You are browsing the shelves of your local pet store or scrolling through your go-to pet supplies website, and you come across a Kangaroo based dog food formula.
You haven’t ever tried Kangaroo yourself but somehow its available to your dog. Why does Kangaroo dog food exist and is it something I should consider for my dog? Let’s answer all these questions and more.
Why Is Kangaroo Meat Used In Dog Food?
The primary use of Kangaroo meat in dog food is for Novel Meat and Limited Ingredient dog food formulas.
The basic idea behind novel meat formulas is that a dog is less likely to be allergic or intolerant of an ingredient that it has never encountered. Unusual or unique meat and fish ingredients such as Kangaroo are a perfect example of this. While there is no guarantee that the dog will react well to the unique ingredient it does give them better odds.
Other examples of Novel Meat ingredients are Rabbit and Venison. Check out our articles Best Dog Food With Rabbit, and Best Dog Food With Venison for more information on these.
Limited Ingredient dog food formulas are similar to novel meat formulas but move their focus to containing a very slim list of ingredients. The logic behind this is that the fewer ingredients the formula contains, the less there may be that could cause issues. This approach allows dog owners to narrow down which ingredients are causing their dogs issues and then provide them with a formula that lacks these. This approach can take time and multiple limited ingredient formulas to perfect, so patience is vital.
Learn more about Hypoallergenic Food including Limited Ingredient and Novel Meat formulas in our article – Best Hypoallergenic Dog Food Guide.
Kangaroo Meat Nutrition
Kangaroo meat contains very low levels of fat when compared to other meat and fish ingredients commonly used in dog food. While it is true that dogs can and should consume a healthy portion of fat, some dogs will benefit from lower levels. Examples could include those dogs who are attempting weight loss or hoping to prevent weight gain and dogs whose digestive system does not cope well with higher levels of fat.
In addition to this, the type of fat in Kangaroo meat is advantageous as it is very low in saturated fat. Once again, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with saturated fats but high levels of them have been proven to cause health concerns such as Heart Disease or Strokes.
Another benefit to Kangaroo meat is that it is one of the best non-fish sources of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids. We are big fans of dog food recipes that contain high levels of these fatty acids and for a good reason. They can provide a range of health benefits and improve bodily systems such as the heart, brain, and skin.
Due to containing a meager portion of fat, Kangaroo meat is one of the densest sources of protein of any meat used in dog food. Animal-based protein should be at the core of every dog’s diet. Therefore, a recipe with a high portion of Kangaroo meat will easily satisfy this need.
Kangaroo meat contains a variety of vitamins and minerals including high levels of Iron, Zinc, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12. Iron is essential because it is required to produce red blood cells. A lack of iron in dogs or humans diet can have serious health consequences. Zinc is vital for healing wounds and maintaining a healthy immune system.
Vitamin B12 is also needed to maintain healthy blood as well as being critical in nerve function while Vitamin B6 is important to help release energy from the protein that dogs consume.
Other Benefits To Kangaroo Meat
Kangaroos are one of the few animals that are not farmed. Instead, they are sourced from their natural environment through hunting and population control. This lack of farming means that Kangaroos should enjoy a high quality of life and not have to endure cruel or inhumane conditions that many other animals do.
Most meat found in dog food is not from free-range or organic sources which means the animals it comes from are unlikely to have lived fufilling lives which is why Kangaroo really stands out.
Also, Kangaroo meat will be free of any antibiotics, steroids, or other human intervention. While it’s not clear what effect these can have when meat is consumed, you will never need to concern yourself with Kangaroo meat.
Best Dry Dog Food With Kangaroo
It will come as no surprise which formula has come first in our listing of Kangaroo-based dog food formulas. Zignature really brought Kangaroo into the limelight and has been the most popular provider of Kangaroo dog food ever since.
Zignature isn’t just popular because of its use of Kangaroo, it is also one of the leading providers of limited ingredient dog food, and they have a vast range of recipes that make use of meats such as Goat and Venison.
When this pedigree and experience in limited ingredient formulas are combined with meat like Kangaroo, an extremely versatile and unique novel meat or limited ingredient formula is born.
Kangaroo is often thought as very exotic and expensive. However, the Kangaroo formula from Zignature is not particularly more expensive than any of its other formulas that they produce and could be a realistic and affordable option to many dog owners.
