Welcome to our 2023 Canidae Dog Food Review where we will discuss the brand in detail, its popular formulas, recall history, and ingredients!
New dog owners and seasoned professionals must both make important decisions regarding their canine friend’s overall health and wellbeing. A quick stroll through your local pet supplies store reveals many choices that can feel overwhelming.
You want to make the decision that will give your pup the energy and nutrition he needs for years to come. How do you decide between all of the different dog food brands on the market?
Canidae is one of the leading dog food manufacturers that promise to feed your dog real food ingredients. Their bags are plastered with pictures of colorful meats and veggies alongside smiling dogs.
Surely these pictures indicate that your canine companion is bound to love the contents contained within. However, many people are left wondering whether the price of this dog food is truly worth it.
Making the switch to Canidae dog food is a big decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. In the below Canidae dog food reviews, we’ll highlight what you need to know about the company and its recipes so you have all the facts before deciding to alter your dog’s diet.
Table of Content
Canidae Company Overview
The Canidae brand has been providing top quality dog food for more than two decades. Beginning in 1996, this American company remains family-owned and focused on the basics of providing excellent nutrition for your dog.
Most of their food is researched, developed, and created out of their state-of-the-art Ethos Nutrition Center located in Brownwood, Texas. However, they do still partner with other major manufacturers for the production of their dog food.
Perhaps most notably, they partner with Diamond Pet Foods, Performance Pet Products, and Hampshire Pet Products. These production facilities are also responsible for popular dog food brands such as Blue Buffalo, Taste of the Wild, and more.
One of the things that really sets their manufacturing apart is their partnership with small United States farmers. They are continuously finding new ways to become involved in the growth of the common ingredients used in their pet food: peas and millet along with other vegetables and herbs.
They stress integrated farming methods, most notably a no-till approach that preserves the topsoil while still minimizing water usage. Sheep are free to graze and naturally fertilize the fields while natural compost accounts for the rest.
Their greenhouses allow for vegetable growth year-round, ensuring that your dog’s favorite recipe is available all the time. Canidae farmers are even experimenting with insects to help control pests.
In 2018, they sourced hundreds of thousands of pounds of vegetables, grains, and other types of produce from more than eleven fields. Each year, new farmers are added to their growth initiative as the company continues to grow and expand their brand.
One of the distinctions that set Canidae apart is their use of produce from farms that also produce food designated for human consumption. They even use USDA-inspected meats in their proprietary formulas.
Canidae Recall History
While Canidae is technically an independent company, they do manufacture some of their products in facilities owned by other companies. Most notably they share production facilities with Diamond Pet Foods in Gaston, South Carolina. This facility did issue a recall in 2012 due to a potential salmonella outbreak.
Canidae voluntarily recalled several varieties of dry dog food, though it was later revealed that none of them tested positive for salmonella.
Formulas and Quality of Ingredients
Much like many of the other new name brands popping up on pet store shelves, Canidae dog food is designed to give your dog the diet she truly needs. Their primary focus is on providing quality ingredients to make top dog foods that truly nourish.
They fill a void in the market for pet owners who need real meats and a grain-free diet. Every recipe contains real meat or fish as the primary ingredient.
Canidae has several different recipes, so even the pickiest canine can find something that he enjoys. The company features several specific lines of food including:
- Grain-free PURE formulas with limited ingredients
- Grain-free PURE Petite formulas for small dogs
- Grain-free PURE Ancestral
- Grain-free Under the Sun (made without grains or potatoes)
- A specialized All Life Stages blend for multi-dog families
Canidae Dog Food Reviews
Whether your puppy needs a new food or your senior is ready to make a switch, they have a formula available for every life stage. They also manufacture both dry food, wet food, and treats so that they cover every aspect of your dog’s potential diet. For this review, we will focus primarily on Canidae dry dog food.
Canidae PURE Formulas
For dogs who need a more restricted diet, Canidae makes a large collection of foods under their PURE label. These foods contain seven to ten simple ingredients that make it easy for your dog to digest.
Each bag is completely grain-free without the use of any wheat, corn, or soy. There are six different proteins to choose from including salmon, lamb, duck, boar, bison, and chicken. You can even choose which life stage your dog is in from a pup to a senior.
