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Crudo Dog Food Review

Crudo Dog Food Review

I am always on the look for quality Canadian-made dog food for my pooch, Rio. As a canine nutritionist by trade, I am very critical of dog food from the ingredients to how it's made. I always have friends and family asking what they should feed their dog and as much as I want to tell them that Kabo is the best, I also understand that there is not one blanket dog food that works for every dog. Recently, one of my close friends asked me about Crudo raw dog food and if it is a good food to feed their pup. Without much prior knowledge on the brand, I did an unbiased review on their food and here’s what I found…

About the brand

Crudo is a Canadian pet food brand that offers quality raw food for dogs. Founded in 2000 by Luigi De Mutiis, Surrey Meat Packers Ltd. began working alongside local breeders to create a complete and natural raw diet for dogs. In 2013, the company expanded to a new facility in Burnaby, B.C. and Crudo was born by Surrey Meat Packers Ltd. According to their website, “Crudo by Surrey Meat Packers Ltd. continues to work hard to maintain a standard of excellence that the family is proud of and to create a product that its valued customers are confident in.”

Crudo Beef & Vegetables

The good

There are a lot of good things to note about Crudo’s food. While we can never really know what goes on behind the closed doors of a company, at face value Crudo has some good things going for them in terms of dog food. Here are a few things that Crudo is doing right:

Multiple protein options

Crudo is great as they offer a variety of meat options including chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, duck and more novel proteins like kangaroo and venison. It’s great to offer your dog variety so they don’t get bored of eating the same food every day. Additionally, different proteins offer different nutritional benefits, so feeding your dog a variety will provide them with optimal nutrition.

High moisture content

Compared to traditional kibble, raw food contains a high moisture content. Feeding your dog wet food can offer several benefits, depending on the specific product and your dog's individual needs. Here are some potential advantages of incorporating wet food into your dog's diet:

  • Moisture content: Wet dog food contains a high water content, which helps keep your dog hydrated, especially if they don't drink enough water on their own. Adequate hydration is crucial for overall health and can support kidney function.
  • Palatability: Many dogs find wet food more palatable and flavorful than dry kibble, which can be especially helpful for picky eaters or dogs with dental issues that make chewing difficult.
  • Nutrition: High-quality wet dog foods often contain a balanced mix of nutrients, including proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals, which can support your dog's overall health and well-being.
  • Digestibility: The soft texture of wet food can be easier for some dogs to digest, making it a suitable option for dogs with sensitive stomachs or gastrointestinal issues.
  • Appetite stimulation: Wet food's appealing aroma and taste can encourage dogs that have lost their appetite or are recovering from illness to eat.
  • Weight management: Some wet dog foods are formulated to be lower in calories, which can be beneficial for dogs needing to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
  • Dental health: Contrary to popular belief, wet food alone may not be enough to keep your dog's teeth clean, but its softer texture might help reduce tartar buildup compared to crunchy dry kibble.
  • Senior dogs: Older dogs with dental problems or decreased appetite may find wet food more manageable and enjoyable.

Meals with vegetables

While Crudo had some dies that are strictly carnivorous, a few of their diet also contain some additional fruits and veggies. Adding vegetables to a dog's diet can be beneficial for several reasons:

  • Nutritional Content: Vegetables are a good source of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that contribute to overall health. They can provide important nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber, which can support your dog's immune system, digestion, and overall well-being.
  • Digestive Health: Vegetables are a good source of dietary fiber, which can aid in digestion and help regulate bowel movements. Fiber can be particularly helpful for dogs with constipation or irregular bowel movements.
  • Dental Health: Some vegetables, like carrots and celery, have a crunchy texture that can help clean your dog's teeth and reduce plaque buildup, contributing to better dental health.
  • Weight Management: Vegetables can be incorporated into a dog's diet to add bulk and fiber, which can help your dog feel fuller with fewer calories, making it a useful tool for weight management.

The bad

Unfortunately, outside of the label on each of the products, there is not a lot of information on the Crudo website about their products so I was unable to do a deep dive. Crudo had some room for improvement here so any critiques made are simply based on the current information available on their website.

Not formulated to meet AAFCO standards

Unfortunately Crudo is not formulated to meet any pet food standards. They are lacking any supplementation in their diets meaning that they are likely very low in certain nutrients like vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc and vitamin D. 

