Life’s Abundance dry dog food earns the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Life’s Abundance product line includes two dry dog foods, one claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and the other for adult maintenance (Weight Loss Formula).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food for Puppies and Adults
- Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula for Adult Dogs
Life’s Abundance Premium Health Food for Puppies and Adults was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Life's Abundance Premium Health 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 item is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient includes 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 lists 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 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 includes brewers dried yeast. 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 includes flaxseed meal, one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.
After natural flavors, 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 tenth ingredient mentions catfish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
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, 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.2
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, we note the use of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
Thirdly, 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.
Next, 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.
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.
Life’s Abundance Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Life’s Abundance appears to be 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 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 46% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs as compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
What’s more, due to its unusually high meat protein content, Life’s Abundance Weight Loss Formula offers one of the best designs of its type we’ve reviewed to date.
Life’s Abundance is a grain-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
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.
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
04/01/2010 Original review
10/02/2010 Review updated
10/04/2010 Review updated (ethoxyquin-free)
06/28/2012 Last Update