Life’s Abundance Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Life’s Abundance product line includes four dry dog foods. Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Life’s Abundance for Puppies and Adults
- Life’s Abundance Small/Medium Breed Puppies
- Life’s Abundance Large Breed Puppies (4 stars)
- Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula for Adults
Life’s Abundance for Puppies and Adults was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Life's Abundance for Puppies and Adults
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, ground brown rice, oat groats, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of vitamin E), dried beet pulp, brewers dried yeast, flaxseed meal, natural flavors, dried egg product, catfish meal, calcium carbonate, lecithin, potassium chloride, dried carrots, canola oil, monosodium phosphate, dried celery, dl-methionine, l-lysine, salt, dried blueberries, fructooligosaccharide, taurine, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium thermophilum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, vitamin E supplement, dried broccoli, dried beets, zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, pomegranate extract, dried parsley, dried lettuce, dried watercress, dried spinach, manganese proteinate, beta-carotene, niacin supplement, manganese sulfate, inositol, ferrous sulfate, iron proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, zinc oxide, biotin, riboflavin supplement, copper sulfate, selenium yeast, pyridoxine hydrochloride, d-calcium pantothenate, copper proteinate, manganous oxide, vitamin A acetate, potassium iodide, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||18%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||37%||39%|
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 ground rice, another name for rice flour. Ground rice is made from either white or brown rice and is considered a gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.
The third ingredient is oat groats, a whole grain, minimally processed form of oats. With the exception of their caloric content and the fact they’re also gluten free, oat groats can be considered average in nutritional value.
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 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 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.
The seventh ingredient is flaxseed meal, 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.
After the natural flavor, we find 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 next ingredient is catfish 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 four notable exceptions…
First, canola oil 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.
Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener3 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
In addition, this food includes 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 also contains 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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Life’s Abundance 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 30% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.
Near-average protein. Near-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 and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
Life’s Abundance is a plant-based dry dog food using a notable amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Those looking for a quality wet food to go with this product may wish to visit our review of Life’s Abundance canned dog food.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
04/01/2010 Original review
10/02/2010 Review updated
06/28/2012 Review updated
01/17/2014 Last Update