Nutrition - 7/10
Ingredients - 8/10
Canidae Grain Free Pure – Foundations Puppy Formula is a high-quality dry puppy food. Its nutrient profile is above average and it provides significantly above average quantities of protein. We consider the carbohydrate proportion to be far higher than ideal, it would be better replaced with additional fat. It contains a range of high-quality ingredients including a variety of meat-based ingredients such as Eggs, Chicken, and Manhaden Fish. It contains Peas and Lentils which are considered high-quality sources of carbohydrates. In addition, they provide fiber for healthy digestion. Canidae’s Grain Free Pure – Foundations Puppy Formula contains a range of vegetables and three sources of meat or fish. For this reason, it is unlikely to be suitable for puppies that suffer from allergies or sensitivities.
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Full review of Grain Free Pure – Foundations Puppy Formula By Canidae
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 41% of Canidae Grain Free Pure – Foundations Puppy Formula 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 sourced from a mix of vegetable and starch ingredients. These ingredients will be discussed in depth 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 31% of Canidae Grain Free Pure – Foundations Puppy Formula 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 puppies but may be inadequate for those who are extremely active. This protein appears to be sourced from poultry, egg 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 very small and likely negligible.
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 28% of Canidae Grain Free Pure – Foundations Puppy Formula 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 average for a Dry Dog Food.
The fat present in this puppy food appears to be sourced from a range of poultry, egg and fish ingredients which are a fantastic source. This low estimate of fat may be inadequate to supply energy to energetic puppies. This fat proportion could and should be significantly higher.
Canidae’s Grain Free Pure – Foundations Puppy Formula contains on average 3,470(kcal/kg) or 520 (kcal/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 – Canidae – Grain Free Pure – Foundations Puppy Formula
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) – 30.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 12.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 4.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.0%
- 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.
- Menhaden Fish Meal
Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients
In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review
The meat and fish ingredients of puppy food are without a doubt the most important. They are critical as they provide the majority of the protein and fat that puppies 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 – Foundations Puppy Formula contains five sources of meat and 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.
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..
Eggs are a highly nutritious pet food ingredient and are considered a high-quality source of protein. Eggs contain a huge variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 and B12, Selenium, Phosphorus and many others. In addition to this, they contain a high proportion of protein and healthy fats such as the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Chickpeas, Lentils, 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.
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..
Flaxseed is a beneficial ingredient that is commonplace in higher quality dog food. Flaxseed contains high levels of the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids which provide a range of health benefits such as healthier skin and fur and improved cognitive function. Also, Flaxseed contains high levels of protein for a plant-based ingredient. Finally, Flaxseed provides Lignans which can help reduce inflammation and cholesterol.
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 – Foundations Puppy Formula
Chicken, menhaden fish meal, lentils, peas, potatoes, dried whole egg, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), suncured alfalfa, flaxseed, 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), salt, 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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