Acana Regionals Dog Food (USA) receives the Advisor’s top rating of 4.5 stars.
The Acana Regionals product line includes four dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of USA recipes available at the time of this review.
- Acana Regionals Grasslands
- Acana Regionals Wild Atlantic
- Acana Regionals Meadowland
- Acana Regionals Appalachian Ranch
Acana Regionals Appalachian Ranch was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Acana Regionals Appalachian Ranch
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned beef, deboned pork, deboned lamb, lamb meal, beef meal, pork meal, whole green peas, red lentils, pinto beans, beef liver, beef fat, catfish meal, chickpeas, green lentils, whole yellow peas, deboned bison, whole catfish, herring oil, sun-cured alfalfa, natural pork flavor, beef tripe, lamb tripe, lamb liver, pork liver, beef kidney, pork kidney, pork cartilage, dried kelp, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, carrots, red delicious apples, bartlett pears, freeze-dried beef liver, freeze-dried lamb liver, freeze-dried pork liver, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||38%||19%||35%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||39%||29%|
The first three ingredients in this dog food are beef, pork and lamb. Although quality items, raw meat 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, these items would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The fourth ingredient is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.
The fifth ingredient is beef meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The sixth ingredient is pork meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
It’s important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legume:
- Red lentils
- Pinto beans
- Green lentils
- 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 would almost certainly occupy a higher position on the list.
In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The next ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component. This item is inclusive of water.
Next, we find beef fat. Beef fat (or tallow) is most likely obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Although it may not sound very appetizing, beef fat is actually a quality ingredient.
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 five notable exceptions…
First, we note the use of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, this recipe also includes green lentils and yellow peas, additional sources of quality carbohydrates.
However, lentils and peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
In addition, although dried 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.
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 one chelated mineral, a mineral that has been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.
Acana Regionals Dog Food (USA)
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Acana Regionals (USA) 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 35% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
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 legumes and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Acana Regionals (USA) is a meat-based dry dog food using a significant amount of named meats and meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
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.
Acana Dog Food
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Notes and Updates
11/13/2016 Last Update