Cesar Classics (Cups)

(2.5 / 5)
Cesar Classics (Cups)

The Cesar Classics product line includes 16 recipe cups.

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.

  • Cesar Classics with Beef [M]
  • Cesar Classics with Lamb [M]
  • Cesar Classics with Duck [M]
  • Cesar Classics with Turkey [M]
  • Cesar Classics Top Sirloin Flavor [M]
  • Cesar Puppy with Lamb and Rice [M]
  • Cesar Classics Filet Mignon Flavor [M]
  • Cesar Classics T-Bone Steak Flavor [M]
  • Cesar Puppy with Chicken and Beef [M]
  • Cesar Classics Grilled Chicken Flavor [M]
  • Cesar Classics with Chicken and Veal [M]
  • Cesar Classics with Chicken and Liver [M]
  • Cesar Classics with Chicken and Beef [M]
  • Cesar Classics Porterhouse Steak Flavor [M]
  • Cesar Classics with Oven Roasted Chicken Flavor [M]
  • Cesar Senior with Slow Simmered Chicken and Rice [M]

Cesar Classics Filet Mignon Flavor was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein 44

Fat 19

Carbs 28

Ingredients: Sufficient water for processing, beef by-productsanimal livermeat by-products, beef, chicken, chicken by-products, calcium carbonate, added color, sodium tripolyphosphate, carrageenan, potassium chloride, xanthan gum, magnesium proteinate, dried yam, natural flavor, salt, erythorbic acid, filet mignon flavor, guar gum, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, monocalcium phosphate, sodium nitrite(for color retention), copper sulfate, d-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 8% 4% NA
Dry Matter Basis 44% 19% 28%
Calorie Weighted Basis 37% 39% 24%

The first ingredient in this dog food is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most canned dog foods.

The second ingredient includes beef by-products, an item made from slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of a slaughtered cow after all the striated muscle cuts have been removed.

With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this item can include almost any other part of the animal.1

Although this item does contain all the amino acids a dog needs, we do not consider beef by-products a quality ingredient.

The third ingredient is animal liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The fourth ingredient includes meat by-products, an item made from slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime striated muscle cuts have been removed.

With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this item can include almost any other part of the animal.1

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergies impossible.

Although most meat by-products can be nutritious, we do not consider such vaguely described (generic) ingredients to be as high in quality as those derived from a named animal source.

The fifth ingredient 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

The sixth ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”.1

Both beef and chicken are naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The seventh ingredient includes chicken by-products, or slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs (the nourishing part), this stuff can contain almost anything — feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs — anything except quality skeletal muscle (real meat).

Although this item contains all the amino acids a dog needs, we consider chicken by-products an inexpensive, lower quality ingredient.

The eighth ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.

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 have much of an effect on the overall rating of this product.

With four notable exceptions

First, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. Coloring is used to make the product more appealing to you, not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his food is?

Next, carrageenan is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.

In addition, we note the inclusion of sodium nitrite, a controversial color preservative. Sodium nitrite has been linked to the production of cancer-causing substances (known as nitrosamines) when meats are exposed to high cooking temperatures.

And lastly, with the exception of magnesium, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

Cesar Classics Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Cesar Classics Dog Food looks like a below-average wet 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 44%, a fat level of 19% and estimated carbohydrates of about 28%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 45% and a mean fat level of 21%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.

Above-average protein. Below-average fat. And below-average carbs as compared to a typical wet dog food.

Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a wet dog food containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Cesar Classics is a meat-based wet dog food using a significant amount of meat by-products and beef by-products and unspecified liver as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 2.5 stars.

Not 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.