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The benefits of using high quality meat meals in our kibble formulas

August 29, 2019

Why does FirstMate use meat meals as the main ingredient in their dry kibble formulas? Meat meals provide a highly concentrated source of animal protein and are a great choice to keep your pets healthy and happy. Fresh meat is mostly water, with only about 20% protein—once this water is removed to produce a meat meal, you are left with a product that has up to 70% protein. By using high inclusions of high protein meat meals, FirstMate and Kasiks pet foods have high concentrations of the animal proteins required by cats and dogs

FirstMate ambassador @bucktheadventuredog requires a lot of nutrients to pull a loaded sled 20km a day. He is pictured enjoying our High Performance formula.

The meat meals we use are not processed using high temperature flame drying. Instead, FirstMate and Kasiks meat meals are produced using a much gentler steam drying process. Using lower processing temperatures helps to ensure that the quality of the protein remains intact and continues to be an easily digestible source of nutrition.

Fresh raw meats are high in moisture and provide an excellent environment for growth of bacteria. This makes fresh meat highly perishable, and susceptible to contamination with disease-causing bacteria, such as salmonella, that could be harmful to pets and pet parents. Meat meals offer a protein source that is much more stable and safer to handle and store, ensuring the best quality kibble for your pet.

Small or large, all dogs require high quality protein in their diet. FirstMate ambassador @kashdoggie enjoys the Australian Lamb Meal Formula Small Bites.

In addition to excellent sources of protein, meat meals provide a natural source of highly available phosphorus and calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Phosphorus in particular is a limited and non-renewable resource worldwide that is required for agriculture. Feeding pets sources of food that do not require the addition of phosphorus helps to conserve this mineral and releases it back into the environment. This is just one of the examples of how meat meals are a sustainable protein option.

FirstMate takes the time to source out high quality and sustainable sources of animal meat meals, ensuring your pets receive the complete and balanced nutrition they deserve.

Want to learn more about FirstMate’s commitment to your pet’s nutrition? Check out the Nutrition section of our blog!

2 responses to “The benefits of using high quality meat meals in our kibble formulas”

  1. Brigitte Daniels says:

    Hello, I am concerned about meat meals. I read your descriptor about steaming real meat to get your meat meals, which is reassuring. I have recently been reading about meat meals and how many include rendered meat which can include a variety of unhealthy, already dead potentially rotting animals, and euthanized animals. I want to double check that this is not your practice. Are you using human grade (not feed grade) animals, fruits and vegetables in your dry dog/cat foods? I’ve also heard that extruded kibbles can be heated 4 times and this kills all the real vitamins and minerals in the foods. How many times are you heating your kibble? You mention that the meat meals are already steam heated when they arrive. Are they cooked again? Are you having to use synthetic mineral/vitamin packs to put nutrition back into the foods? I have been feeding my dogs and cats First Mate for 5 years, and felt I was making a good choice. I worry about synthetic vitamins, etc. after the melamine issues in 2007. I am hoping to continue to feed First Mate. Thanks!

  2. Wendy Vandersteen says:

    Hello Brigitte,

    Thank you for your choice of FirstMate to support the health and well-being of your dog.

    Our meat meals are only sourced from Federally inspected facilities. This means that all animals receive antemortem inspection (or inspection prior to death) to ensure they are not diseased.

    After mixing, our kibble is extruded, and it is heated to a temperature of 90C throughout its substance, which is the minimum temperature required for assured health and safety. We have ensured that our foods provide complete and balanced nutrition by testing product post-processing to ensure appropriate levels of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. Cooking can also provide some benefits by altering the structure of carbohydrates to improve digestibility, or in some cases to form resistant starch that is fermented by bacteria in the gut to support a healthy gut microbiome.

    We always choose to use natural ingredients unless we are unable to source a reliable and healthy natural option. This is the case for some of our vitamins and minerals that are synthetic due to improved bioavailability and consistent quality, ensuring your pet receives appropriate nutrition in every bag of food. We source individual vitamins and minerals and have these blended into a custom premix by a local company that specializes in precise handling and measurement of micronutrients. Our finished products are regularly tested by a lab to ensure appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals are being provided to pets.

    I hope this helps to address your concerns.


    Wendy Vandersteen, PhD
    Manager of Research and Development Tel: (778) 628-9179 |
    Celebrating Over 30 Years of Quality Pet Food Manufacturing
    Find us on Twitter: @firstmatepet | @kasikspet
    Instagram: firstmatekasikspetfoods

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