Savour Life Dog Food

The SavourLife Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2024

Written By Eloisa Thomas | Canine Coach, Double M.A in Anthropology.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | Double B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 19th January 2024

Wondering if SavourLife is the best food choice for your beloved dog? If so, we have you covered with this article. To provide you with everything you need to know about this popular brand, we teamed up with a panel of independent experts including veterinarians and canine nutritionists to research and test dozens of SavourLife's varieties.

So if you’re looking for an in-depth SavourLife dog food review, our experts have examined everything you need to know about this brand. Now you can figure out if this is the right kibble for your pup!

  • Savour Life is an Australian brand that makes dog treats and dry dog food.
  • They offer both regular and grain-free kibble, only using Australian ingredients.
  • Meat is the first ingredient in all recipes.

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Petzyo Dog Food

  • Ethically sourced kangaroo, chicken or salmon, sweet potato & superfood extras
  • Iron-rich & low fat proteins
  • Three Omega-3 and Omega-6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
  • Made in Australia

Australia's SavourLife Dog Food Review

SavourLife - Overall 3.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Kangaroo meal, Peas, Tapioca, Potato, Poultry Oil, Natural Flavouring, Beet Pulp, Fish Oil, Linseed, Vitamins, Minerals and Amino Acids, Tomato Pomace, Sweet Potato, Yucca, Kelp, Carrot, Broccoli, Blueberries, Chicory Root, Glucosamine, Salt, Natural Antioxidants (Mixed Tocopherols), Green Tea, Rosemary extracts.
  • Named Protein First: No (but Kangaroo meal is OK).
  • Dog Food Type: Grain Free.
  • Recipe Range: Kangaroo or Chicken or Salmon or Lamb + More.
  • Suitable For: SavourLife's recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$
  • Australian Owned: Yes.

SavourLife Dog Food Review

Taste

Ingredients

Protein content

Additives

Variety

Price

Taste 5/5

This brand offers highly palatable dry food that dogs tend to love. In fact, several member of our team of independent experts used it to feed their picky eaters at home! Since SavourLife dog food features substantial animal protein content, it’s no wonder the brand is so popular with dogs at all life stages.

On top of the taste, pups tend to do well with this brand and in general show no symptoms of indigestion. Of course, this is common with grain-free and gluten-free foods, since cereals and gluten tend to cause allergies in dogs.

Due to its high palatability and digestibility, we’re giving SavourLife the top score of 5 in this category.

Ingredients 4/5

This brand has both traditional and grain-free recipes. They’re better known for their grain-free recipes so we’ll focus on those.

All of our panelists really liked the overall composition of this grain-free dry kibble and appreciate that animal protein is the first ingredient in all recipes. Looking at the ingredient list, it has recognisable items and good-for-you extras. While there are different flavour profiles to choose from, the core ingredients of the food stay the same.

All recipes start with animal protein in meal form. According to the AAFCO, protein meal is the

PRO TIP: "Dry rendered product from a combination of clean flesh and skin and without bone" – AAFCO [1]

This means meal-type protein is the cooked, concentrated version of animal meat without the natural water found in muscle. As such, it’s more nutrient-dense than regular meat cuts. This brand tends to stick to one main protein, so their "meal-type" ingredient is named and comes from a single animal. In general, this is a great ingredient to see, especially at the top of the list.

Related: Real Meat vs Meat Meal in Dog Food.

Following animal protein, all SavourLife dog food recipes have peas and tapioca. Let’s unpack what that means:

Peas

This legume has a low glycaemic index that won’t spike your dog’s blood sugar. Peas are also rich in vegetable protein and fibre, so many dog food manufacturers use it to bump up the protein percentage.

In general, peas are a positive addition to dog food in moderate quantities, and infinitely better than corn or wheat. However, in recent times peas in dog food have been given a bad rep and linked to dangerous taurine deficiency and an enlarged heart. According to a new warning published by the FDA [2], a grain-free diet has been linked to taurine deficiency:

“We are concerned about reports of canine heart disease, known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), in dogs that ate certain pet foods containing peas, lentils, other legumes or potatoes as their main ingredients. These reports are highly unusual as they are occurring in breeds not typically genetically prone to the disease,” - Martine Hartogensis, D.V.M., deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine’s Office of Surveillance and Compliance [2]

In spite of the FDA warning, this research is still on its early stages. The cardiovascular symptoms might have less to do with peas and legumes, and instead be linked to the overall composition of the food.

