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According to AAFCO, Meat is “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered mammals and is limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart, or in the esophagus; with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.”
Meat Meal is “the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. It shall not contain added extraneous materials not provided for by this definition.The Calcium (Ca) level shall not exceed the actual level of Phosphorus (P) by more than 2.2 times. It shall not contain more than 12% Pepsin indigestible residue and not more than 9% of the crude protein in the product shall be pepsin indigestible. The label shall include guarantees for minimum crude protein, minimum crude fat, maximum crude fiber, minimum Phosphorus (P) and minimum and maximum Calcium (Ca). If the product bears a name descriptive of its kind, composition or origin, it must correspond thereto.”
I am not sure if these definition are clear enough but here’s what you should understand:
- There is no such thing as “human grade meat meat”. The meat meal is never produced for human consumption and the manufacturers are not licensed to produce human-edible products.
- It doesn’t mean meat meal is of poor quality. There are different levels of quality but the law does not permit manufacturers to make any statements regarding the quality of the ingredients they use in their products.
- Whether of poor or high quality, meat meal is a highly-processed ingredient that doesn’t really help your dog. It keeps him from being hungry for a few hours but that’s it. The nutritional value is extremely low, if none.
I am aware that cooking is not a priority for many families and that dry food is a fast and cheap alternative but honestly, could you eat fast food for the rest of your life? No matter the quality of the dry food, dogs cannot have a healthy life if their diet consists mainly of kibble. Adding some diversity to your dog’s diet is essential. This is why I suggest replacing some of the kibble meals with fresh meat, some vegetables and fruits from time to time like sweet potatoes or bananas and maybe some rice and oats or other known sources of carbohydrates.
If you do not have the time to vary your dog’s food and you only feed him dry kibble, at least pick a high-quality product that combines one or more concentrated sources of protein in the form of meal. Avoid the products that contain a high level of ash because this means the meat meal used for production was consisting rather of bones than of lean muscles.
I have shared many recipes, both raw and homemade. If you are interested in adding a little variety in your dog’s diet check them out.
That’s about it. Thanks again Sabine Contreras for your informative articles.
Dog Training Tip #1