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Taste of the Wild vs. Acana Dog Food: Our 2024 In-Depth Comparison

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

Taste of the Wild vs Acana - Featured Image

Taste of the Wild vs. Acana Dog Food: Our 2024 In-Depth Comparison

Pet nutrition is a hot topic these days, and pet parents are concerned now more than ever about what goes in their furry friend’s bowl. We have two noteworthy picks—Taste of the Wild and Acana. Both similar brands offer excellent nutrition for your dog, but which is better?

Here we’re going to go over each brand’s best dishes and learn a little more about the companies.

A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Acana

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Acana Wholesome Grains Red Meat Acana Wholesome Grains Red Meat
  • First 2 ingredients are fresh or raw beef or pork
  • Crafted with wholesome grains
  • 100% free from legume, gluten and potato
  • Runner-Up
    Second place
    Taste of the Wild Wetlands Ancient Grains Taste of the Wild Wetlands Ancient Grains
  • Real duck as the #1 ingredient
  • With vitamins and minerals from real fruits and ancient grains
  • Contains K9 Strain Proprietary Probiotics
  • These dog food brands aim to give a wide variety of flavors, textures, and nutritional aims to nourish your pup. But which is better?

    Due to changes in dog food over the recent years, companies are pushed to adapt to new changes. Nutritionists aim to give dogs a better diet, and both companies seem to follow suit. However, when it comes to quality, we think Acana comes out on top.

    About Acana

    Despite its popularity being relatively recent, Acana has been around for quite a while. They adapted to the ever-changing expectations in pet food, adopting a more holistic approach to their food lines. This has proven to be a great success as they continue to incorporate modern standards.

    Company History

    Acana pet food is owned by Champion Pet Foods. It was named after its birthplace in the farmlands of Alberta, Canada. Acana aims to use all-natural recipes with 50% animal ingredients. While it didn’t start as a holistic choice, they have powered up their recipes, giving the quality your pup deserves.

    Available Food Lines

    Acana’s food line has grown exponentially since its beginning in Canada during the 1970s. They seem to jive with the times, creating a line of a dry kibble containing frozen raw and fresh pieces for optimal nutrition intake.

    While this is definitely a step in the right direction, it seems there is little information that makes raw diets iffy. They can contain harmful bacteria, like salmonella and E. coli. So, having a new line of raw-based foods can lead to concern.

    However, with more product regulations, this company will continue to grow and put in place the correct measures to ensure freshness and safety.

    Shiba Inu dog eating from stainless steel bowl
    Image By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

    About Taste of the Wild

    Taste of the Wild was originally created in the 1970s by Diamond Pet Food. As the years droned on, the Taste of the Wild brand was marketed as wolf food, aiming to give dogs a natural, species-specific food that would nourish their bodies as nature intended.

    Company History

    Providing high protein, nutrient-dense recipes, Taste of the Wild has built an outstanding reputation with pet owners everywhere. Even though Taste of the Wild has grown exponentially through the years, it is still owned by a single-family. This family saw the opportunity to create a better diet experience that closely relates to canine and feline roots.

    Available Food Lines

    As the name might imply, Taste of the Wild aims to give dogs species-specific recipes. They pride themselves on tasty grain-free, ancient grain, and wet food options.

    Taste of the Wild’s recipes are notably high in protein, fat, and fiber. They believe that providing your dog with a more natural ingredients list, their bodies will thrive accordingly. These recipes are available in dry kibble and wet food portions.

    miniature schnauzer dog standing on sofa and eating dog food from bowl
    Image By: DegrooteStock, Shutterstock

    The 3 Most Popular Acana Dog Food Recipes

    1. Acana Wholesome Grains Red Meat & Grains Recipe

    ACANA Wholesome Grains Red Meat Recipe Gluten-Free Dry Dog Food

    Main Ingredients: Beef, deboned pork, beef meal, oat groats
    Calories: 371 per cup/ 3,370 per bag
    Protein: 27%
    Fat: 17%
    Fiber: 6%

    Acana Wholesome Grains Red Meat & Grains Recipe is a comprehensive recipe containing fresh or raw protein sources. This type of meal aims to deliver the most nutritious protein source to your dog’s body to help all systems function properly.

    As Acana advertises, they use 60% protein-rich animal ingredients in this recipe—the rest are delicious fruits and veggies with absolutely no artificial additives or fillers. The proteins are frozen at peak freshness to ensure full benefits.

    Rather than using harsh fillers, this recipe contains easy-to-digest ingredients like oat groats. In one serving, there are 371 calories. This is a modest amount, ideal for any everyday maintenance diet. The fat is slightly high in comparison, coming in at 17.0%.

    All in all, it’s a terrific choice for an everyday diet for adult canines.

