Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Grandma Lucy’s Artisan product line lists five freeze-dried recipes, 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 Pork
- Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Lamb
- Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Bison
- Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Chicken
- Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Venison
Grandma Lucy’s Artisan Venison was selected to represent the others 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, 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 flax, 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.
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 next few items include a variety of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables…
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 to be 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%.
Below-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a dry dog food containing a moderate amount of meat.
However, this food uses meat that has been cooked so it cannot be considered a raw dog food.
Grandma Lucy’s Artisan is a grain-free freeze-dried dog food using a moderate amount of various species as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 stars.
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
01/16/2011 Original review
04/03/2011 Review updated
10/22/2102 Review updated
09/04/2013 Reclassified to a dry food
10/22/2012 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) ↩