In addition to Kangaroo meat, the formula includes Peas, Chickpeas, and Lentils which are used as the primary sources of carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Sadly, the formula also includes Pea Flour and Pea Protein which are lower-quality ingredients. Find out more about them in our article Peas, Pea Protein, Pea Flour and Pea Fiber in Dog Food.
The brand Billy And Margot is named after it’s founder’s dogs. The first products they produced were frozen treats that resembled ice cream, but their product range has expanded over the years and not includes traditional dry and canned dog food.
Kangaroo + Superfood Blend contains Kangaroo and Chicken. While we have no objections with Chicken and believe it is a high-quality ingredient, this may make the formula unsuitable for those with severe allergies and sensitivities. Chicken is one of the most common allergens, and many dog owners feed Kangaroo formulas to avoid Chicken.
However, this mix of Kangaroo and Chicken provides an extremely satisfactory proportion of protein which would be suitable for the vast majority of dogs, regardless of activity levels. The level of fat in the formula is below average, but this is understandable given that Kangaroo meat is very low in fat. This lack of fat may make the formula appealing to dogs attempting weight loss or looking to avoid weight gain.
The formula makes use of the usual legume ingredients such as Peas, Lentils, and Chickpeas to provide carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Sadly, it also includes Pea Protein which is a low-quality ingredient.
You may not be familiar with PureVita, but they are owned by the same company as Nutri Source. Nutri Source acquired some recognition from us for their pea-free formulas, and PureVita is similarly advantageous for dogs with allergies. PureVita focuses heavily on Limited Ingredient formulas, and Kangaroo meat is the perfect ingredient for these.
The formula mentioned above makes use of both whole Kangaroo and Kangaroo Meal. This mix provides a large portion of Kangaroo meat which in turn provides a satisfactory proportion of protein and fat. While adequate it is not tremendously high and therefore may not be sufficient for those dogs who are very active and require additional protein.
The formula has very few other ingredients and utilizes a select number of legumes. This includes two types of Lentils and Chickpeas, with a notable absence of Peas.
This mix of a novel meat ingredient in Kangaroo and a select number of vegetable ingredients could make this formula very viable for those with severe allergies.
Natural Planet is another brand closely related to Nutri Source. This close relationship is likely why they also produce a dog food formula with Kangaroo Meat. Natural Planet does not have the same focus or concentration on limited ingredient dog food that PureVita does.
What makes this formula unique is that it doesn’t just contain Kangaroo meat as it also makes use of Venison. Venison is another common meat ingredient in Limited Ingredient and Novel Meat formulas. Find out more about Venison in dog food in our article Best Dog Foods With Venison. Your dog is unlikely to be familiar with either of the meats which bodes well for its chances of success.
The nutrition provided by this formula from Natural Planet isn’t quite as satisfactory as the recipe from PureVita but is still reasonable for most dogs who are not overly active.
The formula utilizes a range of legumes and legume by-products to provide carbohydrates and fiber. This includes Peas, Chickpeas, Pea Flour, Chickpea Flour, and Pea Protein. Sadly some of these ingredients are low-quality additions and may be inflating the overall level of protein in the formula.
Addiction brands itself as a leader in the Hypoallergenic dog food space. Its use of Kangaroo meat follows this ideology very well as it has fantastic potential for use in Limited Ingredient and Novel Meat formulas.
The above-mentioned formula makes use of dried kangaroo meat. This is slightly different to whole Kangaroo or Kangaroo Meal. Dried Kangaroo has had most of its moisture removed just like Kangaroo Meal but won’t have been reconstituted which means it will still physically resemble Kangaroo.
The formula makes use of a lot of sources of carbohydrates including vegetables, starches, and fruit. Examples include Potatoes, Peas, Tapioca, Apples, Blueberries and more. While most of these ingredients could be considered high-quality, the sheer volume of them is overwhelming and sums to a substantial proportion of carbohydrates.
Royal Canin is a brand that almost any dog owner will be familiar with. It stocks the shelves of all major pet retailers and had a genuinely immense product range. One type of niche formula that Royal Canin produces is Veterinary Formulas. These are designed to be prescribed by vets for dogs with severe dietary problems such as allergies and sensitivities.
It was a wise decision to make use of Kangaroo meat in one of these formulas as it a lifeline for many dogs with severe allergies. The formula contains no other meat or fish ingredients.
