We know ACANA pet foods are different, so we bet you have a few questions. Learn more about what’s in our foods, how they’re made, and our plans for the future. Your peace of mind is paramount to us, so if your question is not answered in the FAQ section below, or if you have questions about our Biologically Appropriate foods and how we make them, please contact our Customer Care Team.
ACANA Dog foods are a celebration of our longstanding commitment to making Biologically Appropriate foods from Fresh Regional Ingredients. Rich in meat protein, ACANA Dog foods feature regionally sourced free-run poultry, freshwater fish, and heritage meats. Prepared exclusively in our award-winning Kentucky DogStar Kitchen, ACANA Dog offers a taste experience your dogs will love.
Regionally inspired and Biologically Appropriate, ACANA Regionals feature the rich diversity of fresh ingredients produced across Kentucky’s fertile prairies, meadows, and ranchlands. Protein-rich ACANA Regionals are made with a full 70 percent of ranch-raised meats, free-run poultry and eggs, wild-caught fish, and sun-ripened fruits and vegetables. Made exclusively in our kitchen in Auburn, Kentucky, ACANA Regionals are guaranteed to keep dogs and cats happy and healthy.
Limited ingredients shouldn’t mean less meat for your diet-sensitive dog. That’s why we make four richly nourishing, single-protein foods especially for diet-sensitive dogs. ACANA Singles are full of meat, including Suffolk lamb, Muscovy Duck, Yorkshire Pork and Atlantic Mackerel, all in WholePrey ratios that supply nutrients naturally, eliminating the need for synthetic vitamins and amino acids. ACANA Singles feature local fruits, vegetables, and botanicals to promote digestive health, healthy blood-sugar levels, and peak physical conditioning. Prepared to our Biologically Appropriate and Fresh Regional Ingredient standards in our DogStar Kitchen, ACANA Singles keep your dog happy, healthy, and strong.
Perfect for all dogs, including those with diet sensitivities, ACANA Singles dog treats are limited ingredient and Biologically Appropriate. Featuring a single animal protein and made with WholePrey ratios that include organs and cartilage, these delicious and nourishing treats are formula-matched to ACANA Singles dry foods, featuring the same fresh meats, poultry, and fish. ACANA Treats are gently freeze-dried to lock in all the natural goodness and taste of our Fresh Regional Ingredients.
MeatMath is designed to help you assess if your food is Biologically Appropriate. Biologically Appropriate foods are formulated to match the eating anatomy of the animal they are intended for. Dogs and cats are evolved as carnivores, which means they require high concentrations of meat, high inclusions of fresh meat, and a rich diversity of meat. Is your food Biologically Appropriate? Answer the three MeatMath questions: How Much? How Fresh? How Many?
The Biologically Appropriate concept is simple: mirror the freshness and variety of meats that dogs and cats are evolved to eat. For more information on our Biologically Appropriate philosophy and to view the five principles that reflect our commitment, please visit Biologically Appropriate.
In the wild, dogs and cats instinctively graze on plants and grasses. ACANA is designed to match the natural diet as closely as possible. Botanicals are a part of the natural diet for all cats and dogs, and play an important role in bridging the gap between good health and peak conditioning.
While there are key differences between ACANA and ORIJEN, both foods reflect our belief in the importance of providing diets that are Biologically Appropriate, using Fresh Regional Ingredients that are Never Outsourced for any part of the cooking or packaging. When comparing ORIJEN and ACANA, ask the three meat questions:
How much meat? ORIJEN has 85-90 percent meat while ACANA foods have 60-75 percent.
How fresh? ORIJEN foods have two-thirds fresh meats and ACANA’s have one-half fresh.
How many meats? ORIJEN foods have up to 10 meats while ACANA foods feature up to five.
Put simply, both ORIJEN and ACANA foods mimic the natural diet of your dog or cat with high fresh-meat inclusions. Although lower in protein and meat content than ORIJEN, ACANA provides an outstanding value and price point that makes Biologically Appropriate dog and cat foods accessible to a wide range of Pet Lovers.
