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We believe that every pet owner deserves the best information and resources to care for their four-legged friends. Our goal for Wild Pawspective is to educate, inform, and entertain pet enthusiasts like you while fostering a strong and supportive community of fellow pet lovers.

What's the Deal with Meat Meal?

Real Proteins for Our Furry Friends

At All American Pet Manufacturing (AAPM), we understand the importance of providing your pets with high-quality, nutritious food. Our commitment to making healthy food goes beyond typical pet industry standards, ensuring that your pets receive the same quality proteins that humans consume. Many pet food manufacturers use low-quality, cost-cutting ingredients. In today's blog post, we delve into one common pet food ingredient known as meat meal, shedding light on its origins, quality variations, and why AAPM avoids its use.

So What is Meat Meal?

Meat meal, sometimes referred to as powdered meat, is a prevalent ingredient in many dog and cat food brands, known for its cost-effectiveness. Typically derived from residual meat, offal, connective tissues, and, in some cases, bones and cartilage, meat meal undergoes rendering—a cooking process where raw materials are subjected to high temperatures, dehydrated, and ground into a dry powder. Unlike the whole protein muscle meat with no byproducts or fillers used in our products, meat meal is generally less nutritious. However, not all meat meal is created equal.

Types of Meat Meal

Quality matters when it comes to meat meal. While some are of acceptable quality, made without byproducts or meat scraps, most are subpar, originating from anonymous sources like slaughterhouse waste. To avoid the worst types of meat meal, consumers should steer clear of pet foods that include terms like "by-product" in the name or fail to specify the source animal. However, even if the meat meal does not say “by-product” in the name, it is still incredibly hard for a manufacturer to determine the quality of the meat meal they are buying. This is because vendors don't typically list what goes into the meat meal they manufacture.

AAPM ensures that our pet food is crafted with high-quality, clearly identified protein sources, which frankly is much easier when using whole muscle proteins. The bottom line is when you see "quail," "venison," or "kangaroo" in an ingredient list, you know that it's real, whole muscle protein. When you see "poultry by-product meal," "venison meal," or "kangaroo meal," you can't be sure which part of those animals are used. Which would you rather eat?

Meat Meal: Pros and Cons


  • Affordable: Meat meal is a cost-effective protein source.

  • Waste Efficiency: There is a case to be made for waste efficiency with meat meals which utilize offal and other parts of animals that might go to waste because they are undesirable or inedible for humans.

  • Concentrated Protein: Meat meal is very dense in protein. Some companies use meat meal to increase the protein content of their pet foods.


  • Heavily Processed: Rendering exposes protein sources to unnecessary processing, impacting the nutritional quality of the end product.

  • Not Human Grade: Derived from offcuts, unwanted parts, organs, bones, and cartilage, meat meal is more often than not comprised of food inedible by humans.

  • Less Digestible: Compared to whole muscle protein, low quality meat meals are not as easily digestible.

Why Do We Avoid Meat Meal?

While meat meal may offer some advantages in waste efficiency and price, it comes at the cost of compromising the health and well-being of pets. At AAPM, our dedication to providing optimal nutrition for pets guides our choices, because they're more than just pets, they're family.

Real whole proteins, free from intense processing and additives, offer superior health benefits. Whole muscle proteins provide the most possible nutrition from a protein source, including iron, zinc, and vitamins. Powdering meat and other animal scraps can destroy the vitamins and minerals naturally found in poultry, fish, and meat. As a company with roots of producing human food products like beef jerky and other meat snacks, we understand the importance of quality protein. We use the same quality proteins and a very similar production process when making our pet products that other companies do with their products made for human consumption.

We believe pets deserve to live a long, healthy life, which is why we take this so seriously. Avoiding meat meal allows us to uphold the high standards we set for our products, ensuring that every bite your pet takes is a step towards a healthier, happier life.

Is it the end of the world if your pet eats meat meal? No. But it's also not the end of the world if you eat fast food for every meal! The debate on whether to feed your dog or cat food made with powdered meat versus whole muscle proteins boils down to this: pet food made with whole muscle proteins is simply better.

In conclusion, the choice between whole proteins and meat meal goes beyond cost considerations. It's about prioritizing the well-being of our furry companions. At All American Pet Manufacturing, we stand by our commitment to crafting pet food and treats that meet the same standards we would expect for ourselves. Choose AAPM, The Wild Bone Company, and Walk About Pet for a healthier, happier life for your pets.

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