Looking for information on Canadian dog food brands, but all your searches are returning products from the United States?
Well, look no further. We’ve analyzed and reviewed a vast swathe of dog food products that are available or produced in Canada and chosen out some of the best.
Canadian Dog Food Vs. The Rest Of The World
Dog food sold in Canada tends to be remarkably similar to dog food that is sold in the United States.
Many Canadian dog food brands have their manufacturing facilities in the United States and vice versa.
In addition, many of the ingredients used in US and Canadian dog food tend to be sourced from one of the two countries.
However, despite this constant flow across the borders, there are several Canadian exclusive brands that you can not find in the United States. These smaller brands often source their ingredients from local suppliers and support local Canadian pet stores.
Canadian dog food is also quite similar to European dog food. However, there are different regulations in place in Europe, which results in different labeling and packaging.
How We Chose The Best Dog Food
Dog Food quality is a complicated discussion, but we try to stay consistent with our choices. Factor such as ingredient quality, nutritional ratios (Protein, Fat, Carbohydrates, Omega Fatty Acids), Recall History, Animal Testing, Price, and Country of Origin all play a part in our selections.
We recommend you check out our Dog Food Guide for more information on the overall topic of dog food. You can also check out our Reviews page for a list of all the brands we’ve researched and analyzed.
Best Dog Food In Canada
It wouldn’t be an article about Canadian dog food without mentioning the most famous Canadian dog food brand of all – Orijen. Orijen, and its sister brand Acana, are some of the most popular and renowned names in the premium pet food industry.
Its formulas are well-known to contain a massive variety of high-quality meat and fish ingredients in extraordinarily high proportions. This variety can include as many as 10+ meat or fish ingredients in a single formula.
Orijen’s Original Formula is a safe bet and contains a range of meat and fish ingredients, including Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, Eggs, among others. These ingredients are accompanied by vegetables such as Peas, Beans, Pumpkin, and Squash. All of these ingredients combine to provide a very satisfactory proportion of protein, fat, and carbohydrates that is ideally suited to the vast majority of dogs.
However, if the Original Formula does not appeal to you and your dog, there many other dry dog food recipes available from Orijen, containing Fish, Poultry, and Red Meat. Examples recipes include Six Fish, which, as you might guess, focuses on fish, Regional Red, which focuses on red meat, and Fit and Trim, which aims to be lower in fat and uses poultry and fish ingredients.
Sadly, the mountains of high-quality meat and fish ingredients do not come cheap, and as a consequence, Orijen is a premium product and is priced accordingly. Orijen’s sister brand Acana is notably less expensive, so we recommend you check our review of them if you think Orijen is out of your price range.
Go! Carnivore Grain Free Salmon + Cod Recipe Review
Go! is a large Canadian brand that is based in British Columbia. However, their products aren’t just sold in Canada and are also popular in the United States. They are owned by Petcurean, who also own brands such as Gather, Now Fresh, and Summit.
All of Go!’s ingredients are sourced from the United States, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand, which means you can rest easy about their quality.
Go! recently rebranded its Fit + Free range, and it is now known as Carnivore. This rebranding has added some recipes, including the Salmon + Cod recipe that is shown above.
Salmon and Cod are both highly nutritious fish ingredients. They contain a high portion of protein and fat that is ideal for a dog’s diet, especially those that are highly active. In addition to this protein and fat, Salmon is one of the best sources of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids. Many believe that these fatty acids can provide several health benefits such as a reduced risk of heart disease and improved cognitive function.
The recipe is rounded off with a mix of legume and starch ingredients such as Lentils, Peas, Chickpeas, and Tapioca. These ingredients provide carbohydrates and dietary fiber. However, the portion of these ingredients is small, ensuring that the fish are the formula’s focus.
Many in the western world are not familiar with Tapioca, so we recommend you check out our article Tapioca In Dog Food for more information.
Kabo Tender Chicken Recipe Review
Kabo is a fresh home-delivered dog food brand that was recently launched in Canada. It is available in Ontario, British Columbia, Montreal, Winnipeg, and Calgary.
Fresh home-delivered dog food is prepared, packaged, and frozen before being shipped directly to consumer’s doors. This methodology is extremely convenient and avoids waste. Read our article Best Fresh Home Delivered Dog Food, for more information on this type of dog food.
