ShowTime Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★½☆☆

ShowTime Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The ShowTime Dog Food product line includes seven dry recipes.

However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, 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.

  • ShowTime Premium Kennel Formula 21/12
  • ShowTime Advanced Endurance Formula 31/22
  • ShowTime Premium Performance Formula 27/16
  • ShowTime Premium Performance Formula 27/20
  • ShowTime Premium Performance Formula 24/20
  • ShowTime Premium Puppy Performance Formula
  • ShowTime Poultry and Rice Kennel Formula 24/14

ShowTime Premium Performance Formula 27/20 was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

ShowTime Premium Performance Formula 27/20

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 23% | Carbs = 39%

Ingredients: Poultry & porcine meal, ground yellow corn, ground wheat, poultry fat (preserved with BHA), corn gluten meal, fish meal, dried beet pulp, ground flaxseed, poultry digest, brewers dried yeast, dicalcium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, calcium propionate, choline chloride, l-lysine hydrochloride, iron sulfate, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, manganese proteinate, zinc sulfate, zinc oxide, copper proteinate, riboflavin supplement, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, niacin supplement, biotin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), vitamin b12 supplement, calcium lodate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, cobalt carbonate, folic acid, and mineral oil

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.8%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis27%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%23%39%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%44%31%

The first ingredient in this dog food includes a mixture of poultry and porcine meals. This mixture is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry or pork.

The second ingredient includes corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The third ingredient is wheat. Wheat is another cereal grain and subject to the same issues as corn (previously discussed).

The fourth ingredient is poultry fat. Poultry fat is 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.

However, poultry fat is a relatively generic ingredient and can be considered lower in quality than a similar item from a named source animal (like chicken fat).

What’s worse, this fat is preserved with BHA, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

The fifth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% 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.

The sixth ingredient is fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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

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 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.

The ninth ingredient is poultry digest. A digest is a chemically hydrolyzed brew of slaughterhouse waste. Animal digests are usually sprayed onto the surface of a dry dog food to improve its taste.

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 four 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, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

In addition, this food 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.

And lastly, this dog food includes menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

ShowTime Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, ShowTime Dog Food looks like a below-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 31%, a fat level of 23% and estimated carbohydrates of about 39%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.

Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal, flaxseed and brewers dried yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

ShowTime is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of poultry and porcine meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

A Final Word

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

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

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

11/18/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Storm’s Mom

    Corn is the 2nd and 5th ingredient in Showtime’s 27/20 formula, at least according to the review above and what I presume is Showtime’s website here: http://www.mid-southfeeds.com/showtime-27-20.html

    What does your bag say? It may be that your bag is old (manufacturers have 6 months to change the ingredient list on the bag after a formula change). Looks like Dr Mike’s review was last updated on May 5, 2013.

  • John

    I feed showtime 27 20 to my hunting hounds and it is the best food you will put in there mouth. Especially for the price. They keep good weight, the have small stools, they don’t drink as much water, and there recovery time after a hard days running is amazing. There is no corn in showtime.

  • Pingback: Showtime dog food ???()

  • dee

    Is blue buffalo wilderness better than showtime extreme? My dog has a hard time keeping on weight.

  • erin c.

    Even human food has a hard time without BHA.
    I have a new box of Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding which is preserved with BHA. Our Wheat Chex is preserved with BHT.
    Do you think companies are trying to use up their supplies of BHA and BHT before they eliminate it from human food? Or maybe they are selling their leftovers to the pet food companies? Or maybe that’s why companies like P & G need more dog food companies–to have a place to dump the stuff humans have decided not to eat–BHA, BHT, TBHQ…
    This family reads LOTS of labels. The shorter the list of ingredients the better.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Meagan… River Run (made by Nutrena) is already on my To Do list. However, due to our current backlog of products for review, it could be a while longer before we get to it. I can’t seem to find a company operated website for DuraLife. So, I’m not planning to review this brand.

  • Meagan

    Mike- Do you have Duralife or River Run on your list? I am pretty sure they are not very good brands, but I am curious to see what you would rate them. Probably be the same as this food. My friend was feeding Duralife :( blach