Country Acres Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Country Acres Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest rating of 1 star.

The Country Acres product line includes three dry dog foods. However, since we’re unable to locate AAFCO nutritional adequacy statements for these dog foods on the product’s web page, it’s impossible for us to report specific life stage recommendations for these recipes.

The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.

  • Country Acres 18% Protein
  • Country Acres 21% Protein
  • Country Acres 27% Protein

Country Acres 21% Protein formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Country Acres 21%

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 24% | Fat = 9% | Carbs = 59%

Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, soybean meal, meat and bone meal, wheat middlings, animal fat (preserved with BHA and citric acid), animal digest (containing chicken by-products and beef), salt, choline chloride, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, vitamin E supplement, niacin, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement, cobalt carbonate, folic acid, sodium selenite

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis21%8%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%9%59%
Calorie Weighted Basis23%21%56%

The first ingredient in this dog food is corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

For this reason, we do not consider corn a preferred component in any dog food.

The second ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

The third ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”.1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content.2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this ingredient could come from almost anywhere: spoiled supermarket meat, roadkill, dead, diseased or dying livestock — even euthanized farm animals.

Even though meat and bone meals are still considered protein-rich meat concentrates, we do not consider a generic ingredient like this a quality item.

The fourth ingredient is wheat middlings, commonly known as “wheat mill run”. Though it may sound wholesome, wheat mill run is actually an inexpensive by-product of cereal grain processing.

Unfortunately, the variations in nutrient content found in wheat middlings can be a critical issue in determining their suitability for use in any dog food — or even livestock feeds.3

In reality, wheat middlings are nothing more than milling dust and floor sweepings — and an ingredient more typically associated with lower quality pet foods.

The fifth ingredient is animal fat. Animal fat is a generic by-product of rendering, the same high-temperature process used to make meat meals.

Since there’s no mention of a specific animal, this item could come from almost anywhere: roadkill, spoiled supermarket meat, dead, diseased or dying cattle — even euthanized pets.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

What’s worse, this fat is preserved with BHA, a suspected cancer-causing agent.

The sixth ingredient is animal digest. Animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is typically sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

The seventh ingredient is salt (also known as sodium chloride). Salt is a common additive in many dog foods. That’s because sodium is a necessary mineral for all animals — including humans.

However, since the actual amount of salt added to this recipe isn’t disclosed on the list of ingredients, it’s impossible to judge the nutritional value of this item.

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, we find no mention of probiotics, friendly bacteria applied to the surface of the kibble after processing to help with digestion.

Next, the minerals listed here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb. Non-chelated minerals are usually associated with lower quality dog foods.

And lastly, this food also contains menadione, a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

Since vitamin K isn’t required by AAFCO in either of its dog food nutrient profiles, we question the use of this substance in any canine formulation.

Country Acres Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Country Acres Dog Food looks like a below-average dry product.

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 24%, a fat level of 9% and estimated carbohydrates of about 59%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 25% and a mean fat level of 9%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 58% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 36%.

Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the soybean meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a below-average amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Country Acres Dog Food is a plant-based kibble using a below-average amount of meat and bone meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

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".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

05/12/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition
  2. Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632
  3. Wheat Middlings as defined in an article by Wikipedia
  • kevin

    This dog food saved my dogs life it cleared up all of her problems from her hair falling out to her ears swelling up. I have switched dog food and with in two days she is in living hell and just for the info she is a yellow lab.

  • Gordon

    Oh yeah, the name of this brand is a good one. I like the name. The name would suit good quality raw food, actually. “Country Acres”…No joke, I’m being serious. It has that wholesome goodness name feel to it.

  • Gordon

    This food seems to be on par with the great quality of the Pedigree brand. I let some sarcasm trickle through just then. But if it works for your dog, like McDonalds works for my taste buds….Mmmmm, then go for it.

  • Doni

    What ever! I have been feeding my dogs 21% Country Acres dog food for over 5 years with no adverse effects to any of them. As a matter of fact my dogs do better on Country Acres than on Pedigree or Iams and eat less while maintaining their weight and overall general body condition. Their coats are glossy, eyes are bright and none of them are sickly in any way, and they range in age from 6 months to 15 years old, and are all different breeds from a poodle to a Great Dane. My dogs are like my kids. They are part of the family, and I would never take a chance with their wellbeing. Go pick on Old Roy which is carried by Walmart. That brand deserves it, not Country Acres.

  • Jesse

    I have 3 dogs. I went to the feed store for the food as reccommened by a friend. I bought the 50 pound bag for my dogs. 18% protein…I have 3 dogs… a German sheprador a Blue pit and a boxer. I fed them this kibble daily. i noticed they took in more. * my boxer was said to need 3 cups. my sheprador the same and my pit only 2 cups.* I noticed they ate the amount the bag stated to feed and they would eat it all up right away and be lookin for more. my boxer would not eat hers till later in the evening… normally they eat at the bowl all day. they have seperate kennels, and i put their food into seperate dishes to monitor who is eating how much. I had to DOUBLE the amount of food i was feeding. Almost half way thru the bag i noticed some hair loss in my dogs. My pit has two spots that are almost bald and my Sheprador has thinning hair all thru her body. Along with the thinning hair, they also are drinking a ton more water then normal and have odd smelling, lookin and consistancy waste. When the waste would sit over night, it would be almost a powder the next morning.. to me this is not normal.I noticed some build up on their teeth from the kibble… this kibble is really Not knowing what to do… I stopped feeding them this food and put them back on their normal food. Since i have put them back on their normal food.. they have stopped gobbling up their food. their hair is coming back in, and they are not chugging away with the water they have normal stools and they dont have bad breath and their teeth look better.

    I dont think that the kibble is hard enough. When i opened the bag it did not have a smell.Like normal kibbles have a smell… this one did not. Also i noticed inside the bag there was alot of dust from smashed kibbles. I dont think either are good signs. I will not reccommend this kibble to ANYONE. I have to say. Purina dog chow is cheap and has a bad rap… but i prefer it to this brand. If you cant afford much atleast use Purina Dog Chow. Quality not Quanity. I dont care how much i get for my money as long as it s better quality.

  • Rhonda

    i think that they should take it off the market my dogs where fine, then one week after giving them the country acres dog food i have 2 died dog i addvise you not to give it to them unless you wont it died!

  • Jonathan

    Every time I think I’ve seen the “worse dog food ever”, you go and find another train-wreck of agricultural waste and chemicals.

    This food gets two “yucks” down!