Canidae Grain Free Pure (Dry)

(4.5 / 5)

Canidae Grain Free Pure (Dry)

The Canidae Grain Free Pure product line includes 12 dry dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Gr

owth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Fields [U]
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Resolve [U]
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Meadow [U]
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Foundations [U]
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Sky (5 stars) [U]
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Sea (5 stars) [U]
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Wild (4 stars) [U]
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Land (4 stars) [U]
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Elements (5 stars) [U]
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Petite Small Breed Bison (3.5 stars) [U]
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Petite Small Breed Salmon (3.5 stars) [U]
  • Canidae Grain Free Pure Petite Small Breed Chicken (3.5 stars) [U]

Canidae Grain Free Pure Fields was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein 33

Fat 13

Carbs 45

Ingredients: Chicken, menhaden fish meal, peas, lentils, potatoes, dried whole egg, chicken fat, suncured alfalfa, flaxseed, natural flavor, 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 B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), salt, choline chloride, 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, mixed tocopherols (a source of vitamin E)

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 30% 12% NA
Dry Matter Basis 33% 13% 45%
Calorie Weighted Basis 30% 29% 41%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken. Although it is a quality item, raw chicken contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The second ingredient is menhaden fish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Menhaden are small ocean fish related to herring. They’re rich in protein and omega-3 fatty acids. What’s more, in their mid-depth habitat, menhaden are not exposed to mercury contamination as can be typical with deep water species.

This item is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

The fourth ingredient lists lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, both peas and lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The fifth ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The sixth ingredient includes whole dried egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The seventh ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The eighth ingredient is dried alfalfa. Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it’s uncommon to see it used in a dog food. This hay-family ingredient is more commonly associated with horse feeds.

From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.

But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.

With three notable exceptions

First, we find flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.

And lastly, this food contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Canidae Grain Free Pure Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Canidae Grain Free Pure looks like an above-average dry product.

But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 45%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 30% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 47% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, lentils, alfalfa and flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Canidae Grain Free Pure is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.

Those looking for a quality wet food from the same company may wish to visit our review of Canidae Grain Free Canned Dog Food.