Dr. Tim’s Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Dr. Tim’s Grain Free product line includes 2 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.
Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.
Use links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.
Dr. Tim’s Kinesis Grain Free Formula was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
Dr. Tim's Kinesis Grain Free Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Chicken meal, dried white potatoes, dried field peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed natural tocopherols, a source of vitamin E), tapioca, dried plain beet pulp (sugar removed), dried egg product, catfish meal, ocean herring meal, ground whole flaxseed, menhaden fish oil, chicken liver meal, salmon meal, dried porcine plasma, dried carrots, dried celery, dried beets, dried parsley, dried lettuce, dried watercress, dried spinach, dicalcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, lecithin (sunflower derived), dried Bacillus coagulans fermentation product, dried kelp, dried chicory root (source of inulin), l-lysine, dl-methionine, psyllium seed husks, Yucca schidigera extract, choline chloride, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, beta carotene, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, inositol, niacin supplement, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, zinc oxide, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), copper proteinate, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement (source of vitamin B2), d-calcium pantothenate, potassium iodide (source of iodine), manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, taurine, l-carnitine, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||20%||36%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||40%||30%|
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 dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can affect our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.
The third ingredient includes dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.
However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated 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.
The eighth ingredient is catfish 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 ninth ingredient is herring meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
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, we find 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.
Next, we note the inclusion of pork plasma. Plasma is what remains of blood after the blood cells themselves have been removed. Plasma can be considered a nutritious addition.
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.
Dr. Tim’s Grain Free Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Dr. Tim’s Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average dry produt.
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 36% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 36% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the dried peas and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Dr. Tim’s Grain Free is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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.
Dr. Tim’s Dog Food
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.
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
Notes and Updates
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
11/01/2018 Last Update