How Much Meat Is Really In Your Dog Food?

two happy dogs

We often get questions about the meat content of our dog food, with many people confused about the difference between fresh and dried meat, and which one is better for your dog.

This can be complicated, with many manufacturers masking the truth about the meat content in their food. So, we’re here to break this down and get to the bottom of this age-old debate to ensure your choosing food that’s top dog.

Did you know that fresh meat consists of, on average, 70% water?

This is often a surprise to dog owners.

Most of this water is removed by heat during the manufacturing of dry food, which leaves around 30% dry matter, depending on the production method. This allows the raw ingredients to be transported and stored in more environmentally-friendly and sustainable ways.

In short, fresh meat means that the ingredients are weighed in their wet form, before they’re cooked. However, dried meat is measured without water content, as this has already been removed.

This means 1000g of fresh meat = 300g dried meat.

The easiest formula to remember is: fresh meat % x 0.3 = dried meat %

So although it may look like the meat content in fresh meat products is higher, this is often not the case.

dried meat vs fresh meat

We know this can be confusing. Which is why we’re as transparent as possible about what goes into our dog food.

The animal raw ingredient source that we use at Happy Dog is meat (from the purely legal viewpoint, only muscle meat can be described as such) along with offal such as heart and liver, as these contain lots of important nutrients including vitamin A, selenium and zinc.

We call the two together “animal proteins”. Premium, quality meat and valuable animal proteins are the most important components of our pet food, which is why they make up to 90%. In our recipes, we do not use vegetable protein extracts as a substitute for high-quality animal protein.

In addition, we only specify the actual proportion of dried meat and therefore the meat ratio in many Happy Dog varieties is much higher than in dry foods from most other manufacturers. This is an important quality feature of high-quality pet food.

Find out more about what goes into our tasty dog food here.

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