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Cesar Classics Dog Food Review (Wet)

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: May 1, 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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Cesar Classics Wet Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Cesar Classics product line includes the 15 recipe cups listed below.

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (puppy), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Recipe and Label Analysis

Cesar Grilled Chicken Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Cesar Grilled Chicken Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

47.2%

Protein

22.2%

Fat

22.6%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken, chicken liver, beef lung, chicken broth, water, pork by-products, chicken heart, calcium carbonate, sodium tripolyphosphate, carrageenan, potassium chloride, xanthan gum, magnesium proteinate, dried yam, dl-methionine, salt, erythorbic acid (preservative), grilled chicken flavor, guar gum, natural flavor, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, monocalcium phosphate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), sodium nitrite (for color retention), d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin D3 supplement, potassium iodide


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 9% 4% NA
Dry Matter Basis 47% 22% 23%
Calorie Weighted Basis 38% 44% 18%

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food 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 ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The third ingredient is beef lung. Beef lung is a protein-rich organ meat that’s also low in fat.

The next ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common component in many canned products.

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

The sixth ingredient includes pork by-products, slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of a slaughtered pig after all the prime 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

The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.

The seventh ingredient is chicken heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.

The eighth ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.

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 Cesar product.

With 3 notable exceptions

First, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.

The article, The Carrageenan Controversy, published in Scientific American, does a good job of addressing this topic.

Next, with the exception of magnesium, 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.

And lastly, we note the inclusion of sodium nitrite, a controversial color preservative. Sodium nitrite has been linked to the production of cancer-causing substances (known as nitrosamines) when meats are exposed to high cooking temperatures.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Cesar Classics Dog Food looks like a average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 47%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 23%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 48.5% and a mean fat level of 23.7%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 19.8% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.

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

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

We really like this dog food. However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include so many controversial ingredients in its recipe. Otherwise, we may have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.

cesar Dog Food Recall History

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

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

Our Rating of Cesar Grain Free and Grain Inclusive Dog Food

Cesar Classics lists both grain-free and grain-inclusive wet dog foods using a significant amount of named meats and organs as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

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Not Recommended

Sources

1, 2: Association of American Feed Control Officials

A Final Word

The Dog Food Advisor does not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration in preparing our reviews.

However, we do receive a referral fee from online retailers (like Chewy or Amazon) and from sellers of perishable pet food when readers click over to their websites from ours. This helps cover the cost of operation of our free blog. Thanks for your support.

For more information, please visit our Disclaimer and Disclosure page.

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