Dr. Tim’s Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Dr. Tim’s product line includes two grain free dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Dr. Tim’s RPM Grain Free Formula
- Dr. Tim’s Kinesis Grain Free Formula
Dr. Tim’s Kinesis Grain Free Formula was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Dr. Tim's Kinesis Grain Free Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, dried white potatoes, dried field peas, dried beet pulp (sugar removed), chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ocean herring meal, tapioca, dried whole eggs, whole ground flax seed, menhaden fish oil, chicken liver, salmon meal, porcine plasma, carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach, potassium chloride, salt, lecithin, calcium carbonate, l-lysine, canola oil, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dl-methionine, organic dried kelp, psyllium seed husks, Yucca schidigera extract, choline chloride, dried chicory root, algae fat product (source of DHA), ascorbic acid, glucosamine, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (stabilized ascorbic acid), taurine, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, 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, selenium, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, l-carnitine, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||20%||36%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||40%||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 dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can affect our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.
The third ingredient is dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fourth ingredient is 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 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 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
The seventh ingredient includes tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The eighth ingredient is whole dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The ninth 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 tenth 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.
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, we note the inclusion of 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 find canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because some worry that canola oil is made from rapeseed, a genetically modified (GMO) raw material.
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.
In addition, chicory root 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 Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Dr. Tim’s Grain Free 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 37% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.
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 effects of the dried peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Dr. Tim’s Grain Free is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of chicken, pork and salmon meals as its main sources 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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Notes and Updates
08/06/2014 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