Nutrition - 8/10
Ingredients - 10/10
Acana Singles – Pork and Squash is a high-quality limited ingredient dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is above average and it provides above average proportions of protein and fat.
It contains well sourced high-quality ingredients and limits its meat-based ingredients to Pork. It contains a range of Legumes which are considered a high-quality source of carbohydrates. In addition, they provide fiber for healthy digestion.
While Singles – Pork, and Squash contains a wide range of vegetables, the fact it only uses a single source of meat, Pork, means it is suitable for dogs that suffer from meat allergies or sensitivities.
User Review( votes)
Single Meat Ingredient
No Grains or By-products
Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion
Full review of Singles – Pork and Squash 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 35% of Acana Singles – Pork and Squash 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 vast majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be from the vegetable and fruit content of this dog food. This will be discussed later on. This is slightly 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. Excess protein can be burned as calories. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 27% of Acana Singles – Pork and Squash 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 above average for a Dry Dog Food.
This will be a sufficient amount of protein for most dogs but may be inadequate for those who are very active. This protein appears to be sourced from a range of Pork based ingredients which is a high-quality source.
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 38% of Acana Singles – Pork and Squash 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 significantly above average for a Dry Dog Food.
The fat present in this dog food appears to be sourced from the Pork based ingredients which are an ideal source. This low estimate of fat content is more than sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of even the most active dogs.
Overall Acana Singles – Pork and Squash contains an average of 3440 kcal/kg or 392 kcal per 8 oz. cup.
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 – Singles – Pork and Squash
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) – 27.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 17.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 6.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 12.00%
- Calcium (Min) – 1.1%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 0.8%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.8%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.7%
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.
- Pork Meal
- Pork Liver
- Pork Fat
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 Singles – Pork and Squash contains more than five sources of Pork.
The primary meat source present is Pork. Pork is considered a high-quality source of protein. Pork is particularly rich in thiamin and while it contains less iron than Beef or Lamb, its iron content is still significant. Unfortunately, just like Beef, Pork contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Pork. However given that Pork is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.
The secondary meat source present is Pork Meal. Pork 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. Pork Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Pork but in higher concentrations. This includes Thiamin and significant levels of the Iron.
Pork Liver is considered a high-quality source of meat. Liver contains a much higher concentration of some nutrients than traditional meat cuts. Some of the nutrients present in Liver are Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Iron. In addition to these nutrients Liver also contains a high amount of protein.
Pork Fat is considered an average quality source of meat. While Pork Fat does not contain protein it has its uses. Dogs are designed to use fat as their primary energy source so fat from animals such as Pork is an ideal source.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Acana Singles – Pork and Squash 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.
Squash, which is closely related to Pumpkin, is a positive addition to dog food. Squash contains high levels of Vitamin A and C similar to fruit such as Apples and Pears. In addition to this, Squash also provides a plentiful supply of Beta Carotene. Comparable to Pumpkin, Squash is high in fiber which can help regulate digestion. However, it is essential to be aware that Squash needs to have its seeds and skin removed to be suitable for dogs. The removal of the skin and seeds will take place during the manufacturing process of commercial dog food.
Pumpkin is a high-quality vegetable ingredient and 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 – Singles – Pork and Squash
Deboned pork*, pork meal, whole green peas, red lentils, pork liver*, pork fat, pinto beans, chickpeas, herring oil, green lentils, whole yellow peas, whole butternut squash*, pork kidney*, lentil fiber, natural pork flavor, pork cartilage*, dried kelp, freeze-dried pork liver, whole pumpkin*, kale*, spinach*, mustard greens*, collard greens*, turnip greens*, carrots*, Red Delicious apples*, Bartlett pears*, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.