When you think of red meat, you probably think of things like beef and lamb, maybe even bison. I admit, I used to do too. But there is another red meat that is becoming increasingly popular for use in high-quality dog foods – kangaroo.
Yes, kangaroo dog food is a real thing and it is a nutritionally-rich protein option that makes a great option for dogs with food allergies and sensitive stomachs.
I thought using kangaroo in dog foods was highly interesting, which then led me to research more about it. And what I found out was highly fascinating and mostly positive.
If you think it’s interesting too, keep reading to learn more about the nutritional benefits of kangaroo protein and to receive reviews for our top choices in kangaroo-based dog food recipes.
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Top Brands Of Kangaroo Dog Food
If your dog suffers from food allergies or sensitivities, you may be looking for a novel source of protein to try. Kangaroo meat is one of the leanest sources of animal protein used in dog food and it is nutrient-rich as well.
There are only a few brands of dog food that currently offer recipes made with kangaroo meat, however, so your options may be somewhat limited.
The brands that do use kangaroo are trustworthy brands, and their recipes tend to offer high-quality nutrition. Here are our top choices for kangaroo dog foods:
- Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula
- Addiction Grain-Free Wild Kangaroo & Apples
- Walk About Pet Kangaroo Canine Exotics Recipe
- Zignature Kangaroo Canned Food Limited Ingredient Formula
1. Zignature Kangaroo Limited Ingredient Formula
First 5 ingredients: Kangaroo, Kangaroo Meal, Peas, Chickpeas, Pea Flour
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
The Zignature brand of dog food follows the tagline, “learn from nature,” so you can expect all of its recipes to feature fresh, natural ingredients.
Anyway, Zignature’s kangaroo-based dog food is a limited ingredient formula that is free from common allergens like corn, wheat, soy, chicken, chicken eggs, and potatoes. If your pet is sensitive, this should be a good recipe to try.
The first two ingredients in this kangaroo formula are, you guessed it, kangaroo. One is fresh and the other is in meal form. Fresh meat is, of course, one of the best possible ingredients you can have in dog food, but meat in meal form isn’t bad either.
See, fresh meat contains lots of moisture, so if you remove the water content, the meat protein content will be dismally low unless majority of the formula is made up of meat. A meal is just meat that has had most of its moisture removed. If you weigh the protein content of the same weight of fresh meat versus meat meal, meat meal will come out on top.
Since this dry dog food is grain-free, the Zignature kangaroo formula needs to get its carb and fiber source elsewhere. That’s where the peas and chickpeas come in. These provide a moderate amount of carbs that dogs on low-carb diets can partake in. The legumes also supply a good amount of protein.
Fat comes in the form of sunflower oil and flaxseed. Both of these contain a good helping of essential fatty acids (omega 6) that are great for keeping our pets’ coats and skin in good health. (When dogs develop food allergies, the symptoms usually show up as dull coats and itchy skins. Fatty acids can help restore these back to good health .)
The last key ingredient in this dry dog food is dehydrated alfalfa meal. We see this a lot in dog food because it’s really good for pups. Alfalfa meal contains potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins.
I feel like this could be the answer to a lot of dogs’ sensitivity issues because first, kangaroo is an exotic meat that most dogs aren’t exposed to yet. Second, the Zignature food is clean and limited. Kangaroo protein is the only animal protein here. No hidden chicken eggs or chicken by-products to skew the formula against your allergic pet.
Not only is this dry dog food formula protein-rich, but it is highly palatable and extremely low in saturated fat. This recipe contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids as well as CLA, and it is rich in iron and B vitamins.
Made with fiber-rich, low glycemic carbohydrates, this formula supplies your dog’s energy needs and supports his healthy digestion without causing his blood sugar to spike. It is grain- and potato-free, plus it is supplemented with chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption.
The thing I would possibly change if I can is its reliance on pea protein. There is a little too much legumes here for my liking. Not that there is anything wrong with legumes since they’re highly nutritious, but we are somewhat concerned between the possible link between DCM in dogs and diets that contain plenty of legumes.
Best for: Adult dogs with food sensitivities to grain
- Limited ingredient
- Free from chicken or poultry ingredients
- Too many peas
2. Addiction Grain-Free Wild Kangaroo & Apples Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Kangaroo, Kangaroo Meal, Green Peas, Tapioca, Coconut Oil,
Rating: 4.25/5 stars
The Addiction pet food company was founded in 2002 by a holistic veterinary surgeon, and the company continues to follow a holistic approach to pet nutrition to this day. The foods are formulated around premium animal proteins and high-quality wild game meats – not only meats that are nutrient-rich, but are also hypoallergenic and highly digestible.
The brand’s dog food products are highly innovative and completely free from by-products, fillers, and artificial additives. This kangaroo recipe is one example of innovative. The meat used is from kangaroos harvested from the wild so you are sure that it’s free from antibiotics and hormones. But let’s take a close look at the formulation too.