It is essential for pet food to be formulated to meet the standards set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) because these standards ensure that the food is nutritionally balanced and safe for pets. Here are some reasons why meeting AAFCO standards is crucial for pet food:

  • Nutritional Adequacy: AAFCO standards provide guidelines for the minimum and/or maximum levels of essential nutrients required in pet food to ensure that it meets the nutritional needs of pets. This helps prevent nutritional deficiencies or excesses that could harm the health of animals.
  • Safety Assurance: The standards set by AAFCO include safety guidelines for the production, processing, and packaging of pet food. Adhering to these standards helps ensure that the food is free from harmful contaminants and safe for consumption.
  • Labeling Accuracy: AAFCO sets guidelines for pet food labeling, including requirements for ingredient listing, guaranteed analysis, and feeding directions. This helps consumers make informed choices and understand what they are feeding their pets.
  • Consistency and Quality: Meeting AAFCO standards helps maintain a level of consistency and quality across different pet food products. Consumers can have more confidence that the food they purchase is of a certain standard.
  • Scientific Basis: The AAFCO standards are developed based on scientific research and data, taking into account the specific nutritional needs of different life stages and types of pets. This ensures that the formulations are evidence-based and designed to promote optimal health.

Potential for food safety implications

Feeding raw dog food, also known as a raw or BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet, can have safety implications that pet owners should carefully consider. While some proponents of raw diets argue that they offer benefits like improved coat condition, dental health, and better digestion, there are potential risks associated with feeding raw food to dogs:

  • Bacterial Contamination: Raw meat, poultry, and fish can carry harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. These bacteria can not only make your dog sick but also pose a risk to human family members who handle the food or come into contact with the dog's saliva and waste.
  • Parasitic Infections: Raw food, especially certain types of meat and fish, can contain parasites like Toxoplasma gondii or parasites found in fish such as roundworms and tapeworms. Ingestion of these parasites can lead to health problems for both dogs and humans.
  • Choking Hazard and Bone Splintering: Raw diets often include raw bones, which can pose a choking hazard or splinter, causing injuries to a dog's mouth, throat, or digestive tract.
  • Human Health Concerns: Handling raw food can expose pet owners to potential health risks. Cross-contamination can occur when preparing raw diets, leading to infections if not handled properly.
  • Foodborne Illness Transmission: Dogs can become asymptomatic carriers of pathogens in their saliva and feces, increasing the risk of transmitting these pathogens to humans through licking, handling, or contact with contaminated surfaces.
  • Safe Handling Practices: Preparing raw food requires meticulous hygiene and safe handling practices to minimize the risk of bacterial contamination.
Crudo Dog food products - Page 2 of 2 - The Hungry Dog

No in-house nutritionist

According to the Crudo website, there is no mention of who creates and maintains the canine diets they provide. Having an in-house animal nutritionist in pet food companies is essential for several reasons:

  • Formulation of Balanced Diets: An animal nutritionist is trained to understand the specific nutritional needs of different species, breeds, and life stages of pets. They can formulate pet food recipes that provide a balanced and complete diet, ensuring that the food meets the nutritional requirements of pets to support their overall health and well-being.
  • Expertise in Ingredient Selection: Nutritionists can carefully select and evaluate ingredients to ensure their safety and quality. They can determine which ingredients provide essential nutrients and which ones may be potentially harmful or unnecessary for pets.
  • Research and Development: Nutritionists play a crucial role in the research and development of new pet food products. They can stay up-to-date with the latest scientific findings in animal nutrition and incorporate new advancements into their formulations.
  • Quality Control: An in-house nutritionist can monitor the quality of the ingredients and finished products to ensure they meet the company's standards and adhere to regulatory guidelines.
  • Specialized Diets: Some pets have specific dietary needs due to allergies, sensitivities, or medical conditions. An animal nutritionist can develop specialized diets to address these individual requirements.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Pet food companies must comply with various regulatory standards and labeling requirements. An in-house nutritionist can ensure that the products meet these regulations and provide accurate and transparent labeling.
  • Customer Support: Nutritionists can assist customer support teams in answering questions about the company's products and pet nutrition, helping pet owners make informed decisions about their pets' diets.
  • Continuous Improvement: With an in-house nutritionist, pet food companies can continually improve their products and respond to emerging trends and customer demands in the pet food market.
  • Ethical Considerations: Nutritionists can contribute to ensuring that the company's practices are ethical, promoting the health and well-being of pets and maintaining transparency with consumers.

By having an in-house animal nutritionist, pet food companies can uphold high standards of quality, safety, and nutritional integrity in their products, ultimately benefiting the health and happiness of pets that consume their food.

Final thoughts

Ultimately, I don’t think I would recommend Crudo to pet owners considering the brand. While they seem to use a variety of quality meats in their diets, it does not make up for the lack of nutritional adequacy, the potential food safety hazard associated with feeding raw and not having an on staff nutritionist.

It's important to note that pet food formulations and product lines can change over time, and there might have been updates or changes to Crudo's offerings since my last update. Therefore, for the most current and detailed information about Crudo dog food, I recommend visiting their official website or consulting with a veterinarian who can provide specific recommendations based on your dog's individual needs.

Crudo pet products logo
Crudo pet products logo

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February 20, 2024
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