Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals product line includes five dry 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 Mae’s Country Naturals Adult Entree
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Puppy Entree
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Large Breed Entree
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Pork and Fish Entree
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Low Fat Dog Food (3.5 stars)
Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Pork and Fish Entree was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Grandma Mae's Country Naturals Pork and Fish Entree
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Pork meal, oats, pearled barley, millet, brown rice, canola oil, whitefish meal, flaxseed oil, dried blueberry, dried cranberry, suncured alfalfa meal, chelated potassium chloride, rice, inulin (from chicory), dried carrot, dried celery, dried beets, dried parsley, dried lettuce, dried watercress, dried spinach, dl-methionine, salt, chelated choline chloride, chelated zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, chelated zinc sulfate, green tea extract, l-lysine, Yucca schidigera extract, chelated iron proteinate, selenium yeast, chelated ferrous sulfate, mineral oil, chelated copper proteinate, chelated manganese proteinate, vitamin A supplement, chelated copper sulfate, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium thermophilum fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, chelated manganese sulfate, riboflavin, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, chelated sodium selenate, chelated cobalt proteinate, chelated thiamine mononitrate, chelated pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, chelated ethylenediamene dihydroiodide (EDDI), chelated cobalt carbonate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3.9%
Red items when present indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||27%||13%||52%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||24%||29%||47%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is pork meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork. 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 second ingredient includes oats. Oats are rich in B-vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
The third ingredient is barley. Barley is a starchy carbohydrate supplying fiber and other healthy nutrients. However, aside from its energy content, this cereal grain is of only modest nutritional value to a dog.
The fourth ingredient is millet, a gluten-free grain harvested from certain seed grasses. Millet is hypoallergenic and naturally rich in B-vitamins and fiber as well as other essential minerals.
The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.
Yet others cite the fact canola oil can be a significant source of essential omega-3 fatty acids.
In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a dog than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.
The seventh ingredient is whitefish meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
Whitefish is a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1
The eighth ingredient is flaxseed oil, one of the best non-fish sources of omega-3 fatty acids — essential to a dog’s health.
The ninth ingredient is blueberries. Blueberries are a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary 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 five notable exceptions…
First, we find alfalfa meal. Although alfalfa meal is high in plant protein (about 18%) and fiber (25%), this hay-family item is more commonly associated with horse feeds.
Next, we note the inclusion of inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
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.
In addition, 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
Next, this food 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.
And lastly, this recipe also includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Dog Food 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 27% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 51% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 50%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of pork or chicken meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
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.
For a quality grain free option from the same company, please visit our review of Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free
A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
11/11/2014 Last Update