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Canidae Grain Free Pure Sky Dog Food Review

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4 1/2 paws

4 1/2 PAWS

Compare To This Month’s Best Selling Canned & Dry Canidae Grain Free Dog Food

Canidae Grain Free Pure Sky Dog Food Review

You can find detailed information about Iams Dog Food, made by Procter & Gamble (P&G), in our main Iams Dog Food review. There you will also find information about how the food is made, recalls, and their quality control.

Iams produces a tremendous range of products for all ages, sizes of dogs, and dogs with different health needs. They emphasize nutrition in their foods but many people who look at ingredients will balk at the corn and other grains used in them. Some of their foods are popular grocery store brands and others can be found in pet stores or bought online. The veterinary formulas have to be purchased through veterinarians.

Eukanuba is the sister company of Iams. Ingredients in the two foods can differ and Eukanuba is generally sold online or in pet stores but the two companies rely on the same nutritional research.

Compare To This Month’s Best Selling Canned & Dry Canidae Grain Free Dog Food


Ingredients in Canidae Grain Free Pure Sky Dog Food

Duck, duck meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, peas, chicken fat, 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, 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, mixed tocopherols (a natural source of vitamin E).


Quick Note About Grain Free Dog Food

A word, in general about grain free foods. They are not ipso facto better than foods that contain some grains, as some people seem to think. There are lots of good dog foods that have some grain content. If you feed your dog a grain free food, especially one that is higher in protein percentage, you can expect him to drink more water, since the protein has a diuretic effect and your dog will need to drink more to replace the lost fluid. Remember, too, that even grain free foods contain carbohydrates, even though they don’t contain common grains. (The terms “grain” and “grain free” get tossed around a lot in dog food circles. Sometimes they are applied to cereals or seeds when they shouldn’t be but they typically refer to corn, wheat, and some of the more obvious milled products.) Carbs in grain free foods often come from vegetables such as sweet potatoes or potatoes, for example. While dogs don’t have a nutritional need for carbohydrates, they do play a role in the dog’s diet today and supply a combination of quick and longterm energy and dietary fiber. Otherwise, the energy in the dog’s diet would come from fat and hardly anyone advocates feeding dogs only protein and fat in their diet. Well-formulated diets will use nutritious carb sources that provide vitamins and minerals your dog needs. Although we discuss foods in terms of protein, carbs, and fat here, what really matters is that your dog gets all the different nutrients he requires from nutritious sources of food.

Compare To This Month’s Best Selling Canned & Dry Canidae Grain Free Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown

The first five ingredients in this food are: duck, duck meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, and peas. Lots of animal protein in these first five ingredients which is always something dog owners should like to see. The carbohydrates are supplied by sweet potatoes. Peas provide plant-based protein – not as good as animal protein and hard for some dogs to digest. Overall, these first few ingredients look good.

The first ingredient here is duck and the second is duck meal. This indicates that these two ingredients, combined, provide a lot of duck protein in the food. Duck is a good choice for many dogs, even dogs who can’t eat chicken because of allergies. Duck is 84 percent protein and 16 percent fat. It’s a good source of Iron, and a very good source of Niacin and Selenium. The duck refers to whole duck, which contains moisture and fat but the duck meal has had most of the moisture removed, making it a more condensed form of protein. It likely contains several times as much protein as the whole duck.

The third ingredient is turkey meal. This is another good ingredient for dog food. Turkey is about 70 percent protein. It’s a good source of Riboflavin and Phosphorus, and a very good source of and Selenium. Since this is turkey meal, most of the moisture has been removed and it is a concentrated form of the protein.

The fourth ingredient in the food is sweet potatoes. While sweet potatoes are 93 percent carbohydrates, 6 percent protein, and 1 percent fat, they are also considered to be something of a “super food” because of their vitamin and mineral content. They are a good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin B6 and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Manganese. Plus, most dogs really like the taste of them.

The fifth ingredient here 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. They can also interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the food. Plant-based proteins are generally not as easy for dogs to digest or absorb as animal-based proteins.

First 5 Ingredients Summary

Overall, the first five ingredients in this food show lots of good animal protein and a very good vegetable-as-carb in the sweet potatoes. The peas will be a problem for some dogs, especially for dogs with a sensitive stomach or digestion that is easily upset, however.

Additional Ingredients of Interest

Of concern, the food 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 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. The chicken fat is a named fat from an animal source which is nice to see. Dogs need fat to help them use many fat-soluble vitamins and to keep their skin and coat in good shape, among other things.

The food also uses potatoes as another source of carbohydrates. Potatoes are not quite the super food that sweet potatoes are but they are similar in other ways. They are 92 percent carbohydrates, 7 percent protein, and 1 percent fat. They’re a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese.

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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 is lactobacillus 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.

The food uses mixed tocopherols (a form of vitamin E) as a preservative. This is a natural preservative.

Finally, we note that the food contains 520 calories per cup. This is nearly 100 calories per cup more than Canidae’s Life Stages foods with grains so this is a very rich food. In fact, this is a lot of calories for any dog food. If you are changing to this food from another food, we recommend that you do so slowly and keep an eye on your dog’s weight or he might quickly become overweight. You will probably have to feed less of this food than you have been feeding with your other food.

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein (min.) 32.00%
  • Crude Fat (min.) 16.00%
  • Crude Fiber (max.) 4.00%
  • Moisture (max.) 10.00%
  • Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) (min.) 3.50%
  • Vitamin E (min.) 50.00 IU/kg
  • Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3)** (min.) 0.35%
  • 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

520 calories per 8 oz cup

Nutritional Adequacy Statement

CANIDAE® PURE Sky® formula is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult maintenance.

Dry Matter Basis

On a dry matter basis, this food contains approximately 35.6 percent protein and 17.8 percent fat. These are considered moderately high percentages for a premium dog food today. Fiber makes up about 4.4 percent of the food which is average for most kibbles. The food contains an estimated 34.4 percent carbohydrates which is reasonably low compared to most kibbles today.


This grain free food contains a moderately high protein and fat percentage from good sources of (mostly) animal protein and fat, though we don’t like the plant protein from peas very much. The carbs are reasonably low and come from sweet potatoes and potatoes. This looks like a very good food.

Canidae Grain Free Pure Sky formula has received our 4.5 paw rating.


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  • I got this food not knowing it had so many calories. Sadie loves Canidae and I want to keep feeding it to her. She’s an older small dog and I have to make sure she doesn’t gain weight.

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