Dog Lovers Gold Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Dog Lovers Gold product line includes just one kibble, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
Dog Lovers Gold
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb meal, brown rice, chicken meal, chicken fat (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, whole dried eggs, chicken liver meal, fish oil, brewers dried yeast, kelp, garlic, lecithin, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, inulin, ascorbic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, choline chloride, folic acid, d-biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, sodium selenite, freeze dried Aspergillus oryzae fermentation, Aspergillus niger fermentation, Bacillus subtilis, mixed tocopherols, silica dioxide, freeze dried Enterococcus faecium, iron amino acid chelate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, cobalt carbonate, zinc amino acid chelate, ethylenediamine dihydriodide, beta carotene, Yucca schidigera extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||18%||46%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||37%||40%|
The first ingredient in this dog food lists lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The second item 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 lists chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The fourth 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 fifth 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.
The sixth item includes whole dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The seventh ingredient is chicken liver meal, a dried, nutritious product made from whole chicken livers. Because it contains about 62% protein and 20% fat, this item makes a favorable addition to this dog food.
The eighth ingredient includes fish oil. Fish oil is naturally rich in omega-3 fatty acids… and (depending on the level of its purity) should be considered a healthy addition.
The ninth ingredient is brewers yeast. Brewers yeast 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 four notable exceptions…
First, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
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.
In addition, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
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
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Dog Lovers Gold Dog Food looks like an above-average kibble.
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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 64%.
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 brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Dog Lovers Gold Dog Food is a grain-based kibble using a moderate amount of lamb and chicken meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
05/17/2010 Original review
12/17/2010 Review updated
09/15/2012 Last Update
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