Crave dog food cups receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Crave product line includes 4 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.
Use links below to compare price and package sizes at an online retailer.
- Crave Beef Pate with Shreds of Real Chicken [M]
- Crave Turkey Pate with Shreds of Real Chicken [M]
- Crave Chicken Pate with Shreds of Real Chicken [M]
- Crave Turkey and Lamb with Shreds of Real Chicken [M]
Crave Turkey and Lamb with Shreds of Real Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Crave Turkey and Lamb with Shreds of Real Chicken
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Turkey, chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, lamb, dried egg product, chicken heart, carrageenan, dried plain beet pulp, potassium chloride, flaxseed, dried yam, tricalcium phosphate, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), calcium carbonate, brewers dried yeast, xanthan gum, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, dried pomegranate, blueberry pomace, cranberry pomace, dried carrot, tomato pomace, magnesium sulfate, guar gum, vitamin E supplement, dried pumpkin, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, ascorbic acid, magnesium proteinate, sodium selenite, potassium iodide, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, cobalt proteinate, vitamin B12 supplement, mixed tocopherols and citric acid, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, rosemary extract
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||55%||32%||6%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||40%||56%||4%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1
Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second 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 addition component in many canned products.
The third ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.2
Chicken is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The fourth ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fifth ingredient is lamb, another quality, raw item.
The sixth ingredient lists dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.
In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
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 lists carrageenan, 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.
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 six notable exceptions…
First, we find flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
Next, 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.
In addition, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.
Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.
Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.
In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.
In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.
What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
We also note this recipe contains fruit and vegetable pomace, the solid by-product of fruits and vegetables after pressing for juice or oil. This item contains the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems of the fruit.
Pomace can be a controversial ingredient. Some praise pomace for its high fiber, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough vegetable pomace here to make much of a difference.
Next, beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.
Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.
We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.
And lastly, 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.
Crave Dog Food Cups Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Crave Dog Food looks like an above-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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 53% and a mean fat level of 30%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 9% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a wet dog food containing an abundance of meat.
Crave is a meat-based wet dog food using a significant amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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.
Crave Dog Food
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.
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.
Notes and Updates
04/24/2018 Last Update