Why We Don't Add Meat (Protein) To Our Foods

June 24, 2016

Why We Don't Add Meat (Protein) To Our Foods

Occasionally we are asked if we are ever going to add meat (protein) to our recipes. Adding meat to our recipes would offer our customers a complete and balanced meal for their canine companion(s) and make feeding time more convenient. However, it does not come without some risk.

The Demand for Convenience

Time-pressed consumers emphasize convenience is paramount and a key purchase factor when choosing foods for their canine companions. Open a bag of dog food, fill the bowl and that’s it. Super convenient, right? You must ask yourself… “is this really what’s best for your dog and their overall health and well-being?”  

The Question of Palatability

Will we be able to offer the same whole grains and dehydrated vegetables if we add freeze-dried meat to our recipes? In order to create that “complete and balanced” packaged recipe, we would need to use ingredients that are course or fine ground. That would allow us to incorporate the nutrient supplement evenly throughout the bag. In doing so, our foods would no longer look like chopped vegetables or whole grains, rather a powdery formula that when water is added would look like a green gruel. It’s important to us that you see the ingredients in your dog’s food! 

Risks of Bacterial Contamination 

Introducing meat (protein) into our recipes poses a risk of contamination of harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria, the two most commonly found in dog foods. Freeze-drying removes water from a material (e.g. food) without altering its original structure or composition. Since freeze-drying is not a heat-based process, the nutritional integrity of the original food in maintained: freeze-dried diets are indeed “raw” so safe handling guidelines are required to avoid the potential spread of pathogens. 

That being said, introducing freeze-dried meats into our recipes could potentially contaminate the ingredients in our recipes. In the 18 years Happy Dog Food has been in business, we have never had a recall! 

Using Fresh USDA Meat 

Any time you handle fresh meat there is always a risk of bacterial contamination. However, we have become very familiar with safe handling practices and applying those practices are commonplace in every kitchen. 

Our Commitment to Your Canine Companion

We are committed to providing you with the very best limited ingredient foods for your canine companion to ensure they are Healthy and Happy!




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