Balanced Life Dog Food Review

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Balanced Life Dog Food Review
9.3 Total Score
  • Well formulated raw diet with the convenience of being dried and easy to feed.
WebsiteBalanced Life
Available fromPet Circle My Pet Warehouse

A quote I often use is “The best diet for a dog is a well formulated raw diet, but the worst diet for a dog is a poorly formulated raw diet”. Feeding raw takes research and consideration, which is why foods like Balanced Life offer an excellent solution. It’s a raw diet conveniently dried for you to reconstitute at home with water before feeding. Or in other words, it’s a raw diet with the convenience of kibble – fantastic!

Balanced Life Dog Food Review

There are four formulas for dogs, and two for cats. Each formula uses a single meat protein source which makes this an excellent choice for dogs who suffer allergies to specific meats (although most allergies are from grains like wheat, and there’s no grains either!)

All recipes conform to the same formula of 80% meat/bones/offal, and 20% fruit/veg/vitamins/minerals/oils.

The ratio of 80% to 20% is excellent. With many commercial brand kibbles you can be looking at 80% filler and perhaps 10% meat, so in that respect Balanced Life is significantly better. Don’t be put off by bones and offal either, these are fundamental to a canine diet and are rich in essential nutrients.

The remaining 20% is a well-considered mix of wonderful ingredients, with super-foods alfalfa, flaxseed, a mix of lentils, as well as peas, coconut, carrot, and more. Many of the minerals are chelated which means they’re much easier to absorb, and it’s a telltale sign of a quality product.

With the food being air-dried it will retain a much higher nutrient content than kibbles which are cooked at high temps.

Highly recommended.

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Ingredients

Chicken Meat, Chicken Organs (tripe, liver, heart, kidney, lung)*, Ground Chicken Bone, Alfalfa, Flax Seed, Green Peas, Coconut, Carrot, Green Lentils, Red Lentils, Sunflower Oil, Potato Starch, Chicory (Prebiotic), Cranberries, Parsley, Beetroot, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Barley Grass, Lecithin, Vegetable Extract Guar, Vegetable Glycerine, Vitamin C, Psyllium Husk, Kelp, Potassium Chloride, Natural Antioxidants (Rosemary Extract), Fish Oil, Sea Salt, Zinc Chelate, Vitamin E, Iron Chelate, Copper Chelate, Vitamin D3, Vitamin B12.

*Organ Option may vary.

9.3 Total Score
Raw diet with the convenience of biscuits!

PROS
  • Well formulated raw diet with the convenience of being dried and easy to feed.
CONS
  • Nothing at all. You could argue the price, but you get what you pay for.

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TOM
TOM
2 years ago

Balanced life use a bit of trickery, the 80% meat is weighed RAW & Fresh – water weight,
while Alfalfa, Flax seed, Peas, Lentils- green & red & other veg are DRIED Weight, with the water loss in drying meat the REAL First ingredient is Alfalfa, Flax, Peas, Lentils, I was just checking out their Website & was quite shocked they don’t have much meat, mostly Lentils & Veg

TOM
TOM
2 years ago

44% DRY meat – 56% DRY Lentils & Veg, did the maths, Balanced Life is deceptive!
I got an email from Stay Loyal, stating they have 45% meat meal in the Lamb & chicken, more in the Turkey small bites

Alan
Alan
2 years ago
Reply to  TOM

I see they’re also lumping organs, bone and oils into the 80% number they use. Since ground bone seems to be a common choice for cheap filler material (and they have it listed third on a random bag I just looked at), that might be a decent chunk of the 80% right there. Possibly even the major ingredient once the meat moisture is cooked off.

Mike Campbell
Mike Campbell
2 years ago

You have given 5 starts to both Balanced Life and Frontier Pets (both Australian and raw that i love).
We are adding a puppy Hungarian Vizsla to our family in a couple of weeks. Which would you recommend?
Thanks
mike

Edanna
Edanna
3 years ago

Yes haha spoilt is the way to go! It’s that way or the highway! Earlier today maybe 30 mins ago mentioned after pay to my mum, she said a lot of people had severe issues with it, the interest I think was what she was talking about, but she said the payments were big and you end up paying a lot more.

Rusty and Angel are both Chihuahuas.
It’s certainly cheaper feeding small dogs, when I thought about the price I was like if it costs this much for small dogs, then large dogs wow haha.

I wonder if it’s possible to do titers through John he’s in the USA but I’ve seen people cross country do it through him, might have to contact him if the price is too high, won’t know until you ask.

That’s what I like about the rehydrating foods, you add water and they get nice and hydrated from it, I always add more, I’d imagine it would be good for heart problems.

Alan
Alan
3 years ago

If it helps for the purposes of comparison, a titer test I had done a couple of weeks ago was $95. That was the in-house test kit variety, which seems to only test the big 3 out of the usual 5 vaccinations. It also appears to be more of a pass/fail result that you receive with these rather than some sort of antibody count type of result, so I take this to mean that the lab tests are more comprehensive and might be preferable if the costs are similar and you’re happy to wait for the results.

Debbie
Debbie
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Tha is for that info. I’ll have to ring the vet and ask. She was going to ring up and find out for me from the lab, but I’m guessing never did or forgot to ring. Don’t think she knew a lot about them to be honest as she is only very young and fresh out I think ( my usual vet had an emergency come in, so was switched to her). I’m happy to wait for results if it means she doesn’t need more vaccines that’s for sure! She goes to daycare, so they like them to have them up to date. I’m sure my daycare would be happy if I showed them the results from the titer test if it showed her immunity levels were fine

Alan
Alan
3 years ago
Reply to  Debbie

You might want to check with the daycare people first if you haven’t already, to see if they recognise titer testing before forking out for a test in that case. In my (limited) circle, I’m hearing that titer tests are often being refused as a vaccination alternative by boarding kennels and communal dog facilities, who are still too nervous in the legal/insurance sense about anything short of a current vaccination certificate 🙁

Debbie
Debbie
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Yes I will check with them first. Been meaning too and keep forgetting. When she goes to daycare, she spends a lot of time in the office with the owners lol because she loves company. She has her little place under the desk. She goes out to play also, but she is a bit spoilt by them too…

Edanna
Edanna
3 years ago

Hey, your not the only one who writes walls of China haha, both me and Susan are known for it, there’s a comment somewhere within Pet Food that I wrote and it’s super long! one of many XD.

Diet can actually cause seizures as can the flea and tick meds, which is why Holistic vets and people interested in holistic healing mention to try to repel them naturally before going toxic chemicals. It does after all have poison written on the box, if it’s poison to us it’s poison to our pets as well.

In my 6 years of research I’ve read a lot of comments, dogs eating Purina or Mars foods and suddenly seizures appear, the dog stops eating the food and the seizures stop, what ingredient causes it however I don’t know, no one mentions that, they just say the food gave my dog seizures or the food killed my dog with no specifics. Propylene Glycol might be one ingredient, Ethoxyquin might be another, dead/dying/diseased/disabled animals used as the meat and bone meal, meat meal and meat by products or the dead euthanised dogs, cats and horses they use. There’s actually a few laws that went out recently to stop them using dead cats and dogs in foods, I hope that the law is able to uphold that, as currently FDA and AAFCO are going against the law in a lot of what they do. It’s very likely big pet food owns them now.

Seizures also happen if a dog is vaccinated too often, everyone recommends titer testing to check for antibodies instead of just injecting an animal that may as well have protection, for rabies the protection is 0.15 and some dogs were vaccinated so much they had 1.3 antibodies, so they were very clearly overdosed on vaccines.

Feeding a natural food has been shown through many a comment of people’s experiences to dramatically reduce or cure seizures.
By natural I of course don’t mean kibble.

Apparantly certain peoples perception of natural real foods is skewed, people feeding pancakes, sausages, bacon, pizza to their dogs after being told to feed real food to their pets.

If your interested Dr John Robb of protect the pets is a good follow on Facebook, The Truth About Pet Food by Susan Thixton, Dr Karen Becker, has some conflicting info here and there but most times she’s good, Rodney Habib, talks about real food and curing cancer in dogs and I’ve hit a stump lol, I was sure there was one more but my brain won’t let me access that part like legit I think about it and nothing happens. Oh I think it may of been The Clean Label Project, not a fan of them however because they advocate dry food and put blame on raw foods containing bacteria, in which I responded to them and many people, what did you think it was going to contain?.

You can buy Frontier Pets at their website, that’s where most of us buy it from, she’s lowered the postage costs somewhat and now the deliveries are faster, so it’s a better time to buy it then before. Both Ziwi and K9 are awesome foods, have had nothing but great things happen when feeding it. Rusty went from quiet literal old man to young dog within a few months, your happy when their happy and Rusty is very very happy these days, he was very old and worn before limping, matte coat and eyes, sleeping most days and now he looks healthy and that’s all I ask, he does have a heart murmur so he gets a wide variety of natural heart stuff, like oils, greens, powder that contains taurine, Venison from Ziwipeak. I feel the food has kept him off needing meds “yet”. I hope it keeps him off the meds for years to come, but I feel it might be sooner rather then later that he needs them.

I’m writing this on notepad so I’m going to post this and see if I missed anything, I think I answered it all though.

Alan
Alan
3 years ago

No doubt the chap was lovely and probably did believe what he was saying, but should I guess that this was a young guy in a chain pet store?

Yep you can buy Frontier online via their website at http://www.frontierpets.com.au

debbiemowatt
debbiemowatt
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan

I’m so silly. I looked at frontier’s website and totally missed the shop button, so thank you!
It was a chain store, however the man was probably in his 50’s

debbiemowatt
debbiemowatt
3 years ago

I’ve been feeding this to our girl for around 7 weeks now and she is excited for every meal! She is 6kg and she gets 3/4 scoop morning and night. Doesn’t smell the best but after 7 weeks it’s just part of my daily routine and the smell doesn’t bother me. I got told today at the pet shop I should stop using this and buy savour life or some other kibble…. don’t want her on kibble. I’ve tried raw frozen brands but she won’t eat them. Made my own raw and she scoffed it down! I’m happy to continue to use this. Lasts us around 2 months or more if we give other foods some times. Going to switch to the kangaroo one as we think chicken plays up with her a tiny bit ( pink skin from it). Happy to be feeding a quality brand of food and happy with the price ( I buy on after pay and get free delivery from whom I buy from )

Edanna
Edanna
3 years ago
Reply to  debbiemowatt

Some people obsess so much over dogs needing kibble, but let’s be honest it wasn’t even around 60+ years ago, the real number is seriously eluding me right now. So what do people think dogs ate before kibble? Lol, I read comments like that daily and everyone always replies with what I just wrote because it’s true.

Kibble has no real benefits that you can’t get on a raw or freeze dried diet, also dried with Ziwi. It won’t clean their teeth, if their teeth are clean look for toothpaste ingredients that’s the culprit of the clean teeth not the food.

Anyways glad your dog is doing positively on this food, it contains some items my dogs can’t have so I don’t personally feed it, but always enjoy reading a success comment.
If your up for it you could also try FrontierPets, for a little variety, really good brand of freeze dried and you support the stopping of unethical farming of pigs, cows and chickens, or in other words stop factory farms.

Jacki
Jacki
3 years ago

I bought a bag of the 1kg Chicken to try for my dogs as they normally eat Ziwi Peak and I’ve heard good things about Balanced Life. I was a little put off by the smell and look at first especially after it’s been soaked. My dog’s absolutely love it though and so now I’m going to use it as a topper for their breakfast. I still prefer the Ziwi Peak for the convenience and quality but I’m amazed at how good this food is considering others on the market.

Jacki
Jacki
3 years ago
Reply to  Jacki

Update: So since buying the 1kg bag of chicken BL, my dogs absolutely salivate for it. I have switched flavours and I’m finding the lamb or the kangaroo don’t smell anywhere near as bad. I’ve decided to feed Ziwi Peak in the morning and the Balanced Life at night when I have more time. The great thing to note is that my little dog’s tear stain has started to clear up. I saw no improvement with tear stain products and there was no change when she was on Ziwi Peak. I don’t know what it is about the Balanced Life but it’s made my mornings easier that I don’t have to spend 10 minutes wiping my poor little girl’s face.