    Pros
    • Excellent for everyday health
    • Raw and fresh freeze-dried kibble pieces
    • Easy to digest grain
    Cons
    • Beef might be an allergy trigger

    2. Acana Singles Beef & Pumpkin Recipe Grain-Free

    ACANA Singles Limited Ingredient Diet Beef & Pumpkin Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Main Ingredients: Deboned beef, beef meal, beef liver, sweet potato, whole chickpeas
    Calories: 388 per cup/ 3,405 per bag
    Protein: 31%
    Fat: 17%
    Fiber: 5%

    Acana got the memo loud and clear about the potential of peas leading to heart problems. That’s why their grain-free line, including the Beef & Pumpkin Recipe, contains no peas. Instead, they use nutritious legumes as the primary carbohydrate source.

    This is a kickin’ recipe for dogs with food allergies and gut sensitivities. This particular recipe has impressive protein content with deboned beef, beef meal, and beef liver, the first three ingredients. It also uses pumpkin, a highly digestible and nutrient-rich source of fiber.

    This recipe is enriched with essential vitamins and minerals, providing antioxidant support for healthy immunity. We scoured the ingredients list, and we think this grain-free recipe is very well thought out. It won’t be for all dogs to enjoy—but it’s beyond excellent in quality.

    Pros
    • Easy to digest recipe
    • No grains or peas
    • Rich in fiber
    Cons
    • For sensitive dogs only

    3. Acana Wholesome Grains Puppy

    ACANA Wholesome Grains Puppy Recipe Gluten-Free Dog Food

    Main Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, oat groats, whole green peas, whole red lentils
    Calories: 425 per cup/ 3,560 per bag
    Protein: 28%
    Fat: 19%
    Fiber: 6%

    We have to rave about Acana Wholesome Grains Puppy. It is simply loaded with goodies to keep your growing puppy healthy and on track. The impressive ingredients list is enough to make us sure.

    It has all the right combination of nutrients your pup needs to get a good start in life—glucosamine for healthy joints, omega fatty acids for skin and coat, EPA, and DHA for development.

    In one serving, there are 425 calories, which is plentiful and excellent for a growing canine. It’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and protein. The protein content is 28.0%, a moderate level for most premium puppy foods. What more could you want?

    We think that your puppy can benefit from starting with this diet selection.

    Pros
    • It contains DHA and EPA
    • Antioxidant-rich
    • Omega fatty acids for total health
    Cons
    • High fat

    The 3 Most Popular Taste of the Wild Dog Food Recipes

    1. Taste of the Wild Wetlands with Ancient Grains

    Taste of the Wild Wetlands

    Main Ingredients: Duck, duck meal, chicken meal, grain sorghum, millet
    Calories: 425 per cup/3,750 per bag
    Protein: 32%
    Fat: 18%
    Fiber: 3%

    Overall favorite Taste of the Wild recipe is Ancient Wetlands with Ancient Grains. This delicious kibble offers duck as the first ingredient, so you’re getting rich, dark meat that is full of beneficial ingredients and tasty flavors.

    In one serving, there are 425 calories. This is moderately high compared to most dog foods, but it is aimed toward energetic, calorie-depleting pooches. So, if you have a lazier pup, you’ll have to be careful when you portion.

    The guaranteed analysis of this product reads 32.0% crude protein, 18.0% crude fat, and 3.0% crude fiber. The animal protein is top-notch here, creating lean, healthy muscles for any dog. Combined with easy-to-digest grains like sorghum and millet, this is settling for the tummy.

    It contains species-specific K9 strain proprietary probiotics to ensure a healthy gut—it makes digestion a breeze! It has no potentially harsh ingredients but uses superfoods and antioxidant-rich additives to create a well-rounded recipe with necessary, flavorful ingredients.

    Pros
    • Excellent protein levels
    • Delicious waterfowl recipe
    • Ideal for active dogs
    Cons
    • Not for overweight dogs

    2. Taste of the Wild Pine Forest Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Taste of the Wild Pine Forest Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Main Ingredients: Venison, lamb meal, garbanzo beans, peas, lentils, pea flour
    Calories: 408 per cup/ 3,600 per bag
    Protein: 28%
    Fat: 15%
    Fiber: 4.5%

    If you have a gluten-sensitive pooch, we believe they will thrive on Taste of the Wild Pine Forest Grain-Free Dry Dog Food (but ask your vet!) It has everything you could want in a grain-free recipe—hardy protein, excellent veggies and fruits, and agreeable legumes.

    In one serving, there are 408 calories, an ideal amount for moderate to high activity levels. The protein content is 28.0%, higher than most commercial dog foods to nourish and develop healthy, strong muscles. Using novel proteins like venison and lamb also helps dogs with protein sensitivities.

    Rather than grains, this recipe uses legumes like garbanzo beans and lentils. This combo provides carbohydrates without the irritation of gluten in the system. It also contains Taste of the Wild’s proprietary probiotics to support the immune system and gut.

