Canidae Dog Food Review

The Canidae Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2024

Written By Eloisa Thomas | Canine Coach, Double M.A in Anthropology.
Edited & Fact Checked By Renae Soppe | B.A Journalism & Science. 
Last Updated: 7th January 2024

Does your dog have food allergies or sensitivities like mine?

For dog owners looking for novel kibble recipes or just a way to help with their pup’s itchy skin, Canidae dog food is a great option loved by owners and dogs alike. 

Other Canidae Dog Food reviews only focus on their better-known PURE Grain-free line, but we did in-depth research on all their products available in Australia. We partnered up with veterinarians, canine nutritionists and dog parents and tested their dog food over the course of several months. After tonnes of testing and plenty of conjecture, our team of experts came up with this detailed review. Here’s everything you need to know to make the right nutritional choices for your pup:

  • Excellent ingredient list with natural, whole foods, and zero fillers.
  • Their limited-ingredient products only have seven to eight ingredients plus nourishing vitamins & minerals, perfect for dogs with allergies.
  • Wide flavour variety to fit your dog’s taste & health needs, including exotic protein sources like bison and salmon.
  • Their puppy food options are very limited.

Quick Pick - Our Best Rated Dog Food

Petzyo Dog Food

Our Number 1 Pick
Petzyo Dog Food

  • Ethically sourced Kangaroo, Chicken or Salmon, sweet potato & superfood extras
  • Iron-rich & low fat proteins
  • Three Omega-3 and -6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
  • Made in Australia

German Shepherd puppy licking lips

Australia's Canidae Dog Food Review

Canidae - Overall 3.5 Star Rating

  • Ingredients: Salmon, salmon meal, menhaden fish meal, sweet potatoes, peas, canola oil, suncured alfalfa, potatoes, 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 + More
  • Named Protein First: Yes
  • Dog Food Type: Grain-Free
  • Recipe Range: Salmon & Sweet Potato or Wild Boar & Garbanzo Bean or Chicken, Sweet Potato & Garbanzo Bean or Real Bison, Lentil & Carrot + More.
  • Suitable For: Canidae's recipe range can be suitable for puppy, adult and senior dogs depending on the recipe.
  • Cost: $$$$
  • Australian Owned: No


Taste

Ingredients

Protein content

Additives

Variety

Price

Taste 3.5/5

Most pups love the taste of their Canidae food! Both the PURE Grain-free and whole-grain lines are popular among dogs of all ages. Even their weight-management options (with fewer carbs and fat) are well-received by most dogs. Plus, if you have a super picky eater at home, their wet food options are extra tasty.

However, compared to the grain-free version of Ziwi Peak, the taste of this brand is not as great. But it is good enough that most dogs belonging to our team of expert panel had no problem eating and finishing a bowl of their dog food.

Our dogs like this dog food and dive right into their meal. You just have to determine if your dog prefers the dry or wet food option to see if they will eat this, too. Considering this, we are giving 3.5 out 5 stars.

Ingredients 3.5/5

While Canidae has both “regular” and specialty dry dog food, most owners recognise them for their PURE Grain-free line.

Keep in mind that only the Canidae PURE line has a limited ingredient list. Other options available in Australia and New Zealand, like the “All Life Stages” line, are NOT grain-free nor have a limited ingredient list, while some PURE products have grains (mainly brown rice). It’s important to be aware of these differences and always read the packaging, especially when buying online.

But, if you really want a grain-free option to ensure that your dog is not eating any ingredients that can be harmful to them, Ziwi Peak, one of the best-rated dog food in Australia, is a much better choice in terms of an allergen-free meal.

PRO TIP: Keep in mind some products from the PURE line have grains (albeit whole grains), so always read the labels before buying.

All Canidae products use wholesome, easily recognisable ingredients with animal protein and a healthy carb source. If your dog has food allergies or sensitivities like mine, the limited ingredients of the Canidae PURE Dog Food line are a good option, especially in the case of pups that can’t eat common ingredients like poultry or peas.

Before giving them this food, our team of experts recommend reading the ingredients and making sure that your dog is not allergic to any of its ingredients, specifically if it is not grain-free. Still, it has a better combination of ingredients than other cheap dog foods on the market.

