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Canidae Chicken Meal & Rice Dog Food Review

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4 Paws


You can find detailed information aboutCanidae Pet Food Corporation in our main review of Canidae Dog Food. There you will also find information about how the food is made, recalls, and their quality control. This review will cover the Pure Sea blend in the line of Canidae Dog Food products.

Canidae relies on an All Life Stages approach to feeding dogs. Most of their products are formulated for all life stages. They produce kibbles and canned food in several formulations: all life stage formulas, senior formula, and several grain free formulas. They also produce cat foods. Canidae is considered to be a premium pet food and can be found at pet stores and for sale online.

See What Dog Owners Who Feed Canidae Chicken Meal & Rice To Their Dogs Are Saying


Ingredients in Canidae Chicken Meal & Rice

Chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, cracked pearled barley, peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols),millet, tomato pomace, natural flavor, flaxseed meal, potassium chloride, choline chloride, suncured alfalfa meal, inulin (from chicory root), lecithin, sage extract, cranberries, beta-carotene, rosemary extract, sunflower oil, yucca schidigera extract, 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, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid), minerals (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite),papaya, pineapple.


Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown

The first five ingredients in this food are: Chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, and cracked pearled barley.
You’ll notice here that there is only one animal protein in the first five ingredient. Ideally we would like to see more than one meat protein in these first few ingredients since they typically make up most of the food. This is especially true in a food that is marketed as a premium dog food.

The first ingredient in the food is chicken meal. Chicken is about 80 percent protein and it’s a good source of Vitamin B6 and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Niacin and Selenium. Since this is chicken meal, it’s had most of the moisture removed, meaning it is a condensed form of the chicken protein and a good source of protein for dog food. As the first ingredient that means there is more chicken meal in the food, by weight before cooking, than any other ingredient in the food. This is a good animal protein for many dogs. Some dogs can be allergic to chicken, however. Obviously, if your dog has problems with chicken you’ll need to avoid this food.

The second ingredient is brown rice. Brown rice is often used in dog foods, especially as a change from corn and wheat. From a dog food viewpoint, rice is a cereal grain. Brown rice is higher in fiber than white rice, and less processed. It can also be a little more irritating to the stomach than white rice. It’s a simple carbohydrate that can give dogs quick energy. Used in conjunction with more complex carbs in a dog food, brown rice is a good ingredient. As the second ingredient in the food, you can expect this food to contain a lot of rice.

The third ingredient is white rice. White rice can be gentler on the stomach than brown rice and is a little easier to digest but they are both simple carbohydrates that provide dogs with quick energy. As the third ingredient in the food, you can still expect the food to contain a lot of white rice.

As for concerns about arsenic in rice, and thus in dog foods that include rice, the FDA has not made any recommendation for pet food companies to stop using rice or for dog owners to avoid feeding foods that contain rice. Nor has the FDA suggested that people stop eating rice. If you are uncomfortable about the possibility of minute amounts of arsenic in rice or dog food, you should avoid this food or any dog food that contains rice.

The fourth ingredient is rice bran. Rice Bran is the outer coating of the rice kernel, with little or none of the starchy part of the germ. It’s an inexpensive source of fiber and it’s usually considered to be a filler in dog food.

The fifth ingredient is cracked pearled barley. Cracked pearled barley has been polished to remove part of its hull and bran; and to make it easier to digest. Keep in mind that the more it’s processed, the more nutrients it loses, even if it makes it easier to digest. It has a moderate amount of starch that can be slowly digested, along with soluble fiber. Barley is 90 percent carbohydrates and 7 percent protein. Otherwise, it’s a good source of dietary fiber.

Overall, the first five ingredients in this food show a good source of animal protein in the chicken meal. However, the rest of the first five ingredients are all carbs and fiber. They are heavy on rice and fillers. It’s not unusual to find some carbs and starches in the first several ingredients, but virtually all of the carbs and fiber in this food are found in the first few ingredients which raises concerns. The food has an estimated 40 percent carbohydrates (dry matter weight) and that’s a lot to find in the first few ingredients.

See What Dog Owners Who Feed Canidae Chicken Meal & Rice To Their Dogs Are Saying

Additional Ingredients of Interest

The sixth ingredient is peas. Peas are a problematic ingredient in dog food for some dogs. Although they boost the protein percentage in food, containing about 24 percent protein, they are also a source of dietary fiber. Peas are not always easily digested by dogs and can result in increased waste and some gastrointestinal issues. Along with the chicken meal, this is the only other significant source of protein in the food and it’s plant-based. Plant-based proteins are generally not as easy for dogs to digest or absorb as animal-based proteins.

