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Essence Dog Food Review 2024: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Dogster Team

Essence Dog Food - Featured Image

Essence Dog Food Review 2024: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Essence Dog Food a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

In today’s world, it can be hard to figure out which dog food brand is best for your pup. You love your dog and want the best for them. And you know that feeding them the best food is key to their overall health and happiness. There are so many to choose from, and each one promises different things. Some brands are high in protein, others are grain-free, and some others are made with natural ingredients. Which one is right for your dog? If you’re like most pet owners, you have a variety of preferences and demands when it comes to dog food.

While no one brand is “perfect”, this article will analyze Essence Pet Foods, a popular but limited-selection North American pet food brand. Essence deserves a closer look if you’re looking for high-quality and don’t mind a higher price. As is typical with many other newer pet food brands, Essence’s recipes emphasize quality whole meat and fish sources. Their Limited Ingredient recipes contain at least 85% fish or animal protein. This means that compared to some other dog food brands, Essence Pet Food’s dog recipes contain a much higher ratio of meat and fish. Because of this, their nutritional profile is really top-notch.

So, let’s dig in and see what this range has to offer your pooch.


At a Glance: The Best Essence Dog Food Recipes

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Essence Limited Ingredient Recipe Landfowl Essence Limited Ingredient Recipe Landfowl
  • Limited ingredients
  • Features a tasty, meaty flavor
  • Red meat, potatoes, legumes, and gluten-free
  • Second place
    Essence Limited Ingredient Recipe Ranch Essence Limited Ingredient Recipe Ranch
  • Wholesome lamb and pork
  • Delicious flavor
  • High in protein
  • Third place
    Essence Air & Gamefowl Grain-Free Essence Air & Gamefowl Grain-Free
  • Meaty flavor with a tasty texture
  • Sustainable animal sources
  • Protein-rich
  • Essence Ocean & Freshwater Recipe Essence Ocean & Freshwater Recipe
  • Contains multiple types of fish
  • High protein dog food
  • Thick pâté form
  • Essence Dog Food Reviewed

    Essence Pet Foods offers a smaller range of dog food products when compared to many other brands. Their product range has an equal number of dry dog food and wet and canned dog food products represented. Additionally, Essence Pet Food offers half of its recipes with limited ingredients for dogs that suffer from allergies or sensitivities.

    Who makes Essence Dog Food, and where is it produced?

    Essence is part of the Pets Global pet food group. Additionally, the group owns Zignature, Inception, and Fussie Cat, which are other pet food brands. Our research indicates that Essence Pet Foods are produced at one of Pets Global’s manufacturing facilities in Minnesota and South Dakota. The company promises that its food provides all the nutrients a dog needs to stay healthy. Essence also produces a range of cat food, with a similar split of offerings between wet and dry foods. Pet food products from Essence Pet Food are available at select retail locations in the United States and Canada but are usually not found at large pet food stores. Chewy, one of the most popular pet food websites, sells Essence’s products online.

    close up of a dog eating from the bowl
    Image Credit: Dmytro Zinkevych, Shutterstock

    Which type of dog is Essence Dog Food best suited for?

    In terms of the life stages of dogs that Essence Pet Foods caters to, the company does not produce specific recipes for puppies, pregnant or lactating dogs, or senior dogs. Nor do they produce formulations for particular sizes or breeds of dogs. However, although they have a narrower variety of formulations, Essence says that their products are suitable for dogs of all ages, sizes, and breeds.

    This is because the majority of their protein and fat come from animal-based sources, which results in an excellent nutritional profile. Due to this balanced nutrition, Essence is a great choice for most dogs, especially those active or requiring more protein.

    Which type of dog might do better with a different brand?

    There are different types of dogs that might do better with a different brand of dog food. For example, although most owners say their dogs love Essence, some dogs might simply prefer the taste or texture of a different brand of food. Additionally, if your dog has specific health issues, they might do best with a different brand of food. The fiber content of specialty high-fiber dog foods typically lies between 4% to 12%. Most varieties of Essence have around 5% fiber which is in the low end of this healthy range and is perfect for most dogs.

