Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5 stars.
The Grandma Lucy’s Artisan product line lists five freeze-dried 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.
- Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Venison
- Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Pork (5 stars)
- Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Lamb (4 stars)
- Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Bison (5 stars)
- Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Chicken (4 stars)
Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Venison recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Grandma Lucy's Artisan Venison
Freeze-Dried Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: USDA venison, potatoes, flax, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, apples, bananas, blueberry, cranberries, pumpkin, garlic, rosemary, vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, riboflavin, thiamin, potassium, manganese, chloride, copper, magnesium, pyridoxine, cyanocobalamin
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 7%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||30%||15%||47%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||27%||32%||41%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is venison. Although it is a quality item, raw venison contains about 80% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is potato. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The third ingredient is 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.
The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The sixth 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 seventh 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 two notable exceptions…
First, garlic can be a controversial item. Although most experts favor the ingredient for its numerous health benefits, garlic (in rare cases) has been linked to Heinz body anemia in dogs.1
However, the limited professional literature we surveyed provided no definitive warnings regarding the use of garlic — especially when used in small amounts (as it likely is here).
And lastly,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.
Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Grandma Lucy’s Artisan looks like an above-average dry 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 32% and a mean fat level of 15%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 48%.
Above-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, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing a notable amount of meat.
Grandma Lucy’s Artisan is a plant-based freeze-dried dog food using a notable amount of various meats as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
Please note certain recipes are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
Those look for additional grain-free products may wish to check out our special report on grain-free dog foods.
Rice ingredients can sometimes contain arsenic. Until the US FDA establishes safe upper levels for arsenic content, pet owners may wish to limit the total amount of rice fed in a dog's daily diet.
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
05/12/2014 Last Update
- 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) ↩