Dog Lovers Gold (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Dog Lovers Gold Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Dog Lovers Gold product line includes one dry recipe, claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

Dog Lovers Gold

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 43%

Ingredients: Lamb meal, brown rice, white rice, chicken meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flax seed, dried egg product, brewers dried yeast, choline chloride, fish oil, potassium chloride, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, iron sulfate, vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, calcium carbonate, vitamin A supplement, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, manganese proteinate, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, manganous oxide, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Aspergillus niger fermentation extract, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%20%43%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%40%36%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.

The second ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient is white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.

The fourth ingredient is chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The sixth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The eighth ingredient is brewers yeast which can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With three notable exceptions

First, fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Dog Lovers Gold Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Dog Lovers Gold looks like an above-average dry dog food.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43%.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 69%.

Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Dog Lovers Gold is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of lamb meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

05/17/2010 Original review
04/05/2014 Last Update

  • Karen Rochat

    We used to buy this food by the half pallet, last order we picked up we had some real issues with it, all our dogs had been eating DLG and often times they were having bouts of diarrhea, we bred one of our girls
    and I didn’t want to change foods for her or the pups, but at 5 weeks these
    puppies had the worst diarrhea I have ever seen, as soon as we changed
    their food the diarrhea stopped, this dog food definitely has a quality control
    issue of some kind going on in their plant, I won’t buy it ever again, what used
    to be a top of the line food, with the formula changes over the last year or two
    I don’t feel it is anymore….

  • Corrie

    My dog got deathly ill after eating a small amount mixed in with his regular kibble. I went back to his regular and refuse to change. Like all dog foods you need to find one that you dog can handle. all dogs are different. Mine will stay on Orijen. This may be to rich for some but my dog does very well on it.

  • Dogmum

    Not always…they raised their price and made their bags smaller…

  • Dogmum

    Have had that with two of my dogs and yesterday I cleaned up vomit all day. Say what you will…we are done with DLG

  • Dogmum

    Thanks Cherokee Man. Appreciate it. This is the second time I have had to change my dogs food. We have four dogs and if the food changes don’t agree with my dogs I have messy floors x four. Sneaky and greedy I won’t tolerate. Like I told our cable company…it isn’t what I am able to pay….it is what I am willing to pay. These companies know we love our dogs. I make my own version of dog food to add in like canned to my kibble and freeze it. Am thinking of cooking all my dogs food…would be cheaper and better…I will know what is in it.

  • Cherokee Man

    After i noticed the formula change I spent a week looking for a new food and decided on Dr. Tim’s Pursuit. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-reviews/dr-tims-dog-food/

    I buy the 44lb bag here for $1.52/lb w/free delivery.
    http://www.petflow.com/product/dr-tims/dr-tim-s-pursuit-active-dry-dog-food

    Is it ok to post links?

    I think they changed the formula 6 months ago. At least that’s when I first noticed a change in my dogs. The bags were changed about a month ago. Their website wasn’t updated until a few days ago….sneaky.
    My dogs love Dr. Tim’s . Their coats look great and my yard has firm low odor stools again.

  • Dogmum

    Not only that but my dogs stool is more yellow than brown now…not a good sign. Yes they have changed their ingredients.

  • Dogmum

    I am not familiar with any of those brands..I used to use another brand before this but then they got greedy too. Bad enough they raise the price but then make the bags smaller AND change the ingredients that as far as I am concerned are not as good. I don’t reward greed with my money.

  • Storm’s Mom

    That still seems like a pretty good deal, actually!? $54 for 30lbs of a 4-star food?! You’re not going to find too many foods that are that price or cheaper for a 4-star food. What are you thinking of switching to?

  • Dogmum

    Yep…we are done with this food….I don’t like giving money to people that try to rip me off.