    However, a food that is higher in fiber may be beneficial for dogs with diabetes, diarrhea, or constipation (but could be harmful to dogs with pancreatitis). If your dog suffers from a particular health condition is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine which type of dog would suit them best.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    Despite having such a modestly-sized product range, Essence Pet Foods offers a large variety of meat and fish ingredients, including common ingredients like turkey, chicken, lamb, and pork, as well as more unusual proteins such as duck, guineafowl, quail, whitefish, herring, boar, and goat.

    Several of these ingredients, such as chicken and turkey, are regularly used in pet food recipes throughout the industry, as they are all high-quality sources of animal or fish-based protein and fat. Considering their affordability and ease of sourcing, they are a popular choice among pet food manufacturers. Turkey liver is one of the many rich and nutritious organ meat ingredients used in Essence Pet Food recipes. Pet food recipes benefit from incorporating organ meat ingredients like these because they can enhance flavor and increase nutrition levels.

    bernese mountain dog eating
    Image By: Kristesoro, Shutterstock

    Novel or Exotic Meats

    Some of the meats used in Essence dog foods, such as guineafowl and goat, are rarer and usually only included in recipes for pets with severe allergies or sensitivities. Food allergies in dogs are most commonly caused by beef, dairy, wheat, and chicken. As pets are less likely to react negatively to meats they have not yet encountered, novel meat recipes use less common meat or fish ingredients. Novel protein sources may not just treat but also prevent dog allergies by reducing the number of allergenic proteins present in the dog’s diet. On the other hand, exotic-ingredient diets that use unusual sources, such as guineafowl or duck, have not been extensively tested as chicken or beef have.


    Rather than using grains, Essence’s Original range of recipes uses legumes such as red lentils, green lentils, navy beans, and chickpeas. Numerous brands use legumes such as these in grain-free pet food. This is because legumes are relatively inexpensive and provide a balance of carbohydrates, fiber, and plant-based protein. In recent years, there have been concerns about the association between a high proportion of legumes in dog food recipes and an increase in Canine Heart Disease.

    Essence’s recipes contain small amounts of these ingredients, in line with guidelines issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to pet food manufacturers. For some pet owners, the mere presence of these ingredients is off-putting: if this is the case for you, rest assured that the Essence Limited Ingredient range is legume-free.


    Essence Pet Food uses quinoa as a plant-based ingredient in its Limited Ingredient dog food recipes. Quinoa is a grain, and many people are strongly against using grain ingredients in pet food recipes. However, to date, no studies have ever shown that grain-free diets are preferable to grain-inclusive diets. Most veterinarians will recommend a diet that includes grain unless your dog has a specific allergy. Although there is a trend for high-protein, carb-free foods among humans, that does not mean this model of nutrition is right for our canine companions. Carbohydrates, fiber, and a variety of vitamins and minerals can be found in quinoa, making it an excellent source of nutrition for dogs.


    A Quick Look at Essence Dog Food

    • Availability of grain-inclusive and grain-free options
    • Complete and balanced nutrition
    • Quality traditional and novel meats and fish
    • High protein content
    • A variety of dry and wet food selections
    • Owns and operates its own food production facilities
    • Uses whole-food ingredients
    • Has never been recalled
    • Contains ingredients that some may find controversial
    • Prescription foods are not available to address specific health problems
    • There is a limited variety of foods
    • More expensive than some other dog food brands

    Recall History

    Essence Pet Foods is a recall-free pet food brand, according to the FDA, American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and DogFoodAdvisor. In light of the brand’s small size, limited market share, and relatively short history, it doesn’t come as a shock that there haven’t been any recalls. Despite Essence Pet Foods’ recall-free record, we advise all pet owners to use the links above to be aware of future recalls from Essence Pet Foods (or any other brand you feed your dog).

    divider-dog paw

    Reviews of the 3 Best Essence Dog Food Recipes

    Let’s take a look at three of the available Essence dog food formulas in a little more detail. All three of these formulas are made with high-quality ingredients and are designed to provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs of all life stages.

