Cesar Bistro (Canned)


Rating: ★★★☆☆

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

Protein = 44% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 25%

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
Guaranteed Analysis8%4%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%22%25%
Calorie Weighted Basis36%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, an item made from slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the striated muscle cuts have been removed.

With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this item can include almost any other part of the animal.1

Although most meat by-products can be nutritious, we do not consider such vaguely described (generic) ingredients to be as high in quality as those derived from a named animal source.

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 25%.

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.

Bottom line?

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.

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 almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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.

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.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

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

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  3. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • sharron

    hi – threw out the food that was in her bowl since last night – gave her fresh at dinner – seems she leaning towards eating once a day

  • Dori

    Please don’t let the food sit in her bowl too long. It could go rancid. If she’s not eaten for a couple of days I would consult a vet just to make sure there isn’t an underlying health issue that can not readily be seen. Your dog is too little to go too long without food.

  • sharron

    hi dori – thanks for your comments
    lexee isn’t sick – she’s being difficult – went through about 3/4 of a bag of royal canin moderate calorie, wouldn’t eat it anymore, no matter what i mixed with it – i bought trial size bags of acana, won’t touch it – she’s had it before many times – so i haven’t given in like i have had done in the past – it is still sitting in her bowl

  • Dori

    IMHO Cesar dog food is not acceptable for any size dog. As far as your dog being on a hunger strike, just as humans when they don’t feel well miss a meal or two, it’s not unusual for dogs to do the same. Some people on DFA actually fast their dogs for an entire day or a little longer once a week so it’s no big deal if your dog misses a meal or two. Just keep an eye on her and initially don’t panic, maybe she’s just under the weather or her tummy’s upset. I certainly wouldn’t let her go for more than two days without eating. Just make sure she is drinking plenty of water and is urinating. That’s very important.

  • sharron

    i have a question for you – lexee my yorkie/chihuahua has decided to go on a hunger strike – her last meal was last night – she is NOT sick – just won’t eat the acana or the orijen either plain, with can or with can and veggies – i know she likes the cesar dry not the canned food – you can get dry in canada – two things i would like to know – 1. how long do i let her go without eating – i have acana still sitting in her bowl and 2. how bad is cesar dog food for small dogs
    thanks for any help you can give me

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

    I’m sorry, did I say “all” dogs don’t feel the affects of salmonella? No? That’s right, I said there’s a “good chance” a dog wouldn’t.”

    All dogs arent’ my dog, or anyone else’s dog so why not be mindful. Where is the pointlessness?

  • BryanV21

    What does that mean? Who’s saying you should take a chance with your dog? Yeah, I’m not going any further with this, because I can already tell that it’s going to be pointless for me to do so. I said what I wanted to say.

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

    and I wouldn’t take the chance one of the loves of my life wouldn’t 

  • BryanV21

    I’m sorry, did I say “all” dogs don’t feel the affects of salmonella? No? That’s right, I said there’s a “good chance” a dog wouldn’t.

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

    and do see. 

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

    My neighbors dog almost died of Salmonella. 

  • BryanV21

    Standards should be high for dog food, but no need for them to be the same. To put it simply, a dog can eat things humans can’t. If I ate something tainted by salmonella I’m in for some hurt. If a dog ingested salmonella there’s a good chance they won’t feel any affects from it. Our digestive systems are different.

    I just don’t like a general statement like that, as it can give people the wrong idea. I wouldn’t eat raw meat, but that doesn’t mean I have to cook my dog’s chicken. I wouldn’t eat turkey necks, but plenty of raw feeders give them to their pups. Raw bones? Hell no, I ain’t putting that in my mouth. Some dogs love ‘em though. 

    See what I mean?

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

    AND shutting it out doesn’t make it true or untrue. IMO. 

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

    not that WHAT I eat is the same as a dog, obviously they shouldn’t have a lot of what I eat. HOW the food is processed = healthiness. What’s IN that processed food = healthiness. Etc.

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

    out of context apparently, meaning that what I would eat and what dog would eat should be equivalent in health standards. Chemicals, death, etc. 

  • BryanV21

    That’s funny, because a lot of what a dog would eat I wouldn’t. Does that mean I should be more picky about what I put in my mouth?

