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 five canned dog foods, four claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for growth (Pure Foundations).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Elements
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Foundations
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Sky (5 stars)
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Sea (5 stars)
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Land (3.5 stars)
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: Lamb, lamb broth, turkey, turkey broth, chicken, peas, sweet potatoes, suncured alfalfa, cassia gum, carrageenan, salt, guar gum, choline chloride, minerals (dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, calcium pantothenate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||36%||15%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||61%||10%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Lamb is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second and fourth ingredients are lamb broth and turkey broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The third and fifth ingredients are turkey and chicken, both quality meat items.
The sixth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The eighth ingredient is sun-cured alfalfa. Although 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.
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 two notable exceptions…
First, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
And lastly, this food 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 41% and a mean fat level of 31%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 20% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 65%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a notable amount of meat.
Canidae Grain Free Pure canned dog food is a meat-based wet product using a notable amount of various named species 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.
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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For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
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Notes and Updates
07/09/2014 Last Update
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