The food seems to keep my dogs very satisfied. They still get their fresh meat, fish and bones weekly but it’s nice to have something on par with Ziwi Peak that I can switch between. I’ll be recommending it to a lot of my friends as I’m very happy with the product.

Edanna
Edanna
3 years ago
Reply to  Jacki

Hey Jacki, that’s awesome to hear, the coconut is the ingredient that reduces tear stains, sometimes they disappear altogether. Coconut and emu oil are both great for tear stains.

Whenever Rusty starts getting them again, I add 1 lamb supernatural treat they contain coconut oil and up to 3 emu treats they contain the emu oil and the next day and for the few days I give it to him his tear stains clear up completely.

Ziwi will not do anything to tear stains because it does not contain those 2 ingredients, sadly. They have amazing benefits in the body not just on tear stains, they should definitely include coconut oil.

Jacki
Jacki
3 years ago
Reply to  Edanna

I’ll have to stick to the coconut because emu oil gives 2 out of my 3 dogs the runs, they do not do well on it at all. I’ve actually heard of it affecting a lot of dogs that way. I’ve seen a product that is a mixture of coconut oil and omega 3 & 6 oil and its all natural. I’ll do some more research before I dive in but thank you so much for the advice Edanna I’ll definitely look into it. Having a pure whit dog has its downsides.

Edanna
Edanna
3 years ago
Reply to  Jacki

Yes, well Rusty is white around his face and chest but more of a latte colour on top, either way his tear stains before finding out about coconut and emu oil were crazy bad. I tried a lot of different foods, not necessarily for the stains, he needed better food and I needed food I could fall back on if one was out of stock, none of the foods I tried helped, did nothing at all.

Artemis with its new formula containing coconut oil was where his stains started to dissipate and when I fed a larger amount as he gets kibble as a treat, the stains were visibly 50% decreased after just 1 night. So I looked at the ingredient list and I concluded it was the coconut oil that helped him, I also love how it makes their coats super sleek.

Then came Blackhawk, the tears were disappearing on this food also, but there wasn’t any coconut in it so I concluded it was the emu oil because there’s nothing else it could of been.

After that I said I’d keep ordering Blackhawk, but they got brought out and the ingredients changed and I wasn’t impressed by that, thankfully Fuzzyard came out with their Supernaturals range and they were super healthy treats with both oils, I didn’t need to feed kibble anymore I rejoiced haha, I do still have kibble mostly for the younger dog but it’s the really good quality high digestibility Meals for Mutts CN Vital variety.

It contains coconut oil also and provides Rusty on the rare occassion that I give it to him extra oils to lubricate his heart XD, well I doubt that’s what it does haha that was as a joke, but he does have a heart murmur and the oils the food contains are very good in slowing the progression down along with the other stuff I give, I feel he’ll be medication free for a long time yet or at least I can hope he will be.

And no problem, always happy to write a wall of China but if it helps a dog or cat the size doesn’t matter, I’m just happy I was able to help in some way.

aryan
aryan
9 months ago
Reply to  Edanna

hi, is the food soggy when u serve it? just started using lamb and the soggy smelly nature of it is offputting. also have a fussy maltese shih tzu who tries to avoid it

Edanna
Edanna
9 months ago
Reply to  aryan

I don’t use this food, I did get the sample pack but it was very weird when water was added and the dogs ate it dry for a few days and than never again.

Maybe try something along the lines of FrontierPets or K9 Natural for a better water soaking up product.

Essentially freeze dried is what you want to look for, this to me was very grassy and not what I see a dog eating, mixed with raw meat perhaps but not on it’s own.

All these products can get soggy from too much water though, I never followed the instructions for how much water should be used, I used a better measurement my eyes. If it looks like too much it is.

