Cesar Filets in Sauce (Cups)


Rating: ★★½☆☆

Cesar Filets in Sauce Dog Food earns the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2.5 stars.

The Cesar Filets in Sauce product line includes three 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.

  • Cesar Filets in Sauce Prime Rib Flavor [M]
  • Cesar Filets in Sauce Filet Mignon Flavor [M]
  • Cesar Filets in Sauce New York Strip Flavor [M]

Cesar Filets in Sauce New York Strip Flavor was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Cesar Filets in Sauce New York Strip Flavor

Canned Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

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

Ingredients: Sufficient water for processing, chicken, animal liver, beef, meat by-products, wheat gluten, corn starch, wheat flour, pea fiber, salt, sodium tripolyphosphate, added color, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, magnesium proteinate, zinc sulfate, natural flavor, xanthan gum, natural new york strip flavor, guar gum, vitamin E supplement, biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), potassium iodide, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

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”.1

Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The third ingredient is animal 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.1

Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain 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.1

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergies impossible.

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 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 seventh ingredient is corn starch, a starchy powder extracted from the endosperm found at the heart of a kernel of corn. Corn starch is most likely used here to thicken the broth into a gravy.

Corn starch isn’t a true red flag item. Yet we’ve highlighted here for those wishing to avoid corn-based ingredients.

The eighth ingredient is wheat flour, 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.

The ninth ingredient is 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.

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 two 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?

And lastly, with the exception of magnesium, the minerals listed 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 Filets in Sauce Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Cesar Filets in Sauce looks like a below-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 when compared to a typical canned dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the wheat gluten, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Cesar Filets in Sauce is a meat-based wet food using a moderate amount of named meats and generic 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

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

12/22/2016 Last Update

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

    Thank you fo a few years-I thought oh if dog food is approved-its good-then i wacthed a vidio anbd looked up articls-on dog foods- Its asshamed how the industry-makes owners of small dogs feel their getting proper nutristion from these samall containers of ceser-wet or dry plus oh those kibbles & bits-thankfully I never tried that dry.
    I have 2 minture poodles and have had 2 other dogs-1 small mix 1 large,.
    I now look up everyword and ingridiant about any brand of dog food before giving them it. I lean more on my home cooked stuff now that I was given a proper couse on carefully cooking-balancing-and storing-a bacth of homeade every 2 weeks. Yep they get kibble-orhganic Acana a homegrown product from my own country.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Think of it as trying to make her food more specie appropriate.

  • Kinny Salas

    I’m ashamed to say I bribe my dog with Cesar GF Fillet Mignon mixed with Orijen when she won’t eat her healthy dog food. She finishes the whole plate with gusto!
    Even when she is sick and has little appetite she loves cesar so much she gets up and eats as much as her weakness would allow. It has kept her weight up and gotten her well.

  • dms48

    Where is Cesar’s food produced?

  • Pattyvaughn

    AAFCO doesn’t rate anything.

  • Iggy

    Has AAFCO placed a “star” rating on “Cesar’s Canine Cuisine” Porterhouse & Filet Mignon Flavor 3.5 oz trays?

  • Pingback: Gypsy's Vet Visit - Page 2 - Chihuahua Forum : Chihuahua Breed Dog Forums()

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi Donnmar, if you have a Costco membership, you should try Kirkland cuts in gravy canned. It is $18.99 for a 24 pack. It is a 5 star grain free food. It is made by Simmons Pet. You can check out the review for it on this site.

  • Donnmar

    My 13 yo Shih Tzhu will eat only Cesar gourmet meals. I am disappointed they only received 3 stars since they are pricey.

  • Pattyvaughn

    Making your own dog food really is best as long as you educate yourself about what a dog needs to have a balanced diet.  You can control the quality of the ingredients.

  • Raedaneen

    My little Shih Tzu is 9 yrs old, and has been on Cesar dog food all his life.  Because of all the recalls on certain brands, I no longer trust any dog food.  Though I haven’t seen anything that states that Cesar has bad ingredients, I’m disappointed that it has such a low rating.  I have started making his food from ingredients I use in my own cooking, using veggies and a little rice along with meats.  I also use little to no seasoning, as the broth from the meats seem to satisfy him.

  • Cpaters

    I noticed that when I bought a package of 12 (filet mignon and porterhouse in meaty juices), the package contained the AAFCO nutritional adequacy statement, even though the individual packages did not.  I also contacted the company to confirm that they met the AAFCO nutritional standards.

  • Sally

    my little griffon and shihtzu love this. I put it on top of blue buffalo wilderness small breed dry. My griffon does have a little gas but it’s not unbearable.