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Many of you have read previous posts about my greyhound, Seba. When she first arrived home from the track, she was transitioned to Diamond Naturals, which was what her foster mom was feeding. After learning about Dog Food Advisor and that they consider Diamond a Four Star food, I switched her to Acana Regionals Grain Free, a Five Star. Here’s a dog food review to tell you why.
Pet Food Can Be Controversial
At Dog Food Advisor, they study the ingredients in a particular food, as well as the meat content. Some ingredients in pet food can be “controversial”, meaning the jury is out on whether they are good for your pet–or even necessary.
Cost of Food VS Cost of Vet Care
I’m not going to lie to you. Acana is one of the more expensive brands. But, since we know that what you feed your own body affects your health sooner or later, here’s the way I figure things: I want Seba with me for as long as she can be. And I don’t want to have huge vet bills if I can avoid it, nor do I want her health to deteriorate so that she becomes a victim of a long but unhappy and painful aging process. No matter what I do, all things end. But if there’s anything I can influence to change any part of that, I will. That’s just me.
What I know is this: she loves all the varieties of the Acana food we’ve tried (and our other dogs constantly try to steal it from her bowl!). She has thrived on this product. Coming from the track, where nutrition was poor at best, her thighs were nearly bald. But after switching her to Acana, her full fawn coat came in thick and shiny. She was beautiful when she came home–but now she’s gorgeous! And now, 3 years later, she’s as full of energy as she was when she first came to live with us.
Who Makes The Food In This Dog Food Review?
(From Wikipedia and the ACANA Website)
ACANA is manufactured by Champion Petfoods which was founded in 1985 by Reinhard Muhlenfeld. Champion Petfoods believes in making Biologically Appropriate™ dog and cat food from fresh regional ingredients. This is a new class of foods designed to nourish dogs and cats in keeping with their evolutionary adaptation to fresh meat and protein-rich diets. The rules of the biologically appropriate mindset are: meat concentrated, with diverse meat ingredients, protein rich and carbohydrate limited, with whole fruits and vegetables and all fresh ingredients.
Champion has been an award-winning, independent Canadian pet food maker for more than a quarter century. Their ingredients are sustainably raised and delivered to them fresh, so they’re never frozen, and always preservative free.
ACANA Regionals feature foods produced from western Canada’s vast ranchlands, rich prairies, fertile valleys, and pristine waters. Rich in protein, low in carbohydrates and entirely grain-free, these unique and flavourful ACANA recipes feature 60-65% meat and 35-40% of fruits and vegetables to nourish cats and dogs completely.
I started Seba on ACANA RANCHLANDS, because it was full of red meat, which she was used to from the track (although it was of very poor quality there). The ingredients were largely Angus beef, lamb and bison, all free range. But this food also has a high degree of fresh fruits and vegetables including Burbank potatoes, pumpkin, Red Delicious apples and spinach greens.
After awhile, of course, Seba inevitably started to get bored. But I really liked how she was looking healthier and the high energy I noticed with her. So I wanted to stay with ACANA. I decided to switch her to their flavor called GRASSLANDS next.
GRASSLANDS main ingredient is lamb, but it also has generous portions of whole eggs, wild-caught fish, cage-free duck and infusions of New Brunswick herring. Seba dug right in and let me know she loved it! This one also has apples, butternut squash, Burbank potatoes and spinach greens.
WILD PRAIRIE was the flavor we tried next. The main ingredient is cage-free Cobb chicken and whole eggs, with wild-caught fish. This variety also has apples, butternut squash, Burbank potatoes and spinach greens.
Speaking of fish, we next tried ACANA PACIFICA. Loaded with Pacific salmon, herring and flounder from North Vancouver Island, I must tell you that this will leave a faint fish smell wherever you store the bag, until it’s gone. But with the same results as we’ve had all along, I can hardly complain. This one also contains 40% of fruits & vegetables including apples and Bartlett pears, butternut squash, Burbank potatoes and spinach greens.
At this point, I had exhausted all of the ACANA GRAIN FREE REGIONALS line, but still wanted to give Seba as much variety as possible. So I ordered some of the CHICKEN & BURBANK POTATO (still ACANA but not part of REGIONALS).
ACANA Chicken & Burbank Potato also features cage-free Cobb chicken and whole eggs, wild-caught flounder, and Okanagan Valley fruits & vegetables–but for the first time, although Seba loved it, she had some digestive issues with this one.
The Burbank Potato was also an ingredient in the previous REGIONALS flavors, but I suspect there was much more of it used in this one, and it was just too much for her stomach (and my nose!) to handle. So we won’t be buying this one again–your mileage may vary.
Where to Buy ACANA
You can usually find ACANA products easily and inexpensively on Amazon. But be careful. Make sure it’s shipping directly from Amazon, if you can, because with their huge distribution network, that product moves quickly and has not been sitting in a warehouse somewhere for a long time. That’s death to foods without preservatives! This happened to me once, when I wasn’t paying attention. The result? Moldy ACANA. Not the manufacturer’s fault, but since Amazon was out at that time I had ordered from a third party provider (Corner Pet Supply) that did not have enough sales to turn over product in a timely manner. Petsolutions is good third party provider, if it is not in stock at Amazon when you go to buy. 😉 Below are some links you can use:
Thanks for reading–and no matter what food you choose for your pet, keep in mind the long term effect of weighing cost of food vs cost of vet care. And think about the quality and variety you want in your own food. Sure, everyone eats junk once in awhile–but when we do this over many years, it weighs heavily on our bodies. The same is true for your pet.
Joy Jones, our Editor In Chief, is a syndicated columnist living with her husband Dave in Las Cruces, New Mexico. When not working on Your Pet Space, she writes a metaphysical column, as well as urban fantasy and humor. You can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org as well as send her a friend request on Facebook.