Cesar Dog Food Ingredients

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Cesar manufactures roughly 57 different dog food products. Each product utilizes a unique set of ingredients to achieve a desired nutritional profile.

In this article, we'll explore Cesar ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.

As of right now, our records indicate that Cesar uses roughly 144 different ingredients.

First 5 Ingredients

Dog food ingredients in the United States are listed in descending order of pre-cooked weight. The first 5 ingredients typically constitute a significant portion of the recipe.

For Cesar, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 dog food ingredients.

  1. chicken
  2. chicken liver
  3. beef lung
  4. chicken broth
  5. water

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Cesar is chicken. The most common 2nd ingredient is chicken liver, followed by beef lung, chicken broth, and water.

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Our records indicate that Cesar does use artificial food coloring dyes. More specifically, we've identified 6 artificial food dyes used by Cesar.

Although these food dyes are classified as Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) by the FDA, we recommend avoiding them when possible.

According to the Center For Research In The Public Interest (CSPI), there are many potential health risks associated with the consumption of artificial food coloring dyes.

Given that most pets consume the same products for prolonged periods of time, these concerns should be taken seriously. In general, we recommend pet owners avoid feeding products which contain artificial food coloring dyes.

For more information regarding the CSPI's findings, read our artificial food coloring article.

red 40
4 Recipes

Red 40 is the most widely used artificial dye in consumer goods. Studies have shown that red 40 may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice, cause allergy-like reactions and trigger hyperactivity in children.

The following recipes contain red 40:

blue 2
4 Recipes

Blue 2 is an artificial dye which can increase the likelihood of tumors according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Like other dyes, blue 2 does not provide any nutritional value.

The following recipes contain blue 2:

added color
40 Recipes

The ingredient "added color" is ambiguous and may include various artificial dyes. Most artificial dyes have been linked to various chronic diseases.

The following recipes contain added color:

Animal By-Products

Cesar does indeed use animal by-products. More specifically, 5 animal by-product ingredients were found during our analysis of Cesar dog food ingredients.

According to AAFCO, by-products are defined as the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. In other words, animal by-products are the leftover ingredients that humans typically do not consume (lung, heart, tongue, stomach, intestine, blood, etc).

Many consumers have equated animal by-products with slaughterhouse waste. Animal by-products are still very controversial. Most premium brands have abandoned them in favor of specific named organ ingredients (duck liver, chicken heart, etc).

If you must feed a product with animal by-products, ensure that the specific animal source is specified. In other words, avoid ingredients such as meat by-products or poultry by-products.

meat by-products
3 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, meat by-products contain nearly all parts of the animal which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the meat source is not identified. Anonymous ingredients such as meat by-products are typically very low quality additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the animal source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat by-products:

pork by-products
23 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, pork by-products contain nearly all parts of pork which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, pork by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as pork by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain pork by-products:

chicken by-product meal
3 Recipes

Chicken by-product meal is produced by cooking chicken by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of chickens which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain chicken by-product meal:

beef by-products
3 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, beef by-products contain nearly all parts of the beef which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, beef by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as beef by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain beef by-products:

chicken by-products
1 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of the chicken which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain chicken by-products:

Anonymous Meat Ingredients

Anonymous meats are animal-based ingredients which do not provide the source animal's name. These ingredients are controversial because they can come from almost any animal.

In addition, anonymous animal-based ingredients are very inexpensive and often the lowest quality meats that are still allowed to be used in pet food.

In general, we do not recommend feeding any products which contain anonymous meats. When in doubt, always contact the brand's customer service desk for further clarification.

Unfortunately, we've identified 5 anonymous meat ingredients used by Cesar.

animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid)
3 Recipes

Animal fat is a by-product of tissue rendering. The source animal is not specific and therefore we cannot be certain that the source does not include diseased animals or even euthanized dogs and cats. What's more, this ingredient is preserved with BHA, an artificial preservative and possible carcinogen according to the World Health Organization.

The following recipes contain animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid):

meat and bone meal
3 Recipes

Meat and bone meal is produced by cooking meat and bone using a process called rendering. The rendering process dramatically reduces the natural moisture of meat and thereby results in a highly condensed protein source.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the source animal for the meat is not specified. These type of anonymous ingredient are typically very low quality and certainly inexpensive additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the meat source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat and bone meal:

meat by-products
3 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, meat by-products contain nearly all parts of the animal which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the meat source is not identified. Anonymous ingredients such as meat by-products are typically very low quality additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the animal source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat by-products:

animal fat (preserved with BHA/BHT)
3 Recipes

Animal fat is a by-product of tissue rendering. The source animal is not specific and therefore we cannot be certain that the source does not include diseased animals or even euthanized dogs and cats. What's more, this ingredient is preserved with BHA/BHT, both artificial preservatives and possible carcinogens according to the World Health Organization.

The following recipes contain animal fat (preserved with BHA/BHT):

Controversial Ingredients

In most cases, ingredients which are given the controversial classification can be substituted with higher-quality alternatives. You should evaluate each controversial ingredient independently to see if there is truly a valid cause for concern.

