Acana Heritage - Feast
- Nutrition - 8/108/10
- Ingredients - 10/1010/10
Acana Heritage – Feast is a high-quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is above average and it provides above average proportions of protein and fat. Despite this, its carbohydrate proportion is a little too high and would be better replaced with additional protein.
It contains well sourced high-quality ingredients with a focus on poultry ingredients such as Turkey and Duck. Heritage – Feast has very satisfactory levels of the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids. It contains a range of Legumes which are considered a high-quality source of carbohydrates.
Acana Heritage – Feast contains a wide range of vegetables, the limited number of meats may make it suitable for dogs with fish or red meat based allergies or sensitivities.
High-Quality Meat Ingredients
High Levels Of Omega Fatty Acids
Large Portion of Legumes
A Full review of Heritage – Feast By Acana
The ideal nutrition for a dog is entirely dependant on their unique circumstances. However, a high proportion of protein and fat combined with a lower proportion of carbohydrates is most appropriate nutrition profile for the vast majority of dogs. Dog’s are very capable of consuming a high proportion of carbohydrates, but a diet high in protein and fat is more appropriate and a better reflection of their natural ancestral diet.
Carbohydrate Content Analysis
Dogs use carbohydrates as a simple energy source. Dogs do not require significant carbohydrates in their diet, and they are commonly added to reduce cost and increase shelf life. As the chart above displays, a maximum of 33% of Acana Heritage – Feast calories are derived from carbohydrates. Please note that this is the maximum proportion of calories from carbohydrates as calculated by the formulas guaranteed analysis. In reality, the proportion of carbohydrates is likely to be considerably lower. This proportion is below average for a Dry Dog Food.
The majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be from the vegetable content of this dog food. Ingredients such as Beans, Peas, and Lentils will be discussed in-depth later on. This is above what we would consider the ideal proportion of carbohydrates. That being said, they are from a reasonably high-quality source, and this percentage is an overestimate.
Protein Content Analysis
Dogs use protein for growth, development, and maintenance of the bodies muscles and cells. Excess protein can be burned as calories and will not be wasted. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 29% of Acana Heritage – Feast calories are derived from protein. Please note that this is the minimum proportion of calories from protein as calculated by the formulas guaranteed analysis. In reality, the proportion of protein is likely to be higher. This proportion is above average for a Dry Dog Food.
This will be a sufficient amount of protein for the majority of dogs but may be inadequate for those who are very active. This protein appears to be sourced from the large range of poultry ingredients such as Duck and Turkey. These are considered high-quality sources and contain the full range of amino acids. The minority of this protein proportion is from plant-based proteins. Plant-based protein is considered of a lesser quality.
Fat Content Analysis
Dogs primarily use fat as a concentrated energy source. Also, dietary fats play a role in development and maintenance. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 38% of Acana Heritage – Feast calories are derived from fat. Please note that this is the minimum proportion of calories from fat as calculated by the formulas guaranteed analysis. In reality, this proportion of fat is likely to be a lot higher. This proportion is significantly above average for a Dry Dog Food.
The fat present in this dog food appears to be sourced from the poultry ingredients which are an ideal source. Examples include Duck and Turkey Giblets. This low estimate of fat content is more than sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of even the most active dogs. The levels of the Omega Fatty Acids are very satisfactory in this formula and will provide a range of health benefits.
Acana Heritage – Feast contains an average of 3475 kcal/kg or 396 kcal per 8 oz cup.
Once again please note that the proportion values in this section are calculated using the formulas guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis of dog food formulas only lists the minimum and maximum values, and as a consequence, these can sometimes be an inaccurate representation.
As a rule of thumb, most dog foods will contain slightly more protein and considerably more fat than their guaranteed analysis. This will have the knock-on effect of reducing the relative proportion of carbohydrates present. However, also note that every dog food’s guaranteed analysis is different and some will be considerably closer to their guaranteed analysis than others.
Guaranteed Analysis – Acana Heritage – Feast
Pet foods in the United States are legally required by the AAFCO to have a guaranteed analysis on their packaging. A guaranteed analysis must display certain nutritional values. This is similar to how nutritional values are now commonly displayed on food for human consumption.
