Canidae is not your regular multi-million brand, like Purina, but the family-owned operation is more likely to value reputation and quality. Instead of filling every bag with a laundry list of dubious components, Canidae relies on understandable whole ingredients, US-sourced and farm-grown. And those ingredients translate into shiny coats, healthy weight, and toned muscles that drive up the ever-increasing Canidae dog food rating.

Want to learn more? Let me take you on a tour of Canidae's most promising offers!

Who Makes Canidae Dog Food?

Canidae Pet Food Corporation was created by two like-minded pet lovers, John Gordon and Scott Whipple, in 1997. Both were in their late teens and working at a local pet shop when they realized the food they were selling was far from what dogs need. It took several years for the company to transition from selling hand-made kibble from the back of the truck to a nation-wide premium brand.

Before 2012, the company outsourced production and refused to release manufacturing facility details. However, some products were made by Diamond Pet Food, as you will learn in a section about the recall history. Since 2012, Canidae has been using a proprietary manufacturing facility called Ethos Pet Nutrition in Brentwood, Texas.

Most ingredients for Canidae premium kibble are US-sourced and farm-grown to ensure their high quality. The only two imported components are lamb from New Zealand and duck from France. Not a single ingredient comes from China, and Canidae is a part of the FDA's Foreign Supplier Verification Program that ensures imported components' safety.

Canidae Dog Food Reviews

Canidae dog food rating

Canidae drew my attention because of its great reputation and promising ingredients. The use of whole foods, animal protein sources, and even some good grains is a sure sign of high quality and commitment to pet safety and health.

Before we jump into ingredient analysis and reviews of the popular products, remember that even the most expensive kibble may fall prey to picky eaters. And individual allergic reactions can happen regardless of the brand name or price tag. So consult the vet and keep a close eye on your dog if you decide to switch to a new kibble.

Canidae Pure Grain Free Limited Ingredient Real Chicken, Lentil & Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food

  • Chicken-first, protein-rich formula
  • Enhanced with probiotics, Omega 3 & 6
  • Grain and filler-free to prevent allergies

Canidae Grain Free Pure Chicken Small Breed Dry Dog Food

  • Sole animal protein source fits sensitive dogs
  • Healthy and understandable high-quality ingredients
  • Extra nutritional goodies with the HealthPLUS solution

Canidae Under The Sun Grain Free Large Breed with Chicken Adult Dry Dog Food

  • Chicken is the only animal protein source
  • Rich with farm-grown berries, veggies, and legumes
  • Chondroitin and glucosamine-rich formula for joint health

Canidae Grain Free Pure Real Salmon and Sweet Potato Recipe

  • High-protein salmon-based kibble
  • Zero grains and fillers to cause allergies
  • Enhanced with HealthPLUS complex

Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food, Multi-Protein

  • Four protein sources with an overall content of 24%
  • No wheat, soy, corn, and other fillers
  • Suitable for all breeds and sizes

Canidae Pure Grain Free Limited Ingredient Real Duck & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food

  • Duck and turkey are main protein sources
  • Plenty of antioxidants, probiotics, vitamins, and minerals
  • No filler grains and artificial flavors in sight

Canidae All Life Stages Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

  • Protein-rich lamb-based recipe without poultry
  • No fillers, though rice and oatmeal are present
  • Free of artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors

Canidae PURE Grain Free Limited Ingredient Real Chicken, Lentil & Pea Recipe Dry Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

If you're looking for the healthiest take on a traditional chicken-based kibble, you can't go wrong with this clean recipe with only 8 core ingredients, no synthetic nasties, and plenty of healthy goodies.

Let's kick off this shortlist with a new twist on a traditional chicken kibble that's been your default pet food for years. Instead of cramming it full of grains and fillers, Canidae uses chicken and chicken meal to ratchet the protein content to 30%, making it a perfect choice for energetic pups. The rest of the core ingredients are equally wholesome, with no mention of by-products or ambiguous protein sources. Your pooch will enjoy a mix of peas, lentils, and other healthy veggies to promote digestion.

