Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.
You want to feed your dog the best food possible, but you’re not sure what to buy.
Having heard about Canidae and Acana dog food only makes it more difficult – how do you choose?
We’re here to help you find the right one. In this article, we’ll be comparing two of the most popular brands in the market: Canidae vs Acana.
The key difference between Canidae and Acana is that Canidae is more well-balanced when it comes to key nutrition, while Acana is priced slightly lower. Both dog food brands are great options, so it really comes down to your specific needs when choosing them.
We’ll discuss what each brand is known for, what types of ingredients they use in their products, and whether or not they are worth your consideration.
- Overview: Canidae vs Acana Dog Food
- 1. Brand Reputation
- 2. Ingredient Quality
- 3. Key Nutrients (Dry Matter Analysis)
- 4. Range of Formulas
- 5. Product Safety and Recall History
- 6. Acana vs Canidae Price
- In Conclusion: Canidae vs Acana Dog Food Comparison
Overview: Canidae vs Acana Dog Food
⚠️ Consider the following when choosing dog food:
- Life stage
- Size of dog
- Grain-inclusive or grain-free
What’s most important in choosing the right type of food for your dog is understanding its breed (activity levels) and any existing allergies.
If you need more help, consult your vet or find a veterinary nutritionist at the American College of Veterinary Nutrition (AVCM).
Canidae and Acana are both top-notch brands that have been around for years, focusing on dog nutrition.
They both use high-quality ingredients that are sourced from reputable suppliers, which is why you can trust them to provide your dog with a healthy diet.
Each brand has its own unique formula for different life stages (puppy, adult, and senior), so it’s important to choose one that works best for your fur baby’s needs.
The sections will focus on the following factors:
- Brand Reputation
- Key Nutrients
- Range of formulas
- Product Safety and Recall
1. Brand Reputation
With its PURE line, CANIDAE provides premium, high-quality food.
There are no more than ten whole food ingredients in any of the recipes, and the first few ingredients are high-quality animal proteins, such as real lamb.
They are even suitable for dogs with digestive issues because they contain so few ingredients.
There is no doubt that Canidae is a trustworthy company as they do not use any ingredients that are not human-grade, and they avoid using fillers in their food.
Plus, they are great in their community too, winning the San Antonio Food Bank’s 2021 Hunger Fighter of the Year award.
Acana was founded in the Canadian province of Alberta, which is known for its agriculture.
Over time, the brand has become more and more associated with quality, going as far as to claim that they are the best dog food in the world.
While we can’t substantiate that, they are indeed reputable and produces high-quality feed.
Acana’s products are currently manufactured in professional kitchens in Auburn, Kentucky, and Edmonton, Alberta.
Their products are currently sold in over 60 countries, placing them among the market’s leading producers of dog food.
Acana makes its kibbles with high-quality, biologically appropriate ingredients and offers a variety of dry kibble options bursting with nutrients and flavors unrivaled for a happy, healthy dog.
The groundbreaking Acana grain-free dog food reduces food waste, animal cruelty, and environmental harm by combining organic ingredients with protein from wild and free-range animals.
2. Ingredient Quality
⚠️ A few points to note about the product label
Product name – tells you the percentage of the main ingredient
- “Chicken” – at least 70% of the product.
- “Chicken entree”, “Chicken platter”, “Chicken dinner” – at least 10% of the product.
- “With chicken” – at least 3% of the product
- “Chicken flavor” – less than 3% of the product
Ingredients – The first few items listed are the most important and make up the majority of the product (determined by weight).
Meat-meal – Can have much more protein than actual meat. To further understand, refer to this guide by AAFCO.
In this comparison of Canidae and Acana dog food, we will focus on the following dry food product from each company:
- Canidae PURE Dry Dog Food: Salmon and Barley Recipe with Wholesome Grains
- Acana Red Meat & Grains Recipe
Canidae is well-known for using only organic, fresh ingredients.
Its recipes all begin with real meat or fish and fresh vegetables.
They only use premium foods, never meals made from poultry, wheat, corn, or soy byproducts.
As a result, your dog does not need any additional grains or fillers.
Here are the top 5 ingredients used in the particular dog food we are discussing today:
- Salmon meal
- Menhaden Fish Meal
When it comes to the meat that Acana uses, they are never frozen and uses no preservatives.
In contrast to many other commercial pet meals, the fresh regional meats utilized are processed the same day they are received.
Acana’s remarkable palatability and feeding abilities are significantly impacted by this.
The protein sources in Acana Dog Food are biologically available, easily digested, and absorbed, all of which are necessary for a dog to develop a strong immune system, have enough energy, and have healthy muscles.
Here are the top 5 ingredients used in the particular dog food we are discussing today:
- Deboned pork
- Beef meal
- Oat groats
- Whole sorghum
3. Key Nutrients (Dry Matter Analysis)
AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials) laws state that every pet food label must carry a guaranteed analysis of the nutrients.
