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Review of Acana Singles Dog Food (Canada)
Acana Singles Dog Food (Canada) receives the Advisor’s mid-tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Acana Singles product line includes the 4 grain-free dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
- 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
Ingredients: Raw grass-fed lamb (18%), lamb meat meal (18%), whole green peas, whole red lentils, raw lamb liver (4%), lamb fat (4%), fresh 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, salt, freeze-dried lamb liver (0.1%), fresh whole cranberries, fresh whole blueberries, chicory root, turmeric root, milk thistle, burdock root, lavender, marshmallow root, rosehips, additives (per kg), : technological additives: tocopherol-rich extract of natural origin, nutritional additives: vitamin D: 500IU, vitamin E: 100IU, zinc proteinate: 160mg, calcium pantothenate: 12.5 mg, copper chelate of amino acids hydrate: 11mg, taurine 500 mg, zootechnical additives: Enterococcus faecium
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.7%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||35%||17%||40%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||36%||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 next 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, 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 item 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 Acana product.
With 5 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.
We also note the inclusion of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.
Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.
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)
Based on its ingredients alone, Acana Singles Dog Food (Canada) looks like an above-average dry product.
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%.
Which means this Acana product line contains…
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 notable amount of meat.
Acana Singles (Canada) 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 4.5 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.
Acana Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Champion Petfoods product. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
- “Last Update” field at the end of this review reflects the last time we attempted to visit this product’s website. The current review itself was last updated 08/11/2020 ↩