Most pet owners note improved health and looks, both a result of a well-balanced probiotic, vitamin, and mineral complex that makes up the rest of the Canidae dog food ingredients list. While I've found a couple of Canidae grain-free dog food reviews claiming picky eaters are wary of this kibble, the same can be said about any other food. Overall, this is a solid option if you can afford to splurge $50 to $65 on a 24-pound bag.

Canidae PURE Petite Small Breed Dog Food with Chicken

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

It's a great everyday food option with a healthier twist on the traditional chicken-first formula, enhanced with veggies and legumes, along with all the goodies your tiny furball needs.

For all their tiny bodies, Yorkies and Chihuahuas can give Labs a run for their money. Small breeds boast notoriously high metabolism and need more protein, fat, and carbs to stay bushy-tailed. And Canidae's kibble can provide the nutritional value in spades thanks to whole ingredients without a filler in sight. So don't expect to find wheat or soy anywhere near this dog food.

Despite its deceivingly boring chicken flavor, this kibble is beloved even by picky eaters, as every bite is covered with freeze-dried chicken. And the HealthPLUS solution applied after cooking ensures probiotics, antioxidants, and Omega fatty acids remain intact to support your pet's health.

My only concern is the use of chicken as the sole protein source. While it's neutral enough to fit any dog, chicken is known to cause allergies in sensitive canines. If your pup is prone to allergic reactions, you should be careful in introducing new kibble or look into other flavors in the Canidae small breed dog food lineup.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 525 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 24% min
  • Crude fat: 12% min
  • Crude fiber: 4% max
  • First 8 ingredients: chicken, chicken meal, peas, lentils, tapioca, chicken fat, garbanzo beans, freeze-dried chicken

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: Extra small, toy, and small breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Weight: 4, 10-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Great nutritional value for breeds with high metabolism
  • Limited ingredients and a single protein source
  • Covered in freeze-dried chicken to appease picky eaters
  • Infused with probiotics, antioxidants, and Omega fatty acids

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Chicken could cause allergic reactions
  • Kibble pieces may be too small

Canidae Under The Sun Grain Free Large Breed with Chicken Adult Dry Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

Secure your dog's long-term health with a chicken-based formula free of common allergens and chock-full of goodies, like probiotics, Omega fatty acids, glucosamine, and chondroitin.

Despite their shared heritage, small and large breeds have astonishingly opposing needs. Where tiny pups need more protein and fat to keep their speedy metabolism going, giant dogs are less demanding. This kibble fits their needs better, especially as it comes with a sole animal protein source. While chicken is the most traditional and affordable choice, it's also lean and healthy. Besides, the absence of grains and red meat prevents a host of allergies and makes sensitive tummies happy.

The balanced combination of ingredients provides a much-needed dose of naturally occurring chondroitin and glucosamine to keep the joints strong and flexible. And the added vitamins, minerals, and probiotics ensure your dog remains fit and healthy. You will notice a shiny coat, increased energy level, and minimized skin irritations.

The only complaint some buyers have is the small kibble size that's hard to chew for giant breeds. And the sole packaging option doesn't allow for affordable taste-testing, as you have to commit to a 25-pound bag. Still, that's not a good enough reason to avoid Canidae, especially if your dog struggles with his current food.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 330 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 25% min
  • Crude fat: 11% min
  • Crude fiber: 4% max
  • First 8 ingredients: chicken meal, garbanzo beans, green peas, yellow peas, chicken fat, chicken, suncured alfalfa, flaxseed

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: Large and giant breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Weight: 25-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Chicken is the sole high-quality protein source
  • No red meat, grains, or potatoes to cause allergies
  • Free of filler ingredients, artificial flavors and colors
  • Includes naturally occurring chondroitin and glucosamine

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Kibble pieces may be too small for giant breeds
  • Not suitable for canines with chicken sensitivity

Canidae Grain Free Pure Real Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

Treat your pooch to a healthy, ocean-flavored, and protein-packed kibble that will make the coat shine, improve muscle tone and protect joints.

