Wendyl Wants To Know
Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.

Wendyl Wants To Know: Family pets put the bite on meaty dog sausage

Supplements increase roll’s nutritional value.
Butch Black Label Dog Food. $6.79 for 2kg sausage. Photo / Supplied
Butch Black Label Dog Food. $6.79 for 2kg sausage. Photo / Supplied

My relationship with my two dogs Flo and Rosie has taken on a new meaning since I found this dog sausage. Previously they would simply trot behind me as I went to fill their bowls for dinner, now they leap in the air with delight and do that little bark dogs do when they are really excited. I thought we had a pretty good relationship but little did I know that it could get so much better.

For many years I have fed my dogs a strict grain-free diet, so they get grain-free biscuits and fresh, raw meat and bones. That's it. Then they stopped eating the biscuits - later I found out there had been a fault in the manufacturing.

So rather than see them starve, especially Flo who is only a year old and still growing, I tentatively stepped up to the dog food refrigerator at my local supermarket and went through the dog rolls one by one.

What I was looking for was the minimum of additives, a low grain count, and no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

Butch Black Label Dog Food. $6.79 for 2kg sausage.

Ingredients (in order of greatest quantity first)

Fresh Beef 33%
I'm not sure why the word "fresh" is here as I'm sure it was fresh when it went in but it's very cooked in the sausage. Add this beef to the lamb and chicken and you have a total of 76.5 % of real meat in here - three-quarters of the roll, which is pretty good.

Fresh Lamb 25%
As above.

Fresh Chicken 18.5%
As above.

Soy 8.5%
I'm not very happy at finding this in here as it is a filler and the chances of a dog eating some soybeans in the wild are very slim. But it does keep the price of the sausage reasonable.

Vegetables 7.7%
You can clearly see bits of carrot, peas and corn in here. Dogs do eat vegetables in the wild, so these are good in here for fibre and extra nutrition.

Selected cereals 2.5%
I don't like these in here as dogs don't naturally eat grains, but at such a small percentage I'm prepared to let it go. My dogs certainly don't seem to have suffered any digestion issues since changing their diet.

Rice 2.3%
Dogs seem to be okay on rice, and it is very easily digested with a lot of energy so I'm happy for them to eat it at such a low percentage.

Omega-3 and Fish Oil 1.3%
These are in here in tiny amounts but will be beneficial for their fur and skin.

Gel blend 1%
I assume this is some sort of binder for the sausage so that it slips cleanly from the plastic packaging. Not sure what it is made of.

Added vitamins and minerals 0.1%
Added to this are calcium, phosphorus, sodium magnesium, choline chloride, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, iodine, selenium, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, D, E, K, folic acid and calcium pantothenate, which is a synthetic substance made from pantothenic acid and used as a vitamin B5 supplement. This helps create energy and breakdown carbohydrates and fats.

Kelp 0.1%
Kelp is a great source of iodine and also helps with cardiovascular health as well as the immune system. At 0.1% there is not a lot in here but it means they do get to put it on the label.

My recommendations

Refreshingly there is no added sugar in here, which I have found in other commercial dog food and treats. There is also no wheat, no gluten, no yeast, no artificial colours or flavours and the label says it is low salt so I'll have to believe them as there isn't a proper nutritional analysis. It is also 75% meat which is great for something you buy at the supermarket and keep in your fridge. And the risk with feeding your dogs a raw meat only diet is that they may be missing out on much-needed nutrients which they would get in the wild - through eating their prey's stomach contents for instance.

So this is now in my fridge and freezer to go with the raw meat and I've never seen my two dogs happier or more motivated to love me than when I'm holding this in my hand.


• 75 per cent beef, lamb, chicken.

• No artificial flavours, colours, preservatives, wheat or sugar.

• Has added vitamins and minerals.

Debate on this article is now closed.

- NZ Herald

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