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How to calculate how many Dog Treats you can use as a dog food supplement

archie dog eating roo jerkyThis article is based on a question I recently had by a Healthy Dog treat client.

Her dogs absolutely love the treats that they have been eating from our shop, but her mother in law was concerned about how many treats (even healthy ones) that they can feed their dogs. There were a few other questions too, and I thought it would be useful to readers here to learn how you can safely use healthy dog treats as a meal supplement/ replacement for manufactured pet food.

This article shows how you can do simple calculations to safely supplement your dog's diet.

One of my clients questions was:

" Do you mean to say then that I can actually supplement their current dry food diet with these roo jerkies?"

MY Answer: 'The canine and feline nutrition' book by Case, Daristotle et al has a lot of amazingly thorough information on dog health and nutrition. It says repeatedly through the book that you should feed cats and dogs pet food (manufactured) because it is classed as 'whole and complete'.

A group called AAFCO in America (strongly influenced by large commercial dog food companies) created a nutrition table that all dog/ cat food needs to reach the minimum levels of to be called dog food.

They created a table that makes it impossible for any natural food to achieve. Grain dog foods (almost 100% of pellet and wet foods on the market) are usually about 80% grain and have very little nutritional value for dogs until they are saturated with vitamins and minerals and meat for its great protein (essential amino acids).

However in the book (written by mostly proctor and gamble employees, one of the largest pet food makers in the world), they admit that you can feed your dog up to 25% of its diet as raw meat and offal without falling below the minimum aafco standards.

Why supplement your dog food?

As explained before dog food typically has around 20-30% meat, putely as a cost saving for manufacturers. Dogs in the wild would only get grain into their diet (green and pulverised) by the tiny bit in their prey's stomachs.

Meat proteins are far superior for dogs than any carbohydrate source. If you are wondering by how much better meat is for your dogs as a protein source, then this article shows you that the amino acids (what protein is made up of) are usually a half or less than those found in beef or any other red meat.  Meat based protein V grain based proteins


To work out how much dried meat (healthy dog treats) you can feed your dogs (USING the 25% GUIDE), you need to know how many Kj (energy) in pellets you are already feeding your dog.

There are equations in the nutrition book. Suffice to say that the amount of dog food you feed your dog varies based on breed, age and amount of exercise. Puppies and pregnant dogs also have higher energy requirements.

For instance, if you have a pellet bag, and you feed your dog two scoops per day, you can read the label to find out how much energy is in those pellets.

I feed my dog 15% of his energy needs as dog pellets to aid intestinal health. The pack label For my dog kibble pack says on average if I was feeding him ONLY pellets that a 20 kg dog (adult average exercise) should get 200g of pellets, per day.

This manufactured dog food has an ME = 3575 Kcal/Kg

200 g is 20% of one Kilogram.

Therefore he would require 3,575 x 20% = 715 Kcal per day

Converting this to metric: 1 kcal = 4.18 KJ. So he would be getting 715 x 4.18 KJ = 2,988 KJ per day.

My client and I both feed our dogs healthy dog treats Kangaroo Jerky, so I will now show you how to calculate how much roo jerky you can use as a healthy dog food supplement:

One kangaroo meat information website says that kangaroo meat has 420 Kj of energy per 100g (this is WET MEAT). If you assume that kangaroo jerky has NO water then you remove 75% of the weight, and Kangaroo Jerky then has 420 KJ per 25 g dry weight of energy.

You can similarly find the energy value of any other base meat such as beef or chicken etc on the internet.

IF I want to replace 25% of my dog's food requirement with roo jerky then I am replacing 25% of 2988 KJ per day = 747 KJ

THUS the amount of roo jerky equivalent to 747 KJ = 747/420 x 25 g = 45 g

This means a one kilo bag of kangaroo jerky usually last me about a month (I alternate my healthy dog treats too).

archie dog eating roo jerky HOW I make my dog's raw meat diet whole and complete

I don't really trust companies that feed my dog mostly grain in his meal. So my dog is on a raw diet as I describe elsewhere in detail on this web site. I show nutrition data tables and feed my dog meat, offal and bone.

Because it is impossible to meet aafco tables with natural food alone, I supplement it with ONE blackmore's vitamin and minerals tablet. PLUS my own mix of omega 6 and Omega 3 oils EVERY night.

I feed him at least one LARGE roo jerky strap most nights. Plus several strips of beef liver as a training treat and food supplement throughout the day.

Client second dog treat question

Q " By any chance would you happen to carry ostrich as well? I've heard that it's hypoallergenic in nature and while they're lapping roo up at the moment, they tend to get bored easily and shift in preference. "

A A lot of people believe that dogs get allergies more from grains than meat. Of the meats a lot of people say that their dogs are likely to get allergic to chicken. But this is all general talk.

My dog (part poodle) is actually physically sick when he eats too much lamb or pork - MAINLY when there is a lot of FAT left on the meat. Other dogs are perfectly fine regardless of the meat they eat.

"hypoallergenic" is a vague term not too much to do with science, you will find that they class kangaroo and ostrich hypoallergenic along with any meat that a dog is rarely likely to have eaten before by a dog. The concept is that if it has not leaked into their diet from mainstream foods (such as beef, chicken or pork) then the dog most likely has not eaten it before. The more rare meats are often used when dog allergy experts are trialling 'exclusion diets' to see if a dogs allergy is indeed food related rather than the environment.

Besides other 'game meats' like rabbit and buffalo, roo meat is a popular meat because of its very healthy fat types. Another good reason to use our Kangaroo jerky!

If you are after 100% meat based healthy dog treats then the ones I carry are:

beef jerky
roo jerky
beef cubes (cow lung)
beef liver
shark cartilage
shark meet

That said, the other dog treats are 85% meat MINIMUM, with the remaining composition mainly being wheat (used as a binder) plus some added vitamins. The full ingredient list is shown in the long description of each treat in my shop on this site.

That means that these 'treats' are actually up to 4 times more meat content than regular dog food.

Funny how they have made consumers believe that you can feed a carnivore (that eats at least 95% meat in the wild) a diet that is 25% meat or less !?! That is why the healthy dog treats that I sell are a brilliant safe way of readdressing the low meat percentage of regular manufactured dog food! Protein (Amino acids) are vital for many functions in the dog's body and cannot be sourced via vegetable matter.

If a dog gets bored of a particular treat, you can always mix it up with things like roo meat balls (good for putting in treat balls when you go out) etc. The different textures and slight tweaking in taste can keep dog very interested in what is the most natural 'dog food' on the market.

If my supplier wanted to inject 20 or so minerals and vitamins in their dog treats, they could also lay claim to having an aafco approved 'dog food'. But they would just rather stick to the most natural plain meat dog treats you can buy.

If you have any other questions please Contact me via the contact number on this website, or call me.


Article by Bruce Dwyer. If you wish to use any of this information please refer to the article as a reference and provide a link to

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