Cesar Dog Food: A Detailed Review of Ingredients, Ratings and Recall History

Cesar dog food aims to please even the pickiest pooches with its wide variety of wet dog food recipes. As one of the most popular dog food brands in the U.S., Cesar offers dog owners a convenient and seemingly high-quality wet food option.

But how does Cesar really stack up? This comprehensive Cesar dog food review will examine the pros and cons of Cesar canned dog food. We’ll dive into Cesar dog food ingredients, recall history, and what experts and customers have to say. Read on to learn if Cesar wet dog food is worth a spot in your pup’s bowl.

An Overview of Cesar Dog Food

Cesar dog food is a brand of wet dog food owned by Mars Petcare, one of the largest pet food companies in the world. The Cesar brand was introduced in 1998, with a product line focused entirely on wet dog food recipes and treats.

Some key facts about Cesar dog food:

  • Offers over 100 recipes of wet/canned dog food.
  • Most recipes come in 3 oz. or 5.5 oz. trays or cans.
  • Has a full line of dog treats and cookies.
  • Available nationwide at major retailers like Petco, PetSmart, Walmart, and online.
  • Advertised as “gourmet” dog food “for the dog with discerning tastes.”
  • Generally priced from $0.50 to $2.00 per container.

Cesar aims to provide dog owners with a convenient, quality wet food option. But are the ingredients and nutrition as high-quality as the price tag hints? Let’s break down the pros and cons of Cesar canned dog food.

Cesar Dog Food Ingredients Analysis

The key to any great dog food is quality ingredients. So what’s really in Cesar canned dog food recipes? Here’s a detailed look at the typical ingredients and nutrition you’ll find in Cesar wet foods.

Macronutrients in Cesar Dog Food

Cesar wet dog foods typically provide the following macronutrient profile:

  • Protein: 7-10% dry matter basis
  • Fat: 5-8% dry matter basis
  • Carbs: Around 10% dry matter basis

These macros provide sufficient yet not excessive protein and fat. However, the carb content is quite high for a wet food.

Most Cesar recipes derive plant-based protein from soy and corn ingredients rather than meat. Let’s look closer at the ingredients…

Common Cesar Dog Food Ingredients

Here are some of the most common ingredients found in Cesar wet dog food recipes:

Meats: Beef, liver, chicken, turkey, lamb

Meat meals: Poultry meal, meat meal, chicken meal, turkey meal

Grains: Brewers rice, corn grits, rice flour

Legumes: Soy flour

Vegetables: Carrots, peas, potatoes

Fruits: Apples, blueberries

Oils: Soybean oil

Starches: Modified corn starch

Sweeteners: Sugar, glycerin

Thickeners: Guar gum, carrageenan

Flavors: Natural and artificial flavorings

Preservatives: Potassium sorbate, citric acid

As you can see, while real meats are included, Cesar also contains many plant proteins like soy and corn products. The use of meat meals provides concentrated meat protein.

However, Cesar also packs in grains, starches and artificial flavors that don’t offer much nutritional value.

Next let’s see how dog experts and customers rate these ingredients…

Cesar Dog Food Reviews and Ratings

To get a complete picture of Cesar’s quality, let’s see how their recipes rate among experts and real-world users.

Cesar Dog Food Expert Reviews

Dog food experts and raters have mixed opinions of Cesar canned dog food, often giving it just average scores. Here are some examples:

  • Dog Food Advisor: Gives Cesar an average 2 out of 5 stars rating. Criticizes the reliance on plant proteins and use of artificial colors and flavors.
  • Dog Food Insider: Gives Cesar 3 out of 5 paws rating. Applauds the convenience but notes questionable ingredients like corn, soy, carrageenan.
  • Top Dog Tips: Ranks Cesar 4 out of 10 stars. Calls out heavy use of low-cost fillers and lack of quality meat proteins.

The consensus is that while Cesar meets basic standards, it lags behind premium-quality wet dog foods. Use of grains, fillers and artificial additives are common criticisms.

