Nulo MedalSeries Vs. FreeStyle: A Detailed Comparison of Nulo’s Premium Dog Food Lines

Nulo Pet Food is a premium pet food company that produces a variety of dry and wet dog and cat foods. Two of Nulo’s most popular dry dog food lines are the MedalSeries and FreeStyle formulas.

While both are high-quality foods made with premium ingredients, there are some key differences between the two.

This article will provide an in-depth look at Nulo’s MedalSeries and FreeStyle dog foods, comparing the ingredients, nutritional value, and other factors to help you determine which may be the better choice for your dog.

A Brief Comparison Table

FeatureNulo MedalSeriesNulo FreeStyle
IngredientsLimited ingredients, single animal protein sourceMore complex recipes, single animal protein source or grain-inclusive options
Grain ContentGrain-freeGrain-inclusive or grain-free options
Protein ContentMinimum 30% crude proteinMinimum 24% crude protein
PreservativesNo artificial preservativesNatural preservatives like mixed tocopherols
Special FormulasFormulas for food sensitivities (e.g., grain-free, chicken-free)Breed-specific formulas available
PriceHigher costSlightly more affordable

Overview of Nulo MedalSeries

Nulo MedalSeries is one of Nulo’s premium dry dog food lines. It is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages. Here are some of the key features of Nulo MedalSeries dog food:

Nulo MedalSeries
Nulo MedalSeries
  • Limited ingredient formulas: All MedalSeries recipes contain 10 key ingredients or less, with a single source of animal protein as the primary ingredient. This makes it a good option for dogs with food sensitivities.
  • Grain-free recipes: MedalSeries dog foods are 100% grain-free, using peas, chickpeas, lentils and other legumes as carbohydrate sources instead of any grains. This can help reduce the risk of food allergies.
  • High protein content: With 30% minimum crude protein, MedalSeries provides much higher protein levels than many standard dog foods. The increased protein supports muscle growth and maintenance.
  • Contains probiotics: Probiotic strains like BC30 and Z9 are added to MedalSeries to support healthy and regular digestion.
  • No artificial ingredients: No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives are used. Only natural flavorings are included.
  • Human-grade ingredients: All ingredients meet standards for human consumption and are USDA-inspected.

TheMedalSeries line includes recipes for puppies, adults, senior dogs, and dogs with food sensitivities or allergies like grain and chicken free recipes. Overall, it offers high-quality nutrition with premium proteins and limited, natural ingredients.

Overview of Nulo FreeStyle

Nulo FreeStyle is Nulo’s original premium dog food introduced in 2009. Like MedalSeries, it is formulated to meet AAFCO standards for all life stages. Here are some key details about Nulo FreeStyle:

  • Grain-inclusive recipes: FreeStyle contains grain-inclusive recipes using carbohydrate sources like barley, brown rice and oatmeal. The grain-free options use peas and legumes instead.
  • Single animal protein sources: Each recipe centers around a single source of animal protein like chicken, salmon, turkey or venison as the first ingredient.
  • Contains probiotics: Probiotic strains are added, including BC30 and Z9 for digestive health.
  • Gluten-free: No gluten-containing ingredients like wheat are used to reduce risk of triggering gluten intolerance.
  • L-Carnitine: Added L-Carnitine helps convert fat into energy and maintain lean muscle mass.
  • No artificial preservatives: Ethoxyquin and BHA are not included but natural preservatives like mixed tocopherols are.

FreeStyle offers puppy, adult, senior and breed-specific formulas with special recipes for large breeds. It provides high-protein, natural nutrition but does contain more ingredients than the limited ingredient MedalSeries.

Also Read: Comparison Between TLC Dog Food And Blue Buffalo.

Key Differences Between MedalSeries and FreeStyle

Both Nulo MedalSeries and FreeStyle product lines are premium quality foods that cater to the dietary needs of pets. However, each line has its own distinct characteristics. Let’s dive deeper into their differences across a range of parameters.


