Acana Ingredients

Why We’re Obsessed With Our Ingredients

We know pet nutrition is important to you, and we want to reassure you that we’re obsessed with every detail that goes into your pet’s food. The truth is, we’ve always been obsessed with our recipes and ingredients, because we’ve always been obsessed with pets! As fellow Pet Lovers, our phones are also filled with photos of our furry friends, our homes are decorated in artwork inspired by our pets, and we would do absolutely anything to ensure our pets are happy and healthy.

We’ve always prided ourselves on ensuring every ingredient in ACANA™ recipes is there for its premium nutrition and flavor. A large part of how we achieve this is by following our ACANA Commitments dedicated to Whole Food Nutrition, Care at Every Step, and Visible Vibrancy and Health.

Where do Acana ingredients come from?

We obsess over every detail of our ingredients, from recipe creation to supplier selection and beyond. In fact, we’ve known and trusted many of our suppliers for years, and each one goes through a rigorous onboarding process before we even determine if we’ll include their ingredients in our premium recipes.

Whether it’s our free-run* poultry, farm-raised meat, fish or fresh produce, we go above and beyond to select our suppliers and ingredients to ensure your pet gets the very best nutrition available. This includes visiting our suppliers for in-person audits on food quality and safety, ensuring that their kitchens are just as clean as ours, and that their practices meet our stringent safety standards. We’re also in constant contact with our suppliers — some we talk to almost daily — so our relationship feels more like family! These are just some of the ways we maintain positive relationships with our suppliers, and foster a feeling of trust in the quality of the ingredients we use in our recipes. We hope you feel that trust every time you feed your pet our food. 

Why are we obsessed about our ingredients?

Our ingredients are so important to us because we believe in providing ingredient-based benefits. Many pet food companies add synthetic nutrients and vitamins that pets need. Whenever possible, the nutrients pets need come from the nutritious, Biologically Appropriate ingredients that we use to craft our foods. This is a large part of why we believe in feeding pets ingredients based on the nutrients that dogs and cats need, like nutrient-rich organs, liver, and mineral-rich bone. By balancing our protein-rich recipes with wholesome fruit and vegetables, we can add even more benefits with naturally occurring fiber and nutrients to help your pet be their best.

There’s a lot that goes into sourcing good ingredients — and that’s just the start of what makes our food so nourishing for your pets. Because just like you, when it comes to your pet, we’re obsessed with giving them the best!

*Our free-run chickens and turkeys are not housed in cages and are able to move in a barn without outdoor access.

Written by:

Acana Puppy Food

How to choose the best puppy food

Choosing the best food for your puppy is pivotal in making sure they start off on the right paw!

A balanced and complete diet ensures your puppy will be set up for a happy, healthy life. Here are a few tips on what to look for and avoid when choosing the best puppy food, how to feed your new  puppy, different types of puppy food to consider, and of course a list of the best ACANA recipes for puppies!

What to look for in puppy food:

There are several factors to consider when choosing the right dog food for your puppy including, but not limited to, ingredient quality and nutrients that are necessary for growth. It is important to recognize that puppies do not have requirements for specific ingredients, but for the nutrients those ingredients provide. This is why it is important to look for food with quality ingredients like fresh or raw meat, poultry or fish balanced with whole vegetables and fruit! Quality animal ingredients provide a greater variety of nutrients, resulting in a food that requires less supplementation.

A growing puppy has several dietary needs that differ from an adult dog’s needs, which is why picking a food that is formulated with puppies in mind is a good idea. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing a puppy food:

  1. Energy: Puppies grow fast and therefore have an increased requirement for energy or calories. This is an especially important consideration for puppies under 4 months old, as their requirements may be as much as twice the adult requirements. Pet Lovers can achieve this by feeding a calorie-dense food. Typically, formulated puppy diets feature a higher fat content to provide more calories. By using puppy specific recipes, Pet Lovers do not have to feed large quantities of food to provide their puppy with the nutrients they need!
  2. Protein: Protein is pivotal to providing puppies with the building blocks for the development of hair, skin, nails, muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. Dog foods high in quality animal protein should be desired over those that are high in plant-derived proteins, as animal proteins provide a more complete amino acid profile, making them a better quality protein source for puppies.
  3. Calcium and Phosphorous: You may be thinking that because a puppy needs more energy and protein, they must need more minerals. This is where Pet Lovers often get confused! While it is certainly important that minerals such as calcium and phosphorus are present in the food, it is equally as important for them to be present at the appropriate levels.
    • A note for large breed puppies: Due to the longer growing period of large breed puppies, their calcium needs are slightly different than small or medium breeds. Foods that are appropriate for large breed puppies will feature a lower calcium content in order to lower their risk of developing orthopedic and joint problems. It is important when choosing a food for a large breed puppy that the food has been formulated to be appropriate for their unique needs, and features an AAFCO or FEDIAF statement.
  4. EPA and DHA: Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are omega-3 fatty acids commonly found in quality animal ingredients like seafood.

