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Dog Food Insiders Rating
3 1/2 PAWS
In addition to this Acana Light & Fit dog food review, you can find more detailed information about Champion Petfoods, manufacturer ofAcana, in our main review of Acana. There you will also find information about how the food is made, recalls, and their quality control. These shorter reviews are designed to cover other foods produced by the same company, using the same philosophy. These smaller reviews provide some information about the main ingredients and any ingredients that stand out, as well as the guaranteed analysis, and any special concerns about each food.
Ingredients In AcanaLight & Fit Dog Food
Chicken meal, steel-cut oats, deboned chicken, whole potato, peas, pea fiber, sun-cured alfalfa , chicken liver, whole egg, deboned flounder, chicken fat, herring oil, whole apples, whole pears, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach, cranberries, blueberries, kelp,chicory root, juniper berries, angelica root, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, lavender, Vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product
Important Information Regarding Weight Loss Dog Food
Dog food companies take different approaches with their weight loss dog foods. Some foods are high protein/low fat/moderate fiber, while others are high protein/moderately low fat/high fiber. Of course, different companies can have different ideas about what constitutes high protein and low fat, etc. It probably seems intuitive to most people that if you want your dog to lose weight you will feed a low fat dog food but fat is an important part of the diet for dogs and it’s not a good idea to cut it out of the diet in a drastic manner. Foods with a very low fat content can leave your dog feeling hungry all the time so he won’t be satisfied after he eats. Your dog also needs some fat-soluble vitamins. If there is too little fat in the diet your dog’s skin and coat will suffer, too. So, if a dog food has a very low percentage of fat, it’s not good for your dog, even if he’s overweight. Fat percentages below 10 percent, especially by dry matter basis, are really low.
At the same time, companies can formulate weight loss dog foods with higher fiber content with the idea that the fiber will make your dog feel full without adding calories from fat or carbohydrates. It sounds like a good idea, right? But higher fiber can have some drawbacks. For one thing, it won’t satisfy your dog the same way that fat does. Fiber isn’t as palatable as fat is to your dog so dog foods that contain a lot of fiber don’t taste as good to your dog. Higher fiber works to a certain extent in these foods, your dog may turn up his nose at the food.
Most dog foods designed for weight loss will have fewer carbohydrates so your dog won’t be getting many calories from carbs. Plus, the higher protein is good for most dogs unless they have some health issue that would make higher protein a problem.
In most cases if you are trying to help your dog slim down, you can make progress if you also take him for walks and measure his food instead of free feeding.
If you are interested in weight loss programs for dogs, there is an interesting study online about research into the possibility of metabolic disorder in dogs which describes the regimen for weight loss used in the study. The food used in the study was provided by Royal Canin, which sponsors a lot of canine nutritional research, but the study and research findings are still interesting.)
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
Acana’s Light & Fit dog food features high protein, fairly low fat, high fiber, and moderately low carbohydrates. According to the company web site, 60 percent of the food is made up of animal protein; 20 percent is fruit and vegetables; and 20 percent is oats. This translates (according to the company) to 40 percent of the metabolic energy coming from protein, 20 percent from fat, and 40 percent from the carbs and fiber.
The food contains the same assortment of ingredients as most of Acana’s other classics line of foods, though no doubt in different proportions. The animal protein includes chicken meal, deboned chicken, chicken liver, eggs, and deboned flounder.
As explained elsewhere, chicken meal is a concentrated version of chicken that has had most of the moisture removed. It has about three times as much protein as whole chicken.
Steel-cut oats are the second ingredient and they provide a lot of the carbs in the food. They are a low-glycemic grain so they digest slowly, helping your dog feel full. Oats are a good source of dietary fiber, Thiamin, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Manganese. They’re also a good source of omega-6 fatty acid.
Deboned chicken has had the bones removed but it still contains the moisture. If the moisture were removed, this ingredient would be found much lower in the ingredient list.
The food also contains potatoes which are another source of carbohydrates (92 percent carbs).
Peas are another significant source of carbs (73 percent) and protein (23-27 percent). Peas can be hard for some dogs to digest but pea fiber, also included here, can be even more difficult. Pea fiber is a functional non-digestible carbohydrate and it has laxative properties because it’s able to absorb liquid in the gastrointestinal tract. Some people consider it a filler. Some dogs have trouble eating foods that contain pea fiber because it can cause diarrhea.
