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
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|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||27%||24%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||31%||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.
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.
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.
Please note some products may have been given higher or lower ratings based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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
12/08/2009 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