Overall, we really like the composition of the PURE line, but we’re taking off 1 star because the labelling can be confusing (some PURE products are grain-free, others aren’t) and some products from the All Life Stages line use sunflower or soybean oil.

Protein content 4/5

Canidae dog food’s #1 ingredient in all their products is an animal protein. We really liked that in the PURE line most products have animal protein as the first two ingredients, usually from two different sources (i.e. Bison flavour has bison and lamb). Some items even have three different animal protein sources.

Their PURE grain-free products have between 30% and 32% of protein, which is well above the AAFCO-recommended amount of 18% minimum [1].

When compared to Eureka, which has one of the highest protein percentages in Australia, this percentage is slightly lower, but it is higher than most of the dog foods on the market. Also, it is more than enough for dogs who have an active lifestyle.

PRO TIP: Make sure any dog food you buy has at least 18% crude protein.

That means that your pup will have enough protein to build muscle and thrive without any supplementation. Keep in mind that most Canidae Grain-Free reviews forget to mention that part of the protein sources in the line are presumably plant-based (like peas and chickpeas).

Still, we like the protein source and content of this dog food which can be given for all life stages. But it would be better if they were able to include all of the protein sources on the list for dog owners to know. Considering this, our expert team is giving Canidae a 4 out of 5.

Additives 4/5

Since experts at RSPCA Australia advise against pet-grade food with sulphites (linked to dangerous B1 deficiencies [2]), it’s really important to keep an eye out for the additives in your dog’s food.

When compared to Petzyo, this brand can compete in terms of being a healthy option for not using any sulphites as a form of preservation for their dog food. As dog owners, we want to ensure that our dogs are not only satisfied with their meals but also with their nutritional needs.

“Choose human-grade meat as some pet meat and bone products will contain preservatives that can be bad for your dog’s health – RSPCA Australia” [3]

Canidae prides itself on only adding human-grade ingredients and no fillers to their food, so you can be sure your pup won’t ingest harmful additives. Canidae uses tocopherols (a form of Vitamin E), lecithin and rosemary extract as healthier preservatives that won’t threaten your dog’s health.

On top of the usual minerals and vitamins your pup needs to thrive, Canidae also includes live probiotics in their dry kibble: probiotics help your dog digest their food, feed their gut microbiome and avoids excess bloating.

We love the addition of vitamins and minerals to this dog food. But this can improve with more fruits and veggies. However, because of all the healthy additives and zero sulphites, we’re giving Canidae 4 out of 5 in this category.

Variety 4/5

Pups and their owners have many options to choose from! On top of their better-known PURE line (with both grain-free and whole-grain options), you also have the “All life stages” line and several other products to fit your dog’s needs.

Canidae is better in terms of wet and dry options when compared to Eureka, which offers only air-dried dog food. For those dogs who might have a hard time eating dry food, Canidae wet options are a good choice.

Their PURE limited-ingredient line offers great variety for dogs like mine that have allergies or food sensitivities. And you can usually find at least four or five different flavours from that line to choose from when you get it in-store.

Canidae also carries dry and wet dog food options, as well as treats (both grain-free and regular) that you can use during training or just daily life. They have puppy and adult options, as well as products targeted at senior dogs (with extra add-ins for joint support) and others for weight management. This is especially important since obesity can be very dangerous to your dog. As researchers from a UK University found:

PRO TIP: Obesity in dogs is linked to decreased longevity and diseases such as osteoarthritis, as well as emotional disturbance and vitality [4]

If you have a multi-dog household, many owners recommend the Canidae All life stages line that feeds dogs of all sizes, ages and needs. Keep in mind the latter doesn’t have grain-free options.

We’re taking a star off because while they do offer size-specific food in Australia, it’s difficult to find in-store and not all online retailers carry it. Plus, their small-breed options are much more limited flavour-wise. This is especially important for those with toy and small dogs and seniors that can have a harder time eating large kibble.

We love the variety of options that Canidae offers. They consider all life stages and even specifically formulated options that can be consumed by dogs that have food allergies. We also appreciate how they made their food easier to consume for puppies and senior dogs.