Keep in mind, certain sacrifices often must be made to produce dog foods at a reasonable price. In general, the more expensive the product, the fewer controversial ingredients you'll find.

In our analysis, we've identified 16 controversial ingredients inside Cesar products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.

soybean flour
4 Recipes

Soybean flour contains more than 50% protein. Therefore, soybean can significantly boost the protein content of the product. The inclusion of non-meat protein typically degrades the overall quality of protein in the recipe. This degradation is due to the inferior amino acid profile of plant based proteins.

The following recipes contain soybean flour:

meat and bone meal
3 Recipes

Meat and bone meal is produced by cooking meat and bone using a process called rendering. The rendering process dramatically reduces the natural moisture of meat and thereby results in a highly condensed protein source.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the source animal for the meat is not specified. These type of anonymous ingredient are typically very low quality and certainly inexpensive additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the meat source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat and bone meal:

corn gluten meal
3 Recipes

Corn gluten meal is a by-product from the production of various corn products (corn starch, corn syrup, etc). It's very high in protein (nearly 60% protein) and therefore can significant boost the protein content of the product. Because plant based proteins such as corn gluten meal are inferior to meat based proteins (lack many essential amino acids), they are not suitable substitutes.

The following recipes contain corn gluten meal:

brewers rice
3 Recipes

Brewer's rice is the small fragments of rice kernel that are separated from the larger kernels of milled rice. The fragments do not contain the same nutrition profile of the whole kernel and therefore brewer's rice is a lower quality grain. Brewer's rice is typically regarded as an inexpensive and low quality filler.

The following recipes contain brewers rice:

wheat
1 Recipes

Wheat is regarded as an inexpensive and low-quality filler in pet food. However, wheat does provide plant-based protein and makes pet food more affordable for consumers. It's important to note that plant based protein does not provide the same amino acid profile as meat based protein.

The following recipes contain wheat:

ground wheat
3 Recipes

Ground wheat is regarded as an inexpensive and low-quality filler in pet food. However, wheat does provide plant-based protein and makes pet food more affordable for consumers. It's important to note that plant based protein does not provide the same amino acid profile as meat based protein.

The following recipes contain ground wheat:

caramel color
3 Recipes

Caramel color is a concentrated form of caramel, a natural food colorant. Caramel color has been linked to cancer in laboratory animals. Since our pets do not care about food color, caramel color is an unnecessary addition with possible health risks.

The following recipes contain caramel color:

ground yellow corn
3 Recipes

Ground yellow corn is a cereal grain which provides a modest amount of vitamins, minerals, and plant based protein. It also happens to be one of the most controversial ingredients in dog food.</p><p>Proponents of corn claim that corn is highly digestible and an excellent source of protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.</p><p>Opponents however believe that positive claims in regards to corn are either half-truths or completely false, we'll discuss a few of the opposing arguments.</p><p>In regards to digestibility, the claims of "highly digestible" are only true if corn is processed into a meal or flour and subsequently cooked. In regards to the protein contribution, we must note that corn is a plant based protein which does not contain all of the necessary amino acids required by dogs to sustain life. Therefore substituting corn for meat is an unsuitable substitution and actually degrades the overall protein quality of the product.</p><p>Finally, we'll discuss the claims about vitamins and minerals in corn. Although corn does provide many vitamins and minerals, it not necessarily an exceptional ingredient in this regards. There are many other ingredients which are more complete and biologically appropriate. Therefore the usage of corn as the primary ingredient in dog food should certainly warrant further questioning.

The following recipes contain ground yellow corn:

liver
3 Recipes

Liver is a controversial ingredient because the source animal is not specified. Anonymous animal ingredients are typically very low quality and may contain almost any animal, including dogs and cats!

The following recipes contain liver:

meat by-products
3 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, meat by-products contain nearly all parts of the animal which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>This ingredient is marked controversial because the meat source is not identified. Anonymous ingredients such as meat by-products are typically very low quality additions. The most unpleasing property of this ingredient is that the animal source can contain any mammal, even dogs & cats.

The following recipes contain meat by-products:

pork by-products
23 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, pork by-products contain nearly all parts of pork which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, pork by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as pork by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain pork by-products:

chicken by-product meal
3 Recipes

Chicken by-product meal is produced by cooking chicken by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of chickens which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain chicken by-product meal:

beef by-products
3 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, beef by-products contain nearly all parts of the beef which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, beef by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as beef by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain beef by-products:

chicken by-products
1 Recipes

By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of the chicken which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.</p><p>Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by dogs.

The following recipes contain chicken by-products:

Potentially Harmful Ingredients

Harmful ingredients are those which have been linked to adverse health effects. In general, we do not recommend feeding any product which contains any harmful ingredients.

There are certain situations where these ingredients may be necessary. We always recommend contacting Cesar for further clarification regarding any harmful or controversial ingredient.