  • Dogmum

    Well…we are going to switch foods. Have been feeding DLG for a couple of years. The price of everything does go up but I have noticed that the size of the bags keep getting smaller with this food as the price goes up. Now they switched the formula with brown rice being the second ingredient. I bought a bag of the new stuff …didn’t open it…am taking it back..$54.00 for 30 pounds of grain doesn’t get it. Used to be a good deal.

  • oldenoughtoknow

    I have had issues with my dog for 2-3 weeks now. I thought it might have been something else (small bird or other) that he ate but now I am convinced it is the dog food. Been using Dog Lover’s Gold for 3+ years and am now looking to switch. What a shame, you find something you like and someone changes it for all the wrong reasons.

  • Cherokee Man

    Just noticed that the formula has been changed. Dried egg product (whatever that means) instead of whole eggs. Rice is now the main ingredient. Splitting the rice components so that they appear farther down on the list doesn’t fool as many people as they think – shame on them. The new bag with only 30 pounds of cheaper ingredients has cost them at least one 5 year customer. There will be more

  • Mary

    Has anyone had a recent problem with their dogs having diarrea after starting a new bag of food?
    Two of my three dogs (and another one of my friends dogs) all got diarrea after we started new bags of food. The new bags don’t smell bad but the color is much lighter.
    Asked a distributer I saw at a dog show this weekend who was very rude and adamently told me there was nothing different about the food other than the plant where it is made. I’m now very nervous about continuing to feed this as I remember Canidae said the exact same thing and later we found out they had changed the food…

  • HollyPlace

    The food is manufactured now in California.

  • HollyPlace

    Oh, I talked again to the distributor, who knows the owner personally. They have found a better way to get a finer grind on the food. The finer grind, along with the change in pellet size, allows it to cook better, which makes it more digestible. He swears that there is no ingredient change and that the finer grind and better cooking is a great improvement. The reason why it soaks differently is the finer grind.

  • HollyPlace

    The distributor I used said that they changed the manufacturing equipment to this kibble type. He said the ingredients are the same, but it’s just sized and cooked a bit different. The strange thing I noticed is that it soaks in water differently than the old type. Before, I could soak the food for puppies, and it would pretty much turn into a mush. But now, the pellets gets soft, but still stay intact. It doesn’t much together like it used to when being soaked.

  • Mariepatricia03

    First of all, sorry for the translation, I’m French.
    Yes, indeed. From May – June, the formula has changed. The French site Dog Lover’s Gold announce this change a few weeks ago, the formula is not the same. Claude Fournier has given the new composition and rates. I’m really interested to know what Dog food Advisor believes this change and whether the classification remains the same or if it changes, I personally stopped since this brand, because even if they say it is for a digestibility, my dogs had more pretty stool.

  • Claude Fournier

     From France. I Just received the kibbles ordered a few days ago. The recipe seems to be very different of the one found on your site : Agneau:
    15,5%, Riz Brun: 15,00%, Riz Blanc: 15,00%

    Saumon:
    11,91%, Oeufs entiers: 10,85%, Poulet: 9,94%,

    Graisse
    de Poulet: 6,92%, Graines de Lin: 3,90%, Pois: 2,50%

    Levure
    de Bière: 2,50%, Minéraux: 1,20%, Vitamines: 1,70%

    Huile
    de saumon: 0,84%, Pommes: 0,06%, Carottes: 0,06%

    Menthe Poivrée: 0,05%, Romarin: 0,06%, Mannano-oligosaccharides:
    0,06%

    Fructo-oligosaccharides: 0,06%, Enterococcus Faecium: 0,03%

    Yucca Schidigera: 0,03%.
    What do you thinck about it ?
    Thank you
    Claude

  • Dadyvet

    depuis quand y a t-il de la farine animal dans ces croquettes

  • Scb175

    I had this happen to me as well.  The last bag i purchased, the particles were more rounded — flatter.  Also, the color was not as dark.  Now, I just recently bought a new bag and they are smaller in size — cube shape, and the color is noticeably dark.  With this change, my dog has went from firm brown poop to a yellow slimy mess.  My 95lb golden now hesitates when I give it to him. 

