without spices or oils, which Nutra Thrive does.

Glutathione is an antioxidant that earns high praise from Dr. Deva Khalsa, a homeopathic vet who wrote an article in Animal Wellness magazine about the ingredient’s benefits.

“Though small, glutathione is the uncontested king of antioxidants. Without it, all your dog’s cells would disintegrate and die from unrestrained oxidation,” Khalsa writes.

However, she goes on to say that the antioxidant is useless when ingested orally because the body digests it and excretes it before it can provide health benefits.

“Since this antioxidant is made up of three amino acids, the oral route of administration simply does not work because the glutathione is digested,” she wrote. “For example, asparagus contains more available glutathione than any other food, but the GI tract digests most of it.”

Probiotics are a booming industry for humans and they’re becoming a big deal in the pet world, too. The AKC says that probiotics can be helpful for your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, especially if they’re prone to getting diarrhea when they’re nervous or stressed.

However, the evidence the AKC presented about the anti-diarrheal powers of probiotics related to Bifidobacterium animalis and not the two bacteria in Nutra Thrive. They do point out, however, that Lactobacillus casei, which Nutra Thrive includes, is naturally present in your dog’s gut.

The final group of ingredients is the vitamin and mineral blend and It's here where we find a few ingredients proven to be beneficial for your pup. Biotin is well-known for helping create a shiny, lustrous coat and strengthen tendons and ligaments.

“Giving your dog food with biotin can aid with healthy skin and coat for your dog as well. However, biotin also does even more for dogs. Biotin supports connective tissue within your dog’s body as well,” dog-walking site Wag Walking noted in a post about biotin. “Naturally found in meats, dogs with a healthy diet will get the biotin they need from their high-quality dog food.”

We read a few sources that noted riboflavin can help with your dog’s coat, too.

As for folic acid, Dr. Barbara Forney, a veterinary practitioner in Pennsylvania, noted in a post for Wedgewood Pharmacy (for pets) that the ingredient has some very specific uses and that its effectiveness could be altered if your dog is taking certain drugs.

“Before administering supplemental folic acid … folate levels should be established,” she noted in a post about folate.

Based on our research, we believe the reputable sources we consulted indicate that some of the ingredients in Nutra Thrive will benefit your dog (biotin, for example) and some will pass through your pup’s digestive system without much effect on their health (glutathione).

As for side effects, we didn’t find any dangers related to the ingredients we focused on. For example, Forney noted that dogs will break down or pee out the excess folic acid they ingest.

Nutra Thrive’s Pricing

At the time of publishing, Nutra Thrive sold one 114-gram jar of their supplement for $69.99. Three jars were $188.97 and six jars were $356.95. All pricing tiers include shipping. The site also offered a new-customer promotion with pricing tiers of $49.99, $134.85 and $254.70, respectively.

Each jar has 30 scoops in it, which means dogs of 0-30 pounds will need one jar a month. Dogs weighing 31-50 pounds can get 20 days out of the jar and dogs weighing more than 50 pounds will get 15 days out of the jar.

So, if you have a big dog that requires two scoops per serving, you’ll need two jars to make it through the month. Over the course of one year, here’s how much Nutra Thrive would cost you based on their weight, assuming you buy six jars at a time and you get the new-customer discount on your first order:

  • Small dog (0-30 lbs.): $611.65
  • Medium dog (30-50 lbs.): 968.60
  • Large dogs (50+ lbs.): $1,325.55

Nutra Thrive’s fine print notes that it will take 10-15 days for the supplement to arrive after you order it.

If you aren’t happy with the supplement, you have 90 days from the day the product was shipped to start a return in order to get a refund.

According to the fine print, you’ll need to call Nutra Thrive’s customer service line at 800-604-5827 to get the return started. They note that, “your refund will be processed once your returned Product(s) has arrived at our shipping facility.”

How Nutra Thrive Compares to Other Dog Supplements

Nutra Thrive isn’t the first dog supplement we’ve reviewed. ActivPhy is the other competing products we’ve analyzed.

ActivPhy is available on Amazon and at Petco and they manufacture their bottles of chewable supplements based on your dog’s size. So, for smaller dogs (0-30 lbs.), you’ll get a 90-count jar and for bigger dogs (30+ lbs.) you’ll get a 75-count jar.

At the time of publishing, you could buy a 75-count jar for $24.99, which means that, over the course of one year, ActivPhy is a better value than Nutra Thrive. However, ActivPhy focuses on joint health, whereas Nutra Thrive focuses on overall health.

DOGgeviti is similar to ActivPhy in that it’s a far cheaper option than Nutra Thrive. For example, a year-long supply of the supplement for large dogs costs around $480. This particular supplement focuses on back, hip and joint pain, as well as anti-aging.

