Food scores are based on ingredient quality and safety. For more information, view our evaluation criteria.
With a score of 5.4/10, this is considered a moderate risk dog food. There are 5 recipes that average 35% protein and 23% carbohydrates, as calculated on a dry matter basis
This line loses ingredient quality points for its high carbohydrate content mainly due to rice, peas and barley. Excessive carbohydrate is an indicator of low quality foods as they are used to keep costs down. Large amounts of starch can increase insulin levels, cause obesity and negatively impact gut balance.
This line loses significant ingredient quality points for excessive added vitamins and minerals. This usually reflects poor quality or overly processed ingredients. Ideally, these nutrients should come from whole food sources. Vitamin and mineral excesses, especially vitamin D and copper, can also result from vitamin premixes.
The line also loses ingredient quality points for including seed oils. Oils like canola and sunflower are highly processed and are inflammatory as they’re rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause systemic and gut inflammation.
There’s also an unnamed animal protein (ocean fish) in one recipe. These are less expensive source of meat or fish, and the animal source should be named. You will want to see beef, salmon or chicken, not animal, fish or poultry. Unnamed protein sources are of much lower quality.
These canned foods lose points as they are highly processed. Canned foods are heated before and during canning, which will cause significant losses in some active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients.
These recipes also use foods known to be high in pesticide/herbicide residues including peas and barley, sometimes in the top 5 ingredients. Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers pose a significant health risk to plants, animals and soils. Foods with the largest reported amount of residue will be penalized, including crops that are known to be spray-dried with glyphosate. Alfalfa and canola oi are known GMO crops. There are limited safety studies on genetically modified and Roundup Ready crops although they are lacking in nutrients compared to non-GMO foods. GMO crops also strip nutrients from soils, require increased pesticide risk and may be involved in bee die-off.
Another food safety concern costing points is the use of rice. Rice naturally absorbs arsenic and the water it’s grown in can be contaminated with arsenic. Arsenic is linked to chronic health issues.
It’s not specified whether fish ingredients in these recipes are wild-caught or farmed. Wild-caught fish is more nutritious and has a better fatty acid profile.
It’s also worth noting that the line contains sodium selenite as a source of selenium. Dogs need selenium, and it’s usually added in very small amounts. However some research suggests that sodium selenite may be associated with potential toxicity, so selenium yeast is the preferred form of this mineral.
One recipe contains glam ingredients. These are healthy sounding ingredients like kelp and cranberries, but they appear below the salt on the ingredient list. Anything below the salt is present in minute quantities that won’t benefit your dog.
Canidae does not state the omega6:omega-3 ratio in their foods. While this is true of most foods, AAFCO allows a very inflammatory limit of 30:1. Diets rich in omega-6 fats can cause chronic inflammation and disease.