    Very sad as I have been using this the past 3 years.  I have to switch, as the manufacturer can not and should not be changing anything with the product. 

  • Backpaige

    Yes, a change in color and size of Dog Lover’s Gold has been noted. I called the specialty store where I buy it and they said that they had no notice of any changes but they would check on it. Called me back in an hour or so and said that they had been told that there could be changes is size and color depending on the amount of moisture absorbed during the manufacturing. If this is true, why haven’t I ever seen this in other kibbles that I have fed. Doesn’t make sense to me.

  • Anna B.

    Has anyone else noticed the difference in kibble size and color in the Dog Lover’s Gold? Just noticed it today. One bag was larger and round and a medium dark color. The other bag was very small kibble with a dark color. The bags were purchased at the same time just opened at different times. Anyone heard about changes?

  • LabsRawesome

     Hi Moe, your dogs are adorable! Love the bandannas.

  • Moe

    Have been feeding my 6 and 11 year old labs Dog Lovers Gold for 6 months now and they love it. Both have more energy and healthier looking fur. Had been feeding Royal Canin for Labradors but this is so much better.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    One more thing…..I would also find something different than Rachel Ray’s.  There are foods listed on here that are readily available that are of a higher quality.  This is just my opinion, of course.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    It could very well be ingredients changed slightly.  Dog food companies don’t have to reveal (right away) when something changes AND they can “use up” bags with the old ingredients on them.  So….it’s possible.  I would look for another food with similar ingredients and switch my dog.

  • Erie

    My two little dogs dont like the taste. The food sits for hours before they will eat it. Not sure why. If I add junk food to it like Rachel Ray they pick that out & eat it. Have used for 2 years & also wonder if something changed. We recently dog sat & that dog also refused to eat it.

  • Jan_Mom2Cavs

    Steve, maybe you should buy a smaller bag to try out with your dog.  I would also do a very slow switch.  I don’t feed 4Health, but my daughter and son-in-law use it every now and then…they normally feed TOTW to their GSP.  They have nothing bad to say about the food.

  • Steve

    Well, I have been feeding my 6yr old Golden Retriever Dog Lover’s Gold for the past 3 years.  I pay $45 for 33lb bag.  He has been great on it.  However, tractor supply sells 4health for $30 in 35 lb bags.  4health gets great reviews on here, with even a little more protein content.  $15 a bag is huge when you have a 95 lb golden.

  • Ellenbatu

    Try The Pet Loft on Cleveland-Massillon Rd in Bath( at the corner of Clev-Mass and Ira Rd.)

  • mike

    I have been using DLG for over 2 years with great results. Recently I have noticed an odd change. My dogs used to attack the food as though they hadn’t eaten in days, but now they seem almost indifferent to it. They will often leave food in their bowls; something they have never, ever done before. Their behavior reminds me of the way they acted after Canidae changed its formula. I might believe that perhaps one of them could be getting tired of DLG or even that one of them could be entering a stage where her nutritional needs have changed. For this to suddenly happen to both dogs at the same time make my “spidey” sense all a-tingly. Has anyone else noticed this? I don’t want to wait until symptoms appear, as happened before when Canidae made their sneaky, unannounced changes to a once good dogfood.
    Thanks
    Mike

  • Rachelle Tarango

    I am a Dog Loves Gold distributor in Central CA and also show my dogs regularly in AKC Conformation shows. We have tried absolutely every single brand out there and never found a food agreeable to each of our dogs and their individual dietary requirements.
    Dog Lovers Gold is a phenomenal food, highly palatable and not full of all that garbage many of the other brands contain. Its just becoming popular here in the states but if you are able to find it — I recommend FEEDING IT! Also, someone was asking about the calories: Its ME 469 kcal/standard 8 oz cup ME 1904 kcal/lb ME 4190 kcal/kg Also important to note Dog Lovers Gold contains NO CORN, NO WHEAT, NO SOY or FILLERS. Its a low allergen feed (hypoallergenic) too. I sincerely hope you have an opportunity to try this wonderful food.

