Alternative Meat Info

Using Alternative Meat in Dog Food

Dogs are part of a large taxonomic family called Canidae. They are in fact scavenging carnivores, which means they are primarily meat-eaters. These canines thrive and their bodies function optimally if given animal-based food.
The most common meats for dogs are chicken, beef, or pork. Branching out to alternative meat is a good way to provide varied nutrients in pleasing flavors. These alternative protein are used to make hypoallergenic dog foods and treats. These meats not only have health benefits but are also a great way to add a dose of excitement to your dog’s daily life.
The market of dog food and treats includes products made with exotic alternative meat including elk, venison, bison, ostrich, wild salmon, and duck.

Why Use Alternative Meat

Alternative meat sources have gained much popularity over the last few years. There are many reasons why more and more people want to include alternative meat in their furry family members’ diets.

Let’s have a look at the most common reasons for feeding alternative meat to a dog: 

  • Food intolerance/ sensitivities
  • Food allergies
  • Greater variety
  • Better quality

Food intolerances

Alternative meats provide health and happiness when your pooch is suffering from food sensitivities. When your dog has a food sensitivity or intolerance, it means that they are not able to properly digest an ingredient in their diet.

Food intolerances or food sensitivities refer to all non-immunologic adverse responses to food. This generally produces digestive issues like diarrhea, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, or vomiting. 

Food allergies

Food allergies have a true immune component. Symptoms of food intolerance and food allergies are generally similar and include gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, vomiting, or both. Allergies also cause dermal problems like itchy skin and hair loss. 

Some of the most common allergens for dogs are beef, chicken, and grains. Sometimes, canines are allergic to multiple foods. These allergies are treated by an elimination process of certain foods from the dog's diet. Alternative meat provides a natural and holistic solution for dogs who are allergic to mainstream proteins.

Greater variety

By using alternative meat in dog food and treats, dogs get an opportunity to reap the benefits from other sources of proteins. Meat variety is the key to optimal nutrition that all dogs rightfully deserve.

Better quality

Pet owners are always looking for better ways to feed their dogs. Alternative meat in dog food and treats provide all the protein and essential nutrients that dogs need. These meats are usually free from chemicals and hormones.

Some Alternative Sources of Proteins

Dog owners usually use beef, chicken, and pork in dogs’ diets. These are the most common source of mass-produced meat found at the grocery store.

However, there is a growing trend of using alternative meat in dog’s feed to meet their novel protein requirements. These meats help to avoid triggering food allergies in canines. Alternative meats offer varying combinations of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, and a great way to improve nutritional variety

Let’s have a look at some of the great alternative meat options for dogs. The best part about these meats is that they all are original and natural.


Elk Meat

Elk meat is a healthy option that can be easily incorporated into your canine’s diet. Elk is the 2nd largest mammal in the deer family. It is an amazing red meat alternative and a good source of iron, phosphorus, and zinc.

  • Elk meat is nutritious
  • Elk is high in lean protein and is higher in protein and lower in fat as compared to beef. This meat is also a good source of vitamins and minerals for your dog. According to USDA, elk meat has only 7 gm of fat and 18 gm of protein in a 3-ounce serving.

  • Elk meat is good for dogs with food allergies and sensitivities
  • Meat sensitivities and allergies are developed over time by feeding the same ingredients over and over. If your dog is allergic to common proteins available in the market, then elk meat is a good option for them.

  • Elk meat is easier on the environment
  • Elks are humanely raised on open pastures where they can consume a natural vegetarian diet that is free from hormones. Many sellers claim that elk meat is easier on the environment. Instead of factories, this meat comes from independent ranchers or hunters.

  • Elk meat is delicious
  • Contrary to some opinions, elk meat is mild, delicious, and an ideal substitute for beef. You can consider ground elk as alternative meat for dog food and treats.

    Venison Meat

    Venison usually refers to the deer meat and is a great alternative red meat for your canines. This meat has the same caloric density as chicken. However, it has less protein and more fat than chicken does.

    Life in the forest includes no stress or antibiotics. Deers consume natural vegetation and are not exposed to any chemicals or hormones.

  • Venison meat contains enormous nutrients 
  • This meat is packed with nutrients that are important for the wellbeing of your dog. It offers proteins, fats, minerals (such as zinc, phosphorus, and iron), and vitamins to your dog.

  • Suitable for dogs with food allergies
  • Venison meat is a novel protein and thus helps reduce allergens and skin irritations in dogs with food allergies. Dog foods and treats are usually packed with chicken. This leads to overexposure of a single source of protein and contributes to developing allergies and food sensitivities.

  • A delicious treat for your dog
  • Venison meat has an appealing flavor and is like a yummy treat for dogs. If your dog is a picky eater, he will definitely enjoy this flavorsome meat. 

  • Venison meat is a lean alternative
  • Venison is lean meat and a good source of protein for your dog. This low-fat red meat is suitable for dogs that have a low requirement of dietary fats and also for older dogs.

    Duck Meat

    Duck meat is a good source of easy-to-digest protein for dogs. This meat is darker and fattier than chicken and has a delicious and rich flavor. Duck meat helps to support strong muscles. It is perfect for feeding energetic dogs. Duck meat aids your dog’s cardiovascular health and supports his energy metabolism.
  • Duck meat contains nutrients
  • Duck meat is a great source of protein and is naturally high in fat. It contains iron, phosphorus, potassium, amino acids, and B-vitamins. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids that contribute to healthy skin and coat. This meat also has zinc, selenium, and antioxidants.

  • Duck meat has a savory flavor 
  • Dogs find duck meat especially delicious. It is a perfect protein option for picky-eaters. Duck treats are ideal for picky pups during training sessions.

  • Good for dogs with food allergies
  • Duck meat is recommended for canines having food sensitivities or food allergies. The novel proteins in ducks help relieve digestive or dermal issues in dogs caused by food allergies.

    Pro tip: You must know that the best protein source for your furry friend should be elaborated on the recommendations of veterinary dieticians. 

    Final Thoughts

    A diet with a wide variety of proteins keeps your dog healthy and happy. Varied and alternative sources of proteins prevent food sensitivities and allergies in your dogs and keep them in a good physical condition and full of energy.