In this article you will find:
- Meet Whole Life Dog Food
- Brand Quick Look
- Behind the Brand
- Whole Life Dog Food Review
- What Types of Dog Food Does Whole Life Offer?
- Whole Life Recall History
- Best Selling Whole Life Recipes
- Customer Reviews
- Is freeze dried food better for dogs?
- Is freeze dried dog food the same as raw?
- Is freeze dried food healthy?
- Is freeze dried dog food better than dehydrated?
Meet Whole Life Dog Food
Whole Life dog food uses human grade ingredients and a gentle freeze-drying process to reduce the amount of processing your dog’s food undergoes. It has a handful of wholesome ingredients and is suitable for a meal or mixer.
The food is a convenient way to step into the world of raw food and can be served dry or rehydrated. It uses none of the usual processed fillers often found standard kibbles and is easy to store.
Let’s take a closer look at the recipes to see if they could be a good fit for your dog, read below for our in-depth Whole Life dog food review.
Brand Quick Look
- Parent Company: Whole Life
- Founded in: 2009
- Made in: USA
- Available at: Chewy, Amazon (treats only)
- Types of Food: Freeze dried raw
- Real Meat in First 5 Ingredients? : Yes
- Recalled in Past? : No
Behind the Brand
In 1995, the founder of Whole Life foods left commercial kibbles behind and started creating homemade recipes for dogs. The dogs improved dramatically, so in 2009, Whole Life dog food was born. It uses only human-grade ingredients, including fresh meats and vegetables, to create a balanced diet that dogs can easily digest.
The food follows a freeze-drying process, which helps preserve the natural nutrients. It comes in a convenient bag that’s shelf-stable and easy to store. The company’s mission is to improve the lives of both dogs and cats through a healthier alternative to supermarket kibbles, giving pet owners more control over the ingredients going into their dogs’ bodies.
The company never uses any cheap fillers or artificial ingredients, which can encourage pets to overeat and often trigger allergic reactions. Dogs often experience better skin and less irritation with these recipes than standard cheap kibbles.
Whole Life Dog Food Review
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
First Five Ingredients:
- Sweet Potato
- Chicken Liver
The Salmon recipe uses mainly chicken as the first protein source but adds the healthy essential fats of salmon to help improve skin tone and coat condition. It uses only human grade ingredients and plenty of fruits and vegetables for a balanced meal that contains all the building blocks of health and wellness.
Yogurt contains live cultures that help build intestinal health and boost the immune system. Pumpkin can also help settle digestion and reduce runny stools. If your dog has had digestion issues in the past, these two ingredients may help soothe those problems. It does use peas, so talk with your vet about the link to an increased risk of enlarged heart.
Freeze dried foods are minimally processed. If you can’t feed your dog a raw diet, Whole Life’s recipes are a good alternative. Cans and kibbles are highly processed, losing valuable nutrients in the process, but the freeze-drying process helps preserve raw ingredients for shelf stability without artificial preservatives. It’s much closer to homemade food than the kibbles you find at the store.
Some of the bags contain a lot of dust, so if you plan to feed your dog the dry pieces, that could be frustrating. Rehydrating the bag helps bring those missing pieces back, but some dogs may have to get used to the texture. If it helps, add a small bit of your dog’s former kibble in for texture and to help transition slowly to the new foods.
You can also use the medallions for treats or for training. THey’re easy to eat and digest, but make sure you’re accounting for these when considering how much to feed your dogs at mealtimes. You could easily overfeed and cause some unnecessary weight gain. Overall, it’s a pretty good alternative to homemade foods and a more effective food than cheap kibbles.
What Types of Dog Food Does Whole Life Offer?
Whole Life has three recipes of dog food that use a whole, labeled protein source as the main ingredient. Balanced carbohydrates and plenty of healthy fats help dogs feel full throughout the day and help soothe skin irritations.
The recipes are formulated for most life stages and breed sizes. Talk to your vet before using the food for a puppy, especially a large breed puppy. The ingredients are always human grade and use whole meats, not meat meals. The proteins are specifically labeled and come from responsibly raised sources with no additional antibiotics or hormones.
Whole Life Recipes
Whole Life Recall History
The company has no history of recalls and uses only strict safety protocols to manufacture their foods. The use of quality, human grade ingredients plus careful production helps prevent contamination and mistakes. The company has an excellent ten-year track record, and we highly recommend their practices.