ACANA foods feature WholePrey ratios of fresh muscle meat, organs, and cartilage in ratios that mirror natural diets and eliminate the need for long lists of synthetic ingredients. Organ meats are a concentrated and natural source of virtually every nutrient your dog or cat needs to thrive, including all essential vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and vital amino acids. Organ meats such as kidney, liver, and tripe are loaded with minerals such as iron, copper, magnesium, and iodine, and provide important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which nourish dogs and cats as nature intended. This is why you will find essential amino acids, or minerals like calcium and phosphorus, on the guaranteed analysis or typical analysis but not on the ingredient list.
ACANA contains 60-75 percent meat, poultry and fish ingredients in WholePrey ratios — meaning we include fresh meat, organs, and cartilage, just as Mother Nature would. Our fresh meats and cartilage in particular are high sources of natural glucosamine. That’s why glucosamine is listed on the guaranteed analysis but not on the ingredient list.
We choose our ingredient partners carefully and set quality and nutritional standards to meet our own food standards. In Kentucky and other areas of the United States, we’re connected to regional farmers, ranchers, and fishermen whose values match our own, and who we are proud to name. Fruit, vegetable, and botanical ingredients are delivered daily. Meat and poultry ingredients must be sourced from animals that are not condemned, diseased, or that have died otherwise than by slaughter. We do not use GMO ingredients. Visit our website to learn more about our trusted suppliers of Fresh Regional Ingredients.
We do not use GMO ingredients.
Our fruit and vegetable inclusions provide natural sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while also providing the binding action needed to form a kibble. Our legume inclusions are a healthy source of fiber and soluble carbohydrates.
FRESH: The only way we preserve our fresh meats is through refrigeration – no preservatives.
RAW: We flash-freeze our fresh meats at peak season to lock in their natural goodness – no preservatives.
Unlike some pet foods, ACANA is made with regional meats that are delivered FRESH or RAW from trusted suppliers and are a key factor in the superior palatability and feeding performance of ACANA.
We only source from suppliers who certify that their ingredients are not preserved with ethoxyquin, and Champion does not use ethoxyquin to preserve our foods.
Ethoxyquin is typically used as a preservative in fish ingredients and is commonly found in fish ingredients produced in North America. Champion uses two kinds of fish ingredients – FRESH or RAW fish, and fish meals.
FRESH or RAW FISH | Our FRESH fish is wild and sustainably caught and we only source from suppliers who certify that the only method of preservation they use is refrigeration – without preservatives. Our RAW fish is flash-frozen at peak season to preserve its natural goodness. We require that our FRESH or RAW fish not contain ethoxyquin.
FISH MEALS | Ethoxyquin preservatives are common throughout the fish-meal supply chain, so we work directly with our fish-meal suppliers (no brokers or middlemen) and pay them a premium to have our fish meals preserved with our proprietary blend of Vitamin E with botanical extracts.
Apple fiber is a soluble fiber that helps slow digestion. It also aids in healthy stool composition.
Broth is made by adding water to bones, marrow and tendons and cooking them to extract the nutrients that are part of a Biologically Appropriate diet. Broth is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Our natural flavors are made from the livers of chicken, pork, and lamb. Our natural-flavor ingredients are chosen to match a protein source from the food (a chicken-based diet will have natural chicken flavor), providing both a highly digestible source of protein and a boost of flavor.
The values for glucosamine have decreased in our Guaranteed Analysis because lab testing of what is naturally occurring in our fresh and raw meat inclusions varies. We are continually re-evaluating our testing procedures to ensure we provide Pet Lovers with the accurate information. The glucosamine present in our diets will most likely be higher than what is declared. Until there are better testing procedures for determining the glucosamine content in fresh or raw meats, we only feel comfortable guaranteeing the amount in our dried-meat inclusions.
The current testing method for chondroitin is variable. It is important to note that chondroitin is still present in ACANA diets, but we chose not to guarantee a minimum amount and therefore not to list it in the Guaranteed Analysis. ORIJEN has a higher overall meat content which makes the testing for chondroitin in our ORIJEN diets more accurate. For this reason, we kept chondroitin on the Guaranteed Analysis for our ORIJEN foods.
