Acana Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★★

Acana Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Acana Dog Food product line includes nine dry recipes, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance and six for all life stages.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Acana Senior Dog
  • Acana Light and Fit
  • Acana Sport and Agility
  • Acana Puppy and Junior
  • Acana Adult Large Breed
  • Acana Adult Small Breed
  • Acana Puppy Small Breed
  • Acana Puppy Large Breed
  • Acana Chicken and Burbank Potato (4.5 stars)

Acana Adult Small Breed was selected to represent others in the line for this review.

Acana Adult Small Breed

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 36% | Fat = 21% | Carbs = 35%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, steel-cut oats, deboned chicken, whole potato, peas, chicken fat, whole egg, deboned flounder, sun-cured alfalfa, chicken liver, herring oil, pea fiber, whole apples, whole pears, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, chicory root, juniper berries, angelica root, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, lavender, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis32%19%NA
Dry Matter Basis36%21%35%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%42%29%
Protein = 29% | Fat = 42% | Carbs = 29%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient includes oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The third ingredient is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The fourth ingredient is potato. Assuming they’re cooked, potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The seventh ingredient includes whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The eighth ingredient is flounder. This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.1

Although it is a quality item, raw fish contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The ninth ingredient is suncured alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With four notable exceptions

First, we find herring oil. Herring oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, herring oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

In addition, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Acana Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Acana Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 36%, a fat level of 21% and estimated carbohydrates of about 35%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 36% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 37% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 53%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Acana is a plant-based dry dog food using a significant amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Those looking for a grain-free version of the same brand may wish to visit our review of Acana Grain Free dry dog food.

Acana Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

01/19/2016 Last Update

  1. Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • William Alexander Reed

    Lmao… Wow.. Lmao I’m not going to respond to that… You are dumb… Hahahahahahahaha. Omg thanks for the laugh though…

  • aimee

    Sure vets will be “biased” if you want to call it bias to recommend one company that meets criteria over another that does not… I suppose you could say the vet is biased toward the company that meets their requirements: nutritionists on staff, feed tested diets, able to provide digestibility data, provide nutritional analysis, invest in research, manufacture their own food, has good quality control, recalls quickly and swiftly and efficiently vs say waiting months before recalling a food and allowing more animals to be harmed and sending lawyers to silence the veterinarians who made the connection between the food and a severe medical problem.

  • aimee

    Hi William,

    Nope… not paid by Purina.Just trying to help others see that different things are valued by different people and that is why different conclusions are made from one person to the next.

    In regards to Champion being a marketing company .. we are probably using the term differently.

    By being a marketing company I mean they don’t invest in nutritional research, they don’t employ any veterinary nutritionists, they don’t do feeding trials or feed and monitor animals in their care. ( At least not the last time I asked. I tried to just call them but no one answers… just a recording to leave a message )

    The business is limited to making and selling food.

    Why are these things important?

    1.Until recently they had been putting increased calcium into their large breed puppy foods compared to their regular puppy food and ALS formulas to the point of exceeding the NRC safe upper limit.

    Interestingly to me is that when I asked them about this and provided them with many references on proper calcium levels for large breed growth they said they had no plans to change the diet… but then they did reformulate to a lower Ca level.

    2.Champion choose to enter into the Australian market where it was required their food be irradiated. It was published in the literature that irradiating cat food led to paralysis in cats fed such products.

    If they had a vested interest in nutrition vs just marketing these could have been avoided.

    Companies don’t pay vets in practice to promote their products or give them kickbacks etc that is just a made up thing that people say when they don’t take the time to understand why vets make the recommendations that they do.

  • William Alexander Reed

    And they won’t…. Unless there’s corporate bias involved

  • aimee

    It is an example of a veterinary nutritionist recommending a food similar to Purina over Orijen. That’s all

    You said “No vet will recommend Purina over acana if your budget can afford it.”

  • William Alexander Reed

    Lmao you haven’t proved anything. Her justification for choosing royal canine are based on opinion…

  • aimee

    Here is an except from Dr Remillard ACVN’s site petdiets dot com

    Out of Fromm 4 star,
    Orijen and Royal Canine which brand do you like best and why? I’m trying
    to find the right food for my 1.5 year old standard poodle. He does not
    have food allergies. Thanks!

    In my opinion, Royal canin because they make their own food in their own plant and do original canine nutritional research. to advance our
    knowledge base.

    In this case Purina wasn’t inquired about. But the reasons she gives for choosing Royal Canin over Orijen apply to Purina as well.

  • William Alexander Reed

    Somehow I think you’re paid by Purina… Marketing I can’t stop laughing at that… A company that doesn’t use mass marketing practices and you say they’re just marketing… Purina is a mass production food company that has a significant control over the pet food market… Find me a vet who says acana or orijen isn’t better and I will find you a slew of vets who say that vet was paid by purina… Kinda like athletes who endorses a product but can’t endorse a different one due to contract obligations.

  • William Alexander Reed

    I’ve asked every vet in my area… And I’m sorry but I don’t think you understand marketing if you think acana is a marketing based company… Have you ever looked at what’s in purina? How about been to the mass production facility that makes it? I have.. Disgusting. I wouldn’t feed that to my pet… No vet will recommend Purina over acana if your budget can afford it.

