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The importance of kangaroo proteins and amino acid for dogs and see data tables.

kangaroo essential amino acid summary

kangaroo essential amino acid summary

Almost no amino acid (protein) tables for any kangaroo meat are available on the internet, but just about every other food on the planet has such common information.. 

using my engineering background I have been able to track down source data from CSIRO and provide a breakthrough method of showing you for the first time, what % of essential amino acids are in Kangaroo meat, and why you should use it for humans and dogs alike!

Everyone knows that kangaroo meat is so good for humans because of its organic nature and its CLA’s (omega 3 type). So it was surprising to find a complete lack of detailed amino acid information. As of 2014 this article provides the most complete work on Kangaroo meat amino acid profiles in the world.

NOTE amino acid percentages will vary depending on age, and exact species as well as between roos in the same species (red, grey etc).  However the same can be said for the nutrition data tables for any of the meat products we commonly consume such as beef pork and lamb.

For a better understanding of what the amino acide profile might mean to you, I have provided a direct comparison of Kangaroo meat amino acid values with commonly consumed meats.


Why use of kangaroo meat for humans or Kangaroo dog treats for dog health?

The bible of dog and cat nutrition ( Canine and Feline nutrition Case et al) is written by Proctor and Gamble workers (one of the largest dog food manufacturers in the world.

However they still conceded that up to 25% of a dog’s diet can be replaced with meat before it fails the aafco minimum nutrient requirements.  The affco standards, while considered widely flawed, are the only ones that globally dog food seems to have to reach in order to be called dog food, so that is why I refer to them here.

Kangaroo meat is often used in exclusion diets and as a hypoallergenic meat based on the idea that it is moderately rare in most dogs diets, and it has a very good history of not causing dogs allergy issues.

The reason, as you will soon see that it is valuable to use Kangaroo meat in your dogs diet is that it has a very different amino acid profile from other meats, and its fats are the healthiest type of fats you can get for humans and dogs alike (low %, and plenty of CLA’s) – but the fat value is for another article.

If you buy manufactured dog food for your dog, the only reason it has meat in it (a costly input for the manufacturer) is so they can sell you a pack of grain with a piece of meat shown on the packaging, and so that the product reaches the minimum aafco standards.

Your dog food will usually have chicken or beef in it, because these are much cheaper and easier to source than kangaroo.

And even if you buy your dog RAW kangaroo meat, it may not like the gamey taste, or take some time to get accustomed to it. You may find the cost prohibitive and you want to throw raw roo meat on the lounge room floor at night time as a treat for your dog. IF you buy dried kangaroo dog treats from this site, you will be getting all of the roo benefits for your dog, without the mess.

Be aware that while affco minimum standards require 18% protein (dry weight) from any source (meat is much easier for dogs to digest) your dog may be getting a substantial amount of its protein from harder to digest highly processed grains (something a dog would never eat in the wild).

Red kangaroo meat typically has a little over 20% protein (WET WEIGHT), but since meat typically has 75% water content, a 100% kangaroo jerky (DRY) will actually have 60+% plus protein value. So you can see how easily a little dry roo meat can really benefit dogs on manufactured dog food diets.


The only paper that I was able to find in a year plus of online searching and contacting many Australian organisations, was one written in the 1970’s (see ref).

The issue with this original science paper is that it was not written to give concise values for the essential amino acids found in kangaroo, they have other objectives, however it does contain a data table that can be used as the source for our final amino acid requirements.

ESSENTIAL AMINO ACIDS in RED KANGAROO DRY (compared to other meat sources

All meats amino acid levels are the % in Dry meat


ESSENTIAL AMINO ACID AAFCO %DM Min DRY ROO % Chicken, broilers or fryers, breast, meat only, raw Pork, fresh, loin, whole, separable lean and fat, raw Beef, chuck, shoulder clod, lean and fat, raw Lamb, composite of trimmed retail cuts, trimmed to 1/8″ fat, raw Avg (excl roo)
Arginine 0.51 1.61 2.82 3.45 4.00 2.80 3.27
Histidine 0.18 1.46 1.45 2.14 1.97 1.49 1.76
Isoleucine 0.37 3.13 2.47 2.53 2.81 2.27 2.52
Leucine 0.59 2.88 3.51 4.36 4.92 3.66 4.11
Lysine 0.63 4.10 3.98 4.90 5.23 4.16 4.57
Methionine-cystine 0.43 1.08 1.30 1.43 1.61 1.20 1.38
Phenylalanine-tyrosine 0.73 2.11 1.86 2.18 2.44 1.91 2.10
Threonine 0.48 3.29 1.98 2.47 2.47 2.01 2.23
Tryptophan 0.16 0.44 0.55 0.68 0.41 0.55 0.55
Valine 0.39 5.18 2.32 2.95 3.07 2.54 2.72
SUB TOTAL 4.47 25.28 22.24 27.09 28.93 22.60 25.21

Reading the kangaroo essential amino acid values

At this moment June 2014, this is the most complete essential amino acid data table for Kangaroo meat on the planet.

You will find that defining and extracting specific amino acids is still quite a complex and expensive task. And considering the possible variation in each species, defining a more concrete table is probably pointless.

However as no such resource existed prior to me creating it, I think it deserves some discussion.

Meat proteins are universally acknowledges as much more readily digestible by carnivores (canines and felines). While dogs might be only 95% carnivore, their digestion is still strongly balanced towards requiring meat as the main input.