ORIJEN and ACANA foods and treats are formulated for dogs and cats, with meat and poultry ingredients sourced from federally licensed facilities that must have implemented a HACCP-based food safety system. Meat and poultry ingredients must be sourced from animals that are not condemned, diseased, or that have died otherwise than by slaughter. All fruits and vegetables used in ACANA foods are delivered fresh and whole.
ACANA foods are made exclusively by Champion Petfoods. We cook our own foods in our very own kitchens – we don’t make foods for other companies and we don’t allow our foods to be made by anyone else. Many dog and cat food brands are owned by marketing companies that outsource their food production to third-party factories, which make many different foods for many different companies. We prepare ORIJEN and ACANA in our own kitchens where we control every detail, from recipe development and food safety to ingredient sourcing and food production. When you choose ORIJEN or ACANA, you can be confident your dog and cat’s food has been prepared with care and attention.
Yes, our highly educated and talented team of 20 Research & Innovation scientists lead the development and research of our ACANA and ORIJEN pet foods. These individuals cover a wide variety of education and experience including, but not limited, to: 1 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, 1 PhD in Animal Nutrition, 2 PhD’s in Food Science, 3 Masters of Science in Animal Nutrition (2 in companion animal nutrition), 2 Masters of Science in Food Science, 1 Masters of Science in Meat Hygiene and Food Microbiology, and 17 Bachelors of Science areas such as Animal Science, Biochemistry, and Veterinary Medicine.
Champion Petfoods’ Research and Innovation team works with a group of animal nutritionists, and consults with Veterinarians who specialize in nutrition, toxicology, and holistic medicine when developing our ACANA and ORIJEN diets.
Making canned food is a very different production process, and almost all canned pet foods in North America are made in one of two very large canning companies. While we could easily follow the industry model and have ACANA cans produced for us, we’re not comfortable with the idea of having ACANA made outside our own facilities. Therefore, we have no plans to make ACANA in cans. You may want to consider our ORIJEN Freeze-Dried Food – an excellent alternative to canned foods. Unlike some canned foods, ORIJEN Freeze-Dried Foods are made with authentically fresh ingredients, contain 90 percent of FRESH or RAW meats, and are prepared without cooking so they fully retain all the natural taste and goodness of our Fresh Regional Ingredients.
Our position on animal testing is simple – we only conduct tests that we would allow our own companion dogs and cats to participate in. We perform various research trials such as palatability tests (taste), digestibility testing (through stool analysis only), and AAFCO feeding trials. If it’s not OK for our own dogs and cats, then it’s not OK for any other dogs and cats.
ORIJEN foods and treats are formulated for dogs and cats, with meat and poultry ingredients sourced from federally licensed facilities that must have implemented a HACCP-based food safety system. Our kitchens follow the internationally recognized Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) preventive approach to identifying and responding to hazards at every stage of the food chain. Our Quality Assurance department follows protocols for testing from the time ingredients enter our kitchen, through production and packaging. Technicians sample the product and send it to internationally recognized, third party–accredited laboratories for testing. Every sample is subjected to pathogen evaluation before release and shipment. No product is released to be shipped until all tests for food safety are confirmed to be favorable.
Our DogStar Kitchen has received several significant certifications and awards. DogStar surpassed organizations in both human and animal food industries to win the inaugural 2017 Global Markets Programme Award from the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). This recognition is one of the highest food-safety achievements in the world. We have achieved the internationally recognized Safe Quality Food (SQF) and Safe Feed/Safe Food (SFSF) certifications. DogStar scored a remarkable 98 percent in the audit. Our state-of-the-art DogStar Kitchen also won a prestigious Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) Award – the first pet food facility in the world to receive such an accolade. Our DogStar ACANA foods won the American Choice Award, a 100 percent consumer-voted award among more than 1,500 brands, for Best Brand in the Specialty Pet Food category. To learn more, visit the Awards section of our Champion Petfoods website.
