Canine Caviar Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Canine Caviar Holistic product line lists four dry dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Canine Caviar Holistic Special Needs (2 stars)
- Canine Caviar Holistic Lamb and Pearl Millet ALS
- Canine Caviar Holistic Chicken and Pearl Millet ALS (4.5 stars)
- Canine Caviar Holistic Lamb and Pearl Millet Large Breed Puppy
Canine Caviar Holistic Lamb and Pearl Millet ALS Dinner was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Canine Caviar Holistic Lamb and Pearl Millet ALS 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 is 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 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 third 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 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, this recipe contains 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.
In addition, 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.
Canine Caviar Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Canine Caviar Dog Food 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 26% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 56%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effects of the dried alfalfa in this recipe and the linseed, split pea and chickpea contained in the others, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Canine Caviar Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a moderate amount of dehydrated lamb or chicken as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Note: Although this recipe does not appear to have changed, we have lowered its rating due to the greater weight we now place on our estimate of the true amount of meat in the product.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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
04/21/2010 Original review
11/21/2010 Review updated
01/17/2012 Review updated
07/22/2013 Review updated
07/22/2013 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 ↩