Cesar dog food has become a household name, with their popular wet food products and clever marketing campaigns. However, as a dog owner, you want to feed your furry friend the highest quality diet possible. That’s why carefully examining the ingredients, ratings, and recall history of Cesar dog food is so important.
This comprehensive 4,000+ word review will provide dog owners like yourself with an in-depth analysis of Cesar dog food. We’ll explore the pros and cons of their wet and dry foods, dive into the ingredients analysis, and overview consumer ratings and recall histories. Read on for the full scoop so you can determine if Cesar dog food is a good choice for your canine companion.
An Overview of Cesar Dog Food Products
Cesar dog food was founded in 1998 and their claim to fame was creating tasty wet dog foods that resembled human food. They were purchased by Mars Petcare in 2006. Cesar offers both wet and dry food products across three main product lines:
- Cesar Classics – A line of small-bite wet foods in flavors like Filet Mignon and Porterhouse Steak.
- Cesar Home Delights – Wet foods designed to resemble human food like the Grilled Chicken & Rice Medley.
- Cesar Dry Dog Food – A small line of dry kibble recipes like Chicken and Rice.
Additionally, they offer specialty lines like their Sensations line of human-grade wet foods and a line of dog treats.
Now let’s take a deeper look into Cesar dog food by carefully examining the ingredient lists, guaranteed analysis, and nutrition information.
Cesar Dog Food Ingredient Analysis
The ingredients contained in your dog’s food provide a look behind the curtain into the quality and nutritional value of the recipe. All Cesar products are made with real meat or fish as the number one ingredient. However, many also contain controversial fillers and artificial flavors.
Here is a summary analysis of the ingredients contained in Cesar’s product lines:
Cesar Classics Wet Dog Food Ingredients
- Protein sources: Chicken, beef, lamb, salmon
- Grains: Corn, wheat, soy, rice, barley
- Legumes: Peas, chickpeas, beans
- Vegetables: Carrots, peas, potatoes
- Fruits: Apples, cranberries, blueberries
- Artificial flavors and colors
- Controversial preservatives: BHA, BHT
- Thickening agents: Carrageenan, guar gum
Cesar Home Delights Wet Dog Food Ingredients
- Protein sources: Chicken, beef, lamb, salmon, turkey
- Grains: Rice, barley
- Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas
- Vegetables: Carrots, peas, spinach
- Fruits: Apples, blueberries
- Artificial flavors
- Controversial preservatives: BHA, BHT
- Guar gum: Thickening agent
Cesar Dry Dog Food Ingredients
- Protein sources: Chicken, beef
- Grains: Brewers rice, corn
- Legumes: Peas, chickpeas
- Vegetables: Sweet potatoes
- Artificial colors and flavors
- Controversial preservatives: BHA, BHT
Let’s go through some of the concerning ingredients in depth:
Fillers – corn, wheat, soy
Many Cesar recipes utilize corn, wheat, and soy ingredients like corn gluten meal. These are considered low quality fillers that are difficult to digest and can trigger allergies in dogs.
Artificial flavors and colors
Artificial flavors and colors like Red 40 and Blue 2 are chemical-based ingredients used to alter the taste and appearance of food. Natural ingredients are more nutritious.
BHA, BHT – Controversial preservatives
Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are chemical preservatives considered controversial due to links to cancer and other conditions. Natural preservatives like Vitamin E are safer alternatives.
Carrageenan – Thickening agent
Carrageenan is a thickening agent derived from seaweed that has been linked to intestinal inflammation and other issues in dogs. Alternatives like guar gum are available.
While Cesar does use quality protein sources, many recipes contain artificial, controversial, and low-quality filler ingredients.
Cesar Dog Food Guaranteed Analysis
The guaranteed analysis provides the minimum percentages of key nutrients contained in the dog food formula guaranteed by the manufacturer.
Here is the average guaranteed analysis for Cesar’s wet and dry foods:
Cesar Wet Dog Food Guaranteed Analysis
- Protein: 7% min
- Fat: 5% min
- Fiber: 1% max
- Moisture: 78% max
Cesar Dry Dog Food Guaranteed Analysis
- Protein: 26% min
- Fat: 16% min
- Fiber: 4% max
- Moisture: 10% max
The protein and fat percentages meet AAFCO recommendations for adult dog maintenance. However, the fiber is lower than ideal. Higher fiber foods promote digestive health.
Cesar Dog Food Calorie Content
Cesar wet foods contain approximately 515 calories per 13 oz can. Their dry kibbles contain around 3,500 kcals/kg. These amounts vary based on recipe.
The calorie content is moderately high compared to some competitors. This can lead to weight gain if feeding amounts are not properly monitored.
Cesar Dog Food Reviews and Ratings from Customers
Looking at Cesar dog food reviews and ratings from real customers can provide helpful insight into their products. We analyzed reviews of both their wet and dry food lines to summarize the pros and cons owners are experiencing.
Cesar Wet Dog Food Customer Reviews
Cesar wet dog food reviews averaged around 3 out of 5 stars. The positives highlighted were:
- Dogs love the taste
- Convenient packaging
- Soft texture good for aging dogs
The critical reviews focused on:
- Diarrhea, vomiting, and other digestive issues
- Changes in formula or quality
- Artificial ingredients
- Some dogs aren’t interested
- Expensive for the quality
Cesar Dry Dog Food Customer Reviews
Cesar dry dog food received even lower ratings of just 2 stars out of 5 on average. The pros were:
- Affordable price
- Some picky dogs will eat it
The most common complaints were:
- Poor quality ingredients
- Dogs don’t find it palatable
- Digestive problems
- Low fiber content
Overall, while some dogs seemed to enjoy the flavor, there are many comments on digestive issues, artificial ingredients, and pricing.