Best Selling Whole Life Recipes
There are only three options, but they’re all great ones. Let’s take a quick look at each one and why you might choose a certain protein source over another.
The chicken recipe starts with whole chicken and adds sweet potato for a balanced carbohydrate and protein blend. It uses healthy fats from yogurt and flaxseed to help with digestion, skin health, and coat integrity. It has minimal ingredients, no fillers, and no artificial flavors. A healthy blend of fruits and veggies provide critical vitamins and minerals. This option is good all-purpose food for maintaining weight and muscle tone.
If your dog has trouble with skin irritations, this option adds healthy essential fats from salmon to the mix. Those fats could help soothe your dog’s irritated skin and help them clear up some inflammation. It does also use chicken as an ingredient, so if your dog is poultry sensitive, you may want to reconsider. It’s also good for dogs who need a blend of proteins to keep on body fat, such as sporting dogs.
The duck formula blends the lean protein of chicken with the fatty protein of duck for a rich protein source that can keep more active dogs full all day. Duck is often a positive ingredient for ultra picky dogs, so if you have trouble getting your dog to eat, this could be a good option. It uses the same blend of healthy fruits and vegetables plus sweet potato as a carbohydrate source. The formulas are great for rotational feeding because of the base ingredient similarities.
Customers are usually very pleased by the results from switching over the Whole Life dog foods. They notice an increase in their dogs’ energy levels and often a reduction in persistent allergy symptoms such as irritated skin or loose stools. The food is highly rated (around four stars) on several online platforms, and highly rated by trusted dog food reviewers.
What Customers Like and Dislike about Whole Life?
Most customers love that their dogs will actually eat the formulas. Some had trouble feeding their dogs the dried kibbles, but once they changed to Whole Life, their dogs seemed to look forward to meal times.
Others noticed an improvement in the condition of coats and skin and felt like their dogs were leaner and more powerful on this food. They noticed better overall health and wellness even in dogs that were seniors.
The cost is prohibitive for some customers, however. If you can swing the budget, you may not have to feed as much per serving size as you would with cheap kibble. Also, you may not waste as much food throwing it away when your dog doesn’t want to eat. Those two situations may help offset the overall cost of the food.
Some dogs didn’t like the taste although that didn’t seem to be the majority of the cases. Food comes in much smaller bags, so owners of multiple dogs or those with large breed dogs find the bags mostly inconvenient because of the smaller sizes.
However, the convenience of shelf-stable raw foods and two choices of feeding turned more than a few buyers into regular customers. Overall, customers rate this food very favorably and notice a big difference in their dogs’ overall health.
“I have a 10 yr old collie and a 9 yr old collie. Both have pancreatic problems and at times appetite issues. I tried this as its salmon and has some good ingredients also researched the company. Both my collies like this and I am starting to use it as a topper on their food and they both like it. My 10 yr collie can be very picky and finicky for food but this stuff seems to suit her..” Mesarose, chewy.com
“After opening pieces just crumble to powder and after rehydrated turns to thick paste. If that wasn't disappointing enough, all 2 of my dogs refused to taste, took one smell and walked away, I tried several days and finally had to throw food in the garbage, co.plete waste of money.” ThreeShihTzus, chewy.com
Is freeze dried food better for dogs?
Many pet food brands are moving toward freeze-dried dog food and dehydrated products to provide solutions that are both healthy and convenient. Freeze-drying retains nearly 100% of the natural nutrients in foods, almost as good as eating it raw!
Is freeze dried dog food the same as raw?
The freeze dried is more concentrated due to lack of moisture but it's still essentially the same exact product with approximately the same Kcals. It is best to rehydrate your freeze-dried formulas particularly if this is the primary diet for your pet.
Is freeze dried food healthy?
Freeze-dried food is relatively healthy. Other nutrients, such as vitamins C and E and folic acid, are somewhat depleted through the freeze-drying process. Once rehydrated, freeze-dried food is similar in nutritional value to fresh food according to Diane Barrett, a food science and technology prof at UC-Davis.
Is freeze dried dog food better than dehydrated?
Freeze drying preserves more of the nutritional content of the food than dehydrating, as proteins, vitamins, and minerals stay intact due to freezing before drying. The process of air-drying food, while similar to dehydration, produces an extremely nutrient-dense food with scoop-and-serve convenience.