Cesar Dog Food Customer Reviews

Owners tend to have very mixed opinions of Cesar wet dog foods:

  • Chewy – Over 5,000 reviews, averaging 3.5 out of 5 stars. Positive reviews mention convenience, variety and taste. Complaints cite quality concerns, upset stomachs.
  • Petco – 350+ reviews, averaging 3.8 out of 5 stars. Many dogs enjoy the flavor but gastrointestinal issues are frequently noted.
  • Consumer Affairs – Scores 1.5 out of 5 stars based on 100+ reviews. Numerous complaints of vomiting, diarrhea and allergic reactions.

While some pups enjoy the taste, negative reviews suggest Cesar’s questionable ingredients frequently cause digestive upset in dogs.

Cesar Dog Food Recall History

Any brand can encounter an unexpected product quality issue. However, frequent or severe recalls may indicate underlying issues with manufacturing or ingredient sourcing.

Cesar has been recalled once in recent history:

  • March 2007: Voluntary recall of select wet and packaged treats due to concerns of melamine contamination.

This recall was part of the widespread melamine contamination of wheat gluten and rice protein imported from China. Over 100 brands were affected.

Cesar wet foods have not faced any additional recalls since 2007. However, this history highlights the risks of outsourcing ingredients from foreign suppliers.

Reputable brands typically have much longer recall-free histories. But Cesar’s recall rate is about average for large pet food companies.

Top 6 Cesar Dog Food Recipe Reviews

Cesar offers a dizzying array of wet dog food options. To help narrow it down, here are 6 of their most popular recipes along with Pros, Cons and Key Ingredients:

1. Cesar Gourmet Filets in Sauce Beef Recipe

Pros: Real beef; tasty gravy; dog favorite

Cons: Fillers like corn, rice; carrageenan

Key Ingredients: Beef, meat broth, rice, carrots, guar gum, carrageenan

2. Cesar Home Delights Rotisserie Chicken Recipe

Pros: Shredded chicken; tasty for picky dogs

Cons: Chicken meal; soy flour; artificial flavors

Key Ingredients: Chicken, chicken meal, chicken broth, soy flour, guar gum, natural flavors

3. Cesar Savory Delights Filets in Sauce with Beef and Bacon

Pros: Real beef and bacon; dogs love the flavor

Cons: Bacon fat; corn and soy fillers

Key Ingredients: Beef, bacon, meat broth, corn grits, soy flour, sugar, carrageenan

4. Cesar Savory Delights Tickles Turkey Recipe

Pros: Real turkey; enticing to picky eaters

Cons: Contains corn, soy, carrageenan

Key Ingredients: Turkey, turkey broth, brewers rice, soy flour, guar gum, carrageenan

5. Cesar Softies Filets Florentine Favorites Recipe

Pros: Soft texture; real chicken; flavor dogs enjoy

Cons: Many synthetic nutrients added

Key Ingredients: Chicken, chicken broth, modified corn starch, calcium carbonate, salt, vitamin supplements

6. Cesar Savory Delights Filets in Gravy with Beef, Carrots and Peas

Pros: Real beef; veggie accents; tasty gravy

Cons: Thickened with rice flour; carrageenan

Key Ingredients: Beef, meat broth, carrots, rice flour, guar gum, carrageenan, natural flavor

While flavors and textures entice dogs, corn, soy, artificial flavors and carrageenan are concerning.

Is Cesar Dog Food Worth the Cost?

Cesar wet dog food has its pros and cons. Here’s a quick rundown of what we like and don’t like about this brand:

Cesar Dog Food Pros:

  • Convenient, easy to serve wet food
  • Appealing flavors and textures for picky dogs
  • Meat proteins like beef, chicken, turkey in some recipes

Cesar Dog Food Cons:

  • Heavy use of plant proteins like soy, corn
  • Numerous artificial colors and flavors
  • Carrageenan and guar gum additives
  • Fillers like rice, corn provide little nutrition
  • Customer complaints of stomach issues
  • Only average ratings among experts

Considering the questionable ingredients and potential for digestive upset, we advise pet owners to be cautious about feeding Cesar regularly long-term. While convenient, cheaper wet brands with fewer additives and fillers are available.

What Do Veterinarians Say About Cesar Dog Food?

