A number of Acana dog food reviews rank the brand highly when it comes to premium-quality ingredients, the primacy of animal proteins, and the completeness of the nutrition that each formula delivers to all dogs of different breeds and life stages. It is well-known for its Classics, Heritage, and Regionals Acana dog food formulations, although its Singles and Singles Treats formulas are also doing good. In this review we take a look at why many pet parents consider the Acana brand of pet food to be simply the best that they are very much willing to pay a hefty price for a bag of this brand of canine nutrition.
Acana is a brand of dog food that is under the management of Champion Petfoods, the same company that brings to the world another premium-quality dog food brand, Orijen. Because of their ties, one can expect that the dog food formulations of Acana closely mimics those of Orijen, making for a worthy alternative in cases where one is pricier than the other.
Acana prides itself of using only the finest qualities of animal proteins in its formulations, accounting for at least 60 percent of the total composition of the dog food. The brand also doesn’t believe in the inclusion of unnecessary starches like potatoes and sweet potatoes as well as glutens and grains. Instead, Acana strongly believes in the better nutrient profiles of healthier fruits and vegetables. Its ingredients are sourced from local producers, growers, farmers, and fishermen within their respective localities. They make sure that these ingredients arrive at their Kentucky kitchens within 3 days so that they can be processed into dog food instantly. This greatly preserves all the freshness and nutrients that these ingredients have.
There’s free-run poultry, ranch-raised meats, and wild-caught fish that eventually get blended with the freshest local produce from Kentucky farms to give the Acana dog food brand one of the richest in whole-prey nutrient ratios.
The numerous awards that the biologically appropriate dog food formulations of both Acana and Orijen have brought for Champion are testament to the ingenuity of their products.
Why Choose this Brand?
The use of premium-quality animal proteins is one of the best reasons why pet parents choose this brand over the others. It is also one of the reasons why many Acana dog food reviews speak of the brand in high regard. The primacy of animal proteins clearly provides the right amino acids and essential fatty acids that dogs need to thrive in their optimum best.
There are no artificial ingredients used in the blends. Each ingredient is carefully selected and then processed to lock-in all of the nutrients and flavors that dogs need to grow, mature, and lead a happier life. The company observes strict quality control measures to help guarantee that the product you give to your dog stays as fresh as the day it was formulated.
Acana never uses glutens, grains, or potatoes in their formulas. And while some would argue that potatoes are rich in vitamins and minerals, it can also be very starchy and which has a high glycemic index. For dogs that are quite prone to diabetes, this is simply not a good way to go. Instead, dogs are given nutrient-dense, low glycemic index vegetables and fruits so dogs can take full advantage of the many benefits of antioxidants present in these ingredients.
Pet parents who are looking for variety in their dog’s diet can always rely on the different formulas of Acana. From its Classics to the Heritage to the Regionals and even to its Singles formulations, one can have the right blend of all-natural ingredients for their pets designed in a way to simulate the dog’s biological needs.
Clearly one of the greatest strengths of the Acana dry dog food is its biologically appropriate formulation. What this means is that the clinical veterinary nutritionists of the company take to heart what the bodies of dogs really need. Specifically, they know the exact nutrients in the right amounts that dogs need to get to grow healthy, strong, and optimize their full canine potential. Here’s a look at how the main ingredients of Acana dog food stack up.
- Above average to high protein
Looking at the 5 Acana dog food products in this list we can compute for the average protein content to be 31.4%. When its 12% moisture content has been accounted for, the protein content reflects an above-average to high protein level of 35.6%. While canned and wet dog food formulations can have protein contents of as much as 50 to 60%, the 35% for a dry dog food is already considered as high.
The good thing about Acana dog food is that the brand always makes sure that only animal ingredients are used in supplying the formulations’ protein requirements. This is very unlike other brands that use powdered plant proteins to jack up the protein content of the dog food. While vegetarians will argue that a protein is still a protein regardless of where it comes from, research indicates that proteins from plant sources contain an incomplete list of essential amino acids. As such, many of these so-called powdered plant protein-based dog foods often require amino acid supplementation. This means that the amino acid must be given pre-packed. This is very different from the amino acids that are already present in animal proteins.
Additionally, many of the formulas of the brand utilize novel proteins like duck, lamb, and the like. Of special note is their Pacifica Regionals formulation that features a sizeable number of freshly-caught wild fish. These are different from fishes farmed in pens, ensuring your dog gets the best possible source of high-quality proteins. Not only that, you also get the richness of EPA and DHA in these marine animal protein sources.
Acana also doesn’t hide its true ingredients from consumers. It strives to name all of its ingredients. As such you can read ‘deboned lamb’ instead of ‘deboned meat’. One of the cardinal signs of a good pet food product is that it should have a named protein in its list of ingredients.
- Above average fat
Just like its protein content, the fat content of Acana dry dog food is average to above-average. Our list shows it is flat at 17%, although this translates to 19.3% on a dry matter basis. Still, one can feel reassured that the fats included in the blend are not the synthetic or unhealthy kind as this effectively comes from the very same animal ingredients that the brand uses in its formulas.
What is noteworthy is its amazing profile of essential fatty acids. Many dog food products put their emphasis on omega-6. While this is a beneficial fatty acid, too much of it can have the opposite effect. That is why nutritionists and veterinarians alike actually recommend following a more ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids of at least 4:1. In many products of Acana, this ratio is substantially improved to 2:1 and even a perfect 1:1 ratio.
- Below average carbs
On the average, the carbohydrate content of Acana dry dog food is only 29% based on a calorie-weighted computation. What is more remarkable is that, while Acana dog food provides about 6% of fiber in dry matter, it never uses any of the grains and starchy substances that most dog food products put into their formulas. Instead, Acana chooses to include only the freshest possible vegetables and fruits it could source from its local partners.
Every formulation is designed to meet and even exceed the minimum nutrient requirements of AAFCO for canine food. Calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, and selenium are supplied by the vast array of natural ingredients. Even water- and fat- soluble vitamins as well as the nutraceuticals chondroitin and glucosamine are provided to help your pet grow healthier.
Pros & Cons
- 60 to 70 percent of the ingredients in each product formulation are made of premium quality animal ingredients
- 30 to 40 percent of the ingredients in each product formulation are made of healthy botanicals, fruits, and vegetables
- Above-average to high protein content with animal meats as principal protein sources
- Doesn’t contain grains, glutens, and potatoes as well as other highly starchy ingredients
- Exceeds the minimum nutrient requirements of AAFCO
- Utilizes only freshly –caught, -farmed, or –harvested ingredients from local suppliers
- Includes chondroitin and glucosamine in many formulas
- Provides one of the best ratios for omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids
- Includes probiotic organisms in many formulations
- Pricier than most
Acana, like Orijen, thrives because of its insistence on using only the highest quality of ingredients it can source. Together with its biologically appropriate pet food formulas, the brand’s continuing focus on giving dogs the kind of nutrition that their bodies are naturally designed to accommodate are what makes this dog food brand a very worthy nutrition to give to one’s pet.