Of the two Kabo recipes currently available, the Tender Chicken Recipe is our clear winner. The recipe is Kabo’s take on the classic Chicken and Rice formula that many dogs rely on as a staple.
The nutrition offered by this recipe is far better than its beef counterpart, and this translates to a satisfactory proportion of protein and fat.
Rice isn’t the only plant-based ingredient present. The recipe also makes use of Carrots, Peas, and Apples. This mix of vegetables and fruit adds flavor, additional carbohydrates, fiber, and micronutrients.
We recommend checking out our Kabo Review Page for more information.
FirstMate Wild Pacific Caught Fish & Oats Formula Review
FirstMate is another family-owned Canadian brand, and its recipes are produced in Surrey, British Columbia. FirstMate employs a Veterinarian and Pet Nutritionist, which is becoming an increasingly important trait for a pet food brand to ensure their foods are best suited for pets’ needs.
First Mate has a broad mix of grain-free and grain-inclusive recipes to appeal to both sides of the spectrum. They also produce canned recipes and limited ingredient formulas for those with severe allergies or sensitivities.
The above recipe is one of their recipes that is grain-inclusive. It uses a mix of Oatmeal and Brown Rice. These two grain-ingredients are considered to be some of the best that can be used in dog food. This favoritism is as they can offer additional nutrition in the form of fiber and micronutrients that other grains lack.
However, these aren’t the recipes’ primary ingredients, but thankfully, fish is. There is an impressive portion of Ocean Fish Meal found in this recipe. While Ocean Fish Meal sounds somewhat vague, it is a mix of ocean-caught fish which are then processed once onshore. This ingredient is a dense source of protein and fat and should not be feared.
You can read more about Ocean Fish Meal in our article Ocean Fish Meal In Dog Food.
Ziwi Peak is a New Zealand based brand, but its products can be found worldwide, including in Canada. They are best known for producing a fantastic quality air-dried dog food range and is one of the leaders in this niche market. Air-dried dog food is extremely similar to freeze-dried dog food, which many are more familiar with. In essence, this process removes moisture from the food and preserves it.
Being a New Zealand brand, it will come as no surprise that Lamb features prominently as New Zealand is one of the world leaders in Lamb production. However, they do have some non-Lamb recipes, including a recently launched Chicken recipe.
The most notable advantage of Ziwi Peak’s air-dried dog food is that it consists entirely of meat and has no significant vegetable, grain, or fruit ingredients. By eliminating these plant-based ingredients, you can reduce the risk of your dog experiencing allergies or sensitivities to plant-based material. This lack of plant-based material can be especially significant for dogs who are allergic to multiple plant ingredients.
The other core advantage of air-dried dog food is that it can provide excellent nutrition. Thanks to a lack of plant-based material, the proportion of protein and fat in the recipes is immense and sufficient for dogs of all activity levels.
The somewhat distinct disadvantage of Air Dried Dog Food is that it is incredibly costly, even more so that premium brands like Orijen. Therefore, it is unlikely to be a realistic solution to the majority of dog owners. If, however, you are determined to make air-dried food viable, you could consider feeding your dog a mixture of Air Dried Dog Food and fresh fruit and vegetable ingredients. This approach could be a lot more realistic in cost.
Horizon Legacy Adult Review
Horizon is another well established Canadian brand that has been in operation for almost fifteen years. Their production facility is in Saskatchewan, and the brand is still family-owned despite its success.
Horizon has several product lines that vary between protein content and whether they are grain-free or grain inclusive. Their Legacy range is the range with the highest proportion of animal-based protein, which is ideal for a dog’s diet.
The above adult recipe from the Legacy range focuses on a mix of Chicken and Turkey ingredients, including Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Turkey Meal, and Salmon Meal. This mix is the source of the exemplary protein proportion. Meat meals such as Chicken Meal and Turkey Meal are extremely dense sources of nutrition as they have had their moisture removed.
As this formula is one of their grain-free recipes, it makes use of legume ingredients like Peas and other minor vegetables. Peas are a staple of the Canadian prairies and can, and likely are sourced locally from their production facility. Legumes, such as Peas, provide carbohydrates and fiber, along with some additional small nutritional value.
Zeal Air-Dried Beef with Freeze-Dried Salmon & Pumpkin Review
Zeal is a relatively young Canadian brand but is soon gaining popularity. It is very similar to Ziwi Peak, but it has its twist on the Air Dried style of food that Ziwi is renowned for. Some of their recipes mixes air-dried and freeze-dried food together, which is not something that any other brand that we are aware of is doing.
