Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4 stars.
The Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free product line includes 6 dry 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.
Important: Because many websites do not reliably specify which Growth or All Life Stages recipes are safe for large breed puppies, we do not include that data in this report. Be sure to check actual packaging for that information.
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free Low Fat [A]
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free Duck Meal [A]
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free Turkey and Turkey Meal [A]
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free Whitefish Meal and Whitefish [A]
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free Lamb and Lamb Meal (3.5 stars) [A]
- Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free Chicken and Chicken Meal (5 stars) [A]
Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free Whitefish Meal and Whitefish was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Grandma Mae's Country Naturals Grain Free Whitefish Meal and Whitefish
Dry Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Whitefish, whitefish meal, peas, lentils, chickpeas, canola oil, salmon meal, carrots, celery, parsley, lettuce, watercress, spinach, alfalfa meal, kelp meal, menhaden fish oil, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, Yucca schidigera extract, dl-methionine, l-lysine, chelated choline chloride, chelated calcium carbonate, chelated monosodium phosphate, dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium thermophilum fermentation product, dried Bifidobacterium longum fermentation product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, niacin, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, potassium chloride, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium, calcium iodate
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4.4%
Red denotes controversial item
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||29%||16%||48%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||25%||33%||42%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is whitefish. This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations.1
Although it is a quality item, raw fish contains up to 73% water. After cooking, most of that moisture is lost, reducing the meat content to just a fraction of its original weight.
After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.
The second ingredient is whitefish meal. Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.
Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations.2
The third ingredient includes peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.
The fourth ingredient lists lentils. Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.
However, both peas and lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
The fifth ingredient includes chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. Like peas, bean and lentils, the chickpea is a nutritious member of the fiber-rich legume (or pulse) family of vegetables.
Even though chickpeas contain about 22% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this dog food.
It’s important to note that a number of ingredients included in this recipe are each a type of legumes:
Although they’re a mixture of quality plant ingredients, there’s an important issue to consider here. And that’s the recipe design practice known as ingredient splitting.
If we were to combine all these individual items together and report them as one, that newer combination would likely occupy a significantly higher position on the list.
In addition, legumes contain about 25% protein, a factor that must also be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.
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 salmon meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.
The eighth ingredient lists carrots. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.
The ninth ingredient is celery. Although raw celery can be very high in water, it can still contribute a notable amount of dietary fiber as well as other healthy nutrients.
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 three 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 dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added to provide enzymes to aid the animal with digestion.
And lastly, 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.
Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals
Grain Free Dog Food Review
Judging by its ingredients alone, Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free 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 29% and a mean fat level of 14%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 50% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 47%.
Near-average protein. Near-average fat. And near-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the peas, lentils, chickpeas and alfalfa meal, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.
Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free is a plant-based dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meats 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.
Grandma Mae’s Dog Food
The following list (if present) includes all dog food recalls since 2009 directly related to this product line. If there are no recalls listed in this section, we have not yet reported any events.
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Important FDA Alert
The FDA has announced it is investigating a potential connection between grain-free diets and a type of canine heart disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy. Click here for details.
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Notes and Updates
11/11/2017 Last Update