PRO TIP: "Several veterinary cardiologists across the country are in the process of evaluating the issue and have yet to draw a direct causal association among grain free diets, taurine deficiency, and DCM. There is enough suspicion for the FDA to issue a warning however, and that is significant." – DVM. MS. Patricia White [3]

Taurine is an essential amino acid found in meat, so dogs consuming small amounts of animal protein might be deficient. Grain-free foods sometimes use as little or even less meat than traditional foods, which might lead to taurine deficiency. Lack of this essential amino acid can lead to chronic heart disease [4].

Researchers state that peas can be a healthy addition to your dog’s diet, but should be fed in moderation. As such, always look out for meat as the first ingredient, and try to incorporate foods with added taurine into your regular rotation. If you’re interested in an in-depth review of the grain-free diet controversy regarding taurine deficiency, read this vet’s article [3].

Tapioca

This is a starch extracted from the cassava or yucca plant. Since it’s not the plant per se, its nutritional value is relatively low. In dry dog food, tapioca is used as a binder and keeps the biscuits from crumbling.

Potato

A starchy root, potatoes can be a good source of carbs and other micronutrients. However, we’d rather see sweet potato since it has more complex sugars.

Poultry oil

This is an uncommon name for poultry fat in liquid form. It’s good to see the protein is rounded up with extra fat, since dogs need lipids to stay healthy and energetic.

While tapioca and peas are better for dogs than the wheat and corn used in traditional dry dog foods, our team of independent experts note they have some shortcomings. It would’ve been nicer to see complex carbs, like sweet potato, higher up the list to balance the legume content.

The grained recipes substitute peas and tapioca for sorghum, brown and white rice. These recipes are lower in protein and fat than their grain-free flavours, but still have animal protein as the first two ingredients.

Since meat is the main ingredient and makes up more than half of the food in both traditional and grain-free recipes, we’re giving SavourLife 4 out of 5 in this category.

Protein Content 4/5

As we already mentioned, animal protein is the first ingredient in all SavourLife’s recipes. This is a welcome sight, since dogs need a diet based around meat and not grains, starches or legumes.

All adult grain-free flavours have 28% crude protein, in line with AAFCO’s minimum 18% recommendation [1]. On the other hand, their traditional grained recipes are a little lower with 24% protein. Both of these percentages are average compared to other dry dog foods, but the high meat content ensures animal protein is a good chunk of it.

This brand offers four main protein options: chicken, turkey, kangaroo and salmon. However, keep in mind these aren’t single-protein recipes and the non-poultry flavours also have added chicken fat to round up the lipidic composition. The protein appears as "meals", meaning the meat has been processed, cooked and dehydrated to make a concentrated mix.

On the other hand, it’s also nice to see this brand only uses single-source Australian meat, limiting their carbon footprint and ensuring maximum freshness.

Due to the high protein content and added fat, our panel agreed to give 4 out of 5 in this category.

Additives 4/5

On top of the carbs and meat that make up the bulk of the food, SavourLife includes some extras meant to round up your dog’s diet. These additives stay consistent across recipes, so we’ll cover them without mentioning specific flavours.

PRO TIP: SavourLife includes additives in their dry kibble that stay consistent in all recipes

At the top of the additive list we have natural flavouring. This is a blanket term that could refer to any number of ingredients, although given it’s natural, it’s probably animal digest. According to the AAFCO, digest is a rendered meat by-product that has been treated with enzymes, heat or acids. While this sounds unappetizing, it doesn’t affect the nutritional quality of the food.

Following this we find linseed (or flaxseed) and fish oil, which offer omega fatty acids to keep your dog’s skin and coat healthy. This brand also adds some veggies like tomato, sweet potato, yucca, kelp, and blueberries. Even though the actual quantities of these vegetables are small, they round up your pup’s micronutrient intake.

