NOTICE : GREAT LIFE WAS ACQUIRED BY BARKSTRONG & IS NOW NO LONGER IN PRODUCTION -> More Information.
The Great Life brand of dog food is not one of the largest brands on the market, but the quality of their products is hard to beat. While some consumers might be turned off by the limited selection of products that Great Life has to offer, there is no denying that each and every one of the products they DO offer are of the highest quality.
Great Life uses just three premium proteins in their recipes – buffalo, chicken, and wild salmon – as well as a mix of grain-free and whole grain carbohydrates. If your dog has sensitivities to gluten or grains, Great Life offers three grain-free and potato-free recipes in addition to two limited ingredient formulas.
For dogs that don’t have allergies or sensitivities, any one of Great Life’s original recipe options would be a good choice. In addition to being made with quality proteins and wholesome carbohydrates, Great Life dog foods are also loaded with fresh fruits and veggies, probiotics, and other healthy supplements.
What were the Best Great Life Dog Food Recipes?
- Great Life Dr. E's Buffalo Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Dry Dog Food – Most Popular
- Great Life Chicken Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
- Great Life Grain-Free Buffalo Dry Dog Food
Who Makes Great Life Dog Food?
The Great Life brand of dog food is made by Great Life Performance Pet Products, a company based in Simi Valley, California. At the moment, the brand seems to be transitioning so they currently do not have a website.
This means that the only information about the brand that is currently available comes from the Facebook page and from the pet food labels themselves.
Great Life Dog Food Reviews
All it takes is a quick review of the ingredients lists for Great Life dog foods to recognize the quality of this brand. Though there are only eight recipes to choose from, each one is made with premium proteins, digestible carbohydrates, and a long list of beneficial supplements.
Great Life dog foods are made from just three meat-rich protein options – buffalo, chicken, and wild salmon – and are supplemented by digestible carbohydrates, fresh fruits and veggies, and beneficial supplements. All in all, it is hard to beat the quality of Great Life dog foods.
1. Great Life Buffalo Recipe Dry Food
This Great Life Buffalo Recipe Dry Food is one of three classic dry dog food recipes that Great Life has to offer. Made with pasture-raised buffalo and whole brown rice, this formula is protein-rich and highly digestible for dogs.
Additionally, this formula features a single source of animal protein which not only makes it great for dogs with food allergies, but it makes an excellent addition to a rotational diet.
Nutritionally complete and balanced for all life stages, this formula has a low glycemic index rating and it is loaded with healthy vitamins and minerals. It also features the unique Nutri-Coat system which is a blend of freeze-dried raw ingredients used to the coat the kibbles for a boost of nutrition and flavor.
As you can expect from the name, the first ingredient in this formula is buffalo. Fresh buffalo is a high-quality ingredient for a number of reasons. For one thing, it is loaded with healthy animal protein – it is also a lean source of protein.
Fresh meats like buffalo are complete proteins which means that they contain all of the essential amino acids your dog needs. You should also be aware that they contain up to 80% moisture by volume as well.
This means that once the product is cooked and much of that moisture is lost, the actual volume of protein provided by the fresh buffalo could be much less. Though this is a single-protein recipe, fresh buffalo is not the only protein ingredient – there is also freeze-dried buffalo and freeze-dried buffalo liver.
Because these are already freeze-dried, the volume won’t change much during cooking. In addition to supplying supplementary protein, these ingredients also add healthy fats and beneficial nutrients.
After the buffalo comes the main sources of carbohydrate in this recipe – whole barley, whole brown rice, and oatmeal. All of these are whole-grain ingredients which are considered highly digestible for dogs.
The only potential problem here is if your dog has a sensitivity to gluten or grains. For the most part, however, these ingredients are valuable additions to this Great Life Buffalo Recipe Dry Food recipe.
Though these grains are the main sources of carbohydrate energy, there are some fresh fruits and vegetables that provide supplemental energy as well as extra dietary fiber. More importantly, however, the fresh fruits and veggies used in this formula act as natural sources for key vitamins and minerals.
Natural sources for key nutrients are always more beneficial than synthetic supplements since your dog has a limited ability to digest and absorb synthetic nutrients.
The remaining ingredient in this Great Life Buffalo Recipe Dry Food recipe consist of fats, enzymes, and supplements. The main source of fat in this formula is wild salmon oil – this is an excellent source of omega fatty acids and an animal-based fat which makes it very biologically valuable for your dog.
