Acana are developing a reputation as one of the best dog foods, and formula comes close to getting our vote for the best large breed puppy food.
It is packed with good quality meat, fruit and vegetable ingredients, with lots of high quality chicken and some fish. The fruit and vegetable list reads like the menu of an all-vegan restaurant: blueberries, kelp, whole pears, parsnips and butternut squash are some of the fine inclusions.
It is tailored for large breeds with good doses of glucosamine and chrondroitin (1400mg/kg and 900mg/kg) for joint support, but no MSM.
There are a couple of factors which prevent us giving the food a full five-star rating. Firtsly, oats are the second ingredient listed. This is an excellent source of dietary fibre - however, grains such as oats are not generally considered a good ingredient in dog food. This is because dogs are not designed to digest nutrients from grains in a natural way, and grains can therefore cause allergic reactions. Some people argue against this, claiming that dogs have now evolved the ability to digest grains perfectly well. You may wish to do your own research and come to your own conclusions, but we still like to put our faith - and our dogs' guts - in the hands of a grain-free food.
The second rather disappointing aspect of this food is a rather high calcium level at 1.6%. This is verging on excessive for a large breed puppy, who needs low calcium (in the range of 1.2-1.4%) to make sure his bones don't grow too rapidly and put stress on his delicate growing joints.
What you can be sure of with this food is a great range of high quality ingredients. If the grains and calcium put you off, perhaps take a look at Orijen.