Poultry and chicken, in particular, can be a major allergen for sensitive canines. Recognizing this, Canidae created an ocean-inspired formula with salmon and menhaden as the core animal protein sources. To further protect your pup from adverse allergic reactions, the company removed grains and artificial components, making this recipe as clean and healthy as possible.

The Canidae PURE dog food formula is also rich in Omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, and chondroitin. With so many goodies in every bite, your dog will stay strong and healthy. The only trouble you might face is the strong smell that can make the recipe unpalatable for picky eaters. That's the risk we take when introducing any new food. Based on some negative reviews, I recommend you steer clear of smaller bags after the initial purchase. Many buyers claim excessive crumbling in small packages, though it can result from careless delivery handling.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 496 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 32% min
  • Crude fat: 18% min
  • Crude fiber: 4% max
  • First 8 ingredients: salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas, canola oil, suncured alfalfa, potatoes

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Weight: 4, 12, 24-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • HealthPLUS-enhanced formula with antioxidants and Omega acids
  • Whole ingredients with zero fillers
  • No synthetic colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • High-quality protein and fat sources

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • The smell is very strong and may be disturbing
  • Some picky eaters won’t try this food
  • Excessive crumbs in some of the smaller bags

Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food, Multi-Protein

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

This affordable yet ultimately healthy and protein-rich recipe is perfect for households with multiple dogs of different breeds and ages.

Though Canidae All Life Stages dog dry food is the cheapest of Canidae lines, this kibble is still miles ahead of store-brand pet food. It's packed with four protein sources, though the company relies on meals rather than whole meat to keep the price down.

The combination of rice, oatmeal, and veggies supplies digestion-supportive fiber and energy-boosting carbs. Though it's not completely grain-free, this formula has zero fillers, like corn, soy, or wheat. Still, you should be careful when making a switch to this recipe, as grains may cause digestive disorders and allergies in pups with sensitive tummies. And no combination of Omega fatty acids, probiotics, and antioxidants will make up for that.

You should give this kibble a try if you're tired of dealing with multiple bags of dog food come feeding time. And the price tag of around $65 for a 44-pound bag is an unbeatable point in Canidae's favor.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 468 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 24% min
  • Crude fat: 14.5% min
  • Crude fiber: 4% max
  • First 8 ingredients: chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, peas, potatoes, oatmeal

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds
  • Life Stage: All life stages
  • Weight: 5, 15, 30, 44-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • The most affordable option among Canidae offers
  • Balanced formula for multiple-dog households
  • The HealthPLUS solution inside
  • No corn, soy, or wheat

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Uses meals instead of meat for protein
  • Grain-heavy recipe may cause digestive issues
  • The recipe seems to have changed in 2020

Canidae Pure Grain Free Limited Ingredient Real Duck & Sweet Potato Dry Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

Shake things up with a healthy, nutritious kibble tailored for energetic canines in need of extra protein and fat from whole, high-quality ingredients.

This delicious recipe is a prime contender for adding new kibble into your pooch's regular rotation. It's jam-packed with healthy ingredients, like duck and turkey, that provide plenty of protein to support muscle tone and keep the pup active for years. And the combination of veggies and legumes lends fiber for preventing digestive issues. Besides, all components entering Canidae kibble are US-sourced, aside from duck imported from France, so your dog is 100% safe from low-quality food from China.

The Canidae Limited Ingredient dog food is especially beloved by allergy-prone dogs and pups with sensitive tummies. With no filler grains, the only ingredient that might cause trouble is chicken fat. Still, most have zero skin or digestive issues with this kibble, though you should consult your vet before making rash adjustments to your pet's diet.

