Life’s Abundance canned dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Life’s Abundance product line lists two canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for growth and maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Life’s Abundance Chicken and Crab Dinner
- Life’s Abundance Turkey and Shrimp Breakfast
Life’s Abundance Chicken and Crab Dinner was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Life's Abundance Chicken and Crab Dinner in Sauce
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, organic chicken, crab, dried egg product, carrots, potato starch, red skinned potatoes, peas, oat hulls, apples, guar gum, natural flavor, sodium phosphate, calcium carbonate, flaxseed oil, tricalcium phosphate, dried broccoli, salt, inulin, dried cranberry, dried blueberry, a-tocopheryl acetate, pomegranate extract, olive oil, avocado oil, taurine, thyme, parsley, sodium ascorbate, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, l-carnitine, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, cobalt amino acid chelate, selenium yeast, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, potassium iodide, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||45%||20%||27%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||37%||40%||22%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The third ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is organic chicken. Organic ingredients are produced under strict government standards, standards which greatly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.
The fifth ingredient is crab. Crab is rich in protein and other nutrients, similar to the kind found in whole fish.
The sixth 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 seventh item lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The eighth ingredient is potato starch. Potato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate used more for its thickening properties than its nutritional value.
The ninth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The next ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the 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 six notable exceptions…
First, oat hulls are a by-product of processing whole oats into flour. They are most likely included here to add bulk.
Except for the usual benefits of dietary fiber, oat hulls provide no other valuable nutrients to a dog food.
Next, flaxseed oil is one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.
In addition, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
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 that this product contains avocado oil. Avocado products can be somewhat controversial.
Supporters claim the ingredient to be nutrient rich and beneficial to a dog’s skin and coat — while others worry over what are mostly unsubstantiated concerns over potential toxicity.
These fears appear to originate from a 1984 study in which goats (not dogs) consumed the leaves (not the fruit) of the Guatemalan (not the Mexican) avocado and became ill.2
Based upon our own review of the literature, it is our opinion that the anxiety over avocado ingredients in dog food appears to be unjustified.
In addition, this food 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.
And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Life’s Abundance Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Life’s Abundance looks like an above-average canned 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 45% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 27% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 44%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the mild protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
Life’s Abundance is a meat-based canned dog food using a significant amount of chicken or turkey as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Those looking for a nice kibble to go with this product may wish to visit our review of Life’s Abundance dry dog food.
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
03/31/2010 Original review
10/02/2010 Review updated
06/26/2012 Review updated
01/13/2014 Review updated
01/13/2014 Last Update