Ingredient Highlight: What is Meat Meal?

TLC Pet Food shares a new ingredient highlight for meat meal and explains the value of having meat meals in your dog’s food.

We know feeding your pup the best quality food possible is important to you. Now more than ever, pet owners want to understand what it is they’re pouring into their fur baby’s bowls. TLC was founded in 1994 in response to the lack of quality nutrition found in commercial pet food. TLC proudly lists the ingredients found in our Whole Life Dog Food. We aim to educate our customers so they understand, not only what’s inside of our kibble, but why. Today we are doing an ingredient highlight for meat meal!

Ingredients, including lamb and chicken meal, are listed first in TLC Dog Food. So what is meat meal? What are their nutritional benefits? Below we explain what a meat meal is and why we’ve chosen these quality protein sources for our food. 


When you remove the moisture from fresh meat you leave behind a high quality and nutritionally beneficial ingredient, called a meat meal. The process of removing the moisture from the fresh meat does not diminish the nutritional value. The chicken meal, lamb meal and salmon meal used in TLC Pet Food contain 90% digestible protein, low ash and valuable amino acids.

  • Meat meals are essentially meat ingredients minus moisture. Fresh meats contain approximately 70% water.
  • Meat meals have 4-5 times the nutrients found in the same quantity of fresh meat.
  • Meat meals are highly digestible and include low ash and valuable amino acids.


In addition to the benefits noted above, the same quantity of meat meal has 4-5 x the nutrients found in the same weight of fresh meat. This is due to the difference in moisture. Meat meal is left with approximately 5% moisture content compared to fresh meat, which is 70% water. Weight matters because ingredients are listed in order and by weight. Dog food listing only fresh meat in their food, must offset the weight of the water removed in cooking. Once food using only fresh meat has been cooked, the quantity of the actual meat will be significantly less than what’s listed and therefore, the nutritional benefits from the meat, diminished. This means that your pet would actually be receiving much of its protein from lower quality, plant-based sources, like potatoes or tapioca versus high-quality sources like lamb and salmon meal found in TLC Whole Life Dog Food.

Using meat meals, like quality lamb and chicken meal, allows for a greater quantity to be included in the food. The lamb, chicken and salmon meals found in TLC Pet Food are considered some of the best and most nutritionally beneficial dog food ingredients available. This is the reason we choose to include them, in combination with fresh meat, in our Whole Life Dog Food.


None of the fresh meat or meals in TLC include byproducts. There are no animal waste, like feathers, heads, feet, or entrails and all of TLC’s meat meals include only the animal listed. For example, salmon meal = 100% salmon.

dog with stick in mouth

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Our highly digestible blend of premium quality ingredients provides your pet with a complete and balanced diet.