Meat Meal — The Mysterious Meat Concentrate Most People Know Little (or Nothing) About


For a dog food, what could contain more protein than whole meat?

Whole Chicken & Chicken Meal ComparedWell, surprisingly, a quality grade meat meal can actually be a more abundant source of protein than the whole meat from which it was made.

Here’s why.

Meat meal is a dried end-product of the cooking process known as rendering. Rendering is a lot like making stew — except that this stew is intentionally over-cooked.

With rendering, you start with a meat stew, cook away the water and bake the residue.  And you end up with a highly concentrated protein powder — or meat meal.

Now, check out the chart above. Notice how whole chicken contains about 70% water and 18% protein. 

Yet after rendering, the resulting chicken meal contains just 10% water and a whopping 65% protein.

That’s nearly four times more protein than whole chicken!

Nutritious Ingredient
or Anonymous Waste?

Of course, not all meat meals are created equal. Some are of very high quality while others are positively awful.

It all boils down to the stew’s contents — the raw materials. And one critically important principle…

No meal product can ever be better than the raw materials that were used to make it.

Better meals are typically made from the meat of clearly identified sources. Low-grade meals come from anonymous materials like slaughterhouse waste and spoiled supermarket meats — even diseased or dying cattle — or dead zoo animals.

For a more detailed look at the dark side of the industry, you may wish to read “The Shocking Truth About Commercial Dog Food“.

How to Recognize
Lower Quality Meat Meals

Since many manufacturers do little to clarify the true nature of the ingredients they use, two important rules can help you avoid choosing an inferior products.

Avoid dog foods containing any meat meal that:

  1. Includes the words “by-products” in its name
  2. Fails to identify the specific source animal1

Here are some examples of inferior meat-based protein ingredients. Notice the generic nature of the phrases:

  • Meat meal
  • Animal meal
  • Chicken by-product meal
  • Meat and bone meal

When you see ingredients like these in any recipe, it’s a sign you’re probably looking at a lower quality dog food.

  1. Species-specific animal sources include names like beef, venison, lamb, chicken, etc.
  • other place

    well i think i’ve solved why kidney disease and similar are so rampant in dogs. every thing that is done is life has a result. if you feed a dog only dry food their whole life, of course they will have teeth problems, similar to how if we only ate dried foods all our lives. if you take meat and cook it down, dry it, concentrate it, sure, the protein is higher, but its harder on the internal organs. concentrated protein just has to take its toll on dogs’ organs. im sure of it.

  • Steve

    There is plenty of room between complete crap like Purina and a $100 bag of food. Canidae Under the Sun is $40 for a 25-lb bag and is a quality kibble as far as kibble goes.

  • jennifer hansen

    I had never heard of this brand and am researching a new dog kibble as we are moving from the EU to the USA soon. Thank you for this suggestion…they may be the winner. It sounds like a great dog food.

  • Penny Cleven

    I’m glad to see so many people home cooking for their pets, but based on the limited info they share here many of the recipes they’re using are very unbalanced and way to high in carbohydrates. Home cooked diets should be 75% animal protein and not more than 25% veggies, I’d probably skip the potatoes, any grains and rice altogether. Use low glycemic veggies. Good info available at

  • haleycookie

    I would be careful if that’s all you’re feeding them. That doesn’t seem very balanced. I would look into adding atleast a dog food supplement mixed in with that.

  • Diane

    Yes I just read that on their site. It is a concern of mine like you said cross contamination. I will speak to my vet when we see her. Thank you! You are so knowledgeable!

  • anon101

    Zignature Whitefish kibble has no chicken or egg products.
    However, if you are concerned about food allergies (rare) I would go with a prescription food/elimination diet recommended by your vet.
    A lot of cross contamination goes on in all dog food companies no matter how high quality.
    That is one of the reasons prescription food costs more. They are careful that this doesn’t happen.

  • Diane

    Yes I agree. I believe if this is not a food allergy I can put him and them back on a kibble and wet it a bit and do what you do. I stopped the kibble because I could not find any without chicken fat which we thought he was allergic to all poultry but am not quite sure as of now. I won’t know until I get him to a specialist. I know sometimes the more you read the more confused you get!

  • Patty Hichborn

    well said- I refuse to buy ANY dry dog food anymore-I have a 14 yr old 100 lb Husky, a 13 year old 80 lb lab and a 4 year old 50 lb hound mix- I buy a $5 package of chicken thighs (1 bone in it) a $1.50 bag of carrots ,(grate them) a .50 can of peas and 3 cups of rice- put it all together in a big roaster and bake 450 for an hour-it feed all dogs for 5-6 days

  • anon101

    I find that keeping it simple works best.
    I use quality kibble as a base, add a splash of water and a bit of scrambled egg or cooked ground turkey or something. A half raw carrot for a snack now and then.
    I’m not into the raw stuff. Not worth the risk imo.
    You will get a variety of opinions on the internet, homeopathic views differ greatly from science based veterinary medicine.
    I have found a lot of helpful information here

  • Diane

    Thank you! I thought it was as I researched it and contacted the company before purchasing it. I was reading about Bravo also today. An article came up on the dog food advisor stating “meals” can be very bad when added to a food and that concerned me

  • anon101

    Zignature is a quality food, kibble or wet food.
    Go to their website and ask questions, they respond within a day or so.

  • Diane

    Zignature kibble or wet food? I just started using the wet food

  • Terri Sidell

    Heather, would you be so kind as to name the book on how to cook for your dog that was the most helpful? Thank-you! Terri

  • Strea Sanchez

    Hahaha I have this same argument with my dad- he feeds his dogs kibbles & bits (ugh) he says “they like it & eat it well”- yes dad of course they do! It is all sugar & garbage! If left to our own devices as kids we would’ve lived on Lucky Charms marshmallows (we had to eat the big maxi pad shredded wheat cereal no sugar cereal for us)!!! Still he refuses to feed them a decent food- he can afford it. Recently he was in a car accident & I took his 2 older dogs to care for at my home. I gradually switched them from Kibbles & Crap to the same dog food my dogs eat- Taste of the Wild. They may not “like” it as much & my dogs tried swiping their Kibbles & Crap during the transition but they now eat Taste of the Wild just fine too & it is so much better for them. I say relying on what your dog WANTS to eat is not good policy- I have had many dogs since I started doing rescue in 2008 & I have seen them eat cat poop from the litter box, dog poop from the yard after feeding them watermelon for a summer snack & old flat unknown muck from around the church dumpster at the end of the block. Just because a dog wants it doesn’t always mean it is ok to let them eat it! The fact is some people do what they do & all the reasoning in the world won’t change how they think. Apparently the sluggish digestive system is worth it just so they won’t fart- which is very natural & a sign of good digestive health….

