Acana Singles Dog Food Review | Canada (Dry)

Rating:

Acana Singles Dog Food (Canada) receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The Acana Singles product line includes 4 grain-free dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.

  • Acana Singles Yorkshire Pork [A]
  • Acana Singles Free-Run Duck [A]
  • Acana Singles Pacific Pilchard [A]
  • Acana Singles Grass-Fed Lamb [A]

Acana Singles Grass-Fed Lamb was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Acana Singles Grass-Fed Lamb

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 35% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 40%

Ingredients: Raw grass-fed lamb (18%), lamb meat meal (18%), whole green peas, whole red lentils, raw lamb liver (4%), lamb fat (4%), fresh red delicious apples (4%), whole garbanzo beans, whole green lentils, whole yellow peas, raw lamb tripe (2%), raw lamb kidney (2%), dried lamb cartilage (2%), lentil fiber, marine algae (1.2%) (pure and sustainable source of DHA and EPA), fresh whole butternut squash, fresh whole pumpkin, dried brown kelp, freeze-dried lamb liver (0.1%), salt, fresh whole cranberries, fresh whole blueberries, chicory root, turmeric root, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rosehips, Enterococcus faecium, supplements: vitamin D3, vitamin E, zinc chelate, copper chelate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.7%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis31%15%NA
Dry Matter Basis35%17%40%
Calorie Weighted Basis30%36%34%
Protein = 30% | Fat = 36% | Carbs = 34%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb 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 lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.

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

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

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

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

However, raw liver 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.

The sixth ingredient is lamb fat. Lamb fat is obtained from rendering lamb, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Lamb fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, lamb fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The seventh ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The eighth ingredient includes garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (pulse) family of vegetables.

Garbanzos contain about 22% protein, something which must be considered when evaluating the total protein reported in this 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 affect the overall rating of this product.

With four notable exceptions

First, we note the use of additional green lentils and yellow peas, both quality sources of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, they contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, 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.

In addition, lentil fiber is 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.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Acana Singles Dog Food Review (Canada)

Judging by its ingredients alone, Acana Singles Dog Food (Canada) looks like an above-average dry product.

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 35%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 40%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 35% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 40% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the lentils, peas and garbanzo beans, this looks like the profile of a kibble still containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Acana Singles (Canada) is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

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.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Acana Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free recipes and dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

02/05/2019 Last Update