In general, we think that your choice of dog supplement has a lot to do with the conditions from which your dog is suffering. If he or she has joint pain, ActivPhy and DOGgeviti seem to be the better choices. If it’s overall health you want and you’re interested in pet probiotics, then Nutra Thrive could be the best option.

If it’s only probiotics you want, online pet stores like Chewy.com have a host of probiotics they offer that are as cheap as $10.99.

The Final Word: Our Thoughts About Nutra Thrive

After taking a few minutes to look over the analysis we did and to read through some expert sources who address supplements, we believe that Nutra Thrive has some clear strengths and weaknesses.

As for the strengths, Nutra Thrive has ingredients that can help your dog. For example, biotin is known to improve your dog’s coat and help with dry skin. Lactobacillus casei is a probiotic that may be able to help your dog with digestive issues like diarrhea.

However, there are other ingredients that experts say may not have a big effect – if any – on your dog’s health. For example, a vet noted that glutathione will pass through your dog’s body with little effect on your dog’s health. Folic acid could help your dog but you’d need to have your vet check your dog’s folic acid levels before taking Nutra Thrive, another vet pointed out.

And, there’s the issue of dog supplements in general. The AKC concludes that dog supplements can be helpful but there’s sparse research about the long-term effects.

“Whether herbal or lab-formulated, there is some evidence to suggest that supplements can be helpful. There has been little-to-no research on long-term effects, but some studies and anecdotal evidence have shown successful results, whether in the form of a shinier coat, peppier step, better digestion, or improved cognitive function.

» Recommended Reading: Dog Supplements 101: A Detailed Beginner’s Guide


Read 832 Nutra Thrive Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Customer Rating: 4.6
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 606 4 star: 164 3 star: 22 2 star: 7 1 star:  33
Bottom Line: 94% would recommend it to a friend
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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Nutra Thrive helped my dog recover from Pancreatitis and Liver Failure

    • California,
    • Dec 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    On September 28, 2019 I was visiting friends. I was lamenting that my dogs were all getting older and showing their age. He told me he put his dog on Nutra Thrive and he noticed a vast improvement in his dog’s energy level. He gave me two jars of Nutra Thrive to try on my dogs. He said it would take about three weeks for me to notice an improvement in my dog’s health.

    I started my dogs on small doses and was working towards the recommended amount for each dog. On October 3, my husband’s dog, Battman*, would not eat. He was very lethargic and bloated. His condition rapidly deteriorated. I took him into the Emergency Hospital on October 5. They treated him for acute Pancreatitis. His blood tests also showed he has Cushing’s Disease. He also has Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca. The Veterinarian had Battman on IV fluids to combat the dehydration. The Hospital released Battman on October 6, after they were able to get him to eat and urinate. The Emergency Veterinarian stressed that Battman needed to be treated by our local Veterinarian as soon as possible.

    Our local Veterinarian said the Pancreatitis needed to be corrected before Battman could be treated for Cushings. For the next two weeks, Battman was given injections of fluid therapy nearly every day. He was on oral multiple antibiotics every day. On October 15 and 16, more blood tests were taken. The tests indicated liver failure; most notably were the results of his Bile Acids. Battman’s were 920.7**. The Laboratory noted (in all Capitol Letters) that they ran the test multiple times due to the extreme reading. Battman’s Spec cPL reading was 1958***. Our Veterinarian could not believe that Battman had these blood counts, but still had a great appetite and was active and not vomiting. She started him on Denamarin, Ursodiol and Vitamin K, in addition to the multiple Antibiotics three times a day. I added Probiotic-10 to the Nutra Thrive that Battman was already taking. She gave me her home phone number if I needed her on the weekend. She only gave me enough medicine to get Battman through the weekend...She cautioned me to be prepared for the worst.

    This treatment went on four 4 more weeks. On November 14, Battman had another blood test taken. It showed that his Bile Acids were down in the 40’s. The ultrasound showed his Liver and Gall Bladder were back to normal size. He was eating and playing. His urine was clear. We were cautiously excited, knowing that normally, a Bile Acid Level in the 40’s was an indication of Liver failure. Today, December 7, Battman is no longer on the Antibiotics or the Vitamin K. We have cut the Ursodiol amount in half. Battman is still recovering, but is doing better each and every day.

    I share this long story with you to emphasis the extreme condition of my dog. I believe, that he pulled through this because I had started giving him the Nutra Thrive a week before he got sick. It built up in his system and gave him energy and the strength to overcome. All eleven of my rescue dogs started on Nutra Thrive when Battman did. All their coats are soft and thick. They all have more energy and good dispositions. Several of my dogs have significant medical issues and their overall health appears to be improving.