  • Strea Sanchez

    What they mean by “no meal product can ever be better than the raw materials that were used to make it” is is you start with “animal byproduct” which is garbage you will have a garbage “animal byproduct meal” if you start with good quality “beef” you will have a good protein rich “beef meal”

  • bohicasis

    You do not seem to understand i was being sarcastic and parroting . and yes, i am morally obligated to feed my kids (now grown) and canines for their optimum health. and if i couldn’t afford to tend to their health and nutrition, why would i, or anyone else have a pet and go the way of feeding cheap dog food (drawing a comparison to McD’s). Opening a bag of cheap kibble is not taking care of a dog

  • bohicasis

    You do not seem to understand i was parroting . reread for further comprehension

  • Heather

    Perhaps you should try making your own dog food. I have an 11 month of Goldendoodle who weighs 60 lbs. I started cooking for him several months ago when, after cleaning out my deep freezer, I stumbled upon a pack of some what freezer burnt ground turkey. Not wanting to throw it out, I looked up recipes for dog food. Luckily I had most of what was needed: sweet potatoes, shredded carrots, zucchini, frozen peas, dried cranberries, and quinoa. I cooked it per directions and Sully loved every bit of it. The batch fed him 2 cups a day twice a day for 2 weeks (he’s still a puppy who is very active, so he needs more food than older dogs). Now, 5 months later, I still cook for him. If I can find a deal on ground beef, I make it with ground beef, same with de-boned fish. I will even buy 5-6 whole chickens when I can get them for .70 a pound and grind the meat myself. I spend 1 Sunday afternoon a month and cook and freeze enough meals to last 4 weeks. Right now, I am averaging .42 per serving, that’s a little over $25 a month, add in vitamin supplements, it amounts to $32 a month for all of Sully’s nutritional needs. You don’t have to feed your pups $100 a bag dog food for them to eat healthy. Just check with your vet first to ensure a special diet is not required per health conditions. Hope this helps.

  • I know what you were replying to…it makes me laugh… Right, you are “obligated” to feed your kids “McDs” for their “optimal health”???….I’d hate to see what you are feeding your dogs…maybe you shouldn’t have them (kids or dogs)

  • LabsRawesome

    Costco sells 35 pound bags of Nature’s Domain grain free for around $30. They also have a grain inclusive line called Kirkland Signature for about the same price, but the bags are 40 pounds.

  • bohicasis

    I was replying to an above remark and we feed raw (for dogs). The point being, if i have them (kids or canines) i am obligated to feed them for the benefit of their optimum health. If i thought it was too expensive, i wouldn’t have them (kids or dogs)

  • Well…I would suggest feeding them what you can afford to feed them. If that is $100. Bags of food, then knock yourself out… If I could, I would…I simply can’t afford that. However, I wouldn’t feed my dogs “McDs”…much less my kids…Good Luck !

  • bohicasis

    Orijen is GREAT. The only kibble i use when we have to hit the road and am unable to accommodate freezers and raw. Folks do not not often realize quality over quantity. It’s on the feeding instructions. If one is concerned about price consider raising children or caring for a loved one . Are they to thrive and remain in optum health on processed non foods and McDs?

  • bohicasis

    In that vein, i have 3 sons.. No way am i going to spend money on quality food.It is cheaper for me to feed them dollar burgers from McDs. So… I guess I’m stuck with pink slime. No wait…I’m not, they are

  • bohicasis

    Depends on what you call “SAFE FOOD”. I feed raw. no “meals” or coloring or products i am unable to identify. After so many canines and felines in my life, i prefer to keep them in optimum health. I do that by feeding raw. There are 5 star foods on this site. The one i have used on road trips is orijens. It looks pricey but less amnt is fed. Is McDonalds a safe food to feed ones partner for 15 years? Or processed meats ?

  • Kathryn Eileen

    I agree! Bad choice folks!!

  • Kathryn Eileen

    I just switched my girl to wholsomes sport mix as well. Weaning her from Zignature, which is giving her loose stools…high quality beef, chicken and fish meal is a good source of protein, it just gets rid of the fats and water during its process. I agree, people need to do their homework on this and feed high quality without byproduct.

  • Memphis’s Mom

    Makes me laugh how your telling @[email protected] to buy higher quality dog food for her dogs when you bought Eukanuba for your dog/dogs. Are you kidding me? The first five ingredients are chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, and brewers rice. Also, nearly half of the ingredient list is synthetic vitamin packs. (Sigh) Not to mention Eukanuba is owned and manufactured by Mars, Inc. (The same owner and manufacturers that make Pedigree dog food)

  • Graham Jean

    and I always add blueberries and garlic

  • Graham Jean

    that organ meat was to be 2.00

  • Graham Jean

    My dogs eat people grade meats: 2lbs rabbit/chicken/turkey/venison etc ($3.00) and 2 lbs of duck/quail (2.00) and 1 lbs of organ meat (20.00), 2 cans of green beans, 2 cans of spinach, 1 can of pumpkin, 1 banana, 2 tbs orange juice, and whatever else I might have like strawberries, etc…… This last my two furbabies and whatever fosters I have for a month ,

  • Graham Jean

    My furbabies are 5 lbs. They eat 1/4 cup a day of all protein, and veggies and fruit diet. My small fosters get 1/2 cup a day….. Good grief….with these amounts you are paying much much more then the very good stuff. They eat less of it because they use it all…..

