Canine Caviar Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s above average rating of 4.5 stars.
The Canine Caviar Grain Free product line lists 5 dry dog foods, four claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for growth (Puppy).
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Canine Caviar Open Sky Grain Free Dinner
- Canine Caviar Wilderness Grain Free Dinner
- Canine Caviar Wild Ocean Grain Free Dinner
- Canine Caviar Free Range Buffalo Grain Free Dinner
- Canine Caviar Chicken and Split Pea Grain Free Puppy Dinner
Canine Caviar Open Sky Grain Free Dinner was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Canine Caviar Grain Free Open Sky Dinner
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Duck meal, chickpea, duck fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), menhaden oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), sun-cured alfalfa, Aspergillus niger fermentation culture, Aspergillus oryzae fermentation culture, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation culture, sun-cured kelp, fos (prebiotic), calcium proteinate, sodium chloride, lecithin, choline chloride, parsley, fenugreek, peppermint, taurine, selenium, whole clove garlic, vitamin E, zinc proteinate, vitamin C, papaya, rose hips, Yucca schidigera extract, niacin, beta-carotene, manganese proteinate, vitamin D3, biotin, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B12, potassium proteinate, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.6%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||32%||16%||44%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||34%||38%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is duck meal. Duck meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh duck.
The second ingredient includes 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.
Even though chickpeas contain about 22% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The third ingredient lists duck fat. Duck fat is obtained from rendering duck, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Duck fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, duck fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The fourth item lists menhaden oil. Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. Their oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids, two high quality fats boasting the highest bio-availability to both dogs and humans.
What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as is typical with deeper water species.
The fifth ingredient is alfalfa, 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.
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 four notable exceptions…
First, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide (or FOS), an alternative sweetener1 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
Next, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.2
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
Thirdly, the company appears to have applied friendly bacteria to the surface of the kibble after cooking. These special probiotics are used to enhance a dog’s digestive and immune functions.
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.
Canine Caviar Grain Free Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Canine Caviar Grain Free Dog Food looks to be an above-average kibble.
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 32% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 41% for the overall product line.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbohydrates when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chickpeas, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Canine Caviar Grain Free Dog Food is a meat-based kibble using a moderate amount of species-specific meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Those looking for a grain-based product from the same company may wish to visit our review of Canine Caviar 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
04/22/2010 Original review
11/21/2010 Review updated
01/19/2012 Review updated (new products, new recipes)
01/19/2012 Last Update