Crave Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Crave Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Crave product line includes 3 dry dog foods.

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.

  • Crave Chicken Grain Free [M]
  • Crave Lamb and Venison Grain Free [M]
  • Crave Salmon and Ocean Fish Grain Free [M]

Crave Chicken Grain Free was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Crave Chicken Grain Free

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 38% | Fat = 19% | Carbs = 35%

Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, chickpeas, pea protein, split peas, dried potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), lamb meal, salmon meal, natural flavor, dehydrated alfalfa meal, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried plain beet pulp, choline chloride, potassium chloride, dl-methionine, salt, mixed tocopherols and citric acid (preservatives), zinc sulfate, niacin supplement, biotin, vitamin E supplement, iron amino acid chelate, d-calcium pantothenate, selenium yeast, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), copper amino acid chelate, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), manganese amino acid chelate, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis34%17%NA
Dry Matter Basis38%19%35%
Calorie Weighted Basis32%39%30%
Protein = 32% | Fat = 39% | Carbs = 30%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The third ingredient includes chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.

However, chickpeas contain about 22% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fourth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 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 meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The sixth ingredient is dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.

The seventh ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The eighth ingredient is lamb meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The ninth ingredient is salmon meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

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, this food includes alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

Next, we note the use of sunflower oil. 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, 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.

Next, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Additionally, this food also 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.

And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.

Crave Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Crave Dog Food looks like an above-average dry 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 38%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 35%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 38% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 35% for the overall product line.

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

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the chickpeas, pea protein, peas and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing at least a notable amount of meat.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include pea protein in its recipe. Without this controversial ingredient, we may have been compelled to award this line a higher rating.

Bottom line?

Crave is a meat-based dry dog food using at least a notable amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically 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.

Crave 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.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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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.

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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.

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

Notes and Updates

07/04/2017 Last Update

  • NATHALIE

    I found a dog food that my little 8 lbs Morkie literally craves (no pun intended). Supermarket gave out free bag and I ordered second bag on line. It has been a long seven years and he jumps up in my lap and I know that he wants to eat. Maybe he will gain a few pounds finally.

  • Darci1990

    Thanks for the tip!

  • Amanda Constantine

    My dogs have done absolutely amazing on this food. They are both bulldogs and have allergies and sensitive stomachs. This they have had no problems digesting, they love the flavor and gobble it right up. It even has their coats looking so shiny and soft. Their poops have also been small normal, not smelly, and regular. I’ve been buying it at PetSmart. The biggest bag seems to always be on sale for 38 from 42 and almost every bag comes with a $5 off coupon for next time. Not bad for such a quality food!

  • Eduardo Huang

    I purchase one bag for my pup too at target, which they have a promotion on this. Currently discounted only $5.49 plus using the $5 off coupon from target cartwheel, end up only cost me $0.49 plus tax……greatest deal ever!

  • Esbe

    Our Martin’s Grocery (Giant Food) has just started carrying this brand and mailed out a coupon for $10 off a bag – which will mean I only pay $.99 to try it! Win, win!

  • Jessica

    They’re carrying this at my Target for dogs. I just saw it this morning.

  • Darci1990

    I just found this brand at Walmart recently, and bought it for my sister’s cat. I want to try this with my dog, but they didn’t carry it for dogs at my store. I’m so impressed by this food! It’s seriously TOTW or BB level quality. The cat is doing great on it, and has so much more energy and her poop is smaller and less smelly. I’m gonna get the dog food for Rosie too. Excellent food! Totally recommend!

  • Dog Food Ninja

    Haha, yeah, I was very active here for a couple of years, actually. I use to manage a pet store, and became intensely interested in dog and cat nutrition. I found this website to be the best, most objective source of pet food information on the internet. Dr Mike has truly done the world a service with this place.

  • haleycookie

    I was just creeping on ur profile earlier today when I saw a post you made a few years back. It’s been a long time since you posted haha. The doggo in your picture is really cute. 😀

  • Dog Food Ninja

    I’ve given my dogs a few bags of this food, as it’s the only 5 star food I can find near my home where we just moved. They have done very well with it so far. And with nearly 100 kcal/cup more than Taste of the Wild, it’s actually more economic. I’m disappointed that the lamb formula and fish formula both contain chicken meal as the second ingredient, which means I can never fully rotate off of chicken if I stay with this brand. Which, I won’t, it’s just going to be purchased more often than others because to get Earthborn, Evo, etc, I have to drive much further.

  • Carley

    But do they test on animals?

  • haleycookie

    Wowzers Mars can you just stop making all the other garbage you make and focus on this now. That’d be great.