Lifetime Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

Lifetime Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest rating of 4 stars.

The Lifetime product line includes the 8 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.

  • Lifetime Large Breed (3.5 stars) [A]
  • Lifetime Puppy/Performance [A]
  • Lifetime Chicken Meal and Oatmeal [A]
  • Lifetime Lamb Meal and Oatmeal (3 stars) [A]
  • Lifetime Fish Meal and Oatmeal (3.5 stars) [A]
  • Lifetime Wild Caught Fish Meal Grain Free [A]
  • Lifetime Free Run Chicken Meal Grain Free [A]
  • Lifetime Pasture-Fed Lamb Meal Grain Free (3.5 stars) [A]

Lifetime Chicken Meal and Oatmeal was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Lifetime Chicken Meal and Oatmeal

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 28% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 48%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, oatmeal, whole barley, chicken and turkey fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), canola meal, whole brown rice, flaxseed, natural flavours, herring oil (DHA), salt, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, dicalcium phosphate, yeast extract, dried chicory root, choline chloride, Yucca schidigera, vitamins and chelated minerals

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis25%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis28%17%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%35%41%
Protein = 24% | Fat = 35% | Carbs = 41%

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 oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and can be (depending upon its level of purity) gluten-free.

The third ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth ingredient is chicken and turkey fat. Chicken and turkey fat is obtained from rendering poultry, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Poultry fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, named poultry fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The next ingredient is canola meal, a by-product of canola oil production more typically used to make feed for farm animals and to produce biodiesel.

Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

In any case, because canola meal also contains about 37% dry matter protein, this ingredient would be expected to notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is 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.

After the natural flavors, we find herring oil. Herring 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, herring oil should be considered a commendable addition.

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 Lifetime product.

With 4 notable exceptions

First, 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.

Next, we find yeast extract. Yeast extract is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.

A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.

However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.

That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago1, the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.

So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.

In any case, since the label reveals little about the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.

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.

Lifetime Dog Food Review

Based on its ingredients alone, Lifetime Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 28%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the canola meal and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Lifetime lists both grain-inclusive and grain-free dry dog foods using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

Lifetime Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Lifetime brand. 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. L-Glutamic Acid, FDA Select Committee on GRAS Substances

02/25/2020 Last Update