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 four 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 Food for Adults
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Food for Puppies
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Farmhouse Blend
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Low Fat (3.5 stars)
Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Farmhouse Blend was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Grandma Mae's Country Naturals Farmhouse Blend
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Pork meal, oats, pearled barley, millet, brown rice, canola oil, whitefish meal, flaxseeds, dried blueberry, dried cranberry, dried kelp, chelated potassium chloride, vegetable pomace, dl methionine, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, vitamin E, zinc sulfate, alfalfa meal, l-lysine, Yucca schidigera extract, inulin (chicory), green tea extract, iron proteinate, selenium yeast, chelated ferrous sulfate, mineral oil, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, vitamin A supplement, chelated copper sulfate, dried Bacillus subtillis fermentation product, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium thermophilum fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, niacin, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, chelated manganese sulfate, riboflavin, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, chelated sodium selenate, cobalt proteinate, thiamine, pyridoxine, folic acid, iodine, cobalt carbonate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
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.
The second ingredient is 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. Unlike grains with a higher glycemic index, barley can help support more stable blood sugar levels.
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. Many applaud canola for its favorable omega-3 content while a vocal minority condemn it as an unhealthy fat.
Much of the objection regarding canola oil appears to be related to the use of genetically modified rapeseed as its source material.
Yet others find the negative stories about canola oil more the stuff of urban legend than actual science.1
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.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.2
Whitefish is a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.
The eighth 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 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 vegetable pomace, the solid by-product of vegetables after pressing for juice or oil. This item contains the skins, pulp, seeds, and stems of the fruit.
Vegetable pomace can be a controversial ingredient. Some praise pomace for its high fiber, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.
Just the same, there’s probably not enough vegetable pomace here to make much of a difference.
Next, this recipe also contains selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
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.3
Next, we note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
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.
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 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 13%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 52% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 49%.
Near-average protein. Below-average fat. And above-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseeds, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a below-average amount of meat.
Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals dog food is a plant-based kibble using a below average amount of pork or chicken meals as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4 stars.
For a quality grain free option from the same company, please visit our review of Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free
Please note certain products are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.
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
04/16/2010 Original review
11/16/2010 Review updated
05/02/2012 Review updated
04/08/2013 Review updated
04/08/2013 Last Update