You can start the switch to Canidae with a small bag by mixing your usual kibble with the new one and carefully watching the canine's reactions. If the pooch is used to affordable food with plenty of artificial flavors, this kibble may seem bland and unappetizing at first. So be patient and persistent for the few days it takes your dog to get used to the new norm.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 520 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 32% min
  • Crude fat: 16% min
  • Crude fiber: 4% max
  • First 8 ingredients: duck, duck meal, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, peas, chicken fat, potatoes, suncured alfalfa

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds
  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Weight: 4, 12, 24-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Three high-quality animal protein sources
  • HealthPLUS solution full of goodies
  • No artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors
  • Zero grain fillers, like corn and wheat

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Picky eaters may avoid this kibble
  • Crushed kibble inside the latest batch

Canidae All Life Stages Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Dry Dog Food

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY

Treat every canine in your family, from puppy to senior, to a protein-rich, delicious, and healthy kibble that's enhanced with probiotics, Omega fatty acids, antioxidants, and more.

Nothing can be more boring than eating chicken day in day out. So why not bring some variety into your pooch's life and introduce the same quality kibble in a new flavor, lamb-based and deliciously poultry-free? While this Canidae lamb dog food is more affordable than those of the PURE line, it's still full of quality protein in the form of lamb meal (imported from New Zealand, not China).

While this lamb and rice recipe is not grain-free, I consider it an advantage rather than a drawback. After all, instead of corn or wheat, your canine gets rice and barley, both good sources of fiber necessary for healthy digestion. And the long list of supplements is there to make your dog's coat shiny, his muscles-strong, and his joints-flexible.

The only downside I could find is the recent decline in quality among some Canidae products, including this recipe. According to many a Canidae dog food review, packages arrive with several inches of crumbled kibble inside that dogs won't eat. It might be a handling issue, so consider buying the kibble locally if you encounter this problem.

KEY FEATURES:

  • Calories: 457 kcal/cup
  • Crude protein: 23% min
  • Crude fat: 12.5% min
  • Crude fiber: 4% max
  • First 6 ingredients: lamb meal, brown rice, cracked pearled barley, rice bran, peas, millet, canola oil, lamb

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Dry food
  • Breed size: All breeds
  • Life Stage: All life stages
  • Weight: 5, 15, 30-pound bags

WHAT WE LOVED:

  • Affordable and high-end ‘one bag fits all’ recipe
  • Omega fatty acids, probioticJgs, and antioxidants included
  • No artificial flavors and colors
  • Grain-inclusive formula with no soy, wheat, or corn

WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE:

  • Recent quality control issues
  • Lots of crumbled kibble inside the bags

Canidae Wet Dog Food

While Canidae dry dog food remains the core of the brand's offers, the brand produces a dozen wet food varieties to satisfy the picky eaters of the canine family. The Pure line with the limited number of core ingredients and the All Life Stages products come in 13-ounce cans, while the Small Breed line is available in 5.5-ounce cans.

  • Canidae PURE, Grain Free Limited Ingredient Turkey and Chicken Recipe
  • Canidae PURE, Grain Free Limited Ingredient Duck and Turkey Recipe
  • Canidae PURE, Grain Free Limited Ingredient Lamb Recipe
  • Canidae PURE, Grain Free Limited Ingredient Salmon and Sweet Potato Recipe
  • Canidae All Life Stages Canned Dog Food Multi-protein Formula
  • Canidae Petite Small Breed with Beef, Chicken and Vegetables
  • Canidae Petite Small Breed with Chicken and Vegetables
  • Canidae Petite Small Breed with Chicken and Tuna
  • Canidae Petite Small Breed with Chicken, Beef and Green Beans
  • Canidae Petite Small Breed with Chicken, Salmon and Pumpkin
  • Canidae Petite Small Breed with Chicken, Tuna and Salmon

Canidae for Puppies

The PURE lineup of puppy food offers the widest variety of options for the new addition to your family. You get two products suitable for all breeds and a sole small-breed option, as well as a wet dog food alternative:

  • Canidae PURE Dry Puppy Food, Salmon & Oatmeal
  • Canidae PURE Grain-Free Dry Puppy Food, Chicken
  • Canidae PURE Petite Small Breed Puppy Food, Raw Coated, Salmon
  • Canidae PURE, Grain Free Limited Ingredient, Premium Wet Dog Food

