Quick Review
  • Nutrition - 7/10
    7/10
  • Ingredients - 10/10
    10/10

Summary

Acana Heritage – Light & Fit is a high-quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is above average and it provides above average quantities of protein. Its carbohydrate proportion is quite high, this is because this recipe is designed to be low-fat and to aid weight loss. However, we believe weight loss can be achieved without high levels of carbohydrates.

It contains well sourced high-quality ingredients with a focus on Poultry including Chicken and Turkey. The formula contains a range of Legumes which are considered a high-quality source of carbohydrates. In addition, they provide fiber for healthy digestion.

While Acana Heritage – Light & Fit 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.

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Pros

High Proportion Of Protein

High-Quality Meat & Fish Ingredients

High Levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Cons

Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion

A Full review of Heritage – Light & Fit By Acana

Acana Heritage Light & Fit Packaging

Nutritional Analysis

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.

Acana Heritage Light & Fit Calorie Breakdown Chart

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 40% of Acana Heritage – Light & Fit calories are derived from carbohydrates.  Please note that this is the maximum amount of carbohydrates as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of carbohydrates is likely to be a lot lower. This 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 Peas and Lentils will be discussed in-depth later on. This is significantly above what we would consider the ideal proportion of carbohydrates.

However, this formula is specifically designed to be low in fat and as a consequence, it has a higher proportion of carbohydrates than other Acana formulas. While we do not believe a high proportion of carbohydrates is always the best approach to weight loss or preventing weight gain, this does explain why the proportion in this formula is this high.

Protein Content Analysis

Dogs use Protein for growth, development, and maintenance. Excess protein can be burned as calories. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 36% of Acana Heritage – Light & Fit calories are derived from protein. Please note that this is the minimum amount of protein as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of protein is likely to be higher. This is significantly above average for a Dry Dog Food.

This will be a sufficient proportion of protein for almost all dogs including those who are very active. This protein appears to be sourced from the large range of poultry and fish ingredients such as Turkey, Chicken, and Flounder. These are considered high-quality sources of protein and contain the full range of amino acids required.

The minority of this protein proportion is from plant-based proteins. Plant-based protein is considered of a lesser quality but fortunately in this case it supplements already high levels of animal protein.

Fat Content Analysis

Dogs use fat as a concentrated energy source. In addition, fats also play a role in development and maintenance. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 24% of Acana Heritage – Light & Fit calories are derived from fat. Please note that this is the minimum amount of fat as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of fat is likely to be a lot higher. This is below average for a Dry Dog Food.

The fat present in this dog food appears to be sourced from the poultry and fish ingredients present which are an ideal source. This low estimate of fat content is less than sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of the average dog, and especially lacking for those who are more active.

However, as mentioned previously, this formula is designed to aid weight loss or prevent weight gain which explains this unusually low fat proportion. While inadequate as a source of energy, this level of fat should be sufficient for bodily functions.

Calorie Density

Calorie Density is essential to understand as it determines the portion size of food your dog will require per day or meal. Calorie Density is commonly measured in calories per kg or per cup.
Dog food formulas with high-calorie densities can be more cost efficient to purchase while recipes with lower calorie density can be advantageous to dogs attempting weight loss or who are relatively inactive.

Overall Acana Heritage – Light & Fit contains an average of 3055 kcal/kg or 348 kcal per 8 oz cup

Disclaimer

Once again please note that the values in this section are calculated using the products guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis 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 amount of carbohydrates present. However also note that every dog food is different and some will be considerably closer to the guaranteed analysis than others.

Guaranteed Analysis – Acana Heritage – Light & Fit

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 information. 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. The guaranteed analysis for this product is listed below.

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 33.00%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 10.00%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 8.00%
  • Moisture (Max) – 12.00%
  • Calcium (Min) – 1.1%
  • Phosphorus (Min) – 0.9%
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 1.5%
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 1.2%

 

Ingredient Analysis

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.

High-Quality Ingredients

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Turkey Meal
  • Chicken Meal
  • Lentils
  • Peas
  • Flounder
  • Chicken Giblets

 

Low-Quality Ingredients

  • N/A

 

Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients

  • N/A

 

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 – Light & Fit contains more than five sources of meat or fish.

The primary meat source present is Chicken. Chicken is considered a high-quality source of protein. In addition to being a fantastic protein source, chicken has high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6. Unfortunately Chicken does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Chicken. However given that Chicken 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 high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6.

Another meat source present is Chicken Meal. Chicken 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. Chicken Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Chicken but in higher concentrations. This includes high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6.

Another fish source present is Flounder, Flounder is considered a high-quality source of protein. It is known for being a  particularly lean source of protein in comparison to other fish. However, it does contain high levels of salt and lower levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acid than other fish. Unfortunately, Flounder contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Flounder. Given that flounder is not one of the primary ingredients, its proportion will be relatively low after the cooking process.

Another meat source is Chicken Giblets. Chicken Giblets are considered a high to average quality source of meat depending on their source. 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.

In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review

Acana Heritage – Light & Fit 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 – Light & Fit

Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, turkey meal, chicken meal, whole red lentils, whole green peas, whole yellow peas, lentil fiber, atlantic flounder, chicken giblets, chicken broth, dried pumpkin, whole green lentils, whole pinto beans, whole chickpeas, herring meal, pollock oil, natural chicken flavor, whole dried egg, chicken cartilage, mixed tocopherols (preservative), whole pumpkin, collard greens, whole carrots, whole apples, dried kelp, zinc proteinate, calcium pantothenate, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, 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.

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