Quick Review
  • Nutrition - 9/10
    9/10
  • Ingredients - 9/10
    9/10

Review Summary

Canidae Grain Free Pure – Elements is a high-quality dry dog food. Its nutrient profile is significantly above average and it provides significantly above average proportions of protein and fat. While we consider the carbohydrate proportion to be a little higher than ideal, this nutrition profile is very suitable for the majority of dogs.

It contains high-quality meat and fish ingredients such as Lamb, Chicken, Turkey and Manhaden Fish. It also contains Chickpeas, Peas and Sweet Potatoes which are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates. In addition to their carbohydrate content, they provide fiber for healthy digestion.

Canidae’s Grain Free Pure – Elements contains a range of vegetables and four different sources of meat or fish. For this reason, it is unlikely to be suitable for dogs that suffer from serious allergies or sensitivities. But for those without allergies, it is very satisfactory.

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Pros

Satisfactory Nutrition

Large Range of High-Quality Meat & Vegetable Ingredients

No Grains or By-products

Cons

Low Level of Omega 3 Fatty Acids

A Full Review of Grain Free Pure – Elements By Canidae

Canidae Grain Free Pure Elements 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.

Canidae Grain Free Pure - Elements 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 30% of Canidae Grain Free Pure – Elements 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 incredibly is likely to be a lot lower. This is significantly below average for a Dry Dog Food.

The majority of this carbohydrate content appears to be sourced from a mix of vegetable and starch ingredients such as Peas, Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes. These ingredients will be discussed in depth later on. This is slightly above what we would consider the ideal proportion of carbohydrates and a lower level would better reflect 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 31% of Canidae Grain Free Pure – Elements 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 more than sufficient proportion of protein for the majority of dogs but may be inadequate for those who are extremely active. This protein appears to be sourced from a mix of poultry, meat and fish ingredients which are all considered high-quality sources. A small proportion of this protein is from the vegetable ingredients such as Peas. Plant-based proteins are considered inferior to meat-based proteins. However, this proportion is on the smaller side and less significant.

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 39% of Canidae Grain Free Pure – Elements 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 range of poultry, meat and fish ingredients which are all fantastic high-quality sources. Animal and fish fat such as this is a dog’s natural source of fat. This low estimate of fat content is more than sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of even the most active dogs as well as maintain core body 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.

Canidae’s Grain Free Pure – Elements contains on average 3,980(kcal/kg) or 509 (kcal/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 – Canidae – Grain Free Pure – Elements

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) – 32.00%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 18.00%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 4.00%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10.00%

 

  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.7%
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.4%

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

  • Lamb
  • Turkey Meal
  • Chicken Meal
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Chickpeas
  • Peas
  • Chicken Fat
  • Menhaden Fish Meal
  • Potatoes

 

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. Canidae Grain Free Pure – Elements contains five sources of meat and fish.

The primary meat source present is Lamb. Lamb is considered a high-quality source of protein. Lamb is rich in iron. In addition to this, it has higher levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acid than other red meats and high levels of Vitamin B12. Unfortunately, Lamb contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Lamb. However given that Lamb is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.

The secondary 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 Chicken but in higher concentrations. This includes the 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 the high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6.

Another fish source present is Menhaden Fish Meal. Menhaden Fish Meal is considered an average-quality source of fish. Menhaden Fish are small oily fish that are not fit for human consumption. The oil is removed from these fish and the leftover flesh is turned into fish meal. This fish meal is high in protein. Unfortunately, as most of the oil has been removed Menhaden Fish Meal is not high in the beneficial Omega Fatty Acids like other fish.

In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review

Chickpeas and Peas are 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 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.

Sweet Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and a source of complex carbohydrates.  Sweet Potatoes are considered superior to traditional Potatoes as they contain more fiber and a more extensive range of vitamins and minerals. Some examples of vitamins and minerals that are abundant in Sweet Potatoes are Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Calcium. The higher amount of fiber and the range of micronutrients in Sweet Potatoes mean that they are considered a high-quality ingredient despite containing mostly carbohydrates.

Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and a dense source of complex carbohydrates. Also, Potatoes can provide fiber and a surprising number of minerals and vitamins such as Potassium, Copper and the Vitamin B6. Sadly, Potatoes are considered an average-quality ingredient as they provide minimal nutritional value beyond their carbohydrate content.

Alfalfa is a flowering plant that is closely related to Peas and other legumes. Alfalfa has a long history of use in livestock feed and as a supplement for humans. It has a similar proportion of protein to other legumes which means it can contribute to a minor sum if there is a sufficient quantity used. Alfalfa’s greatest strength is the vast range of vitamins and minerals it provides including Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Potassium, and Calcium. Find out more about Alfalfa in our article Alfalfa In Dog Food.

Full Ingredient List – Canidae – Grain Free Pure – Elements

Lamb, turkey meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), menhaden fish meal, potatoes, suncured alfalfa, natural flavor, minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite), vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), choline chloride, mixed tocopherols (a preservative), dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract

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