Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals (Dry)

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Rating: ★★★★☆

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 lists 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 Adult Entree
  • Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Puppy Entree
  • 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

Protein = 27% | Fat = 13% | Carbs = 52%

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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis24%12%NA
Dry Matter Basis27%13%52%
Calorie Weighted Basis24%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. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because some worry that canola oil is made from rapeseed, a genetically modified (GMO) raw material.

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.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.1

Whitefish is a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.

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, this recipe 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.2

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.

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 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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 27%, a fat level of 13% and estimated carbohydrates of about 52%.

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 51%.

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 alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

Bottom line?

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.

Highly recommended.

Please note certain products are sometimes given a higher or lower rating based upon our estimate of their total meat content.

For a quality grain free option from the same company, please visit our review of Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free

Special Alert

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

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

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.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in specific health benefits 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.

To learn how we support the cost of operating this website, please visit our public Disclosure and Disclaimer page.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

04/16/2010 Original review
11/16/2010 Review updated
05/02/2012 Review updated
04/08/2013 Review updated
03/04/2014 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. EFSA News Story dated 6/12/2012
  • Pattyvaughn

    It should be reflected in the ingredient list.

  • http://natchb.blogspot.com/ Natch

    Hello there! Just wanted to echo the statement that we would love to see Grandma Mae’s Grain Free reviewed.

    Also, Grandma Mae’s FAQ page (http://grandmamaes.com/frequently-asked-questions/) reports that all the minerals in the foods are chelated. Would this have to be listed on the ingredient panel sections of the website for an update to your review?

  • InkedMarie

    Thats pretty good pricing!

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Yes it is!

  • Melissaandcrew

    43-$45 for the 28lb bag. I can tell you the dogs love it. I mixed some in today, so we will see how they do with it as an addition. 30 percent protein, 15 or 16 percent fat(can’t remember w/out looking at the bag)

  • InkedMarie

    What price are you seeing, Melissa? Friends of ours have a labradoodle that is overweight with crap for knees, maybe hips too. They were feeding the Grandmae Mae’s chicken, I talked them into the grainfree. They then got some Science Diet low cal food; hope they get rid of it soon and get to the grain free/

  • Melissaandcrew

    Hi Dr Mike and Sandy-

    Can you tell me if the Grain free version is on the “to do list”? It seems like it will be a very budget friendly potato free option for many folks. Thanks-

  • Melissaandcrew

     tigermom-

    My smallest two have been raised on Acana and the like-they are two years old.. My seniors have been eating the food the same amount of time, and the oldest is 16. Every one is doing great, without any issues and recently blood work shows that.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    I have pugs, considered a toy breed.  They are professional lap dogs.  They’ve eaten at least above-average to high protein for about 2 years, maybe more.  I use different forms of food to make sure they get a variety: kibble, canned, freeze dried, and raw.  They even have their own freezer of raw foods.  When I make a batch of homemade raw it’s 70-80% meat and sometimes I just give them a raw meaty bone (RMB) like a chicken leg – just protein. I’ve fed/have fed these kibbles over the past 2 yrs or so if you want to look them up: Amicus, Blue Buffalo Wilderness, Brothers Complete, Nutrisca, Great Life Grain Free, Wellness Core, Nature’s Variety Instinct, and Wysong Epigen.  They have various ranges of protein.

    For cans I use/have used Wellness Stews, Weruva, Merrick Classic and Merrick 96% and Merrick Whole Earth Farms, Nutrisca and Addiction.

    If you want to mix regular and grain free Grandma Mae’s, you could but it would defeat the purpose of going grain free, if that’s your purpose.  If you just want to bump up her protein and decrease her grain and carb intake, then that would work.  I used to feed one of mine that took longer to transition a mix of 25% grain and 75% grain free for 2-4 months (I forget, it’s been so long ago). I had one pug who was a foot chewer so I went completely grain free and potato free.  But if your dog does not have any issues that you know of with grain, then mixing the two would work.  If you did 50/50 it would be 30% protein and 16% fat (dry matter) – middle of the road numbers. 

