Review of Caru Classic Stews Dog Food
Caru Classic Stews Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Caru Classic Stews product line includes the 5 wet dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile when available… Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
|Caru Classics Beef Stew||3.5||M|
|Caru Classics Chicken Stew||4||M|
|Caru Classics Turkey Stew||4||M|
|Caru Classics Pork Stew||3.5||M|
|Caru Classics Turkey with Lamb Stew||4||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
Caru Classics Beef Stew 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.
Caru Classics Beef Stew
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, carrots, sweet potatoes, apples, potatoes, green beans, peas, tapioca starch, tricalcium phosphate, sunflower oil, salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement), minerals (zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, iodine amino acid chelate), selenium yeast, choline chloride, taurine, potassium chloride
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 11.1%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||28%||17%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||35%||41%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is beef broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The third ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The next 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 is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The sixth ingredient lists 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.
The next listing includes green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.
The eighth 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 ninth ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
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 Caru product.
With 4 notable exceptions…
First, 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.
Next, 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.
In addition, 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.
And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Before we conclude, it’s worth noting Caru Pet Food has taken the rather unusual step of applying for (and actually receiving) FDA approval to label its pet foods “human grade“.
The company only uses human-edible components and produces all its products in a human food manufacturing facility.
So, based on its ingredients alone, Caru Classic Stews Dog Food appears to be a superior wet product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 49% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 38%.
Which means this Caru product line contains…
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Our Rating of Caru Classic Stews Dog Food
Caru Classic Stews is a grain-free wet dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
Caru Dog Food
The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 related to Caru.
No recalls noted.
You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.
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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.
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
01/24/2022 Last Update