Acana Heritage Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)

Acana Heritage Dry Dog Food

Acana Heritage Dog Food Review

Rating:

Acana Heritage Dog Food (Canada) receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Acana Heritage product line includes the 9 dry dog foods listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product Rating AAFCO
Acana Heritage Adult Dog 5 A
Acana Heritage Puppy Small Breed 5 A
Acana Heritage Light and Fit 5 M
Acana Heritage Senior Dog 5 M
Acana Heritage Puppy and Junior 5 A
Acana Heritage Puppy Large Breed 5 A
Acana Heritage Adult Small Breed 5 A
Acana Heritage Adult Large Breed 5 A
Acana Heritage Sport and Agility 5 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

Acana Heritage Adult Small Breed 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 Heritage Adult Small Breed

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 35% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 38%

Ingredients: Fresh chicken meat (12 %), chicken meal (12 %), turkey meal (12 %), red lentils, whole green peas, field beans, chicken fat (5 %), fresh chicken giblets (liver, heart, kidney) (4 %), herring meal (4 %), fresh eggs (4 %), fresh whole flounder (4 %), herring oil (2 %), sun-cured alfalfa (2 %), green lentils (2 %), whole yellow peas, pea fiber, fresh chicken cartilage (1 %), dried brown kelp, fresh whole pumpkin, fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole parsnips, fresh kale, fresh spinach, fresh mustard greens, fresh turnip greens, fresh whole carrots, fresh Red Delicious apples, fresh Bartlett pears, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, fresh whole cranberries, fresh whole blueberries, chicory root, turmeric, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rose hips, additives (per kg), : technological additives: tocopherol rich extract of natural origin. Nutritional additives: zinc chelate of amino acids hydrate: 100 mg. Zootechnical additives: Enterococcus faecium

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.7%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis31%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis35%19%38%
Calorie Weighted Basis29%39%31%
Protein = 29% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 31%

Ingredient Analysis

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 chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient is turkey meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The fourth ingredient includes red lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

The sixth item includes beans, legumes naturally high in dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

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

The next ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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 eighth ingredient includes giblets (liver, heart, kidney), the edible by-products of poultry slaughter. This item can include the gizzard, brain, lungs, kidneys, heart, spleen, liver, ovaries and other visceral organs.

Though the thought of eating an animal’s internal organs probably wouldn’t appeal to most humans, these grisly-sounding ingredients can all be considered a natural part of an authentic ancestral diet.

Giblets are an acceptable (although less costly) meat ingredient. Although it is a quality item, raw organ meat 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 ninth ingredient is herring 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 line.

With 5 notable exceptions

First, it’s important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legume:

  • Red lentils
  • Green peas
  • Field 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.

Next, we find dried alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

In addition, pea fiber is a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

Next, this food includes chicory root. Chicory 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, this food contains one chelated mineral, a mineral that has been chemically attached to protein. This makes it easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Acana Heritage Dog Food (Canada) looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 35%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 38%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 37% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 36% for the overall product line.

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

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 legumes and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.

Our Rating of Acana Dog Food

Acana Heritage (Canada) is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

Has Champion Dog Food Been Recalled?

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Champion Petfoods.

No recalls noted.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

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More Champion Petfoods Reviews

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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.

References

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials

11/21/2020 Last Update