  • Graham Jean

    No corn, no soy, no grains….all cause skin issues in dogs because they can’t digest it. Meal is not good…..A high quality protein food is best. You give much much less of it because it is ALL DIGESTABLE. You get very little, very dry poop because they use it all. You buy stuff like this, you have to feed huge amounts and the poop is huge because they are pooping out the entire content practically.

  • Jimmie Stanton

    I buy at Tractor supply the 4 health dog and cat food, dry and canned, is it a SAFE FOOD for my animals?? I have been reading reviews and people say their pets love it, I just switched last 2 weeks, read it has BEEF MEAL listed and I am confused upon reading these good and bad ingredient list, I am by far not jargon Savey and want to know if it’s good or bad, Thank you if anyone can help me understand it.

  • Yana Freeman

    Because meat can be rid of infectious agents through the rendering process, “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased or disabled) ARE allowable chicken meal ingredients. While not always present, the possible inclusion of these ingredients makes chicken meal always considered unfit for human consumption. Question: So what makes any meal a quality ingredient??

  • Yana Freeman

    Victor Dog Food first ingredient in every one I looked at is some kind of meat “Meal” of some kind. Its in every dog food that claims to be good for our animals! As stated above, “No meal product can ever be better than the raw materials that were used to make it”.

  • Bulls**t is what you are Full Of…You don’t know me…Move on Troll.

  • Pitlove

    It concerns me deeply that someone like “Dr.Becker” is still allowed to hold a license to practice as a DVM. She seems hell bent on twisting the truth for her own agenda. Here is the actual legal definition of crude protein:
    From “Crude protein is a term for the total protein content of a food source as determined by its nitrogen content. The term is most often used in scientific testing and on the labels of pet foods.”

    Furthermore what is so frustrating about her explaination of crude protein is that she compares two pet food labels, one being a raw food, the other being a grocery store pet food and claims that the raw food lists “protein” VS the grocery brand lists “crude protein”. The GA on the bag is a legal document and can not be altered in the way she is stating or it would violate labeling laws. Here is a link to Primals Beef raw formula.
    Notice how the protein is given….”crude protein”.

  • Amateria

    It’s what he does best on though and so we simply keep it that way, we’ve tried brown rice but something happened and we changed back however I don’t remember what, just that something did, my memory is so screwed.

  • Destiny Morgan

    Just as a side note [as I haven’t seen it mentioned], white rice is just another crap filled with absolutely zero nutritional value.

  • Babslynne

    I agree that the Costco Kirkland brand would be better than that Pro Fat 28/12 he is feeding now, the ingredients are:
    Meat & Bone Meal, Ground Corn, Wheat Middling s, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry Fat (Preserved with mixed- tocopherols), Brewers Dried Yeast, Ground Flax Seed, Fish Meal, Beet Pulp, Yucca Schidigera Plant Extract, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin E Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Mineral Oil, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Oxide, Vitamin A Supplement, Manga nous Oxide, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Thiamine Mono nitrate, Menadione Sodium Sulfide Complex (source of Vitamin K Activity), Pyridine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Added Color (red #40, Yellow #5, Blue #2).

    ok, now compare that to the Costco Kirkland Mature formula which is only $30 for #40 at my store, the ingredients are;
    Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, egg product, oatmeal, cracked pearled barley, brewers rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and vitamin E), dried beet pulp, potatoes, natural chicken flavor, flaxseed, millet, fish meal, potassium chloride, choline chloride, glucosamine hydrochloride, chondroitin sulfate, carrots, peas, kelp, apples, cranberry powder, rosemary extract, parsley flake, dried chicory root, vitamin E supplement, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, ascorbic acid, vitamin A supplement, L-carnitine, biotin, niacin, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement, folic acid

  • k9education

    Bulls**t. Stop spending on items you WANT (smartphone, dining out [fast food included], car payments, clothes shopping, cable/satellite, etc.) and you’ll be able to afford what your pets NEED. Before you deny it, know that your selection of username means it took me about 5 minutes to find out you’re just a selfish shrew who is blowing wads of cash on WANTS. Moreover, you can pick up a bag of decent food at Costco (Kirkland gran-free) for less than $40.

  • JComo

    I feed my dogs and cats Nulo. They eat less and are healthy. One very sick pet at a vet will cost way more than quality food.

  • Crystal

    I use Orijen and Farmina. I have yet to find a food that is better than them IMO. Farmina is cheaper @ $70 per bag, but I am in the breeder program and get a nice discount.

  • Crystal…What brand of food do you buy that’s over $100 for a 26lb bag ???That’s highway robbery. There are plenty of cheaper foods out there that are just as good or close

  • Crystal

    The food I feed

    Orijen Regional Red Grain-Free Dry Dog Food, 15-lb bag

    Nutritional Info


    Boneless Angus Beef*, Boneless Wild Boar*, Boneless Lamb*, Beef Liver*, Boneless Pork*, Pork Liver*, Whole Herring*, Lamb Liver*, Beef Meal, Lamb Meal, Herring Meal, Salmon Meal, Pollock Meal, Beef Tripe*, Bison*, Lamb Fat, Whole Egg*, Red Lentils, Chickpeas, Green Peas, Yellow Peas, Green Lentils, Herring Oil, Pea Fiber, Yams*, Sun-Cured Alfalfa, Pumpkin, Butternut Squash*, Spinach Greens*, Carrots*, Red Delicious Apples*, Bartlett Pears*, Cranberries*, Blueberries*, Kelp, Licorice Root, Angelica Root, Fenugreek, Marigold Flowers, Sweet Fennel, Peppermint Leaf, Chamomile, Dandelion, Summer Savory, Rosemary, Enterococcus Faecium, Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Niacin, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Selenium Yeast *Delivered Fresh, Preservative-Free and Never Frozen.
    Caloric Content

  • Crystal


    Meat & Bone Meal, Ground Corn, Wheat Middlings, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry Fat (Preserved with mixed-tocopherols), Brewers Dried Yeast, Ground Flax Seed, Fish Meal, Beet Pulp, Yucca Schidigera Plant Extract, Choline Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin E Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Mineral Oil, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Copper Oxide, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K Activity), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Added Color (red #40, Yellow #5, Blue #2).

