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Acana Dog Food Reviews – Ingredients Analysis

  • August 15, 2018
  • / Best Dog Foods
  • / By Drew & Gunnar
  • / 16 COMMENTS

Acana Dog Food is made by a Canadian company called Champion Petfoods that has been in business for over 25 years. This line of dog food was specially developed to ensure that dogs maintain a kibble diet that is natural yet rich in nutrients.

Acana prides itself on making biologically appropriate foods and the brand actually makes food for both dogs and cats. Using only fresh ingredients, Champion Petfoods make their dog food from start to finish and have managed to maintain very high standards.

acana dog food reviews

The Acana brand seeks to create a new and high standard for pet foods and aims to nourish pets by producing foods that are rich in protein and made from fresh products that they receive from farms and ranches.

Of course, to do this, they need to be able to adequately sustain a supply of fresh produce and they have managed to do so by relying on local suppliers who are able to meet their growing demands on a daily basis.

Gunnar's Favorite Acana Dog Food Flavors

Flavor

First 3 Ingredients

Calorie Distribution

Cost

Duck and Pear (Dry)

Duck
Duck Meal
Whole Green Peas

Protein - 31%
Fat - 17%
Fiber - 6%

on Amazon

Lamb and Apple (Dry)

Lamb
Lamb Meal
Whole Lentils

Protein - 31%
Fat - 17%
Fiber - 6%

on Amazon

Heritage Meats (Dry)

Beef
Pork
Beef Meal

Protein - 29%
Fat - 17%
Fiber - 6%

on Amazon

Heritage Free Run Poultry (Dry)

Chicken
Chicken Giblets
Chicken Meal

Protein - 29%
Fat - 17%
Fiber - 6%

on Amazon

Acana Dog Food Overview

  • Made In: United States & Canada
  • Manufactured By: Champion Pet Foods
  • Free Of: Meat By-products, grain, gluten, dried and powdered ingredients, artificial preservatives, colors, and flavors
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    Different Flavors: 4 different lines - 20 formulas
  • Fat-to-Protein Ratio: 54%
  • Recalls: 0
  • Bag Sizes: 4.5 lb, 13 lb, 25 lb
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    Amount of Meat: Notable

Acana Processing Methods

Acana is produced in Canada in Morinville, Alberta. In the US, the kitchens responsible for making the Acana brand are located in Kentucky USA on approximately 85 acres of farmland and Petfoods has ensured that these facilities continually exceed all regulatory requirements. Additionally, the kitchens are only responsible for making pet foods for the Acana and Orijen brands to ensure that the product you receive is both exclusive and authentic.

In order to maintain high standards within these facilities, there are 6 principles to which all kitchens should adhere. In addition to advancing the biologically appropriate mission of the Petfoods company, all kitchens must not outsource products, should earn trust, be the best and not necessarily the biggest, partner with the agricultural community, and be a natural fit in their locale. These principles ensure that all facilities produce products with equal quality and maintain the present standards of the brand.

The kitchens in which Acana dog food is produced are considered to be of high quality. In fact, they are often described as being state-of-the-art. These DogStar® kitchens are furnished with equipment that is able to deliver high-quality foods containing meat inclusions that have been introduced to the pet food industry by Champion Petfoods.

One such equipment is the huge blenders that are able to blend and combine a large number of ingredients all at once. Other state-of-the-art equipment used in the kitchens include votator heat exchangers, high-intensity preconditioners, and proprietary moisture reduction systems. Additionally, to aid in the processing of their dog foods, the kitchens utilize processes, such as twin thermal cooking and sequential infusion.

Ingredients Used in Acana Dog Food

Acana is a brand that has been developed and known for high quality, natural pet food. In producing Acana dog food, only fresh, local ingredients are utilized. This is one of the primary reasons why the DogStar® kitchens are located so close to the agricultural areas in Kentucky and Alberta. The farms and ranches that are nearby can easily supply the kitchens with fresh products for use in the dog foods.

