I am always on the look for quality Canadian-made dog food for my pooch, Rio. As a canine nutritionist by trade, I am very critical of dog food from the ingredients to how it's made. I always have friends and family asking what they should feed their dog and as much as I want to tell them that Kabo is the best, I also understand that there is not one blanket dog food that works for every dog. Recently, one of my close friends asked me about Lifetime Pet Food and if it is a good food to feed their pup. Without much prior knowledge on the brand, I did an unbiased review on their food and here’s what I found…
About the brand
Lifetime Pet Food is a pet food company owned by Trouw Nutrition, an animal nutrition company based in St. Mary’s Ontario. According to the Lifetime website, they say, “Lifetime products are carefully crafted by our in-house team of companion animal nutritionists and manufactured in our own production facility located in St Marys, Ontario, Canada. Each recipe is 100% complete and balanced using single meat proteins from Canadian sources. Lifetime dog and cat diets are made with no corn, wheat, soy or meat by-products.”
There are a lot of good things to note about Lifetime’s food. While we can never really know what goes on behind the closed doors of a company, at face value Lifetime has some good things going for them in terms of dog food. Here are a few things that Lifetime is doing right:
Decent amount of protein
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 15%. This is an average amount of protein for a pet store brand, which usually averages about 20-30% protein. To me this indicates 2 things:
That Lifetime uses a high quality meat source in their diets instead of relying on cheaper ingredients such as meat and bone meal.
There are either very few or no filler ingredients used. Like Kabo recipes, every ingredient in Lifetime diets seem to be added in order to serve a nutritional purpose.
Overall, Lifetime diets contain above-average protein, above-average fat and below-average carbs when compared to other typical kibbles.
Lifetime emphasizes the use of high-quality, natural ingredients in their formulas. Their recipes often include real meat sources, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, ensuring that dogs receive essential nutrients for optimal health.
We love Canadian made pet food! The company's headquarters is located in St. Mary’s Ontario. However, I wasn’t able to find where exactly the food is being manufactured.
No formal recalls
I like to use the FDA pet food recall database to check on whether there has been an official recall on a certain pet food product. To date, Lifetime has had no recalls. It is important to note however that Canada has no governing body for pet food like the USA does. Therefore, there may have been some quiet recalls or changes to recipes without the public’s knowledge.
Formulated to meet AAFCO standards
Lifetime strives to maintain that their diets are complete and blanched and do this by formulating their diets according to AAFCO guidelines.
There aren't too many bad things to say about Lifetime, however nothing is perfect. Here a few things to consider about Lifetime:
Lifetime uses canola meal as an ingredient in some of their diets. While canola meal isn’t the worst ingredient to use, it isn’t a necessary ingredient and more high quality ingredients could have been used instead.
Canola meal is a byproduct of the canola oil extraction process from canola seeds. It is commonly used as an ingredient in livestock and poultry feed due to its protein and fiber content. In pet foods, canola meal can also serve as a source of plant-based protein.
Some potential concerns associated with canola meal or any other plant-based protein source in pet food may include:
Digestibility: Some dogs and cats may have difficulty digesting plant-based proteins compared to animal-based proteins. This can lead to gastrointestinal issues or poor nutrient absorption in certain individuals.
Allergies and Sensitivities: Like any ingredient, some pets may have allergies or sensitivities to canola meal, leading to adverse reactions or food allergies.
Anti-Nutritional Factors: Canola meal, like other plant-based ingredients, may contain anti-nutritional factors such as phytic acid or glucosinolates, which can interfere with nutrient absorption.
GMO Concerns: Canola is often genetically modified, and some pet owners may have concerns about feeding their pets genetically modified ingredients.
It's important to note that the pet food industry is continuously evolving, and manufacturers are increasingly focused on providing high-quality, nutritionally balanced pet foods that meet the needs of individual animals.
TLC adds sodium selenite into their food. Sodium selenite is a chemical compound and a common form of selenium. Sodium selenite is used in pet food as a form of supplementary selenium, which is required by dogs for a variety of biological processes.Sodium selenite, like many other ingredients in pet food, can be a subject of controversy and concern for a few reasons:
Toxicity Concerns: While selenium is an essential trace element for dogs and other animals, excessive intake of selenium can be toxic and lead to selenosis. The line between a safe and toxic dose of selenium is relatively narrow, and improper formulation of pet food could potentially lead to excessive selenium levels if not carefully regulated.
Alternative Selenium Sources: Some pet owners and experts argue that there are safer and more bioavailable forms of selenium supplements than sodium selenite, such as organic forms like selenomethionine or selenium yeast. These alternative sources are believed to be better absorbed and utilized by the animal's body.
Concerns about Ingredient Quality: The controversy surrounding sodium selenite in dog food is also tied to broader concerns about the quality of ingredients used in pet food. Some critics argue that certain pet food manufacturers may use cheaper and lower-quality forms of selenium, like sodium selenite, to cut costs, potentially compromising the nutritional value and safety of the food.
Regulatory Oversight: There might be concerns about the lack of strict regulations or oversight in the pet food industry, leading to potential inconsistencies in the quality and safety of pet food products.
It's important to note that not all dog foods containing sodium selenite are automatically harmful or unsafe. Properly formulated and well-balanced dog foods consider the appropriate levels of selenium, taking into account the specific nutritional needs of dogs. Reputable pet food manufacturers will conduct thorough testing to ensure that their products meet nutritional standards and safety guidelines.
Ultimately, I would recommend Lifetime to pet owners considering the brand. They have a variety of diets with quality ingredients that are well balanced. However, if you have a dog with allergies, it may be best to consider something else. It's important to note that pet food formulations and product lines can change over time, and there might have been updates or changes to Lifetime's offerings since my last review. Therefore, for the most current and detailed information about Lifetime dog food, I recommend visiting their official website or consulting with a veterinarian who can provide specific recommendations based on your dog's individual needs.