Canidae Dog Food Review 2024

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Vet recommended

Written by Aurus Sy

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 05/11/2023, edited: 02/21/2024

Canidae 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.


Canidae is “pet food made by pet people.” Its mission is to create a world of goodness for companion animals and the planet, from offering healthy products to investing in sustainable operations. Despite being a smaller, independent company, Canidae pioneered natural pet food in the ‘90s and is now working to set new standards for sustainability in the pet food industry. The brand has maintained a positive reputation over the years and comes highly recommended by pet parents and veterinarians alike.

Let’s look at Canidae’s different product ranges and what sets it apart from other brands to help you decide if it’s right for your pup.

Canidae dog food product ranges and flavors

Canidae has several food lines to cater to the different lifestyles and needs of its four-legged customers. Dr. Georgia Jeremiah, pet nutrition expert and one of Wag!’s veterinary consultants, personally recommends Canidae to her clients. She says, “Canidae dog food is made with high-quality animal protein sources, providing essential amino acids, and is free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives, which can trigger allergies.”   

Here's a closer look at each one of Canidae's lines.

Canidae All Life Stages Dog Food

Canidae All Life Stages Dog Food

Canidae All Life Stages

All Life Stages is Canidae’s “one bag fits all” range. Ideal for multi-dog households, it includes nearly 10 vet-formulated wet and dry recipes for all ages, breeds, and sizes. Each recipe is made with animal proteins, plant proteins, and farm-grown veggies, and offers essential amino acids and fatty acids. Ingredients for the dry formulas include chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, brown rice, peas, barley, lentils, flaxseed, salmon oil, and probiotics. Ingredients for the wet formulas include chicken, lamb, organ meats, broth, and brown rice. 

The dry variants are Multi-Protein: Chicken, Turkey & Lamb Meals; Less Active: Chicken, Turkey & Lamb Meals; Large Breed: Turkey Meal & Brown Rice; Lamb Meal & Rice; and Chicken Meal & Rice. For the wet variants, there’s Multi-Protein: Chicken, Lamb & Fish; Less Active: Chicken, Lamb & Fish; Chicken & Rice; and Lamb & Rice.

Canidae Goodness

Goodness is Canidae’s signature dog food line, comprising dry foods for puppies, adults, and large breeds, as well as toppers for all life stages. The dry food recipes provide complete and balanced nutrition for whole body health and have real, antibiotic-free meat or fish as the first ingredient. The toppers, which can be served as snacks or added to kibble, are all single animal protein recipes.

Dry food flavors include Large Breed: Real Lamb & Brown Rice, Real Salmon & Brown Rice, Real Chicken & Barley, Puppy: Real Turkey & Brown Rice, Real Turkey & Barley, and Real Beef & Oatmeal. Topper flavors are Real Tuna & Vegetables; Real Chicken & Vegetables; Real Pollock, Butternut Squash & Rice; and Real Chicken, Butternut Squash & Rice.

Canidae Active Goodness

Active Goodness provides all-day energy for active, sporting, and working adult dogs and puppies. Formulated with 30% protein and 20% fat for optimal metabolism and endurance, this line consists of two dry food flavors: Multi-Protein and Salmon Meal.  The first ingredient in these recipes is turkey meal or salmon meal. Other ingredients include chicken fat, whole grain sorghum, and peas for energy and fiber.

Canidae PURE and PURE Petite Dog Food

Canidae PURE and PURE Petite Dog Food

Canidae PURE 

Boasting clean recipes and premium proteins, PURE is Canidae’s limited ingredient line for dogs with and without sensitivities. It is also the most extensive, consisting of dry and wet foods, treats, toppers, and freeze-dried raw foods. Regardless of type, each product contains only 10 key ingredients or less, with the first one being real meat. 

There are 15 grain-free and grain-inclusive PURE dry food variations, including flavors such as Grain Free Real Salmon & Sweet Potato, Puppy: Real Salmon & Oatmeal with Wholesome Grains, Real Salmon & Barley with Wholesome Grains, and Grain Free Real Lamb & Sweet Potato. Other pawsome protein varieties include lamb, duck, bison, boar, venison and goat. 

The wet food flavors include Salmon & Sweet Potato, Puppy: Grain Free Chicken, Grain Free Lamb, Turkey & Chicken, Grain Free Lamb, and Grain Free Duck & Turkey. Toppers include Protein Toppers in Tuna and Chicken flavors, Bone Broth Toppers in Turkey and Salmon flavors, and 2-in-1 Goodness Toppers in Salmon and Chicken flavors. 

Canidae PURE Petite

Just like the PURE line, PURE Petite features limited ingredient recipes with 10 key ingredients or less. The line consists of wet and dry foods and toppers especially formulated for small breeds with sensitivities and picky eating tendencies. The dry food variants come not only in a small kibble size but also with a freeze-dried raw coating for added taste, and include Puppy: Grain Free Real Salmon, Grain Free Real Salmon, Grain Free Real Chicken, Grain Free Real Lamb, and Real Chicken with Wholesome Grains. 

The wet food flavors are Grain Free Chicken & Peas, Grain Free Turkey & Green Beans, Grain Free Salmon & Shrimp, Grain Free Lamb & Carrots, Grain Free Duck & Pumpkin, and Grain Free Beef and Carrots. Meal topper flavors include Chicken and Tuna recipes.