We have identified 8 harmful ingredients used in certain Cesar recipes. To learn more, click on the ingredient's name.

animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid)
3 Recipes

Animal fat is a by-product of tissue rendering. The source animal is not specific and therefore we cannot be certain that the source does not include diseased animals or even euthanized dogs and cats. What's more, this ingredient is preserved with BHA, an artificial preservative and possible carcinogen according to the World Health Organization.

The following recipes contain animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid):

red 40
4 Recipes

Red 40 is the most widely used artificial dye in consumer goods. Studies have shown that red 40 may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice, cause allergy-like reactions and trigger hyperactivity in children.

The following recipes contain red 40:

blue 2
4 Recipes

Blue 2 is an artificial dye which can increase the likelihood of tumors according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Like other dyes, blue 2 does not provide any nutritional value.

The following recipes contain blue 2:

added color
40 Recipes

The ingredient "added color" is ambiguous and may include various artificial dyes. Most artificial dyes have been linked to various chronic diseases.

The following recipes contain added color:

animal fat (preserved with BHA/BHT)
3 Recipes

Animal fat is a by-product of tissue rendering. The source animal is not specific and therefore we cannot be certain that the source does not include diseased animals or even euthanized dogs and cats. What's more, this ingredient is preserved with BHA/BHT, both artificial preservatives and possible carcinogens according to the World Health Organization.

The following recipes contain animal fat (preserved with BHA/BHT):

Cesar Dog Food Ingredient Lists

Cesar Dry Dog Food Filet Mignon Flavor

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Cesar Dry Dog Food Porterhouse Flavor

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Cesar Dry Dog Food Rotisserie Chicken Flavor

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Chicken & Beef Recipe

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Cesar Filets In Sauce Filet Mignon Flavor

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Cesar Filets In Sauce New York Strip Flavor

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Cesar Filets In Sauce Prime Rib Flavor In Sauce

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Cesar Home Delights Beef Stew

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Cesar Home Delights Chicken & Turkey Casserole In Sauce

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Cesar Home Delights Grilled New York Strip Steak Flavor With Vegetables In Sauce

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Cesar Home Delights Grilled Porterhouse Steak Flavor With Potatoes, Bacon & Cheese In Sauce

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Cesar Home Delights Grilled Ribeye Steak Flavor With Vegetables In Sauce

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Cesar Home Delights Harvest Potluck With Turkey In Gravy

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Cesar Home Delights Hearty Chicken & Noodle Dinner In Sauce

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Cesar Home Delights Pot Roast With Spring Vegetables Dinner In Sauce

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Cesar Home Delights Sausage Flavor With Egg & Cheese In Sauce

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Cesar Home Delights Scramble With Turkey, Spinach & Cheese In Sauce

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Cesar Home Delights Slow Cooked Chicken & Vegetables Dinner In Sauce

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Cesar Home Delights T-Bone Steak Flavor With Egg & Cheese In Gravy For Breakfast

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Cesar Home Delights Turkey, Green Beans & Potatoes Dinner In Sauce

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Filet Mignon Flavor

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Grilled Chicken Flavor

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Oven Roasted Chicken Flavor

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Porterhouse Steak Flavor

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Chicken & Beef Recipe For Puppies

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Lamb & Rice Recipe For Puppies

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce T-Bone Steak Flavor

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Top Sirloin Flavor

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Beef Recipe

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Chicken & Liver Recipe

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Chicken & Veal Recipe

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Duck Recipe

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Lamb Recipe

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Turkey Recipe

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Cesar Loaf & Topper In Sauce Angus Beef Flavor With Bacon & Cheese

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Cesar Loaf & Topper In Sauce Filet Mignon Flavor With Bacon & Potato

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Cesar Loaf & Topper In Sauce Ham & Egg Flavor With Potato & Cheese

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Cesar Loaf & Topper In Sauce Porterhouse Steak Flavor With Peas & Carrots

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Cesar Loaf & Topper In Sauce Rosemary Chicken Flavor With Spring Vegetables

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Cesar Loaf & Topper In Sauce Rotisserie Chicken Flavor With Bacon & Cheese

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Chicken & Cheese Soufflé

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Grilled Steak & Eggs Flavor

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Scrambled Egg & Sausage Flavor

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Cesar Classic Loaf In Sauce Smoked Bacon & Egg Flavor

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Cesar Simply Crafted Chicken, Carrots, Barley & Spinach

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Cesar Simply Crafted Chicken, Carrots & Green Beans

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Cesar Simply Crafted Chicken, Carrots, Potatoes & Peas

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Cesar Simply Crafted Chicken, Sweet Potato, Apple, Barley & Spinach

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Cesar Simply Crafted Chicken

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Cesar Grain-Free Jerky Bites Beef & Sweet Potato Recipe

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Cesar Grain-Free Jerky Bites Chicken & Apple Recipe

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Cesar Grain-Free Jerky Bites Pork & Peach Recipe

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Cesar Grain-Free Meaty Bites Beef Recipe

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Cesar Grain-Free Meaty Bites Chicken Recipe

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Cesar Softies Filet Mignon Flavor

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Cesar Softies Grilled Chicken Flavor

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Cesar Softies Medley Trio

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