The food also contains millet which is a low-nutrient cereal grass/grain. It is a gluten-free carbohydrate that is easy to digest but it has very little nutritional value (82 percent carbohydrates, 11 percent protein, 7 percent fat, with only minimal vitamins and minerals). It is generally used as bird seed in North America.

The food also contains “natural flavor.” This is a deceptive term that often indicates the presence of MSG or monosodium glutamate used for flavoring. This isn’t something that you generally want to add to your dog’s food unless you have a particular object in mind, such as discouraging your dog from eating his own poop. MSG is sometimes recommended as a supplement to make your dog’s waste taste bad to him so he won’t try to eat it. Otherwise, when a food has “natural flavor,” it usually has a lot of salt which isn’t good for your dog. However, in some cases “natural flavor” can indicate the presence of liver broth or beef broth. We just don’t know. But when you see this term listed in the ingredients, it usually sends up a red flag.

We also see flaxseed meal here. Lots of people like flaxseed and flaxseed meal for their dogs since it’s a good source of dietary fiber and a great source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids (especially omega 3). However, flaxseed is also a significant source of phytoestrogen – these are plant-derived substances that mimic some of the effects of estrogen in the body. This can be especially true in females (read more on Wikipedia). Without going into the possible effects on humans, many dog breeders have reported that feeding dogs foods that contain flaxseed or flaxseed oil has interfered with conception and gestation. So flaxseed meal is something that should be viewed cautiously, especially if you breed dogs. If you have an intact female dog, especially in a house with male dogs, you may find that foods with flaxseed cause males to think the female is in season. The same phenomenon often occurs with foods containing soy.

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We also note that the food contains a number of beneficial ingredients such aschelated minerals (“proteinates”). These are minerals that have been bonded to proteins so they are easier to absorb. They are more expensive for the dog food manufacturer to buy so you usually see them in better dog foods.

As a fat source the food uses chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols) and sunflower oil. Chicken fat is a very good fat for dog foods. Named animal fat sources such as this one are preferable to generic fats or plant-based fats. Fats from meat and fish can provide some better quality essential fatty acids that you just can’t find in plants. Plants often provide omega-6 fatty acid and sunflower oil (here) does provide lots of omega-6, as well as vitamin E. The chicken fat in the food is preserved with mixed tocopherols which are a form of vitamin E so this is a natural preservative.

We also note the presence of a number of interesting ingredients such asinulin (a prebiotic), cranberries (an antioxidant), rosemary extract (a mild natural preservative), and other things. These are all ingredients that are often found in premium foods. They can be beneficial to your dog.

The food also contains several dried fermentation products. These products have been shown to be beneficial in aiding animal digestion, though some of them are probably best understood because they have been used for many years in agricultural production. It’s common to give these products to cattle and other animals to help them gain weight from their food. Of these ingredients the one that people are probably most familiar with islactobacillus acidophilus, a culture found in yogurt. It’s a probiotic that helps turn sugars into lactic acid (read more on Wikipedia). Many people use it to encourage the growth of “good” or beneficial bacteria in the gut. All of the fermentation products listed in the food have similar purposes to help with digestion.

Finally, the food has papaya and pineapple. Papaya allegedly helps dogs with digestion and it’s a source of dietary fiber. Pineapple is sometimes given to dogs to discourage them from eating their own poop.

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein (min.) 26.00%
  • Crude Fat (min.) 15.50%
  • Crude Fiber (max.) 4.00%
  • Moisture (max.) 10.00%
  • Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) (min.) 3.70%
  • Vitamin E (min.) 200.00 IU/kg
  • Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3)** (min.) 0.50%
  • Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)** (min.) 50.00 mg/kg
  • Lactobacillus Acidophilus** (min.) 100 million CFU/lb.
  • Cellulase** (a) (min.) 100 CMCU/kg

**Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles.

Calories Content

449 calories per 8 oz cup

Nutritional Adequacy Statement

CANIDAE® Chicken Meal & Rice Formula is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages.

Dry Matter Basis

On a dry matter basis, this food contains approximately 28.9 percent protein and 17.2 percent fat. This is a moderate percentage protein and a good percentage fat for a premium dog food. Fiber makes up about 4.4 percent of the food which is average for most kibbles. The food contains an estimated 40.6 percent carbohydrates which is not unusual for many kibbles.


This food has a good source of meat protein and a lot of good ingredients. The overall carbohydrate percentage is not excessively high but nearly all of the carbs are found in the first few ingredients. It would be nice if the food had some more meat protein.

Canidae Chicken Meal & Rice Formula has received our 4 paw rating.


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