Confirmed by the Company1
Great Life Essentials Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Great Life Essentials product line includes three canned dog foods.
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.
- Great Life Essentials Frontier Buffalo
- Great Life Essentials Beef Wellington
- Great Life Essentials Chicken Parmigiana
Great Life Essentials Beef Wellington was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Great Life Essentials Beef Wellington
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, beef liver, organic blueberries, organic tomatoes, organic pumpkin, organic yams, organic chia seed, guar gum, vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin B3 supplement, folic acid, vitamin B1 supplement, lecithin, biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin), minerals (zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, calcium pantothenate, selenium)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||27%||24%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||51%||18%|
The first ingredient in this food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.2
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is beef broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The third ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The next four ingredients include a series of nutrient-rich organic fruits and vegetables…
- Organic blueberries
- Organic tomatoes
- Organic pumpkin
- Organic yams
The next ingredient is chia seed, an edible seed nutritionally similar to flax or sesame. Provided they’re first ground into a meal, chia seeds are rich in both omega-3 fatty acids as well as dietary fiber.
However, chia seeds contain about 17% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
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 one notable exceptions…
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.
Great Life Essentials Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Since this recipe contains a number of organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line a more favorable status as we consider its final rating.
That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.
With that in mind…
Great Life Essentials Dog Food looks like an above-average canned 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 41% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 24% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 67%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbohydrates when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chia seed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a notable amount of meat.
Great Life Essentials is a meat-based canned dog food containing a notable amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Please note certain products are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein rations.
Great Life 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.
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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Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
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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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.
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In any case, please be assured it is always our intention to remain objective, impartial and unbiased when conducting our analysis.
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Notes and Updates
08/21/2016 Last Update