Muenster Dog Food
Muenster is a Texas brand made by Muenster Milling Company. The company is a fourth generation, family-owned and operated animal food manufacturer located in Muenster, Texas. They have been in business since 1932. According to the company, they use as many locally-sourced ingredients as possible and never used ingredients from China. The company transitioned from livestock feeds and horse feed to pet foods in 1989 when it installed a pet food extruder. According to the company, in 1999 they were one of the first pet food companies to produce all-natural pet food diets. Along with dog food, Muenster also makes cat food, horse feed, and food for pond fish. Muenster’s dog foods include Muenster Natural, Perfect Balance, and Full Balance product lines. All of their foods are kibbles. Some are grain free and some have grains.
Who Manufactures Muenster Dog Food?
Muenster dog foods are made by Muenster Milling Company in Muenster, Texas. They are a small, family-owned and operated company in business since 1932.
Muenster Dog Food Recalls
We did not find any recalls for Muenster pet foods in the FDA database or online.
Muenster Dog Food Coupons 2017
We didn’t find any coupons for Muenster dog foods on their site. However, you can check their Facebook page for information about any discounts.
Muenster Dog Food Overview
Like many other small pet food companies today, Muenster is becoming more well-known nationally thanks to the Internet and online pet food specialty retailers like Chewy.com. Even though the company has been in business since 1932, many people outside Texas are probably unfamiliar with the brand. That is changing rapidly today.
Muenster currently makes five Muenster Natural dog foods. All of these foods are made for all life stages. One of these foods – Grain Free Chicken & Turkey – is grain free. The other four foods are Whitefish (Joint Health), Classic Chicken, Chicken & Pork (Low Carb), Large Breed Classic Chicken. The foods vary somewhat in their percentages since they are designed for different purposes. For example, Muenster recommends Muenster Natural Grain Free Chicken & Turkey and Muenster Natural Whitefish for dogs with sensitive skin. They recommend those two foods and Muenster Natural Chicken & Pork for dogs that need fewer calories. (Actually, they recommend the grain free formula and the whitefish formula for just about everything.) If we use the Muenster Natural Whitefish formula as an example, the first five ingredients in the food are: Fish Meal, Chicken meal, whole ground brown rice, whole ground grain sorghum, and chicken fat (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid). The food has 28 percent crude protein, 16 percent crude fat, 4 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture. The food has 377 calories per cup. It also has added glucosamine and chondroitin and it uses non-Chinese vitamins.
Muenster also makes the Perfect Balance line of foods. There are currently six foods in this line and three of them are new. The foods include: Perfect Balance Grain Free, Perfect Balance Elite, Perfect Balance Maintenance, Perfect Balance Pork Grain Free, Perfect Balance Performance, and Perfect Balance Whitefish. All of these foods are for all life stages with the exception of Perfect Balance Maintenance which is a maintenance dog food. We can use Perfect Balance Grain Free as an example for these foods. This food has Chicken Meal, potatoes, turkey meal, chicken fat, and herring oil as the first five ingredients. It has 31 percent crude protein, 17 percent crude fat, 3.5 percent crude fiber, and 10 percent moisture. No Chinese-sourced ingredients. No calorie information provided.
And Muenster makes a line of foods called Full Balance. These foods include Full Balance All Life Stages and Full Balance Maintenance. We can use Full Balance All Life Stages as an example for this line. The first five ingredients for this food are: Pork meal, ground corn, wheat middlings, ground milo, and chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). The food has 27 percent crude protein, 13 percent crude fat, 4 percent crude fiber, and 12 percent moisture. This food has 503 calories per cup. Muenster uses locally-sourced grains from Texas suppliers in their foods, often buying from farms they have been working with for 80 years. Again, no Chinese-sourced ingredients in this food.
Overall, the kibbles from Muenster appear to be moderately-priced and have meat protein meals (chicken meal, whitefish meal, pork meal) as the first ingredient. Crude protein percentages range from 36 percent to 21 percent, with most of the foods around 27-28 percent. All together, we counted three foods that are grain free. As far as we can tell, the Muenster Natural and Perfect Balance lines are corn, wheat, and soy-free though some of the foods do use other grains/cereals such as sorghum and brown rice.
