The Meals For Mutts Dog Food Review: Tested & Evaluated 2023
Want to upgrade your dog’s kibble? Then you’ve probably heard about this well-known Australian dog food. Is it the right fit for your dog? To discover what we could about Meals For Mutts, we teamed up with veterinarians, canine nutritionists, and devoted pet parents to test out the various meals offered by the company.
After months of research and lots of discussion, we finally agreed on a comprehensive rating system. In today’s Meals for Mutts dog food review, our experts will cover everything you need to know about this brand.
Related: The Best Dog Food Australia.
Related: How To Choose The Right Dog Food?
Related: How Is Australia’s Dog Food Industry Regulated?
Related: What is AAFCO? The Association of American Feed Control Officials.
Related: What Is the Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA)?
Related: AAFCO vs PFIAA: Dog Food Standards Comparison Australia.
Related: Understanding Guaranteed Analysis Levels in Dog Food.
Related: Real Meat vs Meat Meal.
Quick Pick - Our Best Rated Dog Food
Our Number 1 Pick -
Petzyo Dog Food
- Ethically sourced Kangaroo, Chicken or Salmon, sweet potato & superfood extras
- Iron-rich & low fat proteins
- Three Omega-3 and -6 rich oils with a well balanced 11% fat content
- Made in Australia
Australia's Meals For Mutts Dog Food Review
Meals for Mutts - 3 Star Rating
- Ingredients: Grain-free chicken kibble: Chicken meat, Sweet Potato, Seasonal Vegetables, Alfalfa, Natural Fats and Oils, Omega 3, 6 & 9, Coconut Oil, Turmeric, Parsley, Pre & Probiotic, Kelp, Vitamins A, C, D3, E, K, B1, B2, B6, B12, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid, Folacin, Biotin and naturally preserved using vitamin E and Rosemary extract.
- Named Protein First: Yes
- Dog Food Type: Grained and grain-free
- Recipe Range: Gluten-free grained kibble: kangaroo & lamb; salmon & sardine; turkey & lamb. Grain-free kibble: bacon & eggs, duck & turkey, salmon & sardine, turkey high performance, single-protein recipes (chicken, goat, kangaroo, lamb)
- Suitable For: Adult and puppies, active adults.
- Cost: $$$
- Australian Owned: Yes. Production facilities are also in Australia.
Meals for Mutts Dog Food Review
This Australian brand prides itself on offering wholesome, hypoallergenic dog food for your pup. Nowadays, it is one of the better-known. The company changed manufacturers in 2018, which brought some changes to the recipes.
Nevertheless, the current Meals for Mutts has kept the core ingredients the same and is still considered a high-quality food. Is this the right choice for your dog? Let's check out what our panel of experts think after trying out its formulas.
According to most members of our expert panel, their dogs seemed love the taste of this food. Even picky eaters enjoy the smell and taste of the kibble, both with the grained and grain-free recipes.
Although pups seem to love the taste, extra gas is also a common complaint as well! One member of our team of experts claimed they had to leave the room because their pup was so smelly! Of course, gasiness is a common occurrence after changing foods, which is why we recommend slowly introducing new brands. Meals for Mutts does have a higher chance of causing gas due to the extra fat compared to other cheaper dog foods, so keep that in mind before switching.
PRO TIP: Gas and flatulence can be very uncomfortable for your dog. Keep discomfort to a minimum by avoiding sudden changes in food and instead add small quantities of the new brand to their old food. After about a week, your dog’s tummy should have gotten used to the new brand.
Considering the possible gasiness and stomach upset, we’re taking off one star from this category.
Meals for Mutts offers two main recipe options: grained and grain-free.
Let’s start with the grained kangaroo & lamb recipe since there are no chicken options in the grained line. The first ingredient is “kangaroo and lamb meat”, followed by “seasonal vegetables” and ground brown rice. The analysis on the label indicates there’s a minimum of 21% protein and 12% fat.
The grain-free chicken kibble, on the other hand, has chicken meat as the first ingredient, followed by sweet potato and seasonal vegetables. The guaranteed analysis shows a minimum of 28% crude protein and 16% crude fat.
Both grained and grain-free recipes comply with AAFCO standards for adult maintenance food. As a reminder, the AAFCO states adult dogs should be fed a diet with a minimum of 18% crude protein and 7% fat, so these go beyond that.
The grained recipe offers the standard among kibbles, but the grain-free options are significantly better. As you know, vets recommend that a dog’s food should be based around animal meat and fat, with carbs eaten in moderation . As such, we prefer the grain-free recipes that have significantly more protein.
Now, for the ingredient themselves, I appreciate the relatively short ingredient list. All recipes from Meals for Mutts are gluten-free, and also avoid the use of corn and wheat. This is nice, compared to many kibble recipes that use cereals as the first ingredient. Nevertheless, we have some issues with the use of “seasonal vegetables” as a blanket term in the ingredient list.
According to the official site, seasonal vegetables stand for “natural & organic green vegetables including broccoli and bok choy”. However, there is no way of knowing the exact composition. Each batch likely uses whatever vegetables are cheaper at the moment, which is fine. But how can dog owners know if these veggies are peas, potato scraps or carrots?
Here at Gentle Dog Trainers, we don’t love the use of this kind of blanket terms. They are usually employed when companies need to make a food sound better than it actually is. This is especially important since they don’t claim whether these “seasonal vegetables” include legumes or not. Technically speaking, they could.
The problem is that many owners like myself would rather make sure that the protein content in their dog’s kibble comes almost exclusively from animal sources. However, by using the blanket term “seasonal veggies”, they could be pretty much anything. We’d rather have these mysterious veggies broken down one by one.
