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Canidae Dog Food Review 2024: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Written by: Oliver Jones

Last Updated on May 9, 2024 by Dogster Team

Canidae Dog Food Review - Featured Image

Canidae Dog Food Review 2024: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Canidae dog food a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.


Aimed at dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages, Canidae dog food has been around since 1996 and is one of many high-quality brands available for pets throughout the U.S.A. With its focus on sustainable and regenerative farming practices and nutrient-rich ingredients, Canidae takes pride in providing dogs—and cats—with a healthy, balanced diet.

Manufactured in its own facility in Brownwood, Texas, Canidae is one of the more expensive pet foods available. While it’s not the friendliest to limited budgets, your dog will benefit from the real meat, fruits, and vegetables in each recipe. There are also several limited-ingredient diets for food sensitivities. With six formulas, Canidae tailors its products to puppies, adults, and senior dogs, including large and small breeds.

The focus on high-quality and natural recipes makes Canidae one of our favorites for canine nutrition. Here are our thoughts on the ins and outs of this dog food brand.

divider-dog pawAt a Glance: The Best Canidae Dog Food Recipes:

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
CANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey & Lamb Formula CANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey & Lamb Formula
  • Formulated by veterinarians
  • Designed for all breeds and ages
  • Contains HealthPLUS Solutions
  • Second place
    CANIDAE PURE Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe CANIDAE PURE Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe
  • Uses limited ingredients to avoid food allergies
  • Salmon usage avoids common meat protein allergies
  • Contains a blend of probiotics, antioxidants, and omega oils
  • Third place
    CANIDAE PURE Real Salmon & Oatmeal Recipe Puppy CANIDAE PURE Real Salmon & Oatmeal Recipe Puppy
  • Limited ingredients
  • Salmon usage avoids common protein allergies
  • Formulated for puppies
  • CANIDAE Under the Sun Grain-Free Dry Dog Food CANIDAE Under the Sun Grain-Free Dry Dog Food
  • Good for dogs with a sensitive stomach
  • This product does not use GMO ingredients
  • Fortified with probiotics, antioxidants, and omega 6 & 3 fatty acids
  • CANIDAE All Life Stages Lamb Meal & Rice Formula CANIDAE All Life Stages Lamb Meal & Rice Formula
  • This food has been formulated for all ages, breeds, and sizes
  • Dogs enjoys the flavor
  • The kibble is small to medium in size
  • Canidae Dog Food Reviewed

    Founded in 1996, Canidae prides itself on offering sustainable nutrition for both cats and dogs while supporting the planet. It’s one of the pricier dog foods available due to its focus on natural, nutrient-rich ingredients and its reliance on regenerative agriculture and eco-friendly packaging.

    To introduce you to the brand and the formulas that it offers, here’s our review of the company.

    Who Makes Canidae and Where Is It Produced?

    Based in the U.S.A., Canidae has a facility in Brownwood, Texas, where it makes both its dog and cat food products. It sources its ingredients from local farms that use regenerative and sustainable farming practices.

    To ensure quality, Canidae makes sure each of the ingredients meets its high-quality standards. It also runs a farm in Kansas to grow its own ingredients.

    Which Type of Dog Is Canidae Best Suited For?

    Canidae has six formulas under its name and tailors its recipes to dogs of all breeds and ages. Here’s a rundown of the formulas available and the dogs that each one best suits.

    All Life Stages

    If you’re not sure which Canidae formula to try out or have several dogs at home, All Life Stages is formulated for all breeds and ages. Formulated by veterinarians, it has a range of flavors and supports the health of all dogs.

    CA Label

    Most dog food formulas have set protein levels throughout a range that the brand offers. The Canidae CA label enables you to adjust the amount of protein contained in the recipe while still benefiting from your preferred formula.


    Out of all the formulas that Canidae has available, Goodness is the one aimed at supporting your dog’s overall health. It uses HealthPLUS Solutions—Canidae’s careful blend of antioxidants, probiotics, and real meat—to provide a healthy diet that supports all your dog’s systems.


    Designed for dogs with food sensitivities, Pure is formulated with novel proteins like bison and wild boar. It’s available in both wet and dry forms with grain-free or grain-inclusive recipes. As one of Canidae’s bigger formula lines, it also has options tailored for puppies.

    Pure Petit

    Similar to the Pure formula, Pure Petit is a grain-free option for small breeds. It uses limited ingredients to avoid food allergies and is available in both wet and dry forms. Unlike the Pure formula, Pure Petit is formulated specifically to suit the nutritional requirements of small dogs. At the moment, there aren’t any grain-inclusive options for this formula.