Kangaroo dog foods are harvested from the wild so there is less fat contained in here compared to most other meats. The total crude fat here is just 11%, but if you only weigh the fat from the meat, it will be an ultra-low 2%!
Green peas provide most of the carbohydrates here — and some protein. Peas are excellent in this way because while they provide carbs for your pup, they also do this in moderation so your pup only gets just enough for his fiber and fuel needs. It’s not so full of carbs that a significant change in body weight might be a problem.
If you see the tapioca ingredient and wonder why it’s there, well, it provides a resistant kind of starch that is somewhat similar to fiber. It’s extremely beneficial to supporting your dog’s digestive health.
Majority of the fat comes from flaxseed and oil from coconuts. Oil from coconut contains lots of omega-6 and flaxseed contains both omega-6 and omega-3. Another advantage of using flaxseed is it contains ALA, EPA, and DHA. These are crucial in fighting inflammation, delaying brain disease, and reducing the risk of heart disease.
Apples give the dry dog food a refreshing taste and vitamins A and C. They are also chock full of fiber, which helps dogs feel fuller longer and regular with their waste movement.
Like most kangaroo recipes, this dry dog food one is also a limited ingredient formula. It has a single animal protein source so that means no hidden poultry products like egg or chicken by-products. Even the fat comes from innocuous sources like coconut oil and flaxseed instead of something like chicken fat.
I find this an excellent option for sensitive pups who not only need to watch what they eat for harmful ingredients but also need to watch their weight. The low-carb formulation keeps the calories down but leaves your pup feeling full.
Perhaps the only thing I’m a little wary of is the inclusion of sea salt in the dog food. Manufacturers add salt to dog food to increase its palatability, but dogs only need a little of it in their diet. This one has a sodium content of .55% while the average for adult dogs is only between .08% and .3%.
Best for: Adult dogs who need to be on a low-fat diet
- Single animal protein source
- Low in fat diet
- Limited ingredient
- Sodium content is higher than average kibble
3. Walk About Pet Kangaroo Canine Exotics Recipe
First 5 ingredients: Kangaroo, Peas, Sweet Potato, Pea Protein, Pea Starch
Rating: 4/5 stars
Walk About Pet is a company that is dedicated to crafting good food for pets with ingredients that are vegan or made of exotic meats. Its wet and dry food offerings are designed to meet the needs of dogs that suffer from allergies, digestive disturbances, skin problems, and food sensitivities.
Kangaroo is the first ingredient and the only meat in this limited ingredient formula. There are no other protein sources in this dry food. If you’re looking for average protein content, I have to say this fits the bill. It may not seem much, but the average adult dog food protein content is 18%, according to AAFCO standards. This dry food contains 25%, which is already above and beyond that.
This Walk About recipe is simply made. Legumes and sweet potatoes provide the carbohydrate requirements. While there are quite a few of these ingredients and they contain carbs, they do not contain too much. The calories per cup will attest to this. Usually carbs contribute a lot of calories to a dog’s diet, even the complex ones, but these don’t.
Sunflower oil and flaxseed meal provide the fat content. Dogs need fat not just for insulation in the cold weather, but also to keep their hearts healthy (yes, dogs have a nutritional demand for fat, especially omegas, because these keep their skin, coat, and body healthy).
Many of the essential vitamins are naturally provided by the fruits and veggies in this dry food, although there is also supplementation provided by the brand. There are no artificial preservatives as expected, and only salt and mixed tocopherols (several different types of vitamin E) are used to keep the food from spoilage.
This dry dog food recipe can supplement a dog’s diet that is meant to be low in calories. There is just 319kcal per cup, which is low. However, its protein content is average and should fulfill all pups’ energy needs, even if these dogs love to play all day.
I personally find this a great alternative to other meat dishes that are headed by beef or chicken. Based on personal research (my wonderful testers helped me with this), one picky eater demolished the food quite quickly. Some dogs were quite happy with their meals, while two were a bit on the fence. There are far more puppers who liked the food than puppers who didn’t.
I also like that this food is a low calorie one. Quite a few dogs with food allergies tend to be a little less active than healthy dogs who do not have sensitivities. This is because the symptoms they feel make it uncomfortable to move around. However, this inactivity also helps them put on the pounds.
However, while I do like most of the benefits this kangaroo dog food provides our canine friends, I and — I am sure — other pet owners as well, are quite concerned about the legume ingredients in this food. There are four of them in the first six ingredient slots.
Best for: Adult dogs on a low calorie diet
- Low in calories
- Limited ingredient
- Slow-cooked to retain most nutrients
- Features farm-fresh and air-dried fruits and veggies
- Too many pea ingredients
4. Zignature Kangaroo Canned Food Limited Ingredient Formula
First 5 ingredients: Kangaroo, Broth, Peas, Sunflower Oil, Chickpeas
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Many dogs prefer wet food over dry. If your dog is one of them, switching to a wet dog food diet may be called for. Dogs love how much of the natural flavor of meat comes through in canned meals, and it can be helpful when your dog is the picky kind.