Canidae Under the Sun Dog Food

Canidae Under the Sun Dog Food

Canidae Under the Sun 

Canidae Under the Sun consists of three budget-friendly, grain-free recipes for adult dogs with sensitivities. Each recipe features a single animal protein paired with farm-grown fruits and veggies such as pumpkin, butternut squash, carrots, and peas. The three flavors are Grain Free Real Chicken, Grain Free Real Whitefish, and Grain Free Real Lamb.


Canidae's treats, which are part of the PURE line, come in biscuit and freeze-dried raw formats. The grain-free biscuits are made with animal protein like salmon, duck, or lamb liver, plus veggies and spices such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, chickpeas, ginger, and turmeric. Flavors include Duck & Chickpeas, Lamb Liver & Butternut Squash, and Salmon & Sweet Potato.

The freeze-dried treats, which can also be used as toppers or mix-ins, are made with only three key ingredients or less. Real beef or chicken is the first ingredient. The flavors are Beef, Barley & Quinoa; Beef Liver; and Chicken & Brown Rice.

Why Wag! likes Canidae dog food

There are many reasons why we like Canidae; here are some of them.

Made with quality ingredients

Canidae products are made with premium ingredients and most feature real, antibiotic-free meat as the first one. Wholesome grains and farm-grown fruits and veggies can also be found in many of the recipes. Additionally, none of them contain fillers, resulting in more protein and nutrients per cup.

Offers a wide range of products

Wet food or dry food, multi-protein or single animal protein, grain-inclusive or grain-free—Canidae has something for every diet. There are also options for puppies, seniors, active dogs, less active dogs, small breeds, large breeds, and environmentally conscious pet parents. 

Committed to sustainability

Canidae is pushing to make pet food more planet-friendly by investing in regenerative agriculture, responsibly sourced ingredients, and sustainable packaging. Moreover, the company was the first to launch a bulk-buy pet food machine where pet parents can purchase kibble with reusable food bags.

Dedicated to transparency

As part of its transparency promise, Canidae announced changes to some of its products due to the current economic environment. These changes included price increases and recipe updates, with all the details posted on the Canidae website.

Concerns & considerations

What are some of the things that pet parents need to consider before buying Canidae?

May not appeal to picky eaters

Some pet parents have reported that their dogs didn’t want to eat certain variants. If you have a picky eater, you may have to try a few different flavors before you find something your pup likes. 

A bit expensive

As Canidae is a premium brand, it is more expensive than other dog foods. For example, a 12-pound bag of PURE Grain Free Real Salmon & Sweet Potato retails for $42.99, which is $3.59 per pound. 

Limited choices at refill station

While the Canidae Kibble Refill Station is available at several different locations, it only offers two recipes.

What pet parents say about Canidae dog food

“My boy [loves] this food. He has had allergies challenges since he was a pup. We tried everything… even making his food at home [and] it was all in vain until Canidae salmon [and] sweet potato. His [bowel movements] are less constipated looking, his weight is easily managed, it’s reasonably affordable considering his needs AND he likes it. Actually bubbles [and] drools for it. The canned option is great for travel, when he isn’t feeling well or for a fun switch up surprise. Thank you Canidae!”

“We have a special needs (blind) rescue that is the pickiest eater we ever had. He prefers dry food but will only eat 2 or 3 meals from each bag and then [want] something new. We heard that Canidae was a [canned] food that came dry and sticky. Indeed it does. Just the way he likes it. For those reviewers who were dismayed over the consistency of this food… add some water and you have what most other foods look like. Only more of it. Good stuff. Highly recommended.”

“We bought three small bags of dog food to see what our GSD prefers as we transition her to a [senior] diet. She clearly prefers this dog food. She is not a finicky eater but certainly shows preferences. Not only does she like it but it agrees with her and she is doing very well with it.”

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Canidae brand history

Canidae was founded in 1996 by Scott Whipple and John Gordon, who met while working at local pet store San Dimas Grain Company. Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, almost all pet foods contained nasty ingredients such as chemicals, dyes, fillers, and preservatives. Since companies weren’t really paying attention to what pet parents wanted, Whipple and Gordon decided to do it themselves. 

“When we first came up with the idea to make our own pet food, we knew we wanted to do things differently,” Whipple says. They met with veterinarians and nutritionists to develop a product that was healthy and that consumers actually wanted. They started out selling Canidae to retailers door-to-door, gradually building a loyal customer base.

In 2012, Canidae acquired a 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Brownwood, Texas. Called Ethos, it’s one of the smallest pet food plants in the US and where Canidae produces its dry food products, allowing the company to control every step of manufacturing. It’s also a research and development center equipped with a lab that tests all incoming ingredients and outgoing products. 

“Animals aren’t just pets, they’re part of our family. People entrust us and we don’t take that lightly,” says Whipple. “It’s their hard-earned money that they’re spending on pet food, and we want to make sure that we deliver the best pet food we possibly can.”

Canidae recall history

Canidae has had only one recall in its entire history. In 2012, the company announced a voluntary recall on four of its dry dog foods due to the presence of Salmonella at Diamond Pet Foods’ South Carolina plant, although none of the products tested positive for the bacteria.

All product images sourced from the Chewy website. Copyright Canidae.


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