Muenster Natural Grain Free Chicken & Turkey All Life Stages Dog Food Review
We have chosen Muenster Natural Grain Free Chicken & Turkey All Life Stages Dog Food for our review. This looks like a good food and Muenster recommends it on their web site for a number of health issues (sensitive skin, low fat, performance, and sensitive stomach). According to Muenster, this was the company’s first grain free food.
Note that the company seems to have made some formula changes to some of their foods a year or two ago. We found some complaints online. Company representatives responded online and said the food would be replaced. We often find this situation when we check foods and companies have made a formula change so we try to make allowances unless the problem continues or the company doesn’t provide good customer service. Most companies do make formula changes from time to time and it doesn’t always go smoothly. At least a few dogs or their owners usually notice and may be unhappy.
According to the company, Muenster Natural Grain Free Chicken & Turkey is the lowest carbohydrate diet they make. It is said to be designed for dogs that are sensitive to grains and carbohydrates. The food does not use any vitamins from China and they use Zinpro Availapet Minerals which are particularly easy for a dog to digest and absorb. Think proteinated/chelated minerals, though in this case the minerals are in amino acid complex form such as zinc amino acid complex, copper amino acid complex, etc.
The first five ingredients in this food are: Chicken meal, whole peas, turkey meal, sweet potatoes, and chicken fat (naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid). Chicken meal is a good form of chicken protein for dogs. Muenster explains why they use chicken meal instead of fresh chicken in their foods:
We choose to use Chicken Meal instead of Fresh Chicken for several reasons:
- Fresh Chicken is between 70-90% water
- Ingredients are listed in order from heaviest to lightest BEFORE cooking. When you cook a product that is upwards of 80% you only end up with 1/5th of what you claim is in the product. Many times, you will see chicken meal as the first ingredient after an ingredient like fresh chicken in order to compensate for the added water they pump into the formula.
- In our opinion, it’s just a way to deceive the customer into thinking that they are getting something they’re not.
We largely agree, though we don’t accuse other companies of deceiving the customer if they use fresh chicken. We have no problem with chicken meal as the first ingredient in this food.
The second ingredient is whole peas. In this case whole peas are being used as the most substantial source of carbohydrates in the food since this is a grain free food. If you have a dog that is sensitive to grains then peas are one of the carb sources frequently used as a substitute. Some dogs tolerate peas better than others but peas do provide some good nutrition. They are about 23 percent protein, 4 percent fat, and 73 percent carbohydrates. They are a good source of lots of vitamins and minerals, including a natural source of vitamin K. They are also a good dietary fiber. Some dogs do have trouble digesting dog food that contain high amounts of peas.
The third ingredient in the food is turkey meal. Similar to chicken, turkey is high in protein and low in fat. It’s a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins. Sine this is turkey meal, it’s had most of the moisture removed and it’s a concentrated source of protein.
The fourth ingredient is sweet potatoes. Muenster says that they use American Orange sweet potatoes that are domestically grown and provide a low starch carb source. You may not think it matters, but sweet potatoes come in a variety of colors, ranging from white to purple. The orange sweet potato is packed with beta-carotene which is good for your dog. (Lots of vegetables come in different colors than we are used to seeing. For example, carrots can be purple but most people are only familiar with orange carrots.) Sweet potatoes generally have 6 percent protein, 1 percent fat, and 93 percent carbohydrates. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, and other vitamins and minerals.
The fifth ingredient in the food is chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid). Chicken fat is loaded with omega 6 fatty acid and quite a bit of omega 3 fatty acid. The omega 6 fatty acid contains high amounts of linoleic acid which is good for your dog’s skin and coat. The fat is preserved with mixed tocopherols which are forms of vitamin E; and with citric acid. Citric acid is also considered a natural preservative/antioxidant.
