Acana Dog Food Review 2024

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Written by Adam Lee-Smith

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 10/25/2023, edited: 03/22/2024

Acana Dog Food Review 2024 image

The Wag! team conducts independent research and consults pet experts to curate our recommendations. This content is supported by our affiliate pet partners and we may receive a commission on the links provided.

Overview


Acana is a dog food brand focused on delivering "whole food nutrition" to dogs, blending quality meats and nutrient-rich produce to keep pups happy and healthy. Acana caters to all doggy diets with a wide variety of recipes that include freeze-dried raw foods, grain-free options, and limited ingredient formulas. 

We give Acana dog food a 4 out of 5 paw rating because of its diverse recipe range and the quality of its ingredients. But is Acana right for your dog? Read our 2024 Acana review, where we'll examine product ranges, recall history, considerations, and more!



Acana dog food product ranges and flavors

At the time of writing, Acana offers around 40 dog food varieties split across seven ranges and sub-ranges. All recipes are made from 50% to 90% animal ingredients and up to 40% quality fruit and vegetables. 

All Acana recipes are "complete and balanced" according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines. Each recipe meets the criteria to be suitable for all life stages, growth (puppies), or maintenance (adults).

Let's look at each range and why they might be suitable for your pup!


Acana Dry Dog Food

Acana Dry Dog Food

Acana Dry Food

Acana offers six dry food recipes under the standard Acana branding. Each recipe has no filler ingredients like soy, corn, or tapioca. All recipes consist of 60% animal ingredients and 40% fruits and vegetables. And all but one of these Acana dry foods are grain-free. 

Acana standard dry food recipes list a quality meat source as the top ingredient. They aren't "human-grade" as all recipes include meat meal. 

As well as adult poultry, fish, and beef recipes, Acana offers special recipes for puppies, weight management, and even recently adopted doggos. Each standard adult Acana dry food contains 29% crude protein and 17% crude fat.

Acana Dry Food flavors:

  • Puppy Recipe
  • Free-Run Poultry Recipe
  • Freshwater Fish Recipe
  • Red Meat Recipe
  • Light & Fit Recipe
  • Rescue Care for Adopted Dogs with Red Meat, Liver and Oats


Acana Classics

Acana Classics is a brand-new dry food sub-range consisting of three recipes. All recipes are grain-inclusive, with barley as the primary grain. Barley is a healthy fiber-rich rice alternative containing potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Acana Classics recipes list a quality meat source as the top ingredient. Meat meals are one of the top three ingredients in each recipe. Recipes can contain as much as 25% crude protein and 16% crude fat. 

Acana Classics flavors:

  • Chicken and Barley
  • Beef and Barley
  • Salmon and Barley


Acana Wholesome Grains Dog Food

Acana Wholesome Grains Dog Food

Wholesome Grains

Wholesome Grains is Acana's grain-inclusive dry dog food range, consisting of nine products, two of which are also part of the Limited Ingredient range and are listed there. Each recipe uses oat groats, whole sorghum, and whole millet as primary grains ‚ÄĒ all considered nutritionally beneficial to pups. Most Wholesome Grains recipes contain 60% animal ingredients and 40% fruits and vegetables.¬†

All Wholesome Grains recipes list a quality named meat as the first ingredient. All recipes include meat meals and are not human-grade. Red meat, poultry, duck, and lamb recipes are available. 

Acana Whole grain has varieties especially for small dogs and large breeds, as well as limited ingredient diets. Most Wholesome Grains recipes are 27% crude protein and 17% crude fat.  

Wholesome Grains flavors:

  • Puppy Recipe¬†
  • Large Breed Puppy Recipe
  • Free-Run Poultry & Grains
  • Red Meat & Grains
  • Sea to Stream Fish & Grains
  • Small Breed Recipe
  • Large Breed Recipe


Acana Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Acana Limited Ingredient Dog Food

Limited Ingredient Diet

Acana Limited Ingredient recipes include single animal proteins and fewer ingredients than Acana's other ranges. These six recipes are intended to help fur-babies with food allergies or sensitive stomachs. Standard Acana Limited Ingredient recipes include 65% animal ingredients and 35% fruits and vegetables. 

Acana's Limited Ingredient recipes include around 13 primary ingredients and multiple carbohydrates, which means they aren't among the best limited-ingredient dog foods. 

Each recipe lists a quality named meat as the top ingredient. All recipes include meat meals and aren't human-grade. Beef, lamb, duck and pork recipes are available. Grain-free Limited Ingredient recipes are 31% crude protein and 17% crude fat. 

Limited Ingredient Diet flavors:

  • Duck & Pear Recipe
  • Pork & Squash Recipe
  • Lamb & Apple Recipe
  • Beef & Pumpkin Recipe
  • Wholesome Grains Lamb & Pumpkin Recipe
  • Wholesome Grains Duck & Pumpkin Recipe


Acana Highest Protein Dog Food

Acana Highest Protein Dog Food

Highest Protein

Acana Highest Protein is a pawsome dry dog food range for working dogs and pups in their twilight years. Made from 70% animal ingredients and 30% fruits and vegetables, Highest Protein recipes can help dogs maintain a healthy weight and increase muscle mass. 

