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Acana Highest Protein Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)

Acana Highest Protein Grasslands Dog Food Review

Review of Acana Highest Protein Dog Food

Rating:

Acana Highest Protein Dog Food (Canada) receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Acana Highest Protein product line includes the 4 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product Rating AAFCO
Acana Highest Protein Wild Prairie 5 A
Acana Highest Protein Pacifica 5 A
Acana Highest Protein Grasslands 5 A
Acana Highest Protein Ranchlands 5 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

Acana Highest Protein Grasslands was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


Acana Highest Protein Grasslands Recipe

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 40% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 33%

Ingredients: Raw lamb (8.5%), raw duck (8.5%), eggs (8%), lamb meal (8%), herring meal (7%), turkey meal (7%), whole green peas, whole red lentils, whole chickpeas, raw freshwater lake fish* (5%), fish oil (4%), raw lamb liver (4%), duck liver (4%), raw turkey (4%), whole green lentils, whole pinto beans, whole yellow peas, lentil fiber, duck fat (2%), pea starch, dried kelp, fresh whole pumpkin, fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole carrots, fresh whole apples, fresh whole pears, fresh whole zucchini, dried chicory root, freeze-dried duck and liver, freeze-dried lamb and liver, fresh kale, fresh spinach, fresh turnip greens, fresh beet greens, whole cranberries, whole blueberries, whole saskatoon berries, turmeric, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rosehips, *varied mix of raw tullibee, whitefish, northern pike, and mullet, additives [per kg] technological additives: tocopherol extract from vegetable oils: 308mg, citric acid: 40mg, sensory additives: rosemary extract: 105mg, nutritional additives: 3B606 (zinc: 150 mg), 3B406 (copper: 11mg), 3A821 vitamin B1: 25mg, 3A841 vitamin B5: 8mg, 3A831 vitamin B6: 7.5mg, 3A700 vitamin E: 50 IU, zootechnical additives: 4B1707 Enterococcus faecium

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis35%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis40%19%33%
Calorie Weighted Basis33%39%28%
Protein = 33% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 28%

Ingredient Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb contains up to 73% 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 second ingredient is duck, another quality, raw item inclusive of moisture. 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 third ingredient includes whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The next ingredient is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.

The fifth ingredient is herring meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The sixth ingredient is turkey meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

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

The eighth ingredient lists lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

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 Acana product.

With 5 notable exceptions

First, it’s important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legume:

  • Green peas
  • Red lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Green lentils
  • Pinto beans
  • Yellow peas

Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.

If we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination may occupy a significantly higher position on the list.

In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that must also be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

Next, we note the inclusion of dried alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

In addition, we find lentil fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from lentils. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

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.

And lastly, this food 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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Acana Highest Protein Dog Food (Canada) looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 40%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 33%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 40% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.

Which means this Acana product line contains…

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 various legumes and dried alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Our Rating of Acana Highest Protein Dog Food

Acana Highest Protein (Canada) is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of named species as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Acana Dog Food
Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Champion Petfoods.

No recalls noted.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

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More Champion Petfoods Brand Reviews

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

References

12/26/2021 Last Update

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