Kangaroo Meat For Dogs: Australia's Native Protein
Kangaroo is an Australian native mammal. Since they are well adapted to the harsh Aussie climate and weigh around 50 kg depending on the specific type, kangaroo has been used more and more frequently as meat. But is kangaroo meat good for dogs?
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Here’s what experts have to say.
"Kangaroo meat protein can be a nutritious option for your dog. It's lean, low in fat, and a good source of essential amino acids."
Is Kangaroo Meat Good For Dogs?
Yes! Kangaroo is wild game, which generally packs more micronutrients than regular meat animals. This means your dog will be getting high quality protein as well as a small nutritional boost.
However, the best feature about kangaroo meat is that most dogs have never tried it, and until recently it was fairly uncommon in dog food. Considering food allergies usually start with foods eaten regularly, it can be a great protein option if your dog is sensitive to other common meats like chicken.
The History Of Kangaroo Meat And Dogs
While kangaroo dog food might seem like a recent invention, nothing is farthest from the truth. Australian aboriginal people have a long history of eating kangaroo meat and, according to experts, the analysis of wild dog stomachs’ shows that in nature dingo/wild dogs used to catch kangaroo as prey. That same study shows that wild dogs eat all five kangaroo species, so it can be considered a regular part of their diet. .
On the other hand, kangaroo meat can also be considered more environmentally conscious than other meat production methods. In Australia, the extended use of sheep and cattle production causes substantial environmental damage. The Australian government approved kangaroo meat commercialisation as a strategy to reduce reliance on sheep and cattle demand. However, kangaroos don’t produce as much prime cut meat volume as cattle or sheep, so up to 80% of every animal is used to make pet food.  This is great news for your pup!
Why Is Kangaroo Meat Good For Dogs?
In contrast with chicken or cows, kangaroos are never farmed. They are caught in the wild, directly from their natural environment. Due to this, its meat is free of any antibiotics, hormones or pharmacological intervention.  This is great if you want to keep your dog’s diet as chemical-free as possible.
On the other hand, kangaroo meat is a very lean protein since they are very active animals. Their wild lifestyle grazing on natural foliage produces a lean, very flavourful meat. Plus, since the animals used for dog meat are ground whole, most kangaroo dog food recipes use up the bones, heart, liver and kidneys. Whether you use fresh raw kangaroo meat or buy a pre-packaged option, the organs will enrich your dog’s diet and ensure they are properly nourished.
From a nutritional standpoint, kangaroo meat is a great option for dogs. It is very high in iron thanks to its high content of myoglobin and cytochrome C. Iron plays an important role in transporting oxygen around the body; keeping the immune system strong, warding off fatigue and tiredness since it helps produce energy. Zinc is another mineral found in abundance in kangaroo meat. It’s essential for growth and development, wound healing, and to keep a strong immune system.
This meat also has a whopping 23% of protein and not more than 2.6% of fat, which is significantly lower than beef. Plus, this protein is a complete source of all essential amino acids. In fact, kangaroo meat exceeded essential amino acids content in beef by as much as 22%, in calf by as much as 3.7%, and even in reindeer by as much as 4.8%. This means dogs fed with kangaroo don’t need to be supplemented with amino acids, since they’ll be getting their needs fulfilled through their diet.
Related: Are Dogs Carnivores or Omnivores?
Is Kangaroo Meat Good For Puppies?
Yes! Kangaroo meat is a great option to fulfill a young pup’s protein needs. Plus, this specific type of meat is very high in B-type vitamins, including B12.
These vitamins are essential to keep your puppy healthy, since Vitamin B12 helps make red blood cells and maintain the nervous and immune system while vitamin B6 ensures they digest protein properly. Kangaroo meat is also rich in riboflavin and thiamine that work transporting iron around the body and energy production.
Can Dogs Eat Raw Kangaroo Meat?
Australian regulation approves raw kangaroo meat as safe for raw consumption. Also, several reports on frozen kangaroo bulk meat and slaughter animals’ meat analysis showed that they are safe and don’t have high microbial levels.
On the other hand, this meat is also considered safe in regards to the analysis of heavy metals, antibiotics, radionuclides and pesticides. This means that you can generally feed raw kangaroo meat to your dog, provided you follow sanitary guidelines.
How Much Kangaroo To Feed A Dog?
This depends on your dog’s needs and health history. Of course, puppies will need significantly less protein than adult dogs, and active working dogs generally do better with diets higher in protein.
According to VCA hospitals, dogs need an omnivorous diet to be happy healthy.  This means they will eat proteins, carbs and fats as part of a balanced diet. If you’re trying a store-bought dog food with kangaroo, just follow the serving instructions according to your dog’s age and weight. If you decide to make your own dog food from scratch, ask your vet for the right ratios to ensure proper nutrition.
Should My Dog Eat Kangaroo Meat?
The answer to this will depend on your specific dog. However, consider trying kangaroo if:
- Your dog has sensitivities to other, more common, meats
- You’re looking for protein sources with less artificial hormones and antibiotics
- Would rather support more environmentally conscious protein sources
- Have a dog that needs a low-fat, high-protein diet
Kangaroo can be a great protein source for most pups, and fortunately, it’s getting more accessible every day. You can now find plenty of dog food recipes that have kangaroo as the main protein, and you can also get raw kangaroo directly from the producers.
If your dog has never tried it before, maybe get them some and see how they like it - you could both be surprised!
- Harriott, L. C. (2018). Prevalence, risk factors, and geographical distribution of zoonotic pathogens carried by periurban wild dogs. The University of Queensland. https://core.ac.uk/download/pdf/156882617.pdf
- Ben-Ami, D., et al. (2010). Advocating kangaroo meat: Towards ecological benefit or plunder? University of Technology Sydney. https://opus.lib.uts.edu.au/bitstream/10453/35118/1/benamietal2010kangaroomeat.pdf
- Shul'gin, R. Y. E., et al. (2015). Kangaroo meat as a valuable raw material for dietary products. Biosciences biotechnology research Asia, 12(1), 333-340. http://biotech-asia.org/pdf/vol12no1/BBRA_Vol_12_No1_P_333-340.pdf
- Georgiev, L., et al. (2001). Studies upon the composition of kangaroo meat. Bulgarian Journal of Veterinary Medicine,4(2), 115-118. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/309133594_Studies_upon_the_Composition_of_Kangaroo_Meat
- Llera, R., Yuill, C. "Nutrition - Generel Feeding Guidelines for Dogs". VCA Animal Hospitals. Retrieved June 18, 2023. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/nutrition-general-feeding-guidelines-for-dogs