Other ingredients of interest in the food include dried egg – a good source of animal protein with nutrients that are easily digested by dogs. Beet pulp which is a good prebiotic. We do not consider beet pulp to be a filler ingredient. It is an insoluble fiber that provides bulk and moisture to dog stool and helps keep the colon healthy. The food also contains various vegetables such as carrots (beta-carotene) and pumpkin (a wonderful source of fiber). It also contains blueberries and cranberries which are excellent antioxidants and known to benefit the urinary tract, especially cranberries. Chicory root is a source of inulin – another good prebiotic that is a water soluble dietary fiber. The food also contains a number of fermentation products. These ingredients are generally probiotics to aid digestion. Some people raise doubts about their effectiveness in pet foods and how viable any living bacteria would be after cooking, processing, packaging, shipping, and being placed in a warehouse, but other people (including pet food companies) maintain that these probiotics are beneficial. Some people like to purchase their own probiotics to give to their dogs or buy things like yogurt with live cultures to add to their dog’s diet.
We’ve already noted that Muenster uses amino acid complexes for their minerals. The food also contains rosemary extract – but many dog foods do today. We also see algae meal. Muenster also uses algae in the food. Algae is becoming more popular in dog foods for a number of reasons. It’s been called a “canine superfood” and it’s been suggested that it can help cognitive function in older dogs, among other things. Google “algae in dog food” or the keyword “Spirulina” in dog food and you can find lots of articles on the subject.
The food also contains diatomaceous earth (an inert carrier and anti-caking agent). We have seen diatomaceous earth used for a lot of things but this may be the first time we’ve seen it in a dog food. Some people use it as a natural wormer and give their dogs small doses on a regular basis. We haven’t seen it used as an anti-caking agent before. This article suggests that it can be used for detoxing and as a digestive aid. If you buy diatomaceous earth for your dog, please make sure you buy food grade and not pool grade. There is a big difference.
Muenster Natural Grain Free Chicken & Turkey All Life Stages Dog Food has 377 calories per cup. Metabolizable energy kcal/kg 3634
Muenster Natural™ Dog Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.
|Crude Protein, Min.||36.00%|
|Crude Fat, Min.||18.00%|
|Crude Fiber, Max.||4.00%|
The dry matter basis (DMB) figures for this food are: 40 percent protein; 20 percent fat; 4.4 percent fiber; and 26.7 percent carbohydrates.
This food has high protein and above average fat compared to many super premium dog foods. The fiber content is average for a kibble; and the carb percentage is quite low, even for a grain free dog food.
Where can you buy Muenster Dog Food?
You can find Muenster dog foods on Chewy.com and other online pet food retailers. According to Muenster they are a small business and they like supporting other independent companies. “We are a small business to the core. We choose to support other independently owned and operated stores. For over 80 years, we have survived with the support of small business and independently owned companies. Our goal is to continue this for the next 80 years.” You can use the dealer locator on the Muenster site to find stores that carry their foods.
We weren’t previously familiar with Muenster foods but after checking out their product lines, we think they look good. They have a variety of meat proteins available in their foods; they offer both grain free and grain-inclusive diets. And their foods are mostly high protein and lower carbs. From what we see, the Muenster Natural and Perfect Balance foods do not have corn, wheat, or soy and they use no ingredients from China. And the first ingredient is always a good meat protein from chicken, whitefish, or another named meal. The fats are also named fats. Minerals come from amino acid complexes so they are easy for dogs to digest and absorb. The foods also have lots of prebiotics and probiotics to help digestion. Most of the foods are made for all life stages. And Muenster’s dog foods are reasonably priced. We think they offer foods that many dog lovers will like. Obviously we like some of the foods more than others. The Full Balance line of foods contain wheat middlings, corn gluten meal, ground wheat, and some other ingredients you may not want to feed your dog. But we do like the Muenster Natural and Perfect Balance foods. Recommended. Muenster may not be easy to find at your local pet food retailer – though you can ask them to carry it. But you can order from Chewy.com or another online seller. Or buy directly from Muenster.