Knowledge is power. We’re sure you have questions, and here are our answers to some of them.
Are your ingredients human-grade?
Yes. We source our meats from USDA or state-inspected suppliers. Unlike most pet food, our products are not denatured nor are they leftovers of human food suppliers and distributors.
Why do conventional vets recommend dry food or prescription diets while holistic vets recommend real food?
Unfortunately, conventional vets rely on pet food companies to tell them what foods are good for pets. It’s a relationship very similar to the human doctor and pharmaceutical company relationship. Vet students get minimal training in pet nutrition and if ever they do, pet food company representatives or professors funded by pet food companies are the ones who teach them. (At least 90% of so-called pet nutrition experts are funded by pet food companies as admitted by these professors in a Consumer Reports issue on pet foods.) Most holistic vets practiced conventional vet medicine before becoming “holistic”. Their practices’ transformation oftentimes occurred after realizing, through actual practice and research, that the best approach to curing and maintaining the health of animals is through an integrative approach, including advocating that the very foundation of good health is solid nutrition – feeding pets what nature intended them to eat.
Will bacteria in your raw food be harmful to my pet?
The FDA wants you to believe that salmonella will kill your pet. If Salmonella and E.coli were harmful to our pets, then over half of the world’s population of cats and dogs would be sick, if not dead, right now. Our pets have stronger stomachs than us humans. Unlike humans, they have acidic and short digestive systems. In their natural habitat, they eat feces, carrion, road kills, and trash and lest we forget, wild cats and dogs do not cook their food to kill bacteria. However, very young kittens and puppies (8 months or less), seniors and those with history of weak immune systems are at risk and should be fed a cooked diet.
People, however, are not like their pets. We can be harmed by pathogens and should therefore practice safe food handling no matter what type of pet food or treat we feed. Our raw meats are not pasteurized and are not for human consumption. They may contain harmful bacteria. We use organic acids to control such bacteria. Please refer to our safe food handling tips.
Why do you include ground bones in your pet food?
Bones provide the best and natural source of calcium for your pets and ensure balance between calcium and phosphorus. Since bigger bones are harder to digest, we grind the bones small for better digestibility. Pets 5 lbs and up will not have a problem eating our ground bones. Because we do not grind the bones to a pulp, we do not advise giving our food to pets below 5 lbs.
Why do you include organs in your pet food?
Organs are rich in essential nutrients that muscle meat lack. They are excellent sources of essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. It’s been observed that in the wild, the alpha dog, wolf and lion go after the organs first.
Can your food be mixed with kibble (dry food)?
Ideally, real food should not be mixed with commercial kibble. However, if financially difficult, mixing with kibble can be an option. To get better results, do at least 50% real food. Better alternatives to kibble are cooked rice, barley, oatmeal, mashed sweet or regular potatoes. Note though that cats might not take these carbohydrates and are actually not recommended for them. Some dogs too don’t do well with grains like oats and rice.
Is your pet food complete and balanced, or do I need to add supplements to your pet food?
The term “complete and balanced” is very misleading. The pet food industry is the only industry that labels a product “complete and balanced.” This is not done in the human food industry despite the fact that the research in this field is more advanced. Only in the pet food industry can a product with the crappiest ingredients and another with the best ingredients be labeled both “complete and balanced.” This term is used more to serve the manufacturer than the consumer.
The AAFCO nutrient profiles are nutrient-centric rather food-centric. They are light in essential macronutrients (protein and fats) and heavy on micronutrients. They were set using studies on the poor quality ingredients (e.g. corn meal, beet pulp, meat meal, chicken byproduct meal, etc.) used by commercial pet food manufacturers. They are light on protein and fats to maximize use of cheaper carbohydrates/fillers. Because of poor quality ingredients and over-processing, AAFCO set high levels of vitamins and minerals (micronutrients) to compensate for the lack of bio-availability and the loss of nutrients during processing. Companies (even those claiming to sell real food) use synthetic vitamins and minerals to compensate. Food as a source of nutrients is basically lost in a concoction of synthetic vitamins, minerals, and highly processed unwholesome and inappropriate ingredients. No wonder kibble and wet food don’t look like food at all.
We use AAFCO and NRC nutrient profiles ONLY as guides when formulating our supplemented foods. We do not however label them “complete and balanced.” We focus on the actual whole food itself because we know that the nutrients will be there and will be more bio-available and stable in their natural forms. We do not use poor quality ingredients. The symphony of chemical reactions from digesting real whole foods will give your pet the nutrients it needs.
Our pet foods are made for a ROTATION DIET. Balance is achieved over time, not in one meal. We do not recommend sticking to just one of our pet foods. Doing so creates nutrient excesses and deficiencies and possible food sensitivities. The best assurance of a real complete and balanced diet is food variety.
We also have just plain ground up meat/bones/organs. We suggest adding supplements (probiotics and fish oils) and our ground vegetable mix-in to these at least occasionally. We also recommend offering a variety of treats. All these are available at our stores.
How long does your food last?
When frozen, our food can last up to 1 year or more. However, to maximize the nutritional value of the food, serve it within 6 months. Once thawed, our food needs to be served within 3 days (4 days for cooked). Portioning and re-freezing is okay only if doing so one day after thawing. Re-freezing after food has been thawed 3 days risks spoilage and bacterial infections. Always practice safe food handling.
Can I immediately switch my pet to your food?
Kittens and puppies can be switched to real food fairly quickly as they still have fully functional digestive systems. We suggest switching young kittens and puppies (8 months or less) to cooked food first to give them time to develop their immune system. They can be introduced to raw once they have been on cooked meats for 1 or 2 months. Older pets (and those with a history of weak immune systems) need to be transitioned to prevent digestive upsets or constipation. The longer the pet has been on a dry food diet, the longer the transition. See our sample transition guide.