What to avoid:

Our focus when we make ACANA dog food recipes is to include high quality ingredients like animal proteins from fresh or raw chicken and turkey, quail, ranch-raised meats, wild-caught or sustainably farmed fish, and cage-free eggs. Puppies may be able to survive off a diet low in quality animal ingredients and high in carbohydrates, but it won’t help them be their best. Puppies thrive off a diet where the distribution of energy comes from quality animal protein balanced with fruit and vegetables, and low carbohydrates.

So, what is a “bad ingredient” and why should they be avoided? A bad ingredient is one that provides little nutritional benefit. Typically, these ingredients are less expensive. Examples of these are corn, soy, wheat, or tapioca ingredients.

With ACANA, Pet Lovers can be confident in the food they are feeding their puppy. Our first two ingredients are always fresh or raw, quality animal ingredients sourced from suppliers we know and trust! Every ingredient in our puppy recipes is carefully chosen by our Research & Innovation Team for a puppy’s nutritional benefit, providing them with a complete and balanced diet that meets our food philosophy. Every ingredient plays a role in keeping your puppy happy and healthy!

Best types of puppy food and how to feed puppies:

It is easy to become overwhelmed with the choices you need to make regarding your puppy’s health and well-being. Choosing the best type of food for your growing puppy is no exception!

It is important to note that every puppy is unique, and the same diet type won’t be the best option for every puppy. Here are a few diet options to consider:

  • Dry kibble
  • Freeze-Dried Treats

Dry kibble is perhaps the most popular way to provide a complete and balanced diet to a puppy. Kibble is generally more cost effective and convenient, especially for new puppy parents. Kibble can easily be portioned out according to your puppy’s weight and growth expectancy, and it’s easy to store.It is important for puppies that eat a completely dry diet to consume enough water to support proper digestion.

As mentioned earlier, puppies have a greater energy requirement than adult dogs. To ensure they receive enough calories, puppies will often need to have an increased feeding amount in comparison to adults. The exact amount of food that your puppy will require may depend on several factors such as: food type, specific formula, breed, their current weight, and mature weight expectancy.

In general, it is best to spread out your puppy’s daily feeding amount into several meals throughout the day. We recommend at least two meals per day, however Pet Lovers can feed in three or four meals if their schedule allows, and if it is what works best for your puppy. Feeding multiple times a day can help to distribute calories and energy throughout the day. This type of schedule works for any type of diet!

The best ACANA dog foods for puppies

Luckily, ACANA pet food comes in several nutritious recipes for puppies.

ACANA Puppy Recipe

Your growing puppy needs protein and fat from quality animal protein to support their development. ACANA Puppy & Junior recipe is balanced with 60%2 quality animal ingredients like free-run3 chicken and turkey, cage-free eggs, and 40%4 fruit, vegetables, and botanicals4 like whole pumpkin. Please know that artificial colors, flavors or preservatives are never added in our kitchen. Our ACANA Puppy recipe features no grain ingredients5, with no added soy, corn, wheat or tapioca ingredients. Each kibble is freeze-dried coated for a delicious taste your puppy will crave!

ACANA® Puppy Small Breed

Your small-breed puppy is growing fast, requiring a diet that is rich in protein and fat from premium animal ingredients to support proper development. Rich with animal ingredients like free-run3 chicken and wild-caught flounder, plus nourishing cage-free eggs delivered fresh or raw1 to our kitchen by suppliers we know and trust, ACANA Puppy Small Breed has everything your growing puppy needs for optimal growth and development

ACANA® Puppy Large Breed

All puppies are not created equal. Your large-breed puppy has unique nutritional needs to support their rapid growth and bone development, including protein and fat from whole animal ingredients. ACANA Puppy Large Breed is rich in free-run3 chicken and wild-caught flounder, with the added nutrition of delicious cage-free eggs, for a recipe that gives your growing puppy everything they need to grow up healthy, happy, and strong.

ACANA® Freeze-Dried Treats

Rich with protein and flavor, ACANA Freeze-Dried Treats are made with 100% raw animal ingredients, including meat, poultry or fish and organs. Our animal ingredients are delivered to our kitchen where they are freeze-dried, locking in the rich nutrients and savory taste. These treats are soft and easy to break apart making them ideal for training or treating your puppy!

Written by: