Canine Caviar dry dog food receives the Advisor’s above-average rating of 4.5 stars.
The Canine Caviar product line lists five kibbles, two claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages, two for growth (Puppy) and one for adult maintenance (Special Needs Dinner).
- Canine Caviar Lamb and Pearl Millet Dinner
- Canine Caviar Chicken and Pearl Millet Puppy
- Canine Caviar Chicken and Pearl Millet Dinner
- Canine Caviar Special Needs Dinner (3 stars)
- Canine Caviar Lamb and Pearl Millet Large Breed Puppy
The Canine Caviar Grain Free product line is reviewed in a dedicated report elsewhere on this website.
Canine Caviar Lamb and Pearl Millet Dinner dog food was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Canine Caviar Lamb and Pearl Millet Dinner
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Dehydrated lamb, pearl millet, lamb fat (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) = 4.5%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||15%||50%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||33%||44%|
The first ingredient in this dog food includes dehydrated 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 ingredient lists 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 third ingredient is 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 fourth ingredient is dried 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.
Yet alfalfa can still provide some healthy nutrients to a 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, 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).
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.
Thirdly, we note the inclusion of fructooligosaccharide (or FOS), an alternative sweetener3 probably used here as a prebiotic.
Prebiotics function to support the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine.
And lastly, this food does contain 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 Dry Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Canine Caviar dry 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.
Due to the apparently lower meat content of the Special Needs Dinner, we have downgraded its rating to suit its lower protein content.
Excluding the lower rated Special Needs recipe, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 18%.
Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, 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 dehydrated chicken or lamb as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Please note certain products are sometimes given a higher or lower rating 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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However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits for your pet.
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Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.
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Notes and Updates
04/21/2010 Original review
11/21/2010 Review updated
01/17/2012 Review updated, recipe change
01/17/2012 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 ↩
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩
- Wikipedia definition ↩