LiveSmart Hearty Stew (formerly Proportions Stew) receives the Advisor’s highest rating of 5 stars.
The LiveSmart Hearty Stew product line lists two wet dog foods. However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the company’s website, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review:
- LiveSmart Hearty Chicken Stew
- LiveSmart Hearty Salmon Stew
LiveSmart Hearty Chicken Stew
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Boneless chicken, water, pumpkin, carrot, pea, tapioca starch, sunflower oil, calcium carbonate, tricalcium phosphate, fish oil, xanthan gum, choline chloride, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), nicotinic acid (source of vitamin B3), calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, potassium iodide, manganese sulfate, vitamin D3 supplement, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.1%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||75%||8%||10%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||73%||18%||9%|
The first item in this dog food lists chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The third ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
The fourth item lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The sixth item includes tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The seventh item is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3′s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
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, fish oil. Fish 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
Next, xanthan gum is a food additive used here as a thickener to create gravy-like consistency.
Surprisingly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
LiveSmart Hearty Stew
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, LiveSmart Hearty Stew appears to be an above-average wet 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 75% and a mean fat level of 8%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 10% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 11%.
Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.
LiveSmart Hearty Stew is a meat-based wet dog food using a generous amount of chicken or salmon as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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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However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits for your pet.
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Notes and Updates
04/30/2010 Original review
11/29/2010 Review updated
01/10/2012 Review updated (no changes)
09/05/2012 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