The problem is that this ingredient falls more than halfway down the list. Your dog will probably get more fat from the beat ingredients as well as the dried chia seed. As far as supplements go, this Great Life Buffalo Recipe Dry Food contains a variety of digestive enzymes, dried fermentation products, vitamins, and minerals.
The dried fermentation products act as probiotics which work along with the enzymes to support your dog’s healthy and regular digestion. The vitamins help to balance out the nutrition of this recipe, as do the minerals.
It is a good thing to see that several of the minerals are chelated – this means that they have been chemically bound to protein molecules which makes them easier for your dog’s body to digest and absorb.
This Great Life Buffalo Recipe Dry Food has a guaranteed analysis as listed below:
- Crude Protein (Min) – 22%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 13%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 4%
- Moisture (Max) – 10%
- Calorie Content – 405 kcal/cup
This Great Life Buffalo Recipe Dry Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.
Go! Dry Food Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Overall, this Great Life Buffalo Recipe Dry Food is an excellent source of quality nutrition for dogs in all life stages. Not only does this formula start off with a high-quality protein, but it is a lean source of protein and a novel source of protein for many dogs.
The main carbohydrates are all highly digestible whole grains which offer a low glycemic index rating – the only problem is that they may cause issues for dogs that are allergic or sensitive to gluten or grains.
Aside from these main ingredients, this formula is loaded with natural sources for key nutrients (the fresh fruits and vegetables) as well as plenty of beneficial supplements including enzymes, probiotics, vitamins, and chelated minerals. Simply put, this is a premium product with little room for improvement.
2. Dr. E’s Grain & Potato Free Limited Ingredient Buffalo Recipe
This Dr. E’s Grain & Potato Free Limited Ingredient Buffalo Recipe is a high-quality, protein-rich diet specifically formulated to meet the unique nutritional needs of dogs with food allergies and sensitivities.
In addition to being made with a premium protein (and a novel protein, at that), this formula is grain-free and potato-free. Furthermore, this formula contains a limited number of ingredients.
Like all of Great Life’s dry dog food products, these kibbles are coated with the unique Nutri-Coat system made up of a blend of freeze-dried raw ingredients to deliver a boost of nutrition and flavor. All of the ingredients in this formula are natural and non-allergenic – many of them are organic as well!
The first ingredient in this formula is fresh buffalo – pasture-raised buffalo, to be specific. In addition to being protein-rich, buffalo is also a novel source of protein for many dogs which helps to reduce the risk for triggering food allergies and sensitivities.
It is also worth noting that buffalo is the only source of protein in this recipe, though freeze-dried buffalo liver appears later in the list. One thing to be aware of here is that fresh meats like buffalo contain up to 80% moisture by volume – so, once the product is processed and much of that moisture cooks out, the actual volume of protein provided by the fresh buffalo could be much less.
Overall, however, this product has a 27% crude protein content so this is unlikely to be the case. Furthermore, the freeze-dried buffalo liver has already had most of its moisture removed which makes it a concentrated source of protein.
After the fresh buffalo in this Dr. E’s Grain & Potato Free Limited Ingredient Buffalo Recipe comes several sources of gluten-free, grain-free, and potato-free carbohydrates – tapioca, yams, bok choy, zucchini, and blueberries.
Because these ingredients are gluten-free and grain-free, they are highly digestible for dogs and very unlikely to trigger food allergies and sensitivities. In addition to contributing carbohydrate energy, these ingredients offers plenty of dietary fiber – they are also natural sources for key nutrients including vital antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
After the freeze-dried buffalo liver come more supplementary carbohydrates, primarily freeze-dried kale and red clover sprouts. There is also inulin as a supplementary source of fiber.
The remaining ingredients in this Dr. E’s Grain & Potato Free Limited Ingredient Buffalo Recipe consist primarily of digestive enzymes, dried fermentation products, vitamin supplements, mineral supplements, and wild salmon oil.
As the only named source of fat in this formula, it is a little troubling to see wild salmon oil listed at the very end. Your dog will get some fat from the buffalo and freeze-dried buffalo liver, but the 12% crude fat content of this formula is a little on the low side.
All of the supplements that come before the wild salmon oil are of high-quality, however. In addition to digestive enzymes there are dried fermentation products for probiotic support.
The vitamins and minerals help to fill in the nutritional gaps and several of those vitamins are chelated which means that they have been chemically bound to protein molecules, making them easy for your dog’s body to absorb and utilize.
