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Dog Food Ratings

Please be aware that Hill’s is voluntarily recalling some canned dog food due to potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. More information here.

Cesar Savory Delights Ham & Egg Flavor with Potato & Cheese

by Cesar
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Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 7, 2019
Updated

Cesar Savory Delights Ham & Egg Flavor is a mid-priced wet dog food with overall lower quality. This product not only has 6 controversial ingredients but they unfortunately also include artificial preservatives, colors and flavors, not good. The food has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat and carbs, which is offset by low meat and fat quality. Cesar has a below-average number of dog food recalls. The company was also very open and helpful when answering our transparency questions.

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TYPE
Wet Dog Food
PRICE
$$
BREED SIZE
Small, Medium, Large Breeds
AGE
Adult
FEATURES
-
PACKAGE
3.5 oz
MADE IN
United States
COMPANY
Mars, Inc.

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Nutrition

Nutrition

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

Label Claim

Dry Matter

Min. Protein 47.06%

Min. Fat 20.59%

Min. Carbs 20.59%

Max. Fiber 5.88%

Max. Ash 11.76%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min. Protein: 8.0%

Min Fat: 3.5%

Min Carbs: N/A

Max Fiber: 1.0%

Max Ash: N/A

Max. Moisture: 83.0%

Calories

Calories

94 Calories per Cup

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.

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FDA Alert

FDA Alert

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.

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38.1%
WATCHDOG
SCORE
Score BannerOverall Rating Score
Ingredients

Ingredients

Score
23%
33
Total Ingredients
6
Controversial Ingredients

Sufficient Water for Processing, Beef By-Products, Animal Liver, Meat By-Products, Beef, Potato, Cheese, Chicken, Chicken By-Products, Calcium Carbonate, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Carrageenan, Wheat Flour, Potassium Chloride, Natural Flavor, Magnesium Proteinate, Xanthan Gum, Dried Yam, Guar Gum, Salt, Erythorbic Acid, Cassia Gum, Ham and Egg Flavor, Added Color, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Monocalcium Phosphate, Copper sulfate, Sodium Nitrite (For Color Retention), D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has a total of 6 total controversial ingredients. Learn more about each one below.


Top 5 Ingredients

Dog food ingredients are listed in descending order of weight. So when looking at a dog food label, take a close look at the first 5 ingredients. They make up about 80% of the total weight.


  • Sufficient Water for Processing
    This is just another name for water, which doesn't add nutrients to the food but is routinely used in dog food manufacturing (especially for canned foods). It's a standard dog food ingredient.
  • Beef By-Products
    Meat by-products are animal parts other than meat that are left over at the slaughterhouse. This can include the lung, spleen, brain, liver, blood, bone, beaks, kidneys, fatty tissue, and intestines. Because there is a wide variety of animal parts companies can use, and because details don't need to be disclosed, it's tough to compare the quality of different by-products. Generally speaking, by-products can provide important nutrients for dogs but can be of lower quality than meats and meat meals. For these reasons, we do not consider this a high-quality ingredient.
  • Animal Liver
    The liver is an organ that's rich in iron, copper, and vitamin A and B. Generally, the liver is a nutritious and healthy ingredient, but this ingredient doesn't identify the species it comes from making it questionable and intransparent. This includes the potential that rancid, dead, dying, disabled or diseased meat sources could have been used. For these reasons, it's controversial.

  • Meat By-Products
    Meat by-products are animal parts other than meat that are left over at the slaughterhouse. This can include the lung, spleen, brain, liver, blood, bone, beaks, kidneys, fatty tissue, and intestines. Because there is a wide variety of animal parts companies can use, and because details don't need to be disclosed, it's tough to compare the quality of different by-products. Generally speaking, by-products can provide important nutrients for dogs but can be of lower quality than meats and meat meals. For these reasons, we do not consider this a high-quality ingredient.

  • Beef
    Beef is the culinary name for cuts of meat from cattle, particularly skeletal muscle. In dog food, beef can also include muscle tissues from the tongue, heart, diaphragm or esophagus. Beef is rich in protein and nutrients like niacin, vitamin B12, creatine, iron and zinc. Beef is generally a healthy dog food ingredient. Whole meat contains about 75% water which is cooked off during the making of dog food. This leaves only a fraction of the protein content in the final product. We recommend looking for dog foods that also include meat meals (pre-cooked meat powder that contains four times the amount of protein).

