TimberWolf Wild and Natural (Dry)

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Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

This Review Has Been Merged with
TimberWolf Platinum

TimberWolf Wild and Natural dog food earns the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The manufacturer of TimberWolf Wild and Natural claims the recipe meets AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

TimberWolf Wild and Natural Canid Formula

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 40% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 33%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, chicken, herring meal, potatoes, chicken fat, dried chicken liver, sweet potatoes, herring oil, eggs, kelp, alfalfa sprouts, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, carrots, celery, beets, dried whey, casein, dl-methionine, sea salt, taurine, carnitine, glucosamine, lecithin, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus lactis, Bacillus bifidum, Bacillus subtillus, zinc amino acid complex, choline chloride, iron amino acid complex, vitamin E supplement, manganese amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A acetate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin, folic acid, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine hydrochloride, biotin, cobalt proteinate, potassium iodide, sodium selenite, mixed tocopherols (a natural preservative), citric acid, Yucca schidigera, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.7%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis36%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis40%20%33%
Calorie Weighted Basis33%40%27%
Protein = 33% | Fat = 40% | Carbs = 27%

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 lists chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% 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 third ingredient is herring meal, another protein rich meat concentrate.

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

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

We are pleased to note that, unlike most fish meals, this particular item2 appears to be ethoxyquin-free.

The fourth ingredient lists potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is dried chicken liver, a dehydrated product made from whole chicken livers. Because it contains about 62% protein and 20% fat, this item makes a favorable addition to this dog food.

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

The eighth ingredient is 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, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

The ninth ingredient lists eggss. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

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 two notable exceptions

First, the company appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.

And lastly, this food also 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.

TimberWolf Wild and Natural Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, TimberWolf Wild and Natural looks to be an above-average dog food.

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 40%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate content of 33%.

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

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbohydrates when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this is the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

TimberWolf Wild and Natural is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of chicken and herring as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Those looking for other quality kibbles from the same company may wish to check out our review of TimberWolf Dog Food.

Special 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.

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Notes and Updates

07/17/2010 Original review
09/04/2011 Updated (new recipe)
03/02/2012 Updated (new recipe)

11/04/2012 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. TimberWolf Myths and Misconceptions, 9/4/2011