Champion Petfoods is proud to be a member of the First Alert Pet Food Recall program. This is a voluntary effort consisting of a coalition of responsible pet food producers who agree to alert Pet Lovers in the event any product is involved in a recall. We are committed to the safety of our foods and to the well-being of cats and dogs and the people who love them. In the unlikely event that one of our foods is recalled, we will contact you immediately with information regarding the affected products, the reason for the recall, and any steps that you may need to take. We will post information on our website and will notify the appropriate regulatory agencies. If you are interested in this program, please email us with the subject FIRST ALERT PROGRAM. By doing this you indicate your willingness to have your contact information stored and accessed by Champion Petfoods to be used in the unlikely event of a product recall.
Once opened, you can safely store ACANA food in its packaging by rolling the top of the bag down after each use. If you live in a humid climate, consider using an airtight container and simply put the entire bag of food in the container. Remember to wash your storage bin whenever you change out your bag of food to ensure that food buildup does not occur. Remember, too, to keep the lot number handy. You can find this information, as well as the Best Before date, on the back of the package near the top. Refrigeration of ACANA is not required. Rather than a garage with large temperature fluctuations, the best storage is in your home in a cool, dry place at room temperature.
The Best Before (BB) date is printed on the back of the bag at the top of the ACANA package along with our lot number and production information. Our BB dates should be read Day, Month, Year.
Rotating between ACANA formulas prevents your dog or cat from getting tired of eating the same thing day in and day out, while offering them a great variety in proteins and fats. A good place to start is rotating by the bag – when you have finished one formula, your next bag will be a different recipe. The first time you introduce a new food for rotation, mix the food 50/50 just to make sure your pet transitions well to the new ACANA food. However, if your dog or cat is more diet-sensitive, do a full transition when introducing a new ACANA food – after that you can change at will.
We recommend that you feed twice daily. Simply divide the amount suggested on the feeding guide into two meals, spaced eight to 12 hours apart. You may need to adjust portions as you learn your pet’s ideal daily “maintenance” amount. These amounts may change over time as your pet ages. Always keep in mind that a lean dog or cat is a healthy pet.
PLENTY OF WATER – About 70 percent of your dog or cat’s body is made up of water, which is vital for cell function and tissue lubrication. In fact, water is more important to your dog or cat than any other nutrient. Make sure fresh and clean water is always available.
DON’T OVERFEED – Many dogs and cats have large appetites and will eat everything you feed them. As ACANA foods are highly palatable, you need to be careful not to overfeed.
LOOSE STOOL – Many stool issues can be corrected by lowering the amounts fed during the day, as loose stool is a common result of overfeeding.
WEIGHT GAIN – Obesity at any age can cause serious health issues. While all of our foods have feeding guidelines printed on the package, every pet is different and these guidelines are really just a starting point. Keep a close eye on your dog or cat’s body condition. If they look too thin, feed a little more. If they look to be carrying too much weight, scale back a little at a time.
HUNGER – While your dog or cat may act hungry, their body condition is the best gauge of how much to feed. If you’re having problems, please contact us.
TREATS – We all love to give our pets treats. However, treats should be given in moderation and should represent 10% or less of your pet’s daily food intake. The rest should come from a nutritionally complete feeding program. When using treats frequently, such as during training exercises, try to use small pieces.
Of course! As there are so many myths circulating about high-protein diets, this is probably one of the most common questions asked of our Customer Care team. Countless studies published over the last 15 years have clearly debunked the high-protein myth (often fueled by multinational and marketing companies that still produce or sell low-meat, low-protein foods). The truth is simple – high-protein diets are Biologically Appropriate for all breeds of dogs and cats. By better matching the natural diet and anatomical physiology of dogs and cats, higher-protein foods promote peak health and conditioning. Some of today’s pet foods are lower in protein and higher in carbohydrates (40-50 percent). As carbohydrates are not part of the natural diet, it should come as no surprise that they are not nutritionally essential (in any amount) for dogs and cats. Dogs and cats are evolved to derive their energy from animal proteins and fats, not carbohydrates.
