Timberwolf Originals Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

Timberwolf Originals Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Timberwolf Originals product line includes five dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Timberwolf Originals Wilderness [A]
  • Timberwolf Originals Ocean Blue [A]
  • Timberwolf Originals Dakota Bison [A]
  • Timberwolf Originals Black Forest (3.5 stars) [A]
  • Timberwolf Originals Lamb, Barley and Apples (4.5 stars) [A]

Timberwolf Originals Dakota Bison was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Timberwolf Originals Dakota Bison

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 46%

Ingredients: Bison, salmon meal, millet, brown rice, oats, sweet potatoes, salmon oil, pumpkin, vegetable blend: [whole carrots, dried celery, dried parsley, dried beets, dried watercress], flaxseed, dried organic kelp, dehydrated alfalfa meal, dried Saccharomyces cerevisiae, herb and fruit blend: [ground cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, sage, fenugreek, ground ginger root, ground sunflower seeds, ground fennel seed, ground caraway seeds, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, strawberries], prebiotics: [chicory root (inulin), ], lecithin, choline chloride, probiotics: [dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus lactis fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtillus fermentation product], amino acid chelate mineral mix: [zinc amino acid complex, iron amino acid complex, manganese amino acid complex, calcium pantothenate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite], vitamins: [vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin (a source of vitamin B3), vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin (a source of vitamin B2), folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride (a source of vitamin B6), thiamine hydrochloride (a source of vitamin B1), biotin (a source of vitamin B7), ascorbic acid (a source of vitamin C), mixed tocopherols (a source of vitamin E and a natural preservative), ], papain, Yucca schidigera extract, beta-carotene, fructooligosaccharides, taurine, l-carnitine, dl-methionine, rosemary extract (a natural preservative)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%18%46%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%37%39%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 39%

The first ingredient in this dog food is bison. Although it is a quality item, raw bison contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is salmon meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

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

The third 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 fourth 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 fifth ingredient includes oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The seventh ingredient is salmon oil. Salmon 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, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

The eighth ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.

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, 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.

Next, we note the use of alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

In addition, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

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.

And lastly, 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.

Timberwolf Originals Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Timberwolf Originals looks like 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 29%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 46%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a dry dog food containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Timberwolf Originals is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly 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.

Timberwolf Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Notes and Updates

12/11/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials