Real Meat Dog Food receives the Advisor’s top rating of 5 stars.
The Real Meat product line includes three air-dried recipes, each claimed to meet AAFCO nutrient profiles for all life stages.
The following is a list of recipes available at the time of this review.
- Real Meat Air-Dried Beef
- Real Meat Air-Dried Lamb
- Real Meat Air-Dried Chicken
Real Meat Air-Dried Beef was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Real Meat Air-Dried Beef Formula
Dehydrated Dog Food
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Ingredients: Beef, beef lung, beef liver, beef heart, parsley, pumpkin, rosemary, inulin (from chicory root), ground beef bone, vegetable glycerin, choline chloride, mixed tocopherols (vitamin E supplement), zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, iron sulfate, vitamin E, iron proteinate, selenium yeast, copper sulfate, nicotinic acid, calcium pantothenate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, vitamin D3 supplement, ethylenediamine dihydriodide (source of iodine), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.4%
Red items indicate controversial ingredients
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||24%||27%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||33%||45%||22%|
The first ingredient in this dog food is beef. Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.1
Beef is naturally rich in all ten essential amino acids required by a dog to sustain life.
The second ingredient is beef lung. Beef lung is a protein-rich organ meat that’s also low in fat.
The third ingredient is beef liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is beef heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.
The fifth ingredient is parsley. Due to its exceptional vitamin and mineral content, spinach exhibits a remarkably high nutrient Completeness Score2 of 91.
The sixth ingredient is pumpkin. Pumpkin is a nutritious addition high in complex carbohydrates, beta-carotene and dietary fiber.
The eighth ingredient is inulin, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root.
Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also a prebiotic used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a dog’s digestive tract.
The ninth ingredient is ground beef bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.
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 vegetable glycerine. Glycerine is used in the food industry as a natural sweetener and as a humectant to help preserve the moisture content of a product.
Next, 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.
And lastly, this recipe includes selenium yeast. Unlike the more common inorganic form of selenium (sodium selenite), this natural yeast supplement is considered a safer anti-cancer alternative.
Real Meat Dog Food
The Bottom Line
Judging by its ingredients alone, Real Meat 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.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 41% and a mean fat level of 24%. Together, these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 27% for the overall product line.
And a fat-to-protein ratio of about 57%.
Above-average protein. Above-average fat. And below-average carbs when compared to a typical dry dog food.
Free of any plant-based protein boosters, this looks like the profile of a dry product containing an abundance of meat.
Real Meat Dog Food is a grain-free meat-based air-dried product using a generous amount of beef, lamb or chicken as its main sources of animal protein, thus earning the brand 5 stars.
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.
Real Meat Dog Food
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.
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A Final Word
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Notes and Updates
12/01/2015 Last Update
- Association of American Feed Control Officials ↩
- Completeness Score is a measure of a food’s relative nutrient content and is computed by NutritionData.com from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference ↩
- Bhale SD et al (2007), “Oregano and Rosemary Extracts Inhibit Oxidation of Long-Chain n-3 Fatty Acids in Menhaden Oil”, Journal of Food Science, Nov 2007, 10.1111/j.1750-3841 ↩
- Teuscher E (2005), Medicinal Spices (First edition), Stuttgart: Medpharm ↩