Dr. Tim’s Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Dr. Tim’s product line includes three dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and one for all life stages (Kinesis).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Dr. Tim’s Pursuit Active Dog
- Dr. Tim’s Momentum Highly Active Formula
- Dr. Tim’s Kinesis All Life Stages Formula (4 stars)
Dr. Tim’s Pursuit Active Dog was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Dr. Tim's Pursuit
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice flour, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oat flour, dried beet pulp (sugarr removed), dried whole eggs, rice bran, menhaden fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), ocean herring meal, flax seed meal, catfish meal, chicken liver meal, dried porcine plasma protein, salmon meal, lecithin, potassium chloride, salt, canola oil, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried chicory root, calcium carbonate, Yucca schidigera extract, organic kelp meal, dried psyllium seed husk, choline chloride, dl-methionine, l-lysine, algae fat product (a source of DHA), l-ascorbyl-2 polyphosphate (stabilized ascorbic acid), vitamin E supplement, l-carnitine, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, taurine, beta carotene, ferrous sulfate, ascorbic acid (source of vitamin C), manganese sulfate, inositol, niacin supplement, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, zinc oxide, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), copper proteinate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), calcium pantothenate, potassium iodide (source of iodine), manganous oxide, vitamin B12 supplement, sodium selenite, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||22%||37%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||44%||30%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second ingredient is rice flour. Rice flour is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The third 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 fourth ingredient is oat flour. Since oat flour is nothing more than finely ground oats, it provides about the same gluten-free nutritional content as raw oats.
The fifth ingredient lists beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
The sixth ingredient is whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The seventh ingredient is rice bran, a healthy by-product of milling whole grain rice. The bran is the fiber-rich outer layer of the grain containing starch, protein, fat as well as vitamins and minerals.
The eighth ingredient is menhaden oil. Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. Their oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids, two high quality fats boasting the highest bio-availability to both dogs and humans.
What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as is typical with deeper water species.
The ninth ingredient includes herring meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
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 five notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed meal is one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly 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.
Next, we find pork plasma. Plasma is what remains of blood after the blood cells themselves have been removed. Plasma can be considered a nutritious addition.
In addition, we note the inclusion of canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
Next, chicory root which is rich in 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.
Dr. Tim’s Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Dr. Tim’s Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 23%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 36% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.
Above-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 meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Dr. Tim’s Dog Food is a meat-based kibble using a significant amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
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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For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
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Notes and Updates
08/16/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