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Crave Chicken Pate with Protein from Shreds of Real Chicken Grain-Free Dog Food

by Crave
Review Product PhotoReview Product Photo
Review Summary

30 Second Summary

March 7, 2019

Crave Chicken Pate with Protein is a high-priced dog food with great quality. This product has 1 controversial ingredient but includes no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. It has well-balanced amounts of protein, fat and carbs with excellent meat and fat quality. Crave has a below-average number of recalls and was overall very transparent when answering our questions. Watchdog Labs recommends this product.

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Wet Dog Food
Small, Medium, Large Breeds
Grain-Free, High-Protein, No Corn Wheat or Soy
3.5 oz, 5.25 lbs
United States
Mars, Inc.

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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 47.73%

Min. Fat 29.55%

Min. Carbs 13.64%

Max. Fiber 4.55%

Max. Ash 9.09%

Max. Moisture 0.00%

Label Claim

Food Label

Min. Protein: 10.5%

Min Fat: 6.5%

Min Carbs: N/A

Max Fiber: 1.0%

Max Ash: N/A

Max. Moisture:78.0%



107 Calories per Tray

This product has and 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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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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Total Ingredients
Controversial Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, Dried Egg Product, Carrageenan, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, Dried Yam, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sunflower Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Calcium Carbonate, Brewers Dried Yeasts, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Dried Pomegranate, Blueberry Pomace, Cranberry Pomace, Dried Carrot, Tomato Pomace, Magnesium Sulfate, Guar Gum, Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Pumpkin, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Ascorbic Acid, Magnesium Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin , Vitamin D3 Supplement, Rosemary Extract.

The average dog food we reviewed has 39 total ingredients, with 1 controversial ingredient. This product has 1 controversial ingredient.

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.

  • Chicken
    Chicken is a nutritious meat that provides protein, fat and other nutrients to dogs. Raw 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's weight. We recommend looking for dog foods that also include meat meals in the first five ingredients (pre-cooked meat powder that contains four times the amount of protein). However, chicken is generally a healthy dog food ingredient.
  • Chicken Broth
    Chicken broth is often used as a healthy natural flavor or instead of water when making dog food. It makes dogs more likely to eat the food and adds moisture but doesn't provide a lot of nutritional value. Chicken Broth is generally a healthy dog food ingredient.
  • Chicken Liver
    Chicken liver is an organ that contains healthy nutrients like calories, protein, vitamins and minerals. Specifically, it's rich in iron, copper, vitamin A and B. We consider it a high-quality dog food ingredient.
  • Chicken Heart
    Chicken heart is an organ that contains healthy nutrients like calories, protein, vitamins and minerals. We consider it a high-quality dog food ingredient.
  • Dried Egg Product
    Dried Egg Product are shell-free eggs that have had their moisture removed. While it provides nutrients like protein, it can be made from food-industry waste products such as eggs that failed to hatch. In other words, quality can vary. Because there are better protein sources (like whole eggs or meat) we do not consider this a high-quality dog food ingredient.

Controversial Ingredients

  1. Carrageenan
  2. This ingredient 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.

Country of Origin

Crave Chicken Pate is made in the United States. That’s good, because the dog food laws and regulations in the USA are higher than many other countries.

Meat & Fat Quality

This dog food includes high-quality meat sources that show clearly which animal source they come from. Chicken, Chicken Liver and Chicken Heart are the main meats used. We also found Sunflower Oil on the ingredients list, which is an added oil that provides fat. Again, it’s good that this oil makes clear what plant it comes from.

Artificial Preservatives

This product contains no controversial preservatives. 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, we consider 11 artificial preservatives controversial because of their potential link to cancer and other serious health conditions.

Artificial Colors

Crave Chicken Pate with Protein has no artificial colors. That’s how it should be!

Artificial Flavors

Just like for artificial preservatives and colors, this food does great for artificial flavors. That means it doesn’t include them. Fantastic!



Brand Recalls

Crave has a below-average number of recalls.




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?

Crave 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 good response time.

Does Crave 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 the professionals.

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 professionals 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?

Our CRAVE, Nutro,  products are currently manufactured in the USA.

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 Crave 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.

Crave Chicken Pate with Protein from Shreds of Real Chicken Grain-Free Dog Food

by Crave
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