Canidae canned dog food gets the Advisor’s second-tier rating of 4 stars.
The Canidae product line lists five canned dog foods, four claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for adult maintenance (Platinum).
- Canidae Platinum (3 stars)
- Canidae Chicken and Rice
- Canidae Lamb and Rice
- Canidae All Life Stages
- Canidae Beef and Fish
Canidae Beef and Fish canned dog food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Canidae Beef and Fish Formula
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, beef liver, ocean fish, oatmeal, peas, pearled barley, brown rice, carrageenan, guar gum, locust bean gum, flaxseed oil (source of omega-3 fatty acid), dicalcium phosphate, calcium sulfate, salt, potassium chloride, suncured alfalfa meal, sunflower oil (source of omega-6 fatty acid), lecithin, beta-carotene, sage extract, rosemary extract, cranberries, Yucca schidigera extract, choline chloride, betaine, taurine, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, manganese proteinate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||27%||24%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||51%||18%|
The first item in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient lists beef broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.
The third ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient lists ocean fish. This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.2
Without more detailed information, it’s difficult to judge the quality of this particular ingredient
In any case, fish meat is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The fifth ingredient is oatmeal, a whole-grain product made from coarsely ground oats. Oatmeal is naturally rich in B-vitamins, dietary fiber and is also (unlike many other grains) gluten-free.
The sixth item lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.
The eighth item is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The ninth item lists carrageenan, a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there does appear to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
The tenth ingredient is guar gum, another thickening substance found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
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 have much of an effect on the overall rating of this product.
With three notable exceptions…
First, we mark the inclusion of flaxseed oil, one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.
Next, sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3′s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
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.
Canidae Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Canidae canned dog food appears to be an above-average wet 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 37% and an average fat level of 25%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate portion size of 30% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 69%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a canned food containing a moderate amount of meat.
Canidae canned dog food is a meat-based wet product using a moderate amount of chicken, lamb or beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Those looking for a comparable kibble made by the same company may wish to check out our review of Canidae dry dog food.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
12/07/2009 Original review
07/18/2010 Review updated
05/08/2012 Last Update