Canidae Grain Free Pure canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Canidae Grain Free Pure product line includes 5 canned 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.
Click the links below to compare prices at an online retailer.
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Sky [A]
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Sea (5 stars) [A]
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Land (3 stars) [A]
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Elements (3 stars) [A]
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Foundations (4.5 stars) [G]
Canidae Grain Free Pure Elements was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Canidae Grain Free Pure Elements
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Lamb, lamb broth, turkey, turkey broth, chicken, peas, sweet potatoes, agar-agar, potassium chloride, salmon oil, sunflower oil, salt, choline chloride, suncured alfalfa, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, ethylenediamine dihydroiodide, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, manganese proteinate)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||36%||15%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||28%||61%||10%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
The second and fourth ingredients are lamb and turkey broths. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common component in many canned products.
The third ingredient is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.2
Both lamb and turkey are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The fifth ingredient is chicken, another quality, raw item.
The sixth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The eighth ingredient is agar agar, a natural vegetable gelatin derived from the cell walls of certain species of red algae. Agar is rich in fiber and is used in wet pet foods as a gelling agent.
The ninth ingredient is potassium chloride, a nutritional supplement sometimes used as a replacement for the sodium found in table salt.
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 find salmon oil. Salmon 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, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
Next, we note the use of sunflower oil. Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
In addition, this recipe includes alfalfa, a flowering member of the pea family. 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.
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.
Canidae Grain Free Pure Canned Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Canidae Grain Free Pure Dog Food looks like an above-average wet 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 39% and a mean fat level of 31%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 23% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 78%.
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas and alfalfa, this still looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
However, with 61% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 28% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal. In addition, this same finding also prevents us from awarding the brand a higher rating.
Canidae Grain Free Pure is a wet dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
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.
Canidae Dog Food
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.
- Canidae Dog Food Recall (5/5/2012)
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.
Notes and Updates
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition ↩
11/21/2018 Last Update