CANIDAE’s “All Life Stages” recipes are nothing to write home about. However, the premium ingredient and grain-free dog foods are a huge jump. We suggest these recipes – not because they are grain-free – but because the ingredients are significantly better resulting in improved nutrient analysis.
Last Updated: February 28, 2024 by Lisa Melillo
In the world of premium pet nutrition, Canidae stands out as a brand dedicated to enhancing the well-being of our four-legged companions.
Known for its commitment to quality and holistic approach, Canidae has been a trusted name in pet food for over two decades. Their products, often described as “pet food made by pet people,” have found their way into homes and hearts across the country and even overseas, gracing the shelves of major American pet retailers. With a range that includes options for all life stages and specialized needs, such as grain-free and PURE formulas, Canidae caters to diverse dietary requirements.
But how does Canidae truly measure up in the eyes of pet owners and professionals? Our Canidae Dog Food reviews delve into the specifics, providing an in-depth look at their offerings. In this review, we’ll focus particularly on the CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE, Real Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe, while also considering the wider spectrum of their product line. Let’s explore what makes Canidae a good choice for your canine companion!
Canidae was established in 1997, marking its entry into the pet food industry with a commitment to quality and community. In its early days, the company’s first batches of food were delivered to local pet stores directly from the back of pickup trucks by family members. This hands-on approach and dedication to their product played a pivotal role in the brand’s initial growth. The founders, still actively involved in the company, laid the foundation for Canidae’s values and approach to pet food manufacturing.
Expansion and Manufacturing
As Canidae’s popularity and demand grew, the company recognized the need for expansion to keep up with its growing customer base. In 2005, Canidae partnered with Diamond Pet Foods to assist in their manufacturing process, a strategic move that allowed them to scale production without compromising on the quality of their products. This partnership was crucial in helping Canidae reach a wider market and establish a stronger presence in the pet food industry.
Own Production Facilities and Quality Control
In a significant move towards greater control over production, Canidae eventually established their dedicated facilities in Brentwood, Texas. This allowed for enhanced focus on quality control and product consistency, aligning with their commitment to providing top-tier pet food. Despite having its own facilities, Canidae maintains its partnership with Diamond Pet Foods, reflecting a balanced approach to growth and quality.
Today, Canidae stands as a testament to growth, resilience, and commitment to quality in the pet food market. The company continues to innovate and expand its product lines, focusing on sustainable practices and nutritional excellence. Canidae’s journey from a family-run startup to a significant name in pet food illustrates its dedication to the health and well-being of pets, a mission that remains at the core of its business ethos.
Quality of Ingredients
The Canidae company takes great pride in the fact that their ingredients all come from human-grade, high-quality proteins, fruits, and vegetables. All of their premium-quality dog food formulas are made here in the United States at USDA, FDA, and AAFCO-approved facilities. The company also strives to buy from local producers as often as possible and promises that they never use any artificial preservatives in any of their foods.
Some pet owners, however, have commented on the unusually high amount of rice, usually brown rice, that is in each bag, which has been known to cause problems for some dogs. The company defends this choice, however, by saying that this allows for easier digestion, especially in older or more food-sensitive animals. As a result, many owners are willing to overlook this for the many benefits that the food otherwise offers.
Canidae Dog Food Health Benefits and Nutrition
Their food formulas are packed with ingredients such as chicken fat, lamb meal, sweet potato, sun-cured alfalfa, ingredients high in omega-3 fatty acids, and much more. Sounds healthy so far, right? Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients in one of the products to find out how healthy it is.
Full Ingredients and Analysis
Analyzing the first 10 ingredients in dog food is a great way to understand the overall nutrient content. AAFCO requires all dog food ingredients to be listed in order of predominance by their weight. Here’s a closer look at what’s inside CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE, Real Lamb & Sweet Potato Recipe.
Full Ingredients List
Lamb, turkey meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, garbanzo beans, peas, chicken fat, menhaden fish meal, potatoes, sun-cured alfalfa, natural flavor, taurine, minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), choline chloride, mixed tocopherols (a preservative), dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract. Contains a source of live (viable) naturally occurring microorganisms.
If you have done a lot of research and read Canidae dog food reviews, you would know that Canidae have a generous animal protein percentage in their dog food. The industry standard from other leading dry dog food manufacturers is to have a 25% protein content in the food, so 32% is very high indeed.
Ingredients You May Wonder About
Dog food often presents a myriad of ingredients that can be both intriguing and perplexing. As responsible pet owners, it’s our responsibility to understand the benefits and potential drawbacks of these ingredients. Here’s a quick look at the most common ingredients you’ll find in Canidae dog food.
