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Super premium meat-first, high-protein dog food & why dog treats are always better.

super premium dog treats

super premium dog treatsIf anything, the global Pet Expo in America in Mach 2019 showed us that Healthy Dog Treats are way ahead of the curve for advanced dog nutrition.

The latest trend is a few companies rushing towards calling their dog food products “super premium meat-first, high-protein diets”.

We applaud this, and have been providing that since our inception nearly ten years ago via, dried 100% meat jerkies for dogs and cats. But this is where the waters get a little murky.

For instance, one US brand is promoting “at least 85% animal protein, while its wet pet foods are 96% animal protein.”

Turns out that 85% animal protein has nothing to do with how much dried meat equivalent is in the product NOR how much absolute protein, just that of all of the protein in it, 85% happens to be from animals.

And this kind of misleading advertising is a global occurrence.

Let’s look at what you get for your money. Their 1.8 Kg dried dog food pack is near $19 USD. If we convert that to Aussie dollars at 70 cents per USD, then 1 Kg would be equivalent to about $15 AUD per Kg.   Which is mighty keen pricing for a product that has “85% meat ingredients and 15% other ingredients. “

You might wonder how they do this?  Is it just good vertical integration or something else?

Curiously their Guaranteed Analysis (DRY DOG FOOD ) for their red meat formula  also claims:

Crude Protein (min): 38.0%
Crude Fat (min): 18.0%
Crude Fiber (max): 6.0%
Moisture (max): 10.0%

How much absolute protein (grams) is there in BEEF, generally?

The Nutritiondata site claims that “Beef, brisket, flat half, separable lean and fat, trimmed to 0″ fat, all grades, cooked, braised“ is 29%  PROTEIN, 59% water and 8% Total Fat

If we decrease the water content to 10%, then we need to adjust the protein and fat level up by a factor or 100 /  ( (100-59 ))  or   100 / 41

COOKED BEEF with a LOT of water

Protein % Fat Water OTHER TOTAL
29 8 59 1 100%

COOKED BEEF AFTER DEHYDRATION  ie, dried.  (10% total water content)

Protein % Fat Water OTHER TOTAL
71 18 10% 2 100%

The dog food company claiming Super Premium dog food, also says that “Each formula is free from grains, potatoes, alfalfa, flaxseed and sunflower oil. “ With the top ingredients being:  “fowl, duck, turkey, chicken, duck meal, turkey meal, chicken meal, red lentils, garbanzo beans, navy beans, ” etc

This would means that MEAT is the first six ingredients by percentage and the product should have a high percentage of animal product. HOWEVER that might be RAW meat by percentage and DRIED vegetable matter is included after that in the list. As you will see, that can inflate the appearance of the amount of meat considerably.

From our Cooked beef brisket calculations, if the beef protein amount goes from 29% protein to 71%  protein, when the water level is decreased from 59% to  10%  water …  and the Super Premium dog food product only contains 10% water, it appears that 38% crude meat protein in their product is most likely because their 85% meat ingredient was the RAW MEAT content, NOT a dried meat amount.  And that makes a massive difference.

Why is it important to state either ALL dried or ALL raw (with water included) amounts in dog food and dog treats?

85% Meat content in dog food if it’s a DRIED amount, is great. HOWEVER, when RAW red meat converts down to 38% protein when it is cooked (ie the amount in the final dog food pellet) once most of the water has been removed (only 10% left),  suggests that the actual DRY amount of meat by weight is much lower than 85% by weight.

We have seen this trick many times before explained by such companies as Dog Food Advisor, but it’s a very misleading claim in the least to pitch yourself as a “Super premium pet food“  when the Dry content of meat is likely to be under 50%  NOT the 85% (most likely wet or raw) that seems to be being promoted. Perhaps its just all of the media outlets that are getting it wrong? But nobody is correcting it.

Let’s do a price check to see if our logic works.  The retail value of one of the 1.8 kg pellet packs came out to be about $15 per Kg. Now if this was 85% dry meat included, then that 850 g of dry meat would be equivalent to near two Kg of RAW meat and you don’t get many quality raw red meat for $15 per 2 Kg these days for human consumption. Let alone what is usually used for dog food. Especially if the company wants to make a profit.

This quick cost calculation suggests as per our equations for protein of beef brisket de-hydrated, that Super premium pet food mark now seems to be reached at an amount of near 50% dry meat or less.


Marketing and confectionery companies like to toss around “evolutionary diet” and “Natural dog diet” these days with scant relation to ingredients.  These are the same parent companies that are running head long in promoting vegan dog food that has a COMPLETE absence of meat-based protein. The worst thing you could do for a carnivore dog.

AT ‘Healthy dog treats’ we don’t supply treats to a market segment for maximizing profit. We have always believed in supplying animal-based dog treats for Increased dog nutrition and REAL health.

We promote Meat based protein because it is bio-available and species appropriate for carnivore dogs evolved from carnivore wolves.

NOTE – There would be little reason that these Dog food companies are trying to make you believe that they have an “evolutionary diet” product, often with a wolf like dog on the packet, if they didn’t want you to believe that their products mimic the kind of food that wolves ate and dogs should eat. But clearly there can be a big gap between what they promote and what you get, if you think you are getting 85% meat, and its actually less than 50% dry meat equivalent.

The “Pet food processing’s” article on the Global pet expo 2019 made a big thing about how “High-protein remains high priority”  and that as we suggest should be meat based protein.

They even go further to say “High-protein formulas, as well as those that include ancestral or exotic sources of protein (i.e. rabbit, wild boar, bison, quail) continue to be a notable trend in the pet food market”  –  so it seems like a very disingenuous slight of hand when we are told of all these exotic meat sources are being included in the recipes (often not as the primary ingredient, AND the meat component by dry weight is still below 50%.


The value of Healthy Dog Treat Jerkies

We have single ingredient Meat based jerkies for Beef, Kangaroo, fish dog treats. We would like to say 100% meat, however they do have perhaps 10% water in them (to keep them structurally together), and a little ANIMAL fat.  So, the total meat content might only be near 90%. But that is as high as its possible to get without extracting ALL the water, making the product inedible.

100% meat single ingredient dog treats, of quality meat, are massively higher than regular dog food that can be around 30% meat-based pellets, or “Super premium” dog food that we now know can be around 50% dry meat content.

The other difference being that our treats are not recombined meats., you actually see the grain in the meat, and the natural inclusions in the texture. They are not ground down into patties and recombined to look like they are whole.

Over-processing and very high oven temperatures used in pellet extrusion processes can destroy a lot of the natural nutrition in meat and animal fats. A single strip of meat dog treat is always going to be more natural and healthier than a meat that is minced together using various questionable sources and recombined to look like a strip of meat or a pellet.

Everyone wants to keep their dog healthy, and while off lead walks are an ultimate form of exercise, not everyone can do that every day.  Dog food companies realise this so they promote their dog foods as the ultimate and complete diet to make up for anything missing.

We believe that the vast majority of dog foods on the market are woefully short of quality meat-based proteins that dogs need for real optimum health.  We know that our treats are a very affordable alternative to top up your dog’s nutrition needs after they have had their kibble or wet can foods.

If 50% meat is now referred to as Super Premium, I guess that 90% of our treats can be called Bruce’s ULTRA Premium Healthy Dog Treats !



Top food and treat trends at Global Pet Expo 2019 – 03.26.2019 By Jordan Tyler and Jennifer Semple


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