While meat proteins are much more digestible than carbohydrate (grains) for carnivores, each amino acid type whether it be arginine or valine, will also vary somewhat in the exact element make up of its chemical chain.

You may be tempted to just compare raw numbers with raw numbers across the columns, however the main take away here is that the PROFILE of kangaroo meat ESSENTIAL amino acids is quite different from any other usually used dog food meat.

This means that the essential amino acids that you find in common meats that might be low in certain types, are thus boosted well by kangaroo essential amino acids.


While total protein levels will vary between different kangaroos, and there may be some small errors in the measurements, it is the proportion of each amino acid within the kangaroo protein that has been calculated here for one of the first times.

The table is calculated as DRY meat amino acid percentage BECAUSE that is how the AAFCO board requires comparisons to be made.

This table only show TEN of the 22 amino acids, because these 10 essential amino acids cant be manufactured within the dogs body and must be added to their diet, and they are the only amino acids listed by AAFCO for comparison.

You will notice that Meat in general is MUCH higher than the percentage required by AAFCO. If dogs and cats are carnivores then why is the AAFCO limit made so much lower than the essential amino acids found in meat?

Dogs mainly require a meat based diet because of the bioavailablity of meat to its carnivore system. However dog food companies only have to put a small amount of meat in the dog food to  make up for the short fall caused by low amino acid counts in regular grains (shown in a future article).

This table shows that for KANGAROO and meat in general, that a small amount of meat source makes a large difference to the essential amino acids available to a dog for the purpose of cell growth and body maintenance etc.

It also shows how kangaroo is a high source of essential amino acids, and that its profile is quite different to the other meats, making it an ideal inclusion in any dogs diet (to supplement the essential amino acid profiles of the regular  meats used in dog food such as beef and chicken.

If you want to review the benefit of each individual essential amino acids, there are plenty of sources that explain the relevance to your dog

MAIN Reference



How kangaroo amino acid levels were calculated.

The TOTAL protein value for red kangaroos was not shown in the reference paper. It is necessary to know this in order to calculate the Roo amino acid percentages.

Since Beef, chicken and pork protein percentages vary by specific subspecies, age, food source etc, it made sense to also adjust all the comparisons meats by some overall averaged value for the main category meat. This was done by averaging the meat types % protein value from several sources:

Protein percentage in raw meats

Meat Type A B C D Average
Kangaroo 24 21.4 23.6 24 23.25
Lean Lamb 22 20.8 22 21.6
Lean Beef 22 23.9 22.7 22 22.65
Lean Pork 23 23.2 22.3 23 22.875
Lean Chicken Breast 23 22.3 24.4 23 23.175


A (/products/nutrit.htm)

B  (best-protein-sources)

C (/meat-protein-comparison/)

D (/health/kanga.htm)

Kangaroo ESSENTIAL AMINO acid Calculation method

We want to find the absolute amounts of the kangaroo amino acids in 100g of meat and compare kangaroo to the another meats amino acids.

Given the  Average protein value for Kangaroo meat above, we want to work backwards to calculate the TOTAL amino acids comparable to the nutrition data website data values (amino acid values available for all meats except kangaroo).

Measured amino acids = Essential amino acids + non essential amino acids

PROTEIN = Total amino acids =  Measured amino acids + missing non essential amino (four)

The 4 ‘missing amino’ acids are those that are not measured or recorded in any nutrition data tables (they are either difficult to measure or unreliably measured). However since they are non essential (can be created inside of the body) this is not such an issue for this roo analysis.  They are just used in the calculations as they need to be accounted for in the TOTAL amino acid value

For Kangaroo meat we have the  estimated average total amino acids (TOTAL PROTEIN from the 4 sources) and the ratio of Essential to Non essential amino acids (from MAIN source).

Thus we need to find the ‘missing non essential amino acids’  value (percentage) so that we can  calculate the TOTAL amino acid, and then the absolute mg of each ESSENTIAL amino acid.

There are 10 essential amino acids out of the 22 amino acids in meat. The affco tables only have minimum values for the essential amino acids, that is why we are concentrating on calculating them.


From ‘nutrition data’ tables: Using five common meats used in dog food the average % missing amino acids (for all meats) is 5.7%  this value is used as a proxy estimate for the kangaroo meat ‘missing amino acid’.

This means for ROO that the: Measured amino acid / TOTAL amino acid (protein) = 94.1%

Using Kangaroo raw meat:  Measured Amino acids /  23.3 mg =  94.1%

Therefore ‘Measured amino’ =  21.9 g per 100g raw kangaroo meat

Total Amino acids =  measured amino acids + missing amino acids (4 amino)

Total Amino acids = (Essential amino acids + non essential amino acids) + 5.7% (missing amino)

Essential amino acids + non essential amino acids = 21.9g x (94.3%) =  20.7 g

Knowing the fraction of each essential and non essential amino acid of the total amino amounts, we can then estimate the absolute mg value of each kangaroo amino acid.

As you can imagine all of this is calculated in a spreadsheet. The result is the table shown in the body of this article.

NOTE,  AAFCO provides minimum essential amino acids values for DM (dry matter).  As most meat is about 70% water, each meat essential amino acid value needed to be calculated SANS WATER.  That is how original data tables that provide meat protein levels at 20% plus increase to 60-70% when water is extracted.

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