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Canidae Under the Sun Grain Free Dog Food Review (Dry)

Mike Sagman

By Mike Sagman

Updated: March 21, 2024

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Which Canidae Under the Sun Grain Free Recipes Get Our Best Ratings?

Canidae Under the Sun Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Canidae Under the Sun Grain Free product line includes the 3 dry dog foods listed below.

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

Recipe and Label Analysis

Canidae Under the Sun Grain Free with Lamb was selected to represent the other products in the line for detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.


Canidae Under the Sun Grain Free with Lamb

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

28.9%

Protein

12.2%

Fat

50.9%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Lamb meal, green peas, garbanzo beans, yellow peas, canola oil, suncured alfalfa meal, lamb, flaxseed, natural flavor, choline chloride, taurine, salt, potassium chloride, threonine, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, mixed tocopherols (a preservative), parsley, pumpkin, sage, green beans, carrots, cinnamon, rosemary, butternut squash, blueberries, zucchini, tomatoes, apples, niacin, tryptophan, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, sodium selenite, riboflavin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc proteinate, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, pyridoxine hydrochloride, ethylenediamine dihydroidodide, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredient Analysis

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.

It’s important to note that the next 3 ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legume:

  • Green peas
  • Garbanzo beans
  • Yellow peas

Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.

If we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would likely occupy a significantly higher position on the list.

In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that will be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

The next ingredient is dried alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

The seventh item is lamb. Although it is a quality item, raw lamb 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 eighth ingredient is 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.

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 Canidae product.

With 4 notable exceptions

First, we note the addition of taurine, an important amino acid associated with the healthy function of heart muscle. Although taurine is not typically considered essential in canines, some dogs have been shown to be deficient in this critical nutrient.

Since taurine deficiency appears to be more common in pets consuming grain-free diets, we view its presence in this recipe as a positive addition.

Next, this recipe includes dried fermentation products, which are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

In addition, 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.

And lastly, with the exception of zinc, 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.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Canidae Under the Sun Grain Free looks like an above-average dry dog food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 12% and estimated carbohydrates of about 51%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 12%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 42%.

Which means this Canidae product line contains…

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to other dry dog foods.

However, when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, garbanzo beans, alfalfa and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing just a moderate amount of meat.

Our Rating of Canidae Under the Sun Grain Free Dry Dog Food

Canidae Under the Sun Grain Free is a dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its dominant source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly recommended.

However, it’s unfortunate the company chose to include so much plant-based protein in its recipe. Otherwise, we would have been compelled to award this product a higher rating.

Canidae Under the Sun Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Canidae through April.

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

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More Canidae Brand Reviews

The following Canidae dog food reviews are also posted on this website:

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