- Menhaden Fish Meal: Fish meal is typically made from caught fish not used for human consumption. Provides Omega 3 fatty acids. Reference
- Garbanzo Beans: They provide excellent nutrients for your dog including proteins, lecithin, potassium, magnesium, copper, folate, and a wide variety of vitamins. Chickpeas also have fiber to help digestion. Reference
- Thiamine Mononitrate: This is a scientific name for Vitamin B1. Too little Vitamin B1 can cause a variety of health issues and any excess is easily flushed from the body. Most manufacturers add this dog food to stay in line with AAFCO guidelines. Reference
- Calcium Pantothenate: This is another B Vitamin that’s healthy for your dog and is considered a requirement for a complete diet by the AAFCO. Reference
- Pyridoxine: Also known as Vitamin B6, a healthy part of your dog’s diet. Reference
- Lactobacillus casei: Lactobacillus casei is a probiotic with many known benefits in humans. Reference
- Mixed Tocopherols: Tocopherol may sound like a nasty chemical, but it’s a naturally occurring organic chemical compound and a type of Vitamin E. Tocopherol can be derived from various nuts and vegetable oils. These serve as a natural preservative for dog foods.
- Chicken Fat: While chicken fat is a source of fat and flavor, some dogs with sensitivities or allergies may not tolerate it well. It can also contribute to obesity in dogs if not balanced with an appropriate diet.
- Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract: This ingredient, while not necessarily harmful, is a microbial enzyme extract. Some dogs may have sensitivities to certain microbial extracts, so it’s important to be cautious if your dog has a history of digestive issues or allergies.
CANIDAE Dog Food Product Lines
Canidae has established itself as a reputable brand in the pet food industry, offering a range of products tailored to meet the diverse nutritional needs of dogs. Their commitment to quality and holistic health is evident across their various lines, each designed with specific canine needs in mind.
They also use unique sources of animal protein, such as wild boar, rabbit, or mackerel. Parallel with grain-free food formulas, Canidae contains wholesome ingredients like sweet potatoes, peas, lentils, brown rice, barley, and oatmeal with complementing sources of Omega 6 and Omega 3 fatty acids. This means that the nutritional value is high and makes Canidae’s food easy to digest for dogs boosting their immune system with much-needed nutrients.
Several varieties are even made with a multi-dog home in mind, meaning their food formulas are good for pets of all ages and all sizes (small breeds, and large breeds).
Canidae offers a diverse range of dog food lines, each uniquely formulated to cater to the varying needs of dogs at different life stages and with various dietary requirements.
Canidae All Life Stages
This line is a one-stop solution for households with multiple dogs of different ages and sizes. Products like Canidae All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula and Canidae Lamb Meal & Rice Formula are formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition for puppies, adults, and senior dogs alike, simplifying meal planning for multi-dog families.
Canidae All Life Stages is a great dog food to go for if you are on a budget and don’t want to splash out on a few different dog foods for the pups in your household. We recommend this food for American Bulldogs to Dobermans.
The Pure line is designed with simplicity and quality in mind, featuring limited-ingredient recipes. This makes it ideal for dogs with food sensitivities or those who require a simpler diet. Each product, such as the Canidae Pure Real Lamb & Pea Recipe and Canidae Pure Wholesome Grains with Real Angus Beef & Barley, focuses on using real meat and wholesome vegetables.
Catering specifically to the nutritional needs of small breed dogs, options like Canidae Pure Petite Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Recipe with Real Salmon have smaller kibble sizes and ingredients that are tailored to the high energy needs and fast metabolisms of smaller breeds. It also follows the limited ingredient approach to suit sensitive stomachs.
Canidae Under the Sun
The Canidae Under the Sun line is a budget-friendly option that doesn’t compromise on quality. It’s crafted with a variety of single animal proteins like chicken, lamb, or fish, paired with a bounty of fruits and vegetables. These ingredients are thoughtfully chosen to provide a well-rounded diet, ensuring dogs receive essential nutrients without unnecessary fillers. Check out Canidae Under the Sun Grain-Free Recipe with Real Lamb for your pet!
Sustain stands out for its focus on sustainability and environmentally friendly practices. Canidae Sustain Premium Recipe with Cage-Free Chicken not only provides nutritious recipes but also emphasizes the use of responsibly sourced ingredients and eco-friendly packaging, appealing to environmentally conscious pet owners.
Canidae Dog Food Type: Dry or Wet?
Feeding your dog both dry and wet food can deliver plenty of benefts. You should feed your dog 25% wet food and 75% dry food every day. If you don’t want to feed your dog both wet and dry food, we recommend sticking to their dry food.
Canidae Dry Food
Commonly known as kibble, Canidae dry dog food is a popular choice for many reasons. It’s convenient to store and serve, offering a longer shelf life than wet food. The crunchy texture of dry food helps maintain oral health by reducing plaque and tartar buildup on a dog’s teeth. Additionally, dry food is energy-dense, meaning small servings contain a high amount of calories and nutrients, which is particularly beneficial for dogs with higher energy needs. It’s also mess-free and easy to measure, aiding in consistent portion control for maintaining a healthy weight.
Wet Food Benefits
Wet dog food, available in forms like pâtés, stews, and shreds, offers distinct advantages. Its higher moisture content is beneficial for dogs needing increased water intake, particularly those with urinary tract health concerns. The soft texture makes it an excellent choice for older dogs or those with dental issues who find it challenging to chew hard kibble. Wet food is often more palatable and aromatic, appealing to picky eaters or dogs with decreased appetites. It also provides a variety in texture and taste, which can be an enriching experience for dogs during meal times. Canidae All Life Stages earn a top spot in our recommendations for Australian Shepherd’s nutrition.
