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Canidae Pure Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)

Mike Sagman  Julia Ogden

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Julia Ogden
Julia Ogden

Julia Ogden

Content Director

Julia is the content director at the Dog Food Advisor and responsible for the overall strategy of the website.

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Updated: July 10, 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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Canidae Pure Grain Free dry product range is made up of 11 recipes with ratings varying from 4.5 to 5 stars. The average rating of the whole range is 5 stars.

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
Canidae Pure Grain Free Real Salmon and Sweet Potato 5 M
Canidae Pure Grain Free Lamb and Pea 5 M
Canidae Pure Puppy Grain Free, Chicken, Lentil and Whole Egg 5 G
Canidae Pure Grain Free Duck and Sweet Potato 5 M
Canidae Pure Grain Free, Chicken and Pea for Healthy Weight 5 M
Canidae Pure Grain Free Bison, Lentil and Carrot 4.5 M
Canidae Pure Grain Free Chicken, Lentil and Pea 5 M
Canidae Pure Puppy Salmon and Sweet Potato 5 M
Canidae Pure Grain Free Lamb, Goat and Venison Meal 5 M
Canidae Pure Grain Free Wild Boar and Garbanzo Bean 5 M
Canidae Pure Grain Free Chicken, Sweet Potato and Garbanzo Bean for Senior Dogs 5 M

Recipe and Label Analysis

Canidae Pure Grain Free Real Salmon and Sweet Potato was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Canidae Pure Grain Free Real Salmon and Sweet Potato

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

33.3%

Protein

15.6%

Fat

43.1%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas, canola oil, suncured alfalfa, potatoes, natural flavor, minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), salt, choline chloride, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, mixed tocopherols (a preservative)


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 30% 14% NA
Dry Matter Basis 33% 16% 43%
Calorie Weighted Basis 29% 33% 38%

Ingredients Analysis

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 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 fifth 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.

In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that must also be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is suncured alfalfa a flowering member of the pea family. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s less common to see it used in dog food.

The eighth 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 three notable exceptions

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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Canidae Pure Grain Free Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33.3%, a fat level of 15.6% and estimated carbohydrates of about 43.1%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.

Which means this Canidae product line contains…

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-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.

Canidae Dog Food Recall History

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

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

Our Rating of Canidae Pure Grain Free Dog Food

Canidae Pure Grain Free 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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Highly Recommended

Sources

1: Association of American Feed Control Officials

A Final Word

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