Want more information? Please see our White Paper, pages 26, 27, Protein myths. Or check the “Myths of High Protein” study published by the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Please see our Library for more information on this subject.
No. There is no study in science to show a higher protein diet has any negative effect on the kidneys of dogs or cats. Please refer to the articles in our Library for additional information.
Yes. Our ACANA diets, featuring foods for all life stages, are appropriate for puppies as well. We recommend that you feed poultry- or fish-based diets such as Free-Run Poultry or Wild Atlantic to large-breed puppies until they are fully grown. The mineral content in our red meat–based diets is naturally higher and not best suited to the needs of growing, large-breed puppies. Keep in mind that the feeding guides for all life stages foods are for adults. As puppies require more energy we recommend that you increase the amounts fed. You’ll find instructions on the packaging, and for easy reference we’ve provided them here as well. For puppies from 1 ½ to three months old, feed twice the recommend adult amount for their current weight. From three to six months old, feed 1 ½ times the adult amount. From six to 11 months feed 1 ¼ times the adult amount. This will ensure that your puppy receives the nutrition needed to support healthy growth. If you would like to read more about the needs of growing, large-breed puppies, please visit our Library.
Research into the growth of Great Danes (Nap RC, The Netherlands) has shown that the protein level of a diet has no significant influence on skeletal development. High-protein intake does not result in increased risk for OCD (Osteochondritis Dissecans) or HD (Hip Dysplasia), and there is no effect on the development in the longitudinal growth of the bone. Additionally, while protein does not cause orthopedic problems, other nutrients can. It is not excess protein that causes joint problems but overfeeding, excessive mineral content, and genetics that can contribute to arthritic and orthopedic problems. Please note that most orthopedic and joint problems are inherited, but puppies and dogs that are overweight have a greater chance of increased pain and discomfort, and have a higher potential of developing orthopedic problems as younger animals and arthritis as older animals.
Yes. While lower-protein diets have traditionally been recommended for senior dogs, this thinking has been roundly dismissed by recent science. As dogs age, a protein-rich diet is especially important for maintaining peak health. The relationship between carbohydrates and protein is an important factor in the diets of senior dogs. When protein is high, carbohydrates are low – in other words, high-protein diets are by nature low in carbohydrates. This is great for senior dogs as the last thing they need is an excessive amount of inappropriate carbohydrates, which are simply sugars. Please see our White Paper for more information on this subject.
Due to Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) labeling conventions, carbohydrate content is not reported on the guaranteed analysis. You can always determine the carbohydrate content of dry foods by adding the protein, fat, moisture, fiber, and ash from the GA, and then subtracting this sum from a total of 100%. This gives you an approximate idea of the total amount of carbohydrates present in the food. Carb = 100 – (protein + fat + moisture + fiber + ash) If you’d like to learn more about the specific carbohydrate content in our foods, or if you have any other questions about our Guaranteed Analysis, don’t hesitate to contact our Customer Care team.
No. Neither ACANA nor ORIJEN foods are supplemented with Vitamin K3.
At present, our packaging is not recyclable. We’ve spoken with our bag producer several times on this issue and have considered other bag producers. While there are lots of recyclable bags, none of them are appropriate for our products. This is due to the fact that we do not use chemical preservatives, so our bags need to form a complete barrier to protect your pet’s food from the outside environment. We would prefer to reduce our impact on the environment, but the technology just doesn’t yet exist for a product like ours. That will change as more and more pressure is placed on packaging producers, and we will continue to explore these opportunities.
Our online store locator will help you locate retailers in your area.
If you are a registered breeder in the U.S., we do offer a Breeder Program. You can apply to join our Breeder Program online.
In the U.S. we offer My Champion Rewards program through all our retailers. Each time you purchase a bag at your retailer, it is automatically recorded in the Astro program. After the purchase of 12 bags you will receive a 13th bag of equal or lesser value free from your retailer.