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Crave Dog Food Review (Dry)

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

The Crave product line includes the 4 dry dog foods listed below.

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

Recipe and Label Analysis

Crave with Protein from White Fish and Salmon was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Crave with Protein from White Fish and Salmon

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

37.8%

Protein

18.9%

Fat

35.3%

CarbsCarbohydrates

White fish, chicken meal, lentils, split peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pork meal, fish meal, pea starch, salmon meal, natural flavor, dehydrated alfalfa meal, dried plain beet pulp, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, citric acid (preservative), mixed tocopherols (preservative), dl-methionine, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, sodium selenite, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, manganous oxide, potassium iodide, folic acid, rosemary extract


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 34% 17% NA
Dry Matter Basis 38% 19% 35%
Calorie Weighted Basis 32% 39% 30%

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is white fish. This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.1

Although it is a quality item, raw fish contains up to 73% 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 next two ingredients include lentils and peas. Both are quality sources of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

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

The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. This item 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 sixth item is pork meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

The seventh ingredient is fish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.2

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The eighth ingredient is pea starch, a paste-like, gluten-free carbohydrate extract probably used here as a binder for making kibble. Aside from its energy content (calories), pea starch is of only modest 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 Crave product.

With 5 notable exceptions

First, we find 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, 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.

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

Next, 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, this recipe contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Crave Dog Food looks like an above-average dry product.

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.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the lentils, peas, and alfalfa meal, this still looks like the profile of a dry product containing a significant amount of meat.

crave Dog Food Recall History

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

No recalls noted.

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

Our Rating of Crave Grain Free Dog Food

Crave is a grain-free dry dog food using a significant amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

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Highly Recommended

Sources

1: Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials

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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