    Canidae takes pride in sourcing high-quality, sustainable ingredients but goes a step further with the Sustain formula. Sustain relies on responsibly sourced ingredients for all the nutritional value contained in the recipes and to make sure the planet benefits from the production too. The Sustain formula also includes several recipes for dog treats.

    Which Type of Dog Might Do Better with a Different Brand?

    As a high-quality dog food brand, Canidae is one of the better options available. There are a few questionable ingredients—like legumes—in a few of the recipes, but overall, its reliance on sustainable packaging and nutritional ingredients makes it a firm favorite for dog owners.

    The variety of formulas also makes it suitable for many types of dogs. For example, the limited-ingredient diets are aimed at food sensitivities, and the puppy or senior formulas provide balanced nutrition for specific ages.

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    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    Overall, Canidae uses nutrient-rich ingredients for each of its formulas. It also doesn’t rely on artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, which makes it one of the higher-quality dog foods available. There are still a few questionable ingredients, but these are not in all of the formulas.

    Here’s a quick rundown of the good and bad ingredients in Canidae dog food.

    Real Meat Protein

    The first ingredient in Canidae’s formulas is real meat to provide plenty of healthy protein for your dog. While it has several chicken and turkey recipes, Canidae also caters to dogs with food sensitivities by offering recipes with other proteins, such as lamb, salmon, and bison.

    Fruits and Vegetables

    Alongside the real meat ingredients, Canidae relies on fruits and vegetables to boost the nutrition in its foods. These ingredients are full of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants and provide your dog with a balanced diet of both meat and plant matter.

    The dog sits near a bowl of food and licks his tongue, dry food and fresh vegetables and fruits
    Image Credit: Daria Lixovetckaym, Shutterstock


    Despite Canidae’s focus on high-quality ingredients, some of the recipes do contain controversial content. Legumes like peas and lentils are commonly found in a few of Canidae’s formulas, especially in grain-free recipes as a source of carbohydrates.

    While legumes are a good source of fiber to aid your dog’s digestive health, the FDA is currently investigating a link between grain-free diets and legumes with heart disease in dogs.

    Canola Oil

    Another controversial ingredient that appears in a few of Canidae’s recipes is canola oil. But there isn’t much official evidence about this ingredient being bad for dogs, and most of the dislike stems from dog owners themselves. Many people dislike this ingredient in both human and pet food. Overall, this one comes down to personal preference.

    liquid fish oil
    Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

    Limited-Ingredient Diets

    A few of the formulas offered by Canidae focus on limited ingredients to help avoid setting off common food allergies in dogs. Canidae’s limited-ingredient formulas generally contain between eight and 10 ingredients, along with vitamins and minerals to boost the healthiness of the recipe.

    This type of diet is not regulated officially. Generally, they contain a novel protein, such as fish, bison, venison, or another meat, and a carbohydrate source that’s unlikely to set off food allergies. Canidae offers both grain-free and grain-inclusive limited-ingredient diet options, but you should still pay attention to the ingredient list when you choose your dog food.

    Most dogs do not require a limited-ingredient diet, especially if they don’t have a health issue or allergy. Your veterinarian might recommend a limited-ingredient diet to determine whether your dog has any food sensitivities. They’ll also be able to help you figure out which diet is the best for your dog.

    Canidae Kibble Refill Stations

    Following the introduction of the Sustain formula in 2021, Canidae quickly set about coming up with more ways to help the planet. One of the more recent developments for Canidae pet food is introducing reusable bags and kibble refill stations to select pet stores.

    While it’s only available in a few Petco stores in Los Angeles and San Diego as of writing, the intention is to help reduce the amount of empty pet food bags that end up in landfills. These refill stations enable you to get a reusable 25-pound bag that you can refill with kibble as needed.

    Dog food in a bowl
    Image Credit: 279photoStudio, Shutterstock

    A Quick Look at Canidae Dog Food

    • Nutritionally balanced for dogs of all ages and breeds
    • Manufactured in the U.S.A.
    • Locally sourced ingredients
    • Packaging is made with recycled material
    • Contains sustainable ingredients
    • Available in physical and online pet stores across the U.S.A.


    • Some recipes contain legumes
    • Expensive

    divider-dog paw

    Recall History

    The company clearly values quality, as Canidae only has one recall for its products during the 20-plus years that it’s been in business. In May 2012, Canidae voluntarily recalled four dry food products for potential salmonella contamination.