There are about six key ingredients only in this kangaroo dog food. Aside from those listed above, there is just one other — sun-cured alfalfa meal. Sun-cured alfalfa are your basic alfalfa that’s been sun dried and processed to remove the water content. It’s a great addition to your pup’s diet because alfalfa is rich in nutrients — both vitamins and minerals.
Since this is a limited ingredient formula, there is only one protein source. It’s kangaroo, of course, followed by broth made from cooking the meat in this recipe.
That 9% crude protein total might look low to you but remember that this is canned food. By removing the moisture content (78%) and dividing the protein by the dry matter content (22%), we get .409. Next, we multiply it by 100 and that is the protein content on a dry matter basis (40.90%).
That’s enough to sustain the needs of highly active doggos!
Peas and chickpeas add a little more protein to the diet and starch as well to aid in digestion. There are no other key ingredients, with the exception of oil from sunflowers to provide the fat content.
The protein content of this dog food is extremely high. It’s enough to sustain the needs of playful pooches and even performance pups. And since this is wet dog food, the natural flavors of the meat shine through. Picky eaters will have a hard time saying no to this when served in their bowls.
Even with its high protein content, the calories remain low. It’s a trademark of foods using kangaroo as the main protein source. One can only contains 381 calories, but I bet your dog will feel full for a long time.
I like that this Zignature kangaroo formula also contains l-carnitine, an amino acid that helps convert the fat in your dog’s body into useable energy that is vital for the proper functioning of his brain, muscles, and heart.
The only thing I can think of that may be a negative is the price point. Kangaroo-based kibble is already expensive, but a canned option is even more so. However, as owners we will truly do everything to make sure that our dog’s quality of life will always be at its peak.
Best for: Highly active dogs or dogs that prefer wet food
- Contains l-carnitine, a conditionally essential nutrient
- High in protein
- Limited ingredient
What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Kangaroo?
Kangaroo is different from commercially raised meats like beef and lamb in many ways. For one thing, kangaroos aren’t farmed – they are open-range animals that are harvested from the wild. This being the case, kangaroos are able to follow their natural diet which keeps them nice and lean.
They are also free from antibiotics and growth hormones. Kangaroo meat is a high-quality source of protein for dogs and it is one of the leanest proteins out there with less than 2% fat.
The fat that kangaroo meat does contain consists largely of omega-3 fatty acids as well as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a type of fat that has been shown to help reduce the risk for heart disease and other chronic disease.
In terms of its nutrition, a special diet of kangaroo meat contains about 100 calories per 100-gram serving. Per 100-gram serving, kangaroo steak contains about 1.4 grams of total fat which can be broken up into 0.6 grams saturated fat, 0.1 grams trans fat, 0.2 grams polyunsaturated fat, and 0.5 grams monounsaturated fat.
To give you a better understanding of what that means, the amount of fat in a 100-gram serving of kangaroo meat (about the size of a deck of cards) is about the size of a quarter teaspoon.
In addition to healthy fats, kangaroo meat is also rich in iron, zinc, and B vitamins including niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12. When it comes to high-quality lean protein sources, kangaroo meat is hard to beat.
Kangaroo For Food Allergies?
Though dogs can technically develop an allergy to any type of protein, red meats like beef and lamb are some of the most common culprits.
Dogs that suffer from food allergies or sensitivities need to be fed a diet free from the offending allergen, and in many cases, that ends up being a Limited Ingredient Diet, or LID.
Limited Ingredient Diets are simply dog food formulas made with a select number of main ingredients, plus whatever supplements are needed for balanced nutrition. What really sets LID dog foods apart, however, is the fact that they usually feature a novel source of protein and carbohydrate.
However, for those with extreme sensitivities to a protein source, this may be difficult. Fewer and fewer meats are still considered novel these days. Pork has become a regular thing in dog food diets, and so has bison, and buffalo. I know this for a fact, since I have fostered dogs with severe protein allergies.
This is where kangaroo meat comes in. Although there is an increasing number of brands featuring kangaroo as one of the exotic meats on their menu, there are still only a handful of them. And since kangaroo is mostly found in Australia, the risk of these becoming a regular staple in the present diet of our canine buddies is quite low.
A special diet with kangaroo as the only protein source is therefore a big help for owners like us who have tried and have had no success with feeding our sensitive pups meals with other animal proteins in them. In my opinion, it is definitely worth trying.
Is Kangaroo Good For Your Pet?
When it comes to lean, nutrient-rich proteins, kangaroo dog foods are near the top. You must remember, however, that kangaroo is an exotic protein, and it isn’t one of the more commonly available options either – this means that it’s going to be a good bit more expensive than your average dog food.
However, If you are committed to offering your dog the highest quality food you can to protect him from the symptoms of allergies and sensitivities, trying one of the kangaroo dog food recipes reviewed above should definitely be worth your consideration.