Lifetime Dog Food earns the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.
The Lifetime Dog Food product line includes five dry recipes. Although each formulation 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.
- Lifetime Fish and Oatmeal
- Lifetime Lamb and Oatmeal
- Lifetime Chicken and Oatmeal Large Breed
- Lifetime Chicken and Oatmeal All Life Stages
- Lifetime Performance Chicken and Oatmeal All Life Stages (4 stars)
Lifetime Chicken and Oatmeal All Life Stages was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Lifetime Chicken and Oatmeal All Life Stages
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, oatmeal, whole barley, chicken & turkey fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), canola meal, whole brown rice, flaxseed, natural flavours, herring oil (source of DHA/EPA), sodium chloride, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, mannanoligosaccharides (MOS), chicory inulin (FOS), Yucca schidigera extract, vitamin supplements (A, D, E), niacin, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12, folic acid, zinc sulphate, ferrous sulphate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, chelated minerals (zinc, copper, manganese, iron), manganese sulphate, copper sulphate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||17%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||35%||41%|
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 oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.
The third ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient is chicken and turkey fat. Poultry fats are typically obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Poultry fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken and turkey fat are actually quality ingredients.
The fifth ingredient is canola meal, a by-product of canola oil production more typically used in farm animal feeds.
Although canola meal contains about 41% dry matter protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
In addition, canola meal can be a controversial item. This appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its source material.
However, since not all canola has been genetically modified, it’s impossible for us to comment on the quality of this particular ingredient.
The sixth ingredient 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 seventh 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.
After the natural flavor, we find herring oil. Herring oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, herring oil should be considered a commendable addition.
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 three notable exceptions…
First, 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, this recipe contains mannanoligosaccharide (also known as MOS), a nutritional supplement likely included here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the pet’s intestinal 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.
Lifetime Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Lifetime Dog Food looks like an average dry product.
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 27% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
However, when you consider the protein-boosting effects of the canola meal and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing only a moderate amount of meat.
Lifetime Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a below average amount of chicken, whitefish or lamb meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Other spellings: Nutreco, Nutreco Lifetime
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
06/13/2013 Original review
06/13/2013 Last Update