Cesar Bistro (Trays)

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆

Product May Have Been Discontinued
Unable to Locate Complete Label Info
On Company Website1

Cesar Bistro Dog Food gets the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Cesar Bistro product line includes five wet dog food trays.

However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these foods on the Cesar website, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.

  • Cesar Bistro Steak Florentine Flavor
  • Cesar Bistro Grilled Chicken Primavera
  • Cesar Bistro Tuscan Style Stew with Beef
  • Cesar Bistro Steak Tips Sonoma Style Flavor
  • Cesar Bistro Oven Roasted Beef Burgundy Flavor

Cesar Bistro Steak Tips Sonoma Style Flavor recipe was chosen to represent the others in the line for this review.

Cesar Bistro Steak Tips Sonoma Style Flavor

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 44% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 25%

Ingredients: Sufficient water for processing, chicken, liver, beef, meat by-products, brown rice, wheat gluten, starch, tomatoes, wheat flour, pea fiber, broccoli, spinach, salt, minerals (potassium chloride, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide), sodium tripolyphosphate, vitamins (vitamin A, D3, And E supplements, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate [vitamin B1], biotin), xanthan gum, added color, guar gum, natural steak flavor

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 8.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis8%4%NA
Dry Matter Basis44%22%25%
Calorie Weighted Basis36%44%21%
Protein = 36% | Fat = 44% | Carbs = 21%

The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The second ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.2

The third ingredient is liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The fourth ingredient 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.3

Both chicken and beef are naturally high in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog for life.

The fifth ingredient includes meat by-products, an item made from slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime striated muscle cuts have been removed.

With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this item can include almost any other part of the animal.2

Although most meat by-products can be nutritious, we do not consider such vaguely described (generic) ingredients to be as high in quality as those derived from a named animal source.

The sixth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The seventh ingredient is wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although wheat gluten contains 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The eighth ingredient is starch. The source of this starch is unknown but it is most likely derived from corn or wheat. Starch is most likely used here as a thickening agent.

The ninth ingredient includes tomatoes, a nutrient rich vegetable consisting of about 72% carbohydrates.

The tenth ingredient is wheat. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any 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 have much of an effect on the overall rating of this product.

With four notable exceptions

First, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

Next, wheat flour is a highly-refined product of wheat milling. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any dog food.

In addition, we find pea fiber, a mixture of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber derived from pea hulls. Aside from the usual benefits of fiber, this agricultural by-product provides no other nutritional value to a dog.

And lastly, the minerals here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Cesar Bistro Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Cesar Bistro looks like a average wet 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 44%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 25%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44% and a mean fat level of 22%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 25% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.

Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs as compared to a typical canned dog food.

Yet when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten, this looks like the profile of a wet dog food containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Cesar Bistro is a meat-based wet food using a moderate amount of named meats and anonymous meat by-products as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not 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.

Cesar 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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A Final Word

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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

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Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

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Notes and Updates

12/23/2016 Last Update

  1. As of 12/23/2016
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  3. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  4. Association of American Feed Control Officials