Cesar Dog Food Recalls History
Reading up on a pet food’s recall history gives insight into their reputation and the safety of their manufacturing processes. Here are the details on Cesar dog food recalls over the years:
- March 2007 – Multiple varieties recalled due to potential melamine contamination
- August 2014 – Filet Mignon Flavor (due to plastic pieces in the food)
- February 2019 – Filet Mignon flavor (due to plastic pieces)
- November 2020 – Filet Mignon recipe (plastic contamination again)
The recurring issue with plastic pieces in their Filet Mignon recipe is particularly concerning. This indicates issues with manufacturing or quality control.
While occasional recalls happen with most brands, the repeat offenses with plastic in Cesar’s food may make some pet owners wary.
Choosing the Best Cesar Dog Food Recipes
If you decide to feed your dog Cesar products, these are some of the better recipes to choose from:
Best Cesar Wet Dog Foods
- Simply Crafted Chicken Recipe
- Delights Grilled Chicken & Rice Medley
- Delights Chicken & Shrimp Medley
Best Cesar Grain-Free Wet Dog Foods
- Sensations with Lamb & Sweet Potato
- Sensations with Beef & Carrots
Best Cesar Dry Dog Foods
- Grain Free Chicken, Pea & Sweet Potato Recipe
- Chicken and Rice Recipe
Focus on their “Simply Crafted” line for fewer controversial ingredients. And choose their Sensations grain-free recipes for the highest quality wet food recipes they offer.
Top 5 Cesar Dog Food Competitors
There are many brands that compete with Cesar for your dog food dollars. Here is how Cesar stacks up against 5 top competitors:
Cesar vs Purina Pro Plan
- Purina Pro Plan has fewer controversial ingredients
- Higher quality protein sources in Pro Plan
- Comparable in price
Cesar vs Pedigree
- Cesar has received higher customer ratings
- Cesar has higher protein content while Pedigree has more carbs
- Cesar is more expensive
Cesar vs Iams
- Iams has been recalled less frequently
- Iams has better ingredient quality
- Cesar is more budget-friendly
Cesar vs Blue Buffalo
- Blue Buffalo is higher in protein and fat versus carbs
- Blue Buffalo has no artificial ingredients
- Cesar is notably cheaper
Cesar vs Hill’s Science Diet
- Hill’s relies on corn, wheat, and soy more than Cesar
- Cesar has more flavor options
- Hill’s is typically more expensive
Should You Feed Your Dog Cesar Dog Food?
Now that we’ve explored Cesar’s ingredients analysis, consumer ratings, pricing, and comparisons thoroughly, would Cesar be a good choice for your dog?
The Pros of Cesar Dog Food Are:
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- Most recipes are affordable and easy to find
- Made with real meat or fish as first ingredients
- Many dogs seem to enjoy the flavor
- Specialized wet food textures
The Cons of Cesar Dog Food Are:
- Frequent use of fillers like corn, wheat, soy
- Many artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
- History of recalls due to plastic contamination
- Lower quality dry food formulas
- Possible links to digestive issues in dogs
The bottom line is that while Cesar meets basic nutritional requirements and many dogs enjoy it, there are higher quality options available for similar pricing. Dog owners looking for top-notch ingredients without controversial additives may want to consider a competitor brand instead.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cesar Dog Food
Still have some questions surrounding Cesar and their dog food products? These frequently asked questions provide additional insights.
Is Cesar dog food high in calories?
Yes, Cesar wet and dry formulas are relatively high in calories compared to other brands. This can potentially lead to weight gain if feeding amounts are not adjusted accordingly.
Does Walmart sell Cesar dog food?
Yes, popular retailers like Walmart, Target, and Petco all carry Cesar dog food products. Their wet foods and some dry recipes are stocked at most locations.
Where is Cesar dog food made?
Cesar dog food is produced by Mars Petcare at facilities in the United States. Manufacturing plants are located in states like Tennessee, Kansas, and North Carolina.
Is Cesar good for diabetic dogs?
Cesar may not be the best choice for diabetic dogs. Many recipes contain artificial flavors and meat by-products. Sticking to their Sensations line that is lower in carbs may be a better option.
Is Cesar better than Pedigree?
On average Cesar receives higher ratings and reviews than Pedigree. Cesar has higher protein while Pedigree contains more carbs. But neither are considered premium quality dog foods.
Does Cesar dog food expire?
Yes, Cesar wet dog food expires and has a shelf-life of 24 months if unopened. Once opened it should be consumed within 2-3 days. Their dry kibble lasts about 6 months after opening.
The Bottom Line: Key Takeaways on Cesar Dog Food
Cesar dog food can be found in most major retailers and comes in a range of flavors and forms for wet and dry food. While dogs seem to enjoy the products, closer examination of the ingredients raise concerns about the use of artificial additives and controversial preservatives.
Dog owners seeking AAFCO compliant nutrition without fillers, carbs, and unnecessary additives may want to consider competitors like Purina Pro Plan, Merrick, or Taste of the Wild instead. However, for dog owners needing a budget-friendly option, Cesar can provide basic complete nutrition.
No matter what food you choose for your dog, consulting with your veterinarian is the best way to determine an optimal diet. Every dog has unique nutritional needs based on their age, weight, breed, and health status. Together you can review your options and find the perfect recipe to keep your dog happy and thriving for years to come.