Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen Dog Food Review (Refrigerated)

Rating:

Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen refrigerated dog food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.

The Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen product line includes 4 refrigerated 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.

  • Emma Lou’s Pork and Quinoa [A]
  • Emma Lou’s Turkey and Quinoa [A]
  • Emma Lou’s Chicken and Quinoa [A]
  • Emma Lou’s Beef and Quinoa (4.5 stars) [A]

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

Frozen Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 54% | Fat = 26% | Carbs = 12%

Ingredients: 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) = 7.3%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis15%7%NA
Dry Matter Basis54%26%12%
Calorie Weighted Basis42%49%9%
Protein = 42% | Fat = 49% | Carbs = 9%

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 four 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.

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.

Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen
Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen Dog Food looks like an above-average wet 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 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.

Bottom line?

Emma Lou’s Homemade Kitchen is a grain-inclusive refrigerated 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.

A Final Word

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between diet and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

Notes and Updates

  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

09/07/2019 Last Update