  • Laura

    I tried Dog Lovers gold and found my dogs pooped 3 times as much as on Eukanuba Naturally Wild Salmon. While it is cheaper, IMO it is for a reason. You get what you pay for.

  • http://www.ohkomfarms.com Linda Scopa

    Hi I am so happy Dog Lovers Gold has been reviewed. I started the food five ish years ago and starting selling at Ohkom Farms Training Center in Greensburg, PA. I love that it is all life stages and swear that is why i still have a healthy happy 14 year old Irish Setter. I have started my litters from 6 weeks of age straight on the Dog Lovers Gold. My dogs are family companions to active Show Dogs. Judges always comment on the great shape and great coats on my Irish Setters. Great Job.

  • http://www.talovahpugs.com Tracey

    I have been feeding my show pugs Dog Lovers Gold for going on a year. NO soft stools, Awesome coats and muscle tone and they LOVE it! I have tried all the top dry formulas and none compare to the results i have seen with this food. Icing on the cake is it is so affordable!!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Carol… We don’t currently track the selling location or availability of the hundreds of dog food brands in our database. However, in the very near future (this month), we’ll be adding a special “Where to Buy” directory of dog food retailers. So, you’ll soon be able to find a retailer that sells the foods you’re looking for. And you’ll be able to search by either brand or by zip and postal code. Until then, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer for this information.

  • carol

    Who has DLG in Medina Ohio area?

  • Sarah

    I have a 5 year old Weimaraner who has been eating Dog Lover’s for about 8 months or so. I am so impressed with this food and how well he has responded to it. He has been on many different foods, including grain-free. DLG is basically the only food I have found thus far that doesn’t give him diarrhea. (!) He has lost a few pounds since his last vet visit too, I’m contributing that to a more healthy and happy digestive system. He looks great and his coat is magnificent. The vet even commented on the condition of his fur. I purchase DLG locally at Proud Land Pet Kennels on Sterrettania Road in the Erie, PA area. I have noticed the price has gone up recently. I was paying $38 per bag and I think it’s now around $44.

  • Jackie

    My Rottie mix has almost finished his first 40lb bag of Dog Lovers Gold. He loves it and I love that his coat is a nice, shiney, healthly looking black. We recently found it at Woofers Delight, a local dog bakery in the Toledo\Sylvania OH area. I find it is priced comparable to the Eukanuba I was previously using. Love it! Thank you Sherry from Woofers Delight for introducing me to it!!

  • Cathy

    Steve – Competition is a good aspect of our economy. Why not change to TOTW especially if it’s a better price? 5-star TOTW has higher protein and less carbs than 4-star DLG. So, you’d have better quality at a better price.

  • Steve

    My Golden Retreiver weighs 95lbs and has been on this food for 2 years. The stuff is amazing. No problems whats so ever. He is very active, and like the other post said, he’s wanting it 15min before dinner time.

    Sucks to hear about the price going up. I just bought another bag and it cost $44. If more people are buying the product, why does the price have to go up? Raising prices in today’s economy can mean an easily switch to something similar. The local Tractor Supply has TOTW for $40. That’s great food, and I won’t be afraid to switch. Keep prices down DLG

  • Janice D. McCollam

    We sell Dog Lover’s Gold, or DLG as we call it at the store where I work in Ohio. It’s the number one seller! No complaints so far. We also offer to customers if they buy 10 bags, they get 1 free! Decent price, too, but I was just informed that it is going to go up a couple of dollars in price soon. Still a pretty good deal, though.

  • Laurie M.

    Since this brand has limited availability, I have contacted Pet Food Direct (online supplier, http://www.petfooddirect.com) to see if they would consider adding this brand to their inventory. I was told by a customer service representative that they are working on it. So that is good news for folks that want to feed their dogs this brand but are unable to due to limited availability.

