Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Aunt Jeni’s Home Made product line includes five 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 Home Made Goat
- Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Beef
- Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Turkey
- Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Lamb (2 stars)
- Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Chicken (3 stars)
Aunt Jeni’s Home Made 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: Beef (contains beef meat & beef heart), beef liver, apples, celery, whole eggs, collard greens, kale, acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, yellow squash, zucchini, organic ground flax seeds, parsley, garlic, organic dried kelp, organic alfalfa meal, organic raw apple cider vinegar, organic raw honey
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
This ingredient also includes 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 second ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The third ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.
The fourth ingredient is celery. Although raw celery can be very high in water, it can still contribute a notable amount of dietary fiber as well as other healthy nutrients.
The fifth ingredient includes whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.
The sixth ingredient includes collard greens. Due to their notable vitamin and mineral content, collards boast a high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 81.
The seventh ingredient is kale. Kale 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 four notable exceptions…
First, flaxseed is 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.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
So, one must weigh the potential benefits of feeding garlic against its proven tendency to cause subclinical damage to the red blood cells of the animal.
In addition, this food contains alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
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 Dog Food looks like 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 49% and a mean fat level of 28%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 15% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%
Above-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical raw dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a raw product containing an abundance amount of meat.
Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Dog Food is a meat-based raw frozen product using a significant amount of species-specific meat and organs 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.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content and (when appropriate) their fat-to-protein ratios.
A Final Word
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The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.
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However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.
For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".
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Notes and Updates
01/28/2015 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference ↩
- Yamato et al, Heinz Body hemolytic anemia with eccentrocytosis from ingestion of Chinese chive (Allium tuberosum) and garlic (Allium sativum) in a dog, Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 41:68-73 (2005) ↩