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Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen Dog Food Review (Cooked Frozen)

Mike Sagman  Karan French

By

Mike Sagman
Mike Sagman

Mike Sagman

Founder

Dr Mike Sagman is the creator of the Dog Food Advisor. He founded the website in 2008, after his unquestioning trust in commercial dog food led to the tragic death of his dog Penny.

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&
Karan French
Karan French

Karan French

Senior Researcher

Karan is a senior researcher at the Dog Food Advisor, working closely with our in-house pet nutritionist, Laura Ward, to give pet parents all the information they need to find the best food for their dog.

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Updated: May 20, 2024

Verified by Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Laura Ward

Pet Nutritionist

Laura studied BSc (Hons) Animal Science with an accreditation in Nutrition at the University of Nottingham, before working for eight years in the pet food and nutrition industry.

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Laura Ward

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Our Verdict

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Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen product line includes 4 cooked-then-frozen dog foods.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage: Growth, Maintenance, All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Emma Lou's Pork and Quinoa 5 U
Emma Lou's Turkey and Quinoa 5 U
Emma Lou's Chicken and Quinoa 5 U
Emma Lou's Beef and Quinoa 4.5 U

Recipe and Label Analysis

Emma Lou’s Turkey and Quinoa was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Emma Lou's Turkey and Quinoa Formula

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

54.2%

Protein

25.8%

Fat

12%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Ground turkey, organic quinoa, collard greens, green beans, sweet potato, carrots, chicken liver, eggs, apple, parsley, freshly ground organic flax seed, extra virgin olive oil, organic raw apple cider vinegar, organic kelp powder, organic alfalfa powder, sea salt, finely powdered eggshell, zinc gluconate, copper gluconate, vitamin D, vitamin E, sodium selenite, potassium iodide


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2%

Red denotes any controversial items

Estimated Nutrient Content
Method Protein Fat Carbs
Guaranteed Analysis 15% 7% NA
Dry Matter Basis 54% 26% 12%
Calorie Weighted Basis 42% 49% 9%

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient in this dog food is ground turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”.1

Turkey is naturally rich in the ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.

The second ingredient is quinoa. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds.

Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

The third ingredient includes collard greens. Due to their notable vitamin and mineral content, collards boast a high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 81.

The fourth ingredient lists green beans, a healthy vegetable notable for its vitamin, mineral and natural fiber content.

Next, we find 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 sixth ingredient lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

The seventh ingredient is chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The eighth ingredient includes whole eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

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 5 notable exceptions

First, flaxseed is 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.

This recipe contains sodium selenite a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

Next, olive oil contains oleic acid, a healthy monounsaturated fat. It’s also rich in natural antioxidants and carotenoids.

In addition, this food contains egg shell powder, used here as a natural source of dietary calcium.

And lastly, the vitamins and minerals added to this product are not detailed sufficiently here to permit us to judge their quality. However, we’re reassured to find a detailed list of naturally present nutrients on the company’s website.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen looks like an above-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 54%, a fat level of 26% and estimated carbohydrates of about 12%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 51% and a mean fat level of 30%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 11% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 58%.

Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical refrigerated dog food.

Even when you consider the protein-boosting effect of the flaxseed, this looks like the profile of a wet product containing a significant amount of meat.

Emma Lou's Dog Food Recall History

The following automated list (if present) includes all dog food recalls related to Emma Lou's through July 2024.

No recalls noted.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls since 2009 here.

Our Rating of Emma Lou's Dog Food

Emma Lou’s HomemaOur Ratingde Kitchen is a grain-inclusive dog food that includes a significant amount of named meats as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.

Enthusiastically recommended.

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.

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Highly Recommended

Sources

1: Adapted by the Dog Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition

2: Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference

A Final Word

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