Canidae Grain Free Pure (Canned)

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Rating: ★★★★½

Canidae Grain Free Pure Canned Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Canidae Grain Free Pure product line includes four canned dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.

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

  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Sea
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Sky
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Land
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Elements

Canidae Grain Free Pure Elements was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Canidae Grain Free Pure Elements

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 41% | Fat = 27% | Carbs = 24%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, turkey, lamb, ocean fish, potatoes, peas, carrageenen, guar gum, locust bean gum, flaxseed oil (source of omega-3 fatty acid), dicalcium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, suncured alfalfa meal, calcium sulfate, sunflower oil (source of omega-6 fatty acid), beta-carotene, sage extract, rosemary extract, cranberries, Yucca schidigera extract, choline chloride, 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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis9%6%NA
Dry Matter Basis41%27%24%
Calorie Weighted Basis31%51%18%

The first item in this dog food lists chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common finding in many canned products.

The third ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The next two ingredients are turkey and lamb. Both are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The sixth ingredient is 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 seventh ingredient is potato. 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 eighth ingredient is 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 ninth ingredient is carrageenan is 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 next two ingredients are guar gum and locust bean gum, additional gelling or thickening agents found in many wet pet foods.

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 three notable exceptions

First, flaxseed oil is 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 Grain Free Pure Canned Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Canidae Grain Free Pure canned dog food looks like 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 41%, a fat level of 27% and estimated carbohydrates of about 24%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 39% and a mean fat level of 25%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 28% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 65%.

Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Canidae Grain Free Pure canned dog food is a meat-based wet product using a moderate amount of bison, poultry or salmon as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

Special Alert

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

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

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, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

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

Notes and Updates

12/08/2009 Original review
07/20/2010 Review updated
04/12/2011 Review updated (product re-named)
12/07/2012 Review updated
12/07/2012 Last Update

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

    I use and love Canidae Pure dry foods. A friend mentioned the wet foods and that even this formula canned has carrageenan..Can you tell me why carrageenan is not highlighted in this food’s list like the other foods? I am just learning about this supposedly controversial ingredient now, and I overlooked this food as being free from it only because it hasn’t been highlighted, my mistake. Thanks!

  • CruzanRum

    I’ve had my dog on Canidae grain free sea for over a month and have not had any issues…both wet and dry.

  • CruzanRum

    good to know

  • Karen Swensen Matinata

    I have a diabetic dog & this Canidae Pure Elements Grain free can food has been amazing helping his blood sugar. I also use the Grain Free Dry food >mixed w/ the can food for my Lab/Boxer mix & her coat is beautiful. Very happy w/ the product. K.M Orlando Fl

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  • SandyDuarte

    I think this website is so helpful and amazing. I will be getting a puppy (blue/fawn pit) soon in the next week or two, I’m so excited!! I went to the pet store and asked about Evo (because that is what the mother eats) and it was suggested to me Canidae Single-Grain Protein Plus. I saw that on the 5 star list for dry food so I’m very pleased. I was told I wouldn’t need a wet food, but my question is what would you suggest for a canned food just to give the dog variety once in awhile so she’s not always eating the same thing and getting bored with it. Should I stick with Canidae for a alternative or try one of the other brands you have listed above. What should I look for? Merrick looks very good but I wasn’t sure if I should go with a stew-type or just like an Evo 95% Beef?? She’s been eating Iams puppy dry and i will be slowly transitioning her to the Canidae, would wet food help that process? I appreciate any help, thank you.

  • Rain

    I believe they now also have Canidae Grain Free Pure Land and
    Canidae Grain Free Pure Sky.

  • Mark

    I use petfooddirect.com to buy almost all of my dog’s food and treats. they sell all the top brands, including Canidae. Orders usually arrive in 2 days! I have placed orders on a Sunday and received the delivery on Tuesday on many occasions. great site!

  • Peggy

    pet supermarket now carries canidae

  • Tamiko

    @Carol Denoble, go to canidae.com, go to their store locator, enter your zipcode and you’ll find your local retailers. Canidae is not sold in chain stores. I love Canidae products and recommend it to all my pet parent friends. I’m sorry but I’m just finding this site and you may have already resolved your question since its date stamp is 10/10. Good luck!!

  • http://www.garrettsdobermans.com Laura

    Amazon.com carries this canned food and shipping is free if you order 2 cases which puts you over $25 (to get the free shipping). I hate running to the store and love the convenience of Amazon!

    I was very happy when I stumbled on dogfoodadvisor.com and read the review on Canidae. Great – thanks!

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Carol… Unfortunately, we do not track the retail store locations for the thousands of dog food products reviewed on our website. However, I’m pleased to report the we have already begun work on our Dog Food Locator directory. In just weeks, you’ll be able to tap our online directory to find a local seller of the dog food you’re looking for… right from this website. So, be sure to check back soon.

  • carol denoble

    Where can I buy Canidae Grain Free Chicken I am located in Lynbrook NY 11563 I am currently giving “my girls” Nutro Ultra Adult. Happened to go on computer and read some poor reviews about the product…Searched and found the name of your company with rave reviews Would like to try it I usually go to Petco But am flexable Thank you Carol

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Andrew… I’m not personally aware of any consumer complaints regarding sickness with Canidae. Maybe one of our other readers knows something about the rumors.

    By the way, I also mix a nice canned food with a kibble when I feed my own dog.

  • Andrew

    I have a question regarding Canidae’s ALS grain free canned formula.

    According to this site:
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/canidae.html,
    there’s numerous complaints that both Wet & Dry Canidae foods have been making dogs “sick”. I got 8 cans of Canidae’s grain free canned formulas for free from a promotion, and after read the site above, I’m scared to try it. After around 2 months, I’ve finally found a dry kibble (TOTW) that didn’t make my dog have runny poops. I usually mix in a spoonful of Halo or Wellness Canned wet food, and add some warm water into her food, and she loves it.

    My primary concern is should I even try the canned food, and risk seeing runny poops again? And also concerned at the validity and legality of the site? I read somewhere on dog forums that the consumer complaints website above was run by Lawyers, so it may be biased? Any personal stories, information, or input would be great! For now, I’m putting away the free Canidae canned food away from reach. I’m also a bit concerned on why the Pet store was giving them away in the first place..

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Helen… hope to be providing advice about home made dog food in the future. But writing the reviews keeps me hopping pretty hard for right now.

    As far as recommending a good commercial dog food, stick with one of the three, four or five star foods… and definitely stay away from the one and two star groups. Canned food is great if that’s what your dogs prefer.

  • Helen McQ

    I have 2 yorkies, approx. 4 lb. One is 4, other is 7. Would like to make their dog food. Do you have good recipe. What commercial food is good for them. They are spoiled and like wet food, especially leftovers.