To keep these fresh products usable, there is a refrigerator that is as big as half of a football field. It is able to store around 600,000 pounds of ingredients and measures approximately 25,000 square feet. Of course, not all products are available all year round as some items may be seasonal. To counteract this situation, Champion Petfoods has equipped their kitchens with nitrogen freezers so these seasonal items can be flash-frozen to retain their freshness.

Champion Pet Foods does not use GMO ingredients, meat with hormones and antibiotics, or fish high in heavy metals. They do not contain chemical preservatives.

Champion’s ingredients or foods are never treated with Ethoxyquin or any other chemical. Ethoxyquin is often used as a fish preservative, Champion makes sure that the fresh fish they are getting is preserved with Vitamin E and botanical extracts.

Dogs are carnivores, they need a diet high in meat and protein, they do not need carbohydrates. Conventional pet foods contain anywhere from 40-60% carbs. Acana dog foods are very high in meat. They use a variety of meats, in order to mirror the natural diversity dogs would have in the wild.

Ingredients are steam-cooked in their own juices, no water is added to the formulations and no powdered ingredients are used.

A Sample of Ingredients Acana Uses

  • Free-range Bison, indigenous to Alberta
  • Heritage pork, raised in Southern Alberta
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables, grown in Okanagan Valley Orchards
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    The whole nest laid eggs, produced on Hutterite Farms
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    Freshwater fish, caught by fishermen in the cold Northern Lakes
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    Acana does contain one controversial ingredient: Alfalfa - Although alfalfa is high in protein (18%) and fiber, it is more commonly associated with horse feed

Pros

  • Locally sourced ingredients
  • Meat ingredients include turkey, pork, lamb, fish, wild boar, chicken, bison, and beef
  • Grain and gluten free
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    Fresh fruits and vegetables
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    Use low glycemic carbohydrates
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    Utilize fresh whole meats and include cartilage, organs, and marrow

Cons

  • Alfalfa is commonly associated with horse feed

Acana vs. Orijen

Both Orijen and Acana are produced with fresh ingredients and are made to be Biologically Appropriate. The differences in the two brands include:

  • Meat Content – Orijen is 75-80% meat, while Acana is 60-65% meat.
  • Fresh Meats – Orijen uses 50% fresh meats, Acana uses 9-30 %.
  • Protein – Orijen foods are between 38% and 42% protein. Acana foods are between 32 – 35% protein.
  • Carbohydrates – Orijen contains 20 – 25% carbs, and Acana contains 25 – 28% carbs.
  • Meat Diversity – Orijen contains a minimum of 6 fresh meat ingredients, Acana contains a minimum of 3 fresh types of meat.

Acana is basically a more affordable version of Orijen. Both are excellent quality dog foods and are considered the best that the dog food world has to offer.

See the following video for more information:

Why Acana is One of the Best Dog Food Brands

Any brand of dog food that has been developed to include natural, fresh ingredients is definitely a brand worthy of mention. With the Acana brand, not only are the ingredients natural but the nutrient proportions have carefully been thought about in order to ensure that the foods produced are biologically appropriate for dogs.

Made of more than 95% fresh ingredients and less than 30% carbohydrates, these dog foods are definitely of high quality. To add to this, the Acana brand is known to be reasonably priced when you take into account the caliber of ingredients that the products contain.

Because Acana dog food is made in kitchens that are exclusively owned by Champion Petfoods, it is highly likely that the quality of the dog foods will be maintained and a guarantee can be made that there is no other brand that contains the same formula.

Not only are these foods biologically appropriate for dogs, the ingredients used in making the foods are extremely safe for human use. All these factors definitely make the Acana brand one of the best available brands of dog food currently on the market.

The downside to this product, however, is that you may need to get supplies while they are available as they tend to sell out quite quickly, and that is really not a downside to the brand itself, but rather speaks to the fact that many people are aware of how valuable the products are.

Acana Award Winning Dog Food

Most Popular Acana Dog Food Formula

There are four product lines for Acana dog foods- Acana Classics, Acana Heritage, Acana Regionals and Acana Singles. The Heritage and Regionals line contain ingredients of varying proportions while the Singles line is specifically developed for dogs with a sensible diet.

Within these lines, I would highly recommend the Acana Duck and Bartlett Pear Dry Dog Food from the Singles line of products.

