Under the Sun Grain Free canned dog food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Under the Sun Grain Free product line includes the four canned dog foods listed below.
Each recipe includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
Use the links below to compare prices at an online retailer.
- Under the Sun Grain Free Duck Formula [A]
- Under the Sun Grain Free Salmon Formula (4.5 stars) [A]
- Under the Sun Grain Free Lamb Formula (3 stars) [A]
- Under the Sun Grain Free Puppy Chicken Formula (5 stars) [G]
Under the Sun Grain Free Duck Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Under the Sun Grain Free Duck Formula
Canned Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Duck, duck broth, turkey broth, turkey, turkey liver, peas, agar-agar, calcium carbonate, salmon oil, potassium chloride, choline chloride, salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid), sunflower oil, minerals (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, ethylenediamine dihydroiodide, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, manganese proteinate)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.5%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||32%||19%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||30%||56%||14%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is duck. Duck is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of duck”.1
Duck is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The next two ingredients are duck broth and turkey broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common component in many canned products.
The fourth ingredient is turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.2
Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The next ingredient is turkey liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The sixth ingredient includes 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 seventh ingredient is agar agar, a natural vegetable gelatin derived from the cell walls of certain species of red algae. Agar is rich in fiber and is used in wet pet foods as a gelling agent.
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 3 notable exceptions…
First, we find salmon oil. Salmon oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.
Depending on its level of freshness and purity, salmon oil should be considered a commendable addition.
Next, we note the use of sunflower oil. This item 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.
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.
Under the Sun Grain Free
Canned Dog Food Review
Based on its ingredients alone, Under the Sun Grain Free looks like an above-average wet product.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 39% and a mean fat level of 29%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 24% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 74%.
Which means that this Under the Sun product line contains…
Near-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical canned dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
However, with 56% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 30% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.
Under the Sun Grain Free is a canned dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 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.
Under the Sun Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this Canidae product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
- Canidae Dog Food Recall (5/5/2012)
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
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor from the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition ↩
- Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition ↩
10/29/2019 Last Update