What is meat meal and why do we use it?

Loveleen is in the Food Team at tails.com and she’s our guest blogger this week to dish up everything you need to know on meat meal, why we use it in your dog’s kibble recipe, its nutritional goodness, and much, much more!

Protein power

“Meat meals (also called dehydrated meat) are often used in kibble and function like a protein powder for dogs. Protein is an essential macronutrient for both humans and dogs.  Proteins are the building blocks for muscles, bones, skin and fur. They are also needed to repair damaged tissues and produce hormones and enzymes. This essential nutrient must be supplemented through your dog’s diet as they can’t produce them on their own. Meat meals are an excellent way of doing this.”

“While human protein powders are typically made from proteins from whey (a by-product of milk), meat meals are made from animal proteins. This makes them delicious and nutritious to dogs, and easier to digest when you compare them to dairy products.”

Waste not, want not

“Meat meals are made from the animal parts that are left after all the meat we eat as humans has been processed. This includes any meat left on the bones, organs (offal), and sometimes feathers and bones (which are a good source of essential minerals like calcium and phosphorus). They’re all a natural part of a dog’s diet – and using them means we can reduce waste by making sure the whole animal is used. Happy dog, happy planet!”

“These components then go through  a process called rendering. During rendering, the meat is cooked like a stew at a high temperature. This kills off any germs that may make your dog sick and removes most of the water – giving us a product that’s much more stable, reliable, and less vulnerable to degradation. After the process of rendering, what is left behind is a powder which has a very high protein content.”

Meat meal magic

“Meat meals are sometimes combined with fresh meat to make your dog’s kibble more flavourful. There is another good reason for this. Fresh meat, especially muscle meat, is typically around 70% water, with a protein content in the region of 10%. Meat meals, however, have a water content of around 5% and a protein content of around 80%. This is much like protein powders that some bodybuilders use to build muscle. The protein content of meat meals are less variable than that of fresh meat and allow us to give your dog the right amount for their stage of life. The inclusion of fresh meat makes the food tastier and more appealing. You wouldn’t eat a dry protein powder on its own, would you?

That’s why we use both meat meal and fresh meat in our kibble – to maximise the nutritional (and taste!) benefits for your dog.”

3 thoughts on “What is meat meal and why do we use it?”

    • Hi Anna – meat meal is actually a really nutritious (and delicious!) ingredient that’s not only packed with minerals and protein, but it’s also a really great way of using the whole animal (which is more sustainable, too).

  1. I’ve heard that the reason dog food is brown is because it’s been cooked at such high temperatures that there are no longer any nutrients left in it. I’m really concerned about this as I want my dog to have the best food possible.


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