  • aimee

    Hi William,

    “every vet says that’s a really good food and says don’t give them Purina…”

    Did you ask every vet? : )

    When I reported on the recommendations for a puppy diet from vet nutritionists there were no monetary constraints placed on them.

    The one thing I consistently see veterinarians recommend to look for when choosing a growth food is that the food has passed feeding trials. Champion doesn’t invest in their food in that manner .. hence they don’t make the cut. Doesn’t have anything to do with the cost of the food.

    If you evaluate the 2 companies against the standards veterinarians use to evaluate pet food the Purina company passes and Champion does not. Champion is a marketing company, not a company with a vested interest in nutrition.

    This doesn’t mean that Champion can’t produce a decent food but I can’t say I’ve ever come across a vet who was eager to have me feed it either.

  • BGRoss

    this reports everything you need to know about what’s available in the market today. i live by this review… unbiased real-world specialists that got everything right.
    my chessie eats acacia now after fromm lbpf for 13mos. i can say without hesitation that acana, fromm and pinnacle are my (and my pets) favorites. quality companies, no recalls and all high-end ingredients. i have used several wet toppers too, now using weruva grain-free recipes as well. i come on here from time to time to just give my 2cents about the foods i’ve tried. i haven’t had bad run with any of the aforementioned brands. going to try addiction next and see how that works out. favorite brands, acana, pinnacle, fromm (kibble). favorite canned, merrick grain free, earthborn stews, weruva human grade, eagle pack gran free. can’t go wrong with any of these. just my opinion…

  • Amateria

    Finally someone mentioned the whole “you spend too much on your own food” that you have no money left for your dog/s, I see a lot comments of people stating they can’t feed their dogs better food due to budget, but I calculated it one time based on the single pension here in Australia, even with everything you should have around $50 left to save or to spend on anything you want, which when you think about it $50 ain’t much, so maybe cut the cost of your shopping? Your obviously buying too much trash if you have no money left.

    Of course that’s just one type of pay check, you have to take into account that some people have extremely limited budgets and there’s nothing you can do about that and that maybe their feeding awful food but if the dog makes them happy or saves their life than really that’s all that matters.

    I may do a monthly spend calculation one day, but only on foods I need to survive and see if I were simply to buy that how much I would spend kinda curious now.

  • LabsRawesome

    In what way is the marketing misleading?

  • Crazy4dogs

    I’m sorry I missed your links to support your view. Would you mind adding them?

  • Shawna

    I find it quite ironic and questionable that you would call out any company for marketing when Purina just launched a massive marketing scheme for, most would agree, one of the worst foods on the market.

  • William Alexander Reed

    I will have to say that out of every vet I have ever been to a vet suggest Purina only when a person’s budget is restricted. I have used orijen and acana since my dogs were puppies. Have never had an issue and not once have they become sick from the food. If a person has to choose between ol’roy and Purina of course a vet will say Purina. But if you don’t mind spending a little more to ensure your dog is getting a proper diet then I have never heard a vet say don’t give them acana. In fact every vet says that’s a really good food and says don’t give them Purina… I don’t believe it’s subjective at all but more budget restrictive when a vet recommends Purina. If you say you’re giving your pup Acana or Merrick or Orijen your vet will love you. They prefer you give them these proper diets… But because some people are so opinionated they do not push high prices dog foods onto people… Especially since most people think it’s just a dog why should I spend so much on their food… In comparison 84usd for a bag of dog food is really really cheap compared to the food we feed ourselves. Look at your grocery budget for the month and then look at your dogs… If you spend 15 dollars a month on dog food and 500+ a month on yourself I think you could shop cheaper for yourself and give a little more to your pup. Just my humble opinion

  • Alex Woodman

    The marketing is different. It is done by misleading store owners, customers and concerted efforts on-line. The food has one of the lowest repeat purchases of any food, same for Orijen.

  • aimee

    A person who has reached a different conclusion than you may be very educated on the topic and values different things.

    I’ve found that being open to learning why they concluded differently is the better option vs calling someone ignorant simply because they don’t think as you do.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Alex,

    Would you mind providing some links that support your comments? I can’t recall actually seeing a TV commercial or ad for Acana.

  • Shawna

    “The Honest Kitchen has been the only pet food manufacturer in the United States to have proven to the Federal FDA that every ingredient it uses in its products are suitable for human consumption, and the products are manufactured in a human food facility. The cat and dog diets are made right along side bakery mixes, and other products for human consumption.”

    Although I don’t rely on any food for complete nutrition for my dogs, being human quality nutrition puts them a step ahead of many, if not most, other food manufacturers in my opinion. I consider corn gluten meal and such to be garbage ingredients. Never have I once seen that on any food produced for humans. However, as others have stated here, everyone has different criteria for what they consider good food and garbage.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    If a veterinary nutritionist recommends Purina I consider them ignorant on the topic. That’s my opinion! Just as it’s your opinion that you always defend Purina.

  • aimee

    Guess everyone has a different idea as to what constitutes garbage!

    IDK…It could be that the OP has done a lot of research and just values different things than you do.

    A few days ago someone wanted a recommendation for a puppy food for a large breed puppy and I posted recommendations from board certified veterinary nutritionists. Purina products were among the product recommendations.

    I wouldn’t consider a veterinary nutritionist ignorant on the topic of nutrition and maybe the OP isn’t either.