  • Crystal

    This tells me to feed 8 cups a day to my dog…wow.


    Feed once daily for average pet activity. For best results, refer to the chart below.

    Dog Size Dog Weight Daily Feeding

    Toy 3 to 12 pounds 1/2 to 2 cupfulls (8 oz. cup)
    Small 12 to 25 pounds 2 to 4 cupfulls (8 oz. cup)
    Medium 25 to 50 pounds 4 to 8 cupfulls (8 oz. cup)
    Large 50 to 100 pounds 8 to 12 cupfulls (8 oz. cup)

  • Crystal

    Compare their ingredients with brands like Orijen, Acana, Farmina, etc then tell me same ingredients. Fyi Blue buffalo isn’t that great. At least I wouldn’t feed it or anything from petCo or petsmart.

  • Crystal

    That’s cheap to me. I pay $100- $120 for a 26Ib bag. But it last way longer than the cheap crap and you feed way less. Note: I have 2 labs and a beagle. One lab is 45Ibs she gets 1 cup, other lab it 90 she gets 2 cups, and the beagle is 6 months she getsaid 1 cup. I feed Orijen.

  • There is nothing wrong with the pro-fat and they like it…and they don’t fart on it. It has the same thing most dog foods have in them. I’m not playing that scam of paying $60 for a 25 lb bag. That’s rediculous highway robbery and they wouldn’t eat it any better anyway. I brought a small bag of Blue Buffalo home and they wouldn’t touch it…Not gonna happen. They get to pick their own food and they chose Pro- Fat 28-12 for now.

  • Payton Pritzl

    The Pro-Fat 28-12 food you said you feed your dogs is all filler. I looked it up and for my 50 lb labs they recommend I feed them 4-8 cups a day! My girls are on high quality food and they get 2 1/4 cups of food a day. Cheap foods may seem like a steal, but you will end ups spending more money because you have to feed them more. Taste of the wild is reasonable and really good food. Please try to get your dogs on some quality food.

  • theBCnut

    For your dogs, you may want to try a digestive enzyme and probiotics when you are switching foods. That will help their bodies get used to digesting the new food a bit quicker.

  • Thanks… I am using Pro Fat 28-12. Every time I try them on a new food…it causes gas. I recently tried them on Diamond and whoa… the gas…. I tested them with a bowl of the Diamond next to a bowl of Pro-Fat 28-12 and they devoured the Pro-Fat and left the Diamond sitting……and No gas. It’s 35 bucks for 50 lbs. and I can get it near by.

  • piper2012

    Try Victor dog food, it’s very good for the price. Typically carried at feed stores, you can find retailers on their website. I have 22 rescues and could no way afford $50/bag when I’m going thru 50 lbs every few days, lol!

  • Haley Overcast

    You can find good quality dog food at feed stores like tractor supply etc. I’ve personally just switched my 4 large dogs to wholesomes sport mix which is corn free, soy free, and wheat free.
    High quality chicken meal and rice. Specifically stated that there are no sketchy by products.
    Its $30 for 40 pounds.
    There is a beef, fish, and lamb option as well.

  • Brent Lynn

    Petco. Last time I was there I found fat bags of Eukanuba for 17 bucks. Bought three of them. Instead of driving around, just call around all your local pet stores and ask if they have any good quality dog food on clearance or specials/ promotion. Tell them you want chicken, but will consider beef. Don’t get Turkey!! If Your Dog isn’t used to it, will make them sick. Spend an hour researching your stores, Your research may pay off.

  • Brent Lynn…Never seen anything like this at any store I have been to… what stores do this?…Where would I FIND THEM ?…and why do they have to take them off the shelves

  • Brent Lynn

    Feed them a little better PLEASE. Go to stores
    and look for clearance bags. These are high quality bags they have to take off the shelves. FIND THEM. Usually 50% off or more.

  • $56. for a 26 lb bag is too expensive. I have three very large voracious eaters. I found Pro-Fat 28-12 made at Big V Feeds in Oklahoma at $35. for a 50 lb. bag. They eat it well.

  • InkedMarie

    Chewy carries Dr Tim’s….you should look at it as a few formulas come in 40 & 44/45 pound bags. Very good food.

  • A’Lethia Wolfsong

    I have eight dogs and I feed them a high quality food I order from At $50 , the shipping is free and there is no sales tax, at least where I am on it. They eat less of it. A large 26 pound bag lasts me a week. The bag averages around $56 like for Zignature which is very good for dogs with allergies. Even if you have to buy a less expensive brand, you will save going through

  • Bobby dog

    Hello [email protected]:
    Check to see if your feed store or the brands they sell offer any customer rewards or frequent buyer promos.

    Pro Pac and Nutro offer a free bag after a certain number purchased. If the feed store sells Purina feeds they might also carry PMI’s Exclusive which offers a free bag after you purchase eight. My dog does well on and likes the Exclusive Healthy Weight.

  • Crazy4cats

    My dogs do well on Victor. Our feed store also carries Eagle Pack, Sportmix Wholesomes, Skoki and Pro Pac, which might be of interest to you. I’ve fed mine Eagle Pack with no issues. Hope this helps.

  • We live in the country almost 100 miles from the nearest Costco or Sam’s. I won’t shop at Pet’s Mart or Petco, I found their prices are too high but I did find Victor at our local feed store and it’s reasonably priced. Probly go that route.

  • Amateria

    I’ve been reading about diabetes the past few days because for a minute there I thought I was on the verge of it or had it, as the symptoms I had were quiet worrying, however my test results came back normal phew!

    Processed foods are the problem, whole green foods, raw foods for us, no low fat foods as they stack it high with sugar are the way to go, diabetes people have a limit of about 45g of carbs per day, that is like super hard because of how yummy a lot of food is, have to cut all your favourites and on top of that the insulin shots brrrr…

    Lower you and your dogs carb intake, no sugar(choose other healthier options), eat more leafy greens and I’m sure you and your pets will feel better in no time.

    And if your on the verge of a disease think to yourself is it worth eating the stuff that makes you sick or will make you sick? Or is being healthy without any problems better? I know what I’d choose, even if it’s extremely hard, I would bloody well know haha.