  • Steven Needleman

    I switched from Hills Science Diet to Dog Lover’s Gold when we got our new puppy. Now my 11 year old and 2 year old border collies are both on it and love it. No problems. I first tried Blue Buffalo, but my dogs had diarrhea often. I was in search of an affordable high quality dry food and I have found one. Very satisfied and free home delivery from MetroPet Services in the DFW area.

  • Bob K

    Dr. Larry – Since you are a reseller of the food, I hope you recommend it. Any other dog foods you recommend? http://www.dogloversgold.eu/usa/distributors.html

  • Larry Occhipinti, DVM,MPVM

    I’ve been feeding DL Gold exclusively to my own bullmastiffs and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels over the last 3 years, and have also made this excellent diet available for our veterinary patients, and have zero complaints to date.
    Our veterinary reproductive specialist shared with me that it is also OK to feed this food to our pregnant animals.
    DL Gold is a reasonably priced all-life stage quality diet I recommend you try if you can find it in your area.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Ann… Unfortunately, we don’t track calorie data. If you can’t find that info on the package or on the website, you’ll need to contact the company’s customer service department.

  • ann vaughan

    My brother uses this dog food and has been very satisfied with it. However, with his dog becoming older and less active, the vet has placed him on a restricted calorie diet.

    We are unable to find the calorie count anywhere in the advertising or packaging. The dog is restricted to 1200 calories per day.

    Can you help?

  • Ruth

    I’m just starting a second bag of Dog Lovers Gold. Both dogs love it and they rarely scratch now. They were both scratching a lot before I switched. I think Wesley was fed table scraps as he would not eat dry when I first got him. Now he comes to remind me that it is time to eat about 15 minutes before feed time. Both dogs coats are beautiful. I buy Dog Lovers Gold at Nickle Plate Mills, a locally owned store in Erie, PA.

  • Kim Geidel

    I accidentally stumbled upon this food at a dog show in my area and had been LOOKING for a new food…something that didnt come in SENIOR, WEIGHT MGT, PUPPY, ACTIVE and so on. I wanted ONE food for all 8 of my dogs….some large, some toy, some elderly, some babies. This is NOW my everydog food and I decided to carry it in my grooming shop specifically for clients who are at their wits end with skin problems. My poodles have zero eye gunk and zero ear problems…which all the other vets said was NORMAL for my breed….BALONEY! The food makes all the difference.

  • Lesa

    I switched my two Rottweilers to dog lovers gold about 3 months ago. They love it. I started going to a all natural pet store in N. Royalton Ohio and they educated me. I had been feeding Purina Healthy Morsels, which my dogs loved, but I didn’t know how bad it was for them. My male puppy rott is 8 1/2 months old and 125 lbs and am feeding him the Dog Lovers Gold instead of a puppy food. They are both so shiny and healthy. This is a great food…..

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Kellie… Uncovering and recognizing little-known quality dog foods is certainly one of the less obvious goals of our website. Thanks for making this nice product available to the folks in your area.

  • http://www.minternsgermanshepherds.com Kellie Mintern

    Hello, I use and also sell Dog Lover’s Gold Food and I LOVE IT….we also incorporate a RAW diet as well and our dogs and puppies thrive…..we are wonderfully blessed with very healthy shepherds….both young and old and our puppies are incredibly beautiful…coats are just gorgeous, eyes so clear. Our Older Timers are just gorgeous as well with shinny coats and again, clear eyes, something alot of folks do not really think about…
    I just wanted to let you know that it is not a real popular food as it has a limited delivery area but I do agree that in time, and once the word gets out, this will be a very popular food amongst those who really enjoy a well balanced wholesome food.
    We do carry this food in our General Store for Pets, called Kellie’s Place in Burghill, Ohio and it’s becoming our #1 seller :) We are all about good healthy products and educating those who care to learn!
    Thank you for what you do…..very much appreciated!!
    Keep up the great work….