Great Canadian Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★☆☆☆

The Great Canadian Dog Food dog food receives the Advisor’s second-lowest tier rating of 2 stars.

The Great Canadian Dog Food product line includes six dry recipes.

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.

  • Great Canadian Dog Food Performance [U]
  • Great Canadian Dog Food Lamb and Rice [U]
  • Great Canadian Dog Food Premium Canine [U]
  • Great Canadian Dog Food Canine Maintenance [U]
  • Great Canadian Dog Food Country Maintenance (1.5 stars) [U]
  • Great Canadian Dog Food Chicken and Brown Rice (3.5 stars) [U]

Great Canadian Dog Food Lamb and Rice was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Great Canadian Dog Food Lamb and Rice

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 26% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 51%

Ingredients: Lamb meal, rice, wheat, middlings, chicken fat preserved with vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), wheat shorts, corn gluten meal, poultry meal, calcium carbonate, sodium chloride, yeast, sodium bentonite, betaine hydrochloride, potassium chloride, natural chicken liver flavour, ferrous sulphate, zinc oxide, vitamin E supplement, copper sulphate, folic acid supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin A supplement, niacin supplement, selenium, manganese oxide, calcium pantothenate supplement, riboflavin, menadione metabisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), biotin supplement, vitamin D supplement, calcium iodate

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis23%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis26%16%51%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%33%45%
Protein = 22% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 45%

The first ingredient in this dog food is lamb meal. Lamb meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh lamb.

The second ingredient is rice. Is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The third ingredient is wheat. Like corn, wheat is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider wheat a preferred component in any dog food.

The fourth ingredient includes wheat middlings, commonly known as “wheat mill run”. Though it may sound wholesome, wheat mill run is actually an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.

Unfortunately, the variations in nutrient content found in wheat middlings can be a critical issue in determining their suitability for use in any dog food — or even livestock feeds.1

In reality, wheat middlings are nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings — and an ingredient more typically associated with lower quality pet foods.

The fifth 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 sixth ingredient lists wheat shorts, the fine particles of wheat bran, wheat germ, wheat flour and other processing waste from what’s known as the “tail of the mill”.

Similar to wheat middlings, wheat shorts are nothing more than an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.

In reality, wheat middlings are nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings — and an ingredient more typically found in the lower quality pet foods.

The seventh ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% 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 eighth ingredient is poultry meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

Although the word poultry doesn’t clearly identify the species, poultry meal is most commonly sourced from chicken and turkey.

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 three notable exceptions

First, 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. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this food contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

The Great Canadian Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, The Great Canadian Dog Food dog food appears to be a below-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 26%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 55%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the corn gluten meal in this recipe and the soybean meal contained in other recipes, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

The Great Canadian Dog Food is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2 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.

Great Canadian 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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Dog Food Coupons
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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 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

02/20/2017 Last Update

  • Cal C

    I get lots of free raw meat from hunters and have a freezer dedicated to the dog.

    I also find this dog food works perfectly acceptable during those days I am too lazy to defrost meat.

    Morgan you can get Country Harvest from your nearest Canadian Tire. CH is manufactured by Spectrum Feed Services (the same company that makes Great Canadian Dog.)

    No fluff, no frills, no gimmicks such as ‘grain free’ they are a livestock feed company. Farmers use them and you can bet they want their livestock to be healthy otherwise they wouldn’t be making $$$.

    Just simple AAFCO rated dog food primarily made up of pork meal, corn, and wheat.

    It’s a deal too at $18 for 40 lb.

  • morgan


    This G C Dog food is good for my dog since he was a puppy, we tried and changed this brand gradually to a claimed better more expensive brand (BB) and unfortunately after 3 weeks of stopping mixing the food my dog stopped eating for 3 days and we had no choice but to restart him back on this brand, he’s a Bernese Mountain dog mix with Labra-doodle, yes, he’s a big dog 75+lb and only 18 months old, this type of a dog is wired to pull and exercising is the name of his game, treadmill, going with me on a bike run and pulling is his joy, when compared to my neighbor’s dogs of the same age or a bit older you will notice he is very healthy and energetic and above all full of muscles, when it comes to price i found it is ok and it is not a question of affordability.

    We went 2 months ago to the vet and did his 6 months check up and with a blood work found that he’s very healthy dog with no issues at all, even my vet was curious to know what am feeding him.

    We use the 30-20 Performance as the recommended daily portion and nothing more other than his daily treat of unsweetened peanut butter spoon 🙂 for such a sweet amazing smart dog.

    My mind frame not to get with the marketing limbo when it comes to brand names, am just doing what my dog able to consume.

    In my research found that most farmers in Ontario use this brand and it is challenging for me to get access to it at the major dog supply stores in the city, every couple of months have to go North of Toronto to buy the bags, hope this will be resolved soon, especially the winter drive to the north is rough when it start to snow.

    Good luck!

  • Andy Noddin

    yuk, I would not feed this to my pets, if price is the only consideration then this is the food for you as you do get what you pay for. There are so many better choices in Canada like Blue or Orijen and our pets deserve to eat good food.

  • richard lavigne

    the best dog food is ORIJEN, from Alberta and sold across the world

  • ohnoesaz

    Weeellll, if you like limited ingredients then you certainly have it with this food.

  • nomaxim

    Just a comment to register my username.
    No comment as to the topic.