The Most Common (and scary) Ingredient In Dog Food Is One To Avoid
The Quick Sniff
*As of June 24, 2020
A Risk-Free, meal-free Taste Test
Let your pup take the fresh meat challenge! Try a BIXBI Sample Pack. $10 gets you samples of our most popular RAWBBLE Dry and Freeze-Dried, a pack of Peanut Butter Pocket Trainers and a $10 gift certificate good to use when your puppy picks the recipe they like the best!
The Full Sniff
Imagine there was an ingredient used in food that contained parts of animals that no one else wanted. An ingredient that only exists as a way to recycle waste from the human food chain and has less nutritional value. What if the only parts that weren’t “recycled” were from animals that had diseases? What if this overly processed ingredient was marketed as a healthy protein source, but couldn’t be easily digested by the body? Would you buy food that had an ingredient like this?
Of course not.
Unfortunately, if you have purchased a dog food that has any type of meat meal listed as an ingredient (chicken meal, fish meal, beef meal, etc), this is exactly what you have purchased. Avoiding meat meals is hard. Of the top ten best selling dog foods on Amazon, all ten contain meat meals*.
Doesn't sound like much of a meal
Meat meal (beef, lamb, pork, etc.), poultry meal (chicken, duck, turkey, etc.) and fish meal are commonly used as a low-quality source of protein, especially in dry pet foods. Meal powders provide a cheap way to spike protein levels but offer diminished nutritional value and lower nutrient digestibility. Meals are typically liquid rendered at high temperatures for hours, then dried into a powder, also at high temperatures, and finally cooked once more. Multiple applications of high heat breakdown the proteins making them far less useful for the body. And industrial chemical agents used in the meal extraction process are often found in the final product but are not required to be listed on pet food ingredient panels.
This amount of processing leaves the meat meal with lower nutritional benefits. Although its protein values are measured like that of its very distant cousin, fresh meat, meals have lower digestibility. This means your dog’s body cannot process meal powders like it can fresh meat. Meals end up passing through your dog’s system without being properly absorbed by the body.
Along with decreased nutrition and lower digestibility, meat meals can also contain questionable ingredients including parts from diseased animals. Shockingly, the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine Director is on record saying, “We do not believe that the use of diseased animals or animals that died otherwise than by slaughter to make animal food poses a safety concern.” It might not pose a safety concern, but it’s definitely something no pet parent would knowingly want to feed to their dog.
The way protein is measured in the finished product quantifies protein content but not protein quality. Therefore, most meat meals do meet regulatory requirements for protein levels, but nothing in the regulations sets quality or digestibility thresholds.
Meals are no laughing matter...
If it was chicken meat, why do they have to call it chicken meal?
Confused? We don’t blame you. What pet food manufacturers are allowed to tell and show consumers creates a lot of misinformation. For example, the beautiful image of a succulent chicken breast on your dog food bag would lead you to believe that chicken breast is in the product. It’s not. That wonderful hunk of meat most likely ended up in the meat section of your local grocery store. The chicken frame leftover after all that wonderful fresh meat was sent elsewhere is what was turned into chicken meal for dog food.
On their packaging
In their ingredients
The BIXBI Difference
BIXBI dry dog foods have an average protein digestibility of greater than 90%. Meal based foods have a substantially lower digestibility, and most manufacturers won’t report their digestibility levels at all. A study conducted by the Journal of Nutritional Science tested eight different meals-based dog foods. Their digestibility ranged from 70.4-82.5%.
BIXBI dry dog foods have an average protein digestibility greater than 90%.
At BIXBI we are proud of our digestibility numbers. Take a look at any of our RAWBBLE recipes and you will find their independently tested and verified protein digestibility number right on their product page.
On our packaging
in our ingredients
A Risk-Free, meal-free Taste Test
Let your pup take the fresh meat challenge! Try a BIXBI Sample Pack. $10 gets you samples of our most popular RAWBBLE Dry and Freeze-Dried and a $10 gift certificate good to use when your puppy picks the recipe they like the best!