All 4 Highest Protein recipes list three quality named animal proteins as the top ingredients. All recipes contain meat meals and aren't human-grade. 

Each recipe has multiple meat sources; for example, the Appalachian Ranch recipe incorporates beef, lamb, and pork. As a result, they may not be best suited to dogs with sensitive stomachs. Every Acana Highest Protein dog food contains 33% crude protein and 17% crude fat. 

Highest Protein flavors:

  • Meadowland Recipe with Poultry, Fish & Eggs
  • Atlantic Recipe with Mackerel, Herring & Redfish
  • Grasslands Recipe with Lamb, Duck, Eggs, Quail & Trout
  • Appalachian Ranch Recipe with Meats & Catfish


Acana Butcher's Favorites Dog Food

Acana Butcher's Favorites Dog Food

Butcher's Favorites

Butcher's Favorites is a premium Acana dry food range consisting of kibble mixed with jerky pieces. With its strong meaty taste, Butcher's Favorites is ideal for fussy pups that prefer the finer things. You'll find 3 available recipes made up of 70% animal ingredients and 30% fruits and vegetables. All recipes are grain-free. 

The 3 Butcher's Favorites are beef and liver, salmon, and poultry and liver. Each recipe lists a named quality meat as the top ingredient. Recipes contain several meat meals from multiple animals. 

Every Butcher's Favorites recipe contains 36% crude protein and 17% crude fat, with higher protein ratios than Acana's Highest Protein range. 

Butcher’s Favorites flavors:

  • Free-Run Poultry & Liver Recipe
  • Wild-Caught Salmon Recipe
  • Farm-Raised Beef & Liver Recipe


Acana Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Acana Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Acana's Freeze Dried range consists of eight dog foods in two styles: patties or kibble-style morsels. Acana Freeze Dried has the highest animal ingredients ratio of all Acana dog foods, with 90% animal ingredients and 10% fruits and vegetables.

The top three ingredients in all Acana Freeze-Dried recipes are a quality named animal protein. Acana Freeze-Dried recipes contain no meat meal. The inclusion of organic produce like pears, butternut squash, and carrots suggests Acana's Freeze Dried range is high quality. 

Chicken, turkey, duck, and beef flavors are available. Just be aware Acana Freeze-Dried recipes include whole herring or mackerel as a secondary ingredient and may not be best for pups with sensitive stomachs. All Acana Freeze Dried recipes have over 36% crude protein and over 23% crude fat. 

Freeze-Dried Dog Food flavors

  • Freeze-Dried Patties Farm-Raised Beef Recipe
  • Freeze-Dried Patties Free-Run Chicken Recipe
  • Freeze-Dried Patties Free-Run Duck Recipe
  • Freeze-Dried Patties Free-Run Turkey Recipe
  • Freeze-Dried Morsels Beef Recipe
  • Freeze-Dried Morsels Free-Run Chicken Recipe
  • Freeze-Dried Morsels Duck Recipe
  • Freeze-Dried Morsels Free-Run Turkey Recipe


Acana Wet Dog Food

Acana Wet Dog Food

Premium Wet Dog Food

Acana offers a Premium canned dog food range available in 6 flavors. Each stew-like recipe consists of 85% animal ingredients and 15% fruits and vegetables. 

Poultry, beef, lamb, duck, and pork recipes are available. All recipes list a quality named meat source as the top ingredient. Acana Premium wet dog food contains no meat meals. 

Due to its high moisture content, Acana Premium wet food works great as a dry food topper, helping your canine compadre stay hydrated. Each recipe is 78% to 82% moisture, 8% crude protein, and 3% crude fat.

Premium Wet Dog Food flavors:

  • Premium P√Ęt√© Puppy Recipe in Bone Broth
  • Premium Chunks Poultry Recipe in Bone Broth
  • Premium Chunks Beef Recipe in Bone Broth
  • Premium Chunks Lamb Recipe in Bone Broth
  • Premium Chunks Duck Recipe in Bone Broth
  • Premium Chunks Pork Recipe in Bone Broth


Acana Dog Treats

Acana Dog Treats

Acana Treats

Acana offers three treat sub-ranges: Chewy Tenders, Freeze-Dried Treats, and High-Protein Biscuits. 

You'll find three Chewy Tenders recipes, each supporting a different aspect of your pup's health. For example, the Chicken Chewy Tenders support immune health and contain cranberries rich in antioxidants. Recipes are made with 90% animal ingredients and contain meat meal.

Acana Freeze-Dried Treats come in three flavors and contain less than five ingredients each, making them ideal for canines with food allergies or sensitivities. They're also only five calories per treat, making them great for training. 

Acana High-Protein Biscuits are crunchy treats with limited ingredients and over 85% protein. While these treats are perfect for a protein boost, they're 13 calories per small biscuit, meaning they're not suitable for training. 

