Acana Singles Dog Food | USA (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★½

Acana Singles Dog Food (USA) receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Acana Singles product line includes four grain-free dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Acana Wild Mackerel and Greens [A]
  • Acana Duck and Pear [A]
  • Acana Pork and Squash [A]
  • Acana Lamb and Apples [A]

Acana Duck and Pear was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Acana Singles Duck and Pear

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 42%

Ingredients: Deboned duck, duck meal, whole green peas, red lentils, duck liver, duck fat, pinto beans, chickpeas, herring oil, green lentils, whole yellow peas, duck giblets, bartlett pears, sun-cured alfalfa, natural duck flavor, duck cartilage, dried kelp, freeze-dried duck liver, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, red delicious apples, 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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis27%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%19%42%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%39%35%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 35%

The first ingredient in this dog food is duck. Although it is a quality item, raw duck 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 second ingredient is duck meal. Duck meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh duck.

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

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

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

The fifth ingredient is duck liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component. This item is inclusive of water.

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

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

The seventh ingredient includes pinto beans, legumes naturally high in dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

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

The eighth ingredient includes 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.

The ninth ingredient is 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.

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 note the use of green lentils and yellow peas. Both are quality sources of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

Next, 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.

In addition, 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 it easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Acana Singles Dog Food (USA)
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Acana Singles (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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 31%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 42%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 63%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the numerous legumes and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Acana Singles (USA) is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats and meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly 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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Chewy.com 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

04/28/2016 Last Update

  • InkedMarie

    You’re welcome! Two of mine recently went back on kibble, from raw and I was not looking forward to my brittany pooping so much. Friends from DFA suggested 3.5% fiber or less and it worked! I know what foods she pooped a lot on previously but since the formulas may have changed, I didn’t bother checking.

    Good luck!

  • Donia Leffew

    Thanks Inked…my local Naturally Unleashed suggested Origin. They said it was similiar to Natures Variety. I will also look into the ones you mentioned. I’ve had them on Zignature before but they had the sane issues with going to the bathroom frequently. I will watch their fiber intake. Thanks again.

  • InkedMarie

    Hi Donna! I have a dog that would poop huge amounts many times a day. For her, a lower fiber food did the trick. I was recommended to look for 3.5% or lower. She is currently on Earthborn Primitive Natural. Check out Dr Tim’s, Victor, AvoDerm, California Natural, Evolve, Farmina, Great Life, Horizon, Natures variety, Zignature, TOTW….not all formulas are lower in fiber but a starting point.

  • Donia Leffew

    So I switched my Dachshunds to the Lamb and apple from Nature’s Variety Instict Limited ingredient…did the gradual switch but after several weeks they literally poop several times a day, huge piles…triple the size for on the previous food. Not sure if it’s just too much protein but it’s an impossible amount. And suggestions? Natures Variety Instinct was difficult to get at my local Naturally Unleashed and Chewies will only send one flavor.

  • Elaine Bell

    I switched to Duck & Pear when I discovered that one of my dogs was allergic to key ingredients in my other dog food. We had him tested and as a result found that he was definitely not allergic to duck. This made an easy choice for us. We switched all three of our dogs over to this. It is a pricey dog food but they thrive on it and a dog doesn’t need quite as much in terms of the amount of cups you give them per day because of its higher fat content.

  • Darren Jones

    Don’t overdo it on the protein intake. Most dogs only need around 30%. Some of these crazy high 40-50% protein foods are meant for sled dogs…

    If you want, I would try one of the fish variants. Dogs are very rarely allergic to fish. It’s great for their coat too.

  • Krista

    The one thing I wish they had done differently with this food is pick one kind of peas, one kind of lentils and one kind of beans-not two of each and preferably just one source of carbs. I think it would if made a difference for sensitive allergy dogs. One thing I appreciate about natural balance is it’s one meat source and one carb source-that’s all. I don’t really consider this a true limited ingredient food.

