The Acana dog food brand is known for producing high-quality biologically appropriate diets for cats and dogs. Not only does Acana commit themselves to following the strictest standards for quality and safety in the production of their pet foods, but they put a lot of thought and effort into designing their products. According to the Acana website, their products are, “a new class of meat-based foods to mirror your dog’s evolutionary diet”. What this means is that all of Acana’s dog food products are designed to imitate the type of diet that wild wolves would have (and still do) followed. Because domestic dogs are descended from wolves, their bodies are still adapted to following this type of diet.
When it comes to the quality of their products, Acana follows five rules:
- Rich in meat and protein
- High fresh meat inclusions
- An abundant variety of meats
- Whole Prey meat ratios
- Carbohydrate limited
In a word, all of these rules point to one important truth – Acana dog food products are made with meat. It is as simple as that. Unlike many dog food manufacturers that fill their products with carbohydrates (especially low-quality, non-nutritive sources like corn, wheat, and soy), Acana designs all of their formulas around high-quality sources of animal protein (meat). In fact, each of their dog food recipes is made with up to 75% meat! That is nearly three times as much as the typical kibble. Furthermore, Acana uses an abundance of different meats such as free-run poultry, free-range meats, nest-laid eggs, and wild-caught fish to ensure quality nutrition and protein-rich energy.
For the Acana pet food company, it is not enough to simply load up their products with meat – they go one step further by following the Whole Prey philosophy of nutrition. In keeping with their “biologically appropriate” claims, Acana formulates their products in a way that mimics the nutrient ratios found in whole prey animals – the kind of prey that wild dogs eat. This means that Acana products include more than just muscle meat – they also include organ meats, cartilage, and raw bone. Different parts of prey animals contain different nutrients, so paying attention to whole prey ratios is a great way to ensure complete and balanced nutrition for dogs in all life stages.
In addition to following whole prey ratios and loading up their products with plenty of fresh meats, Acana also makes sure that their recipes are carbohydrate-limited. Dogs are not obligate carnivores like cats which means that they have a limited ability to digest plant products and small amounts of dietary fiber can actually be very beneficial for their digestion. Still, Acana recognizes that corn, wheat, and soy ingredients as well as other high-glycemic foods can be bad for dogs. That is why they use only low-glycemic and digestible carbohydrates like fresh fruits and vegetables in their recipes. Acana offers an assortment of gluten-free and grain-free recipes as well which feature digestible complex carbohydrates like potatoes and tapioca. None of their recipes contain more than 30% carbohydrate ingredients.
Acana pet food products are produced and manufactured by Champion Petfoods, right here in the United States. Most of the production occurs in the award-winning DogStar facility located in Kentucky and Acana uses as many fresh, regional ingredients as possible. They do not outsource their production which means that they have control over the quality and safety of their products. Acana follows the strictest standards for quality and safety so you should not be surprised to learn that the brand has not been affected by any major recalls. Simply put, Acana is a brand you can trust.
Acana uses premium proteins and other high-quality ingredients in their pet food products so it should come as no surprise to you that this brand can be a little pricey. A 15-pound bag of Acana Regionals dry dog food costs about $60 retail. Fortunately, there are plenty of Acana pet food coupons available online to help offset the cost of this brand.
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Acana Dog Food Reviews
The Acana brand is produced and manufactured by Champion Petfoods and the brand is known for producing “Biologically Appropriate Diets” for dogs and cats. The term “Biologically Appropriate” simply means that the diet is designed to mimic the natural diet of wild cats and dogs – these diets are rich in animal proteins, formulated with Whole Prey ratios, and limited in carbohydrates. All of Acana’s food products are made with fresh, natural ingredients that have been sourced from regional suppliers and they are free from artificial additives including flavors, colors, and preservatives. Acana products are produced at the DogStar facilities in Kentucky where they follow the strictest standards for quality and safety in all of their products.
Is this brand good for my dog?
A quick review of the Acana website is all you need to determine that this brand is, in fact, very good for your dog. The fact that Acana designs all of their products to follow Whole Prey ratios, in combination with their commitment to providing biologically appropriate diets, means that you can count on their products to offer high-quality nutrition for your dog. Acana may not have as many products to offer as other top-quality brands, but you can rest assured that each and every one of their products is designed with care and manufactured according to the strictest standards for safety and quality. Not only are all of Acana’s products rich in quality animal proteins and limited in carbohydrate content, but they are guaranteed to be free from corn, wheat, and soy products as well as artificial additives. Simply put, if you are looking for a top-quality dog food for your dog, consider any of Acana’s dog food products.
Acana Dry: As it has been mentioned, Acana does not offer as large a variety of products as some top-quality brands, but each and every one of their recipes is carefully formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition. When it comes to their dry dog food products, Acana offers three different product lines: Heritage, Regionals, and Singles. The Heritage line of products was updated with new and improved formulas in early 2016 and it includes three different recipes featuring high-quality proteins like free-run poultry, heritage meats, and freshwater fish. These recipes are made up of 60% fresh meat inclusions and they are low in carbohydrates. The Regionals line of products is completely new as of 2016 and it includes four recipes made with fresh regional ingredients such as free-range meats, cage-free poultry, and wild-caught fish from the Kentucky area. The Singles line of products includes four limited-ingredient recipes featuring 50% lamb, pork, duck, or wild-caught mackerel in Whole Prey ratios with healthy carbohydrates like apple, pear, and squash.
