Aunt Jeni’s Homemade Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Aunt Jeni’s Homemade product line includes 6 raw frozen dog foods, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Aunt Jeni’s Homemade Goat
- Aunt Jeni’s Homemade Beef
- Aunt Jeni’s Homemade Rabbit
- Aunt Jeni’s Homemade Turkey
- Aunt Jeni’s Homemade Lamb (2 stars)
- Aunt Jeni’s Homemade Chicken (3 stars)
Aunt Jeni’s Homemade Beef was selected to represent the others in the line for this review.
Aunt Jeni's Home Made Beef
Raw Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free, free-range beef, beef heart, beef liver; pureed mixed squashes, mixed leafy greens (kale and collards), celery, apples; whole eggs (including shells); ground, organic flax seeds; fresh garlic; raw, unpasteurized honey; organic, unfiltered, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar; fresh parsley; powdered alfalfa and kelp
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||60%||20%||12%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||50%||40%||10%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
Even though it has nothing to do with our rating here, it’s important to acknowledge the unusual quality of this ingredient in its description as “grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic-free, free-range beef”.
The second ingredient is beef heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
The third ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is squash. Squash is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The fifth ingredient is mixed leafy greens and specifically identifies kale and collards, two nutrient-rich vegetables.
Kale for example, is a type of cabbage in which the central leaves do not form a head. This dark green vegetable is especially rich in beta-carotene, vitamins C, vitamin K and calcium.
And like broccoli, kale contains sulforaphane, a natural chemical believed to possess potent anti-cancer properties.
From here, the list goes on to include a number of other items.
But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of this product.
With three notable exceptions…
First, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.2
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
Next, flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
And lastly, although we find no added vitamins or minerals on the ingredients list, it’s reassuring to find a list of naturally included nutrients (for each recipe) detailed on the company’s website.
Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Aunt Jeni’s Home Made looks to be an above-average raw dog food.
But ingredient quality by itself cannot tell the whole story. We still need to estimate the product’s meat content before determining a final rating.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 52% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 13% for the overall product line.
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a raw frozen food containing a significant amount of meat.
However, we’re disappointed to find the apparently high fat content associated with both the chicken (3 stars) and lamb (2 stars) recipes. So, we have accordingly down-graded our ratings of these products to reflect this opinion.
Aunt Jeni’s Home Made is a meat-based raw frozen dog food using a significant amount of named species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
However, due to its exceptionally high fat content, we cannot in good conscience recommend feeding the lamb formulation.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
01/25/2012 Original review
01/25/2012 Last Update