Dr. Tim’s Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Dr. Tim’s dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Dr. Tim’s product line includes four dry dog foods, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and two for all life stages.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

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

Protein = 33% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 37%

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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%22%37%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%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 includes 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 is 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

We are pleased to note that, unlike many fish meals, this particular item appears2 to be ethoxyquin-free.

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, 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.

Next, we note the inclusion of canola oil. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while a vocal minority condemn it as an unhealthy fat.

Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its raw material source.

Current thinking (ours included) finds the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.3

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.

Then, we find 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.

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.

Dr. Tim’s Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Dr. Tim’s 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 33%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 37%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 36% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 64%.

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

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

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.

Highly recommended.

Special Alert

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

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

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

08/09/2010 Original review
12/10/2010 Review updated (menadione removed)
09/10/2012 Review updated
01/31/2012 Review updated
01/31/2013 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Dr. Tim’s website claim of “no artificial preservatives are used in our products”, 8/9/2010
  3. Mikkelson, B and DP, Oil of Ole, Urban Legends Reference Pages (2005)
  • Nancy Calloway

    Persuit is made by Dr TIm’s. Sorry for the poor structured sentences up there. I just got up.

  • Nancy Calloway

    HI HDM – For now I have put my 20 mo old GSD who you all so graciously talked me through his bout with very bad diarrhea back in the spring. So he improved with HILLS Rx WD which killed ME to give him.
    So now, after studying more (I am a new MOM and new to DFA since about March) – you old timers have been wonderful helpers to me.
    It was hard finding a food to move him to (Origen and Acana were OUT bec he started the diarrhea on those, then it wouldn’t stop) So he is doing well on Persuit. QUESTION: I’ve continued studying bec I noticed that Persuit is 22% fat and 30% carb which was disturbing after watching Dr. Becker’s videos. I’ve gone back to check many of the higher starred foods at DFA and am shocked at the high carbs as well as fat. Thus, have been thinking that the only way out of these %ages is to make the food myself! Ordered her book. But my Q is: IS there a good safe kibble %-wise to feed as a backup? Or am I getting too neurotic? Acana grasslands has 34P, 19F, 39 carb (DM) for ex. It’s a “great food” but wow. I actually have come close to ZiwiPeak, despite the $ but their FAT is 31% — isn’t THAT too high for comfort? Who wants pancreatitis?
    Thank you for your response – you seem to be very knowledgable – you AND your “old timey colleagues” who share so willingly.

  • Nancy Calloway

    What do you think about the 37% CARBS in the Persuit? Isn’t that a little high?

  • LabLover

    To everyone who buys Dr. Tims from Chewy.com They have a program where if you bu 12 bags, you get one free. They just dont seem to promote it on their website. I didnt know this until last night when I asked them, so I thought I would pass it on. There are other brands that qualify for this, but not all they said.

  • neezerfan

    chewy.com and petflow.com carry it.
    also go to drtims.com and look under store locator

  • Tammy

    Where do you buy it?

  • LabLover

    Pursuit is fine for puppies. :) Dr Tim and I have talked about this. I have fed two pups on Pursuit. Momentum is indeed high in calcium for larger breed dogs.

  • Hound Dog Mom

    You’re right – Pursuit is labeled for maintenance. It’s probably a mistake.

    Although, for what it’s worth, I asked Dr. Tim about why Pursuit and Momentum don’t meet the all life stages requirements and he told me that he’s fed both to puppies successfully just that he wouldn’t recommend Momentum for large or giant breed puppies (due to high calcium levels and high caloric density I’d assume). It’s strange that he didn’t decide to label them as ALS because based on fat and protein levels it appears that they both should meet the requirements.

  • Erik

    Pursuit is not meant for puppies. Why is this listed on best foods for puppies?

    From the bag:
    Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that Pursuit provides complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance.

  • LabsRawesome

    If you ever do make that road trip, you might want to call and see what they stock first. My store is small and doesn’t keep that much in stock, so I just call and place an order, it arrives in two days, and the store will call and let me know when my order shows up. :)

  • Betsy Greer

    Oh my gosh, me too. I have scads of stuff near me too, I am super lucky! It just that the only retailer for Victor is some feed store in the middle of Timbuktu. : )

    I’d have no problem making a road trip some Saturday morning, but it doesn’t look like there’s much else there.

  • LabsRawesome

    That stinks. 50 miles is pretty far, unless you had to go that way for some other reason. Or just like to take long drives. Lol. :) I’m lucky I have like 5 independent pet stores, Petsmart, Petco and a TSC about 10 miles from my house.

  • LabsRawesome

    If you have a store closer to you, you could ask them to carry it. I don’t know, it’s worth a shot. Or maybe you could hit the other store and just stock up. I’d call first though to see what they have in stock. The store I buy from doesn’t stock that much, the owner is really nice, she told me that I can just call in an order 48 hours in advance, and she will get whatever I want. When I get low on cat food, I’m going to try that, as well.http://www.midamericapetfood.com/victordogfood/pdf/Brochure-CatFood.pdf they sell the cat food for $20 for a 15lb bag.

  • Crazy4cats

    We have a store that just started carrying it. But, it’s about 30 miles in a direction I don’t usually go. I’ll have to call and see if their prices are worth the drive. The Pacific Northwest must be the last to get the new stuff?