This Dr. E’s Grain & Potato Free Limited Ingredient Buffalo Recipe has a guaranteed analysis as listed below:
- Crude Protein (Min) – 27%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 12%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 2.5%
- Moisture (Max) – 10%
- Calorie Content – 429 kcal/cup
This Dr. E’s Grain & Potato Free Limited Ingredient Buffalo Recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.
Great Life Limited Ingredient Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Overall, this Dr. E’s Grain & Potato Free Limited Ingredient Buffalo Recipe is a high-quality diet for dogs that suffer from food allergies and sensitivities. In addition to being made with a meat-rich, lean source of animal protein, this formula features gluten-free and grain-free fruits and veggies as the primary carbohydrates.
This entire recipe is made with fresh, natural, and highly digestible ingredients that are supplemented by both digestive enzymes and probiotics. This formula could be improved with the addition of some supplementary animal fat, or simply by increasing the volume of the wild salmon oil that comes at the end of the list.
All in all, however, this is a great dog food formula that any dog would be lucky to receive.
Is Great Life Made in the United States?
Though there isn’t a Great Life website to consult at the moment, each bag of Great Life dog food carries the stamp, “Proudly made in the USA”.
The company is based in Simi Valley, California but the pet food label doesn’t provide any information about exactly where the products are made.
Where Does Great Life Get Their Ingredients?
Each bag of Great Life dog food features a stamp that says, “Quality is our #1 ingredient”. Because the Great Life brand currently doesn’t have an operational website, however, there is no information available regarding where their ingredients come from.
Because Great Life is a U.S.-based company with production in the United States, however, it is safe to assume that many (if not all) of their ingredients come from the United States as well.
What Great Life does say about their ingredients is that they are chosen for quality and digestibility – this includes healthy carbohydrates, active probiotics, nutritious fruits and vegetables, and premium proteins. Great Life also states that their products are free from corn, wheat, and potatoes as well as added fillers and by-products.
Great Life Dog Food Recall History
Having been launched in 1996, the Great Life brand of dog food is about two decades old. Although Great Life has been around for longer than some of the larger pet food brands, this company continues to offer a limited selection of high-quality products.
Rather than trying to sell an assortment of different recipes, Great Life focuses on the quality and safety of their products, offering a limited number of original and grain-free recipes as well as two limited ingredient diets.
In more than twenty years of existence, Great Life has only been affected by a single recall and it was a voluntary company-issued recall, at that. Here are the details of that recall:
- In April 2013, the Great Life company issued a voluntary recall (a withdrawal) of two of their dry dog food recipes, Great Life Grain-Free Buffalo and Dr. E’s Grain Free Buffalo, because certain products were not reaching the full expiration date.
Is Great Life Expensive?
Although the Great Life brand was launched in 1996, it remains a very small business with limited dog food offerings. In terms of quality, Great Life is an above-average brand so you should expect to pay a little more for their products.
Prices vary from one recipe to another, but generally a 33-pound bag of Great Life dry dog food will cost you between $64 and $90. Great Life Grain-Free dry food costs a little more, about $75 to $90 for a 25-pound bag. Great Life currently doesn’t offer any canned dog food or dog treats.
What Kind of Dog Food Does Great Life Offer?
At this time, Great Life only offers dry dog food products – they do not offer any canned dog foods or dog treats. Great Life is also a brand that only provides dog foods, no cat foods. Great Life has been around for two decades but they still offer a limited selection of eight different products featuring just three primary proteins – buffalo, chicken, and salmon.
Rather than appeasing to consumer preferences for multiple flavor options, Great Life remains focused on maintaining the quality and safety of their products. They are dedicated to using the best ingredients available to create natural, wholesome recipes for dogs in all life stages.
Great Life Dry Products
The Great Life brand of dog food is still fairly small, offering a limited selection of dry foods at this time. Currently, Great Life offers eight different dry dog food products, both original and grain-free recipes – there are not any canned dog food recipes as of yet. Here is a list of Great Life dry dog food recipes:
- Great Life Buffalo Recipe
- Great Life Wild Salmon Recipe
- Great Life Chicken Recipe
- Great Life Grain & Potato Free Buffalo Recipe
- Great Life Grain & Potato Free Wild Salmon Recipe
- Great Life Grain & Potato Free Chicken Recipe
- Dr. E’s Grain & Potato Free Limited Ingredient Duck Recipe
- Dr. E’s Grain & Potato Free Limited Ingredient Buffalo Recipe
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