Quick Review
  • Nutrition - 8/10
  • Ingredients - 10/10

Review Summary

Acana Singles – Wild Mackerel is a high-quality limited ingredient dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is above average and it provides above average quantities of protein and fat. Despite this, we consider it’s protein level to be below ideal and its carbohydrate level to be above ideal. It contains a single source of fish: Mackerel, which is a high-quality ingredient. In addition, the formula contains a select range of Legumes and other fruits and vegetables which are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates. Examples include Peas, Lentils, and Pumpkin. In addition to their carbohydrate content, these vegetable ingredients provide fiber for healthy digestion. While Singles – Wild Mackerel contains a wide range of vegetables, the fact it only uses a single source of fish, Mackerel, means it may be suitable for dogs that suffer from meat allergies or sensitivities.

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Single Fish Ingredient No Grains or By-products High Levels Of Omega Fatty Acids


Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion

A Full review of Singles – Wild Mackerel By Acana

Acana Singles - Wild Mackerel 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 Singles - Wild Mackerel 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 35% of Acana Singles – Wild Mackerel 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. These are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates and will be discussed in further detail later on. This is above what we would consider the ideal proportion of carbohydrates for a dog food and should be lower to better mimic a dog’s natural diet. 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 – Wild Mackerel 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.

The proportion of protein in this dog food is satisfactory but is less than would be present in a dog natural diet. As a consequence, this may be an insufficient quantity of protein for those dogs who are more active. The majority of this protein is sourced from Mackerel ingredients. Mackerel is considered a fantastic source of protein rich in the needed amino acids. However, a minority of this protein is from the range of vegetables. Plant-based proteins such as these are not ideal and given the already mediocre protein levels, it further reinforces the need for additional animal-based 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 38% of Acana Singles – Wild Mackerel 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 contained in this dog food appears to be from the Mackerel ingredients and some added oils. These are both fantastic sources of fat and a natural part of a dogs diet. Fish such as Mackerel is high in the Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are known to bring a range of health benefits. The added oils only help to increase the levels of Omega Fatty Acids.

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 Singles – Wild Mackerel 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 – Wild Mackerel

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) – 1.0%
  • Phosphorus (Min) – 0.8%
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.5%
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.0%


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

  • Mackerel
  • Mackerel Meal
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas


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 Singles – Wild Mackerel contains two sources of Mackerel.

The primary fish source present is Mackerel. Mackerel is considered a high-quality source of protein. It contains very high levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acid. In addition, it contains high levels of Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. Unfortunately, Mackerel contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Mackerel. However given that Mackerel is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.

Another fish source present is Mackerel Meal. Mackerel Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Fish Meal is a concentrated form of fish 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. Mackerel Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Mackerel but in higher concentrations. This includes the high levels of Vitamin D and Vitamin B12.

In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review

Acana Singles – Wild Mackerel 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.

Sunflower Oil is one of a number of oils commonly added to pet food. Sunflower Oil contains high amounts of Omega 6 Fatty Acids. However, it does not provide any of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids which are often considered the more beneficial of the two. For that reason, Sunflower Oil is considered by many to be a less desirable addition than other oils such as Salmon and Canola Oil.

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 – Singles – Wild Mackerel

Whole mackerel*, mackerel meal, whole green peas, red lentils, sunflower oil, pinto beans, chickpeas, mackerel oil, green lentils, whole yellow peas, natural mackerel flavor, lentil fiber, mustard greens*, collard greens*, turnip greens*, dried kelp, freeze-dried mackerel, whole pumpkin*, whole butternut squash*, kale*, spinach*, whole carrots*, Red Delicious apples*, Bartlett pears*, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), 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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