ShowTime Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.
The ShowTime Dog Food product line includes six dry recipes. 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.
- ShowTime Dog Food Kennel Formula 21/12
- ShowTime Dog Food Endurance Formula 31/22
- ShowTime Dog Food Performance Formula 24/20
- ShowTime Dog Food Performance Formula 27/16
- ShowTime Dog Food Performance Formula 27/20
- ShowTime Puppy Food Performance Formula 30/20
ShowTime Dog Food Performance Formula 27/20 was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
ShowTime Dog Food Performance Formula 27/20
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
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|
|Dry Matter Basis||31%||23%||39%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||44%||31%|
The first ingredient in this dog food mentions a mixture of poultry and porcine meals. Together, these two items are considered meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry or pork.
The second item is 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.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins lower in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.
This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly 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
Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.
What’s more, the controversial chemical ethoxyquin is frequently used as a preservative in fish meals.
But because it’s usually added to the raw fish before processing, the chemical does not have to be reported to consumers.
We find no public assurances from the company this product is ethoxyquin-free.
Without knowing more, we would expect to find at least a trace of ethoxyquin in this product.
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 five 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.
This recipe also contains mineral oil. Although we can’t be certain, mineral oil is apparently used in this recipe as a stool softener.
However, the inclusion of this additive can be controversial. That’s because the European Food Safety Authority has expressed some concern as to the long term health effects of using mineral oil in human food.2
In addition, 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.
And lastly, this dog food contains 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 41% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 69%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the corn gluten meal, flaxseed and brewers dried yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
ShowTime Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of poultry and porcine meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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.
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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".
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Notes and Updates
04/07/2011 Original review
11/12/2011 Review updated
05/15/2013 Review updated
05/15/2013 Last Update