CaniSource Grand Cru Dog Food (Dehydrated)

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Rating: ★★★★½

CaniSource Grand Cru Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.

The CaniSource Grand Cru product line includes 4 dehydrated 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.

  • CaniSource Grand Cru Grain Free Fish [A]
  • CaniSource Grand Cru Red Meat (4 stars) [A]
  • CaniSource Grand Cru Grain Free Turkey (5 stars) [A]
  • CaniSource Grand Cru Grain Free Pork and Lamb (5 stars) [A]

CaniSource Grand Cru Grain Free Fish recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

CaniSource Grand Cru Grain Free Fish

Dehydrated Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 30% | Fat = 17% | Carbs = 44%

Ingredients: Herring, white fish, buckwheat, fresh lamb liver, chickpeas, fresh apples, fresh carrots, sunflower oil, seaweeds, cranberries, calcium carbonate, tricalcium phosphate, a mix of herbs with anti-oxidizing properties, Saccharomyces cerevisiae extract (MOS), chicory root extract (FOS), beet extract, elderberry extract, yeast extract, Lactobacillus extract, thyme extract, niacinamide, choline chloride, zinc sulphate, ferrous sulphate, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulphate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vitamin A supplement, manganous oxide, vitamin D3 supplement, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, calcium iodate, folic acid, sodium selenite, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, citric acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis28%16%NA
Dry Matter Basis30%17%44%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%36%38%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 36% | Carbs = 38%

The first two ingredients in this dog food are herring and whitefish. Although they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, raw fish contains up to 73% water. After dehydrating, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, these items would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The third ingredient is buckwheat, a carb-heavy fruit similar to rhubarb and notable for its gluten-free seeds.

Contrary to popular belief, buckwheat is not a true cereal grain.

The fourth ingredient is lamb liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component. Although it is a quality item, raw organ meat contains up to 73% water. After dehydrating, 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 fifth ingredient includes chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

The seventh ingredient lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The eighth ingredient is 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.

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 three notable exceptions

First, yeast extract is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.

A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.

However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.

That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago1, the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.

So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.

In any case, since the label reveals little about the the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.

Next, this recipe contains chicory root. Chicory 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.

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.

CaniSource Grand Cru Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, CaniSource Grand Cru looks like an above-average dehydrated, raw dog food.

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 30%, a fat level of 17% and estimated carbohydrates of about 44%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 32% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chickpeas, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a notable amount of meat.

Bottom line?

CaniSource Grand Cru is a plant-based dehydrated dog food using a notable amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

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.

CaniSource Dog Food
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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Special FDA Alert

The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.

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Notes and Updates

11/07/2017 Last Update

  1. L-Glutamic Acid, FDA Select Committee on GRAS Substances