Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen (Cooked Frozen)

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Rating: ★★★★★

Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen cooked frozen dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen product line includes three cooked then frozen recipes.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

  • Emma Lou’s Turkey and Quinoa [U]
  • Emma Lou’s Chicken and Quinoa [U]
  • Emma Lou’s Beef and Quinoa (4.5 stars) [U]

Emma Lou’s Turkey and Quinoa was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Emma Lou's Turkey and Quinoa Formula

Frozen Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 54% | Fat = 26% | Carbs = 12%

Ingredients: Ground turkey, organic quinoa, collard greens, green beans, sweet potato, carrots, chicken liver, eggs, apple, parsley, freshly ground organic flax seed, extra virgin olive oil, organic raw apple cider vinegar, organic kelp powder, organic alfalfa powder, sea salt, finely powdered eggshell, zinc gluconate, copper gluconate, vitamin D, vitamin E, sodium selenite, potassium iodide

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7.3%

Red items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis15%7%NA
Dry Matter Basis54%26%12%
Calorie Weighted Basis42%49%9%
Protein = 42% | Fat = 49% | Carbs = 9%

The first ingredient in this dog food is ground turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1

Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.

Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

The third ingredient includes collard greens. Due to their notable vitamin and mineral content, collards boast a high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 81.

The fourth ingredient lists green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.

The fifth ingredient is sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are a gluten-free source of complex carbohydrates in a dog food. They are naturally rich in dietary fiber and beta carotene.

The sixth ingredient includes carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The seventh ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The eighth ingredient lists whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The ninth ingredient is apple, a nutrient-rich fruit that’s also high in fiber.

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.

Next, olive oil contains oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s also rich in natural antioxidants and carotenoids.

In addition, this food contains egg shell powder, used here as a natural source of dietary calcium.

And lastly, the vitamins and minerals added to this product are not detailed sufficiently here to permit us to judge their quality.

Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen Dog Food
The Bottom Line

Judging by its ingredients alone, Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen looks like an above-average 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 54%, a fat level of 26% and estimated carbohydrates of about 12%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 49% and a mean fat level of 27%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 16% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 54%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical wet dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a cooked-frozen product containing a significant amount of meat.

Bottom line?

Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen is a meat-based cooked-frozen dog food using a significant amount of turkey, beef or chicken as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically 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.

Emma Lou’s 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.

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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 entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

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.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

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 Chewy.com 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

09/27/2016 Last Update

  1. Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition
  2. 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
  • Crazy4cats

    The food on this thread, Emma Lou’s, is a cooked then frozen food. It’s not raw. It also says it meets the adult maintenance guidelines, meaning that it’s complete and balanced. Hmmm? I’ve never heard of it but it looks good! Please come back and post how it goes if you give it a try.
    Also, I have read that others have lightly cooked commercial raw before feeding it to their dogs. Especially when first starting out. I use commercial raw as toppers in most of my dogs’ dinners and I usually warm it up a bit in the microwave before feeding. Hope this helps!

  • InkedMarie

    Raw is supposed to be fed raw. If you want to feed cooked foods, there are a number of cooked then frozen foods out there.

  • Cannoli

    I personally stay away from the raw frozen dog food companies. I buy my meat from reputable butchers that cater to humans and that have been around and butchering for over 60 years.

    But it ain’t cheap but at least I know the facilities are top notched and inspected by the FDA every morning. Also they rarely ever have recalls.

    So when I feed raw this is what I do. Gives me peace of mind

  • Pat

    I was wondering if anyone bought raw frozen and then cooked it ? lol and if you can how much would you cook it….want to do better for my little dog, but still a little hesitant on the raw

    it

  • Elizabeth

    My dog’s health has been improved dramatically by Emma Lou’s Homemade. At the age of five when I adopted her she was 25 pounds overweight and had severe hip dysplasia (common in husky shepherd mixes). We used the prescription foods and she became 35 lbs overweight (85 lbs instead of 50 lbs). I think there are a lot of fillers in conventional dry food.

    Then we switched to Emma Lou’s food and it was like a miracle. She lost most of the weight within one year and became more energetic and happy. Losing the extra weight made a huge difference in the hip dysplasia and I’ve never seen her coat look better. Today at thirteen years old she acts younger and more vibrant than she did when she was five years old and on a dry food diet. Thank you Emma Lou’s Food!

  • Cyndi

    I saw your post, now I’M hungry for chinese! Lol!

  • InkedMarie

    LOL, I saw beef & broccoli, now I’m hungry for chinese.