  • Krista

    Has anyone had any luck with this food? I was previously using Fromm and natural balance venison. After putting my dog on this she seems to be itching more frequently.. which is really to bad because I like this brand a lot. She did do really well on natural balance but I wanted something with a bit more protein in it. I had this problem before but thought it was related to the fact that frontline wasn’t working for her anymore. But she’s currently on bravevto and has no fleas and is itching again now. So I’m thinking it’s ethier seasonal allergies or food allergies. I’m planning to out her back on Zyrtec and see how things go.

  • LunaLove

    i have fed this and go! around the same time when i was trying to find a new dog food…(still am)..my dog now seems to need anal glad expressions. has never needed them before. i noticed pinto beans in all acana products could that be the problem? i wanted this food to work. but i think overall it was too much for the dogs to handle..not the food fault at all. ive heard great things of this food and company.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Nutrisca has no potato. For more information about allergies go to the forums section here and search” allergies”.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Have you consulted a veterinary dermatologist?
    Consider intra-dermal skin testing. You can’t assume the symptoms are related to the food until you have ruled out environmental allergies, plus, the description of symptoms you describe sound like environmental/seasonal.
    I went through all this with a dog, that’s why I speak up, I wasted a year going back and forth to the regular vet, trying all kinds of different diets and silly remedies.
    Hair and saliva mail-in tests are not allergy tests, they are not diagnostic tools…..in case you wee thinking of going there.

  • Sean Lim Jz

    Could you guys help me? My guesses are my dog is allergic to either Salmon, Lamb or Potato but my guess is highly potato as he reacted to them badly in the past two foods that we changed. Was thinking of acana singles Duck and Pear or Pacific Pilchard! What do you guys think?

  • Diane

    It looks like you can order directly from the Koha web page, I just checked in the event you can’t find it in a store near your location!

  • Diane

    Yes go the Koha site and you can see if they sell it at a location near you. I checked Chewy.com also and saw they did not sell it. My babies love the pork stew and the lamb. I am also going to try the venison stew. There are not too many dry foods without potato so that is a problem for me but if your baby is ok with potato that is good! Stella and Chewys is a good food. I agree with you that Orijen and Acana are not what they use to be, it is really a shame because a lot of people now are taking their dogs off of those foods. I have never heard of Nutrience zero. Also,you may be able to order the Koha right from their site I can’t remember if I saw that option. I hope you are able to get it and try it as it seems to be a good food. I hope your baby continues to thrive, she is a big girl!!! Let me know if you find it near you or if you are able to order it. I will look again on their site. I know you can type in your zip code and it will give you stores in your area that carry it!

  • Alice Maida

    Hi, I’ve checked Chewy.com and they don’t carry the Koha. I will go to their website. I would also like to try the pork and possibly fish if they have that. My GSD is 100 lbs and She needs more than just canned food, she can eat potatoe, that is why I am feeding the Now. Her problem is chicken, chickpeas and the beans they include. I’ve also given her Bravo canned beef. Seems to be a high quality food. I am always looking for wet to mix in with the dry, or I use Stella and Chewys. In my opinion, Orijen and Acana have ruined a premium dog food. My girl really thrived on it. Still looking for a replacement. I’ve heard Nutrience zero is a good food but it is not available in the USA. Still trying to find it.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Have you consulted a veterinary dermatologist? Consider intra-dermal skin testing. You can’t assume the symptoms are related to the food until you have ruled out environmental allergies, plus, the description of symptoms you describe sound like environmental/seasonal.
    I went through all this with a dog, that’s why I speak up, I wasted a year going back and forth to the regular vet, trying all kinds of different diets and silly remedies.

