An important decision for every dog owner is deciding what food to give your beloved canine. A dog’s age, breed, size, lifestyle and medical issues (if any) play a factor in choosing the right meal. While some dogs stay on the same formula most of their lives, others may require different food as their needs evolve.
Acana seeks to help your dog in all phases with lines of dry and wet foods, including its top formula of Free-Run Poultry & Grains. It offers basic recipes for all dogs as well as balanced formulas focused on specific life stages and specialty recipes for conditions and ailments.
Acana champions responsibly raised animals and whole fruits and vegetables. Every formula features roughly 50% to 75% animal ingredients and 25% to 50% fruits and vegetables. The recipes also incorporate vitamins, minerals and probiotics.
There is a heavy emphasis on meat in the Acana line: While some recipes only have one source, others feature up to six animal ingredients, some of which are fresh or raw meat. This is based on what Acana calls a biologically appropriate diet, the idea that because dogs evolved as carnivores, they should retain a meat-heavy diet.
While Acana has a line called "Wholesome Grains," it also makes grain-free formulas and promotes their health and nutritional value. The American Kennel Club, though, asserts that grains pose no threat to dogs and concerns about grains are misleading.
Acana dry dog food comes in three sizes. The smallest is around 4 pounds, and a medium bag typically weighs 11 to 14 pounds. Large bags are sized around 22 to 25 pounds. While buying larger bags is more economical, saving you money per pound, keep in mind dry dog food needs to be stored in an airtight container free from sunlight and moisture to stay fresh once opened.
Most owners feed their dog dry food, or kibble. Dry food lasts longer than wet, is more cost-effective and helps keep teeth clean. It’s easier on owners too: Kibble lacks a potent smell and is less messy.
However, senior dogs as well as those with oral sensitivities may be better served with wet food. It is gentler on the mouth and helps with hydration for those dogs who don’t drink enough water. The aroma also entices picky eaters.
Acana offers six wet food recipes, all of which are made in bone broth, including one designed for puppies.
Most Acana formulas are suitable for all ages, though its meat-focused diets are better for active dogs. It also offers a handful of recipes specifically geared for puppies to support them as they grow.
For pet owners seeking a meat-heavy diet, Acana's WholePrey formulas comprise the entirety of an animal as it would be eaten in nature. In addition to meat, organs and bones are added to the recipe as well.
Acana offers a line of limited-ingredient formulas, which feature a single animal as the main meat ingredient. At least 60% of the recipe is this meat source, be it pork, beef or lamb. Each recipe therefore limits certain common allergens, including corn, soy, peas or gluten, though each recipe is different.
Acana provides raw, freeze-dried food to act as a meal on its own or to complement any dry or wet food. Main ingredients include turkey, duck, chicken and beef. Two sizes are available: patties for larger dogs and chunks for smaller pups.
The smallest dry dog food bags cost under $20, while the largest bags typically cost $60-$80, depending on the ingredients.
A. Avoid switching to new food suddenly, and instead slowly transition over the course of seven to 10 days. Start by incorporating 25% of the new formula to the old, and increase by that amount every couple days until you are fully converted to the new food. This gradual transition is important to ease upset on the dog’s digestive tract.
A. Monitor your dog in the days and weeks after eating new food for any adverse reactions. Lethargy, diarrhea and excessive panting, drooling or shedding may indicate a negative reaction with the ingredients. Immediately switch to a different formula and consult with a vet if problems persist.
What you need to know: This complete formula is suitable for all ages and free from common allergens.
What you’ll love: Chicken is the first ingredient in this recipe that features millet, oats, vitamins, minerals and whole fruits and vegetables. It contains no artificial preservatives, gluten or legumes.
What you should consider: This large bag comes at a high price.
What you need to know: A protein-rich formula, this recipe is fortified with nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants to support dogs in need.
What you’ll love: This balanced formula incorporates ingredients to improve skin and coat health, boost immune system function, and support digestion. Though advertised as a formula to help transition adopted dogs, it can be enjoyed for years to follow.
What you should consider: The formula contains some common allergens, including beef and eggs.
What you need to know: Featuring pork, sweet potatoes and liver, this varied formula helps improve overall body functions in all dogs.
What you’ll love: Formulated to improve circulation, immune function and skin health, this recipe features pork as the single animal source. The dry dog food is suitable for all breeds and ages.
What you should consider: This is one of the most expensive formulas Acana sells.
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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.