    This was a precaution due to Diamond Pet Food’s involvement in manufacturing a few Canidae products. At the time, Diamond announced salmonella contamination at its facility in Gaston, South Carolina. In response, Canidae recalled the formulas that had been made in Diamond’s facility.

    divider-dog paw

    Reviews of the 3 Best Canidae Dog Food Recipes

    It’s difficult to say how well a brand of dog food will suit you and your dog without first considering what goes into the formulas. Here are our thoughts on three of Canidae’s most popular recipes.

    1. CANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey & Lamb Formula Dry Dog Food

    CANIDAE All Life Stages Chicken, Turkey & Lamb Formula Dry Dog Food

    If you have several dogs at home and they are all different ages or breeds, the Canidae All Life Stages Dry Dog Food is designed to support all dogs. Formulated by veterinarians, it contains HealthPLUS Solutions, a careful combination of probiotics for digestion, antioxidants for immune health, and omega fatty acids for your dog’s skin and coat.

    The recipe gets most of its protein from three meat sources: chicken, turkey, and lamb. It’s also available in four bag sizes, from 5 to 44 pounds, to support small and large dog breeds.

    This kibble is dry and can be incredibly dusty. It also contains legumes, which have been linked to dilated cardiomyopathy, although the claims are still being investigated.

    • Formulated by veterinarians
    • Designed for all breeds and ages
    • Contains HealthPLUS Solutions
    • Promotes healthy digestion with probiotics


    • Dusty kibble
    • Contains legumes

    2. CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

    CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Dog Food

    For dogs with food sensitivities, the Canidae Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Dry Dog Food is one of the favorites among dog owners. It uses salmon as a protein source rather than more common meat proteins like chicken and beef, which some dogs can be allergic to.  The recipe also contains only seven other ingredients, so you can easily keep track of what you’re feeding your dog.

    Unfortunately, the salmon content does give this food a strong smell that many people find unpleasant, and some canines might dislike the flavor. Grain-free diets and legumes are controversial, and some dog owners might be uncomfortable with this option unless discussing it first with a veterinarian.

    • Uses limited ingredients to avoid food allergies
    • Salmon usage avoids common meat protein allergies
    • Contains a blend of probiotics, antioxidants, and omega oils
    • No artificial ingredients


    • Contains legumes
    • Has a strong, unpleasant smell

    3. CANIDAE PURE With Wholesome Grains Real Salmon & Oatmeal Recipe Puppy Dry Dog Food

    CANIDAE PURE With Wholesome Grains Real Salmon & Oatmeal Recipe Puppy Dry Dog Food

    A recipe formulated for puppies is the perfect way to ensure that they have all the nutrients that they need to grow as healthy and strong as possible. The Canidae PURE Wholesome Grains Puppy Dry Dog Food uses a simple, limited-ingredient recipe to provide a nutritional diet to puppies with food sensitivities. Since it gets most of the carbohydrates from grains, this recipe is legume-free.

    Although the salmon content avoids allergies to chicken or beef protein, it gives this dry food a strong, fishy smell. The kibble also has a crumbly texture that leaves dust at the bottom of the bag.

    • Limited ingredients
    • Salmon usage avoids common protein allergies
    • Formulated for puppies
    • No legumes


    • Smells fishy
    • Crumbles easily

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    What Other Users Are Saying

    • Top Rated Dog Foods — “Instead of filling every bag with a laundry list of dubious components, Canidae relies on understandable whole ingredients, U.S.-sourced and farm-grown.”
    • Dog Food Guru — “Canidae dog food is pricey, but you know what they say: You get what you pay for.”
    • Amazon — The best way to know if a dog food brand is reputable is by listening to other dog owners about their experiences. You can find reviews from Amazon customers about Canidae dog food here.

    divider-dog pawConclusion

    We all want to feed our dogs the best food that we can get, and Canidae’s attention to detail makes it a firm favorite when it comes to ensuring healthy nutrition. The brand is also well-known for its eco-friendly and sustainable approach to farming and its packaging. It’s even recently partnered with several Petco stores in California to provide a kibble refill service in order to cut down on the number of dog food bags that end up in landfills.

    Canidae’s focus on quality and sustainability makes this dog food an expensive option, but it’s also one of the healthier brands available. Whether you’re looking for balanced nutrition or to support the planet, Canidae is a good choice to consider when it comes to feeding your dog.

    Featured Image Credit: Scorpp, Shutterstock

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