Some of their more popular PURE recipes include:
- Canidae PURE Weight Management Limited Ingredient Grain-Free Premium Dry Food
- Canidae PURE Real Lamb, Goat, & Venison
- Canidae PURE Real Lamb
- Canidae PURE Real Bison
These limited ingredient grain-free diets are one of the most important offerings from Canidae. They make up the bulk of the different dog food varieties that they offer.
Understanding what goes into the production of these products is essential if you want to ensure that your canine companion is getting what he or she truly needs to be healthy.
|Recipe||Crude Protein||Crude Fat|
|PURE Weight Management||25%||14.5%|
|PURE Real Lamb, Goat & Venison||27%||14%|
|PURE Real Lamb||32%||18%|
|PURE Real Bison||28%||9%|
While the chart above gives you a quick glance at the important details, we also need to take a closer look at the full ingredients list to see just how limited these diets are. Below is the ingredient list for the PURE Real Lamb, Goat, & Venison:
Lamb, goat meal, lentils, peas, tapioca, canola oil, venison meal, suncured 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
As you can see, the very first ingredients are real meat. Lamb itself is an excellent source of protein, but the goat meal may be even more significant. Because meat meals are created by cooking the water out of the meat, it leaves a more concentrated form of protein.
It is followed by excellent ingredients like lentils and peas, which can double as a source of protein depending on the variety. Peas are also an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber. They may not be a meat source, but they sure do add a great deal of nutrition into your dog’s dinnertime.
Probiotics and Nutrition Supplements
One of the main benefits of these PURE formulas is the addition of probiotics. Veterinarians recommend adding probiotics to your dog’s diet to help support their digestive tract.
Humans and dogs alike can benefit from these important microorganisms that live in the gut. Not only does it help your pup to digest his food more easily, but it also prevents the growth of harmful bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella.
In addition to probiotics, Canidae also includes nutrition supplements to create a well-rounded recipe. A healthy dose of antioxidants bolsters their immune system, and omega fatty acids help to improve their skin and coat.
Some owners prefer to purchase plain food and add supplements to their dog’s diet. However, this creates an unnecessary step and adds cost to your bottom line.
Instead of buying pricey supplements that fill these unique roles, you have them already packaged in these convenient recipes. In the ingredients list above, it is easy to pick out which ingredients contain some of those important probiotics:
- 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
Canidae Ancestral Diet
Along with their PURE limited ingredient diets, Canidae also offers a high meat diet with its PURE Ancestral line. These Ancestral formulas come in varieties for all dogs from puppyhood all the way to senior status. There are four main varieties:
- Avian Raw Coated Dry Formula with Quail, Chicken, Turkey, and Duck for Puppies
- Raw Coated Dry Red Meat with Lamb, Goat, and Wild Boar
- Raw Coated Dry Fish Formula with Salmon, Mackerel, Pollock, Whitefish, and Tuna
- Avian Raw Coated Dry Formula with Quail, Chicken, and Turkey
Compared to the PURE line, these Canidae Ancestral diets contain significantly more meat ingredients.
A quick glance at the ingredients list for their popular dry red meat with lamb, goat, and boar recipe reveals that meat and meat meals make up the top five ingredients (lamb, goat, goat meal, wild boar meal, and pork meal).
Because meat meals are simply concentrated forms of meat, it is not surprising that they can boast that these recipes are made primarily of meat.
Canidae boasts that a 20-pound package of dog food will contain at least fourteen pounds of real meat ingredients for this recipe. Some of the other Ancestral recipes contain an even higher ratio of meat.
For example, the popular Canidae Pure Fish Adult Dog Formula made with salmon and mackerel will contain up to seventeen pounds of fish per 20-pound bag.
|Recipe||Crude Protein||Crude Fat|
|Avian Raw Coated Dry Formula with Quail, Chicken, Turkey, and Duck for Puppies||29%||14%|
|Raw Coated Dry Red Meat with Lamb, Goat, and Boar||28%||13.5%|
|Raw Coated Dry Fish Formula with Salmon, Mackerel, Pollock, Whitefish, and Tuna||36%||12.5%|
|Avian Raw Coated Dry Formula with Quail, Chicken, and Turkey||34%||13.5%|
If your dog is in search of more protein, these four recipes should be on your short-list of foods to consider. However, it is possible that your dog may not be able to handle the high protein found in these formulas.