Nulo FreeStyle
  1. Complexity of Recipes:
    • MedalSeries: This line adopts a simpler approach to pet nutrition. It’s designed as a limited ingredient diet. For those who might not be familiar, limited ingredient diets minimize the number of ingredients in the formula, primarily to reduce the chance of pets developing allergies. With fewer components, it’s easier to pinpoint if a pet reacts negatively to a particular ingredient.
    • FreeStyle: The FreeStyle line is a bit more complex when it comes to its recipes. While still focusing on quality, it incorporates a wider range of ingredients to offer a more varied flavor palette and nutritional profile for pets.
  2. Grain Options:
    • MedalSeries: If you’re in search of grain-free options, MedalSeries has you covered. Grains can sometimes be an allergen for some pets. By offering grain-free formulas, MedalSeries caters to this group of sensitive pets.
    • FreeStyle: This product line has a more flexible approach to grains. While it does offer grain-free options, it also has grain-inclusive recipes. This is great for pets that can tolerate and thrive on grains, providing them with an extra source of energy.
  3. Preservatives:
    • MedalSeries: This line stays away from any kind of preservatives, even natural ones. This makes it a cleaner and more natural choice for pets. It’s especially beneficial for pet owners who want their furry friends to have a diet that’s as close to natural as possible.
    • FreeStyle: It uses natural preservatives to keep the food fresh for longer. Natural preservatives can include ingredients like tocopherols (vitamin E) and rosemary extract.

Protein Content

  • MedalSeries: Protein is vital for pets as it helps build muscles, repair body tissues, and offers a source of energy. The MedalSeries boasts of a higher protein content, with its levels starting at a minimum of 30%. For active pets or those who require a higher protein diet, this might be the ideal choice.
  • FreeStyle: With a minimum protein content of 24%, it still offers a good protein source, but it’s slightly less concentrated than its counterpart. It’s still sufficient for the daily activities and growth of most pets.


  1. Target Audience:
    • MedalSeries: This line is considerate of pets with special dietary needs. For instance, for those who are allergic to common proteins like chicken, MedalSeries provides chicken-free alternatives. Its grain-free recipe further accentuates its suitability for pets with sensitivities.
    • FreeStyle: Going beyond the general dietary requirements, FreeStyle offers breed-specific formulas. Different breeds have varied nutritional needs, activity levels, and health concerns. With breed-specific formulas, owners can cater to the unique requirements of their pets more efficiently.


  • MedalSeries: Premium quality often comes with a higher price tag. Given its focus on limited ingredients, high protein content, and catering to sensitivities, the MedalSeries is priced more steeply. For instance, a 4 lb bag from this line retails over $15.
  • FreeStyle: Offering a balance between premium quality and cost, FreeStyle is a bit more affordable. A 4 lb bag from this line is priced around $13. This makes it a more budget-friendly choice for pet owners without compromising much on the nutritional value.

Also Read: Is TLC Dog Food Better Than Royal Canin?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is NULO medal series?

Nulo MedalSeries is one of Nulo Pet Food’s premium dry dog food product lines. It features grain-free recipes with limited key ingredients and a high minimum crude protein content of 30%. The MedalSeries formulas are designed to provide optimal nutrition for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies.

Is Nulo FreeStyle bone broth good for dogs?

Yes, the Nulo FreeStyle bone broth is a healthy supplement for dogs. It is made by slowly simmering bones and vegetables to create a nutritious broth full of minerals. The broth contains collagen which promotes joint health. It also provides hydration and helps support digestion and immune system function. The bone broth can be poured over food or served on its own as a supplement.

Is Nulo a good brand?

Nulo is considered a very good brand among premium dog foods. Their recipes feature high-quality proteins and limited ingredients. They avoid artificial preservatives and ingredients. Nulo foods are high in protein with added probiotics, providing excellent nutritional value. The brand follows stringent quality standards and has not been affected by recent dog food recalls. So yes, Nulo is reputable and produces quality recipes.

Does Nulo FreeStyle have taurine?

Yes, Nulo FreeStyle recipes are formulated with added taurine. Taurine is an amino acid dogs need for heart and eye health. While some dog foods have faced taurine deficiencies, Nulo adds supplemental taurine to all recipes to prevent any shortfall and ensure dogs get adequate levels.

Also Read: Comaparison Between Small Paws and Small Bites

Also watch this review video:

Final Thoughts

Nulo offers two great premium dry dog food options in their MedalSeries and FreeStyle product lines. While both provide quality nutrition, the limited ingredient MedalSeries may be the best choice for dogs with food sensitivities.

Its grain-free recipes offer novel proteins and carbohydrates to reduce allergens. Meanwhile, FreeStyle offers nutritionally balanced recipes at a more affordable price point.

Check your specific dog’s nutritional needs and discuss with your veterinarian to decide which Nulo formula makes the most sense. Either way, you can be confident feeding your dog a high-quality Nulo diet.

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