Shelter Dog Meal Donation Count:

Learn More

Taste of the Wild vs. Acana: Who Wins? [2023]

Written by: Arlene D.
| Published on September 19, 2023

Taste of the Wild and Acana Dog Food are prominent brands in the pet nutrition industry, each boasting unique qualities and benefits. This article dives into a comprehensive comparison of the two, focusing on ingredients, ingredient quality, protein content, price & value, and recall history to provide a clear perspective for pet owners.

Taste of the Wild Vs. Acana: An In-Depth Ingredient Comparison

Taste of the Wild Ingredients: Pros:

  1. Variety of Protein Sources: Taste of the Wild often features novel proteins like bison, venison, salmon, and wildfowl, providing variety and catering to dogs with allergies to common proteins.
  2. Grain-Free Options: This brand offers several grain-free formulas, beneficial for dogs with grain sensitivities.
  3. Fruit and Vegetable Inclusions: Many recipes contain blueberries, raspberries, and tomatoes, which are high in antioxidants, aiding in immune health.
  4. Digestive Health Support: Prebiotic fibers and species-specific probiotics are commonly found in their recipes, supporting digestive health.

Taste of the Wild Ingredients: Cons:

  1. Contains Legumes: Some recipes contain legumes, which, though high in protein and fiber, have been a controversial topic due to potential taurine deficiency concerns in certain breeds.
  2. Inclusion of Potato: Some of their formulas have potatoes, which are higher in glycemic index compared to other vegetables.

Acana Ingredients: Pros:

  1. Biologically Appropriate: Acana’s philosophy revolves around “biologically appropriate” diets, meaning the ingredients are fresh, regional, and mimic what a dog might eat in the wild.
  2. High Meat Inclusion: Typically, Acana dog food has a higher meat inclusion rate compared to many other brands, ensuring a protein-rich diet.
  3. Locally-Sourced Ingredients: Acana prioritizes sourcing ingredients from local suppliers, ensuring freshness and reducing the environmental impact of transportation.
  4. Diverse Protein Offerings: From lamb to duck to fish, Acana offers a diverse range of proteins, allowing owners to rotate diets or cater to specific protein preferences.

Acana Ingredients:Cons:

  1. Potential for Richness: With the high meat content, some dogs might find Acana foods richer and may need a transition period or might experience digestive upset.
  2. Cost: Given the quality and high meat inclusion, Acana tends to be on the pricier side, which might not be suitable for all budgets.
  3. Legume Inclusion: Like Taste of the Wild, Acana also includes legumes in their ingredients, which can be a concern for specific breeds or dogs prone to heart issues.

Shared Characteristics:

  1. Transparency: Both brands are transparent about their ingredient sources, ensuring pet owners can make informed choices.
  2. Natural Preservatives: Neither brand uses artificial preservatives, opting for natural alternatives like tocopherols (vitamin E).

Ingredient Quality and Freshness: Both Taste of the Wild and Acana prioritize ingredient quality and freshness. Taste of the Wild sources ingredients globally but ensures they meet stringent quality standards. In contrast, Acana uses locally-sourced ingredients, emphasizing the use of fresh and raw meat.

Protein Content: Taste of the Wild’s protein content typically ranges from 25% to 32%, depending on the formula. This is relatively high and caters to the dietary needs of most dogs. Acana, on the other hand, features an even higher protein content, with many formulas exceeding 35%. This aligns with Acana’s “biologically appropriate” philosophy.

Carbohydrates and Fillers: Taste of the Wild uses complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and peas, which provide essential nutrients and energy. Acana, while also using some legumes, often incorporates a variety of squash and pumpkins to diversify the carbohydrate sources.

Supplemental Additions: Both brands add vital supplements like Omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. Acana, due to its high meat content, naturally has a higher Omega-3 and Omega-6 levels, primarily if fish-based formulas are chosen.


Compare Pricing & Discounts: Taste of the Wild vs. Acana

Acana 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Taste of the Wild 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

Recalls & Lawsuits: Taste of the Wild Vs. Acana

When it comes to dog food, the safety of the product is paramount. Both Taste of the Wild and Acana have faced recalls and lawsuits, which are critical to consider for informed decision-making.

Taste of the Wild Recalls & Lawsuits:

In 2012, Taste of the Wild was part of a voluntary recall due to potential salmonella contamination. Several dog food brands produced at the Diamond Pet Foods facility, including Taste of the Wild, were affected. No illnesses were reported in connection to the Taste of the Wild products, and the company took swift action to correct the issue.

Acana Recalls & Lawsuits:

To date, Acana has not had any recalls in the U.S. However, it’s always advisable for consumers to stay updated with the FDA or the brand’s website for any future recalls.

Acana Recalls & Lawsuits:

Taste of the Wild: In 2018, a lawsuit was filed against Diamond Pet Foods (the makers of Taste of the Wild) alleging the presence of pesticides, heavy metals, and BPA in their dog food. However, it’s essential to note that the lawsuit didn’t claim the levels were harmful, only that they were present. The lawsuit also cited that the brand misled consumers by not disclosing these substances on their labels.

Acana: Champion Petfoods, the makers of Acana (and Orijen), faced a lawsuit in 2018. The lawsuit claimed that their dog foods contained levels of arsenic, mercury, lead, cadmium, and BPA, while also alleging the company failed to disclose these substances. Similar to the Taste of the Wild lawsuit, it did not claim that the levels of these substances were harmful. Champion Petfoods stood by the quality of their products, emphasizing that the substances mentioned are naturally occurring and found throughout the environment.