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    I say the same thing about the food you are defending! Purina! Garbage with a bunch of marketing! Please do some research as your ignorance is showing.

  • LabsRawesome

    He obviously works for Purina, as it is the ONLY good food on the market. lol

  • Crazy4dogs

    And your expertise in dog nutrition is????

  • Alex Woodman

    It is garbage. Just a bunch of marketing.

  • Heather M Budgell

    I have been feeding my pup acana since I have adopted him over 4 yrs ago. Just recently 3 weeks ago I purchased a new bag of acana and started feeding as normal. My pup sudden began throwing up and also had diarrhea none stop. My friend who is a vet suggested boiling rice and chicken which helped and stopped the sickness. After 4 days I decided to introduce his food again, but once again he got sick.
    I was just informed yesterday by a friend who works in a pet store in my town that acana has actually changed their food
    ingredients, so just a heads up

  • Tana Beckstead

    I think it’s the high protein

  • cottster

    Thank you!

  • cottster

    Thanks for the website; I will check it out!

  • cottster

    Thank you so much for all of the great info on the Acana and Orijen foods. I ordered a small amount of dry Acana and also a small bag of dry Orijen. I will probably blend one or both of these in a little at a time with the food she is eating now during the transition to the new food(s). I also ordered online a supplement that is supposed to be helpful for her condition, so I will keep you posted on her progress! Thank you again!

  • Taylor

    My Pomeranian and my Chihuahua both eat Acana Wild Prairie but Orijen is just as good. Either would be really good foods.

  • Pitlove

    Sounds like your Aussie is having issues tolerating something in this formula. Perhaps try a different formula that isn’t similar to Light and Fit?

  • Tana Beckstead

    My Aussie is on light and fit .. Protein very high loves the food but always has diarrhea not to often solid poops

  • Crazy4dogs

    TheBCnut gave you a good suggestion Have you considered feeding a fresh cooked meal? BalanceIt is a good website to check out.

  • theBCnut

    Go over to the forum side and do a search for “low sodium foods.”

  • cottster

    Yesterday my 10-year-old Coton was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and was prescribed 4 meds. What is the best commercially-made food for her now? I have researched Acana and Orijen. Any recommendations? Your help is greatly appreciated!

  • Taylor

    I have since changed them to another Acana brand Wild Prairie

  • malrescueSATX

    Chicken and Burbank Potato is being phased out and replaced with a new formula

  • Agnes Laan

    I got my puppy a variety, mostly from the pet store, but they’re expensive. A cheap alternative is soup bones from the grocery store. It takes forever for them to actually consume the bone itself plus they’re loaded with marrow and will keep them occupied for days! I’ll also give the softer bones of cooked chicken (ribs, other non-splintery bones) and our steak bones (not cooked long enough to be harmful) from supper, but that’s just me. The only problem I had with rawhide was it didn’t last very long; in that respect, a quality meaty bone from the pet store was cheaper.

  • Taylor

    I get the chicken and burbank potato for my Chihuahua and Pomeranian and they scarf it down. They are both full of energy and their stools are well formed. Their coats are glossy and their eyes are sparkly. I will stick with Acana for awhile.

  • Marco A.

    Thank you :)

  • Rayetta Philen

    Raw bones are great for all dogs to chew on. Look into raw feeding for max benefits. Be careful with weight bearing bones (like femurs, etc) as they are so dense they can actually chip/break a dog’s tooth. I use raw beef ribs (meat attached as mine are raw fed). it satisfies their need to chew (as puppies it’s great for teething). it also keeps their teeth super white! best of luck. (Note – do NOT feed cooked bones, their chemical structure is changed by the heat of cooking & they possibly can splinter, creating sharp shards

  • theBCnut

    You are welcome!

  • Marco A.

    Thank you for the thorough reply, my friend!

  • theBCnut

    The roasted bones in the store are not really good bones for dogs. They are usually weight bearing bones of large animals, which are so hard that many dogs break teeth on them. And they are often treated with chemicals that are known to be bad for your dog’s health. Raw bones are the only ones that a dog should be allowed to eat completely. Good first bones to get started with are chicken or turkey necks. They have a decent amount of meat on them, are soft bones, and are more cartilage than bone so if your dog swallows pieces whole, they are small enough to be passed. Rawhides can be problematic. Many are chemically treated and dogs frequently swallow the last of it before they have chewed it small enough and can get intestinal blockage from them. When choosing a chew for your dog, it is important to know what kind of chewer your dog is. Gulpers are the ones most likely to have problems with any kind of chew.

  • Marco A.

    Hi, I don’t know where else to post this, so I’ll post here.

    I want to feed my new pup some bones, he’s always gnawing. I never thought feeding a bone to a dog could be harmful, it seems silly that it would be, but lots of people on the internet say it is.
    People recommend raw bones, rather than cooked. When I roast though, the bones don’t tend to splinter, they tend to be very chewable.

    There are some roasted bones at the store that are roasted and packaged, like roasted beef rib, and marrow bones.

    What about rawhide bones, will these have bad chemicals on them?


