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Hello all. I was reading through the post and replies in the "dog chow debate" and noticed in quite a few replies that "meat and bone meal" were mentioned. I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine in comparing dog foods and the question of "chicken meal versus chicken" came up. I feed my dogs Precise, which is a great quality dog food. The first ingredient is chicken meal. She fed pro plan, which had chicken listed. After much searching we found that chicken meal is all the good stuff of the chicken used (muscle, organs, etc) and measured for protein content AFTER the weight of the liquids had been removed, where as just chicken meant the amount of protein was measured before the liquid was removed, and doesn't specify what parts of the chicken are not used. Either way, my friend switched her dog to precise endurance and not only did he gain the weight he needed to, but his coat has done a 180 and is really looking great. I would really like to hear others' opinions on this discussion. While I know we got our answer, I just feel like there's more to learn, especially when something lists "meat and bone meal". I would like to know what that means, exactly. Any thoughts?
 

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"Chicken meal" is fine. Like you said, it's just chicken with the moisture removed. "Chicken by-product meal" is not so great, the by-products can contain a lot of stuff you really wouldn't want your dogs eating. The worst is unnamed meats and meat meals. "Meat" can mean anything---possum meat, raccoon meat, horse meat, deer meat, cow meat......who knows? You really want to see a named meat product in your dog foods, like "chicken", "lamb", or "beef". And "meat and bone meal" is the worst of the worst. That's just all the random roadkill and euthanized/DOA farm animals ground up all together. Ugh.

I looked up the ingredients of Precise, and it looks fine to me. I'd feed it to my dogs if it were available.
 

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Hello all. I was reading through the post and replies in the "dog chow debate" and noticed in quite a few replies that "meat and bone meal" were mentioned. I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine in comparing dog foods and the question of "chicken meal versus chicken" came up. I feed my dogs Precise, which is a great quality dog food. The first ingredient is chicken meal. She fed pro plan, which had chicken listed.

After much searching we found that chicken meal is all the good stuff of the chicken used (muscle, organs, etc) and measured for protein content AFTER the weight of the liquids had been removed, where as just chicken meant the amount of protein was measured before the liquid was removed, and doesn't specify what parts of the chicken are not used. Either way, my friend switched her dog to precise endurance and not only did he gain the weight he needed to, but his coat has done a 180 and is really looking great.

I would really like to hear others' opinions on this discussion. While I know we got our answer, I just feel like there's more to learn, especially when something lists "meat and bone meal". I would like to know what that means, exactly. Any thoughts?
The Dog Food Project has several good articles explaining how to read pet food labels. Here is one dealing with 'meat meal' info. I hope that helps!
 

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I would really like to hear others' opinions on this discussion. While I know we got our answer, I just feel like there's more to learn, especially when something lists "meat and bone meal". I would like to know what that means, exactly. Any thoughts?

Meat meals are the muscle meat of an animal that is ground up, normally into powdered form, and added to the kibble - meat is just that - the muscle meat of the animal added into the formula whole, au naturale. *Neither* is better. Meals are sold to the manufacturer by the supplier, and can contain preservatives or other additives that the food manufacturer is not required to list on the ingredient label - after all, they didn't add it. Whole meats alone usually cause the food to be comprised of less meat overall, but regardless of brand, whole meats make for a less processed product.

By products of any sort are the organ meats or leftover parts of the animal - lungs, liver, tripe (stomach, intestine), necks. Anyone feeding a raw or home cooked diet NEEDS to be adding some form of organ meat to achieve the best possible balance. The name doesn't sound too pleasant, but oh well, it's dog food :cool:

Now, "meat and bone meal" is a mix of animal meats - usually not poultry, but lamb, beef, pork. Also contains the ground up, powdered bone meal of the animals. I personally take bovine bone meal, which contains naturally occuring calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, and other minerals contained in the bone. Don't see what the problem with bone meal is when it is the best supplement to take for bone & teeth health for humans. We also have many raw feeders here, and I also feed raw as a supplement as well, and anyone who has ever fed a raw, edible bone knows it does contain nutrients not found anywhere else. So, instead of givign the bone whole, it's ground up, like the bone meal in human health food stores - only from more than one animal.

As far as the road kill myth goes, some rendering plants that make pet food also take in road kill. Does some of it go in pet food? You know what, probably. But meat and bone meal is not the only source it may end up in ... all those holistic foods that use "venison" ... I hope they don't think that the food manufacturer would be able to afford deer meat from any other source :D It's a very sought after, rarer form of meat that is not normally farmed as are chicken, cattle, pork, and really not available in large qualtities needed for pet food in any other outlet. So do I care if some of the meat in my dog's food is roadkill that was healthy otherwise and basically fresh when it was rendered? Nope. Plenty of people eat fresh road kill. But that being said, no, the majority of meat in "meat and bone meal" is just your garden variety mix of leftover meats.

I'm certainly not implying that anyone run out and buy a bag of Ol Roy, lol, but there are NO human grade ingredients that go into any brand of dog food, that's all advertising gimmick. I don't think holistic foods are bac b/c they're holistic, and I don't think grocery foods are great because they are from larger companies that have better R&D. If the dog does well on a food, it's a good brand for that dog. I've actually fed Precise (my Vet sells it, believe it or not!), and it's quite a bit like Blackwood in that it's a highly digestable feed. It's also carefully formulated and has a very correct ratio of omega fatty acids, has ample kcals, and great vitamin premix! I don't doubt that your friend's dog didn't do well on Pro Plan. It's a good feed, but not for every dog. Actually, no food is for every dog. I'm big on Purina, but even a few of mine didn't do as well on Pro Plan as some other of their products. But I also don't discount Pro Plan as being probably one of the better foods available today, as it works very well for a much higher degree of dogs that eat it than some other foods.

If you'd like a moer in depth understanding of dog food ingredients, here's a great article on AAFCO definitions: http://www.woodhavenlabs.com/dogfoods.html


Now, I've found that Purina was very helpful for my dogs in getting them to cycle regularly, keep on good weight/muscle tone, even energy levels, easier whelpings ... We have had hunting dog hypoglycemia in the past on food such as Canidae & Evolve, where the blood sugar level of a hunting dog will spike, then rapidly plummet, causing hypoglycemia. Diet alone can keep the blood sugar levels even, where they have enough energy but not that "sugar rush" spike & crash. I have dogs on Purina that have been on holistic foods, raw, cooked - and have never looked or acted so good in their life. I have a preggo bitch in whelp at the moment who is in perfect shape and excellent coat. For the first time since I began breeding, I had a lactating bitch NOT blow coat or loose condition in any way. She looked awesome throughout the time she was nursing/weaning those pups! Now I'm sure Puppy Chow looks pretty low on some people's opinions, but I don't care. I'm not going to use Merrick again and have a disaster, just to show that I feed a 5 star food :rolleyes: My hounds are on Dog Chow and have never looked better. How many people can say their dogs are barely shedding this time of year? :)
 
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