Price 4/5

While this isn’t the cheapest dog food available, it is pretty affordable considering the wholesome ingredients. On top of it, most retailers offer free shipping on orders over a certain threshold, and dog food in general is above that value especially if you buy for large dogs (so 10 kgs or more at a time).

Unlike Ziwi Peak, which is quite expensive but also contains high-quality ingredients, this is a pretty good deal for our dogs' everyday consumption and most Australian dog owners can definitely afford buying more.

We’re big proponents of investing in high-quality foods to save in vet bills down the road, so paying a bit more upfront is worth it. 

We like how low the price of this dog food is that anyone can buy, but at the same time, it considers healthy and nutrient-dense ingredients for our dogs to try. Because of this, our panel of experts is giving this a 4 out of 5 rating.


Canidae Puppy Food Review

Jack Russell puppy eating.

This article wouldn't be complete without a puppy food review.

Unfortunately, while Canidae has different puppy options, Canidae Dog Food Australia only carries one.

That means that Australian puppy owners only have access to their Puppy Grain-free chicken & sweet potato flavour or will have to feed them the All Life Stages food. While less-than-ideal, it isn’t too bad since you do have access to both grain-free (the PURE Puppy option) or whole-grain options (All Life Stages).

However, we don’t like that there are no other options based on your dog’s size. As such, small and toy puppies will have to eat the same kibble as larger dogs. The lack of large-breed options is a concern with large and giant breeds since overfeeding or feeding a diet that’s too calorie-dense can cause brittle bones and decalcification [5].

Of course, you can always portion control your pup’s intake, but this can be tiresome and you need vet’s advice. This isn’t as much of an issue with puppy food targeted at large and giant breeds. If that’s your case, we recommend a puppy food adapted to your particular dog’s size.


Do Not Buy If

While this is a great option for many pups, our team of independent experts say you shouldn’t buy this brand if:

  • You’d rather buy local: Canidae Dog Food is made in the US and shipped all the way to Australia. If you’re concerned with your carbon footprint and buying local, this isn’t the brand for you!
  • You have a giant breed puppy: As we have already mentioned, giant puppies need careful portion control to keep them from growing too fast and giving their bones a chance to really strengthen and absorb calcium. Puppy food targeted at your dog’s adult size is less calorie-dense and will make it easier to keep them properly fed while taking care of their specific needs. Since Canidae puppy food is only available for “all-breeds”, you might have an easier time if you choose other brands catered to your dogs size.

The Verdict

Every member of our team of independent experts really like this brand, especially if your pup needs a limited-ingredient diet. In general, both dogs and owners love Canidae, and their grain-free options are reasonably priced, taste great, and have no unhealthy fillers or preservatives, so it is a fairly good brand for us. We say, give it a chance!

References

  1. “Calorie content”. Association of American Feed Control Officials. Retrieved January 7, 2024. https://www.aafco.org/resources/startups/calorie-content/
  2. “Are preservatives in pet food products a concern?”. RSPCA Australia. Retrieved Janurary 7, 2024. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/are-preservatives-in-pet-food-products-a-concern/
  3. “What should I feed my dog?”. RSPCA Australia. Retrieved January 7, 2024. https://kb.rspca.org.au/knowledge-base/what-should-i-feed-my-dog/  
  4. German, A.J. et al. (2012). “Quality of life is reduced in obese dogs but improves after successful weight loss”. The Veterinary Journal. Volume 192, Issue 3, 2012, Pages 428-434, ISSN 1090-0233, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2011.09.015. 
  5. "Large Breed Puppies: Rapid Growth is not Optimal Growth". Purina Institute. Retrieved January 7, 2024. https://www.purinainstitute.com/centresquare/life-stage-nutrition/large-breed-puppies-rapid-growth-not-optimal

Eloisa Thomas


Eloisa Thomas is Gentle Dog Trainers Canine Coach & Anthropologist.

With a double master's degree in Anthropology and awarded a Chancellor's International Scholarship to pursue a PhD in History at the University of Warwick (UK), she's well equipped to write well written and factual canine information that will actually help people understand their dogs better.

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