The formula uses Oat Groats and Canola Meal as its plant matter. These are unconventional ingredients but are present to help keep a dogs digestion system stable and are not because they are high-quality or nutritious ingredients. Unfortunately, these ingredients provide a very large proportion of carbohydrates.
However, as we mentioned already, this is a veterinary formula, and in cases where food must be prescribed by a vet, ideal nutrition often goes out the window in favor of a dog’s overall health.
Best Wet Dog Food With Kangaroo
It wasn’t in question that Zignature’s canned dog food with Kangaroo would feature in our article on Kangaroo meat in dog food. While not as popular as their dry range, Zignature’s canned food recipes share many of their dry foods good traits and are very suitable for dogs with severe allergies or sensitivities.
There is no need for meat meal in canned dog food which means that whole Kangaroo takes center stage and provides a very satisfactory portion of protein and fat. While not as high as some other canned dog food recipes, it is still very satisfactory.
The formula only contains a few other ingredients such as Peas, Sunflower Oil, Carrots, and Chickpeas. Peas and Chickpeas are incredibly familiar and provide a small portion of carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Carrots are a less common vegetable ingredient in dog food but can provide high levels of some vitamins and minerals that other vegetables do not.
Both Zignature’s dry and canned recipes include a flowering plant called Alfalfa. Alfalfa’s use in dog food is growing, and it can supposedly provide a range of health benefits. Find out more about Alfalfa in our article Alfalfa In Dog Food.
Billy And Margot also gets a second mention in this article as they produce canned foods that match their dry range. Billy and Margot isn’t commonly available to buy off many of the popular online retailers but is available at PetSmart.
However, the canned variant of their kangaroo dog food is a little different to others showcased in this article. It doesn’t just use Kangaroo or other Novel Meat ingredients and includes Chicken and Beef Liver. Chicken and Beef are very high-quality ingredients, full of protein, fat, and micronutrients. Unfortunately, they are two of the most common meat allergens which may cancel out the novelness of Kangaroo.
One thing about the recipe that may throw potential buyers off is the fact that meat isn’t the first listed ingredient. Water is the first listed ingredient, and while this may sound inefficient, it is a vital part of any canned dog food.
The formula also makes use of Peas, Carrots, and Sweet Potatoes. This a nice mix between legumes, starches and other vegetables that many formulas lack as they tend to focus on a single category. Sadly, the formula also uses Pea Flour which we frown upon and could be considered a low-quality ingredient.
Koha is a super premium brand that specializes in canned dog food. They have a range of recipes that use uncommon ingredients such as Kangaroo, Venison, and Guinea Fowl. While recipes from Koha may come at a high cost, they are incredibly nutritious and packed with high-quality ingredients.
Koha’s Wild Kangaroo Entree contains a minimal number of ingredients making perfect for those dogs with allergies or sensitivities. The primary ingredient is whole Kangaroo, and this provides an extremely satisfactory proportion of protein and fat which would be suitable for dogs of all activity levels.
The carbohydrate proportion is extremely low and is from tiny portions of ingredients like Blueberries and Pumpkin. These ingredients will provide a small portion of dietary fiber and an extensive range of beneficial vitamins and minerals.
Another unique ingredient is Olive Oil. Many dog owners add Olive Oil to dog food and believe it can provide a range of health benefits. While it is important only to add a small portion, some of these claims are backed up by evidence.
Best Alternative Dog Food With Kangaroo Meat
Not only does Addiction produce a traditional dry dog food recipe with Kangaroo but it also produces a dehydrated and raw recipe. Dehydrated dog food is often overlooked but can be a more affordable solution to feed dogs moist food without splashing out on expensive canned dog food. Raw is another variety of dog food that is overlooked but is fast gaining support and popularity.
Once again, Kangaroo is the primary ingredient and provides the bulk of the formulas protein and fat content. Just like the dry food recipe, the proportions of protein and fat in this formula are not particularly impressive but should be sufficient for a dog who is relatively inactive.
The formula also uses a large portion of starches such as Potatoes and Tapioca. Sadly these ingredients do not provide much nutrition beyond their carbohydrate and fiber content. Find out more about Tapioca in our article Tapioca In Dog Food.
The formula does include some more unique ingredients other than starches and Kangaroo. Examples include Papaya and Spinich which are rare inclusions in commercial dog food and could provide unique vitamins and minerals.