Peggy Hunt
Peggy Hunt
3 years ago

I have been reviewing raw freeze dried food as I want to get my cocker
spaniel with IBD off kibble
So it’s interesting reading all the comments.
The difficulty I’m having is working out how much I would feed her daily. She is 15 kilos. And what would be best for her, she is on daily antibiotics.
I wrote to Frontier Pets and they replied immediately with the helpful information, but Balanced Life
after a week, have still not responded which is disappointing.

Pet Food Reviews
Pet Food Reviews
3 years ago
Reply to  Peggy Hunt

Hi Peggy, Frontier Pets are a much smaller company. Balanced Life (Vets All Natural) are much bigger and more commercial. Both foods are worth trying, and the bags last longer than you would think (I have two 15~20kg dogs)

Peggy Hunt
Peggy Hunt
3 years ago

Thank you, yes the lady from Frontier Pets was very helpful and her guide with the chicken recipe, once fully introduced, would be 20 balls morning and same at night. That made it much clearer.
Still nothing from Balanced Life, so have sent for samples from FP. Will update once we start on the new food. Thank you for replying

Edanna
Edanna
3 years ago
Reply to  Peggy Hunt

The lady who makes Frontier re did the feeding guides as they were seriously confusing to a lot of people.
I could imagine the 1 1/4 cups would be for a dog looking to keep the weight he has and the 2 1/2 cups being for dogs who need to put on weight.

Looking at Rusty’s weight I could see that feeding him 1 cup might be too much specially since he’s stocky, but because I have a certain amount of the food I use I’ve never needed the guide. He gets 4 balls never more, on top of a liquid mash of Ziwipeak canned, with a lot of extra things.

If your going to feed it might just have to keep an eye on your dogs weight and increase or decrease as needed.

Peggy Hunt
Peggy Hunt
3 years ago
Reply to  Edanna

Thank you, yes although my little girl has severe tummy problems she is still a very greedy girl, so I have to watch her weight. It’s tricky trying to sort out what is going to be best.

John Doe
John Doe
3 years ago

It seems the percentage is misleading it says 80% raw meat and 20% air-dried vegs. Example: 8 kg raw meat and 2 kg air-dried vegs. 30% non water x 8 kg = 2.4 kg. So it will be around 2.4 air-dried meat and 2 kg air-dried vege. Around 55%- 45%.

Pet Food Reviews
Pet Food Reviews
3 years ago
Reply to  John Doe

Hi John, yes that’s the case but also the same with almost all foods. Any dry food in comparison will lose further nutrition from being cooked at high temperature.

John Doe
John Doe
3 years ago

Yeah, i am also wondering with other company that mention the percentage like black hawk grain free. They mention around 55% meats and 45% others. So in the end it might be just only 25% dried meat and 75% others?

caroline
caroline
3 years ago

I just tried the lamb mix, it sure has a lot of Alfalfa & Lentils sitting on top, mixed with water.
Dogs ate it OK , it smells a bit like Horse Feed.
Frontier Pets is much nicer, I think i will buy more & keep smashing frontier in freezer bags

Veronika
Veronika
3 years ago
Reply to  caroline

Yeah I’m not a fan of that much alfalfa after all they aren’t horses, they say it’s a good source of vitamins and minerals, but I’ve read it can also take vitamins from the body in larger doses and it been up that high I don’t like it.

Pet Food Reviews
Pet Food Reviews
3 years ago
Reply to  caroline

I’ve noticed a couple of things – the lentils and alfalfa can come out whole (yes, I examine stools out of intriguement), and also you really need to soak the food thoroughly for a few minutes before feeding.

caroline
caroline
3 years ago

I soaked the Balanced Life mix for 10 minutes because the water was hot, waiting for it to cool down,
Alfalfa must not soak much water, no problem i only had 2 samples, i don’t want more.
Balanced Life would be good for bigger dogs , being cheaper than Frontier Pets.
Frontier Pets has a much nicer smell & i like kissing my dogs, they smell LOVELY.

Veronika
Veronika
4 years ago

I saw this food when I was in Sydney at the pet warehouse there, it’s powdery from what I saw not blocks, looked really good though.

