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TLC dog food review

TLC dog food review

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 TLC dog 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

It was difficult finding much information about the brand as a primary source. I did find a secondary blog that references a review of their brand and they say, “TLC Whole Life Dog Food is made by TLC Pet Food, which is based in Canada but also maintains a U.S. headquarters in New York. The food is produced at the Ontario, Canada, plant. According to its website, the company sources fresh ingredients from North America, New Zealand, and Norway suppliers.”.

They offer a variety of customized options for different life stages and breed sizes. Operating as an online retailer, they provide a subscription service for convenient and regular deliveries of fresh pet food directly to customers' doorsteps.

Dog Food — Maple Breeze Kennels - Bernedoodle Maple Breeze Bernedoodles

The good

There are a lot of good things to note about TLC’s food. While we can never really know what goes on behind the closed doors of a company, at face value TLC has some good things going for them in terms of dog food. Here are a few things that TLC is doing right:

High protein

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 18%. This is an above average amount of protein for a pet store brand, which usually averages about 20-30% protein. To me this indicates 2 things: 

  1. That Nutrience uses a high quality meat source in their diets instead of relying on cheaper ingredients such as meat and bone meal.
  2. There are either very few or no filler ingredients used. Like Kabo recipes, every ingredient in TLC diets seem to be added in order to serve a nutritional purpose.

Overall, TLC diets contain above-average protein, above-average fat and below-average carbs when compared to other typical kibbles.

Canadian made

We love Canadian made pet food! The company's headquarters is located in the USA, however their food is manufactured in Ontario Canada.

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, TLC 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.

Quality ingredients

TLC dog food is formulated with natural, wholesome ingredients, and they aim to avoid artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors in their recipes.

Customizable options

TLC offers a variety of dog food formulas tailored to different life stages, sizes, and dietary needs. They have options for puppies, adult dogs, and senior dogs, as well as specific formulas for small, medium, and large breeds.

golden retriever eating dog food from metal bowl golden retriever eating dog food from metal bowl dog eating stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

The bad

There isn’t too many bad things to say about TLC, however nothing is perfect. Here a few things to consider about TLC:

Sodium selenite

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.

Potential quality assurance problems

TLC has a made to order manufacturing process, rather than large batch processing. This creates more variability in the products and makes it more difficult to maintain high quality assurance standards, allowing problems to fall through the cracks.


Ultimately, I would recommend TLC 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 TLC's offerings since my last update. Therefore, for the most current and detailed information about TLC 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.

Golden retriever sitting next to a bag of TLC dog food
Golden retriever sitting next to a bag of TLC dog food

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February 20, 2024
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