  • Cookie
  • Cookie

    I have a plethora of pros and I’m awaiting to find cons. I work in pet retail and I keep up to date on things like this.
    Well, I love that they’re doing a regional American food. Our states (especially Kentucky and surrounding) have some AMAZING agriculture! We already know they’ll source from it’s amazingness.
    Not to mention they’re providing a ton of locals with jobs. Woo!
    As for the farmed fish, well, can you really prove it’s a con? There are some great fish farms these days because the oceans suck, are way over polluted. I don’t even eat fish (or my animals).
    I think what hangs people up (like a few of my customers for sure) is that Champion stated they’ll be changing their ingredients. I think the important thing to remember is that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
    But other than all that I just babbled on about, I checked their website the other day, no new info yet. But in the meantime, if you haven’t, red their Kentucky FAQ. Enlightening.

  • Dori

    Thanks Crazy4dogs. I hadn’t heard about it at all. Sorry I missed it as I’ve been thinking all along that they were a family owned and run company. I sometimes keep Orijen Six Fish in the house for when I’m under the weather or hospitalized for a few days and I know hubby won’t get the raw feeding correct. Either way too much, not enough, or he’s just too squeamish. I’ve lost track of his issues with raw. Katie, allergy girl, does really really well on Orijen Six Fish when it has had to be given. So far that and Nature’s Logic Sardine formula are the only two she does fine with for a few feedings. I’m not crazy about them eating kibble but under some circumstances I have no choice.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Hi Dori, Apparently this happened in March 2012. I’ve read a bit about it, but only on some forums. I’m not sure how this is all being handled. Here’s a thread that has Champion commenting on it:

  • Dori

    C4C. Any idea how long ago that happened? I also don’t know if it’s good, bad or indifferent as I don’t know anything about bedford capital. When I have some time on my hands I’ll do some research on the company and their holdings on Morningstar, I’m just wondering how long they’ve owned Champion.

  • theBCnut

    The question is, does Champion have a better bottom line because people who buy it care that much about the quality of their dogs’ food or because they find shortcut that are acceptable/unknown? For the most part, I think the people buying Champion’s products are the ones that are at least trying to do their homework, so if they really mess with the product, word will get out, and people will stop buying.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Yeah, I’m not sure either, but it seems once the private equity groups get involved, it becomes more about the bottom line.

  • theBCnut

    I have heard that, but I have no idea if it’s good, bad, or indifferent.

  • Bobby dog


  • Crazy4dogs

    LOL! Is it good, eh?

  • Bobby dog

    I have had my fair share of their maple product line!

  • Crazy4dogs

    I know Champion is a really good food, but are aware that Champion is owned by a private equity group known as Bedford Capital?

  • DogFoodie

    You’re right. Now that you say that, I can recall our previous conversations about that.

  • theBCnut

    A couple years ago I looked into fish sourcing at Champion and even then it was wild caught when in season, farmed out of season.

  • DogFoodie

    Hi Zac, I’m curious where you found this information. Any links? You’re right, farm raised fish is not at all what I’d expect from Acana.

  • Zac Chernik

    New Kentucky Kitchen is OPEN – cautious about food sources

    after a quick review…..proteins are lower, the catfish looks to be fish farm caught (Ponderosa Farms, Murray – Kentucky) not like the Acana Canadian Kitchen which uses Wild Caught……still digging deeper into their ingredients/sources. Does anybody else have pros/cons for this new Kitchen here in the USA?

  • Kathy Farmer

    I changed her food to blue basic for small breeds, & the vet change her flea medicine to Vectra 3rd and she has gotten so much better. However she still gets a allergy shot about every 3 months instead of once a month.

  • Laurie

    Our dog had the same symptoms. . I started giving her a probiotic along with the grain free TOTW bison and venison. She has been on that food for about a year. We noticed that the probiotic really helped, but she would start biting her paws every once in a while. We switched to Acana lamb and apple. What a miracle. I believe potatoes are her problem. TOTW has potatoe in it. She was a very yeasty dog. We are keeping our fingers crossed that she stays the way she is now.

  • guest

    Vets do not know DIDDLY about Dog food. They only promote crap like Royal Canin and Science Diet. Sorry Mr. Mike…bad advise to consult a vet first. Acana is the BEST food on the market. Case closed!

  • Grigorios Elpidoforos

    Acana always a good choice.

  • can
  • can

    İf you looking for Acana dog food in Turkey you can find on

  • Pitlove

    The Singles formula might have been suggested if you told the employee at the pet store that you believed your dog was sensititive to something in the food he’d been eating. Acana Singles is a limited ingredient diet, so it’s less likely to cause issues if he hasn’t eaten Duck before.

    Acana is an excellent food. so in terms of providing him good fuel, you are doing that. Are you looking for something less expensive? I wasn’t quite sure if thats what you were looking for advice on.

    A food that I can suggest that is cheaper than Acana, but excellent for dogs who have sensititive stomachs and are picky, is NutriSource. Depsite not have the “amazing” ingredient panel that Acana has, NutriSource is really an excellent quality food. I’ve suggested it to many people at work and I’ve yet to have someone come back and tell me it didn’t work for their pup.

