Muscle Meats- What Counts as Muscle Meat in a Balanced Raw/Cooked Diet for Dogs & Cats?

October 10, 2021

In balanced raw (or cooked) feeding, muscle meats will make up the majority of your pet's diet.

Generally, muscle meats contribute greatly to the protein and fat content within your pet's diet and depending on the cut of meat, can be rich in certain vitamins, polyunsaturated fatty acids and minerals. For example, raw pork fat will not only increase the literal fat content within a meal, but because it tends to be higher in Linoleic Acid, including a bit of raw pork fat or increasing the amount being fed can help balance your omega-6 fatty acids. Meanwhile, a muscular organ like heart is much leaner, but can boost B vitamins, essential amino acids, and some minerals.

When following a ratio diet, like PMR or BARF it is best to have the majority of your dog/cat's meal (at least 50%) be comprised of "red meat" because when compared to "white meat," red meat tends to be more nutrient dense! To learn more about the nutrients present in certain cuts of meat or organs, you can read my collection of "Nutritional Data at a Glance" posts.

There are several cuts of muscle meat and muscular organs within an animal that can be utilised in balanced raw feeding; some of them include:
Boneless Meats
(Beef Chuck, Ground Turkey, Chicken Breast, Pork Loin, Ground Venison etc...)
Raw Fat
Tendons & Cartilage (includes animal Ears)
Green Tripe
Pizzle (animal's Penis)

When formulating recipes for my dogs, I love including animal tongues, gizzards, hearts and whatever other off-cuts/items that would count towards the muscle meat portion of the diet because it is always great to offer as much variety as you can; and each cut of meat offers varying amounts of essential nutrients! I also formulate, primarily, with cuts of red meat because I am able to feed a smaller volume of food while meeting daily caloric/protein/fat needs, and simultaneously meeting or exceeding daily recommended allowances for all essential nutrients.

To learn more about red meat being more nutrient dense than white meat, you can read my NDAG posts.


Hope this was helpful to some!
Follow me on instagram @nolorlin for more raw fed content & recipes!


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