While air-dried and freeze-dried dog food offers similar nutrition, they do have a slightly different taste and texture, which may be appealing to some dogs. What is clear is that both of these styles of dog food are incredibly nutritionally dense.
The above recipe from Zeal uses a satisfactory mix of Beef and Salmon. These two ingredients are some of the most commonly used in dog food recipes. This popularity is as they are relatively inexpensive when compared to alternatives, but can offer incredible nutrition, high in protein and fat.
The recipe also makes use of some organ meat ingredients like Lung, Heart, Spleen, and Liver. These organ meat ingredients are a fantastic addition to any dog food recipe. These organ meat ingredients can add additional nutrition, less common vitamins and minerals, and, most importantly, they can seriously enhance the flavor to make the food more appealing to your dog.
Boreal Proper Chicken Meal Recipe Review
While many of the other brands discussed in this article can be found in the United States and often Worldwide, Boreal is a brand that is exclusively Canadian. It has regularly been featured on the shelves of smaller pet stores for over thirty years, and the brand sells both dog and cat food.
The above Chicken Meal recipe is one of their most reliable and straightforward. It includes a considerable portion of Chicken Meal, which provides a plentiful supply of protein and fat. Many consumers are freighted at meat meal ingredients like Chicken Meal, but they shouldn’t be.
They have had their moisture removed, which means they are a far denser source of nutrition than traditional meat cuts.
However, Chicken isn’t the only ingredient present, and the formula also utilizes Barley, Peas, and Oats. This unusual mix of grains and legumes provides a satisfactory portion of carbohydrates and fiber.
The recipe also uses minor ingredients like Flaxseed and Alfalfa. These ingredients are added to provide minor health benefits and micronutrients like the Omega 3 Fatty Acids. You can read more in-depth information about these ingredients in our articles Flaxseed In Dog Food & Alfalfa In Dog Food.
Smack Prairie Harvest Pork Review
Smack is a Canadian producer of dehydrated dog food. Dehydrated dog food should not be confused with freeze-dried or air-dried dog food as it can be quite different.
Dehydrated dog food is designed to be re-mixed with water before consumption. This added moisture means that a relatively small bag of dehydrated dog food can become quite significant in weight once the water is added. Also, while freeze-dried or air-dried dog food is made up of almost entirely meat and fish ingredients, dehydrated dog food often contains a significant portion of plant-based material, such as grains or vegetables.
Our point about partial plant-based content is valid for Smack’s recipes as the above recipe contains a mix of Pumpkin, Kale, Apple, and more. These fruit and vegetable ingredients are beneficial additions and in modest quantities. Pumpkin can be an important addition to some dogs who struggle to maintain regular digestion as it is an extremely reliable and dense source of fiber.
As the name gives away, Pork is the recipe’s primary ingredient. However, like some of the other recipes we have discussed in this article, this recipe also uses organ meat such as Heart, Liver, and Kidney. These Pork organ meat ingredients will be sure to improve the taste of the food as well as provide vitamins and minerals that traditional meat cuts lack.
Carna4 Grain-Free Duck Review
Carna4 is a small Canadian pet food brand that most dog owners will not be familiar with. They have a tiny product range when compared to many of their competitors, but this shouldn’t put you off them as the recipes that they do offer are very high-quality and appealing.
One of the key benefits of Carna4 is that they provide vast amounts of information about their ingredients and the exact nutrition of their recipes on their website. This transparency is leaps and bounds above the vast majority of their competitors and is an endearing trait for the ever more conscious consumer.
While most dog food recipes with poultry focus on Chicken and Turkey, Carna4 has a Duck recipe. Duck can still provide similar nutrition to Chicken but tends to contain a higher ratio of fat. However, this higher fat ratio can make it more enticing to dogs.
Alongside Duck, the recipe contains other ingredients like Pork Liver, Eggs, Sprouted Barley Seeds, Herring, Sweet Potato, and more. Eggs are worth pointing out as they are very nutritionally dense, and the nutrition they provide is effortless to digest. This digestibility means that it can be easily utilized by a dog’s digestive system rather than being wasted. This extensive mix of ingredients provides a very satisfactory and balanced nutritional profile that is suitable for the majority of dogs.