Some of the most popular wet dog foods to check out include the Canidae All Life Stages Multi-Protein Formula with Chicken, Lamb, & Fish and Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Diet Duck & Turkey Recipe.
The Best of Both Worlds
Some dog owners opt for a mixed feeding approach, combining the benefits of both dry and wet food. This method allows dogs to enjoy the dental benefits and convenience of dry food while also relishing the palatability and hydration benefits of wet food. Mixing both types can also be beneficial for dogs that are transitioning from one type of food to another or for those who require a more tailored nutritional approach.
Canidae Dog Food Recall History
Canidae food has only ever been recalled once. That is absolutely phenomenal for a dog food company. The recall was issued May 5th, 2012 due to fear of Salmonella contamination. The following dry food products were recalled:
- Canidae Dry Dog Food, All Life Stages
- Canidae Dry Dog Food, Chicken Meal & Rice
- Canidae Dry Dog Food, Lamb Meal & Rice
- Canidae Dry Dog Food, Platinum
None of the recalled products tested positive for Salmonella.
Canidae Dog Food Pros and Cons
When considering Canidae as a choice for your dog’s nutrition, it’s important to weigh its advantages and potential drawbacks. This balanced view can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your dog’s specific needs and your own preferences.
- Quality Ingredients: Canidae is known for using high-quality, wholesome ingredients in their dog food, including real meat, fruits, and vegetables. This ensures that your dog is getting natural and nutritious meals.
- Variety of Formulas: With a range of formulas catering to different dietary needs, life stages, and health concerns, Canidae offers options for almost every type of dog, from puppies to seniors and from active breeds to those with food sensitivities.
- Limited Ingredient Diets: For dogs with allergies or sensitivities, Canidae provides limited ingredient diets, which can help reduce the risk of allergic reactions and promote easier digestion.
- Focus on Sustainability: Canidae emphasizes sustainable practices, including eco-friendly packaging and responsibly sourced ingredients, appealing to environmentally conscious pet owners.
- No Artificial Additives: Their recipes are free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which is beneficial for maintaining a dog’s overall health.
- Cost: Canidae is positioned as a premium dog food brand, and its price point can be higher than some mainstream options, which might not be feasible for all budgets.
- Limited Wet Food Options: Compared to dry food, Canidae offers fewer wet food choices, which might limit options for dogs that prefer or require a wet diet.
- Taste Preferences: Some dogs might be picky with Canidae’s formulas, especially if they are used to food with artificial flavor enhancers.
- Specific Health Needs: While Canidae covers a broad range of dietary needs, it may not have specialized formulas for every specific health condition.
Canidae Dog Food Alternatives
One of the goals of this Canidae Dog Food review is to help you understand if Canidae is really for you. It is important to have other similar brands to compare it to. Here is a short list of Canidae alternatives:
Evolve Dry Dog Food
Evolve costs much less per pound, however, they have a lower protein content in their food. Protein is usually the most expensive ingredient in dry dog food, so this should be taken into consideration while shopping around.
Chicken Soup For the Soul
This wet dog food has more than 40% protein content, making it a great treat for your pup. It might be a little expensive for every meal, but feeding your buddy this wet food now and then will keep them in good spirits.
The Farmer’s Dog
Did you know that The Farmer’s Dog food has been tested on humans? After all, if it’s good enough for us then it’s good enough for our dogs!
Taste of the Wild
For those looking for grain-free options similar to Canidae’s, Taste of the Wild is a worthy alternative. Their formulas focus on delivering highly digestible energy and antioxidants to support a healthy lifestyle, with recipes inspired by what dogs would eat in the wild.
Check out our analysis of the biggest dog food brands.
You may also want to check out our reviews of other dog food brands:
FAQs About Canidae Dog Food
Are there any artificial additives in Canidae dog food?
No, Canidae dog food does not contain artificial additives. Their recipes are free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, focusing on natural and wholesome ingredients for optimal canine health.
Can Canidae dog food help with dogs’ allergies?
Canidae offers limited-ingredient diets that can be beneficial for dogs with allergies. These formulas have fewer ingredients, reducing the chance of allergic reactions. They are best for dogs with food sensitivities.
How does Canidae ensure the quality of their dog food?
Canidae maintains high standards for quality by using carefully selected, wholesome ingredients. They conduct rigorous testing and adhere to strict quality control measures in their manufacturing processes to ensure the safety and nutritional value of their products.
Is Canidae dog food environmentally friendly?
Canidae is committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility. They focus on using responsibly sourced ingredients and eco-friendly practices, including sustainable packaging, to minimize their environmental impact.
Canidae dog food reviews highlight a brand that genuinely understands and caters to the diverse nutritional needs of dogs. With a commitment to quality ingredients and a range of formulas, Canidae stands out as a solid choice for pet owners seeking wholesome and balanced meals for their companions.
The essence of Canidae lies in its blend of nutritional integrity and commitment to pet health. While it’s positioned at a premium price point, the value it offers in terms of quality and dietary options makes it a worthwhile consideration for those prioritizing their dog’s overall well-being and happiness.