  • Diane

    Yes mine became fussy as well. My boy who has the severe allergies will be 8 next month and my little girl will be 6. I think for now I will not give them any dry as I have tried just about premium food out there and after checking the ingredients and my little boy chewing his feet to death and getting bumps all over his body I stopped them. Be careful with the Royal Canine as that is not that great a food, not sure about their recalls either. I actually called every single company of the foods I bought to find out if any ingredients were from China and to my surprise a lot said yes, their vitamins and minerals were!! I stay away from anything that is outsourced. Even the Wellness dry I was feeding them told me they had a few ingredients in all of their dry formulas from China so I stopped that. The Acana and Canidae changed their formulas also and now people are having problems with their food. Blue Buffalo also just had 4 recalls in the past 2 months!! Stay clear of that food. I am honestly thinking the only way to keep our pets safe from some of this food is to cook for them so we know exactly what they are getting. I am stopping dry all together. I hope Lexee continues to do well without any issues.

  • Diane

    It really is terrible and most of these pet food manufacturers are adding so much crap to the foods God knows what is truly in them. I will continue to look but for right now I am not giving them any dry food at all. I get the Koha at the Pet Supply store near my house. You can go on their site and or possibly get it on Chewy.com. I have bought the pork stew and the lamb and the turkey stew so far. They also have venison and kangaroo which I didn’t try yet but it is the only food that I have found without potato, peas, chickpeas or any other ingredients in it that I didn’t want. It is a limited ingredient food and so far seems to be working out. I have my fingers crossed.

  • sharron

    it certainly is difficult, between me, mostly me and Lexee, she ended up being a fussy eater. Now that she is older, 8 yrs, she isn’t as bad as she was when she was younger. I have tried most foods on the shelves of pet stores and she didn’t like any of them.
    She does like Royal Canin, but that wouldn’t work for your buddies, it’s the chicken thing again. Lexee won’t eat straight dry, have to mix a bit of wet food with it, which is fine with me, she likes it and eats it.

  • Alice Maida

    Hi Diane, I am now feeding her Now fresh and I mix in Raw dehydrated and water.
    I think it’s terrible what they added to their formulas. It was fine before. Good luck. Let me know if you find another premium food. Where do you get Koha?

  • Diane

    Looking at that one now to see what is in it and if they can tolerate it. Thank you so much for all of your help I really appreciate it:)

  • Diane

    I know it is so hard!!! Because there are so many different things in the dry. The garbanzo beans also my dogs do not tolerate. I am at my wits end that is why I thought maybe no dry at all and just the Koha for now. At least then maybe I can truly eliminate what is bothering them

  • sharron

    how about the Natural Balance Lamb and Brown Rice formula

  • sharron

    i’m feeding Lexee the Venison and Sweet Potato formula. There are a couple i think that have garbanzo beans in them, i think that’s questionable for Lexee too as well as the chickpeas

  • Diane

    Mine can’t have potato or chicken fat so its very difficult

  • Diane

    Oh ok I can look into that food. So far they are eating the Koha wet. The Acana I bought I believe is the USA made and I have not read good things about it so I am returning the new bag. I believe a friend of mine also uses Natural Balance without problems. I will check the ingredients as my one dog can’t have any chicken or chicken fat.

  • sharron

    you are most welcome. the orijen and acana that i fed were the Cdn. formulas. I now have Lexee on the Natural Balance Limited Ingredients dry and wet, and is doing just fine.

  • Diane

    Yes I agree! I am finding this problem in most dry foods so I am stopping all dry and just going to give them the Koha wet which does not have potato, peas or chickpeas and I will cook for them. All of the dry foods I have researched have something in it that disagrees with them, even chicken fat so it is best I think I just make their food and supplement with the Koha wet which they like. Thank you for responding and helping me.

