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Goodlife Recipe (Dry)

Mike Sagman


Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman


Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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Updated: October 6, 2023

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Goodlife Recipe Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of one star.

Currently, the Goodlife Recipe product line includes three kibbles… two designed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for growth (puppies).

  • Goodlife Recipe with Beef, Brown Rice and Vegetables
  • Goodlife Recipe with Chicken, Brown Rice and Vegetables
  • Goodlife Recipe for Puppies with Chicken, Brown Rice and Vegetables

Goodlife Recipe with Real Beef, Brown Rice and Vegetables was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.

Goodlife Recipe with Beef, Brown Rice and Vegetables

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content







Ground corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal (source of lutein), beef, whole grain brown rice, animal fat, rice, natural poultry flavor, wheat flour, dried peas, dried beet pulp, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, salt, vegetable oil (source of linoleic acid), caramel color, calcium carbonate, taurine, titanium dioxide, vitamins (dl-alpha tocopherol acetate [source of vitamin E], l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate [source of vitamin C], vitamin A acetate, thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B1], vitamin D3 supplement, dcalcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement [ vitamin B12], biotin, choline chloride),iron oxide, dried carrots, dried spinach, dried tomatoes, minerals (zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide), chlorophyll, marigold meal, naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols.

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 26% 10% NA
Dry Matter Basis 30% 11% 51%
Calorie Weighted Basis 27% 26% 47%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Although there’s no way to know for sure, it’s reasonable to assume the corn described here is similar to the kind used to make feed for livestock.

Feed corn can be contaminated with insects, mites and molds.

Many blame corn for chronic canine allergies. But those allergies are probably more a result of what’s in the corn… than the corn itself.

The second ingredient is chicken by-product meal… a cooked-down product of slaughterhouse waste.

This stuff can contain almost anything… feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs… you name it.

Chicken by-product meal is not a quality ingredient.

The third item is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate (the good stuff) washed out of it.

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior grain-based proteins low in many of the essential amino acids dogs need to sustain life.

This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein content reported in this dog food.

The fourth item is beef. Raw beef contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost… reducing the meat content to just 20% of its original weight.

To reflect its lighter after-cooking mass, this item should probably occupy a much lower position on the list.

The fifth item is brown rice. Brown rice is a quality ingredient… a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) is fairly easy to digest.

The sixth ingredient includes animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized livestock.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

The seventh ingredient mentions rice. Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s difficult to judge the quality of this particular item.

After the natural poultry flavor, we find wheat. Wheat (as it’s used for making pet foods) is almost never of human-grade quality. It’s an inexpensive component of animal feed and (like corn) can be easily contaminated with insects and their by-products.

Plus… wheat has the rather dubious distinction of being one of the most common causes of canine food allergies.

Dried peas are considered a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re loaded with natural fiber.

What’s more, peas contain about 25% protein… protein that must be included as a contributor to the total protein in this food.

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.

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 have much of an effect on the overall quality of this product.

Also, 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.

Goodlife Recipe Dog Food… the Bottom Line

With so many inferior Red Flag ingredients, Goodlife Recipe Dog Food is surely not one of our favorite kibbles.

Just the same, no dog food review can be considered complete without making an estimate of how much meat might be present in the product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 11% and an estimated carbohydrate content of 51%.

Featuring a brand average of 30%, protein numbers range from a low of 30% for the two adult recipes to a high of 32% for the puppy formula.

Fat was a meager 12% for the group.

Moderate protein. Low fat. And average carbohydrates (compared to a typical dry dog food).

When you consider the protein-boosting effect the low quality corn gluten meal, this is the profile of a dry kibble containing only a fair amount of meat.

Bottom line?

The Goodlife Recipe is primarily a grain-based kibble using only a modest amount of inexpensive chicken by-product meal as its main source of animal protein… earning the brand a disappointing one-star rating.

Not recommended.

Notes and Updates

05/04/2010 Original review
12/03/2010 Review updated (product discontinued)

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