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TLC Whole Life Dog Food Review (Dry)

TLC Whole Life Dog Food

Rating:

Which TLC Whole Life Recipes Get
Our Best Ratings?

TLC Whole Life Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The TLC Whole Life product line includes the 2 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product Rating AAFCO
TLC Whole Life Dog Food 5 A
TLC Whole Life Puppy Food 5 G

Recipe and Label Analysis

TLC Whole Life Dog Food was selected to represent both products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


TLC Whole Life Dog Food

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 29% | Fat = 18% | Carbs = 45%

Ingredients: Lamb meal, chicken meal, oatmeal, fresh chicken, whole grain barley, whole brown rice, millet, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, a natural source of vitamin E), salmon meal (preserved with vitamin E and rosemary extract), green peas, whole eggs, chicken liver, potassium chloride, salmon oil (source of DHA), quinoa, flaxseed, lecithin, dl methionine, chicory root (inulin), vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, vitamin C, inositol, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin B1, riboflavin, beta-carotene, vitamin B6, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, tomato (natural source of vitamin K), glucosamine, choline chloride, Yucca schidigera extract, l-carnitine, mannan-oligosaccharides, carrots, apples, sweet potatoes, blueberries, cranberries, green-lipped mussels (natural source of chondroitin and glucosamine), probiotics (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Enterococcus faecium, Bifidobacterium thermophilum), thyme, cassia, anise, horseradish, juniper, ginger, yarrow, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis26%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%18%45%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%37%39%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 37% | Carbs = 39%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.

The second ingredient is chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The third 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 fourth ingredient is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken 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 fifth 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 sixth ingredient lists 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 millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.

The eighth 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 ninth ingredient is salmon meal, yet another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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

The next 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.

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 6 notable exceptions

First, salmon 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, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, flaxseed is 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.

In addition, quinoa, (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.

Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

Next, this recipe contains mannan-oligosaccharide (also known as MOS), a nutritional supplement likely included here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the pet’s intestinal tract.

Additionally, this product contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

And lastly, this food includes 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.

Nutrient Analysis

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

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 18% and estimated carbohydrates of about 45%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 61%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, quinoa and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Our Rating of TLC Whole Life Dog Food

TLC Whole Life is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

TLC Whole Life Dog Food
Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to TLC Pet Food.

No recalls noted

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

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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.

References

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials

03/14/2022 Last Update

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