Caru Dog Food (Cartons)

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Rating: ★★★½☆

Caru Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3.5 stars.

The Caru product line includes four dog food stews.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Caru Real Pork Stew [M]
  • Caru Real Turkey Stew [M]
  • Caru Real Beef Stew (3 stars) [M]
  • Caru Real Chicken Stew (2 stars) [M]

Caru Real Beef Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Caru Real Beef Stew

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 27% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 53%

Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, green beans, potatoes, carrots, peas, apples, sweet potatoes, tapioca starch, potato starch, tricalcium phosphate, sunflower oil, salt, vitamins (choline bitartrate, dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate, vitamin A palmitate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, cholecalciferol), minerals (zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, iodine amino acid chelate, selenium yeast)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 12.5%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis4%2%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%13%53%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%28%48%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 28% | Carbs = 48%

The first ingredient in this dog food is 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

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is beef broth. Broths are nutritionally empty. But because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food they are a common addition component in many canned products.

The third ingredient includes green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.

The fourth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fifth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The seventh ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The eighth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The ninth ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

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, sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

Next, 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.

And lastly, this recipe also contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Caru Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Caru Dog Food looks like an above-average wet 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 53%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 28% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Caru is a meat-based wet dog food using a moderate amount of beef, poultry or pork as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.

Recommended.

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.

Caru Dog Food
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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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

02/28/2016 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Truthy Truth

    Caru is a great dog food. No recalls. Human grade ingredients. Works great for all three of my dogs who each have different requirements. One is a Chinese Crested (a small breed with no hair) that is allergic to anything with chicken, and is very finicky. One is a senior Chinese Crested ( is half hairy, half hairless) and can’t digest to much protein. The third is a terrier mix, ( very high strung with a long list of allergies ). I mix Caru food with dry vegetarian kibble. The food allergy dog needs more protein so for her I add a second dry food to the mix of venison and kangaroo with apples. I also add a tablespoon of pumpkin a couple times a week. Pumpkin is a wonder food for dogs, it fights and/or prevents parasites and worms, it’s a good source of fiber, it is great to use when slowly transitioning a dog to new foods so your dog won’t get pancreatitis/diarrhea. Check your research before feeding your dog pumpkin to be sure you don’t exceed a healthy amount for your breed. This website gave a low rating to this dog food because it is not super high in protein. While other dog food brands got much higher reviews for being 95% protein or above which seems very miss leading and possibly dangerous unless you have high activity dog such as cattle dogs, working dogs, hunting dogs, racing/competition dogs, water dogs, sports dogs etc. Most of us though have dogs that live indoors or in a fenced yard and at most go on short walks. The author here seems to be bias to high protein dog foods, to much protein over time can be very dangerous and cause many medical issues in adult dogs, small dogs, dogs that get very little exercise and especially older dogs. The number one most common sign of over feeding protein is coughing or throwing up a yellowish liquid, other signs that might pertain to excessive protein are dark urine, runny eyes, weight gain, loss of energy, pancreatitis, excessive panting, and oily or greasy hair. Over a length of time to much protein causes severe kidney and liver issues so if you see these signs consult your vet right away. After years of research, trial and error, multiple trips to the vet, Caru has worked out great for me. If you really are that concerned and you landed here, and afraid my advice might not work for you, do your own research, don’t solely rely on the advice of one person, vet, or in this case, website.