It’s crucial to understand that finding trace amounts of heavy metals or other substances in dog food doesn’t necessarily mean it’s unsafe. Many of these elements are naturally occurring and can be found in the environment, including in the soil where ingredients are grown. The key is the amount — trace levels are generally considered safe, while higher amounts could be of concern.

In evaluating recalls and lawsuits, it’s essential not just to consider the presence of an incident but how the company responded. Effective responses to recalls show a company’s commitment to safety and transparency. With lawsuits, while they can bring important issues to light, they don’t always equate to a proven problem. It’s the outcome or resolution of these lawsuits and the company’s actions following them that provide a more comprehensive picture of their dedication to quality and safety.

While past incidents should be part of the decision-making process, they should be considered alongside other factors like ingredient quality, nutritional value, and overall company transparency. As always, it’s advisable for dog owners to stay updated with their preferred brand’s latest information and to consult with their veterinarians about the best dietary choices for their pets.


Compare Pricing & Discounts: Taste of the Wild vs. Acana

Acana 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Taste of the Wild 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

Our Verdict –Taste of the Wild Vs. Acana: Who Wins?

Taste of the Wild and Acana are renowned dog food brands, each with its strengths. Analyzing protein content, both brands provide high-protein recipes derived from quality meat sources. When it comes to ingredient quality, Acana slightly edges out with its commitment to regionally sourced ingredients and its “Biologically Appropriate” philosophy, ensuring a diet rich in meat and protein variety. On the recall front, while Taste of the Wild has experienced a past recall, Acana has maintained a clean slate in the U.S. Weighing these factors, we lean towards Acana for its slightly superior ingredient quality and impeccable recall history. However, both brands offer excellent nutrition, and the choice ultimately rests on individual pet needs and owner preferences.


Taste of the Wild vs. Acana: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where are Taste of the Wild and Acana products manufactured?
    • Taste of the Wild is manufactured in the USA by Diamond Pet Foods. Acana, on the other hand, is a product of Champion Petfoods and is primarily made in their kitchens in Kentucky, USA, and Alberta, Canada.
  2. What is the primary source of protein in these brands?
    • Both brands emphasize high-quality animal proteins. Taste of the Wild offers a variety of formulas, each focused on specific proteins like bison, salmon, or venison. Acana prides itself on a diverse range of animal ingredients, including free-run poultry, fish, and red meats.
  3. Are grains included in their recipes?
    • Taste of the Wild has both grain-free and grain-inclusive options. Acana also offers grain-free formulas, but their focus is on using whole prey ratios and including diverse meat proteins, some of which contain wholesome grains.
  4. How do the price points compare between the two brands?
    • Typically, Acana is priced a bit higher than Taste of the Wild. The price difference can be attributed to Acana’s emphasis on regionally sourced, high-quality ingredients and its “Biologically Appropriate” philosophy.
  5. How often have these brands faced recalls?
    • Taste of the Wild had a recall in the past due to salmonella concerns. Acana, as of this writing, has not faced recalls in the U.S.
  6. Do these brands cater to specific life stages or dietary needs?
    • Yes, both brands offer formulas for different life stages, from puppies to seniors. Additionally, they both provide recipes catering to specific dietary needs, such as food sensitivities or weight management.
  7. What kind of quality control measures do these brands have in place?
    • Taste of the Wild follows stringent quality assurance protocols in its manufacturing processes. Acana, produced by Champion Petfoods, boasts a transparent supply chain and has strict quality control measures, ensuring that its ingredients are fresh and safe.
  8. How do these brands approach sustainability and environmental responsibility?
    • Acana is particularly vocal about its commitment to sustainability, sourcing ingredients from trusted local suppliers. Taste of the Wild also values sustainability and ensures that its ingredients are sustainably sourced whenever possible.
  9. Which brand has a wider variety of flavors or recipes?
    • Both brands offer a diverse range of flavors and recipes. While Acana might have a slight edge in terms of the diversity of meats used, Taste of the Wild also provides a good variety catering to different taste preferences.
  10. Do these brands use artificial additives or preservatives?
  • No, both Taste of the Wild and Acana prioritize natural ingredients and avoid artificial additives and preservatives. They use natural preservation methods to ensure product freshness.
  1. How do the two brands fare in terms of consumer reviews?
  • Both brands have largely positive reviews. Customers appreciate the quality of ingredients and the positive impact on pet health. As with all products, individual experiences might vary based on a pet’s specific needs and preferences.
  1. Are there breed-specific formulas available from these brands?
  • Neither brand markets breed-specific formulas. Instead, they focus on providing high-quality nutrition suitable for all breeds.
  1. How do these brands source their ingredients?
  • Acana is known for its regional ingredient sourcing, emphasizing fresh and local produce. Taste of the Wild also values quality sourcing, ensuring that their meats, fish, and other ingredients are of the highest standards.
  1. Which brand is more suitable for pets with allergies or sensitivities?
  • Both brands offer limited ingredients or specialized formulas that might be suitable for dogs with sensitivities. Acana’s focus on a “Biologically Appropriate” diet can be beneficial for many dogs, but Taste of the Wild’s PREY line, with limited ingredients, can also be a good fit for sensitive pets.
  1. Are the nutritional profiles of the brands compliant with AAFCO standards?
  • Yes, both Taste of the Wild and Acana formulate their dog foods to meet or exceed the established standards by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

Compare Pricing & Discounts: Taste of the Wild vs. Acana

Acana 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals
Taste of the Wild 35% Off 1st Autoship See Current Pricing & Deals

Question for a Vet? Chat Online Now

The iHeartDogs Ask a Vet tool gives you access to verified veterinarians 24/7. Get professional help for your pup and feed shelter dogs now.

iHeartDogs is reader supported. Our articles contain affiliate links where we are paid a small commission for linking to a product at no additional cost to the reader.

Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog