Let’s learn more about Acana dog food.
Acana is a dog and cat food brand known for its innovative manufacturing processes, carefully-sourced regional ingredients, considerable inclusions of fresh meat, and dedication to creating biologically appropriate foods.
Acana is created by Champion Pet Foods, a Canadian company also known for Orijen dog and cat food. You could look at Orijen as Acana’s higher-priced sibling. Compared to Orijen, Acana offers the same integrity of ingredients, but slightly lower concentrations of fresh meat and a wider variety of recipes.
The brand’s parent company was created in 1985 by Reinhard Mühlenfeld. At the time, this small Alberta operation employed just two people and sold exclusively to local farmers. Over three decades later, Champion Pet Foods is Canada’s largest pet food manufacturer and sells to 70 countries around the world.
Acana foods are manufactured in the company’s Kentucky kitchen, which produces exclusively Acana and Orijen foods.This kitchen doesn’t make food for anyone else and Acana is never manufactured by anyone else.
Situated on 85 acres in the farmland of Kentucky, the DogStar kitchen was purpose-built and designed to enhance the company’s ability to produce regionally-sourced, biologically appropriate foods. The facility includes freeze driers, a thermal twin extruder, infusion systems, and heat exchangers that make it possible to produce some of the the freshest and safest pet food available on the market today. The kitchen meets or exceeds the requirements for human food production.
Types of Dog Food
Acana offers three lines for dogs: Regionals, Heritage, and Singles. All of these are dry foods; Acana currently doesn’t offer any moist dog foods. In addition to these three meal lines, Acana has a collection of freeze-dried treats for your dog.
Let’s take a closer look at each of these lines and the recipes that they include.
Acana Regionals Dog Food
Each formula gives your dog a taste of a unique part of the country by combining a variety of fresh local ingredients that represent the flavor of the region. Each recipe contains 70% meat, half of which is fresh or raw. All of the meats come in the company’s signature WholePrey™ ratios.
- Wild Atlantic
- Appalachian Ranch
Acana Heritage Dog Food
Acana’s Heritage line is their classic collection. It includes just three recipes, all representative of the brand’s biologically appropriate mission. Each recipe consists of 60% meat, half of which is fresh or raw and presented in WholePrey™ ratios.
- Free-Run Poultry
- Freshwater Fish
- Heritage Meats
Acana Singles Dog Food
This food is designed for dogs with food sensitivities, who require a limited-ingredient diet. Each recipe includes 50% meat from a single animal protein, presented in WholePrey™ ratios. To further support digestive health, each recipe features fresh whole pumpkin and squash.
- Lamb & Apple
- Duck & Pear
- Pork & Squash
- Wild Mackerel
Acana Singles Dog Treats
With their limited-ingredient recipes featuring a single animal protein, all Acana dog treats make a perfect reward for any dog, including those with food sensitivities.
- Lamb & Apple
- Duck & Pear
- Pork & Squash
- Mackerel & Greens
What makes Acana foods different?
All Champion Pet Foods brands are guided by the company’s BAFRINO mandate. This acronym stands for Biologically Appropriate Fresh Regional Ingredients, Never Outsourced. Let’s see how these three principles affect Acana foods.
Acana’s Biologically Appropriate philosophy is broken down into five key elements. Let’s take a look.
1. Rich in Meat and Meat Protein
Acana foods contain 50-70% meat, and over 90% of the protein in each recipe comes from meat. While many other foods, including those sold under the “premium” label, pump up protein percentages with protein-rich plant matter like peas and soy, Acana foods deliver most of their protein in the form that’s most nourishing for dogs.
2. High Fresh Meat Inclusions
As much as half of the meat used in every Acana recipe is fresh or raw. High-temperature cooking tends to strip meat of its nutrients. By using low-heat dehydrating processes, Acana locks in more of the nutritional value of the meat.
3. An Abundant Variety of Meats
According to Acana’s biologically appropriate philosophy, dogs are predatory by nature. In the wild, your dog might consume multiple animals throughout a day or week. As an expression of this belief, Acana foods incorporate a minimum of three different meats in each food. The exception to this rule is their Singles line, which is designed for dogs with food sensitivities and includes just one animal protein per recipe.
4. WholePrey™ Meat Ratios
While many other dog food brands require a long list of supplements in order to achieve nutritional completeness, Acana keeps the list of additives short. Dogs in the wild don’t require supplements to get all of their nutrients: their whole prey delivers almost everything they need. Acana foods contain meat, organs, cartilage, and bone in WholePrey™ ratios.
