Country Squire Dog Food (Dry)

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Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

Country Squire Dog Food receives the Advisor’s lowest-tier rating of 1 star.

The Country Squire product line includes four 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 Squire Premium Puppy
  • Country Squire Premium Chunk
  • Country Squire Premium Hi Protein
  • Country Squire Premium Bites and Bones

Country Squire Premium Bites and Bones was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Country Squire Premium Bites and Bones

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 24% | Fat = 11% | Carbs = 57%

Ingredients: Ground yellow corn, wheat middlings, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, animal fat preserved with BHT and citric acid, corn gluten meal, animal digest, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, calcium propionate (preservative), artificial color (FD&C red #40, FD&C yellow #5 and FD&C blue #2), ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, vitamin E supplement, sodium selenite, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, niacin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, riboflavin, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamin mononitrate, biotin and folic acid

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.1%

Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis21%10%NA
Dry Matter Basis24%11%57%
Calorie Weighted Basis22%26%52%

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 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.

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

The third ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of 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. It doesn’t even specify the source animal.

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 soybean meal. Soybean meal is relatively useful by-product — what remains of soybeans after all the oil has been removed.

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 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: restaurant grease, slaughterhouse waste, diseased cattle — even (although unlikely) euthanized pets.

We do not consider generic animal fat a quality ingredient.

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

The sixth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% 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 seventh ingredient is animal digest. Animal digest is a chemically hydrolyzed mixture of animal by-products that is usually sprayed onto the surface of a dry kibble to improve its taste.

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, we’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your dog. After all, do you really think your dog cares what color his kibble is?

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

In addition, 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 Squire Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Country Squire 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 11% and estimated carbohydrates of about 57%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 11%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 54% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 40%.

Near-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 and corn gluten meals, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a modest amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Country Squire is a plant-based dry dog food using a modest amount of meat and bone meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 1 star.

Not recommended.

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.

Those looking for a better kibble from the same company may wish to visit our review of Pro-Pet Dog Food.

A Final Word

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

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every report is directly dependent upon the quality of that data.

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

06/27/2014 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
  • mrpit

    Feeding any living thing trash like this should be considered animal cruelty! I wonder if the original intent was to see how much food coloring they need to add to turn a backyard rainbow colored!

  • sara Quillen

    We recently bought this cheap dog food to feed to our two dogs.One being an aketa and the other a lab, both around one year old.Lucy our Lab had one bowl of this stuff and immediately started vomiting and has uncontrolable diarrhea. Four days, a 260 dollar vet visit and two medications later, she still refuses to eat anything.She is still vomiting and shaking like a leaf.The poor girl has lost so much weight in four days that she looks like a furry bag of bones.The vet had even done blood work to rule out anything else, and said it was for sure the food.I have been trying to force her to eat and she doesn’t want anything.I am seriously afraid she is going to starve to death.
    Even though it did not affect our other dog I would not recomind this food for anyone’s pets.
    As cheap as it may be DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!

  • Tracy Lamont Jackson Jr.

    thanks

  • Betsy Greer

    Hi Tracy Lamont Jackson Jr.,

    Try this product locator and see if you can find Victor near you: http://victordogfood.com/.

    There are a lot of folks who have used Victor products with great success here. If you can find it locally, they have some grain inclusive formulas that are about $40.00 for a 50 pound bag. The grain free formulas seem to run around $40.00 for a 40 pound bag. The formulas are mostly 4 and 5 stars on DFA.

    Prices are approximate and vary as I’m going by memory having called a dealer near me a couple of weeks ago. You can also buy it on Amazon, but it’s more expensive (because you get “free” shipping on most of them).

  • Tracy Lamont Jackson Jr.

    i used 2 feed my 3pitbulls diamond bt i cant afford it no more and i ran into this country squire on sale the other day and look up some info and found this nw i regret getting it… i was jus wondering if you food some good quality dog food yet 4 a cheap price

  • Kriticalkills

    I have a 16 month old pitbull. She’s 13 inches tall and 48lbs. Real beautiful and calm demeanor, I couldn’t ask for a better dog. I just have a limited budget so I can’t afford the expensive stuff. I switched back to Diamond and she’s doing pretty good on that. It’s just all the negative comments about Diamond makes me uneasy. Is there any healthy dry food in that budget range?

  • InkedMarie

    Sorry your dog got sick but this is a horrible food. If you’d like advice on finding a new food, tell us about your dog. If you’re willing to order online, that gives you a much better selection of foods!

  • Kriticalkills

    I just bought the Country Squire High Protein for my pitbull. She ate one bowl and started panting and had diarrhea all day. Then she started shaking her head and scratching her ears for the rest of the day. I wished I would’ve read this earlier. I picked it up because it was on sale now I regret it.

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  • daisy1999

    And, don’t forget your local food bank if you have one.  I know it might be “gross” food.  But, people going in there don’t have food for their families or self, much less their pets.  And, they would be grateful for it.  A lady at one of our local banks keeps a list of people that have voiced concerns about their pets and puts away anything she gets for them.

  • Dog Food Ninja

    lol yeah, it’s awful to think of some poor animal eating this.  But really, go ahead and donate it.  Most dogs in shelters are eating crap food like Dog Chow and what-not already… not to mention expired food stores donate to them.  At least it will help keep them alive until they can get a forever home!   

  • Lcowell1158

    I agree. I recieved a bag as a “winning” bid with some other items at a charity auction. I don’t even want to donate it to the animal shelter. what to do with it?

  • Jonathan

    I threw up a little in my mouth when I read the ingredients for this “food”. Who could manufacture such a disgraceful pile of worthless and disgusting by-products and chemicals and, in good conscience, call it “food”? If I was the maker of this poison, I’d have a hard time sleeping at night knowing the untold tragedies just waiting to befall hapless, trusting, and otherwise healthy dogs. You are doing a heck of a service here, Mike. :-)