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You are what you eat. We understand that to be fit and healthy, we need to eat quality food. The same rule goes for our dogs.

Although they may be less discriminating than we are in their choice of what they gobble up, it’s a dog owner’s responsibility to make sure our dogs get a nutritionally balanced diet tailored to meet their needs. “Using appropriate feeding practices is one of the most important components of maintaining companion animal health,” reports the Merck Veterinary Manual.

Requirements of a Healthy Diet

Research has proven, and your veterinarian will tell you, that a healthy, well-balanced diet for your dog must include whole-food ingredients that provide the following: protein, fats and fatty acids, carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and water.

Whole Food Ingredients

Whole-food ingredients are minimally processed so they deliver the nutrients, vitamins, and fiber that pack the most value. The best diet for your dog is composed of whole-food ingredients – including fresh and raw meats, fruits, and vegetables — as opposed to powdered or synthetic ingredients.

ACANA® Wholesome Grains pet food is made with a variety of whole foods including the first two ingredients from quality animal sources, with inclusions of whole animal organs and fresh fruits and vegetables to make it nourishing and delicious.  ACANA pet food recipes use savory meats, poultry and wild-caught or responsibly farm-raised fish naturally high in protein and healthy fats and select fruits and vegetables that add natural soluble and insoluble fiber and nutrients. ACANA pet foods never adds artificial flavors, colors or preservatives in their kitchens.


For those who choose grain inclusive over grain-free foods, ACANA pet foods integrates nutrient-rich oats, sorghum and millet with protein-rich animal ingredients that are thoughtfully balanced with nutritious fruits and vegetables into their dog and cat food recipes. There are no gluten, potato, or legume ingredients.

The Clinical Nutrition Service at Tufts University’s Cummings Veterinary Medicine School conducted extensive research on the impact of grains in a dog’s diet. They concluded that “Whole grains, rather than being fillers, contribute valuable nutrients including vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and fiber to diets while helping to keep the fat and calories lower than if animal products were used in their place.”

“Studies have shown that there are nutrients present in grains that are essential for a complete and balanced diet,” says Dr. Klein. “And the fiber that grains contribute to the diet helps keep the dog’s gastrointestinal system functioning and healthy.”

ACANA Wholesome Grains includes:

  • 60-70 percent protein-rich animal ingredients (approximate and derived from the unprocessed state of the ingredients) to help support muscle maintenance.
  • Whole fruits and vegetables such as pumpkin, pears, and butternut squash to help support digestive health.
  • Nutrient-rich grains including oats, sorghum, and millet that promote a healthy digestive environment.
  • Vitamins that help to support heart function with a blend of B and E vitamins, taurine, and choline.

Safety Requirements for Quality Food

Making sure your dog’s food has the necessary ingredients is important, but you also need to find out where those ingredients were sourced, how they were prepared and stored, and whether the final product was checked for safety.

ACANA pet foods start with premium ingredients sourced from a curated group of farmers, ranchers, and fishers they’ve known and trusted since they began making pet food in 1985.

A team of animal food scientists and nutritionists with degrees in veterinary medicine, animal nutrition, food science, meat hygiene, food microbiology, and biochemistry develop and test ACANA pet foods recipes. They conduct research, test, and collaborate with international nutrition experts, and look for ways to innovate.

ACANA pet food puts a high priority on safety, quality, and transparency and uses a track-and-trace process in its world-class kitchens in Kentucky, USA and Alberta, Canada. They record and track every step of their process — from the time ingredients leave suppliers.

One Size Does Not Fit All

The American College of Veterinary Nutrition advises that your dog’s unique nutritional requirements will depend on age, size, health, and breed.

“Veterinarians recommend that you consider your dog’s stage of life when choosing his diet,” says Dr. Klein, Chief Veterinary Officer at the American Kennel Club. “A puppy has different nutritional needs than an adolescent, a pregnant or lactating female, or a senior dog.”

Whether you’re looking for a food suitable for your puppy or your small-breed dog, a limited diet recipe for dogs with food sensitivities, or a high-quality nutritious and tasty diet that contains meat, poultry, or fish – you now have seven ACANA Wholesome Grains foods to choose from.

ACANA’s new Wholesome Grains Puppy recipe includes protein, fat, and Omega-3s to help support your puppy’s growth and development. Wholesome Grains Small Breed recipe is specially crafted for tiny pals, with smaller kibble size for small mouths, and with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to promote a shiny coat and brain health.

How to Store Your Dog Food

Once you find the right food for your dog, you want to keep it fresh and safe. The Food and Drug Administration offers these suggestions:

  • Store dry pet food in its original bag with the top tightly folded down.
  • If you want to store dry pet food in another storage container, put the entire bag into the container.
  • Keep pet food in a secure location where your pet can’t get to it.
  • Store dry food in a cool and dry place at a temperature less than 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Wash pet food bowls and scooping utensils with soap and hot water after each use.
  • Throw out old or spoiled pet food by placing it in a securely tied plastic bag in a covered trash can.
Related article: Why Does My Dog Eat Grass?
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