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Meal is just dried pulverized something. It depends on what the something started out as and how much of it you are feeding. A small amount of oatmeal: no big deal. Chicken meal: probably ok. Chicken by-product meal: by-products are the stuff that isn't sold as food, so it's possibly yucky.
 

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Byproducts are just the parts that aren't sold for human consumption, but are fine and even healthy for pets. Heart, organs, intestines, etc. have plenty of nutrients and are important to include if you're feeding a raw diet. Nothing wrong with them in commercial pet food.

 

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We have been all over the board with trying to figure our the "best" dog food. Look at ingredients, talk with people who really know, figure out your budget and pick a food. Dogs originally found our food scraps and decided that was better than fending for themselves (and our scraps 10,000 years ago were not grilled pork chops and green beans julienne). Good luck in your search.
 

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Have a look at your dogs teeth to see what they were designed for. This will give you a good idea as to what they should eat !
They do not have any flat surfaced grinding teeth as herbivores have, so that rules out grain of any description. And as grain is a seasonal product no natural wild canine or wolf type dog would be able to follow the seasons of harvest around the world to get ground grains for 52 weeks of the year. This would only be a seasonal product,
They do have teeth that are designed for ripping and tearing flesh, which is how they would manage to consume flesh or meat and consume the raw skeleton / bones. These whole raw products are available all over the world at any time of the year.
A whole body, and all of the nasty bits, if eaten would be a" balanced meal", as this is not practical in many cases a dogs diet is perfectly normal to be balanced over a few weeks where opportunity allows balance to happen over time!
Our dogs will scavenge and do survive on human waste products too, there is probably more food value in this type of food than the un-natural grain filled processed products that are sold very cleverly in our shops these days.
 

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I've read that "meal" is bad. I've also read that "meal" is good.
It depends on the source, handling and quality of the ingredients used in making the 'meal'. I would (personally) avoid any food that contains a 'meat meal' or 'by-products' (or any ingredient) of unspecified/unnamed origin.

While dogs can fare well on a limited amount of carbohydrates in their diet, foods that are too high in carbohydrates can have a detrimental affect on their over all health.

Carbohydrates in Dog Food - Dogs Naturally (dogsnaturallymagazine.com)

While the carbohydrate content is not required to be stated in the guaranteed analysis on a dog food label, one can get an estimate of carb content by adding together the percentage of crude protein, fat, moisture, and ash (if ash is not listed, the average is 7%) then subtracting from 100.
 
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