Review of Acana Dry Dog Food
Acana Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest rating of 4 stars.
The Acana product line includes the 6 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
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|Acana Paleo Formula||4||A|
|Acana Feast Formula||4||A|
|Acana Freshwater Fish Formula||4||A|
|Acana Free-Run Poultry Formula||4||A|
|Acana Puppy and Junior Formula||4||A|
|Acana Light and Fit Formula||4||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Acana Free-Run Poultry Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
Acana Free-Run Poultry Formula
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken meal, whole green peas, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, chicken liver, chicken fat, catfish meal, chickpeas, whole green lentils, whole yellow peas, lentil fiber, eggs, pollock oil, natural chicken flavor, chicken heart, turkey liver, turkey heart, chicken cartilage, chicken gizzard, turkey gizzard, salt, mixed tocopherols (preservative), dried kelp, whole pumpkin, collard greens, whole carrots, whole apples, zinc proteinate, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, vitamin A acetate, chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rose hips, juniper berries, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.8%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||19%||40%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||39%||33%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains up to 73% 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 turkey, another quality, raw item inclusive of water.
The third ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
It’s important to note that the next 6 out of 10 ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legume:
- Green peas
- Red lentils
- Pinto beans
- Green lentils
- Yellow peas
Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.
If we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would likely occupy a significantly higher position on the list.
In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that must also be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient in this food is chicken liver, an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The eighth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.
Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The ninth ingredient is catfish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
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 Champion Petfoods product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, we find lentil fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from lentils. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.
Next, we note the use of pollock oil. Fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.
In addition, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
And lastly, with the exception of zinc, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.
Based on its ingredients alone, Acana Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, Acana features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 18%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 40% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.
Which means this Acana product line contains…
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the multiple legumes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a notable amount of meat.
Our Rating of Acana Dry Dog Food
Acana is a grain-free dry dog food using a notable amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include so much plant-based protein in its recipe. Otherwise, we would have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.
Has Acana Brand Dog Food Been Recalled?
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Acana.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Champion Petfood Brand Reviews
The following Champion dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Acana Classics Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)
- Acana Heritage Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)
- Acana Regionals Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Acana Regionals Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)
- Acana Singles Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Acana Singles Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)
- Orijen Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Orijen Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)
- Orijen Freeze Dried Dog Food Review (Freeze-Dried)
A Final Word
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
05/15/2021 Last Update