  • Nancy Sparks

    Hello! Prior to getting my Luca 10 years ago, I’d never considered myself a “dog lover”. I wouldn’t trade him for the world, but am ashamed he came from a breeder. I was uneducated about over population of dogs and euthanasation. He came to serve as a therapy dog for my wonderful son Jacob. His Autism dx resulted in a sensitivity to unexpected loud noises ie. barking and a paralyzing fear of all creatures, not of the human variety. Upon his arrival, I was an instant convert. He made our house a home. Over the years, he’s undeniably been therapeutic to both Jacob and me. Last year, in a very dark time of our lives, I stumbled across a malnourished puppy that had been abandoned. “Marco” has proven to be an equally good fit. He was meant to be ours. I apologize for the irrelevant background, but am so indebted to my dogs. Having lost my job, I’m struggling with inability to pay the vet costs that Luca deserves. His age and weight forced a decision to reassess his diet. He’s eaten HALO for 8 years and I regret having spent entirely too much for a mediocre product. Marco seems to have a very sensitive stomach and has proven to be much more finicky than his ravenous “brother”. Both seem to have an allergy to something. After reading countless reviews and articles, I settled on either Orjijen. With the assistance of a great pet store, I settled on the Acana puppy formula for Marco and the Acana singles Duck and Bartlett pear. It’s disproportionate to my financial situation, but am willing to do whatever necessary to keep them healthy. The quality liquid Glucosamine seems to have alleviated some of Luca’s joint pain, but had hoped it would increase his energy. I’m unsure why the light and fit or senior blend wasn’t encouraged over the singles. Does anyone have any ideas on either dog? Luca is supposed to be a malti-poo, and is 25lbs. The vet visit after finding Marco believes Marco to be a schnauzer/poodle mix. 14lbs. Please no lectures on responsible pet owners being able to pay for extensive vet fees as this keeps me up at night. Just trying to find the most nutritious “fuel” possible. Thanks for all the posts. This is the first time I’ve posted on such a site but found these pet parents to be well informed.

  • celine roberts

    My dog been on Acana pork and butternut squash dry complete food and so far its the best food ive brought, ive got a french bulldog crossed pug and before this her afters was runny, but now there hard. she has also stop being sick since she has started eating. I would recommend this to anyone who may have small sickie dogs with runnie afters. her attitude has also changed over time with her being calmer and more pleasant to be round. All round a good purchase and would recommend it. Well done Acana

  • Jonathan Costa

    At 8 mths I would use the puppy mix

  • Allen Ponce

    My Shih is 8 mos old, do I feed her with Acana Adult Small Breed, or Acana Puppy Small Breed ?

  • Brandi Spencer-Rawson

    Thanks for the advice Stevie!!! I never hesitate spending money on my pet but thanks!!! I don’t consider asking opinions on this site being to “unqualified strangers!” In fact I have got some great advice that in turn has saved my dog and helped my Vet and myself find a comfortable solution for my dog. I am very grateful for opinions of others when I ask.

  • Stevie Masterson

    Probably alreadt sorted this but in all cases anyone facing concerns about a pet should always take your dog to a vet. This Sounds like allergies and it can become serious. You should always get Professional advice and not avoid spending on your pet by asking unqualified strangers.

  • Kaleigh Ann Reynolds

    I got Samera, a doberman mix, from the humane society a month ago. She had really bad allergies to the food I started her on so I switched her to the Acana chicken and burbank potato, it’s only been a week and I’m so happy with it!

  • Lizardo

    You can also get on mailing lists for foods you feed so that they keep you updated with changes in their formulas and their companies. This is also a good thing to do to stay in the loop with discounts and recalls.
    While it’s unfortunate that your dogs reacted to the formula change, that does not come anywhere near discrediting a food that makes feeding a healthy diet accessible to those who don’t have the time, energy, or resources to feed raw or make their own dog food and it’s irresponsible to publicly discredit something based on one personal experience.

  • Pitlove

    Why would you not recommend this brand to anyone? This is one of the top dog food brands on the market right now right behind its partner Orijen. Just because YOUR dog is allergic to alfalfa does not meant everyones dogs are and can’t eat this food. Please do not discredit a food based on your dogs allergies. Thats like saying dont feed this food because my dog is allergic to chicken and it made him sick. Of course it did.

  • Jo’Ann

    Depending on the type of dog, how old the dog is, any allergies, and activity level as well. My dog has horrible gas on the Orijen Puppy Large but no problems on the Acana at all, but the Orijen Puppy Large has eggs in it that were making him gassy. Also its gonna depend if you did a transitional phase a lot of times if you don’t take the time needed your dogs stomach becomes upset anything from gas to poop to throwing up.

  • Jo’Ann

    foods are constantly changing, no matter how long something has been the same if they changed it doesn’t mean that someone is going to have the same reaction your dogs did. formulas are constantly changing. no matter if your dog has an allergy always check the bag because with this being a Canadian food being brought into the states its harder for most places to keep up with changes. its always best to read the bag incase before you pick it up.

  • OwnedbyAbbey

    Petsmart “Authority” brand rates very high too. I feed to my girl and she is healthy and beautiful!

  • Jessica Greer

    I’ve had my dogs on acana chicken and burbank potato for over a year but about two months ago I noticed the began having digestive problems. My dogs are highly sensitive to alfalfa and they were on this food and formula because it did not contain any. Several trips to the vet later the last resort was to check their food….and low an behold acana changed their formula without any notice and the chicken and potato now contains alfalfa and not in any small amount. I would not recommend this brand to anyone! It has made my dogs sick for months now and cost me several trips to the vet.

