Meals are typically a mixture of bone, cartilage, and meat (which is similar to what dogs ate in the wild) and can be a natural source of calcium and phosphorus.
Most premium dog foods contain more meat meals than real meat and liver. This is a problem because meals must be rendered (cooked) at extremely high temperatures resulting in a product that has less nutritional value than the animal meat, poultry, or fish it replaced.
Unfortunately, some meals can legally contain low-quality ingredients like hoofs, animal hide, blood, manure, and diseased animals. High-quality meals are sourced from reputable suppliers that use only USDA inspected animals (fit for human consumption), not diseased animals.
WHY THIS MATTERS:
When paying a premium price for premium dog food we believe it should contain more real meat than meat meals (like all formulas of COAST+RANGE). Dog food high in real meat and liver delivers better nutrition for your dog than foods loaded with meals. Furthermore, most meat meals contain high levels of fluoride which can lead to health problems in dogs like Osteosarcoma(need siltation). Unfortunately, all of the top 10 premium dog foods appear to be formulated the opposite way (more meals than real meat)1. It is understandable for a pet food company to use some meat meal in their formula (as a natural source of calcium and phosphorus), but meals should not be the main source of protein.
- COAST+RANGE analysis of top 10 premium dog foods as sold on CHEWY.COM