CaniSource dehydrated dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The CaniSource product line includes one dehydrated dog food, a recipe claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
Dehydrated Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Fresh pork and beef, white rice, barley, rolled oats, fresh apples, fresh carrots, eggs, flax seeds, spices (natural herbs), fresh garlic
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 ingredient in this dog food is pork and beef. Although quality items, raw pork and beef contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
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 is 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 is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The sixth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The seventh ingredient is whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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, 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.1
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).
And lastly, we find no added vitamins or minerals on the ingredients list. We would assume these essential nutrients are provided by the food ingredients in the recipe.
CaniSource Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, CaniSource looks like an above-average dehydrated 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.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 59%.
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, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a moderate amount of meat.
CaniSource is a plant-based dehydrated dog food using a moderate amount of pork and beef as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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
04/05/2014 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) ↩