  • Kinny Salas

    My dog who is very prone to Demodex mange did not do well with Acana but does great on Orijen adult. It must be the potato and oats. Her eyes get discharge and have a yeasty smell then boom generalized Demodex mange. It appears the potato and oats convert/produces sugar which is food for systematic yeast that feeds Demodex mange. So if I starve the yeast I control the mange population

  • Dog Lover Plus

    There are three major reasons I’ll stick with this manufacturer. Which also makes Orijen.

    The first is that they are completely transparent up front about how and were they source their food from. If this is important to you, this brand covers that base.

    The second is that all their dog food labeling includes information about what the Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio is. (It should be at lest 5 to 1 or better as Omega 6’s are biologically prioritized in the body, which means if this ratio is out of whack, your pet will not benefit from the Omega 3’s, which are anti-inflamatory and instead use up the omega 6’s first, which are inflammatory, but still very important for biological responses).

    The third is that they also include how much DHA/EPA Omega 3’s are included in each of their selections.

    The reason that this is so important is because plant based ALA Omega 3’s have a biological availability of only 10% according to a Harvard study. That means it would take 10 times as much oil from plants to get the same amount of Fish based DHA/EPA omega 3’s (the biologically available kind, meaning it’s not simply excreted)

    When you look at the labels of other manufacturers you will see something like: Omega 3 content: .75%, which is their way to get around the fact that they don’t include the kind you want them to have. The kind that their bodies can actually use.

    The recommended daily intake of combined DHA/EPA is 20 to 55 mg per pound, which comes out to anywhere from .5% kibble content to over 1%. A plant based Omega 3 kibble would have to contain 5% to over 10% oil, by weight, to accommodate this, which is extremely oily, with 90% of that being excreted…messy.

    So, you can see why they simply label their products as containing .75% Omega 3 content instead of putting all that extra oil into the food. What this means is that a product using plant based ALA Omega 3’s with a ratio of 5 to 1 (Omega 6 to Omega 3) really has a 50 to 1 ratio, which makes the inclusion of Omega 3’s nothing more than a facade, as they will never be processed due to the prioritization of Omega 6’s in their bodies.

  • Jonathan Costa

    My hip baby lol.. Proud to feed her Acana

  • Jonathan Costa

    Awesome food. My dog is healthier than ever.I highly recommend this product. My dog is pure bred Shih-tzu. Thanks to the herring oil. And it’s omega 3s her coat is shinier than ever

  • Dave

    Just feed less Acana for her to lose wait:)

  • Dave

    Amazing food and company. Worth the money. Give it a try if you love your dog. I feed my dog Acana and Orijen and very happy with both.

  • Kathy Farmer

    All I seen was Basic, I did see Back to Basic at Atwoods. Is that brand good?

  • Dori

    Do you mean Back to Basics or the food is actually called Basic?

  • DogFoodie

    Take as long as she needs. It’s likely she’ll need more than 7 to 10 days.

    Here’s what I said the other day about transitioning:

    Take your time with the transition! If she’s not used to switching give her plenty of time. Add a very small portion of the new food to the old and see how she does. If she has loose stool, back off of the new food. If she’s OK, leave her there for several days. Only increase the new food if her stool is firm.

    Make sure to keep in mind that the new food may have more calories than the old, as you don’t want to overfeed her. Very gradually, increase the ratio of new to old food after plenty of time to stabilize at each interval, until you’re finally just feeding the new food. A spoonful of plain, canned pumpkin works wonders firming up a bit of loose stool and can help make the transition easier.

    Take a month or more, if she needs it, since she’s switching to a new food for the first time.

  • Kathy Farmer

    The package said to mix the food with her currant food for 7 to 10 days should I do that or not?

  • Kathy Farmer

    I did read the article and I did get grain free food (Taste of the wild). Thanks for the article.

  • DogFoodie

    Hi Kathy,

    TOTW is a good choice. It’s a very big jump up in quality from the Kibbles & Bits, so just be certain to take plenty of time for her to transition. I’m not a huge fan of Diamond, the manufacturer of TOTW, so if you stick with it for a while, just be cautious. Diamond is known for their product inconsistency as well as their history of recalls and their poor handling of same.

    I’m not familiar with the Basic dog food you mentioned.

  • Kathy Farmer

    Thanks I will give it a try. I take Coco to the vet to get her allergy shot once a month it does help her paws.

  • Kathy Farmer

    The only dog food I found at wal-mart that I did not get it was called Basic. So if any one has herd of that brand and used it let me know. So my husband and I went to Atwoods there were about 3 or 4 different kind that said for sensitive dogs. The one that I got Coco to try is called Taste of the Wild Salmon it’s a 5lb bag and it was only $13.00 hopefully it will help or work for her.

