CaniSource Grand Cru Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The CaniSource Grand Cru product line includes two dehydrated, raw recipes, 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.
- CaniSource Grand Cru Red Meat
- CaniSource Grand Cru Grain Free Fish
CaniSource Grand Cru Red Meat was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
CaniSource Grand Cru Red Meat
Dehydrated Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Fresh pork and beef, white rice, whole barley, rolled oats, fresh apples, fresh carrots, fresh eggs, ground flax seeds, tricalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, antioxidant herbal mix, garlic, Saccharomyces cerevisiae extract (MOS), chicory root extract (FOS), beet extract, elderberry extract, yeast extract, Lactobacillus extract, thyme extract, choline chloride, zinc sulphate, ferrous sulphate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, niacinamide, calcium pantothenate, copper sulphate, manganous oxide, vitamin A supplement, copper proteinate, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, sodium selenite, vitamin B12 supplement, citric acid, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||17%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||36%||39%|
The first ingredient in this dog food includes both pork and beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
And pork can be defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered pork” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.2
Both pork and beef are naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.
The third ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient includes rolled oats, whole oats that have been rolled and flattened into flakes. Since they’re minimally processed, rolled oats are exceptionally high in dietary fiber and nutritional value.
The fifth ingredient includes apples, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The sixth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient lists whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The eighth ingredient is flaxseed, 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.
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…
So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.
Next, this recipe contains chicory root. Chicory is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
In addition, we note the inclusion of yeast extract, which is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.
A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.
However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.
That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago4, the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.
So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.
In any case, since the label reveals little about the the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.
And lastly, this food 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.
CaniSource Grand Cru Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, CaniSource Grand Cru looks like an above-average dehydrated, raw 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 30% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed in this recipe and the chickpeas in the fish recipe, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.
CaniSource Grand Cru is a plant-based dehydrated dog food using a moderate amount of pork, beef and fish 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.
CaniSource Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.
Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.
Dog Food Coupons
Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.
Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.
A Final Word
The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.
The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.
Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.
We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.
Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.
However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.
For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
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.
In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.
However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.
Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.
Notes and Updates
05/07/2016 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of meat by the Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- 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) ↩
- L-Glutamic Acid, FDA Select Committee on GRAS Substances ↩