Preliminary Evaluation of The Barkista’s Beef and Turkey Muttloaves

The Guaranteed Analysis, as well as all minerals except Selenium and Iodine came back today.

On paper, using the measures of the ingredients, the analyses should be:

Beef Muttloaf                                                                            Turkey Muttloaf

Protein 51%                                                                               51%

Fat          21%                                                                               21%

Carb       28%                                                                              28%

Yup, they both should have come out the same.  In both cases, 83% of protein is provided from animal sources.  

Now let’s see what the lab said:

Dry Matter analysis =

Protein 38.72%

Fat          24.04%

Carb       32.26%


Dry Matter Analysis =

Protein 37.47%

Fat          19.96%

Carb       39.02%


I’m a little confused on several levels.

Since the loaves are mixed by hand, I would expect variance throughout the sample, but since a relatively significant sized sample was used for testing,  the variance extremes should have been reduced.  A 4% variance from prediction on any of the 3…  I wouldn’t have been concerned.

In the case of the beef, while cringing at the 4.26% higher than predicted carb content, I’m not even blinking at the 3.04% higher than predicted fat.  The 12.28% lower than predicted protein causes me serious pause.

The turkey is even more perplexing.   Again, fat is a non issue here, in this case showing as 1.04% lower than predicted.  I am confused over the 13.53% lower than predicted protein.  I am absolutely mystified over the 11.02% higher than predicted carb content because…  the amount of binder used, the rolled oats, was exactly the same as was used in the beef; 7 ounces measured on a fully calibrated digital scale.

This particular lab was only looking at Guaranteed Analyses and mineral content (excluding Iodine) [I have not run the calculations to evaluate mineral content yet].    The Turkey Muttloaf, from the exact same batch, was sent to another lab for more extensive testing, the results of which still are not in.  Among those items being tested are Amino Acid and Fat profiles, which will look more in depth at the protein and fat content of the sample.

If the profiles provided by the second lab shows closer to predicted (I never expected it to be spot on) contents, I think it safe to assume the lab performing the Guaranteed Analyses was in error.

If, on the other hand, the further analysis also shows significant variances from predicted, then

a) the raw ingredients used in the products sent to the labs were not mixed as thoroughly as I thought they were.

– this could explain the significant carb difference between the 2 samples when the identical measure of oats was used in both.

b) the labels on human grade foods are as misleading as labels on dog foods!

– if the label claims a certain percentage of protein, fat and carbs, but the analysis doesn’t back up the claim…need I say more?

Either way, even with the current, very disappointing (protein and carbs, specifically) Guaranteed Analysis, the Beef and Turkey Muttloaves still may be determined to be a food rather than a treat.  Final determination will be made after I get the mineral content calculations done, and I receive the report from the second lab.

There will be  many, many more discussions surrounding The Barkista’s Muttloaves.  Whether or not you are a Barkista customer, stay tuned as these discussions will help to teach you how to read between the lines of labels and learn what questions to ask the manufacturers of your dog foods and treats.

Incidentally…  are the manufacturers of your dog’s food and treats as transparent as The Barkista?


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