I and Love and You Lovingly Simple Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

I and Love and You Lovingly Simple Dog Food gets the Advisor’s second-highest rating of 4.5 stars.

The I and Love and You Lovingly Simple product line includes the 2 dry dog foods listed below.

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

Use the links to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.

I and Love and You Lovingly Simple with Whitefish + Sweet Potato recipe was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.

I and Love and You Lovingly Simple with Whitefish + Sweet Potato

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 34% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 41%

Ingredients: Whitefish, menhaden fishmeal, peas, chickpeas, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sweet potatoes, pea protein, pea starch, natural flavors, salt, calcium carbonate, chicory root, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, sodium selenite), vitamins (choline chloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, D-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium thermophilum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis34%17%41%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%36%35%
Protein = 29% | Fat = 36% | Carbs = 35%

The first ingredient in this dog food is whitefish, a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.

Although it is a quality item, raw fish contains up to 73% 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 menhaden fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.

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

The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient lists chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, beans and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

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

The seventh item lists pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The eighth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

It’s important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of pea product:

  • Peas
  • Pea protein
  • Pea starch

Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.

You see, if we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would almost certainly occupy a higher position on the list — possibly making peas (not meat) the predominant ingredient in this recipe.

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 2 notable exceptions

First, we find chicory root. Chicory 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.

I and Love and You
Lovingly Simple Dog Food Review

Based on its ingredients alone, I and Love and You Lovingly Simple Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 34%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 41%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 41% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Which means this I and Love and You product line contains…

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And Below-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, chickpeas and pea protein, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

I and Love and You Lovingly Simple is a grain-free dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals as its dominat source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include so much plant-based protein in its recipe. Otherwise, we would have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.

I and Love and You Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to I and Love and You. 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

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials

11/16/2019 Last Update