This particular product is grain free and has limited ingredients that are safe for dogs that require a sensitive diet. It is very reasonably priced and is a great source of nutrients for all types of dogs.

Conclusion

Acana dog food reviews, because of the high-quality ingredients used to make Acana dog foods, it is definitely a premium product with great benefits for all types of dogs. Being a biologically appropriate pet food, it is priced very well in comparison to the value that it provides and thanks to the Singles line of products.

You also can purchase these natural foods for your dog that has digestive problems as it will be easy on their digestive system.

Acana dog foods review will provide your dog with all the substances that are needed for adequate energy levels, great muscle tone, and a healthy immune system. It is definitely a very good product to provide your dog with a kibble diet that is nutritious and natural.

My sister and brother-in-law feed their dog Acana dog food. Their dog loves this food. You can smell the food when my sister takes it out.

We joke that you have to leave the room because the food wafts a smell of fish into the air. This food smells very strongly like the meats that are used in it. To me, this is an indication that this is a high-quality dog food. His coat is shiny, he is happy and healthy.


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Please Note:

The opinions and analysis contained on this website are my own personal views - along with Gunnar's input of course - and countless hours of research.

These reviews are here to help you make a more informed purchasing decision in regards to feeding your dog the best food possible. Be aware though, that every dog is unique and no food will be good for all dogs. If you are in doubt, consult a qualified veterinarian.

Puplore does not accept money, gifts or samples from dog food companies. I do receive a small affiliate commission if you decide to purchase from our links which allows me to pay my bills on time and continue to spoil Gunnar as much as I can!!

About the Author Drew & Gunnar

As you can see, Gunnar makes Drew do all the work but heading outdoors with your best friend is never really work! Drew buys the products and Gunnar does the testing so you can rest assured you are reading the most up to date information to make the best decision for your dog's health and well-being!

  • Felicity says:

    This is a helpful review on Acana dog food. When my family and I first had a dog, we didn’t really know what the dog likes to eat and what dog foods are best. This review helps me learn how important it is to provide dog foods that are better quality and made with local, fresh ingredients. How many servings does the Acana dog food contain? Is there a certain amount of serving of Acana dog food that is recommended for the dog each day?

    • Top Dog says:

      I am not sure how many servings a bag of Acana contains, as that would depend on the size of your dog. My sisters dog ( A chocolate lab) gets fed about 3 cups a day and his bag of food (the largest bag) lasts about 3 weeks 🙂

  • Gary says:

    My girlfriend and I rescue dogs and cats. Our house resembles an animal shelter with 9 dogs and 21 cats. With so many critters, you can imagine the vet bills we have.

    I can tell you from experience, the more your feed your dogs quality food, the less you pay the vet. Also, the better your dog will feel and look.

    I am thoroughly impressed with Acana Dog Food. Quality is worth paying for.

    • Top Dog says:

      Wow, good for you! There is probably never a dull moment in your house 🙂

      You are right, good food means good health.

  • Justin says:

    Thanks for the review, I had never heard of Acana dog food before as I shop at Petsmart and this is not one of the brands they carry. I am a firm believer in feeding my dog premium dog food which uses premium ingredients, after-all I want her to be with our family as long as possible and to be as healthy as possible. Acana seems to be a great product but I am afraid that at an average cost over $4 a pound will scare off the majority of dog owners, however, I see bags with similar price point at Petsmart flying off the shelf so maybe the price just scares off buyers like me.

    • Top Dog says:

      The high price reflects the quality ingredients. These are local, free range meats being used. Imagine going to a restaurant. You have a choice of food that is made from food waste by-products and shipped from all over the world or you have a choice of local, fresh food. Which would you choose?

      Yes Acana is expensive, and I understand that not everyone can afford it, but you will save money on vet bills because your pet will be healthier.

      If you want a more cost-effective, but still high-quality food, check out Fromm Gold. It is not grain free, but it has 3 types of meats as the first ingredients and is much more affordable.

