LiveSmart Dog Food (Dry)

Share

Rating: ★★★½☆

LiveSmart Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The LiveSmart product line includes five dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • LiveSmart Lamb Meal and Brown Rice Adult
  • LiveSmart Salmon Meal and Brown Rice Adult
  • LiveSmart Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Adult
  • LiveSmart Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Senior
  • LiveSmart Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Weight Management

LiveSmart Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

LiveSmart Chicken Meal and Brown Rice Adult

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 50%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, pearled barley, millet, oat groats, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, menhaden fish meal, egg product, brewer's dried yeast, natural flavor, whole ground flaxseed, salt, potassium chloride, menhaden fish oil, calcium carbonate, dl-methionine, lecithin, carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach, l-lysine, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, cranberry, Yucca schidigera extract, vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid, niacin supplement, organic dried kelp, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A acetate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, citric acid (preservative), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, zinc proteinate, potassium chloride, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, soybean oil, selenium yeast, calcium iodate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%16%50%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%33%44%

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 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 is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.

The fourth ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.

The fifth 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 sixth 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 seventh 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 eighth ingredient is menhaden fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The ninth ingredient is egg product, an unspecified (wet or dry?) 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.

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, 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.

Next, flaxseed is 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.

In addition, 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.

Next, soybean oil is red flagged here only due to its rumored (yet unlikely) link to canine food allergies.

However, since soybean oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids and contains no omega-3′s, it’s considered less nutritious than flaxseed oil or a named animal fat.

We also note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

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.

LiveSmart Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, LiveSmart 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 50%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 10%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 56% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-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 moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

LiveSmart Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of chicken, lamb or salmon meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

Special Alert

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

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.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

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

Notes and Updates

04/30/2010 Original review
03/19/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Gordon

    tracie hotchner – I see since your post, you are now listed as a consultant on Mike’s website.

    I’m curious to know if you have heard of Cat Lane, who posted a comment about a week ago under BARF. She posted her website being http://thepossiblecanine.wordpress.com and claims to be a canine nutritionist.

    What do you think about her thoughts and blogs?

    I’m always curious to hear about various opinions!

  • http://www.TracieHotchner.com tracie hotchner

    First time visitor to your site and I am mightily impressed with the thorough, thoughtful, objective and balanced way in which you evaluate a dog food. As a leading expert in canine nutrition I am dismayed not have have found this superb resource sooner but I intend to post a link to your website on mine and also cite it on the air on my two live weekly radio programs about dogs and cats. As full disclosure I want to say that I came to this site because I am a consultant to SmartPak Canine and was curious to see what you thought of LiveSmart and also the new dog feeding program I have helped develop called Proportions. But I am not just gratified to see that you have done a tip-top job of analyzing LiveSmart, but that this website is an island of rational intelligence in the midst of so much emotional general misunderstanding about dog nutrition. As far as the food itself, my dogs really enjoy LiveSmart lamb kibble which I choose because I am so comfortable with the origin of lamb as a dog food ingredient, especially for dogs with allergy issues. Thanks again for your excellent work- next step, I want to find the brains behind this website and invite him/her on my radio shows for a public congratulation!