You can also go for the Canidae Turkey & Brown Rice Dry Puppy Food or a variety of wet foods designed for smaller breeds that fit the puppy's nutrient requirements. The lineup includes six delicious flavors of Canidae canned dog food in 3.5 oz cans:

  • Canidae Petite Small Breed Wet Dog Food with Salmon & Shrimp
  • Canidae Petite Small Breed Wet Dog Food with Turkey
  • Canidae Petite Small Breed Wet Dog Food with Duck
  • Canidae Petite Small Breed Wet Dog Food with Chicken
  • Canidae Petite Small Breed Wet Dog Food with Beef
  • Canidae Petite Small Breed Wet Dog Food with Lamb

Canidae Senior Dog Food

The All Life Stages lineup is full of one-size-fits-all solutions that work for all canines, from freshly weaned puppies to oldies. These products are perfect for households with multiple pets of different breeds and ages, as you don't have to juggle several bags or play favorites. Thanks to Canidae weight management dog food, every one of your pups will get the nutrients and healthy goodies they need to stay energetic and strong.

The only formula tailored to senior pooches is CANIDAE PURE Senior Real Chicken, Sweet Potato & Garbanzo Bean Recipe. It belongs to the Limited Ingredient line that relies on up to 8 whole food ingredients to provide the dogs with everything they need for long-term health. And the lack of fillers and non-digestible grains prevents allergic reactions, especially for senior dogs.

Canidae Dog Food Recalls

Canidae dog food recall history starts and ends in 2012. According to FDA Archive, the company issued a voluntary recall of four of its products (All Life Stages, Chicken Meal & Rice, Lamb Meal & Rice, and Platinum) because of suspected salmonella contamination. Though none of the products were contaminated, Canidae removed the bags of dog food from the shelves in several East Coast states, including New York, Florida, and Massachusetts.

Salmonella contamination is dangerous, and it could have made me vary of Canidae, if not for the fact that the recalled dog food was manufactured by Diamond Pet Food. The Gaston, Carolina facility produces kibble for half a dozen small brands and is often a subject of the FDA's ire. Luckily, Canidae products are now manufactured exclusively by their plant in Brentwood. Therefore, there's little to no risk of repeat offenses, as the brand is focused on delivering top-quality products.

Conclusion

Is Canidae dog food good? After analyzing the ingredients, scouring the FDA website for recalls, and browsing hundreds of reviews, I have to concede that Canidae is, indeed, a great pet food option. It's free of nutritiously-null components, like corn, and full of high-quality protein sources. The Limited Ingredient lineup is especially good, as every formula includes under a dozen core components, limiting the risk of allergies. And if the PURE kibble is out of your budget, All Life Stages products are a much healthier substitute for cheap big box store brands.

FAQs

Is Canidae a Good Dog Food?

It is if good dog food means high-quality ingredients, high protein content, zero fillers, and a well-balanced vitamin and mineral assortment in every bag. The single voluntary recall in over twenty years is also a good sign, along with hundreds of positive reviews on Canidae dog food.

Where Is Canidae Dog Food Made?

The company owns a manufacturing facility in Brentwood, Texas, where all its products are produced. The ingredients are also sourced within the US; the only two imported ingredients are New Zealand lamb and French duck.

How Much Does Canidae Dog Food Cost?

The products in the PURE line cost from $50 to $70 per 24-pound bag. The All Life Stages kibble is a bit cheaper, at around $55 for a 30-pound bag. The PURE Ancestral products are the most expensive of them all, with a price tag of about $80 for a 20-pound bag.

How Does Canidae Dog Food Rate with Other Dog Foods?

It would be hard to find a definitive winner in a showdown of Canidae dog food vs Blue Buffalo. Most high-end brands, like Orijen, would rate equally high, especially when compared to dirt-cheap kibble, like Pedigree, Chappy, or Pet Pride.

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