    I avoid gluten in their diets like rye, barley, wheat, etc. I would however use a food with millet or quinoa as those are gluten free. Nature’s Logic is an example.

  • tigermama

    Thanks for the info.  How long have you been feeding your little one high protein?  Do you think it is best to mix it as I am doing now with the regular Grandma Mae’s?

  • Melissaandcrew

     tigermama-

    As Sandy said, its not considered to be high protein-and I mixed it tonight with their Acana(33% protein GA) topped with raw commercial-and my smallest guy is 5.9lbs : ) I bought it for the guaranteed analysis of 15% fat which is in the ball park of what my crew can “safely” eat.

  • http://www.dfwpugs.com/ sandy

    Grandma Mae’s Grain Free is not “high” protein.  It is 30% (33% dry matter) which is just above average.  If you look through the 5-star list, there are many foods above that.  There’s even a kibble that is 60% protein.  30% is actually the lowest I will feed my dogs, but that is me.

  • tigermama

    I have tried the grain free samples and my sensitive stomach yorkie loves it however the protein content is higher so not sure it is ok to feed an 8 lb. dog.  It was well tolerated however.

  • tigermama

    I am anxious for the grain free forumula to be tested as I just tried a few bits that my local pet store gave me as a sample and my little guy loved it.

    Mike…please review the grain free formula!

  • Melissaandcrew

    Acana is still on back order, so bought a bag of the Grain free today as options are limited in the lower fat department. Has anyone used the grain free? Comments/thoughts on it?

  • Melissaandcrew

     Reviews are based on the ingredients etc, not how one or one million dogs do on it : )

    This food gave my white dog horrible tear stains-

    The do now have a grain free product however, and after Mike rates it,(if it rates well) I am going to give it a whirl in my rotation.

  • Tigermama

    My finicky yorkie would only eat Berkley and Jensen’s dry holistic dog food which would have been fine but I grew tired of keeping all those tupperware containers full of kibble.  It only comes in 17 lb bags and he weighs only 8 or 9 lbs!  I switched him to Country Naturals and he is tolerating it well and seems to enjoy it very much!  He is a finicky eater with a very sensitive stomach so I add a bit of cooked chicken and sweet potato as a super treat on top at suppertime. 

    It’s been 2 months…so far so good.  No diarrhea and no vomiting which has been a problem in the past.  Not sure why this food is not rated 5 stars…….

  • E. Leone

    I work in a pet store in Western NY. We recently started carrying this line of food. I decided to try a bag of the pork for my two year old itchy, scratchy greyhound/dutch shepherd mix. For a while, I’d been feeding her whatever damaged bags we got at the shop. Ranging from Earthborn to  California Natural and Science Diet to Pro Plan. Though I have always been an avid feeder of Science Diet, I really like the results I have gotten from this food. Leena maintains a healthy weight now, and her coat has really improved. Her itching has become minimalistic, and after her last flea treatment, I am hopeful that she’ll be itch free within the week. Also, she loves the food She’s always been a fairly good eater, but even when I removed wet food and additives from her diet, and strictly fed her the dry, she devoured it! Now, when I “prepare” her food, I simply add a tiny bit of warm water and she thinks it’s the best thing in the world! I definitely recommend this food for the more finicky eaters, and the pork formula did wonders for her overall skin/coat condition! :D

  • melissa

    Dr Mike-

    just FYI- I was looking at their website to see the new grain free formula, and under FAQ/Frequently asked questions, the website now states that all the minerals are chelated : )

  • Jaconi

    What about their grain free food that is being made now?  How would that rate?
     

