Meats vs meals
August 24, 2020
Meats vs meals
Dog owners may prefer to see named meats rather than named meat meals as ingredients in their dog’s food due to the association of meat meals as a less desirable ingredient. However, meat meals provide more concentrated sources of protein in dog food.
On a dog food ingredient list, ingredients are listed in order by weight. When a meat ingredient is weighed, it is composed of about 70% moisture. This means most of that weight is void of nutrition and will simply be cooked away as the food is processed.
On the other hand, when a meat meal is weighed, it has already been rendered and contains very little moisture. Thus, by weight, meat meals will contain more nutrition than meats.
Inorganic vs chelated minerals
There are many essential minerals that must be obtained in the diet for proper bodily function. Without adequate amounts of minerals in balanced ratios, a dog could suffer health consequences including but not limited to an impaired immune system, hair loss, hyperkeratosis, and decreased fertility.
Minerals in dog food come in many different forms, but they are not equal. Chelated minerals have many benefits over inorganic minerals.
Minerals themselves are ionic, or charged, molecules. Ionic minerals are unstable; they want to bond with other molecules to neutralize their charge. For this reason, minerals are usually bound to another molecule in nature (and in dog food supplements). Inorganic minerals are bound with inorganic molecules, and chelated minerals are bound with organic minerals.
Organic in this context doesn’t mean the same thing as that organic label on the veggies you buy at the grocery store. Rather, the literal definition of organic means that the molecule contains carbon. Inorganic minerals are bound with oxides or sulfates, for example. Organic (chelated) minerals are bound with amino acids or amino acid complexes – you might see these as proteinates, glycinates, or methionates, for example.
Studies consistently demonstrate a much higher bioavailability in chelated minerals in comparison to inorganic minerals. In other words, more of the mineral is absorbed and utilized by the body, and less is excreted in urine. Chelated minerals can be fed in much smaller amounts than inorganic minerals since they are utilized more effectively.
Unfortunately, chelated mineral supplements are more expensive than inorganic mineral supplements, but a high quality dog food company will opt to use the higher quality, bioavailable chelated mineral supplements in their food.