Got the treat version the kangaroo one, Angel loves it which is good to know and I saw a few other items while I was there and found out the size of some of the treats I wanted to buy, the mfm carnivore not being worth $15 was one, the packet is tiny.
The roo discs are like carob treat size I might buy them one time.

Was sad to see that the treats don’t contain any coconut though and have hickory smoke which isn’t that great of an ingredient.

Alan
Alan
4 years ago

Nice to see these new products emerging at the ‘quality’ end of the oz market. Hopefully this will encourage Ziwipeak to sharpen their pencil price-wise.

Veronika
Veronika
4 years ago
Reply to  Alan

Considering the price of jerky and Ziwi being literal soft dog jerky I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

I once saw $80 for a kilo of jerky and this was when I was a kid, with prices obviously going up over time I could imagine how much that same batch would cost now.
The one at the bus depot markets wanted to try it but I think it was $16 or $26 for a small bag I was like hell no!
Too bad I react to Jack Links jerky with coughing and breathing problems I used to love that stuff, but ingredients wise it’s pretty bad and my body knows better these days.

Alan
Alan
4 years ago
Reply to  Veronika

Maybe pick yourself up a dehydrator? I have one and make jerky regularly – even the most basic halfassed marinade of 50% soy sauce & 50% water produces jerky that wipes the floor with the Jack Links or ‘NT’ branded commercial stuff. The nasty Jack Links product even has MSG in it so I’m not surprised to hear it gives you breathing troubles as that’s a fairly typical complaint.

Also they’re useful for whipping up your own dog treats and chewing material. Some of the more hardcore raw feeding types even dry various offal-ish bits for snacks (dehydrated pieces of trachea come out looking like dog cheezels!)

Veronika
Veronika
4 years ago
Reply to  Alan

I don’t think it’s just the MSG on its own unless it’s a higher dose or something as cheezels have two types of MSG and I can eat half the bag in one sitting and nothing.

Bone broth I can’t do either I feel unwell after it, someone said it might be the dose of MSG in it.

Turkish food also causes the coughing, so certain spices seem to be issue causing, I know cinammon is one and turmeric long term causes me even achier joints than I started out with.
I also loose a lot of energy in my legs and they feel like jello and hurt a lot, my entire pelvic area starts hurting on top of the issues I already have, it’s not fun and I’m not sure why it happens, takes about 3-4 days of discontinued turmeric use to go back to normal.

Tiger nuts are an odd bunch as well, no recorded side effects that I could find and yet they left me energyless every time I ate them, literally in bed all day sleeping type of no energy it was crazy.

I think I also put on 2kg from the cheezels so they can actually make people fat, at the very least I’m not underweight as much anymore, I’m 172 so 53-55kg is a little bit on the frail side and being too skinny with nerve problems based on my doctor isn’t too great, nerves closer to the skin and all that jazz, being me is not fun in the least. So much I can’t do, so much I can’t wear, flare up almost daily even though I’ve had surgery and I should be getting better not worse, want to work in animal nutrition but my memory sucks. Yep it’s awesome being me.

Maybe I’ll get a dehydrater one day, I think our electricity costs a lot though I mean we have $800 summer bills and up to $2000 winter bills, I read that they don’t cost much but I have to wonder with bills like ours how much a dehydrator might actually cost to run.
All of the maths people did were based on really small monthly sums.
We of course don’t pay per month but every 3 months, goodness I could just imagine a $2000 bill every month we’d be bankcrupt pretty quickly.

Alan
Alan
4 years ago
Reply to  Veronika

I guess it could be an MSG dosage thing. I don’t have an allergy to MSG or any other foods, but even so there have been certain chinese takeaway meals that caused some asthma-like symptoms. I hate to think how much of the stuff those guys must have been using.

No need to worry much about the electricity use, they’re not in the same league as ovens or anything. I just checked mine and it draws 500w when running flat out, and you’d only have it up that high for maybe the first hour or so to quickly knock down the surface moisture level for bacterial reasons, perhaps a little longer for something edgy like poultry. In fact some of the homebrew ghetto dehydrator designs I’ve seen used nothing more than a decent light bulb for the heat source, the rest is achieved by a fairly salty marinade, gentle air movement and time.

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