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  • Lulmutaya

    Wow! This review makes me very very happy! My dog is a picky eater. I have been through 15 bags of high quality to lower quality dog foods just to get her to eat anyting. I went to my local pet store and they we’re all feeding their animals Grandma Mae’s Counrty Nautral and what a good product it was and most importantly MADE IN THE USA! My pup Nala loooves this food and I’m a relieved pet mom because now I know she is getting the nutrition she needs!

  • melissa

    Just a side note-

    Fed this as part of the mix/rotation for about 6 weeks and my white dog developed tear staining. Once it was removed, the tear stains went away.

  • melissa

    I just picked up a bag of this food as it seems like a decent grain inclusive food for our mix-but also emailed the company to ask why the minerals do not appear as chelated on the bags. Will share what I hear. In the meantime, it seems like a reasonable food with a reasonable price(here in my part of NY its 30lbs for $39.99)

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Sean… That may very well be true. However, as long as the packaging and especially the website list non-chelated ingredients, we’re obligated to show this product as containing what Grandma Mae’s lists on its labels.

    As with all food packaging, the company is required by Federal law to show exactly what’s inside each package. If this food contains chelated minerals, then the manufacturer should make the effort to update its website as well as its packaging.

    Once they do (and once I become aware of the change), I’ll gladly update my review. Thanks again for sharing this tip.

  • Sean

    Ive been doing some research on this dog food and they have updated their website to say that they do include chelated minerals.
    http://grandmamaes.com/frequently-asked-questions/
    It is about a quarter of the way down the list.

    “Does Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals have chleated minerals?

    Yes, all the minerals in Country Naturals are chelated.”

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Jennifer… Even if the minerals were chelated (which they don’t appear to be based upon the company’s own label information), my rating would probably still be unchanged. Please see “The Bottom Line” section of this review to better understand how I arrived at this product’s rating. Unfortunately, I cannot provide customized product comparisons for each reader. For more help, please check out my reviews and visit our FAQ page. Look for the topic, “Help Me Choose a Dog Food”. Or check back for a possible response from one of our other readers.

  • Jennifer

    Mike,

    If the minerals are indeed Chelated, would that decrease your review of this brand?

    Also my dog is currently on Blue seal puppy food, I’ve read your review of that as well.

    if you could either do a brief comparison of the two for me or simply state in general which is a better food that would Extremely helpful to me as a consumer and a new puppy owner.

    Thanks

    Jennifer

  • http://DogFoodAdvisor.com Mike Sagman

    Hi Susan… Thanks for sharing this information with us. Unfortunately, as long as the packaging and especially the website list non-chelated ingredients, we’re obligated to show this product as containing what Grandma Mae’s lists on its labels.

    As with all food packaging, the company is required by Federal law to show exactly what’s inside each package. If this food contains chelated minerals, then the manufacturer should make the effort to update its website as well as its packaging.

    Once they do (and once I become aware of the change), I’ll gladly update my review. Thanks again for sharing this tip.

  • Susan

    The review above states that “the minerals here do not appear to be chelated. And that can make them more difficult to absorb.” I called Grandma Mae’s 1-800 number and personally spoke with one of their employees who stated that the minerals in their dog food products are chelated. The Grandma Mae phone rep said that the ingredient panel on their packages don’t state that the minerals are chelated; therefore, reviewers often assume that they’re not. Just wanted to clear up any confusion.

  • Dominic

    I work at one of the small family-owned Retail stores that carries CCN. I finally made the switch myself for my chihuahua Jack. I must say he is GLOWING! I have also witnessed (with big and small dogs ages 5 mth to 11yrs) that when switching from a brand like Purina, Pedigree etc dogs eat up to 1/3 less!

    People I switch to this food revist the store soon after switching and have nothing but the best to say about Country Naturals :) This includes people who haven’t been able to get their spoiled dogs to eat actual dog food (no joke).

  • Low Carb Lou

    My pooch, Bobert, has been eating this kibble for about a year. He grumps normally and his energy is high. I recommend this food for any adult dog. It’s grrrrrrrreat!