  • Amateria

    On top of the fact they usually contain onion or garlic, which at the amount they use I would not feel safe giving it, especially the onion as that one is super toxic.

    Canned gravies are really no better, unless they are organic free range and even than have to be careful with ingredients not fit for dog consumption.

    There’s so many different people food options, this person chose like the worst of the lot to use.

  • InkedMarie

    Also look at Dr Tim’s…..a few of his formulas come in 40/45 pound bags, very good food. If you can’t find it locally, Chewy dot com has it.

  • Crazy4cats

    Of course you love your dogs! There is always Fromm Classics, Victor, 4Health, and Kirkland (Costco) that sells food in large bags at decent prices. Good luck!

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    You’re welcome. I tried to post this but it didn’t go through.
    It won’t let me post the direct link.
    “Here is another good site if you are interested in Science-Based Veterinary Medicine”
    skeptVet . com Use the search option to look up specific topics such as nutrition.
    Hope this helps.

  • Very informative…Thank You!

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    A moderately priced decent dog kibble (imo) is Newman’s Own Advanced Formula, I have used it as a base . See for reviews

  • Be very careful with the people food. We had a dog that used to eat what we ate. He became an insulin dependent diabetic and died from complications. Not sure it had anything to do with it…but it’s a scary thought. Is the Diabetes epidemic coming from our food???

  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7
  • disqus_SBl7sCuYS7

    I hope you are joking, I would not feed pepperoni or processed canned/jar gravies and such to any living thing. Loaded with nitrates and sodium, total garbage.

  • Curiouser49

    I often mix my dog’s food with people food – whatever I am making at the time. I also buy things like sticks of pepperoni, cut it into 2 or 3 pieces, add a little hot water to the dog food and it mixes up to a meaty, good tasting food. I also buy gravies, such as turkey, pork and beef gravy in a jar in the supermarket and add a little to the dog’s food to make it better tasting – soups, broths are good too. I keep my dog’s food in a microwaveagle container and sometimes stick the dog’s serving in the microwave just to warm it because I feed my little guys 2 times a day so it gets refrigerated between the feedings. These things help with the taste and the people food also contains a better quality protein also.

  • I love my dogs very much but there is no way I can afford to pay $50 or $100 dollars a bag for food. I have 3 large dogs. It would cost a fortune to feed them at that price. So… I guess I’m stuck with the meat and bone meal, crude junk

  • bojangles

    Hi Linda,

    Keep up the good work!!!

  • Linda Shaffer

    We are definetly walking more and I have noticed something – when he has a bowel movement at home it is small, but if we are out walking it stimulates him and he goes a lot more.
    Needless to say we are walking a lot more and I take him to my daughters house in her large back yard and he loves to fetch. I think the answer is a lot easier and I was putting a difficulty level in the mix that wasnt necessary. Less food more exercise!! Lol thanks so much to all of you for your input!!

  • Linda Shaffer

    Thank you !!

  • Linda Shaffer

    I am ashamed that I allowed him to be so miserable! I dont know what I was seeing when I looked at him, I barely noticed for too long and hes my side kick day and night.
    I agree with you Andy and I am soooo not good at cooking for me let alone my pup so I am going to slowly take him back to dog food. I was feeding.him everything I ate and dog food. I am not feeding him ppl food but then yes I am cooking for him. No more cleaning ceral bowls and little bites!! Thanks

  • bojangles

    Hi Linda,

    I would try to increase his exercise if possible. In some cases that’s all it takes for a dog to lose a few pounds.

    Another suggestion would be to cut his current food(s) by 10% and see what happens.

    I would not feed him any rice at all.

  • Linda Shaffer

    Ok he weighs 23 lbs should be 17 at very most! And can I add rice on occasion?

  • Linda Shaffer

    Thanks for the info, I will definetly give it a try if the cooking for Jack gets a bit too much financially and time consuming. Its just he and I and honestly I dont cook that much for myself. Lol.
    I weighed him and hes at 23 lbs I believe he should be at the very most 17lbs. I am not sure how much of the food I am suppose to feed him. But he is having no ppl food, so hopefully we are on the right track! I feel so terrible because he is laboring and panting before we get 2 blocks on our walk! If you have any idea how much of the chicken and veggies he should have and maybe if I can add rice from time to time.Thank you

  • Andy

    Linda, I own a high end pet-supply store, you know, the kind that has $100 bags of dog food (!) and I carry a number of “weight loss” foods, but when someone actually asks me how to help their dog lose weight, I say “feed them less” 🙂 There’s really no secret to it. Get the best quality food you can afford, so they’re absorbing as many beneficial nutrients as possible, but ration how much your pup eats. If the pup acts like it’s starving (which it’s not) add a little canned pumpkin and frozen green beans to make it feel fuller without adding calories. FWIW, there are far too many overweight dogs out there. A slim dog is a healthy dog!

  • Lvshorses777

    Hey Linda, Well turns out as Anastasia my puppy got older, (she’s 6mo.s old now.) She is allergic to chicken so I and I was worried about her getting all of her vitamins from homemade food so I kept looking and finally found a great dogfood that doesn’t cost a arm and a leg and it’s all great stuff in it. And she’s doing great on it. And not getting fat at all. It’s 4health. I give her canned Beef and Vegetable Stew and then mix dry puppy 4health in with her canned. And she is a very picky eater and this is the only kind I’ve found that she likes. It’s only 99€ a can and I think the bag of dry I bought was $7.00 And it has all real stuff in it, no junk and stuff that’s really good for them. The dry has a lot of fruit in it. I’m just so glad I found some good dogfood !!! You should see her coat she is soooo shiny! !! And has a ton of energy !!! The canned has all real meat in it and a lot of it !!! It has a 5 star rating in both of the dogfood reviews I’ve checked on it. I just can’t say enough good about it. And she’s happy and very healty. And that’s what matters to me.

