Friday, January 23, 2015

Food Friday: Acana Ranchlands

The kibble of the week is Acana Ranchlands, which is definitely my favorite dog food. When my dogs are eating nothing but kibble, this is what they are eating. There are a lot of grain-free, poultry-free, egg-free, fish-based kibbles out there, but not so many based on red meat.

Dog Food Logic taught me that the ingredients that go into most dog foods follow a long and convoluted supply chain. The words used in the ingredients lists do not always mean what I think they mean. The cooked, ground, and dried ingredients in a dog food may have gone through several weeks or even months of processing before they even make it to the facility where the food is made.

Acana uses fresh ingredients that are never frozen. Since they use locally- and regionally-sourced ingredients, a lot of the important stuff in their food gets there within a few days of being harvested. The primary ingredients are beef and lamb from Alberta, Canada. The fruits and vegetables come from local growers, and everything is delivered fresh and cooked right there in the Acana kitchens. They only make their own foods, and don't co-pack for anyone or outsource anything.

Questionable Claims
Like Orijen (both brands are from parent company Champion Pet Foods) Acana's packaging carries a whole lot of claims and statements about wolves and how nature designed canines to eat a certain way. I appreciate that most of these claims are in fairly small print on the bag, the back of which is covered liberally with even tinier print. It's a lot of information, but they aren't screaming in my face about it.

Following the Trail
Not only does Acana not use a co-packer or any sort of outsourcing to make their foods, they have that information all over their website to help consumers understand this convoluted part of the pet food industry. Acana does not make food for anyone else, either. I feel like everyone else should run their pet food companies like this, that way we wouldn't have recalls hitting half a dozen different brands at the same time.

The Good Stuff
Acana is made entirely of good stuff. Brisbane can eat both their Ranchlands and Pacifica formulas, that's half of their Regionals foods. He can also have two out of three of their Singles foods, it's pretty unusual for a company to have that many different Briz-safe foods. When someone asks me what the very best kibble is, I say Acana and Orijen. Acana usually gets my vote though, just because they have more than one food suitable for Brisbane's poultry and egg allergies.

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