Controversial Ingredients

  1. Animal Liver
  2. The liver is an organ that's rich in iron, copper, and vitamin A and B. Generally, the liver is a nutritious and healthy ingredient, but this ingredient doesn't identify the species it comes from making it questionable and intransparent. This includes the potential that rancid, dead, dying, disabled or diseased meat sources could have been used. For these reasons, it's controversial.
  1. Meat By-Products
  2. Meat by-products are animal parts other than meat that are left over at the slaughterhouse. This can include the lung, spleen, brain, liver, blood, bone, beaks, kidneys, fatty tissue, and intestines. Because there is a wide variety of animal parts companies can use, and because details don't need to be disclosed, it's tough to compare the quality of different by-products. Generally speaking, by-products can provide important nutrients for dogs but can be of lower quality than meats and meat meals. For these reasons, we do not consider this a high-quality ingredient.
  1. Carrageenan
  2. Carrageenan is derived from red algae or seaweed and is used as a gelling or thickening ingredient to bind food together. Evidence has been found that it is potentially inflammatory and toxic to the digestive tract, and may be responsible for colitis, IBS, rheumatoid arthritis, and colon cancer.
  1. Ham and Egg Flavor
  2. Artificial flavors are added to increase the chance your dog will want to eat the food. The generic term artificial flavor is used to represent a large number of possible additives, some which could be harmful. These flavors may include but not list controversial ingredients such as propylene glycol, BHA and more.
  1. Added Color
  2. Added generically refers to synthetic dyes used to change the color of food, cosmetics and medications. In humans added colors can cause reactions that include headaches, asthma attacks, itching or hives, insomnia, and hyperactivity. What's most concerning is these ingredients are completely unnecessary, dogs simply don't care about the color of their food.
  1. Sodium Nitrite (For Color Retention)
  2. A food preservative that prevents the growth of microorganisms while giving taste and color to processed meats. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified Sodium Nitrite as "probably carcinogenic to humans."

Country of Origin

This Cesar product is made in the US.


Meat & Fat Quality

The meat quality of this product is quite mixed, and not great. Two of the meat ingredients, beef and chicken identify the specific animal they come from, this is what we want to see. Then there are chicken by-products and beef by-products, this does tell us the animal but not what part of the animal which is a step down in quality. Finally, we have animal liver and meat by-products neither of these tell us the actual animal supplying the product which is concerning, meat by-products is not telling us the animal or even the part. Since there are no fats listed we can assume the fat content is being supplied primarily from these meat sources, so the quality concerns exist for the fats too.


Artificial Preservatives

This Cesar product uses an artificial preservative called Sodium Nitrite. It’s good to know that not all artificial preservatives are bad. That’s because they serve an important purpose, which is to prevent food from spoiling. However, there are 11 artificial preservatives we consider controversial because of their potential link to cancer and other serious health conditions. Unfortunately, Sodium Nitrite is one of them.


Artificial Colors

Cesar uses the generic coloring ingredient called “Added Color” in this product.


Artificial Flavors

They also have an artificial flavor they have added called “Ham & Egg Flavor”.

Recalls

Recalls

Score
80%
1
Brand Recalls

Cesar has a lower than the average number of dog food recalls.

Date:
10/7/2016
Recalled Products:
CESAR Classics Filet Mignon Flavor, 100 g (3.5 oz) in plastic trays, 24 or 30 trays/case
Cause:
There is a potential presence of white plastic in the finished product.
Class:
I
FDA recalls use classes from I (most serious) to III (least serious).
Type:
Voluntary
Quantity:
54,255 cases
Source
Transparency

Transparency

Score
88%

We love dog food brands that are committed to transparent business practices. If you make quality dog food you should be willing to openly talk about how it’s sourced and produced. That’s why we reached out to pet food companies, asking questions about all their brands and products. Each company had three weeks to reply to our messages.

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.

Cesar Savory Delights Ham & Egg Flavor with Potato & Cheese

by Cesar
CHECK PRICE NOW
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