Lifetime Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

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

Protein = 28% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 48%

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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%17%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%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 to make feed for farm animals and to produce biodiesel.

Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

In any case, because canola meal also contains about 37% dry matter protein, this ingredient would be expected to 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.

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

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.

Bottom line?

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.

Recommended.

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

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

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Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

06/13/2013 Original review
06/13/2013 Last Update

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Not necessarily. During the growth phase, they should have controlled calcium levels and require a special calcium to phosphorus ratio.

    Here are some links to some resources:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/forums/topic/large-and-giant-breed-puppy-nutrition/

  • KJ Kreitzer

    I like that there isn’t too much protein in this dog food. Shouldn’t large dog breeds prone to hip dysplasia avoid high amounts of protein?

  • Pattyvaughn

    LOL! If that were the case, then 90% or more of the good dog foods, and I mean really, really good dog foods would be horrible, because my dog has a problem with chicken and grains. Any of the posts here are tinged with peoples personal experiences and opinions. That’s the nature of the beast.

  • Blitzcanuck

    You’re right of course but that doesn’t make this product “HORRIBLE”.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Just like people different dogs do differently on different foods. His dog could have had a food intolerance to some ingredient in this food.

  • Blitzcanuck

    Your dog must have other issues causing the weight loss. My Saint Bernard has been on this food for longer than 6 months and has maintained her weight along with great skin and coat and a great disposition.

  • Blitzcanuck

    Our St. Bernard has been enjoying the large breed version of Lifetime since we got her almost a year ago and she’s done quite well with just the recommended amounts. I think Lifetime is a good choice for anyone that can’t afford the top shelf brands.

  • Raven Dominique Pozsgai

    I have been feeding my dog this food since she was a puppy and she has been doing splendid on it. She is now almost two has a nice healthy coat and is fit as a fiddle. She is fed the Large Breed formula and we actually have to feed less then the recommended serving for a dog her size, (55-60lbs). And its also Canadian which is pretty awsome.

  • Andrew O’Donnell

    This food is HORRIBLE. Had my Saint Bernard on it for 6 months, and over the course of this time she lost 30+ pounds. Had her on double the quantity of the food at the end, and she was still losing. Finally had to switch her. Very disappointing.

  • Karen

    Working in a Canadian pet food store, I’m glad to see this food reviewed. I recommend it a lot to people who aren’t willing to spend a lot of money on a bag of food. I always encourage customers to feed the better foods, but if they can’t afford it or are unwilling to spend the $70-80 a bag for grain free, its a better alternative than beneful or pedigree, and I’m glad we stock it. at least it’s free of corn, wheat and by-product meals!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    At 27% average protein, that is still recommended compared to say 20, maybe even 22%. Even Nutrisource Grain Free is below average even though it has 28% average protein and Blue Buffalo Basics and Great Life are both decent foods in terms of ingredients. Lifetime states on their FAQ that the fish meals they import from the USA may have a trace amount of ethoxyquin for shipping stability since Lifetime is a Canadian food. 3-3.5 stars is not bad (except for the Lifetime Fish and Oatmeal formula). For the average Joe who is ok with feeding a 3 star food, this one is ok. For those who prefer above average protein to high protein, they will not feed anything less than 4 stars. Compared to the other hundreds of kibbles reviewed here, it is slightly below average which doesn’t make it bad.

  • InkedMarie

    How does a food with a below average amount of meat get to be recommended? Maybe this is common for other 3.5 star rated foods, I generally don’t pay much attention to them but I did this one, since it’s a new review. I wouldn’t recommend it.