CaniSource Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest rating of four stars.
The CaniSource product line lists one dehydrated dog food. The recipe meets AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
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, herbs mix, garlic, vitamins & minerals (calcium, phosphorous, sodium, chloride, magnesium, copper, manganese, zinc, iodine, selenium, vitamin E, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxin, folic acid, choline)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||17%||45%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||36%||39%|
The first item in this dog food is pork and beef. Although this is a quality item, raw pork and beef contain about 80% water. During processing, most of that moisture is lost… reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After dehydration, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
Which brings us to white rice… the second and (more likely) the dominant ingredient in this dog food.
White rice is a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.
The third ingredient lists barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index (like rice), barley can help support stable blood sugar levels in dogs.
The fourth ingredient includes oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth ingredient mentions apples… a nutrient-rich, fiber-rich fruit.
The sixth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are loaded with beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient includes eggs… a desirable addition. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The eighth ingredient is ground flax… one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.
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, garlic can be a controversial item. Although the majority of experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic… especially in small amounts (as it is here).
Next, we find no mention of probiotics… friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing.
And lastly, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.
CaniSource Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, CaniSource Dog Food looks to be an above-average 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.
Near-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 dry dog food containing a moderate amount of meat.
Compared to the high-heat extrusion equipment used to make kibble, it’s appropriate to acknowledge this company’s low-temperature dehydration process.
CaniSource claims this method tends to preserve “all of the original nutrients” of the recipe’s ingredients.
CaniSource Dog Food is a grain-based dehydrated product using a moderate amount of beef as its main source of animal protein… thus earning the brand four stars.
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
01/14/2011 Original review
04/03/2011 Reclassified from dry to raw dog food
07/04/2011 Beef changed to pork and beef
09/16/2012 Last Update
- 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) ↩