Canidae vs Natural Balance Dog Food: Head-to-Head Comparison

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.

Did you know that Canidae Grain Free PURE Salmon and Sweet Potato Recipe and Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe are two of the most popular dog food amongst dog owners?

While both brands offer high-quality ingredients that can provide your pet with all the essential nutrients, their prices and other aspects differ significantly from one another as well so you should be careful when choosing which product to buy for your dog.

The main difference between Canidae and Natural Balance dog food is in the amount of nutrition. Canidae has the edge when it comes to dry dog food and it only has a slight price premium over Natural Balance.

In this Canidae vs Natural Balance comparison, we take a closer look at what differentiates the 2 brands and hopefully help you to make a better decision.

Medical Questions? Talk to a Veterinarian 24/7.
Connect one-on-one with a licensed vet who will answer your questions in minutes.

Ask a Vet Now or Schedule a home visit

*Article may contain affiliate links to retailers like Amazon and Chewy. Learn more on our disclosure page.

Canidae vs Natural Balance Dog Food Comparison

Overview: Canidae vs Natural Balance 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 Natural Balance are both dog food brands that are widely available in the mass market.

If you’re looking for premium high-quality dog food, you might be considering one of these brands, or check out this list of the best natural dog foods.

You might be pleased to know that both of these companies manufacture their products in the US, and they are constantly exceeding the standards that AAFCO sets for the industry.

In the following sections, we take a closer look at these factors:

  • Brand reputation
  • Ingredients
  • Key nutrients
  • Range of formulas
  • Product safety and recall
  • Price

Hopefully, it will help to answer some of the burning questions you might have such as is Natural Balance a good brand for dogs, Is Canidae Pure good food, and many more.

1. Brand Reputation


Canidae is a small premium dog food brand that has been around since the mid-1990s, when it was founded by John Gordon and Scott Whipple.

The company has been praised for its commitment to making high-quality, safe products that are free from preservatives and additives.

The company’s commitment to quality is evident in its ingredients.

They use locally sourced meats and produce whenever possible, and their meat sources are hormone-free and antibiotic-free.

This means that Canidae dog food products are free of harmful chemicals that could be harmful to your dog’s health.

Natural Balance

Actor Dick Van Patten founded Natural Balance in 1989 and since then, the business has changed hands a couple of times, first being acquired by the J.M. Smucker Company and is now owned by Nexus Capital Management.

The business is dedicated to giving your dog healthy food that is of the highest caliber and safety standards.

Every product is screened for nine different pollutants before it is placed on the market as proof of this dedication, and you can examine the test results online before buying a specific recipe.

Every recipe in this dog food is loaded with wholesome goodness that dogs adore and is produced to the highest standards.

2. Ingredients

⚠️ 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.


The ingredients in Canidae dog food are all-natural, so you can feel good about giving your pup the best.

Canidae’s products are made with fresh meat as well as vegetables and fruits, and they include both grain-free and grain-inclusive options.

The company uses chicken meal, lamb meal, and salmon meal as protein sources, which are all easily digestible for your dog’s stomach.

They also use brown rice and oatmeal in their recipes to give your pup a little extra fiber.

Some of these ingredients include sweet potatoes, carrots, and blueberries—all things that you’d find in an organic human grocery store!

Natural Balance

Similarly, the ingredients in Natural Balance dog food are all-natural, whole foods, and high in protein.

Most commonly, you will find ingredients such as turkey, brown rice, chicken, salmon, and sweet potatoes.

They use no artificial colors or flavors, no preservatives, and they don’t use any animal byproducts in their products.

What stands out is that their recipes are backed by scientific research, and they are constantly innovating in order to achieve the best possible results for your pet.

dog essentials banner in content

3. Key Nutrients

AAFCO mandates that a guaranteed analysis of the nutrients must be present on every pet food label.

The analysis must clearly state the minimum crude protein and crude fat percentages as well as the maximum crude fiber and moisture percentages.

