We believe excellent nutrition is the first step towards better health. Poor quality foods can affect your pets’ bodies in a variety of ways, such as:
- Food allergies; biting and chewing at itchy paws; dry, flaky skin; hot spots; chronic ear infections.
- Poor digestion, which can lead to a decrease in a food’s nutritional benefits and possible reduced life expectancy; excessive gas and/or loose stools; increase pet waste.
- Weakened immune system which could make your pet susceptible to diseases such as diabetes, cancer, obesity, arthritis, pancreatitis, and urinary tract infections.
Feeding a nutritious food does not always mean spending a lot of money. In fact, natural foods aren’t much more expensive than grocery store brands. After factoring in lower feeding amounts (pets eating holistic foods typically require 20-40% less food than pets on economy brands) and fewer vet visits, a healthy diet can actually cost you less in the long run than a pet food offering fewer nutritional benefits.
- Clearly named meat or fish – chicken, lamb, beef, salmon
- Concentrated named meat proteins – chicken meal, turkey meal
- Whole grains and starches – brown rice, barley, sweet potatoes
- Fresh fruits and vegetables – whole potatoes, carrots, apples
- Named fats from quality sources – chicken fat, herring oil, sunflower oil
- Natural preservatives – mixed tocopherols, vitamin C or E
What to avoid in a pet food:
- Non-specific ingredients – poultry by-products, meat and bone meal
- Protein fillers – corn gluten, wheat gluten, egg product meal
- Carbohydrate overload – refined flours, wheat, mill runs
- Processed fruits and vegetables – tomato pomace, dehydrated potatoes
- Fats from non-specific sources – poultry fat, animal fat, vegetable oil
- Artificial preservatives – BHA & BHT
Isn’t the healthy stuff going to cost me a lot of money?
Not necessarily! We actually have some foods that are cheaper brands we’ve found at big box stores or the grocery store! Plus, if you feed a food that has more nutrients, you can often feed up to 40% less food than one with a lot of junky fillers, making that bag of food last you a lot longer!
Isn’t dry food the best thing for my pet’s teeth?
This is a really, really common misconception, but unfortunately dry kibble doesn’t do much to keep your pet’s teeth clean. We like to compare it to you replacing your oral care routine with eating a handful of pretzels. Sure it’s yummy, and while it might technically scrape some plaque off, it’s not a suitable substitute for your daily tooth brushings. A much more effective way to keep their teeth sparkly white is to provide raw meaty bones for your dog or cat to chew on. The bones work to scrape away plaque while the remaining muscle tissue provides a flossing action. Check out our freezers for a selection of bones to suit pets of all sizes!
Other great options are regular brushings one of our pet safe toothpastes, dental sprays, or minty-fresh water additives.
Is raw food really safe?
Yes! We believe that a raw diet is one of the best things you can feed your dog or cat. They are the most biologically appropriate diets, and most pets thrive on a raw diet. Dogs and cats have short and highly acidic digestive systems, allowing them to digest raw foods safely and quickly. On top of that, the raw foods we carry all have very high standards and strict safety procedures in place to ensure your pet is getting a food that that’s completely pathogen-free.
Should I ever change my pet’s food?
Absolutely – variety is the spice of life, after all! Our pets aren’t really designed to eat the same thing every single day, so we recommend rotating their food on a routine basis – that can be daily, monthly, or every few months – whatever works best for you! By switching up what you feed them, you actually help to strengthen their digestive system, broaden their nutritional intake, and help prevent the development of food allergies. For more on this, check out this great video by holistic vet Dr. Karen Becker.
My pet has a special dietary restriction – do you offer anything for that?
We sure do! We offer foods and supplements for pets with even the most extreme food allergies, urinary health issues, diabetes, kidney health, and more. If your pet is on a special diet, we’re happy to talk with you about their specific requirements and do our best to provide you with some healthy, natural alternatives to meet their needs.
How can I transition my pet over to a new food without upsetting their stomachs?
Slowly transitioning to a new food is always the safest bet to avoid digestive upset. We suggest making the transition occur over the course of a week or two. Start off by feeding 25% of the new food and 75% of the current food for 2-3 days. Then gradually increase the new food to 50% of your pet’s daily intake, and decreasing the current food to 50% for another 2-3 days. If that’s going well, bump up the new food to 75% and the old food to 25% for another 2-3 days, until you can feed your pet 100% of the new food.
You can always add a little “insurance” when food switching by grabbing some 100% organic canned pumpkin or Answer’s Goat’s Milk which are both great for easing tummy troubles and helping with food transitions.
- The Best & Worst Foods for your Pets, by Dr. Karen Becker
- Have a Giant Breed Puppy? Tips on choosing a food appropriate for them.
- Foods to avoid or restrict
- Importance of moisture in your pet’s food
- How to store and serve raw food
- Transitioning over to a raw food
- Diet & Health Info For Man’s Best Friend
- Dog Food Advisor
Special thanks to Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market for supplying the content for this page!