Besides veggies and the main meats, these recipes have brown rice or sweet potato to complete the main ingredients. We like this choice, and even the brown rice is a pretty nice ingredient compared to traditional corn and wheat.
Overall, the composition of these recipes is nice but we don’t like the blanket general terms. Due to this, our panel is taking off 2 stars in this category.
Protein content 4/5
The first ingredient in all Meals for Mutts’ recipes is meat, which is great to see! However, considering the overall protein percentage and the rest of the ingredient list, it’s likely that meat represents around a third of the bulk of the food.
As we’ve mentioned in the above category, all the recipes feature a protein percentage above minimum AAFCO recommendations . Of course, the single-protein grain-free options are higher in protein than the grained recipes (around 28% versus 21% for the regular grained recipes). Keep in mind these are traditional kibble, so the carb percentage is generally higher than in air-dried or raw food. In general, we’d recommend the single-protein recipes for most dogs.
Although we like having meat first, this brand only uses muscle meat. According to our independent experts, muscle meat is a great source of lean protein, but it would have been nice to see other goodies such as innards. Internal organs, including lungs, brain and liver, are rich in micronutrients and antioxidants that can nourish your pup and round up their diet . Of course, regular kibble tends to skip organ meats in favour of extra carbs, since the starch is needed in the manufacturing process.
As for the protein options per se, we appreciate that Meals for Mutts offers both mixed and single-protein options. Of course, they claim all recipes are hypoallergenic (because they don’t have corn, wheat or gluten), but having a variety of proteins available is nice. Many dogs, such as mine, are sensitive to common proteins like chicken and beef, so having goat, kangaroo and sardines is a nice change.
It’s also important to note this brand sources all their meat from Australian producers, which is always good to see. This also lowers the overall carbon footprint of the food and makes it more environmentally sustainable.
Overall, we like the proteins available and appreciate the variety. We’re taking off 1 star for the lack of internal organs, but keep in mind this is common among kibble manufacturers.
As we’ve said above, these recipes have relatively short ingredient lists, which is great to see. Our team also appreciates that there are no artificial preservatives or flavours in the kibble. However, this brand does use blanket terms on their additives, which is doubtful at best.
So, for example, all recipes have “natural fats and oils”. This sounds great, but it can be anything. Palm oil is a natural oil, does that mean it is included in this food's "natural fats and oils"? The ambiguity likely means this brand is trying to make their added fats better than they are. In contrast, they do list coconut oil as its own ingredient, which could mean there is something about the other oils they would rather not disclose.
The rest of the ingredients are good enough. For instance, our team of experts like the addition of turmeric to most of these recipes. Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that has shown to improve chronic inflammation, joint pain and skin issues among dogs . It’s nice to see this ingredient before vitamins and minerals, meaning the actual amounts on the recipe aren’t minimal.
Other nice extras include pre and probiotics to boost gut health, as well as kelp and added Omega-3, -6 and -9 fatty acids. Keep in mind the double-baking process involved in kibble production will likely denature (breakdown) part of these compounds, but it’s always nice to see them added.
We’ve agreed to give this brand 3 out of 5 in this category.
For a relatively small brand, Meals for Mutts has something for pretty much every need. Of course, there is both a grained and a grain-free line, with several different recipes. All the grained recipes are mixed-protein, while there are both mixed- and single-protein options among the grain-free recipes.
Our team liked the availability of large-breed kibble with a bigger biscuit size. It’s always nice to have large-breed options, particularly with dogs that tend to not chew. We should note however, there is no small kibble option for toy and small dogs.
Meals for Mutts also has some puppy meals, albeit only two recipes. There is a regular grain-free puppy option and a large-breed one. The availability of a large-breed puppy kibble is great, especially because of the specific nutritional requirements of large and giant pups.
Our panel of experts agreed to give this brand 3 out of 5 in this category.
This brand’s price is firmly mid-range when it comes to kibble options. We consider this a good option if you’re looking for a balance between quality and price. The grain-free line has a slightly higher price, but we think the extra cost is worth it.
At this price, this brand is comparatively better than other options on the market. Other brands have kibble heavy on the wheat at this same price, so we like the recipes for the cost.
All in all, this is a nice option even if you have several dogs at home. We’re giving this brand 4 out of 5 on the price.
Do Not Buy If…
While these recipes are pretty nice, our panel of independent experts say you might want to look elsewhere if you:
This is a nice enough kibble recipe that would nourish most pups. Of course, most members of our independent expert team would rather choose a raw or air-dried option, but as far as kibble goes, Meals for Mutts is pretty good. We like the higher protein content, and the different protein options are a nice plus. If you’re looking for a mid-range kibble, this is a great choice!
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- Pet MD Editorial. October 19, 2011. "Carbohydrates: key to a balanced dog food". Pet MD. Retrieved August 29, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/nutrition/evr_dg_carbohydrates_key_to_balanced_dog_food
- "“Complete and Balanced” Pet Food". February 28, 2020. U.S Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved August 29, 2023. https://www.fda.gov/animal-veterinary/animal-health-literacy/complete-and-balanced-pet-food
- Gruenstern, J. August 30, 2019. "Organ meats – superfoods for cats and dogs". Animal Wellness Magazine. Retrieved August 29, 2023. https://animalwellnessmagazine.com/organ-meats/
- Scott, D. July 18, 2022. "Turmeric for dogs". Dogs Naturally. Retrieved August 29, 2023. https://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/turmeric-dogs/