Aunt Jeni’s Home Made is a small direct to consumer company in Maryland. The company was founded in 1999 by Jennifer Boniface. As a small company, Aunt Jeni’s states their food is made in-house and not co-packed. Aunt Jeni’s currently offers raw frozen foods, along with supplements and treats.
For our Aunt Jeni’s dog food reviews we’ll look at the one line of 7 dog foods, based on the ingredient quality and safety. There is 1 line of 7 dog foods. Each dog food review was based on these criteria.
Aunt Jeni’s Dog Food Review
Package Ingredients For Aunt Jeni’s Raw Turkey Recipe: Turkey (Contains Turkey & Turkey Bones), Turkey Liver, Turkey Heart, Turkey Gizzard, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, Green Beans, Organic Alfalfa Sprouts, Papayas, Cranberries, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Almond Meal, Organic Walnut Meal.
Using our evaluation criteria, Aunt Jeni’s is considered a low risk dog food.
Several of the foods score 10/10 for ingredient quality, but there’s a concern with one recipe that loses a point …
High In Fat
The Lamb recipe is high in fat. Since animal proteins are the most expensive ingredient in most foods, raw foods sometimes use fattier meats to keep costs down. A high fat diet can cause unwanted shifts in gut bacteria and can add unwanted toxins, since toxins are stored in fat. Many fats are also high in omega-6 fatty acids, which can cause systemic, low-grade inflammation.
Most Aunt Jeni’s Raw dog food recipes have minimal carbohydrates as you’d expect in a raw diet. But the Chicken recipe loses a point for more than 15% carbs. Foods that are rich in carbohydrate can increase insulin levels, increase the risk of obesity and cause unwanted changes to the gut microbiome.
Many pet food ingredients are unsafe or are grown using unsafe chemicals. Here are some of the issues with the Aunt Jeni’s Raw dog food line:
High Pesticide/Herbicide Foods In The Top 5 Ingredients
The recipes in Aunt Jeni’s Raw dog food contain ingredients known to carry a large pesticide/herbicide residues, and sometimes they’re in the top 5 ingredients, including apples, celery, kale and spinach. Glyphosate is an antibiotic that can kill beneficial gut bacteria and has been linked to cancer and other diseases.
Other ingredients like kelp and alfalfa meal are organic, which is good to see.
Aunt Jeni’s doesn’t lose points for these concerns, but they’re worth noting.
Does Not Provide Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio
It’s also worth noting that Aunt Jeni’s does not state the omega6:omega-3 ratio in their foods. While this is true of most dog foods, AAFCO allows a very inflammatory limit of 30:1. Diets rich in omega-6 fats can cause chronic inflammation and disease.
Here are some benefits of these foods:
Raw foods are minimally processed, so the nutrients in the raw ingredients are preserved.
Except for the Chicken recipe as noted earlier, Aunt Jeni’s recipes have minimal carbohydrates, and they come from non-starchy produce.
Read more Aunt Jeni’s Dog Food Reviews
Is Aunt Jeni’s a Good Dog Food?
Overall, when evaluating ingredient quality and safety, scoring shows Aunt Jeni’s raw dog foods to be high quality, low risk foods. However, the lamb recipe is high in fat, and the Chicken recipe has over 15% carbohydrates, which lowered the ingredient quality rating.
Most of the recipes lost points for containing known ingredients known to have high pesticide/herbicide residues.
There are additional concerns with the dog food and marketing. These don’t affect the Aunt Jeni’s dog food reviews score, but they’re worth mentioning:
Does Not Provide Omega-6:Omega-3 Ratio
As noted earlier, this omission is true of most foods. However it is a concern because omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, and AAFCO allows a very inflammatory ratio of 30:1.
Aunt Jeni’s Dog Food Recalls
To date there have been no recalls of Aunt Jeni’s dog foods.
However, the FDA has cautioned consumers on two separate occasions that certain lots of the food were contaminated with Salmonella:
- August 30 2019: the USDA found two samples tested positive for Salmonella and/or Listeria on inspection. The FDA issued a warning on some lots of their Tturkey and Chicken foods.
- February 14 2020: the USDA collected a sample that tested positive for Salmonella and the FDA again issued a caution, this time for the Turkey food.
Aunt Jeni’s did not recall the food, claiming the FDA did not provide proof of the positive sample. Bacteria of all species can be common in raw (and cooked) foods and normally doesn’t present a problem for the dog eating it. Additionally, the rapid testing used by the USDA can pick up non-pathogenic bacteria species, and it’s debatable that zero bacteria in any pet food is desirable or beneficial.
We evaluate and score dog foods based on two criteria:
Are the Ingredients High Quality?
Here are some common low quality ingredients or markers we look for:
- Is there excessive carbohydrate content, which can cause gut imbalances?
- Does the food contain unnamed proteins, which are low quality?
- Does the food use cellulose (wood pulp) as a source of fiber instead of real food?
- Are there excessive vitamins and minerals added in place of real food nutrition?
- Are there excessive added amino acids or plant proteins instead of expensive meat protein?
- Does the food contain inflammatory processed seed oils?
How Safe Are the Ingredients?
Many ingredients come from unhealthy, inflammatory sources or are full of pesticides so we look for:
- How processed is the food?
- Does the food contain known genetically modified foods?
- Does the food contain ingredients known to be high in pesticides?
- Does the food contain natural flavor, which are often MSG or animal digest?
- Does the food contain rice, which is high in arsenic?
Each food is objectively evaluated by these criteria and a score is assigned using the average of ingredient quality and safety. This is NOT a paid list and there are no affiliate links. We’ve partnered with DogFoodReviews.com to make sure dog owners have unbiased, objective criteria to help them choose the best dog food on the market. You can view the full Evaluation Criteria at DogFoodReviews.com.