Acana is produced by Champion Pet Foods, the company that also manufactures the Orijen brand. Both have solid reputations on the dog food market for their Biologically Appropriate formulas that mirror all the goodness of an all-natural ancestral diet. Acana dog food reviews from puppy parents are largely very positive.
A closer look at the brand and the company behind it reveals why so many people swear by the food. First, their ingredients are sourced regionally and Champion Pet Foods is very transparent about all of their suppliers. This is a rare quality for any company these days, let alone a pet food manufacturer.
Both Acana and Orijen are exclusively produced at DogStar Kitchens in Kentucky. Very few dog food brands have their own processing plants. It is important because it means they have far more control over every step of the process. This includes sourcing ingredients, delivery, storage, processing, and packaging.
These two well-loved brands both have a lot of similarities, all of which are overwhelmingly positive. The main difference between these two is that Orijen has a higher overall meat content, featuring around 80 percent meat, while Acana features a meat content of around 50 to 60 percent. This obviously impacts protein content, but Acana still has protein levels of between 27 and 34 percent. Acana also features slightly higher carbohydrate levels, but even carbohydrates at around 20 percent are far lower than some of the most popular names in dog food. Most importantly, the quality of the ingredients that go into both Acana and Orijen are above and beyond most mass-produced dog foods.
Better Ingredients Make A Better Food
What sets Acana and Orijen apart from most other names in the industry is the manufacturer’s adherence to strict quality measures. According to Champion Pet Foods, ingredients arrive at the processing plant within 48 hours of being sourced. What’s more, they are actually fit for human consumption. The quality gap between human grade and animal grade food is huge, so this speaks volumes about what goes into Acana’s recipes.
With a foundation of fresh meat, Acana’s formulas are built on the framework of the ancestral diet. This is great news for all dogs who crave what has sustained them for thousands of years. Acana’s recipes are rich in not only meat but essential parts of the animal that canines would consume in nature. Organs, tripe, and cartilage are natural sources of a myriad of vitamins, minerals, and compounds.
The company has trademarked what they have deemed ‘WholePrey’ ratios of each animal that goes into their recipes. It refers to what parts of prey wolves would consume in nature. When you imagine what your dog’s ancestors eat, their diet consists wholly of what they hunt. Your dog is still a carnivore and his body still needs the same kind of nourishment. Acana has built its formulas on this philosophy.
For this same reason, all of Acana’s recipes are also very low in carbohydrates. It may seem silly to say, but in all truth, wolves do not sustain themselves by eating potatoes or corn. So why have so many dog food manufacturers made these some of the main ingredients in their food?
It comes down largely to cost. It is simply cheaper to buy large amounts of castaway corn or wheat leftovers from other food processing plants. Once it is all boiled down into hard kibble pieces or a can of wet food, consumers can’t even see the difference. Add some fake beef flavor and most dogs will happily eat it up, not knowing that it is harmful to their health.
This is why it is so important to always look at your dog food label. Despite how well they advertise, the truth is in the ingredient list.
Trusting A Company With Your Dog’s Health
Acana is one of the few brands that we can wholeheartedly recommend. Not only do their labels represent all-natural goodness in all the proper proportions, but the company has not had to defend their claims because, to date, they have been honest about their operations.
Yet another important point to mention is that Acana’s food has been tried and tested. Specifically, their Acana Singles line of recipes is designed for dogs with food allergies. It can be extremely difficult to find a good food for a dog with sensitivities. First, it is hard to pinpoint the source of the problem. Since most dog foods contain a myriad of potential allergens, it takes a lot of trial and error to know exactly what is causing the dog’s reaction.
Acana dog food reviews show many happy owners, particularly about the Singles line. Many reviews reflect their dogs went from intolerant to brand after brand until they started feeding one of Acana’s limited ingredient diets. Acana Singles comes in four varieties that consist of unique protein sources with just a handful of high quality, natural ingredients. If your dog is experiencing any allergic reactions to their food, this is definitely a good option.
Along with two of the Acana Singles varieties, here is a look at some of the recipes you’ll find from this brand:
Heritage is Acana’s signature line and is offered in three meat varieties. It contains everything wholesome you would expect, with protein front and center. Their Free-Run Poultry formula features deboned chicken, chicken liver, heart, gizzard and chicken meal as the first ingredients. Moderate levels of healthy carbohydrates come from green peas, lentils and pinto beans, which also provide fiber and nutrients. The recipe also contains egg and herring oil for omega fatty acids. Fresh produce like kelp, pumpkin, kale, pears, and carrots are great sources of antioxidants. Acana also uses probiotics for extra digestive support, as well as herbs and botanicals with homeopathic benefits.
The Acana Regionals line is designed to mimic the natural food sources in different localities. Their Wild Atlantic formula is aptly named, with mackerel, herring, redfish and silver hake as the first ingredients on the label. The recipe’s high omega fatty acid content is bolstered by oils from catfish, herring, and sunflower. Green peas, yellow peas, and lentils offer fiber and carbohydrates. Again, there is a great mix of fruits and vegetables like pumpkin, squash, collard greens, turnip greens, apples, and pears. The Regionals line also contains probiotics and homeopathic botanicals.
Another Regional variety, Appalachian Ranch, is packed with everything you would expect based on the name. Beef, pork, lamb, and bison make up the bulk of the protein content as well as offering essential cartilage, organs and bone to meet Acana’s WholePrey ratio requirements. Catfish, herring oil and sunflower seeds boost the omega fatty acid content. Antioxidants and vitamins come from the long list of fresh fruits and vegetables. Rosehips, juniper berries, and chicory root are some of the holistic herbs and flowers used as natural supplements, while probiotics add extra digestive support.
The trusted Singles line features four varieties, one of which is Duck and Pear. Duck is a novel protein source that is unlikely to cause a reaction in most dogs that may be sensitive to more common protein sources like chicken or beef. A selection of duck organs like the liver is used, as well as cartilage and bone. Herring oil provides healthy fatty acids, with lentils and peas giving the formula moderate levels of healthy carbs. The recipe also features Bartlett pear and a handful of healthy fruits and veggies to up the antioxidant value. Acana uses probiotics and botanicals in their Singles line, as well.
Another choice from Acana’s limited ingredient line is Wild Mackerel. This is aptly named, as mackerel and mackerel meal are the first ingredients. Again, this is a unique protein source, so for those pups with protein issues, it is hopefully a safe bet that their systems will not react to this new ingredient. The Wild Mackerel recipe also features lentils and peas, as well as mustard greens, kelp, apples, pumpkin and more for all-important antioxidants and vitamins. Probiotics and homeopathic botanicals give it that signature Acana touch.
Nowadays it is difficult to find any company that can back up their bold claims. The dog food industry, in particular, is filled with a lot of flashy marketing, but so many of the products are downright poor quality.
No pet parent wants to take a gamble with their dogs’ health. Always read the labels on dog food and when possible, find out a little more about the company behind it to see if they have a history of false labeling or recalls.
Acana gets such high marks because they can back up their quality products with responsible, local sourcing of ingredients. Champion Pet Foods really got it right with both Orijen and Acana. We only hope that they continue to produce high-quality foods that we can feel good about feeding out four-legged family.