You are currently viewing Not all meat is equal. What to choose for your pet?

Not all meat is equal. What to choose for your pet?

What to choose for your pet?

In fact, some protein sources are just healthier for your dog than others.

With a range of protein sources from livestock to poultry to game to fish, it can be extremely difficult and sometime quite overwhelming to decide which type of protein is actually the best for the health of your dog. Therefore, we’ve put together a list of the benefits as well as downsides of each protein source so you that you can easily compare different dog foods and pick the best one for your dog.


Beef is one of the most common flavours of dog food on the market. It can be a very good protein source for your dog, IF pasture-raised, free of hormones and routine antibiotics, and the pet food utilises whole cuts of beef. Beef has a high protein content, together with a great fat content, and is rich in iron and B vitamins; all very healthy for dogs, especially active dogs… Even though beef is a great source of protein it can be the cause of allergy triggers in some pets.

At Pawsome Raw we use whole cuts of beef as well as beef organs like heart, lungs, spleen etc. We always keep the appropriate ratios between muscle meats and organs in order to make sure it is a balanced version of what your pet would be eating in nature. Quality is our trademark, and we are very strict about sourcing pasture raised/grass-fed, hormone and antibiotic free meat.


Chicken is the most common source of protein in dog food. Chickens, as well as their eggs are a great source of lean protein. However, chickens may suffer from some of the same issues as beef, especially if one views their own dietary mix. Since they are typically farmed industrially, even deboned, whole meat chicken can actually lack the vitamins and nutrients your dog needs to thrive.

“You are what you eat” is very important in this instance. If you decide to feed your dog chicken, make sure it comes from an organic, cage-free, or free-range source. Otherwise, it may not meet all your dog’s nutritional needs, this can then lead to high inflammation levels and can trigger allergies in your pet.

At Pawsome Raw we use prime cuts of chicken, whole chickens and organs; this all forms part of our chicken based complete meals.


Lamb is a great protein option for canines and the ingredient is popping up in many pet-food options. It is packed with essential amino acids and is a good source of dietary fats, which help to sustain energy. This red meat option also offers plenty of vitamins and minerals that support muscle development and encourage optimum skin and coat health in dogs. Lamb would be a natural pray for dogs in the wild and is therefore VERY species appropriate.

Lamb may be a better option for dogs who suffer from food sensitivities or food allergies caused by other protein sources such as beef or chicken.


Turkey is another protein source that is becoming more popular in dog foods. Turkey is loaded with natural minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorous and B vitamins. Like lamb, turkey is not as intensely farmed as some other livestock meats so it is often featured in natural, holistic, and organic foods. Turkey is a great protein source for dogs.


In addition to turkey and chicken, quail is popping up as an ingredient in several dog foods and provides ample benefits for our canine companions.

Quails are small ground-nesting game birds that are part of the pheasant family. Quail meat is a relatively lean, low-calorie protein option for dogs and acts as a natural source of essential vitamins. Quail is also high in phosphorous and iron, which helps support strong muscle development.

Adding quail to your dog’s diet can offer variety and is a good way to change up the type of protein your dog is consuming on a regular basis. Quail is also a novel protein, making it a good solution for pets with food allergies or sensitivities to other proteins such as beef or chicken.

Quail meat and quail eggs can provide a wholesome option for a raw-food diet.



Duck is rich in iron and it provides dogs with a lean, easy-to-digest protein source. Duck is also a great source of amino acids, which helps to support strong muscles.

Duck is another excellent source of protein for dogs suffering from food sensitivities or food allergies. Switching to a food with a more novel protein like duck may help alleviate gastrointestinal upset or skin irritation.


Fish is incredibly healthy. It is loaded which essential omega-3 fatty acids, high in lean protein, lower in fat, and is easily digestible. Unfortunately, though, fish does not provide all the nutrients a dog needs. In fact, if fed solely a fish diet, a dog can end up with a vitamin B1 deficiency.

It is important to note that dogs digest freshwater fish like trout and salmon better than saltwater fish like tuna and mackerel. Although fish should be included in your dog’s diet, be particular about which fish and don’t rely on it as the sole protein source. Instead treat fish as a supplemental source.


Venison is an excellent choice for a novel protein to manage food allergies. It is an easily digestible protein source that is organically sourced. Venison also contains high levels of thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and B12, phosphorus, niacin, and zinc, resulting in a nutritionally dense protein source and great to feed any dog.
Venison is a good source of minerals such as zinc, phosphorous, and iron.

It assists dogs maintain healthy energy levels and many dogs enjoy the taste.


Rabbit is extremely high in protein and very low in fat. Rabbit is one lean, mean protein! It is especially great for managing your dog’s weight and building muscle. This is definitely a novel protein source. Dogs with sensitive stomachs or food allergies will have a better reaction to novel protein compared to other protein sources. If your dog suffers from GI issues or sensitive skin, introducing a novel protein, like rabbit, into their diet can help to reset their system.

Rabbit meat is ALL white meat and therefore contains the lowest calories. It can be good for all energy levels. A low-energy dog wouldn’t have to worry about this food source gaining them any extra weight. It is however still full of nutrients for even the highest-energy dogs. Rabbit meat is an excellent source of vitamin B12, which works to ensure that a dog’s nervous system functions properly.

It has a lower cholesterol value when compared to other protein sources and is full of healthy fats that will keep your dog’s joints lubricated and their coat shiny.

Rabbit meat has the highest protein ratio compared to chicken, pork, turkey, duck, fish, lamb or beef which does wonders for your dog’s muscles! It also contains essential amino acids necessary for tissue repair and can help boost your dog’s immune system.


Pork is not a great protein source for dogs. It is highly processed and industrially farmed. Pork is also extremely high in fat, so unless it is fed to an active dog can lead to obesity and liver problems. It is also hard for dogs to digest and can cause some stomach issues. Even though dogs love the taste of ham and bacon, it is not the best source of protein for them.

At Pawsome Raw we use NO pork or pork related product in our products.


Many pet food companies use MDM/MSM (mechanically deboned meat / mechanically separated meat) as a base to their products that lowers cost significantly.

Let’s get into the quality of MDM. The process of mechanical deboning involves crushing the bones and mixing with meat and skin before the bone is separated out. Inevitably, crushing of the material leads to changes in the chemical, physical, sensory and functional properties of the meat, and meat colour is a case in point. This is one of the most important meat-quality characteristics. MDM meat is generally considered to be of poor nutritional and microbiological quality and is strictly regulated in its use, mainly due to the extrusion process.

We view MDM as a very low quality protein source and do not use it at all.