Cesar Classics Dog Food Review (Cups)

Rating:

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

The Cesar Classics product line includes 25 recipe cups.

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.

  • Cesar Turkey Recipe Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Oven Roasted Chicken Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Puppy Chicken and Beef Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar T-Bone Steak Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Chicken and Beef Recipe Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Puppy Lamb and Rice Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Scrambled Egg and Sausage Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Chicken and Cheese Souffle Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Smoked Bacon and Egg Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Grilled Steak and Eggs Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Rosemary Chicken Flavor with Spring Vegetables Loaf and Topper in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Ham and Egg Flavor with Potato and Cheese Loaf and Topper in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Top Sirloin Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Chicken and Liver Recipe Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Porterhouse Steak Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Grilled Chicken Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Filet Mignon Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Chicken and Veal Recipe Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Duck Recipe Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Lamb Recipe Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Rotisserie Chicken Flavor with Bacon and Cheese Loaf and Topper in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Angus Beef Flavor with Bacon and Cheese Loaf and Topper in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Filet Mignon Flavor with Bacon and Potato Loaf and Topper in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Porterhouse Steak Flavor with Peas and Carrots Loaf and Topper in Sauce [M]
  • Cesar Beef Recipe Classic Loaf in Sauce [M]

Cesar Filet Mignon Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Cesar Filet Mignon Flavor Classic Loaf in Sauce

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 50% | Fat = 22% | Carbs = 20%

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

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis9%4%NA
Dry Matter Basis50%22%20%
Calorie Weighted Basis40%44%16%
Protein = 40% | Fat = 44% | Carbs = 16%

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 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 fourth 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.1

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 product.

With four notable exceptions

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

Next, 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.

In addition, 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.

Cesar Classics Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Cesar Classics Dog Food looks like a average wet product.

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 50%, a fat level of 22% and estimated carbohydrates of about 20%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 47% and a mean fat level of 23%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 22% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.

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

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soy flour found in some recipes, this still looks like the profile of a wet dog food containing a generous 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.

Bottom line?

Cesar Classics includes both grain and grain-free wet dog foods using a significant amount of named meats as its main source 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.

Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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In any case, it is always our intention to remain objective, impartial and unbiased when conducting our analysis.

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Notes and Updates

07/22/2019 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials