Canine Caviar Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Canine Caviar product line includes four dry dog foods, three claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages and one for adult maintenance.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Canine Caviar Free Spirit Holistic
- Canine Caviar Large Breed Holistic
- Canine Caviar Open Meadow Holistic
- Canine Caviar Special Needs Holistic Entree (2 stars)
Canine Caviar Large Breed Holistic recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Canine Caviar Large Breed Holistic
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Dehydrated lamb, venison meal, split peas, chickpea, pearl millet, lamb fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), coconut, sun-cured alfalfa, coconut oil, whole ground flaxseed, sun-cured kelp, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation culture, sodium chloride, lecithin, choline chloride, FOS or fructooligosaccharide (prebiotic), potassium proteinate, fenugreek, peppermint, glucosamine, taurine, zinc proteinate, papaya, rose hips, Yucca schidigera extract, anise oil, thyme oil, manganese proteinate, beta-carotene, vitamin D3, biotin, selenium, vitamins B2, B1, B6, B12, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||19%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||38%||38%|
The first ingredient in this dog food includes dehydrated lamb. Dehydrated lamb is considered a meat concentrate and contains more than four times as much protein as fresh lamb.
Plus (unlike lamb meal) dehydrated chicken is never exposed to high temperatures during processing, so it preserves more of the meat’s natural goodness.
The second ingredient includes venison meal. Venison meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh venison.
The third 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 fourth 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.
However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.
The sixth ingredient includes lamb fat. Lamb fat is obtained from rendering lamb, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Lamb fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, lamb fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The seventh ingredient is coconut. Depending upon the quality of the raw material, coconut is rich in medium chain fatty acids.
Coconut has been reported to have a beneficial effect on a dog’s skin and coat, improve digestion, and reduce allergic reactions.1
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 three notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed is one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, this recipe contains fructooligosaccharide, an alternative sweetener2 probably used here as a prebiotic. Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
And lastly, this food includes 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 Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Canine Caviar looks like an above-average dry dog food.
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 26% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the split peas, chickpeas, alfalfa and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Canine Caviar is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named dehydrated meats and meat meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
01/25/2015 Last Update