CaniSource Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The CaniSource product line includes two dehydrated recipes, 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 Red Meat
- CaniSource Grain Free Fish
CaniSource Red Meat was selected to represent both products in the line for this review.
CaniSource Red Meat
Dehydrated Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Pork, beef, white rice, barley, rolled oats, apples, carrots, eggs, flax seeds, spices (natural herbs), garlic
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 two ingredients in this dog food includes pork and beef. Although quality items, raw pork and beef contain 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, these items would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The third ingredient is white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.
The fourth 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 fifth 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 sixth ingredient includes apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The seventh ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The eighth 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 many favor the ingredient for its claimed health benefits, garlic has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1
In addition, garlic is also officially classified as “toxic to dogs” by the Poison Control Center of the ASPCA.2
So, even when used in only small amounts, one must weigh the questionable benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.3
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.
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 other recipe, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a notable amount of meat.
CaniSource is a plant-based dehydrated dog food using a notable 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.
A Final Word
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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.
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Notes and Updates
11/07/2014 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) ↩
- Garlic, Poison Control Center, ASPCA ↩
- Sharon Gwaltney-Brant DVM, Veterinary Toxicologist, Vice President and Medical Director, ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in an interview with Dr. Bernadine D. Cruz for Pet Life Radio, Pets Have a Real Taste for Danger ↩