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Canidae Pure Petite Grain-Free Dog Food Review (Dry)

Karan French


Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Updated: July 4, 2024

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Our Verdict


Canidae Pure Petite Grain-Free dry product range is made up of four recipes with ratings varying from 4 to 5 stars. The average rating of the whole range is 5 stars.

This range of products is grain-free and specifically formulated for small breeds. Each recipe contains premium proteins and a small kibble size, with a freeze-dried raw coating added for enhanced taste.

  • Antibiotic-free proteins
  • Committed to sustainability
  • No fillers
  • Expensive

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 Petite Puppy Dry Dog Food: Grain-Free Salmon Recipe for Small Breed Puppies 5 A
Canidae Pure Petite Dry Dog Food: Grain-Free Salmon Recipe for Small Breed Dogs 4.5 M
Canidae Pure Petite Dry Dog Food: Grain-Free Chicken Recipe for Small Breed Dogs 5 M
Canidae Pure Petite Dry Dog Food: Grain-Free Lamb Recipe for Small Breed Dogs 4 M

Recipe and Label Analysis

Canidae Pure Petite Dry Dog Food: Grain Free Chicken Recipe for Small Breed Dogs was selected to represent the other products in the line for a detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Canidae Pure Petite Dry Dog Food: Grain Free Chicken Recipe for Small Breed Dogs

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content







Chicken, chicken meal, peas, lentils, tapioca, chicken fat, garbanzo beans, natural flavor, flaxseed, choline chloride, taurine, freeze dried chicken, salt, zinc sulfate, potassium chloride, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, mixed tocopherols, niacin, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, sodium selenite, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, 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) = 4%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 29% 12% NA
Dry Matter Basis 32% 13% 47%
Calorie Weighted Basis 29% 29% 42%

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”. 1

Chicken is naturally rich in the 10 essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

 The second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

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

The fifth ingredient is tapioca, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

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

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

The seventh ingredient is dried garbanzo beans. Dried legumes, like garbanzo beans, are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried legumes contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The eighth ingredient is natural flavors, this doesn’t give us much information about the particular ingredients included in this dog food for flavoring purposes. 

We’re pleased that the flavorings used are natural, but more details are required to give any further information about these natural flavoring ingredients. Flavorings are used to make the foods more appealing and tasty for our dogs.

The ninth ingredient is 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.

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 the product.

This recipe has three notable exceptions.

First 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.

We note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.

Lastly 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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Canidae Pure Petite Dry Dog Food: Grain Free Chicken Recipe for Small Breed Dogs looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 32.2%, a fat level of 13.3% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 46.4%.

As a group, the brand features a protein content of 28.9% and a mean fat level of 14.4%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48.7% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 51%.

This means Canidae Pure Petite Grain-Free contains near-average protein, near-average carbohydrate, and below-average fat when compared to typical dry dog food.

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 Dog Food

The Canidae Pure Petite Grain-Free range is certainly worthy of the 5 stars the brand has earned in our review. The products are made with premium and sustainable ingredients and vet formulated.


Highly Recommended


Canidae was founded in 1996 by Scott Whipple and John Gordon, who met while working at a local pet store.

In 2012, Canidae acquired a manufacturing facility in Brownwood, Texas. Called Ethos, it’s one of the smallest pet food plants in the US, the company controls every step of manufacturing. It’s also a research and development centre equipped with a lab that tests all incoming ingredients and outgoing products.


1: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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