  • sharron

    hi – i fed orijen for a week that’s when the allergic reaction started, switched to acana singles, same thing. The only thing i can put finger on is the chickpeas. They are in all of the orijen and acana formulas

  • Diane

    My dogs both were chewing their paws after eating this food. I will not give it to them again

  • Diane

    Mine also, and bad. I bought this to avoid that problem and now its back

  • Diane

    I am getting my dogs off of this. I tried it, they have diarrhea and have not been right since trying it. I thought this was a good food but have done some research and the plant is horrible also Champion. No more for my dogs. I will cook for them first

  • Michelle Po

    And the bag size is 3.6 lbs less

  • Sydney

    Could be the plant switch to Kentucky from Canada. A lot of their formulas, sourcing and quality control have plummeted. Check out Nature’s Logic

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Could be conjunctivitis, he may need opthalmalic antibiotic ointment from the vet. Wash your hands, highly contagious.

  • ilnaix

    For the past 3 months I have been rotating between Lamb and Apples and Heritage Cobb Chicken and Greens for my 9 yr old Husky who has been gaining weight since neutered. He is currently on Lamb and Apples have I have noticed he has runny eyes, his discharge smells fishy / metallic and are dark in color, sometimes light yellowish or green. Could he be having allergy to the dog food? He has runny eyes but not as severe as recently. He was fine when he is on Orijen six fish but he gains too much weight on that so I decided to changed to Acana.

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    Yes, make an appointment with a veterinary dermatologist. Get an accurate diagnosis, then you can evaluate your treatment options.
    I’m not talking about mail-in saliva/hair tests, those are not diagnostic tools.

  • Shea

    My little dog is so itchy and has scabs especially on her chest and underarms. She’s currently on Acana Heritage Meats which she’s only been on for a couple of weeks. I tried this last year from Canada. Is there a chance this or something else might help Sadie with her skin issues?

  • I_Alexios

    I knew the formulas were switching over to the Kentucky facility for quite some time, but I bought a bag of the singles duck formula and didn’t realize it was the new US made food. My dog didn’t notice any difference, no problems at all. Nor did he have issues switching to the new Appalacian Ranch recipe. I rotate between the two. He’s doing great on them, and I actually like the new formulation a lot. Great food.

  • April French Leavitt

    You can still buy the Canada formula. You have to do the homework. I don’t know where you’ve been buying it but Chewy.com has it

  • Angela

    a 4.5 LB. bag is 16.99 on chewy.

  • Angela

    I cant believe this is on the list of “hypoallergenic” foods. Look at all the different veges and fruits in it, and the medicinal herbs they throw in……

  • Alice Maida

    My GS has itchy skin and paws on the new formula. Need to find a new brand. Such a shame.

  • Diane

    Do you like the food? Thanks and how are your dogs doing on it? Any itchy skin or chewing of the paws?

  • Diane

    I was going to try the Acana single as it does not have flaxseed in it which my dog may be allergic too but I am not sure. What is the cost of a small bag of the Acana single? I haven’t priced it yet. Thanks!

  • Amateria

    I’ve been seeing the price hikes on dog food all over the web a lot of people are very angry about it and all the companies say is their standard set of responses which at that point no one gives a damn anymore lol.
    Price hiking while reducing ingredients and bag sizes now who wouldn’t get angry with that.

    As to your first part it seems you guys are going downhill, they want to incorporate a new system here by the end of 2017 maybe it was 2018 that shows the exact country of origin of any ingredient in the food that is not from Australia.
    Personally I have not seen this labelling yet, but it would (I reckon) be nice to have it for certain foods.
    Would be especially nice for pet foods 😛

  • Sophie

    Great. Buh-bye GMO-free, antibiotic-free, e-coli and salmonella-free, human grade food for our dogs. (Not that we’ll be allowed to know what’s even in the bag, what with Congress passing bills to prevent labeling that informs us of what may be inside.) Also, despite being made in the USA now I notice the price hasn’t gone down any; in fact only this month I saw that ALL the premium dog food brands have increased by a hefty sum. No dollar or two hike either; I’m talking about $10 a bag for the 25-28 pound sizes. I am so sick of this ever-increasing greed taking over every single aspect of our lives. It’s nauseating.