    The point is, dogs and humans are different. It’s been said, what feels like, a million times. I’m not saying dogs shouldn’t get human-grade food, but anytime somebody compares humans and dogs I tend to shut them out. 

    You see, it’s not about what I would or wouldn’t eat. It’s about what’s good or not good for DOGS. For example, Orijen is a really good dog food, but guess what? I’m not going to eat it. Does that mean it’s not good for a dog? No.

    So how about we get back to what’s good or bad for DOGS, and leave what’s good or bad for humans out of it? M’kay?

  • Shawna

    Hi Scott ~~ I would LOVE to know the information myself however it is above and beyond the call of duty for Mike to research and provide that information for us. 

    Honestly, I would buy ALL of my meats (for humans and dogs) from Joel Salatin if I could but I’m in Nebraska so not going to happen :)..  I raw feed and do look for foods that are grass finished and organically raised.  But again, I don’t expect Mike to provide that research for me. 

    I would also have to assume that not many of the 4 and especially 5 star kibbles have produce that is organic and meat that is raised organically, grass finished and humanely slaughtered..  The cost of such a kibble would make it out of the price range for many, if not most.  Foods that do use a lot of organic products do so at the expense of biological appropriateness — aka low protein.

  • LabsRawesome

     If you mean the use of the word M A N Y, you wrote it that way first, I just copied you. You’re a little touchy, don’t you think? Anyway, I really am interested in what you have to say, concerning info/sourcing.

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

    Most organic food stores have some meat that is user watched “Organic” and “Humane.” Also my local Farmer’s market from the central valley, CA, not the falsely advertised “happy cows.”

    I have a list of:

    “Before Grain” is a maybe
    “blue buffalo”

    There are more…

    Conflict was obvious in your commentary. I think it’s apparent. 

  • LabsRawesome

     How is asking for the names of the companies, that you know of, that humanely raise meat confrontational? You brought it up. So I was interested in the info, that you claimed to have. I think you need to look up the meaning of the word “confrontational”.

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

    obviously you like confrontation. 

    pass. when you are ready to discuss food responsibility, will talk. 

  • LabsRawesome

     That great. Why don’t you share the names of the   M A N Y companies that have humane farms, then?

  • http://lifencompass.com Scott @ Lifencompass

    Actually I normally buy meat myself, from a source I know, and make the food myself. There are MANY companies that have humane farms, M A N Y. 

    Three vets I have been to have said, if you wont eat it, don’t feed it to your dog.

  • LabsRawesome

     Scott, are you serious? Do you really expect Dr. Mike to have the info that you are requesting? Buy a human grade dog food, and you might be able to find out that info from the manufacturer….. OH WAIT, they allow pink slime & meat glue in “human grade” meat, so GOD only knows what is acceptable in dog food. I guess you’re going to have to raise the meat yourself, to know for sure.

  • Sue Granat

    Is Ceasar dog food formulated to meet the nutritional levels by the AAFCO Dog food nutrient profiles

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  • Jonathan

    Linda: as we told the other poster looking for coupons… the dog food advisor is an independent reviewer of dog foods who is neither connected with any dog food company, nor has any coupons to hand out…

  • Linda Grandi

    I too woulod like to know if you have any coupons for the Caesar dog food. My dog loves it. Its the omly one she doesnt vomit with. Thank you.

  • Bd

    My Pitty mix, Isaac, had exploratory surgery a while ago. He would not eat anything. Nothing. At. All. He was on IVs for days and lost 10+lbs. I got Cesar Bistro Steak Tips Sonoma for him, and he ate it! I’m loving the protein matter in this food too, something he desperately needs. Now I purchased mostly all of the other flavors in the Bistro series as well.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Richard… We don’t make or sell this or any dog food brand. We only review them here. Try contacting Cesar’s customer service department. They should be able to help you get your coupons.

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Jonathan… You’re right to warn him. I’ve deleted Mr. Mohr’s address information for his own safety.

  • Jonathan

    And you should be careful with information you put out on the internet buddy! You could end up with a ton of junk mail.

  • Jonathan

    Dude, this is a dog food reviewing website.

  • richard mohr

    my dog really loves your dog food it’s the only dog food he will eat how can i get coupons for it ceasers and bistro maybe you can send the coupons to me. richard mohr [address deleted by editor]