    Thank you for giving me more quality time with my beloved pets. I cherish every day with them.

    Sheryl, Battman, Jazz, Jackson, Brick, Scarlett, Roxy, Waldo, Chai, Bianca, Quinn and Harriet.

    Battman* - Twelve years ago I found a puppy. He was starving and his organs were shutting down. The Veterinarian said he would not live. My husband was terminally ill. Their conditions created a strong bond between the two. Battman was by Fred’s side until my husband passed away. We still refer to Battman as the Miracle Dog.

    920.7** - Normal is less than 6.9/14.9

    1958*** - Normal is less than 30. Over 30 can indicate Acute Pancreatitis. Liver biopsies are usually recommended.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • So far

    • Huntington Beach, CA,
    • Dec 14, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Coco, my 6-year-old Maltese/Bichon Frise, has a daily serving of Nutra Thrive and Canine Boost mixed into his food. One of the reasons I bought the products was because Coco would "put on the brakes" every time I took him out for a walk. After about 2 weeks, Coco began to march eagerly on his walks as soon as we stepped onto the sidewalk. Our walks are now back to normal. Also, he has been pooping more regularly. Coco loves the bison treats too.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Soft coat

    • Wisconsin,
    • Dec 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have 2 dogs that I have been using Nutra Thrive on. It has been only a couple of weeks but I do see improvement. Especially in their coats, my big dogs' coat was not very soft anymore and it is now. My husband made a comment about the little one's coat and how soft it has gotten and I told him it was from Nutra Thrive. I like the product and will continue to use it on my dogs and I think this will make them more healthy and hopefully, I will have them along time.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Timmy is a whole new doggy!

    • North Carolina,
    • Dec 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Thank you Dr. Richter and Nutra Thrive! We are seeing an amazing change in our Timmy, a Chihuahua Mix that is 8+ years old!

    He had stomach issues; scratched all the time, very bad breath and low energy. He’s been on Nutra Thrive (powder mix in his food) less than a month and what a CHANGE in him!

    He will be on Nutra Thrive forever! Timmy says thanks too!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Feeding solution

    • Bixby, OK,
    • Dec 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have solved serving 2 large golden doodles their Nutra Thrive with a spray bottle. The spray of water lightly moistens the powder into the kibble and it isn't running to the bottom of the dish.

    No waste and works perfectly.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Awesome!

    • Philadelphia, PA,
    • Dec 12, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Lehigh is acting like 2 years go. 15-year-old Black Lab, 75 pounds. Very active now, runs and chases 2-year-old sister up and down stairs, no problem eating or following directions.

    This stuff is great, can't wait to try on Grandma.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Old dog, new tricks

    • Indiana,
    • Dec 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have a 10-year-old Westie, we rescued her when she was 6 months old, and her beginning wasn't pleasant or good for her health, but she has been a very lively dog. In the last year, we had seen her slow down. My son has two cattle dogs and she loves to try and keep up with them, ages 3 and 5, but she would wear herself out trying. We started all three dogs on your Nutra Thrive. We started slow as you suggested, and by the end of the first week, I could see a difference in my Westie, Lily. She could play longer, and her appetite had improved. On her second week of the supplement she was chasing a ball again, and is much more alert then she has been. The other two dogs have always had plenty of energy, but with the Nutra Thrive being added to their diet they are eating better and their digestion and elimination are much more regular than before. Thanks so much for the great help you have been for both young and old dogs.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Good product

    • Corpus Christi, TX,
    • Dec 10, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Like most people, we have picky eaters. Rarely would they eat all of their food. With that being said, our fur babies are eating every bit of their food after mixing Nutra Thrive in the food. In a short of time, they are eating better and I have eliminated a mild steroid they were taking daily to eliminate the skin allergies caused by our Texas-friendly humidity.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • 1 out 1 people found this review helpful

    Excellent result

    • Colorado,
    • Dec 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My 2-year-old Yorkie was scratching every day. I have been through a "scratchy"dog with my Shih Tzu and spent many dollars at a dermatology vet. After a month on your product, neither dog is scratching...I mix it with water and canned food, as neither would take it sprinkled on their dry food...Thank you for your product and your expertise.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Old and young excellent

    • Delaware,
    • Dec 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My youngest dog she is bouncing with energy. In my oldest dog, she moves and plays with my family again. Takes a little while for the results to really show up but really worth the wait. I plan to order when I get done with this.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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  • Extremely nutritious

    • Dallas, TX,
    • Dec 7, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    My dog Bella, a pit bull terrier mix, loves Nutra Thrive. I feel she is much more energetic since incorporating into her food and feel she is getting a healthier meal due to the addition of Nutra Thrive. Thank you, Dr. Richter, for this nutritious formula.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

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