Real Meat Air-Dried (Dehydrated)

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Rating: ★★★★★

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

Protein = 41% | Fat = 24% | Carbs = 27%

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
MethodProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis35%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis41%24%27%
Calorie Weighted Basis33%45%22%
Protein = 33% | Fat = 45% | Carbs = 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 sixth ingredient is rosemary. Rosemary is an herb frequently used in dog food as a natural anti-oxidant and preservative.3 It’s also considered an anti-cancer agent.4

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.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 41%, a fat level of 24% and estimated carbohydrates of about 27%.

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.

Bottom line?

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.

Enthusiastically 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.

Real Meat 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.

To learn why our ratings have nothing to do with a product’s recall history, please visit our Dog Food Recalls FAQ page.

Get free dog food recall alerts sent to you by email. Subscribe to The Advisor’s recall notification list.

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A Final Word

The descriptions and analyses expressed in this and every article on this website represent the views and opinions of the author.

The Dog Food Advisor does not test dog food products.

We rely entirely on the integrity of the information provided by each company. As such, the accuracy of every review is directly dependent upon the specific data a company chooses to share.

Although it's our goal to ensure all the information on this website is correct, we cannot guarantee its completeness or its accuracy; nor can we commit to ensuring all the material is kept up-to-date on a daily basis.

We rely on tips from readers. To report a product change or request an update of any review, please contact us using this form.

Each review is offered in good faith and has been designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food.

However, due to the biological uniqueness of every animal, none of our ratings are intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific dietary response or health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyze each product, please read our article, "The Problem with Dog Food Reviews".

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt, consult a qualified veterinary professional for help.

In closing, we do not accept money, gifts or samples from pet food companies in exchange for special consideration in the preparation of our reviews or ratings.

However, we do receive a fee from Chewy.com for each purchase made as a direct result of a referral from our website. This fee is a fixed dollar amount and has nothing to do with the size of an order or the brand selected for purchase.

Have an opinion about this dog food? Or maybe the review itself? Please know we welcome your comments.

Notes and Updates

12/01/2015 Last Update

  1. Association of American Feed Control Officials
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. Teuscher E (2005), Medicinal Spices (First edition), Stuttgart: Medpharm
  • MaxMom

    I found this by accident online and have to ask, does your dog poop more on this diet? Right now I feed my pup Stella & Chewy’s raw diet (dehydrated dry chicken and frozen). His poop shrunk immediately. Whenever I give him any type of kibble or treat, he immediately poops like a Great Dane (he is a Jack Russell). He has horrendous skin allergies so I’m willing to try anything to see if it will help. Thanks!

  • Amateria

    Yeah well I was only reading about the palm oil and coconut oil versions been better than just plain old glycerin, I have never heard of that plant before so.

  • bojangles

    Hi Amateria,

    “Well it’s vegetable glycerin there is a difference a big one”

    Unless it’s this vegetable glycerin:

    http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-news/chinese-dog-treats-glycerin/

  • Amateria

    Well it’s vegetable glycerin there is a difference a big one, Inulin isn’t that like really good for us? I use yacon syrup daily and it has inulin and has helped me greatly to be honest, I am at the point with health that I now need yacon syrup on a daily basis without it I become severely unbalanced and candida is always waiting for me around the block when I don’t take it, it’s quiet annoying.
    I might also add that I think I have some sort of mutated strain as nothing comes up on tests lol.

    Vitamins are kind of needed to meet the aafco requirements so there’s not much you can really do about those, unless you can get your food to meet it without but I think it would be hard to do, it’s rated 5 stars because it’s very similar to Ziwipeak and any other air dried dog food and I really like the air dried ones because they are already much healthier than kibble, besides I’m sure there’s much worse things than the vitamins to look out for.

  • Li Ha

    how can one rate this as five starts, vitamins synthesized, most likely not local…. glycerin, inulin? yuck

  • JeremyScott10

    Thanks. My extremely picky toy dogs love all the flavors but especially the turkey and venison combo. It’s also very easy to break into little pieces for little mouths.

  • April French Leavitt

    I got mine from Chewy.com

  • Kim Millard

    Just an FYI, this product is also now available with options for Turkey or Turkey and Venison. They both look to be as outstanding as their other air-dried foods made with 90% Free-Range meat. The Turkey or Turkey and Venison has more limited sources but I’ve found them purchasing either from Real Meat Treats directly or from http://www.whitedogbone.com.

  • Trish Kobielski Hibberd

    Try chewy.com – they have this for a great price! My dogs love it as well; kind of a jerky consistency but I add hot water since they gulp it up. 🙂

  • theBCnut

    Amazon.

  • Samantha

    Did u find someplace to buy this yet

  • Britt Cali

    I live in California and I have to get it from speciality dog food stores they’re all small stores I can’t find it at any big name dog food stores. I seen its on amazon though I would try buying it there. I feed my dog the lamb formula.

  • theBCnut

    Where do you get it from? Like you, I have a dog that has multiple food sensitivities and it’s hard to find a food for him. but this one looks like it might work, if I can find it anywhere.

  • Britt Cali

    This dog food is AMAZING. My dog is literally allergic to every food! I’ve tried ACANA, Orijen, Ziwi Peak, Nulo, My perfect pet, etc. etc. You name it I’ve tried it!!! She gets HIVES to EVERYTHING. This is the only pet food she’s been able to stay on for this long as well. I’m so happy they exist and I’ve finally found a food that works well for her! Definitely recommend for people with pets who have food allergies. She hasn’t bit on her toes or had hives in months now since she’s been on this food! SO happy 🙂

  • Carol Stuart

    Change in formula: Notice the addition of vegetable glycerin. Air Dried Beef Dog Food

    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.

    The Real Meat Company does NOT use any beef gullets or glands.

    Guaranteed Analysis
    Crude Protein (min) 35%
    Crude Fat (min) 20%
    Crude Fiber (max) 2%
    Moisture (max) 15%
    Calories 4250kcal/kg 181kcal/ 1/4cup (1/4cup=1.5oz) Phosphorus level=1.6% DM Calcium level =1.8% DM Salt/Sodium =.14% DM Chloride =.47% DM

  • zhiba

    Parsley. I think that was a typo in the review.

  • Jille AngelEyes

    As per the 5th ingredient: is it Parsley or Spinach?

  • Kim Millard

    HI. Since this product is identical to Only Natural Pet MaxMeat Dog Food, please check out my review of that product on that page. Thanks

  • zhiba

    Thanks! I did! 🙂

  • LabsRawesome

    Hi zhiba, you can use this contact us form to ask Dr. Mike to do a review on that food. http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/contact-us/

  • zhiba

    That’s because they are produced by the same company. Same ingredients, same “Best Chewed By” stickers on the bags. I mentioned this in the MaxMeat review.

    Instead, I wish Real Meat’s Freeze Dried foods had been reviewed, because they are unique.

  • Kim Millard

    This review looks remarkably similar to the review for Only Natural Pet I just read.