Finally, SavourLife also adds glucosamine and green tea to their recipes. According to our expert panel, glucosamine serves to strengthen your dog’s joints and keep them mobile for years to come. Green tea has powerful antioxidant properties, keeping your pup’s teeth healthier and helping their body stay youthful.

While in general this food has high-quality ingredients, the recipes have added salt, which isn’t ideal. Salt by itself is a necessary mineral to keep your pup’s body working properly. However, dogs only need about 0.03% of salt in their food and meat and veggies cover that need with ease.

PRO TIP: Dogs get all the salt they need from plain meat and veggies, no need to add table salt to their food.

In dry dog food, added salt is used to increase palatability but it’s completely unnecessary from a health standpoint. On top of this, if your pup has kidney issues or cardiovascular problems you should avoid extra salt if at all possible.

Because of the added salt, we’re taking off one star. SavourLife scores 4 out of 5 for additives. 

Variety 3/5

As we already mentioned, SavourLife dog food has both regular and grain-free recipes. This ensures you can find the food that better fits your dog, and rotate flavours so your pup doesn’t get bored. However, our team of researchers were dismayed to learn there are no wet or canned food recipes.

There are four protein options: lamb, chicken, fish and kangaroo, and all recipes are gluten-free. We appreciate there are protein options to choose from, but keep in mind all recipes have poultry by-products. In general, this won’t be an issue unless you’re trying to avoid poultry.

On the other hand, you can also find some options adapted to your dog’s size. For puppies, you have the choice between all-breeds kibble, small breed or large breed biscuits. There are also some flavours aimed at large-breed dogs but none for smaller pups. If your small-sized dog is particularly picky, you might have a harder time getting them to eat the larger kibble.

Price 4/5

This brand is on the pricier side of medium-range. However, if you purchase larger bags or get a subscription from your favourite pet store, you can save up to 20% on every bag. If you’re feeding a large pack or just have a pup that eats a lot, it might be worth to look up those deals.

Overall, we find SavourLife’s price is reasonable for the high quality ingredients, especially given you can get grain-free recipes.


Don’t Buy If…

While this brand fits many dogs, our panel of independent experts share it might not be the right choice for your dog if you:

  • Want to feed canned or wet food: This brand only offers dry kibble and treats, so if you’re looking for canned food you’ll have to shop around.
  • Have to avoid poultry: As we already mentioned, while the main protein is advertised on the front, all recipes include poultry by-products such as poultry fat or poultry meal. Many dogs enjoy poultry, but if your dog is intolerant or allergic, this isn’t the brand for you.
  • Have a small dog that prefers small kibble: SavourLife doesn’t offer small breed adult kibble. However, they have small breed puppy recipes that are easier to chew for smaller mouths so it might be an option for your little pooch. 

The Verdict

This is a great dry food option! Our team of independent experts prefer the grain-free food over the regular, but both lines are high in protein and offer a balanced nutrition for your pup. Their treats are also great, especially if you’re in the middle of training. Most dogs will love this kibble!

Want to read more dog food brand reviews? Check out the below:

References
  1. "Understanding Pet Food". AAFCO, Association of American Feed Control Officials. Retrieved May 28, 2023. https://www.aafco.org/consumers/understanding-pet-food/
  2. "FDA Investigating Potential Connection Between Diet and Cases of Canine Heart Disease." July 12, 2018. FDA, US Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved May 28, 2023.  https://www.fda.gov/news-events/fda-brief/fda-brief-fda-investigates-cases-canine-heart-disease-potentially-linked-diet
  3. White, P. "Grain Free Dog Food, Taurine Deficiency And Heart Disease - What's The Story?" AVSAC, Atlanta Veterinary Skin and Allergy Clinic. Retrieved May 28, 2023. https://atlantaskinvet.com/the-grain-free-dilemma.pml
  4. Hoffman, J. July 24, 2018. "Popular Grain-Free Dog Foods May Be Linked to Heart Disease". New York Times. Retrieved May 28, 2023. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/24/health/grain-free-dog-food-heart-disease.html  

Eloisa Thomas


Eloisa Thomas is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach & Anthropologist.

With a double master's degree in Anthropology and awarded a Chancellor's International Scholarship to pursue a PhD in History at the University of Warwick (UK), she's well equipped to write well written and factual canine information that will actually help people understand their dogs better.

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