Dogs with pre-existing kidney or liver issues may find that it is too difficult for their bodies to process the high levels of protein. Their organs would have to work too hard to process these meals and could upset their gastrointestinal tract.
Canidae All Life Stages
Their All Life Stages variety is the ideal option for multi-dog families where everyone has different dietary needs. Much like the PURE and Ancestral diets, they offer several different recipes so that you can experiment with what appeals to your pup. You can choose from:
|Recipe||Crude Protein||Crude Fat|
|Chicken and Rice||26%||15.5%|
|Lamb and Rice||23%||12.5%|
|For Less Active Dogs||22.5%||8.5%|
|Large Breed (Turkey and Brown Rice)||23%||13%|
All of these recipes contain meat and meat meal products that ensure your pet will receive the crude protein and crude fat that their bodies crave. It is still manufactured with the same probiotics, antioxidants, and omega fatty acids found in their other lines of food. Take a closer look at the ingredient list for their popular Chicken and Rice recipe to get a better idea:
Chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, cracked pearled barley, peas, chicken fat, millet, tomato pomace, natural flavor, flaxseed, salmon oil, choline chloride, salt, potassium chloride, suncured alfalfa, inulin (from chicory root), lecithin, sage extract, cranberries, beta-carotene, rosemary extract, sunflower oil, yucca schidigera extract, 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, 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), minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite), mixed tocopherols (a preservative), papaya, pineapple
There is a definite shift in the ingredients found in this dog food compared to the PURE and Ancestral diets. It may come as no surprise that this formula lists rice as two of its top five ingredients.
Rice can be beneficial for dogs who need food with a lower fat percentage or who need some help with their digestive system. Rice can help to mediate stomach ailments and improve bowel movements for your canine.
Despite the lower protein levels, this food still contains many of the beneficial nutrients your dog needs while excluding filler items like corn, wheat, and soy.
How much can you expect to pay for a bag of high-quality dog food from Canidae? Price usually plays a major role in which dog food brand you ultimately choose for your beloved furry family member.
Premium dog food tends to come with a premium price tag, but you do sometimes get exactly what you pay for. Unfortunately, the price tag for Canidae does place it outside of what is considered affordable for many pet owners.
In general, a 12-pound bag of their PURE Real Lamb, Goat, and Venison is just under $40.
Expect to pay slightly more for the PURE Ancestral recipes that contain higher ratios of meat. The Raw Coated Red Meat formula costs approximately $80 for a 20-pound bag.
If you were more interested in the All Life Stages dog food, you might find a better deal. This forty-pound bag comes in around $65 but will last much longer than the small bags available with the other recipes.
Where to Buy Canidae Dog Food
You will find that most local pet specialty retail stores in the USA, Canada, in addition to globally, will carry a variety of Canidae products. Use Canidae’s helpful Store Locator to find a location near you.
Furthermore, Canidae’s pet products may be conveniently delivered to your door via a variety of authorized online retailers that include Amazon, Chewy, Petco, Petflow, among others.
Making the Decision to Go with Canidae
Choosing the right food for a furry friend can feel overwhelming to new pet owners and seasoned ones alike. A quick look around the pet store shelves proves that there are many different varieties to choose from.
Canidae is one of the leading name brands in quality dog food that focuses on grain-free diets to enhance your dog’s overall health. Their recipes are appealing to picky dogs and are packed with nutrition that your dog craves.
The only major drawback to the Canidae brand is their overall price. Higher than many of the other brands, you may struggle to justify the cost.
However, you might notice that they fill a unique niche in the market with foods that focus on quality ingredients and multiple meat sources. If you can afford to make the switch to Canidae, your canine companion is sure to thank you.
A big-dog lover, successful marketing executive, and website developer, Brian founded Canine Weekly in 2016. Brian lives just outside of Seattle with his wife and child. Brian grew up with labs and the family is eager to get another Labrador once their newborn is a little older. Brian is the former owner of Canine Weekly.