Additional Ingredients of Interest
Chicken liver is a good source of vitamin A and other vitamins and minerals.
Eggs have high bioavailability and are a good source of protein.
Deboned flounder is a good source of Vitamin B6 and Magnesium, and a very good source of protein, Vitamin B12, Phosphorus and Selenium.
For fat the food contains chicken fat and herring oil. Chicken fat is an excellent source of omega-6 fatty acid which is good for your dog’s skin and coat. Herring oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid good for your dog’s skin, coat, heart, brain, and other functions.
The use of alfalfa has also been called into question recently. Studies suggest that it does not have much nutritional value for dogs (or cats) and that it could be harmful to cats.
The food also contains lots of fruits and vegetables which contribute to the carbohydrate and fiber contents.
Kelp is present and it provides a natural source of iodine and other trace minerals. Chicory root is a prebiotic that makes the gut favorable for growing beneficial bacteria.
Cranberries and blueberries are antioxidants that can act as mild preservatives in the dog food.
The food also features a number of botanical inclusions which may or may not be beneficial to dogs.
You will also notice dried fermentation product in the food. These products have been added to livestock feeds for some time and research shows that they are helpful. The organisms used in these products is tailored to the individual species you won’t get good results if you give your dog a product made for horses, for example, or vice versa. In case you are wondering, the product is applied to the dog food after the food has been processed and baked so it’s on the outside of the food. It is dried but it works in the dog’s gut. The research that has been done on these products in dogs shows that they seem to be beneficial.
Finally, the food contains added vitamins and chelated minerals. Chelated minerals are minerals that have been bonded to amino acids so they are easier to digest and absorb. This also means that the company can use a smaller amount of the chelated minerals and there is less chance that the minerals will interfere with absorption of the food or with each other.
- Crude protein (min.) …..35%
- Crude fat (min.) …..10%
- Crude fiber (max.) …..8.5%
- Moisture (max.) ….. 10%
- Calcium (min.) ……1.8 %
- Phosphorus (min.) …..1.2%
- Calcium: Phosphorus Ratio ……1.5:1
- Omega-6 (min.) ….. 2.5%
- LA (min.) ….. 2.3%
- Omega 3 (min.) ….. 0.7%
- EPA (min.) …… 0.3%
- DHA (min.) …… 0.3%
- Omega 6:Omega 3 ratio ….. 3.6:1
- Glucosamine (min.) …..1500 mg/kg
- Chondroitin sulfate (min.) …..900 mg/kg
Calorie Content: Metabolic Energy for ACANA Light & Fit is 3100 kcal/kg (360 kcal per 250 ml cup).The food contains 340 calories per 8 ounce cup.
Nutritional Adequacy Statement
ACANA Light & Fit is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for Adult Maintenance.
Dry Matter Basis
Figured by dry matter basis (if the moisture were removed from the food), this food contains about 38.9 percent protein and 11.1 percent fat. It has about 9.4 percent fiber and 31.7 percent carbohydrates. What do these percentages mean in context? That’s lots of protein which is generally considered a good thing for dogs needing to lose some weight. The fat is low perhaps too low. If a dog food has too little fat then a dog will still feel hungry after he eats, even if the food contains other filling ingredients. The fiber percentage is very high which suggests that the food is formulated to try to make your dog feel full with fiber and to help him lose weight that way. That helps to some extent but, again, your dog can still miss the full feeling that comes from eating a healthy amount of fat. Fat is not an enemy where dogs are concerned. They need it for fat-soluble vitamins, for fatty acids, and for other nutritional benefits. So a food with too little fat and too much fiber can throw off that balance, even if the dog loses some weight. The carbohydrates are moderately low which is a good thing in a food designed to help your dog lose weight.
Acana Light & Fit dog food has high protein, fairly low fat, high fiber, and moderately low carbohydrates. It also has approximately 340 calories per 8 ounce cup. That’s a lot of calories for a weight loss dog food. This probably wouldn’t be my first choice for a weight loss dog food for several reasons, including the calorie content. The fat percentage is low and I think some dogs will continue to feel hungry after eating. I am also bothered by the high fiber percentage. However, this food may work for some dogs.
Acana Light & Fit has received our 3.5 paw rating.
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