Shopping cart

No products in the cart.

FIVE main TRICKS to disguise grain in dog food & Why you need meat dog treats


Archie-dog-approved-dog-treats The next time you have a look at all of the bags or tins of dog food in your supermarket or dog store, consider WHY they put LARGE photos of meat on the labels.  As most dog food has between 20-30% meat in them, why would meat be so prominently displayed on the labels? Isn’t that just a little deceptive?

The highest meat grade dog food (in pellets) is typically 50% and you will pay a large premium for that kind of dog food. So what is the point convincing dog owners that there seems to be a lot of meat in a pack IF they regularly tell you that Grain or vegetables is just as good for your dog?

OK – forget that no dog or wolf EVER hunted down grain or vegetable as its prime prey target. Forget that their digestive system is still optimised for processing meat.  Forget that meat essential amino acids (protein) are bio-available to dogs, and grains and veggies are not.

Let’s review the fun ways that dog food companies PROMOTE that their products are full of meat but then disguise the fact that they don’t have much meat in them.


1     THE COST OF MEAT –  This has skyrocketed in the last few years in Australia due to farmers seeking high prices with their high export drive.  Good for the farmer, bad for humans and dogs living in Australia. This Article reviews the beef price rises in Australia over the last decade

2       BIG PICTURE OF MEAT ON THE DOG FOOD LABEL –  This is to make you feel ok about buying what is essentially a bag of wheat or rice, with a big dose of vitamins and a small side order of meat.  Why don’t the labels just have a sack of highly processed wheat or grain on them? Because that might upset owners that they weren’t getting what they were mislead into thinking they were buying (meat).

3      DOG FOOD INGREDIENT SPLITTING –  We have written a few articles on this before. Its the novel way that dog food makers put meat (often including water content to increase the % value) as first and sometimes second ingredients on a labels, but then second, third and fourth ingredients and so on are grain or vegetable matter that add up to the vast majority of the total product. Its a clever way for you to glance at a label (without percentages of course) and just hope that there is a lot of meat in it. Spoiler alert – there isn’t.  This article looks at what splitting ingredients on the dog food labels tricks look like.

4      DOG FOOD AND DOG TREAT labelling laws – For people concerned with what is in their human food, they would be shocked to see the second grade schlock is tossed into dog food. There are literally horror stories about the dead, decaying animal waste products put into the mix in many factories, but that is why its so great to call these things ‘animal by-products‘. A great euphemism that helps owners swallow the horrible truth.

You see meat plus meat by product, gets the dog food over the line regarding minimum protein, but its not the kind you would feed to a human or dog, if you knew. Meat by product is also very cheap by comparison to meat. You will also find that globally dog food or dog treat manufacturer DONT HAVE TO put the percentage of any ingredient on the label. They just have to put them in order of size, but as you can see from the above ingredient splitting trick, you will always get less than you thought you paid for.

5     TVP = Textured Vegetable Protein – there are many problems with this substance. First of all it is mainly used in canned dog food, to disguise soy ingredients to look like (colour and texture) MEAT. That’s right, a can of dog food that looks full to the brim with meat is actually mostly TVP in many cases. They can make soy look like meatballs, chunks of meat or almost anything these days.  Not only is this highly deceptive (along with the image on the can of meat) but the high amount of processing of the soy is now considered unhealthy for human consumption by many people.

TVP is said to be a ” good source of dietary fibre, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.” But of course, you can get all of those minerals in meat too. Fibre or filler is the only main benefit of processed fake meat. But it can’t replicate the value of meat protein your dog needs.  This is an early article that I wrote on the issues of TVPs used in dog food.

WHY dog food and dog treat manufactures make you think meat is in the product

Meat is expensive as an input ingredient. If they used a significant amount of meat, their profits would go down, because they would have to put up their already high prices, considerably.

Quality whole meat is even more expensive than meat ‘by-products’. Our dog treats are made from good meats. And of course if you buy 100% meat dog treats, they are a single meat with a defined shape and texture, there is no disguising going on!    Owners are at least subliminally aware that dogs love meat, and they were designed to eat meat. So dog food makers switch out meat for a cheap substitute with very poor nutrition characteristic hoping you won’t notice.

It might sound like a conspiracy theory, but why else would an entire industry that tries to make it look like there is a lot of quality meat in their product invent so many ways to disguise that there is so little meat in their products ??

THE GOOD NEWS ABOUT low meat dog food

IF all of these manufacturers are complicit in the disguise, it means that deep down they and you know dogs deserve and NEED meat to be their healthiest.

All of the information about the joy of carbs and grain and the stories they put on the packs is just a smoke screen. Grains are 100% unnecessary in a carnivore dogs diet and are just to maintain corporate profits. They have advertised their bags of wheat so long, and paid actor/ vets for so long to spruik the value of their TVPs or grain bags, that people just now accept the lie. Isn’t that extraordinary for a country of dog loving people?

Chances are that knowing this isn’t going to whip you into a frenzy of feeding your dog a balanced raw meat diet (as I do). But it will at least have you think the next time you buy your dog any random dog treat, perhaps?

If you buy our 100% or 80% meat dog treats (what we sell), you will know you are getting about THREE times the amount of meat in many dog food products out there.  Couple that with the fact that our treats that are long chewing, or a meat they don’t regularly eat, or one that is low in fat or high in Omega 3 and you will be doing your dog an invaluable healthy service.

Imagine now that your dogs don’t even know this and are just having great fun and satisfaction in eating the treats. NOW that is TRUE customer satisfaction all round!   No guilt, just health, and pleasure for both owner and dog!

Dog Nutrition
Comments for this post are closed.
Previous reading
Dog Treat bones and the search engines Alternative facts.
Next reading
No More Doggie Junk Food, just natural & healthy dog treats