Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals Grain Free (Dry)


Rating: ★★★★☆

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

Protein = 29% | Fat = 16% | Carbs = 48%

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 items indicate controversial ingredients

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis26%14%NA
Dry Matter Basis29%16%48%
Calorie Weighted Basis25%33%42%
Protein = 25% | Fat = 33% | Carbs = 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:

  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas

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
The Bottom Line

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 29%, a fat level of 16% and estimated carbohydrates of about 48%.

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.

Bottom line?

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.

Highly 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.

Grandma Mae’s Dog Food
Recall History

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.

You can view a complete list of all dog food recalls sorted by date. Or view the same list sorted alphabetically by brand.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

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A Final Word

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

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit 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.

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

Notes and Updates

11/11/2017 Last Update

  1. Adapted by The Dog Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  • Jan Rowe

    I have four dogs ranging in age from Two and a Half to 14 and all different breeds who are now eating country natural Grandma Mae’s. Two of them eat the grain-free Whitefish and the other to eat the grain free chicken.

    I just got lab results back on all four of them showing increased kidney functions (SDMA). The only thing that has changed in the last year, since prior lab testS were done is the fact that they are now all on Grandma Mae’s. Has anyone else experienced the same issue with increased kidney functions on lab testing?

    I really hope it’s not the food as they all love it and it seems like such a great product

  • Jen L

    I have two bulldogs, one Frenchie who is a very picky eater. We have gone through several brands of great quality kibble over the past 15 months. These include Nutrisource (my favorite for his coat, stools, weight etc., but he stopped liking it as a young puppy), Instinct Raw Boost, Holistic Select, Fromm, Taste of Wild & Wellness Core (both my least favorite). Some he really liked but I changed because his stools were too runny/coat was flakey/no energy/gassy etc. Others he just didn’t eat. They suggested Grandma Mae’s at our pet store, along with sprinkling freeze dried Rawz over the kibble. Both of our dogs absolutely love it and eat it happily. It’s been 3 weeks, their stools are solid, no gas, shiny coat, proper weight for size, and a ton of energy. So far so good!

  • K9Lover

    A local shop started carrying this & stopped carrying my food so I had to switch and I only had a couple days of food left. So I believed this was why my dogs had diahrea, a week passed without getting better. I visited my dog park to meet up with “Our Pack” play group. To find out others had to switch & were having the same issues. I finished off the bag and never looked back. I switched shops & dog food to Nulo within a week all my dogs had regular stool.

  • Ya Fei Iona Chen


  • Ya Fei Iona Chen

    with ur help i m sure it’s naturally preserved and GMO free.i will give this a try.

  • Ya Fei Iona Chen

    thank you,Dori.i will give this food a try.

  • Crazy4dogs

    This food would be considered to be naturally preseved as it is using mixed tocopherols. But as Dori also agreed, if you are feeding kibble of any kind, they all will have a preservative of some kind to prevent the oil from becoming rancid and to increase shelf life.

  • Ya Fei Iona Chen

    thank you for the link.i will look for those naturally preserved then.

  • Dori

    Ya Fei lona Chen. As Crazy4dogs has stated all dry kibble foods have to have something to preserve them. They need it for the shelf life. Mixed tocopherols are more of a natural way to preserve but you should also make sure that the vitamin E that they are using contains no soy and that they food itself is at least stating that they are GMO free.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Technically, no. Mixed tocopherols are used to prevent the fat from oxidizing and turning rancid. I don’t think there’s any kibble that’s completely preservative free. Mixed tocopherols are a natural way to preserve & mostly use vitamin E.
    Here’s the DFA link to explain it:

  • Ya Fei Iona Chen

    is it preservative free?

  • noneya

    THE only food my 3 pups will eat. They love it !

  • dani

    Secrets To Dog Training: Stop Your Dog’s Behavior Problems! ————————-

  • Guest

    This stuff is fantastic

  • Melissaandcrew

    Hi April-
    Its made in Upstate NY and Ohio.

  • April Scott

    My dogs LOVE this food …. and it’s made here in my home state of Ohio.

  • update: we have switched over to this food. Our picky pup eats it up more readily than before.

  • greg

    My dog is super picky. Weve had her on taste of the wild but she reaally struggles to get through her bowl. We have a new puppy so we’re looking for other options. We gave our picky dog a sample of country naturals grain free and she really liked it…we’ll see in a couple days whether she gets tired of it

  • Melissaandcrew

    Perhaps no one has fed it yet? I fed a few bags in rotation waiting for the review, and all the dogs loved it. No problems, but not long enough to say one way or the other.

  • BlueDiamond

    No comments? Where is the feedback?