5. Carbohydrate and Glycemic-Limited
Low-quality fast carbohydrates like rice, corn, potatoes, and tapioca can lead to blood sugar spikes and can cause obesity. Acana foods replace these ingredients with low-glycemic fruits and vegetables that promote stable blood sugar levels and reduce the potential for excess fat storage. All Acana foods contain no more than 30% carbohydrates.
Fresh Regional Ingredients
Acana closely partners with trusted local farms, ranches, and fisherman, all of whom are carefully supervised to ensure consistent quality. Of course, this means that you don’t have to worry about Chinese ingredients in Acana foods. These regional ingredients are delivered to Acana’s manufacturing facility fresh, typically under 48 hours from the time of harvest.
All Acana foods are manufactured within Champion Pet Foods’ facilities. This kitchen produces exclusively Acana and Orijen foods – food production is never taken care of by outside plants. This ensures that the company’s stringent safety standards and commitment to quality is never violated.
Currently, Acana dog food has never been recalled.
But remember: Acana foods are manufactured by the same company and in the same facility as Orijen pet foods.
Orijen has issued one recall. In 2008, Orijen cat food was recalled due to concerns about gamma radiation that made cats sick in Australia. The recall was directly associated with radiation treatment enforced by the Australian government, and the issue only affected cat foods in that country.
Where to Buy
Acana partners with select specialty pet stores, online retailers, and veterinary practices around the world to make Acana dog food available both online and offline.
According to Acana, these trusted partners have access to the freshest foods, offer the Champion Pet Foods 100% satisfaction guarantee, and deliver specialized support.
Non-authorized retailers include Chewy/Petsmart, Amazon, Jet, Walmart, Petco, and Ebay.
What do customers think of Acana dog food?
This article wouldn’t be complete without some real customer reviews.
The following reviews come from the Chewy listing for Acana’s highly-popular Heritage Meats formula. This product has a 4.7 out of 5 star rating on the site, and 95% of 301 reviewers say that they would recommend the product.
Here’s what people have to say about it:
“Excellent dog food with human quality ingredients, real meat that makes you feel good about what your pet is eating. No chemicals or non food ingredients. Contains no filler items which have zero nutrients for the dog. Our dog’s digestion is now healthy and regular. Her coat is thick and shiny! Her breath smells so much better. She doesn’t seem starving all the time since switching to Acana. Schotzie loves her food. German Shepherds can be picky…but she loves the real meat smell and taste of Acana. And Mom and Dad (that’s us) relax knowing her food is not only safe, but really good for her. Thanks Acana! Thanks Chewy for carrying this awesome brand!” – DogParents
“I have had a problem with yeast over-load in my dogs for years, resulting in itchy ears, ear infections, itchy paws and skin, etc. Finally I have found a quality dog food that seems to respond to this problem. I am also VERY happy that Chewy is carrying this brand! P.S. This food also produces firm stools which has been absent from many many other foods I’ve tried.” – Staffyluvr
“My 3 year old pyrenees/ husky likes a new food for about 3 days and then no longer wants to eat it. In the past 2 months we have gone through Royal Canine and now this with the same result. She has a tendency towards developing crystals so i have now tried 4 foods with very little luck.” – cindy
“This food is not what I expected. It has a strong fishy odor and is greasy to the touch. Dogs aren’t crazy about it. I’ve used Acana before and was happy.They keep changing their formulas and adding more fat which is something my dogs don’t need. Should just leave well enough alone.” – Redbone12
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Deboned Pork, Beef Meal, Whole Green Peas, Red Lentils
Made with 60% meat ingredients, this recipe features a blend of pork, lamb, and beef. This combination of meats includes meat, organs, and cartilage in WholePrey™ ratios. The food features an infusion of liver and tripe for added palatability.
The remaining 40% of the recipe consists of low-glycemic fruits and vegetables, plus a blend of botanicals intended to round out the nutritional value of the food.
The meat, organs, bone, and cartilage in the meat delivers most of the vitamins and minerals your dog needs. Zinc is the only supplement used in this recipe.
While Acana promises that 90% of the protein in each recipe comes from meat ingredients, this recipe does contain a few high-protein plant ingredients. Whole green peas, chickpeas, sun-cured alfalfa, and red lentils are all high-protein ingredients. These ingredients could raise questions about the quality of the recipe overall, but considering the concentration of meat protein, they’re probably not worthy of concern
Like all Acana foods, this recipe is free of byproducts and doesn’t use anything artificial – you won’t find any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
This food has been approved for all life stages, meaning that it’s complete and balanced for puppies, adults, and seniors alike. If your dog has any special health concerns, you may want to consult your trusted veterinarian before switching over to Acana dog food.
This food’s price is comparable to other foods in the “premium” dog food niche, at around $60 for a 25lb bag.
Three bag sizes are available: 4.5lbs, 13lbs, and 25lbs.