  • Linda Shaffer

    I will get all of the info together and post it later tonight or early tomorrow

  • Linda Shaffer

    I am so ashamed of myself I have been loving him to death Ive shared all of my food with him. Its just us so now I never eat infront of the TV anymore, that has changed things up enough that hes loosing interest faster. I dont leave food down all of the time any more but he never had much interest in it anyway because he was getting ppl food?! Ugh!!
    He is pouting but I can live with that.
    My family alway teased my grandma for boiling chicken and grean beans for her poodle, lol. But he was a healthy dog and not overweight.My dog “Jack” is obese not just over weight. And of course I will get all of the info together for. I appreciate the response from ALL of u!! I need all of the help I can get. TY

  • bojangles

    Hi Linda,

    Welcome to DFA!

    Can you please tell me how much your rat terrier weighs and what you think his ideal weight should be?

    Figuring out how many calories he was eating a day while he became overweight is really important. If you could list EVERYTHING he ate on a daily basis then I could help you figure it out.

    Once we know the calories he was eating, it makes it a lot easier to plan a fresh food diet like the one you are talking about, that would promote weight loss.

    It’s always interesting for me to see people recommending a commercial weight loss diet for dogs, which is usually kibble.

    It’s like when it comes to dogs, everything we know about good nutrition goes out the window, and all of a sudden dry ultra processed foods laden with synthetic ingredients somehow magically become “proper nutrition”

    Dogs are not any different than people when it comes to what type of diet is best, Fresh whole foods that are minimally processed are what every human nutritionist recommends and what every animal should eat 🙂

  • aimee

    Hi Linda,

    During weight loss it is very important to meet nutrient needs by using a food that has a high nutrient content/ calorie. If he won’t eat a commercial food designed for weight loss visit for a home made recipe to meet his needs.

  • KcQ8ov

    Find a way to take her swimming. A lake nearby? A friend’s pool? Aqua therapy/rehab through a vet if you can afford it.
    One minute of swimming is equivalent to 4 minutes of running.
    Start slow.
    Also, no free feeding, 2/3 small meals per day, measured amounts, don’t leave food down, pick up if not eaten in 10 minutes, store in the fridg and offer at the next meal time. They will eat when they are hungry.

  • Linda Shaffer

    God bless u all! I have a 6 yr old rat terrier that is extremely over weight and to say the least wont eat the low fat dog foods on the market. I want to start feeding him the chicken with fresh cooked veggies any idea how I can do this that may promote weight loss??

  • Stori Lombardi


  • Lvshorses777

    Hey, I’m sorry it’s took me so long to get back to you. I’ve been looking up so much stuff and writing down everything and I just went to my emails and got yours and was fixing to email you back and I was trying to put your email in another folder so I wouldn’t lose it and it got deleted. Will you please email me back. Thanks Rita

  • Amateria

    I have emailed you, I’m simply writing this to be sure that you got the email? As its been 2 days.

  • William Brown

    I would feed my dog just as well as if i had children

  • Lvshorses777

    Thank you soooo much Amateria !!! This is what I will do from now on. You have been a God send !!! I would love to be able to send you a pic of my new Baby. If you want to you can send me a email at : [email protected] and i will send you one back.Thank you again so very much !!! God Bless and have a great day !!!

  • aimee

    The use of the term “crude” in front of fat, protein and fiber refers to the analytical methods used to calculate the nutrient

    . Think of “crude” as meaning “an estimate of” it has nothing to do with it being a descriptive term of the quality of the protein or fat being measured.

  • Amateria

    My mum generally makes the food but from what I recall seeing in his food was carrots and broccoli mainly, she sometimes adds pumpkin and peas and he even had corn one time until I said to make sure that if you use frozen that you don’t buy ones with corn.

    What you mentioned sounds really good, I’d just keep doing that.

    As for the sweet potato yeah I would use it as a treat of sorts, I wouldn’t personally give it at every meal for the sugar reason alone.
    Pumpkin is very good for digestion and helps tremendously with sick stomachs.

    Oh she also kinda cooks the chicken and veggies together in a big pot kinda like making soup and once she’s done she covers the food lightly in the broth and adds some white rice which I forgot about.

  • Lvshorses777

    I had canned chicken when I first brought her home but I switched to store bought chicken and I boil it. Was giving her peas, green beans, a little sweet potatoes. Now it says I can still give her peas, green beans, broccoli, and kale and leafy greens. Not a lot of course. And some fruits.

  • Lvshorses777

    Thank God, I knew I got on here for a reason tonight. That’s what kind of dog I just got a little girl tho, she don’t even maybe weigh 11/2 lbs. She’s tiny, and I been feeding her chicken and veggies and she’s been doing real good. I tried feeding her beef and it tore her stomach up. Can you tell me what kind of veggies you feed yours ? A place said sweet potatoes was real good for digestion and then I read they are real high in sugar.

  • Amateria

    Our chihuahua boy has been eating the same food for about 4 years of his life now which is just boiled chicken breast and veggies, his body is very similar to a coby chihuahua variant so the only part of his body that’s fatty is his neck ;P

    Anyways he’s had almost no flare ups with his pancreatitis and when he did have a flare up it was because he ate something he shouldn’t have, I personally am never going to ask my mum to change his food because we have tried that, we tried to rotate meats and he flared up and since my mum sleeps with him she doesn’t want to deal with anymore of his symptoms especially when he gets severe pain, I don’t blame her, I hate seeing dogs in pain.

    I do give him some daily foods as treats though, but I don’t give them everyday anymore after his last flare up.
    The puppy on the other hand eats a frozen raw ball, some of rusty’ food if she doesn’t feel like the ball and a few other things here and there and they look fabulous and don’t appear to be suffering with any noticeable ailments so to be honest unless something changes I’m happy.

  • Lvshorses777

    Yeah, it makes me want to do what a friend of mine does. And by the way her vet told her it was fine. And Penny is a beautiful Winnie dog. She’s a few pounds over weight but that’s because they feed her table scraps sometimes. But she eats mostly canned chicken in water and Joy washes it about 3 times before she gives it to her. And that dog does great !!! Goes to the vet and has great check ups and is fine. And she buys her canned chicken from Doller General Store. I buy mine from Walmart it’s cheaper. And give a few veg. about 3 days a week, ground up good. I’m about done with all this crazy stuff. I think if it’s meat good enough for me to eat I’ll feed it to my dog and if the veggies don’t turn to sugar she can have them too. Seems like all bought dog food is bad. And if they are trying to tell you how to make homemade there’s a vitamin store somewhere on the site that they probably get a profit from all the vitamins sold on that site, and if you look the vitamins up they have bad stuff in them too !! So I’m about done with the their ain’t no good food a dog can eat. And going to the way my Daddy and kin fokes used to raise them and they lived a lot longer. If we eat meat they can eat it. And a little bit of veggies. JS

  • Amateria

    Based on Dr Becker this is what it means:
    The use of the term ‘crude’ protein, fat and fiber on the dry food label. Crude can mean a lot of things. Shoe leather, for example, is a ‘crude’ protein. Bottom line: there’s no way to determine how much of an ingredient categorized as ‘crude’ is digestible or will provide nourishment to your pet’s body.

    So based of hers and other things I read when I searched its meaning on google means that you want food that states “fat” on its own without the “crude” or else you get a lower quality.

  • Lvshorses777

    I know it probly means the same as bad, but I want to make sure.

  • Amateria

    I’ve gotta say I’ve become a bit of a grammar nazi myself as of the last year, so many people can’t spell these days and I guess it kind of got to me I don’t know, what I do know is I need to slow it down for my sake as its not healthy.
    Here’s a like though as I wholeheartedly agree!

  • Lvshorses777

    What about when it says Crude fat. What does this mean and is it good to feed my dog ?

  • Lvshorses777

    Who gives a damn about spelling ? I’m worried about my dog’s life !!! Spelling is free and if you can spell good for you. Maybe you should go to a site where they are having a spelling bee. Dog food cost money and I don’t care what it cost to feed my dog she will be fed as good as family, because that’s what she is. If you get on here and want to argue about spelling then you must be mad about not being able to do this for your dog. Please be grown ups and come here to learn about dog food, not spelling !!!

  • Bryan Simmons

    You jumped on board by using Rachael Ray’s pet food. It hasn’t been out on the market that long.

  • aimee

    Hi Mimi Noda,

    You seem to be advocating for raw meat diets for dogs. I’ll agree that dogs have a shorter intestinal tract than humans but that doesn’t protect them from colonization (Finley, 2007)

    Bacterial transference is very common. Salmonella has been cultured out of vacuum cleaner contents. You needn’t be handling stool to be exposed. The stuff gets around.

    Unfortunately dogs can have problems from raw chicken and pork..bones too.

    There is always risk in eating and each person has to decide what risks they want their pet and family to assume.

    You wrote “Check this out: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 219 (9) 1222”

    I checked out the article you recommended. After outlining the many infections that dogs can acquire or transmit from raw meat it concludes with recommendations:

    “To improve the health of pets and their owners, as well as to protect livestock, several recommendations for safe feeding of pets are suggested. First and foremost, never feed raw meat or fish to pets and limit access to carrion or hunting.

  • Mimi Noda


  • Mimi Noda

    And P&G still do animal testing for almost all of their products. Think they really care what they put in their dog food?

  • Mimi Noda

    Not to mention how wild dogs survived without humans taking care of them for ages before we domesticated them. They killed and ate their food raw. If the dog is healthy then raw chicken won’t hurt it. It will pass through their system before the bacteria can colonize

  • Mimi Noda

    You guys are crazy. Sorry i had to get that out first and foremost. Dogs are well equipped to deal with bacteria. Their saliva has anti bacterial properties and their digestive tracts are designed to push through food and bacteria quickly without giving the bacteria to colonize. You can feed your dog raw chicken and pork and the bones too with no problems. If you’re really worried about trichinosis Then freeze the pork for about two weeks before feeding it to your dog. As for the salmonella with chicken your dog will pass it in its feces so don’t eat your dog’s pop and wash your hands after picking up after your dog. I can almost guarantee that most commercialized dog foods contain worse bacteria than raw chicken or pork. Check this out: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 219 (9) 1222

  • Mimi Noda

    And even though I’m sure is not mostly euthanized animals I’m pretty sure it has a fair amount in it. Thing is, most of us will never know; which is why it just says “meat meal” otherwise it would be specific about what kind of meat it is. Which is why i know i would never want to eat it. And if I wouldn’t eat it then I wouldn’t feed it to my pet that I adore.

  • Mimi Noda

    Actually they do have taste buds they’re just way inferior compared to ours. Also they sweat through the pads of their paws and cool themselves with their tongues.

  • Sam

    Thank you!

  • Mimi Noda

    I totally agree with you Mike. If it doesn’t specify what type of meal it is then there could be just about anything in there. And i don’t trust the FDA to be honest.

  • Mimi Noda

    Also Sam, not all meal is bad but it should state what kind of meal it is. If it doesn’t then yes it is probably bad. But only do specific meat meals, nothing like corn or soybean meal though. And you shouldn’t eat soybeans either because pretty much all of them (as in over 90% produced in the U.S.) is genetically modified.

  • Mimi Noda

    I applaud you on your choice of dog food. For my beagle, I feed her 1/3 fresh pet ( the kind that has to be refrigerated) and 2/3 Spot’s Stew by Halo. It’s probably a little cheaper but not by much. Other option would be to make it yourself which could be more expensive unless you have a garden and raise chicken or other livestock. So i was once told by a “dog food snob/great pet lover” to always check the first three ingredients because the dog food will be made mostly of this and if they are things that you would eat then it is a good food for your pet. Anyway, I always try to feed my baby girl as best asi can because I want her to livea long and healthy life.

  • Mimi Noda

    Remember that the FDA is part of our government and our government is basically owned by big corporations. That aside, i was once told to check the first three ingredients because those are the main thing in the food. If they are something you would eat then it’s probably good for your pet.

  • Mimi Noda

    Read the article completely please. The author included a link.