Overall, vets tend to consider Cesar just an average quality, highly processed food. Some of their most common recommendations when it comes to Cesar include:

  • Rotate or mix with other brands – To prevent nutritional deficiencies or gut irritation from any single food.
  • Avoid feeding solely Cesar long-term – Due to lower quality ingredients compared to premium brands.
  • Watch for signs of food intolerance – Ingredients like carrageenan may cause GI upset in some dogs.
  • Don’t rely on Cesar for puppies or senior dogs – Younger and older dogs have different nutritional needs best met through specialty foods.
  • Supplement with fresh foods – Combine kibble or wet foods with fresh meats, veggies and fruits for improved overall nutrition.

While some vets approve Cesar for occasional feedings, most do not recommend it as a sole long-term diet. If your dog enjoys the taste, combining Cesar with a premium kibble or rotating with other wet foods is a better approach.

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What Are Some Alternatives to Cesar Canned Dog Food?

If you’re looking for a convenient yet more nutritious wet dog food, here are some recommended alternatives to Cesar:

Wellness Core Wet Dog Food

  • Grain-free recipes packed with meat protein
  • Nutrient-rich ingredients like spinach, broccoli
  • No carrageenan, artificial flavors or sweeteners

Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Wet Dog Food

  • Real meat like chicken, beef, or salmon recipes
  • Vegetable and fruit accents like carrots, apples, blueberries
  • No soy, corn, wheat, by-products or artificial preservatives

Pedigree Chopped Ground Dinner with Beef Adult Wet Dog Food

  • Features real ground beef as the first ingredient
  • Added vegetables and antioxidants
  • More affordable pricing than premium brands

Switching to a brand like Wellness Core or Blue Buffalo can provide better nutrition. But Pedigree Chopped Ground dinners offer a more nutritious choice on a Cesar budget.

Frequently Asked Questions About Cesar Dog Food

New dog owners often have lots of questions when choosing the right food. Here are answers to some common FAQs about Cesar canned dog food.

Is Cesar dog food good for my dog?

Cesar wet foods are reasonably nutritious and dogs enjoy the flavors. However, lower cost ingredients like corn, soy and carrageenan may cause digestive upset in some dogs. Cesar is an average quality food best used in combination with other brands.

Is Cesar owned by Mars?

Yes, Cesar is owned by Mars Petcare which produces other brands like Pedigree, Nutro, and Royal Canin. Mars is one of the largest pet food manufacturers worldwide.

Where is Cesar dog food made?

Cesar dog food is produced in various manufacturing facilities around the U.S. including Tennessee, Kansas, Illinois, and California among others.

Is there a recall on Cesar dog food?

Cesar has only been recalled once, back in 2007 due to melamine contamination. There are no current recalls on any Cesar wet dog food products.

Is Cesar good for diabetic dogs?

Cesar is not the best choice for diabetic dogs as many recipes contain sweeteners like sugar or glycerin. Your veterinarian can recommend lower carb, low sugar wet foods tailored for diabetic dogs.

Is Cesar good for puppies?

Most vets don’t recommend Cesar for growing puppies since it doesn’t provide optimal protein and nutrients compared to premium puppy foods.

Does Cesar go bad?

Once opened, Cesar wet foods should be consumed within 2-3 days. Unopened cans can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 years before going bad. Discard any spoiled food.

The Bottom Line: Is Cesar a Good Choice?

Cesar wet dog food can add variety and appeal to your dog’s diet, especially for picky pooches. However, questionable ingredients like corn, carrageenan and artificial flavors give pause.

While unlikely to cause harm from occasional use, vets and experts generally recommend Cesar be limited in dogs’ diets. Combining with other brands or higher quality wet foods is a healthier approach.

At the end of the day, every dog is different. Monitor your own pup for signs of food intolerance like digestive upset. Avoid any product that seems to disagree with your dog’s stomach.

There are many convenient yet more nutritious wet dog food options available for similar costs as Cesar. With a little label reading and brand comparison, you can likely find a better food for the money.

Your dog depends on you to choose a diet with all the nutrients they need to thrive. A quality dog food tailored for their life stage, size, and sensitivities is the best way to keep them happy and healthy for years to come.

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