The information that must be displayed includes Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Crude Fiber, and Moisture. Some guaranteed analysis will contain additional information such as the level of the Omega Fatty Acids or certain minerals. The guaranteed analysis for this product is listed below.
- Crude Protein (Min) – 29.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 17.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 5.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 12.00%
- Calcium (Min) – 1.2%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 1.0%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.6%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 1.3%
The ingredients of pet food are disclosed on the packaging of the product as a list in descending order. Therefore the ingredients at the start of the list make up the bulk of the pet foods content. As a consequence, the quality of these primary ingredients is the most significant factor in determining the quality of pet food.
However, ingredients listed further down the ingredient list should not be ignored, especially if they could have adverse or harmful effects on a pet.
- Turkey Meal
- Duck Meal
- Turkey Giblets
Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients
In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review
The meat and fish ingredients of dog food are without a doubt the most important. They are critical as they provide the majority of the protein and fat that dogs desperately need. Also, these ingredients would have made up the bulk of dogs ancestors diet. Therefore, the quality of a dog food formulas meat and fish ingredients is crucial. Acana Heritage – Feast contains more than five sources of meat or fish.
The primary meat source present is Duck. Duck is a considered a high-quality source of protein. It contains considerably higher levels of selenium and phosphorus than other meats. Unfortunately, Duck does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Duck. However given that Duck is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.
The secondary meat source present is Turkey. Turkey is a considered a high-quality source of protein. Some of the beneficial nutrients contained in Turkey include Vitamin B6 and Niacin. Unfortunately, Turkey does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Turkey. However, given that Turkey is the second listed ingredient, its proportion will be relatively high after the cooking process.
Another meat source present is Turkey Meal. Turkey Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Turkey Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Turkey but in higher concentrations. This includes the high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6.
Another meat source is Chicken Giblets. Chicken Giblets are considered a high to average quality source of meat depending on their quality. Giblets are the innards of a bird and contain organs such as the liver or heart. These can contain high quantities of vitamins in addition to protein.
Another meat source present is Duck Meal. Duck Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Duck Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Duck but in higher concentrations. This will include the selenium and phosphorus mentioned previously.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Acana Heritage – Feast contains Peas, Lentils and Garbanzo Beans (also known as chickpeas). These are all members of the legume family of vegetables. Legumes are famous for having a relatively high amount of protein for a vegetable. Legumes also contain a high amount of fiber, which is important for healthy digestion. Pet foods often use legumes as a replacement for grains in grain-free pet food. Protein from vegetables such as legumes should not be a replacement for protein from meat. Instead, it should act as an additional protein source.
Pumpkin is a high-quality vegetable ingredient and a beneficial addition to a dogs diet. Pumpkin contains high levels of a variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Potassium. However, Pumpkin is probably best known for the Dietary Fiber it can contribute. This fiber can improve and regulate digestion. Finally, Pumpkin does not contain significant levels of plant-based protein. This lack of protein prevents Pumpkin being used solely to inflate protein levels like other vegetables, such as Peas, often are.
Dried Chicory Root or Chicory Root Extract is an additive or supplement to dog food. It can provide a range of health benefits including soluble fiber to enable regular passage of stool, probiotics to aid and promote digestion, as well as potentially eliminate or prevent intestinal worms. While these benefits are not fully proven, there is strong evidence behind them. The proportion of Chicory Root used in most dog food recipes is tiny and does not contribute meaningful nutrition. Find out more in Dried Chicory Root In Dog Food.
Full Ingredient List – Acana Heritage – Feast
Deboned duck, deboned turkey, turkey meal, whole red lentils, whole green peas, whole yellow peas, duck fat, duck meal, turkey giblets, whole green lentils, whole pinto beans, whole chickpeas, turkey broth, quail, pollock oil, lentil fiber, duck giblets, natural duck flavor, turkey cartilage, duck cartilage, sea salt, mixed tocopherols (preservative), whole pumpkin, collard greens, whole carrots, whole apples, dried kelp, zinc proteinate, calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, freeze-dried duck liver, copper proteinate, riboflavin, chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rose hips, juniper berries, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.