  • Haley

    I can’t BELIEVE how many supposed adults that have commented on this page that didn’t read what was said and don’t even realize what they’re saying! He didn’t endorse one single product! This article simply states what meal is–which according to this article IS better than regularly cooked meat–and goes on to state to pay closer attention to all ingredients of ANY PRODUCT you buy for your animals because they are not regulated like food fit for human consumption, and there is a guaranteed reason they would list “animal” by-product (or meal or whatever the case may be, that’s not what’s important here) instead of the specific animal such as chicken, beef, etc. What is so difficult to understand? I’m baffled!

  • rpmdude

    Pay no attention to this Mike in Lacey person, Crazy4dogs… They think dogs don’t have taste buds… LMAO…. Mike is a animal expert ‘wannabe’ and knows rather little about anything… Read above there they claim dogs don’t have taste buds…. Really comical.

  • Shawna

    I can’t agree that it’s “mostly from euthanized dogs and cats” but it does make one wonder.

    The FDA says this about pento in dog food
    “There appear to be associations between rendered or hydrolyzed ingredients and the presence of pentobarbital in dog food. The ingredients Meat and Bone Meal (MBM), Beef and Bone Meal (BBM), Animal Fat (AF), and Animal Digest (AD) are rendered or hydrolyzed from animal sources that could include euthanized animals.”

    They did, in another article, go on to say that they tested DNA and did not find dog, cat or horse DNA in the contaminated foods. Although I don’t really know for sure, I have to doubt that they use pento to euthanize cattle, pigs and chickens.

    This EPA article says independant rendering plants do obtain material from “animal shelters” but it specifically states that these products are used in cattle and chicken feeds. No mention of use in pet foods.
    “Independent plants obtain animal by-product materials, including grease, blood, feathers, offal, and entire animal carcasses, from the following sources: butcher shops, supermarkets, restaurants, fast-food chains, poultry processors, slaughterhouses, farms, ranches, feedlots, and animal shelters.”

  • aimee

    I’d strongly disagree that meat and bone meal is made mostly from euthanized dogs and cats for several reasons.

    1. While some companion animals remains may still be rendered isn’t the norm. On a practical level there is no where near the needed amount to supply manufacturing needs of the pet food industry.

    2. The FDA tested for dog and cat DNA in pet foods and never found any.

    3. A company itself may further define the item :

    “Meat & Bone Meal
    After beef or pork is processed for human consumption, a second
    process leaves a nutrient-rich source of protein and essential minerals
    (a good source of calcium and phosphorus). This all helps support strong
    muscles, bones and teeth.”

    Generic terms allow a manufacturer to blend different sources and/or alter the proportions of each ingredient based on purchase cost basis.

  • rpmdude

    No need to get snippy there Mike in Lacey, I wasn’t disputing your claim, just asking for a source. Sorry, but your personal experience is hearsay. To make the claim that . “Meat and Bone meal is made mostly from euthanized dogs and cats” is quite a claim. “Mostly” is the word that made the flag go up. It’s quite possible they DO use euthanized pets, but to say that the major ingredient in most dog foods is made “MOSTLY” from it is a bit much. Perhaps you meant to word that differently. Now, if you have a link to some serious investigation done by a reputable news group, or watch group, I’d love to see it.

  • Crazy4dogs

    Too funny Mike! Thanks for sharing! 😉

  • Mike in Lacey

    Not Allowed?
    This isn’t Human food now.
    Animal food is not governed by an agency unless it is being sold as human food.

  • Mike in Lacey

    Meat and Bone Meal is “Mystery Meat”
    Why are they intentionally not listing the animal the meat came from?

  • Mike in Lacey

    If it were Chicken, it would be listed as such. If it were Beef, again> listed as such. you can see where we could go on and on, Lamb, Venison, Rabbit, etc.
    Now, Meat and Bone Meal, could be road kill, could be dead horses, could be a lot of things, but I will tell you what its not> Animals they could have marketed to humans.
    Now, for your “Source”
    it is common knowledge if you just look, but let me point out 2 cases.
    #1, our family owned a Feed & Pet supply in So. California
    I had a discussion, where and older gent customer who in his years worked at dog food factories, and he told me some really horrible stories, both about Cats and Dogs he had to grind up fur & all, but another horrible story about grinding live horses on an industrial scale.
    #2, the same feed store, the Deputy Animal Control Officer was in the store and overheard me telling a customer about Meat and Bone Meal. She interrupted my conversation to tell me that was not true.
    I asked her if she had to euthanize animals, she said she did. I asked her “what do you do with the bodies”
    She said “Deep Freezer”
    when I asked her who removed them from the freezer, she said a truck came by once a week and picked them up> “To Where”
    She assumed to the Incinerator.
    I had her ask.
    She came back a couple weeks later and apologised to me, she said I was right, the driver said “I take them to the Meat and Bone Meal Factory”
    Why would anyone PAY to burn an animal, fuel costs for unwanted carcass? you need an economics lesson if you think they would spend money on that.

  • Mike in Lacey

    Crazy, I have never had the need personally. Our family owned a Feed and Pet supply in So. California and I got free high quality pet foods for free.
    Now, I told this trick to many of our customers, and they would see me around town, and stop me to tell me how accurate this test was.

  • rpmdude

    “Meat and Bone meal is made mostly from euthanized dogs and cats” .. Source please.

  • Crazy4dogs

    I don’t understand what your point is. This article is explaining exactly what meat meal is and explaining the difference between a named (i.e. turkey meal comes from turkey) vs unnamed or generic meat meal (i.e. poultry or meat and bone meal, etc). It isn’t recommending any particular brand, but advising to pick a food that has a named protein source.

  • If your pet is currently healthy and doing well- DON’t change their food.

  • Msw3681 sw

    Yes, you are right. My vet has strongly advise against raw food, particularly chicken or pork!! Bacteria affects dogs the same way it affects humans.

  • Loyd Christmas
  • Loyd Christmas
  • Loyd Christmas
  • Loyd Christmas
  • theBCnut

    Take out the unnecessary parts and you have “I hope… you… spell correctly.”. The word “will” may make you happy, but it isn’t grammatically necessary.

  • rcrm

    Read an article recently, think on Web MD, about raw dog foods not ever good because of the risk of bacteria born illnesses like ecoli and samonella. Feeding “raw” dog foods is a definite health risk.