  • Susan

    Stop her food, my boy was having itchy ear, rash on chest scratching, then diarrhoea he cant eat starchy foods,it was the Potatoes, I did an elimination diet… You use 1 protein that she has never eaten before & 1 carb, you feed just the 1 meat & the 1 carb for about 3 weeks & see if she stops scratching, if she does then add another food the same wait about 2 weeks, if she is still itch free, add another food, as soon as I added Sweet potatoes it took Patch 1-2 days to start shaking his head & scratching his ears, so I stopped the sweet potatoes & he went back to normal no scratching , you might want to use say rice & Kangaroo, or fish venison, rabbit, but its the only way you know what food is causing the problems, even if you put her on a Limited Ingredient kibble & see how she goes, I’ve been struggling with Patches red front paws now for 1 year, he’s itch free everywhere except his paws, so I think it’s the grass he’s allergic to the grass & wet grass makes his paws real bad….Normally vets suggest a Hypoallergenic vet diet….its a starting point if you cant do an elimination diet, they don’t stay on the vet diet for ever, just 1-2 months & see if she gets better then start adding 1 new food with the vet diet kibble or wet food & see if she starts her scratching again..Good-Luck

  • Babslynne
  • Babslynne

    If you are near a Costco they have a 4 star food that’s around $15 for 30#, its not grain free, Kirkland brand. the small dog and the mature dog are 4.5 star, the chicken is 4 star and the lamb is 3.5 star.

  • Kathy Farmer

    I will see what they have at Wal-Mart if they have Pure Balance I will get that one and try it first.

  • Kathy Farmer

    That’s true never looked at that way before.

  • DogFoodie

    Not switching foods at all may be how you ended up in this position in the first place though.

    Your short term goal is to get her off of Kibble and Bits and on to something healthier so that her gut can begin to heal. It needs to be something that she can easily digest.

    Your long term goal should be to find a couple of other foods so you have a variety of healthy foods to rotate between. A variety of foods with fresh, whole foods added to it will increase the amount of healthy bacteria in her digestive system where a healthy immune system lies.

  • Babslynne

    Pure Balance is a 4 star food at Walmart, at the feed store I would look for Nutrisource, its a 4 to 5 star food, or Victor dog food, its a 5 star food. I pay about $52 for #30 of grain free lamb Nutrisource. The Pure Balance is around $40 for #30 of lamb and rice, and the Victor is around $50 for #30.

  • Kathy Farmer

    I would like to get a really good brand of dog food for her. So I that I don’t have to keep changing her food or make her symptoms worse.

  • aquariangt

    Ive heard people have done well with Pure Balance at Walmart but have no experience with it myself. Petsmart has a bit better selection, though if possible you should go to a independent pet store, that’ll have your best options

  • Kathy Farmer

    What about Wal-Mart I don’t have to go to petsmark at all. We do have a couple of feed store’s in town I can try.

  • aquariangt

    Brands in Petsmart that are decent: Nature’s Variety, Wellness, Nulo, Simply Nourish. I haven’t been over in a bit, so there may be more, but a quick glance through online those are the brands that I wouldn’t hate from there

  • DogFoodie

    You bet! I don’t know what brands PetSmart carries so if you need more suggestions, please let us know.

    Also, if it’s an option to order food, one of my favorites is and they usually have really good prices and great customer service. Shipping is only free when you make a minimum purchase of $49, otherwise it’s a flat rate of $4.95.

  • Kathy Farmer

    I will try the dog foods you mentioned, I will go to petsmart in the morning . Thank You

  • DogFoodie

    I understand.

    All of the foods I mentioned are much healthier than the Kibbles and Bits or Beneful.

    Any of them would make a good stepping stone to a higher quality food in the future. Some I mention are already higher quality foods, but are easier to transition to than some others. Since your dog has been eating grain inclusive food, I wouldn’t change that (and go grain free right off the bat.) I also wouldn’t go with higher protein foods just yet either. The protein and fat in the foods I suggested are somewhat similar to the Kibbles and Bits.

    I think right now, it’s just important to get her off of the Kibbles and Bits.

  • Kathy Farmer

    none taken it was the only one that I could get her to eat that she liked and just kept it as is. I tried Beneful and she just would not eat much of it. I’m not worried about the price. I just need to help her and fix the problem.

  • DogFoodie

    OK, that’s great!

    Do you have any particular budget in mind or anyplace in particular where you’d need / want to shop? Do you have a local specialty pet food store, PetSmart (et all), feed & garden type retailers (ie: TSC) or would you be amenable to ordering food online?

    No offense, but Kibbles and Bits is a pretty low quality food. I think I’d take a look at making a gradual increase in quality rather than jumping up to the “best” food. I think I’d also look at a more limited ingredient food. Since your dog appears to be reacting to what he’s eating currently, I’d look for something as different as possible; and the fewer ingredients in it the better, so it’ll be easier to isolate what he’s reacting to.

    Something like California Natural Lamb Meal & Rice Adult Small Bites would be an increase in quality and it’s a fairly “bland” food. Canine Caviar Lamb & Pearl Millet, Holistic Select Adult Health Duck Meal, and Precise Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice Sensicare would all be good choices to make a first, very gradual transition to.

    Take your time with the transition! If he’s not used to switching give him plenty of time. Add a very small portion of the new food to the old and see how he does. If he has loose stool, back off of the new food. If he’s OK, leave him there for several days. Only increase the new food if his stool is firm. Make sure to keep in mind that the new food may have more calories than the old, as you don’t want to overfeed him. Very gradually, increase the ratio of new to old food after plenty of time to stabilize at each interval, until you’re finally just feeding the new food. A spoonful of plain, canned pumpkin works wonders firming up a bit of loose stool and can help make the transition easier.

    Take a month or more, if he needs it, switching to a new food for the first time.

  • Kathy Farmer


  • DogFoodie

    Are you open to changing foods?

