Canidae Grain Free Pure Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Canidae Grain Free Pure product line includes four dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for adult maintenance.
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 Elements
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Land (4 stars)
Canidae Grain Free Pure Elements was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Canidae Grain Free Pure Elements
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb, turkey meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, peas, chicken fat, menhaden fish meal, potatoes, suncured alfalfa, natural flavor, minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), choline chloride, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, mixed tocopherols (a natural source of vitamin E)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||36%||20%||36%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||40%||30%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb 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 turkey meal. Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.
The third ingredient is chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is 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 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 chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The eighth ingredient is menhaden fish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate..
Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The ninth 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.
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, alfalfa is a flowering member of the pea family. Although alfalfa is more commonly associated with cattle feeds, it can still provide healthy nutrients to any dog food.
Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Canidae Grain Free Pure 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 40% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.
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 chickpeas, peas and alfalfa, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
Canidae Grain Free Pure is a meat-based dry dog food using a notable amount of named meats and meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Those looking for a quality wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Canidae Grain Free Canned 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
12/06/2009 Original review
07/17/2010 Review updated
11/09/2010 Upgraded (ethoxyquin free)
04/12/2011 Review updated (major product line change)
12/07/2012 Review updated
11/02/2013 Review updated
11/02/2013 Last Update