The Caru Classic Stews product line includes 6 wet dog foods.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
- Caru Real Pork Stew [M]
- Caru Real Turkey Stew [M]
- Caru Real Beef Stew (3 stars) [M]
- Caru Real Chicken Stew (2 stars) [M]
- Caru Real Turkey with Lamb Stew [M]
- Caru Real Chicken with Duck Stew [M]
Caru Real Beef Stew was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef broth, green beans, potatoes, carrots, peas, apples, sweet potatoes, tapioca starch, potato starch, tricalcium phosphate, sunflower oil, salt, vitamins (choline bitartrate, dl-alpha-tocopherol acetate, vitamin A palmitate, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, cholecalciferol), minerals (zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, iodine amino acid chelate, selenium yeast)
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 12.5%
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||13%||53%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||28%||48%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is beef broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a dog food, they are a common addition component in many canned products.
The third ingredient includes green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth ingredient lists peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
The seventh ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The eighth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.
The ninth ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.
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, sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3’s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils.
Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.
There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.
Next, 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.
And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Caru Classic Stews Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Before we conclude, it’s worth noting Caru Pet Food has taken the rather unusual step of applying for (and actually receiving) FDA approval to label its pet foods “human grade“.
The company only uses human-edible components and produces all its products in a human food manufacturing facility.
So, judging by its ingredients alone, Caru Classic Stews appears to be a superior dog food
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 28%, a fat level of 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 55%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 48% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 52%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a moderate amount of meat.
Caru Classic Stews is a meat-based wet dog food using a moderate amount of named meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 3.5 stars.
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.