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Cesar Home Delights Slow Cooked Chicken is a mid-priced wet dog food with overall lower quality. This product has 4 controversial ingredients, including an artificial preservative and artificial color. The food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat and carbs, but the quality of the meat and fat is mixed. Cesar has a below-average number of dog food recalls. The company was also very open and helpful when answering our transparency questions.Read the Full Review Below
This food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat, and carbs. Diets that are high in protein and fat, with moderate to low carbs, are ideal for most dogs.
To evaluate dog foods, we first calculate out the moisture. This is called the “dry matter basis” and shows you only the solid ingredients in the food. These estimated “dry matter” numbers are different from the food label, but a better way to understand the real nutritional value of the food. We also calculate the carbs. Find out more
Min. Protein 44.44%
Min. Fat 11.11%
Min. Carbs 33.33%
Max. Fiber 5.56%
Max. Ash 11.11%
Max. Moisture 0.00%
Min. Protein: 8.0%
Min Fat: 2.0%
Min Carbs: N/A
Max Fiber: 1.0%
Max Ash: N/A
Max. Moisture: 82.0%
90 Calories per Tray
This product has a below average amount of calories for wet food. It’s important to understand how many calories you are feeding to prevent under or overfeeding. Based on your dog's current weight and activity level you may want to feed more or less than the recommended amount.
Grain-Free Dog Foods
This is a grain-free dog food. The FDA is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and canine heart disease. There is not enough evidence yet to affect our ratings but we've created an article for you explaining the topic.Learn More
Sufficient Water for Processing, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Meat By-Products, Wheat Gluten, Starch, Dried Potatoes, Wheat Flour, Dried Carrots, Dried Peas, Pea Fiber, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Copper sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Salt, Natural Flavor, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Biotin, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin [Vitamin B2], Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Added Color, Xanthan Gum, Guar Gum, Sodium Nitrite (For Color Retention).
The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 4 total controversial ingredients and 2 of them are found in the first five ingredients. This is concerning because the first five ingredients make up a majority of the product.
Top 5 Ingredients
Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. So when looking at dog food label, take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They make up about 80% of the total weight.
Country of Origin
Cesar is made in the United States.
Meat & Fat Quality
The meat quality of this product is mixed. Two of the meat ingredients, Chicken, Chicken Liver, identify chicken as the animal they come from which is important. However, the ingredient Meat By-Product does not make it clear what animal or animal part is being used for this ingredient. Missing information on meat sources is a concern. Since there are not any added fats, the majority of the fat content is coming from the meat, so the same concerns exist.
This product contains 1 controversial preservative called Sodium Nitrite. Artificial preservatives are not inherently bad, they prevent food from spoiling which is important. However, we consider 11 artificial preservatives controversial because of their potential link to cancer and other serious health conditions. Unfortunately, the Sodium Nitrite included in this product is one we consider controversial.
Besides that controversial preservative, Cesar also includes added color. Food color offers no nutritional value and is potentially unhealthy. It’s added to make the product look good to us humans. Your dog doesn’t need or want it.
There are no artificial flavorings in this product.
Cesar has a lower than the average number of recalls.
How Easy Was it to Reach the Company?
Cesar is part of the Mars family of brands and was pretty responsive. It only required one email, and they responded in 4 days. Not lightning fast, but compared to the average it was not a bad response time.
Does Cesar have a veterinary nutritionist on staff? If so, who are they?
We have two nutritionists on staff for better checks and balances. One is full time and has done 7 years post graduate work in nutrition, his work has been published in peer reviewed Veterinary and Nutrition journals for over 30 years. His work is also cited in the NRC Nutrient Requirements for Dogs and Cats. The other is a Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionist (DVM, PhD, DACVN, DACVSMR) who has an office in our headquarters but is considered part time so he can continue his work in academia.
The detail here is great, but they were unable to share the specific names of these individuals.
Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?
Developing pet foods involves teams of Associates with expertise in many different fields including nutrition, food science, animal science and veterinary sciences. Mars Petcare has been developing pet foods for over 80 years and the nutritional knowledge and expertise of our associates goes into every diet we produce.
This response felt more like a marketing response, and dodges the actual question. They were unable to provide any names of the individuals involved in the formulation of the product.
Do you test your products using the AAFCO feeding trials? Why, or why not?
This depends on the diet. Both ways of ensuring nutritional adequacy are acceptable methods and the method employed on a particular diet is listed on the diet itself within the nutritional adequacy statement. For those products that are formulated to meet nutrient profiles, we utilize our extensive database of the nutrient content of our ingredients and well as analytical values of key nutrients in order to ensure the delivery of the nutrient profiles of our diets.
Every dog food label will list of the AAFCO Statement, which tells you if a feeding trial has been done. There is much debate on the effectiveness of these trials, but we feel it is insightful to hear how a manufacturer views them as part of their product development.
What country are your products manufactured?
Cesar: Our main meal & treats are currently manufactured in the USA. Our SIMPLY CRAFTED™ is made in Thailand.
Can your manufacturing facilities be visited?
No, they cannot be visited by the public.
We found that most large multinational companies like Mars have manufacturing facilities that are not open to the public.
What quality measures do you use to assure consistency and quality?
Quality is the cornerstone of every aspect of our business and the number one responsibility of all our employees, suppliers and distributors. At Mars Petcare, we have a vision for making A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS®. The health and wellbeing of pets is our absolute priority. Our products are manufactured in strict compliance with the stringent guidelines set down by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), as well as each state's feed regulations and in many cases our own guidelines far exceed them. Under the Mars Supplier Quality Assurance Program, all of the raw materials that we and our suppliers use must meet our strict global internal quality and safety requirements, in addition to local laws and regulation. Our robust global standards, which apply at every stage of the supply chain, allow us to ensure that all of our products are safe, nutritious and enjoyable, meaning owners can feel confident that their pets will thrive on our products.
Does Cesar own its manufacturing facility? If it is another company, what company is it?
In the U.S. we employ 25,000 Associates across 6 segments: Mars Food, Mars Drinks, Mars Petcare, Mars Chocolate, Mars Symbioscience and Wrigley. We employ more than 75,000 Associates worldwide. We have 37 manufacturing plants in the U.S. and 43 U.S. states have Mars operations. For more than 100 years, Mars has been committed to making our products in the markets where we sell them. By growing our footprint in the U.S., we are better able to introduce new products to meet consumer demand for greater choice and variety.
In short, they own the facilities.
Do any parts of your product come from China?
We source our ingredients for our North American plants as close to our facilities as possible. We do not purchase meat-based ingredients from China. Our vitamins and minerals often come from China, as that is often one of the only locations to source these ingredients globally, similar to human foods. Mars has an extensive Supplier Quality Assurance program, which includes audits and visits from our own associates to these suppliers.
We learned from speaking to many companies that sourcing quality ingredients at scale is a significant challenge. This reality means that companies like Mars who are supplying massive distribution channels will often use a variety of sourcing options, including China.
Linda P Case, MS; Daniel P Carey, DVM; and Diane A Hirakawa, PhD, Canine and Feline Nutrition A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals, Mosby-Year Book, Inc.