To ensure that a product is complete and balanced for dogs, it must adhere to strict standards.
This implies that the diet supplied by dog food companies must provide the bare minimum of each nutrient required for dogs, as stated in the “guaranteed analysis.”
Minimum crude protein and crude fat percentages, as well as maximum crude fiber and moisture percentages, must all be verified by the analysis.
The tables below will show you the data from the two brands.
Take note: When comparing dog food nutrients percentages, you should remove the amount of moisture to make it a more even comparison.
This is also referred to as calculating its dry matter basis (use this calculator).
This approach is a more accurate way to understand the true nutrient contents of dog food, instead of just relying on the number on the label (which is an ‘as-fed’ basis).
3.1 Canidae vs Acana dog food nutrients comparison
|Dry matter basis
|Dry matter basis
Protein is necessary for a dog’s diet to be healthy and well-balanced.
Their bodies need it for a variety of functions, such as the development and maintenance of muscles and other tissues.
It is also essential for the growth of new skin, muscle, and hair cells among other things.
Additionally, it aids in the production of hormones and enzymes, two essential physiological elements.
It boosts immunity and releases energy as carbohydrates do.
Dogs can synthesize about half of the 22 amino acids required to make proteins, but the other half must be received through diet, thus it’s crucial to choose a food that has the right nutrients.
From the table, you can tell that Canidae does have a higher level of proteins, but Acana is not far behind.
Both do not exceed 40%, which some consider to be too high a number for regular dogs.
A balanced diet for dogs must include fats and oils.
It assists in the growth and upkeep of healthy cell membranes.
Cells would just sort of flop around without these membranes because they prevent cells from losing their shape.
For ordinary, healthy adult dogs, a diet with between 10% and 15% fat (a minimum of five percent) is appropriate.
Only when dogs are allowed to ingest excessive amounts of calories and fat (from extra snacks and table scraps, for instance), without getting enough activity to make up for it, is fat in the diet an issue.
Both brands provide a high amount of fat but not exceeding 20%, which is considered excessive.
Fiber aids in forming strong, well-formed stools and promotes regular bowel movements by adding mass and soaking up extra water.
Additionally, fiber promotes intestinal pH equilibrium, which prevents the development of harmful bacteria in your dog’s digestive system.
They feel satiated and their digestive system is improved, both of which may help them control their appetite and avoid overeating.
Both of these products give your dog an acceptable quantity of fiber, however, a higher number would have been preferred for Canidae.
It should not exceed 6% unless your dog requires a high-fiber diet as advised by a vet.
4. Range of Formulas
Although not a deal-breaker, a wide range of formulas allows a dog owner to cater more accurately to a dog’s needs, whether they are in a specific life stage or they have special dietary requirements such as sensitive stomachs.
Canidae has 6 different formulas that are able to fit most dog’s needs (most are available in both dry and wet versions):
- Canidae ALL LIFE STAGES
- Canidae PURE
- Canidae GOODNESS
- Canidae SUSTAIN
- Canidae PURE PETITE
- Active Goodness
Unfortunately, they are slightly less versatile when it comes to dogs with special needs such as allergies.
Acana also has a range of products that cater to different life stages, and you can also find grain-inclusive and grain-free options. Similarly, they offer both dry and wet versions, and also have freeze-dried options.
- Acana DOG
- Acana Highest Protein
- Acana Wholesome Grains
- Acana Single LID (singles limited ingredients)
- Acana Freeze-dried Food
What’s great is that they have formulas for dogs with hip and bone issues, weight management needs, and even for skin and coat improvements.
5. Product Safety and Recall History
You should always be aware of the safety and recall history of your pet’s food.
This is especially important as you want to know that your money isn’t going to a company that has had any major issues in the past.
And obviously, we need to know what we are feeding our dogs is safe!
There has been one recall in the company’s history, which took place in 2012.
This was due to the manufacturer of their products at that time, Diamond Pet Foods, discovering the presence of Salmonella in their production facility.
There has never been any Acana dog food recall.
6. Acana vs Canidae Price
Cost may be a really big factor when choosing dog food, especially if you have more than one to feed and a limited budget.
It’s also no secret that prices can vary greatly between brands and product categories.
If you want to save money, you must carefully consider all of the costs involved in a purchase before making a decision.
The table below shows the price per pound for the options discussed in this article:
|Price per pound
In Conclusion: Canidae vs Acana Dog Food Comparison
Canidae and Acana are two of the best dog food brands on the market today.
If you’re looking for a high-quality product that provides all of the nutrients your pet needs, both manufacturers are worth considering.
The differences are subtle and your final choice between them should depend on your specific needs and budget.
Always consider your dog’s breed, activity levels, and allergies (if any), and this should put you on the right track.
Wanna read about Canidae or Acana and how they stack up against other brands? Check out the following comparisons too:
You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.