Muenster Ancient Grains Dog Food Review (Dry)

Rating:

Muenster Ancient Grains Dog Food receives the Advisor’s second-highest tier rating of 4.5.

The Muenster Ancient Grains product line includes 4 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.

Use the links below to check prices and package sizes at an online retailer.

  • Muenster Ancient Grains Large Breed (4 stars) [A]
  • Muenster Ancient Grains with Chicken [A]
  • Muenster Ancient Grains with Ocean Fish [A]
  • Muenster Ancient Grains with Chicken and Pork [A]

Muenster Ancient Grains with Chicken and Pork was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Muenster Ancient Grains with Chicken and Pork

Dry Dog Food

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein = 33% | Fat = 23% | Carbs = 35%

Ingredients: Pork, pork meal, chicken, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), grain sorghum, millet, brown rice, pea protein, chicken meal, whole ground flaxseed, coconut meal, turkey meal, ocean fish meal, natural flavors, choline chloride, salmon oil, chia seed, chicken cartilage (source of natural chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine), sea salt, potassium chloride, cod liver oil, turmeric, kelp meal, diatomaceous earth, calcium carbonate, dried beet, dried cranberries, dried blueberries, dried pumpkin, dried spinach, dried tomatoes, dried chamomile, zinc amino acid complex, vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, iron amino acid complex, ferrous sulfate, copper amino acid complex, copper sulfate, manganese amino acid complex, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, manganous oxide, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, ethylenediamine dihydroiodide, folic acid, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, rosemary extract, Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Lactobacillus lactis fermentation product, Lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, Aspergillus oryzae fermentation product

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 5.6%

Red denotes controversial item

Estimated Nutrient Content
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis30%21%NA
Dry Matter Basis33%23%35%
Calorie Weighted Basis27%45%28%
Protein = 27% | Fat = 45% | Carbs = 28%

The first ingredient in this dog food is pork. Although it’s a quality item, raw pork 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 pork meal. Pork meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh pork. Yet it can also be high in ash — about 25-30%.

However, the ash content of the final product is typically adjusted in the recipe to allow its mineral profile to meet AAFCO guidelines.

The third ingredient is chicken, another quality, raw item inclusive of moisture.

After processing, this item would probably account for a smaller part of the total content of the finished product.

The fourth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is sorghum. Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.

Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The sixth 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 seventh ingredient lists 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 eighth ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.

Even though it contains over 80% 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 meat content of this dog food.

The ninth ingredient is chicken meal, another protein-rich meat concentrate.

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, 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, we note the use of coconut meal, also known as copra meal.

Copra meal is a by-product of coconut oil production and is more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Although copra meal contains about 25% protein, this ingredient is lower in some essential amino acids. So, its nutritive value is considered inferior to other oil meals (such as soybean meal).

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.

In addition, we find chia seed, an edible seed nutritionally similar to flax or sesame. Provided they’re first ground into a meal, chia seeds are rich in both omega-3 fatty acids as well as dietary fiber.

However, chia seeds contain about 17% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this dog food.

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.

Muenster Ancient Grains
Dog Food Review

Judging by its ingredients alone, Muenster Ancient Grains 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 33%, a fat level of 23% and estimated carbohydrates of about 35%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 31% and a mean fat level of 19%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 42% for the overall product line.

And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 60%.

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

When you consider the protein-boosting effect of the pea protein, flaxseed, coconut meal and chia seed, this looks like the profile of a kibble containing a moderate amount of meat.

However, with 45% of the total calories in our example coming from fat versus just 27% from protein, some recipes may not be suitable for every animal.

Bottom line?

Muenster Ancient Grains is a grain-inclusive dry dog food using a moderate amount of named meat meals as its main source of animal protein, thus earning the brand 4.5 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.

Muenster 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.

Related Topics

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Important FDA Alert

The FDA is investigating a potential link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs. Click here for details.

A Final Word

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Notes and Updates

05/27/2019 Last Update