Friday, December 5, 2014

Food Friday: Canidae Pure Land

Our current bag of kibble is Canidae Pure Land, a grain-free lamb-based kibble. This food uses lamb meal and bison meat as the sole protein sources, with sweet potatoes, peas, and chickpeas providing carbohydrates and canola oil providing the fat. It is poultry-free and egg-free, so Brisbane can eat it. He can actually have two of the four Canidae Pure foods, which I think is pretty cool. Like most grain-free kibbles, Canidae Pure Land is nutritionally dense with 474 kcal per cup.

Having just finished reading Dog Food Logic by Linda P. Case, and also read in detail the ingredient lists for over 800 different kibbles now, I am totally unimpressed with Canidae's label claims. It's nothing against Canidae really, nearly every dog food company puts this stuff on their bags. These things are almost entirely unregulated and companies can get away with putting nearly anything on there if they word it correctly. Still, I enjoy the opportunity to post snarky stuff about almost everything.

Questionable Claims
I didn't take a close enough picture to make everything on the bag readable, but see right there where it says "Made with Fresh Bison"? The only bison in this kibble is in the form of fresh meat, which is made mostly of water. Bison may be the first ingredient on the list, but after the cooking process there is only 10-20% of it left. The next ingredient is lamb meal, a protein that is already cooked, dried, and therefore ends up providing the bulk of the protein in Canidae Pure Land.

What is that white stuff anyway?
The fact that Canidae Pure Land is made up of "Just Seven Ingredients* *(plus added vitamins, minerals, natural flavors, and probiotics)" is also kind of silly because most uber-high-quality grain-free kibbles have a very similar-looking ingredient list. Here is the actual Pure Land ingredient list:

Bison, lamb meal, sweet potatoes, peas, chickpeas, canola oil, 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
Following the Trail
While Canidae claims to own their own production facilities and manufacture their own foods, many sources report that at least some of their kibbles, including grain-free Pure, are manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods, Diamond makes their own brands of food, but they also have  kickass production facilities and use their equipment to make foods for a bunch of companies that don't mind outsourcing. How do we know who outsources? Most companies aren't exactly forthcoming about who makes their foods and where, so consumers only find this out when a recall happens. The 2012 Diamond Pet Food recall affected Kirkland Signature, Natural Balance, Wellness, Taste of the Wild, Solid Gold, and Chicken Soup, among others. Canidae Pure Land is probably produced domestically, and possibly in a Canidae-owned facility, we'll find out the next time a salmonella-contamination recall happens.

The Good Stuff
All snark aside, this is an extremely high-quality food, otherwise I wouldn't be feeding it to my dogs. Most Canidae Pure foods rate five stars on our beloved Dog Food Advisor, but Pure Land only gets four due to its lower estimated meat content. As soon as I learn how to estimate meat content, I will report my own findings as well. I appreciate that Canidae limited their ingredient list and didn't pack a bit of every known meat animal into this food. It remains one of the few non-fish kibbles that Brisbane can have with his chicken, turkey, duck, and egg allergies. It does not contain white potatoes, which many dog owners have also been avoiding lately. Brisbane, Ru, and foster dog Ulysses all love Canidae Pure Land (along with pretty much anything edible and a few things that aren't). It doesn't upset anyone's tummy or leave them smelling suspiciously fishy.

My 4lb bag of Canidae Pure Land has some kibbles with a white residue. I'm not sure what to make of this, so I emailed the company to ask. So far it smells fine and doesn't seem to bother the dogs, so it's probably not deadly poison. If anyone has any tummy upsets unrelated to eating Kongs, this will probably be the first thing I eliminate from their diets, but since they get a lot more to eat than just kibble I'm comfortable feeding it for now.

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