  • Kathy Farmer

    Thank you Bob K,
    Coco has an apt. with her vet I will see what he says again. I may have to seek out for a new vet. We live in a very small town not many to choice from.

  • Kathy Farmer

    Hi Dogfoodie thanks for your reply.

    Coco eats Kibbles and bits.

  • Shawna

    I’m confused? You say your dog is “more slim” but hasn’t “lost weight”. Do you mean there is less fat on her but the scales haven’t changed? If the answer is yes, then this is a very very good thing. That means your pup has lost fat and gained muscle. Muscle is heavier than fat and therefore the scale can even go a bit up yet pup can be closer to a perfect fat to muscle ratio.

    When there is improved muscle, there should also be improved tendons and ligaments. All of this will help support her frame and joints so this would, again, be a good thing despite no loss of weight when looking at the scale.

    I apologize if I’m misinterpreting what you mean by “more slim”..

  • Bob K

    Kathy – You seem to be struggling with the solution to your dogs problems. Perhaps its time to seek out a specialist just like you would see a medical specialist like a Dermatologist, Gynecologist, Orthopedic etc…. There are dog Vets certified for allergies and dermatology issues. Look for a ACVD certified Vet. You will get all sorts of people making you recommendations on the internet and suggest trying all sorts of shampoos, baths, special diets, etc…. Coco deserves better. See a Vet professional who specializes in dermatology and allergies.

  • Bob K

    Borzoi – So your dog is slimmer and energetic but she hasn’t dropped weight? Maybe time for exercise and diet, measure the food, reduce the treats. It is not that hard to get a dog to loose weight, you control the food and exercise.

  • Babslynne

    First I would recommend a bland diet, this Acana food has a lot of chicken and potatoes in it so I would avoid those and mix up 2 cups of cooked brown rice with a pound of browned hamburger and see how she does with that, give her about a cup full twice a day and store the rest in the frig in Tupperware, then I would clean all her bedding making sure to rinse it twice to make sure to get all the laundry soap residue out, no fabric softener! And I would Bathe her with Sulfodene medicated shampoo every other day, don’t use shampoo with oatmeal because that feeds the yeast. I would also start giving her a probiotic pearls with 5 billion strains, one a day about an hour after a meal. finally I would use Zymox Otic 1% drops in her ears.

  • DogFoodie

    Hi Kathy,

    What has she been eating and how long has she been eating it?

    I would suspect a long-term exposure to a food intolerance has quite possibly resulted in a leaky gut.

    Changing food is definitely in order. You need to figure out what the problem ingredient/s are. It’s possible that the sensitivity may be environmental instead or in addition to a food sensitivity. You’re in a place now where her complete recovery is going to take a while.

  • Kathy Farmer

    PLEASE HELP!!! I have a Dachshund her name is Coco she is 8 years old. For about a year and half ago she started to have really bad allergies. She started to scratching, watery eyes, sneezing and ear infections so took her to the vet she was put on a allergy shot once a month, the symptoms got better for awhile. Now the shots don’t seem to last for the whole month they last for about 2 1/2 weeks. Now she has new symptoms she chews on her paws to the point of bleeding her ears smell and even though I give her a bath she smells really bad about 2 hours after a bath, her breath stinks. I really don’t know what to do. I have not changed her dog food because not for sure what would be the best. We need help she needs some relief. We need help with the smell as well. PLEASE HELP!!!

  • DogFoodie

    Are you feeding the Acana Singles that contain chickpeas and lentils?

    If you’re not and still want to try the duck and lamb formulas, carries the original varieties that don’t contain either chickpeas or lentils. Look closely at the packaging and ingredients when you make your purchase because they look almost identical.

  • Dog_Obsessed

    Not every dog food is perfect for every dog, even if it is well-rated and nutritious. You could go back to his old food until he is no longer gassy, and then pick another quality food to try. Good luck!

  • Elaine

    I was real excited to start my dog on this food, heard nothing but good things about it. He has eaten the lamb and also the duck formula and had been really gassy. I have decided not to continue him on Acana. Had anyone else experienced similar problems?

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Happy that she eats it now. Yes, it is ok to feed her this. Acana is a wonderful food if your dog does well on it. Couch potatoes do very well on a high protein food. It’s always good to top it with a little canned food too. It ups the protein and gives them the extra moisture they need. You can also try topping it with some eggs or canned sardines. I remember you posted that you do walk her so im sure she gets enough exercise.

  • sharron

    she eats it now – just wondering if it’s appropriate for her and yes i probably have made her picky but she isn’t as bad as she was also i have found out that yorkies can be very picky eaters – so it’s a combo of lexee and i

  • Hater & Molly’s Mom

    Hi Sharron, I saw looking through the previous posts that about 5 months ago you were feeding Lexi this and she didnt like it? So you are going to try again? I’m all for rotational feeding and i believe it does not make a dog picky. But somehow i think you have made Lexi picky. Put the food down and if she does not eat it in 20 minutes take it up and give it to her for her next feeding. We as pet parents have control over what our pets eat. I don’t think i have ever seen anyone that switches food as much as you do.

  • sharron

    would this food be appropriate to feed a less active dog

  • Dog_Obsessed

    I don’t know about sodium content, but Acana and THK are both extremely high quality foods that I would highly recommend. I would not recommend Royal Canin, IMO it is a low quality food. Hopefully someone else will answer the question about the sodium.

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