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 scoops per meal
  • 50+ lbs.: 2 scoopers 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.

Nature Thrive’s Pricing

At the time of publishing, Nature 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 and DOGgeviti are two 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 Natura Thrive. However, ActivPhy focuses on joint health, whereas Natura Thrive focuses on overall health.

DOGgeviti is similar to ActivPhy in that it’s a far cheaper option than Natura 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.

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2 Consumer Reviews for Nutra Thrive

Average Consumer Rating: 3.0
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 1 4 star: 0 3 star: 0 2 star: 0 1 star:  1
Bottom Line: 50% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-2 of 2
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  • 24 out 27 people found this review helpful

    SCAM

    • New Jersey,
    • Feb 5, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Don't buy this crap, ask your Vet what's best. They promise a money back guarantee but don't honor it. When you call and ask them, they say you have to use it for 90 days, at that time the warranty has expired. It's a scam, some stinky powder your dog will hate that does absolutely NOTHING! Here is their fake warranty notice, it says ANYTIME, call and ask them. Thieves!

    "If you don’t see noticeable improvements in your pet’s health and happiness, just let us know. You can send back the unused portion, any time within 90 days — and we’ll be happy to refund your purchase price."

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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    • Feb 6, 2019

      Shayne V.,

      Paul, I'm Shayne from Ultimate Pet Nutrition. I'm so sorry to hear about this frustrating experience you had. We do wholeheartedly stand by our 90-Day Money Back Guarantee so I would like to get more information from you to find out why you did not receive it. We do ask that our customers have their pups try Nutra Thrive for at least 90 days to make sure they are using it for the recommended amount of time. If you find that your dog doesn't like the taste or if you haven't seen improvements in their health and happiness, we can issue customers a full refund. Please e-mail me at Shayne@ultimatepetnutrition.com and I can issue you a full refund right away. I'm so sorry that you had to go through this frustrating experience but I look forward to hearing from you and getting to the bottom of this right away.

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  • 19 out 26 people found this review helpful

    Excellent product for shinier coat, less dandruff, and good digestion

    • Arizona,
    • Jan 22, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I adopted Jake, a small rescue dog who came into the shelter infested with tics, had tick fever and flaky, scabby skin. His wavy black coat was dull. Two weeks on Nutro Thrive, and his coat is shiny, the flaky skin from where the tics were attached have diminished, and he is eating and eliminating better.

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

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