    If your dog is prone to allergies, this might be the diet that helps them overcome related symptoms.

    Pros
    • Novel protein for protein allergies
    • Built for gluten sensitivity
    • Easy-to-digest legumes added
    Cons
    • For gluten-sensitive dogs only

    3. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Puppy

    Taste Of The Wild High Prairie Puppy Formula

    Main Ingredients: Water buffalo, lamb meal, sweet potatoes. egg product
    Calories: 415 per bag/ 3,656 per bag
    Protein: 28%
    Fat: 17%
    Fiber: 5%

    If you want a highly nutritious puppy chow to feed your growing baby, consider Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Puppy. While it is labeled as roasted venison and bison, it actually contains water buffalo and lamb meal as the first two ingredients.

    This recipe is grain-free, which is pretty controversial—especially among puppies. However, we want to point out that other recipes with grain are all-life-stages, meaning you can offer a regular recipe for your pup.

    In one serving, there are 415 calories, plenty to serve a growing body. The protein content in this recipe is 28.0%, made up of several novel protein sources.

    We love this recipe for puppies, and we think any breed could benefit. But it might trigger early allergies, so pay attention to your puppy’s behavior.

    Pros
    • Well-rounded recipe for pups
    • Contains novel proteins
    • Made without grains, corn, wheat
    Cons
    • Might trigger allergies

    Recall History of Acana and Taste of the Wild

    Luckily, over the course of Acana’s growth, there has never been any pet food recalls to date. However, their owner, Champions Pet Foods, filed a lawsuit claiming mercury and lead levels were found in their food lines. Champion upheld the quality of their products without fail.

    Taste of the Wild, on the other hand, had one major recall in 2012.

    Taste of the Wild was also grouped in the lawsuit in 2018 about cardiopathic myopathy.

    Taste of the Wild had a lawsuit pinned against them in 2019. It involved food testing positive for lead, arsenic, pesticides, and other toxins.

    No open decisions were made about the verdict.

    Brand Acana VS Taste of the Wild Comparison

    Now that you know the basics of the recipes from both sides, we can get into it. Let’s compare these two brands to see which is worthy of your dog’s bowl.

    Ingredients—Acana

    Both these brands have exquisite recipes that are premium and nutritious for dogs. Acana has taken a fresh/frozen kibble approach, while Taste of the Wild is holding strong to their lines of specialized and everyday dry kibble and wet food diets.

    Even though Acana is up-and-coming, utilizing new tactics through fresh and frozen food turned into kibble—we have to give this to Taste of the Wild.

    man buying pet food
    Image Credit: LADO, Shutterstock

    Taste—Acana

    We have to say that both of these dog foods were a real hit regarding flavor. Both the dry kibble and wet food selections have an appetite-inducing medley of ingredients that can satisfy the taste buds of even picky pooches.

    We don’t like that Taste of the Wild sometimes advertises specific proteins that aren’t in the top three ingredients. That could be misleading to buyers. Acana never does this—aiming to add the


    Nutritional Value—Acana

    Taste of the Wild and Acana have comprehensive ingredient lists. Each brand uses well-researched formulas that offer substantial nutrition for household pets.

    Acana sort of evolved into the current recipes while Taste of the Wild started out offering excellent, biologically appropriate premium but affordable meals.

    However, with Acana’s new lines, the nutritional value is impeccable. They incorporate lightly cooked and raw pieces into their food lines to promote proper protein benefits.

    While Taste of the Wild definitely has high protein recipes, your dog might not receive as much nutritionally.


    Price—Taste of the Wild

    Both brands are similarly priced. However, Taste of the Wild is more budget-friendly.


    Selection—Taste of the Wild

    Both Acana and Taste of the Wild have some pretty delicious recipes (our dogs told us so.) However, Taste of the Wild offers more variety, which can appeal to a wider audience.

    Don’t fret—Acana is growing by the day, offering new recipes that include dry kibble and wet canned selections.

    dry and wet pet food on white background
    Image by: Jiri Hera, Shutterstock

    History—Acana

    History is important to us. That’s why we have to go with Acana on this one. Taste of the Wild has had recalls and was also involved with multiple lawsuits regarding its pet food recipes.

    No one is perfect, and there are bound to be issues with any company, but we think Acana comes out on top here.


    Overall—Acana

    We think your best option between these two brands is Acana. While both can help your dog thrive, Acana has comprehensive and growing recipes that offer an even better natural approach to dog food.

    Taste of the Wild just might wow consumers with a new line incorporating these ideas. But for now, Acana is in the lead.

     

    Final Verdict

    We think both dog foods aim to give your little guy or gal proper nutrition. With advancements in the industry, both lines will likely change with the ebb and flow of consumer expectations.

    Overall, we commend both brands for being excellent in their own right. Innovative and nutritious, Taste of the Wild and Acana will both be around a long time. But with all things considered, Acana is our favorite.

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