Acana Treats flavors:

  • Chewy Tenders Chicken¬†
  • Chewy Tenders Beef¬†
  • Chewy Tenders Salmon¬†
  • High-Protein Biscuits Beef Liver
  • High-Protein Biscuits Chicken Liver
  • Duck & Pear Freeze-Dried Treats
  • Lamb & Apple Freeze-Dried Treats
  • Beef & Pumpkin Freeze-Dried Treats




Why Wag! likes Acana dog food

Let's dive into why Wag! rates Acana 4 out of 5 paws up!

Quality top ingredients

Acana uses premium fresh and frozen meat in its recipes, providing pups with nutrient-rich meals at dinnertime. All of Acana's fresh meat is only ever refrigerated and never frozen. Its raw meat is frozen at its freshest. From frozen to freeze-dried, all Acana's dog food recipes list a quality named meat as the top ingredient. 

Acana also uses quality whole vegetables sourced from vetted partners in its dog foods. Acana Freeze-Dried recipes go a step further by only using organic produce. Acana's grain-inclusive recipes include nutritionally rich grains like whole sorghum and whole millet. 

Recipes for every lifestyle, breed, and age

Whether your pooch is young or old, large or small, Acana has a dog food that’ll meet their nutritional needs. As well as selling dog foods specially formulated for puppies and different breed sizes, Acana offers high protein, limited ingredient, and healthy weight options. You'll also find some unique recipes, including one for recently rehomed rescue dogs. 

Responsibly-sourced ingredients

Acana uses some of the best ingredients available and sources them responsibly. Its poultry is free-run, its beef and lamb are ranch-raised, and its fish is wild-caught. Plus, the origins of its meat are traceable for the sake of transparency. For example, Acana's lamb is from New Zealand, while its fish is from Scandinavia. 

Strict manufacturing standards

Acana's DogStar kitchen meets strict quality standards to ensure its products are safe for your canine compadre. Acana's kitchen facility is Safe Quality Food (SQF) and Safe Feed/Safe Food (SFSF) certified, with a track-and-trace system for monitoring ingredients through every processing stage. The kitchen takes food safety super seriously and is enrolled in a HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) program.




Concerns & considerations

Here are a few things to bear in mind when purchasing Acana dog food. 

Above average cost

Due to the quality of its ingredients, Acana dog food is more expensive than many other dog foods. At the time of writing, a 25-pound bag of Acana Red Meat Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food costs $76.99 or $3.08 per pound. 

By comparison, a 35-pound bag of Purina Pro Plan Adult Shredded Blend Beef & Rice Dog Food costs around $69.50 or $1.99 per pound. 

No human-grade recipes

Acana uses some of the finest ingredients in its dog foods, but it isn't human-grade. The use of feed-grade ingredients and its manufacturing process means neither its dry or wet dog food qualifies as human-grade. 

Potentially controversial ingredients

It's worth noting that some of Acana's dog food recipes include potentially controversial ingredients. For example, many recipes list natural flavors as an ingredient. While natural flavors are harmless to dogs, the term is ill-defined by the FDA regarding pet foods and lacks transparency. 

Some dry dog food recipes include lentil fiber as an ingredient. Lentil fiber is an agricultural by-product with little to no nutritional value besides being a source of fiber. 

Concerns about grain-free diets

In 2018, the FDA launched an investigation into reports of links between grain-free dog foods and the development of an enlarged heart (DCM). The investigation focuses on dog foods with high quantities of potatoes, legumes, and pulses. 

According to the FDA's investigation, Acana was the most frequently named dog food brand in DCM cases. The investigation is ongoing, and as of December 2022, the FDA has no new scientific information to share. 



"For most dogs, these diets are just fine. They have real benefits for those with grain sensitivities, though this isn't a very common food allergy. For some dogs, however, grain free diets could be damaging."

‚ÄĒ Dr. Linda Simon MVB MRCVS, veterinary surgeon and vet consultant with Wag!



Despite these reports, there's insufficient evidence to declare a definitive relationship between grain-free diets and DCM. Contact your veterinarian if you have concerns about feeding your dog Acana grain-free dog foods.




What pet parents say about Acana dog food

"Our dogs thrive on Acana. German Shepherds can have sensitive guts and skin, we have had no problems with Acana. I can feed less of this nutrient dense food so despite the higher initial cost, I find it costs less in the long run."

"We have a multi-dog household and there is one that has sensitivities to other proteins. Finding a food that works for everyone is ideal and this food checks all the boxes for my dogs. I have tried other brands for variety but have always come back to this food. Sticking with a good thing!"

Read more reviews on Chewy.




Acana history

Acana dog food has been around since 1979. The brand takes its name from Alberta, Canada, where it was founded. 

It was owned until recently by Champion Petfoods, which also owned premium dog food brand Orijen. In 2023, Mars Incorporated acquired Champion Petfoods. 

Today, Acana is available in over 60 countries worldwide. Its kitchens are located in Edmonton, Alberta and Auburn, Kentucky.




Acana recalls

There have been no recalls of Acana dog food as of September 2023.



All product images sourced from the Chewy website. Copyright Mars Incorporated. 



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