Food scores are based on ingredient quality and safety. For more information, view our evaluation criteria.
With a score of 3.3/10, this is considered a high risk dog food. There are 6 recipes that average 24% protein and high carbohydrate of 40% as calculated.
This line loses ingredient quality points for its high carbohydrate content. Excessive carbohydrate is ain 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. Some of these foods have more than 2 added amino acids, another indicator of low quality ingredients.
The line also loses ingredient quality points for including seed oil. Seed oils like canola, safflower and sunflower are highly processed and are inflammatory as they’re rich in omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause systemic and gut inflammation.
Like All Canidae dry foods, the food safety score for this line is low with many concerns. Canidae Goodness Dry is ultra-processed. The individual ingredients in dry dog foods are heated several times during processing, which can cause a significant loss of enzymes, vitamins, amino acids and phytonutrients. Processed foods are also linked to higher mortality rates in many species.
These recipes also use foods in the top 5 ingredients known to be high in pesticide/herbicide residues including oatmeal, barley and sorghum. 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. There are also known GMO foods in the ingredients including alfalfa. 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 ingredient 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. Finally, points are lost as natural flavor is used in each recipe to make processed food more palatable. But natural flavor is often either MSG or animal digest, both low quality ingredients with limited safety studies.
Other concerns don’t lose points but they should be noted. Some recipes in this line use ingredient splitting. This is the technique of splitting ingredients into sub-categories (like rice and rice bran) to move certain ingredients higher or lower on the ingredient list. This is often used to disguise the amount of lower quality ingredients in the food.
The company states that the salmon used in these recipes is wild-caught which has a healthier fatty acid profile than farmed fish. However, they don’t state that other fish ingredients are wild-caught, so those are likely farmed.
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.
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.