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On dog food packaging the term ‘made with fresh meat’, ‘fresh ingredients’ or descriptions like ‘made with fresh chicken’ is becoming more and more common. Despite FEDIAF (the European Pet Food Industry) having very strict regulations for pet food labelling, often these terms can be used by dog food brands in different ways in their marketing, making it very confusing for pet parents to understand.
According to FEDIAF’s pet food labelling regulations, the term “fresh” may describe substances used in pet food manufacturing that have not been subjected to any treatment except maintaining the cold chain. Treatments such as cooking, drying, freezing, hydrolysis, or similar processes, or the addition of salt, curing agents, natural or synthetic chemical preservatives or other processing aids exclude the substance/s from being called “fresh”.
Therefore, if a meat has been frozen it cannot be described as fresh. It is important to also note that the term meat also needs some carefully explanation as this actually refers to ‘skeletal muscle’ e.g. muscle which has come from a bone. This means therefore that if a dog food is describing its meat as ‘fresh chicken’, for example, it may not just be meat from the skeleton – it could also contain tasty and nutrient-rich goodies like heart, liver, lungs, bones.
Laughing Dog’s Naturally Complete dog food range is made from fresh chicken, fresh salmon and fresh lamb as well as chicken meal, salmon meal and lamb meal. This means that within the dog food recipe there is a combination of fresh e.g. fresh chicken which has come to the manufacturers in a fresh form (not frozen) as well chicken meal, which includes meat, ligaments, bone from the chicken – only the tasty (and safe) parts a dog would naturally eat.
Meals in dog food are a very important source of protein, calcium and phosphorous. Laughing Dog make it really clear on the label the exact breakdown of fresh chicken, salmon and lamb verses the chicken, salmon or lamb meal.
Meat meal is mixed meats e.g. pork, beef, lamb, chicken – and this dry ‘mixed’ combination. Laughing Dog food does not contain any mixed meat meal in their dog food. Instead Laughing Dog use single species meals e.g. in their Naturally Complete Chicken dog food, they use fresh chicken and chicken meal. The only animal protein you will find in this recipe therefore is from tasty free-run chickens!
All meals that Laughing Dog use are produced from animals, birds and fish that have been passed as fit for human consumption and meet our ethical sourcing guidelines.
At Laughing Dog many of their dog food recipes are single species, e.g. Naturally 5 chicken dog food complete is just chicken meal and chicken oil; you wouldn’t therefore find any lamb or beef in the mixing bowl. They only use meals which are made of one species so their customers know exactly what is going into the mixing bowl.
Meals are added to food in a dry, rendered form. As explained above, the meals they use are single species and are produced from animals, birds and fish that have been passed as fit for human consumption and meet their ethical sourcing guidelines. They include meat, ligaments, bone – only the tasty (and safe) parts a dog would naturally eat. Meals are a very important source of protein, calcium and phosphorous – and our nutritionists cannot recommend them enough!
We do not use any dry mixed meat meal which is meat and bones made from mixed species e.g. pork, beef, lamb, chicken.
Either way – whether you use fresh meat and/or a meal, combined in the right quantities with other key essential ingredients, it will provide a complete and balanced meal.
The dry meals we use are naturally preserved which we believe is best. It is a convenient and safe way for these materials to be used in pet foods and naturally in the wild dogs crunch bones and eat the innards as these are the tastiest parts. We believe that our recipes should reflect this. But it is true to say we are using parts of the animal we wouldn’t necessarily eat as humans – this is also really important for the planet – we know there’s only a limited amount of land that’s available for agriculture and finding sustainable protein sources is becoming more of a hot topic in the dog food industry.
To find out more about our dog food recipes and to see the breakdown of fresh vs meals, head to our shopping page where you’ll find a full list of all ingredients. Or simply pop us a call on our freephone (0800 0988057) and we will be happy to help.