Cesar Bistro Dog Food receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 3 stars.
The Cesar Bistro product line includes five canned dog foods.
However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these foods on the Cesar website, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.
- Cesar Bistro Steak Florentine Flavor
- Cesar Bistro Grilled Chicken Primavera
- Cesar Bistro Tuscan Style Stew with Beef
- Cesar Bistro Steak Tips Sonoma Style Flavor
- Cesar Bistro Oven Roasted Beef Burgundy Flavor
Cesar Bistro Steak Tips Sonoma Style Flavor recipe was chosen to represent the others in the line for this review.
Cesar Bistro Steak Tips Sonoma Style Flavor
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Sufficient water for processing, chicken, liver, beef, meat by-products, brown rice, wheat gluten, starch, tomatoes, wheat flour, pea fiber, broccoli, spinach, salt, minerals (potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide), sodium tripolyphosphate, vitamins (vitamin A, D3, And E supplements, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B1], biotin), xanthan gum, added color, guar gum, natural steak flavor
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||22%||25%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||36%||44%||21%|
The first ingredient in this product is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.
The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1
The third ingredient lists liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.
The fourth ingredient 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.2
Both chicken and beef are naturally high in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog for life.
The fifth ingredient is meat by-products, slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime cuts have been removed.
With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this stuff can include heads, ovaries or developing fetuses.1
What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. It doesn’t even specify the source animal. So, this meat can come from almost any slaughtered mammal.
Although meat by-products can be high in protein, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.
The sixth item is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The seventh item lists wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.
Compared to meat, glutens are inferior plant-based proteins low in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.
This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The eighth ingredient includes starch. The source of this starch is unknown but it is most likely derived from corn or wheat. Starch is most likely used here as a thickening agent.
The ninth item lists tomatoes, a nutrient rich vegetable consisting of about 72% carbohydrates.
The tenth ingredient lists wheat. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any 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 have much of an effect on the overall rating of this product.
With three notable exceptions…
First, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any dog food. Coloring is used to make the product more appealing to you, not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?
Next, guar gum is a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.
And lastly, the minerals 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.
Cesar Bistro Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Cesar Bistro looks like a below-average wet 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 44% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs as compared to a typical canned dog food.
Yet when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten, this looks like the profile of a wet dog food containing a moderate amount of meat.
Cesar Bistro is a meat-based canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats and generic meat by-products as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3 stars.
Those looking for a comparable wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Cesar Gourmet Filets dog food.
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
01/15/2010 Original review
08/19/2010 Review updated
05/27/2012 Review updated
12/25/2013 Review updated
12/25/2013 Last Update