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Acana Morsels and Patties Dog Food Review (Freeze-Dried)

Karan French

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Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Updated: June 7, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

Rating:
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Acana Morsels and Patties freeze-dried dog food is made up of eight recipes with ratings varying from 4.5 to 5 stars. The average rating of the whole range is 5 stars.

These recipes have one of the highest animal ingredient ratios of all Acana dog foods, and include organic produce like pears, butternut squash, and carrots.

Pros
  • Organic fruit and vegetables
  • Protein-rich ingredients
  • No artificial preservatives
Cons
  • Expensive

The table below shows each recipe in this range including our rating and the AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Acana Freeze-Dried Food, Farm-Raised Beef Recipe, Morsels 4.5 A
Acana Freeze-Dried Food, Chicken Recipe, Morsels 5 A
Acana Freeze-Dried Food, Free-Run Duck Recipe, Morsels 5 A
Acana Freeze-Dried Food, Turkey Recipe, Morsels 5 A
Acana Freeze-Dried Patties, Farm-Raised Beef Recipe 4.5 A
Acana Freeze-Dried Patties, Free-Run Chicken Recipe 5 A
Acana Freeze-Dried Patties, Free-Run Duck Recipe 5 A
Acana Freeze-Dried Patties, Free-Run Turkey Recipe 5 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

Acana Freeze-Dried Food, Free-Run Duck Recipe, Morsels was selected to represent the other products in the line for a detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Acana Freeze-Dried Food, Free-Run Duck Recipe, Morsels

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

46.3%

Protein

24.2%

Fat

21.5%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Duck with ground bone, turkey with ground bone, chicken liver, whole herring, pumpkin, natural fish flavor, chicken heart, turkey giblets (liver, heart, gizzard), calcium carbonate, turkey bone broth, organic butternut squash, organic carrots, organic pears, dried chicory root, turmeric, dried kelp, mixed tocopherols (preservative), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (zinc proteinate, copper proteinate), citric acid (preservative), rosemary extract


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 44% 23% NA
Dry Matter Basis 46% 24% 22%
Calorie Weighted Basis 37% 46% 17%

Ingredients Analysis

The first and second ingredients are duck and turkey with ground bone. Both meats are considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of duck or turkey “.1

They are naturally rich in the 10 essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life. And ground bone is an excellent source of natural calcium. 

The third ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fourth ingredient is whole herring, a fatty marine fish naturally high in protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every dog to sustain life.

The fifth ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.

The sixth ingredient is natural fish flavor. Natural flavors doesn’t give us much information about the particular ingredients included in this dog food for flavoring purposes. 

We’re pleased that the flavorings used are natural, but more details are required to give any further information about these natural flavoring ingredients. Flavorings are used to make the foods more appealing and tasty for our dogs.

The seventh ingredient is chicken heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.

The eighth ingredient is turkey giblets, the edible by-products of poultry slaughter. They include the gizzard, lungs, kidneys, heart, spleen, liver, ovaries and most other internal organs of the bird.

Although the thought of eating an animal’s internal organs may not be appealing to most humans, these unfamiliar ingredients can be considered a natural part of an authentic canine diet.

The ninth ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.

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 the product.

This recipe has three notable exceptions.

First, 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.

Since this recipe contains a number of organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line a more favorable status as we consider its final rating.

That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.

Here the details of the added vitamin sources are listed, used to balance the recipe against AAFCO guidelines.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Acana Freeze-Dried Food, Free-Run Duck Recipe, Morsels looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 46.3%, a fat level of 24.2% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 21.5%.

As a group, the brand features a protein content of 43.9% and a mean fat level of 28.2%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 19.9% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 64%.

This means Acana Morsels and Patties product range contains above-average protein, above-average carbohydrate, above-average fat, when compared to typical type of food dry dog food.

Acana Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Acana through June 2024.

No recalls noted.

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

Our Rating of Acana Dog Food

ACANA uses responsibly sourced high-quality ingredients in every recipe and contains no man-made chemicals or preservatives. The recipes rely on meat and vegetables for nutritional value and are supplemented with vitamins and minerals.

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Highly Recommended

About

ACANA is a cat and dog food brand owned by Champion Petfoods, a Canadian company. It was founded in 1985 by Canadian entrepreneur Reinhard Mühlenfeld. Originally a tiny operation serving local Alberta farmers, it is now Canada’s largest pet food manufacturer.

Sources

1: Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor from the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition

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