Country Vet Naturals Dog Food (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★☆

Country Vet Naturals Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.

The Country Vet Naturals product line includes four dry dog foods.

Although each appears to be designed for a specific life stage, we were unable to find AAFCO nutritional profile recommendations for these dog foods on the product’s web page.

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

  • Country Vet Naturals Senior Dogs
  • Country Vet Naturals Growing Puppies
  • Country Vet Naturals Healthy Adult Dogs
  • Country Vet Naturals High Performance Dogs (4.5 stars)

Country Vet Naturals for Growing Puppies was selected to represent the products in the line for this review.

Country Vet Naturals for Growing Puppies

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 31% | Fat = 20% | Carbs = 41%

Ingredients: Chicken meal, brown rice, brewer’s rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pork meal, fish meal, dried plain beet pulp, dried egg product, natural flavors, whole flaxseeds, fish oil, brewer’s dried yeast, salt, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, Yucca schidigera extract, dried chicory root, choline chloride, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, lecithin, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, vitamin A supplement, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, calcium pantothenate, biotin, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, ethylenediamine dihydroiodide, mineral oil, thiamine mononitrate, zinc methionine complex, manganese methionine complex, copper lysine complex, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, cobalt carbonate, cobalt glucoheptonate, citric acid, mixed tocopherols (a source of vitamin E), vegetable oil, and rosemary extract

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.8%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis28%18%NA
Dry Matter Basis31%20%41%
Calorie Weighted Basis26%40%34%
Protein = 26% | Fat = 40% | Carbs = 34%

The first ingredient in this dog food is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The second ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The third ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.

The fourth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is pork meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate. Yet it can also be high in ash — about 25-30%.

However, the ash content of the final product is typically adjusted in the recipe to allow its mineral profile to meet AAFCO guidelines.

The sixth ingredient is fish meal, yet another high protein meat concentrate.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The seventh ingredient is beet pulp. Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.

We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most dog foods is entirely acceptable.

The eighth ingredient is dried egg product, a dehydrated form of shell-free eggs. Quality can vary significantly. Lower grade egg product can even come from commercial hatcheries — from eggs that have failed to hatch.

In any case, eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

After the natural flavor, we find 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.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

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 six notable exceptions

First, fish oil is naturally rich in the prized EPA and DHA type of omega-3 fatty acids. These two high quality fats boast the highest bio-availability to dogs and humans.

Depending on its level of freshness and purity, fish oil should be considered a commendable addition.

Next, brewers yeast can be a controversial item. Although it’s a by-product of the beer making process, this ingredient is rich in minerals and other healthy nutrients.

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.

Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular dog is allergic to the yeast itself.

In addition, a vocal minority insists yeast can increase the risk of developing the life-threatening condition known as bloat. However, this is a claim we’ve not been able to scientifically verify.

In any case, unless your dog is specifically allergic to it, yeast can still be considered a nutritious additive.

What’s more noteworthy here is that brewers yeast contains about 48% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.

In addition, chicory root is rich in inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and found in certain roots and tubers.

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.

Next, although we can’t be certain, mineral oil is apparently used in this recipe as a stool softener.

However, the inclusion of this additive can be controversial. That’s because the European Food Safety Authority has expressed some concern as to the long term health effects of using mineral oil in human food.2

We also note the inclusion of vegetable oil, a generic oil of unknown origin. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in any oil is nutritionally critical and can vary significantly (depending on the source).

Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of an item so vaguely described. However, compared to a named animal fat, a generic vegetable oil cannot be considered a quality ingredient.

And lastly, this food also contains chelated minerals, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

Country Vet Naturals Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Country Vet Naturals looks like an above-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 31%, a fat level of 20% and estimated carbohydrates of about 41%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 29% and a mean fat level of 17%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed and brewers yeast, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Country Vet Naturals is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of chicken meal as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.

Highly 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.

Country Vet Naturals Dog Food
Recall History

The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

Dog Food Coupons
and Discounts

Readers are invited to check for coupons and discounts shared by others in our Dog Food Coupons Forum.

Or click the buying tip below. Please be advised we receive a fee for referrals made to the following online store.

A Final Word

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

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely almost entirely on the integrity of the information posted by each company on its website. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the quality of the test results from any specific batch of food a company chooses to publish.

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.

However, we do receive a fee from for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

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

Notes and Updates

09/28/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. EFSA News Story dated 6/12/2012
  • Minne_gurl125

    Yes! I did find natures logic too. It’s a little pricey though

  • Storm’s Mom

    Check out Nature’s Logic.. they have a few foods that will match your criteria. Also, how did you determine what she’s allergic to and to what degree? If it’s via a test (as opposed an elimination diet), the tests are notoriously unreliable, so doing an elimination diet is really the only (and certainly most reliable) way to do determine allergies/intolerances.

  • InkedMarie

    There are foods with beef, turkey, kangaroo, rabbit, goat.

  • Minne_gurl125

    SM – I want to do that, it’s just difficult to find foods that don’t have anything she’s allergic to.
    Her allergies:
    (High) Lamb, Potatoes.
    (Low) Salmon, Dairy, Oatmeal, Peas
    (Very low) Duck

  • Storm’s Mom

    What’s your dog allergic to? There are a ton of ingredients in this food, including a number of common allergens for a dog, so I’m a bit surprised this would have nothing your dog’s allergic to. It bodes well that there might be some other ones out there you could try, too, in a rotation!

  • Minne_gurl125

    We’re trying this one. It’s thrifty, high quality, and most importantly has nothing my dog is allergic to! Which is hard to find!

  • Pingback: country vet | All About Pets()