Acana Canned: At this time, Acana does not offer any canned food options. The Acana website does not state any particular reason for this choice, nor does it state whether any canned food products are in development.
Acana Treats: In addition to an assortment of dry food products, Acana also offers four different treats as part of their Singles line of limited ingredient diets. Each of these treats features a single source of quality animal protein, supplemented with plenty of fresh, regional ingredients. The four flavors available include: Lamb & Apple, Duck & Pear, Pork & Squash, and Wild Mackerel.
Individual Recipe Review: Regionals Meadowland Dry Formula:
The Acana Regionals Meadowland Dry Food is one of four recipes that have been recently added to the new Regionals line of dry dog foods. According to the Acana website, the Regionals line of products is designed to reflect “Kentucky’s fertile lands” and that each recipe of “region-inspired food features free-run poultry, freshwater fish and whole vegetables and fruits from nearby farms”. The Meadowland formula in particular is loaded with 70% meat, half of which is fresh, and it also follows the Whole Prey ratios. This recipe is absolutely packed with free-run Cobb chicken, Tom turkey, nest-laid eggs, Rainbow trout, and Blue catfish in a diet that is designed to mimic the natural evolutionary diet of wild wolves. Best of all, it is prepared locally in Acana’s Kentucky DogStar facility.
As promised, the first ingredient in this Acana Regionals Meadowland Dry Food is deboned chicken. This ingredient is followed by an additional source of fresh meat (deboned turkey) and then chicken giblets and turkey giblets. Next on the list comes chicken meal and then catfish meal. These ingredients alone are enough to support the brand’s claim of high meat inclusions, particularly fresh meat inclusions. What you need to realize about fresh meats, however, is that they can contain up to 80% moisture. This means that once the product is cooked to a moisture level of 12% (as indicated by the guaranteed analysis), the total volume of protein provided by these fresh meats will be much lower. This is not a problem, however, because this recipe also contains several meat meals – chicken meal, catfish meal, Pollock meal to be specific. Meat meals have already been cooked to remove moisture which means that they contain up to 300% more protein by volume than fresh meats.
Not only do all of these meat ingredients provide valuable protein, but they also contain healthy fats as well. Fat is an essential part of a dog’s diet because it provides a concentrated source of energy and it supports his skin and coat health. In addition to the fats found in fresh meats and organ meats, this Acana Regionals Meadowland Dry Food recipe also contains chicken fat, herring oil, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. Animal-based fats and oils are more biologically valuable for dogs than plant-based fats, but the combination of multiple sources used in this recipe helps to ensure a healthy balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The fresh fish ingredients (like rainbow trout and whole catfish) also provide essential fatty acids for your dog.
This recipe contains 70% meat ingredients and the remaining 30% is made up of fresh fruits, vegetables and botanicals. The primary sources of carbohydrate included in this Acana Regionals Meadowland Dry Food recipe are whole green peas, red lentils, pinto beans, chickpeas, green lentils, whole yellow peas, and sun-cured alfalfa. All of these carbohydrates are considered complex, low-glycemic carbohydrates which are generally easy for your dog’s body to digest. Furthermore, they are all gluten-free. In addition to meeting your dog’s needs for dietary fiber, these carbohydrates also provide vital nutrients. The fresh fruits, vegetables, and botanicals help to balance out the vitamin and mineral ratios as well. These ingredients are particularly important because natural sources for key nutrients are always more biologically valuable for your dog than nutritional supplements. It is worth noting, however, that the mineral supplements included in this recipe are chelated – this means that they have been chemically bound to protein molecules which makes them easier for your dog’s body to digest and absorb.
Overall, this Acana Regionals Meadowland Dry Food formula has a guaranteed analysis as follows:
- Crude Protein (Min) – 33%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 17%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 6%
- Moisture (Max) – 12%
- Calcium (Min) – 1.1%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 0.9%
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.6%
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.5%
- DHA (Min) – 0.15%
- EPA (Min) – 0.1%
- Glucosamine (Min) – 700mg/kg
- Chondroitin sulfate (Min) – 1500 mg/kg
- Calorie Content – 396 kcal/cup
Overall, the quality of Acana dog food products is excellent. Not only does Acana use fresh, regional ingredients but they manufacture all of their own products in their award-winning DogStar facility in Kentucky. Acana understands the importance of quality ingredients and they also understand that dogs are largely carnivorous beings and that a biologically appropriate diet is the best way to ensure a long, healthy life. With so many products to choose from, you can rest assured that there is an Acana dog food that will perfectly suit your dog and his individual nutritional need. Every recipe is packed with protein, healthy fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. Simply put, your dog would be lucky to receive any of Acana’s dog food products and he is guaranteed to love the taste as well!