Nutrition and Your Pet’s Health

Specific Meat Meals Provide Maximum Nutrition

Grandma Mae’s always uses the highest quality specific meat meals in our foods, which are among the most nutritious substances on earth.  This is because they are a highly concentrated form of fresh muscle meat and organ meat, containing very little water, and chock full of protein and other essential nutrients.  Fresh meat, on the other hand, contains a lot of water–fresh chicken may consist of over 80% water weight!  This means a food listing fresh meat first likely supplements protein with plant sources and may be lacking in essential amino acids such as taurine, which can only be found in muscle and organ meat.

In short, a specific meat meal means your pet gets more protein directly from meat sources, over 70%, which is why you’ll see the 70%+ logo on our bags.  Remember to look for specific meat meals only (ie: Chicken Meal, Buffalo Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal) because anything listed as a generic “meat meal” is of low quality and may contain byproducts, and Grandma Mae’s never uses this type of “meat meal” in any of its formulas.

Keeping Your Dog’s Heart Healthy

While some grain free dog foods made with low quality proteins have been suspected to contribute to canine heart disease (DCM) and other problems, Grandma Mae’s was designed specifically to help prevent this condition.  Developed by top veterinary nutritionists, Grandma Mae’s uses the highest-quality proteins that are only available in smaller quantities: the proteins in our food are over 70% from animal sources, which is vital for canine nutrition.  Plus, we use a slow-cook low-temperature process which prevents heat damage to the nutrients.  Our formulas also contain optimal levels of Methionine, which is the key building block of Taurine.  Like Taurine, Methionine is an amino acid found naturally in our high-quality meat protein, which we then supplement as needed.  Dogs can synthesize Methionine to make as much Taurine as they need to keep their hearts healthy.  Dogs who are fed Grandma Mae’s should therefore not experience a decline in Taurine levels.

Preventing Urinary Tract Infections in Cats

All of Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals’ cat foods, both dry and canned, are “Uristic,” which means they are designed to promote long-term urinary tract health.  This is because our cat foods also contain a high level of Methionine, an amino acid which raises the acidity of urine, helping to break down urine crystals and in turn, reducing inflammation of the urinary tract.  Methionine occurs naturally in our fresh ingredients and we supplement it to reach the exact level needed for your cat’s long-term health.

Additionally, unlike many lower quality pet foods, our formulas are naturally low in ash, and the proportion of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium is optimized for your cats’ health.  Consumers should look for foods with an approximate ratio of 1.2 to 1.3 Calcium to 1.0 Phosphorus to .06 Magnesium. Both Grandma Mae’s dry and canned cat foods meet these standards.

Promoting Joint Health in Large Breed and Senior Dogs

Our grain-inclusive formulas for Large Breed and Senior Dogs, as well as our Grain Free Low Fat formula, are supplemented to high levels of Glucosamine and Chondroitin.  This promotes healthy joint development in growing dogs, which is particularly important in large breeds, and reduces the likelihood of joint pain and other joint health issues in mature and older dogs.  These formulas provide 75-100% of the maintenance dose of Glucosamine and Chondroitin as recommended by leading pet nutritionists, so feeding these can significantly reduce, if not replace, the need for supplements depending on an individual dogs’ needs.

What to do if Your Pet is Overweight

You can tell if your pet is overweight by looking at them from above to see if there is a waist in front of the hips. You can also look at the pet from the side to make sure there is no belly but that the abdomen goes up between the ribs and the hips.  You can feel for the rib cage, and although the ribs should not show from the outside (which could mean a pet is underweight), the ribs should be easy to feel. If you must put pressure on the sides of the rib cage to feel the ribs, or cannot feel the ribs at all, then the pet may be overweight.  If your pet is overweight, Grandma Mae’s has low fat formulas for both dogs and cats which taste great and provide your pet with all the nutrition she needs. Our low fat formulas have feeding charts for both weight loss and weight maintenance so you may keep feeding your pets their favorite food once they have reached a healthy weight.

 Rotational Diets for Allergy Avoidance

Experience has shown that changing the meat protein in your dog’s food every 3-6 months, and feeding an ultra-premium food like Grandma Mae’s with lots of high-quality meat protein, can help your dog avoid allergy issues.  Most of our grain free formulas are Limited Ingredient Diets (LIDs), each with a different single source meat protein making them the perfect choice for this type of protein rotation.

In many cases, if a dog or cat has dry or itchy skin, this may not be an allergy at all.  This is usually caused by nutritional deficiencies in their diet because the skin is the last to receive any nutrients. Making the switch to a high-quality food like Grandma Mae’s, which is a complete ultra-premium diet, will often take care of this problem.

 How to Switch Your Pet to a New Food

When changing a pet’s diet, whether it is the same brand or not, if possible, mix the new formula in with their previous food for at least a week–or longer if changing to a new brand–to avoid diarrhea and other digestive issues.  If the brand of the food is the same but the meat protein is different, a week is usually sufficient. Make this transition gradually by adding a larger amount of the new food at each meal as you decrease the proportion of the old food.  With an easy to digest brand of food like Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals, some pets won’t experience any issues even if the diet is completely changed quickly, but it is always best to mix.