Which Canidae Grain Free Pure Dry Recipes Get
Our Best Ratings?
Canidae Grain Free Pure Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Canidae Grain Free Pure product line includes the 10 dry dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Recipe and Label Analysis
Canidae Grain Free Pure Salmon and Sweet Potato 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.
Canidae Grain Free Pure Salmon and Sweet Potato
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, lentils, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, peas, canola oil, potatoes, flaxseed, natural flavor, choline chloride, taurine, salt, mixed tocopherols (a preservative), zinc sulfate, potassium chloride, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, niacin, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, sodium selenite, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc proteinate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), ethylenediamine dihydroiodide, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||33%||16%||43%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||29%||33%||38%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is salmon. Although it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw salmon 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 salmon meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The third ingredient includes menhaden fish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.
The fourth ingredient lists lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, 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 sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The sixth ingredient includes garbanzo beans, also known as chickpeas. Like peas, beans 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.
The next 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.
It’s important to note that the last 3 out of 4 ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legume:
- Garbanzo beans
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.
The eighth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
Yet others cite the fact that canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
The ninth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
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 Canidae product.
With 5 notable exceptions…
First, we find flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, we note the use 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.
In addition, this recipe contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.
Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.
And lastly, with the exception of zinc, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually associated with higher quality dog foods.
Based on its ingredients alone, Canidae Grain Free Pure Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 16%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
Which means this Canidae product line contains…
Above-average protein. Near-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 flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a significant amount of meat.
Our Rating of Canidae Grain Free Pure Dog Food
Canidae Grain Free Pure is a dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 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.
Those looking for a quality wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Canidae Grain Free Canned Dog Food.
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Canidae Grain Free Pure Dog Food Recall History
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Canidae through December 2023.
- Canidae Dog Food Recall (5/5/2012)
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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More Canidae Brand Reviews
The following Canidae dog food reviews are also posted on this website:
- Canidae All Life Stages Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Canidae All Life Stages Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Canidae Dog Food Review (Dry)
- Canidae Grain Free Pure Dog Food Review (Canned)
- Canidae Under the Sun Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)
A Final Word
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