  • Jackie says:

    I believe my two toy poodles were fed kibble for the first few years of their life. (before we adopted them)… They were both malnourished when we got them, so I made them chicken thighs with mixed vegetables hoping they would gain weight. They did. Then I tried to switch them back to kibble, but no go. People have told me they probably aren’t getting the nutrition they need, but I’m not sure what to do because they won’t eat the kibble now. This brand looks like a good one I’d like to try! Any thoughts?

    • Top Dog says:

      A lot of kibble on the market is full of ingredients that have no nutritional value to a dog. If you pick up a bag of dog food at the grocery store and read the ingredients list you will often see: meat by-products, corn, soy, and wheat. I have seen some dog foods that have corn as their first ingredient! This is not nutritious! The only reason dogs will eat these foods is because of the added flavors and sugars. It is like a junk food to them.

      Maybe your dogs are picky, and having been used to eating fresh chicken and veggies, they turn their nose up at kibble. I mean, would you want to eat kibble instead of fresh food?

      Acana would be worth a try for your dogs. You can buy it is smaller bags and give it a shot. The fact that there is so much real food in it makes it much more appealing to dogs. You could also try out The Honest Kitchen. It is a brand of dehydrated dog food that contains lots of veggies.

  • Rosa says:

    Hi,

    I have never heard of Acana dog food before. After reading and viewing the videos I was amazed of the quality ingredients used on this dog food. I’m also glad to learn that Acana not only produces dog food but also cat food.

    I haven’t seen this product anywhere, at any market I’ve shopped.

    I have noticed how pricey the product is. But I suppose feeding your pet a high-quality ingredient dog food is worth the paying the cost so you can have a healthier pet.

    I’m glad I came across this website. Thanks for sharing.

    • Top Dog says:

      Hi Rosa, thanks for commenting. Yes, teh price is high, but thte quality is outstanding. Feeding your pet high quality food should lead to less health problems and therefor less vet vistis, so that will save you some money in the long term. 🙂

  • Evie says:

    I actually use Acana cat food (and Orijen cat food). Can safely say that my cats adore both brands and now ignore any cheaper dried food. The great thing is that they don’t bulk out the food with grains which are not digestible for cats. Instead the meat quantity is very high and of good quality. I ran out the other week as my online supplier did not have stocks and had to get another dried cat food – yes that did not go down very well at all – it was hardly eaten and honestly it resulted in a very messy litter box.

    • Top Dog says:

      You have some lucky cats Evie!

  • SanShar says:

    So, I guess all dog foods are not created equal.

    Good nutrition is very important for keeping your pet healthy and living a long and happy life. Most people really don’t give pet nutrition much thought, but it certainly does make a difference.

    I’ve always fed my doges Puppy and Dog Chow. And, they seem to love it. In fact, when I try to buy some other, more expensive dog food, they don’t seem to like it as well. I guess it’s because they’re so used to eating Dog Chow.

    How can someone make a smooth transition from one type of dog food to another?

    • Top Dog says:

      Hi SanShar, dogs get used to the food they eat, and many dogs will prefer the cheaper dog foods because they are loaded with sugar and flavoring (kind of like how humans will eat junk food over healthy food if given the choice).

      It is important to transition your dog slowly to Acana to minimize digestive upset. Start by mixing 25% of Acana with the old food. Slowly change the proportions over the course of a week by gradually increasing the amount of Acana and lessening the amount of old food.

  • Kate G says:

    I would careful with ACANA. My dog has been on ACANA wild prerie for over half his life and he has been diagnosed with severe cardiomyopathy this month. ACANA claims no taurine supplementation is needed https://www.championpetfoods.com/wp-content/themes/champion-petfoods/res/research/taurine_bulletin.pdf well I’m currently supplementing taurine in hopes that my dog will not go into congestive heart failure. I thought I was giving him one of the best dog foods out there instead it looks like I shaved years of off his life.

    • Vasco Lamp says:

      ACANA wild prairie has taurine! “Taurine is an amino acid which can only be found in animal protein.It can be synthesised in dogs from the precursor amino acids cysteine and methionine.” “The sulphur amino acid family includes methionine, cysteine and taurine, which are abundant in fish, eggs and organ meats. These amino acids are important in the maintenance of a healthy heart, healthy skin and hair and good eyesight.”

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