    1. Essence Limited Ingredient Recipe Landfowl Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Essence Limited Ingredient Recipe Landfowl Recipe Dry Dog Food

    Essence Limited Ingredient Recipe Landfowl Recipe Dry Dog Food is premium pet food that is made with all-natural ingredients. The recipe is limited to six key ingredients, making it perfect for pets with sensitivities or allergies. The food is also made without potatoes, legumes, fish, red meat, gluten, or fillers, so it’s perfect for dogs on a restricted diet. This food is also made with real landfowl, and its top ingredients are turkey, chicken, turkey meal, and chicken meal which provide additional nutrients and flavor that dogs love. Like the other dog foods in the Limited Ingredient Recipe range, this kibble is made with 85% animal protein sources and 15% other ingredients.

    Quinoa and pumpkin provide 5% crude fiber, and you can feel good about feeding a grain-inclusive food. An added bonus is that dogs seem to love the flavor overall. One thing to note about this food is that it is a high-protein, multi-meat formula and, therefore, not a great choice for low-energy dogs.

    • Limited ingredients
    • Features a tasty, meaty flavor
    • Red meat, potatoes, legumes, and gluten-free
    • Features four landfowl ingredients
    • Quinoa and pumpkin for fiber
    • A poor choice for low-energy dogs
    • Not suitable for dogs on grain-free diets

    2. Essence Limited Ingredient Recipe Ranch Wet Dog Food

    Essence Limited Ingredient Recipe Ranch

    Essence Limited Ingredient Recipe Ranch Recipe Wet Dog Food is a product made with limited ingredients to provide a nutritious diet for dogs. The recipe includes real lamb and pork for wholesome, high-quality proteins as well as a balance of other essential nutrients to help dogs stay healthy and active. The flavor of the food also seems to be a big hit with dogs. This wet dog food is also fortified with vitamins and minerals to support overall health. This recipe has no fish, poultry, or legumes, just delicious, wholesome ingredients like lamb and pork. Fiber is also added by quinoa and pumpkin.

    Gluten-free and high in protein, this food is perfect for dogs with sensitive stomachs. It is an excellent, balanced option for dogs of all ages. This kibble is made with 85% animal protein sources and 15% other ingredients, like the other Limited Ingredient Recipe products. This makes this a great, balanced food for active dogs of all breeds, sizes, and ages. However, since this food is a high-protein, high-calorie recipe, it would not be a good choice for an inactive dog.

    • Wholesome lamb and pork
    • Delicious flavor
    • High in protein
    • Gluten-free but grain-inclusive
    • Heart healthy with no legumes
    • High in calories

    3. Essence Air & Gamefowl Grain-Free Dry Dog Food

    Essence Air & Gamefowl Grain-Free

    Essence Air & Gamefowl Grain-Free Dry Dog Food is a high-quality food that is specifically designed for dogs. It contains no grains, making it a good option for dogs who are allergic to or intolerant of grains. The food is also free of artificial additives and preservatives, ensuring your dog gets the best possible nutrition. Among the ingredients in this kibble are guinea fowl, duck, and turkey. It’s a great option for dogs with sensitive stomachs since it’s grain-free and doesn’t include potatoes, red meat, or fish. This recipe does include legumes, with red lentils, garbanzo beans, and navy beans, the seventh, eighth, and ninth ingredients, respectively.

    As these ingredients are not within the top five, most owners would not worry about the risk of Canine Heart Disease. However, if this is a health issue you are concerned about, you might want to try one of the Limited Ingredient dog foods instead.

    • Meaty flavor with a tasty texture
    • Sustainable animal sources
    • Protein-rich
    • Contains no red meat or fish
    • Grain- and potato-free recipe
    • Contains legumes (in smaller amounts)

    What Other Owners Are Saying

    Essence Dog Food is made with only the highest quality ingredients, and it shows in the opinions of other dog owners. They report that their dogs have more energy, better skin and coat health, and stronger immune systems after switching to Essence. Many also say that their dogs seem to enjoy the food more than other brands and that it has helped resolve issues such as allergies, weight gain, and poor digestion.

    Before making a purchase, we recommend always checking Chewy and Amazon reviews from other pet owners. Click here to read reviews for Essence products on Amazon and Chewy.



    Essence dog food is a great choice for your pooch, and despite there being fewer recipe options than many other brands, there is still something for most pooches. The food is yet to have any recalls, and we love the inclusion of novel protein in the recipes. Overall, we love this brand, and highly recommend giving it a try!

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