This is really important in helping you understand what you are buying for your dog.

The tables below will show you the data from the two brands.

Take note: When comparing dog food nutrient percentages, you should remove the amount of moisture to make it an 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).

Canidae vs Natural Balance Dog Food Guaranteed Analysis

Dry dog foodCanidaeDry matter basisNatural BalanceDry matter basis
Crude Protein32% min35.56%23% min25.56%
Crude Fat14% min15.56%12% min13.33%
Crude Fiber4.5% max5%4.5% max5%
Moisture10% max10% max
Based on dry adult dog food
Wet dog foodCanidaeDry matter basisNatural Balance
Crude Protein9% min40.91%8% min36.36%
Crude Fat6% min27.27%5% min22.73%
Crude Fiber1.5% max6.82%2% max9.09%
Moisture78% max78% max
Based on wet adult dog food

Crude Protein

Protein is important to dogs because it provides them with amino acids and other nutrients that are needed for growth, development, tissue repair, and maintenance.

Protein also helps to build strong bones and connective tissue.

In our research, we found that the dry dog food formula from Canidae has an edge over Natural Balance by providing significantly more protein in each pack.

It’s a similar story when it comes to the wet food version.

Crude Fats

Fats are important to a dog for their coat, skin, and joints.

Dogs with a fat deficiency will suffer from a dull and dry coat, which can lead to increased itching.

They may also experience joint pain as well as hair loss around their eyes and nose.

Also, fats serve as energy for your dog, without which they may feel sluggish and tired.

In this comparison, you can see that both companies have the percentage of crude fat in about the same healthy amount for the dry food version.

In the wet food versions, they are higher than the recommended intake of 20%, but this is very normal when it comes to wet dog food.

Crude Fiber

Fiber is important to a dog because it helps to keep its digestive system functioning properly.

If a dog does not get enough fiber in its diet, it can lead to constipation and other problems.

It also helps to keep their digestive tract healthy and provides a feeling of fullness, which can make your dog feel less hungry and prevent overeating.

Our comparison shows that both companies are providing a suitable amount of fiber in both their dry food (less than 6%), while on the wet food version, the amount in Natural Balance is excessive and can possibly lead to wet stools.

4. Range of Formulas

Both of these companies offer a wide range of products that will satisfy most dog parents out there.

These formulas were made to cater to the different life stages of your dog, from the time it is a puppy all the way to its senior years.

Here’s a look at their most popular products:


Natural Balance

5. Product Safety and Recall

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!

I try to update this section as much as possible, but if you find anything amiss, you may double-check on the FDA’s site or its archives for accuracy.


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.

Natural Balance

The company has had a number of recalls, with the most recent one happening in 2021.

Other recalls also took place in 2020, 2012, 2010, and 2007.

Additionally, I also want to point out that the company is under investigation by FDA since 2019 for potentially causing heart diseases in dogs and cats.

Although there is no recall related to this investigation, I thought it would be important to include this information here.

6. Price

And finally, we consider the pricing of both brands and see if it fits into your budget.

Here is a general comparison of the prices between these dog food brands (using adult dog food).

Price Per PoundCanidaeNatural Balance
Dry dog food$2.97/lb$2.83/lb
Wet dog food$4.85/lb$9.63/lb
estimated figures only

In Conclusion: Canidae vs Natural Balance Dog Food

I hope that this comparison of Canidae and Natural Balance has provided you with useful insights and helped you to narrow down your choices.

Personally, I would go for Canidae despite the slight premium I have to pay. This is because of the safety record as well as the edge in nutritional value.

However, I have personally switched out of dry dog food now to Ollie fresh dog food.

My dogs have better energy levels and their coat looks so much better. Overall, I can see that they are much happier after the transition.

What about you? Which would you choose?

Picking out the right dog food is tricky for most dog owners, so hopefully this post has helped you out!

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.

Share this post!
Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

no more bad dog breaths banner