There is nothing more confusing to pet owners than the nutrition labels on pet food, the conflicting information you see in TV advertisements, the information you get from sales people at the big box pet food stores, and the opinions and recommendations from their own Veterinarians. And yet, the most important decision a pet owner makes each and every day is what food to put in their beloved pets bowl. Our pets depend on us to make a good choice for them.
We at Natural Pet Pantry have solved this problem by getting back to basics. We believe that humans are not really capable of “creating” food that is anywhere close to the healthy, fresh, and nutrient-rich food that is found in nature. We believe we are what we eat, and that is true for our pets too. Our meals for dogs and cats are made from fresh, human edible, high quality whole foods in their natural form.
We know that raw food is the most biologically appropriate option for our dog and cat companions, and for families that are unable to feed raw, gently cooked is the next best option. It is a FACT that dogs and cats evolved over tens of thousands of years to consume whole prey. The last 50 years of human-created processed dry kibble and canned food is a blip in their ancestral history, and while it’s probably good enough for your pet to survive, it’s not what your pet needs to thrive. There is so much lost during the high heat, high pressure cooking used to create processed kibble and canned options.
The benefits from the whole food nutrients in raw food as well as the active enzymes that help with digestion and other metabolic functions is visible, tangible, and real. Once people make the switch to raw food most report numerous improvements in their animal’s health including shinier coat, better breath, weight loss or improvement of muscle tone, more energy, and the disappearance or improvement of many chronic health issues.
Many pets survive on kibble and canned food but that in no way makes it an ideal diet for them. It just means that kibble can sometimes meet the minimal requirements to keep a pet alive. While the calories keep them going, there are so often all kinds of maladies that come up along the way.
First off, let’s talk teeth. It is estimated that 85% of kibble fed dogs and cats have periodontal disease by the age of three. (Penman, S. and P. Emily. 1991. Scaling, Polishing and Dental Home Care. Waltham International Focus. 1(3): 2-8. In Lonsdale, T. 2001. Raw Meaty Bones. pg 110) So what does that mean exactly? It means that by the young age of three, teeth are covered in hardened residue (plaque) that changes the PH balance of the mouth making the teeth susceptible to even more plaque. It also means there is an immense amount of the unfriendly kind of bacteria invading the mouth and getting under the gum line which provokes chronic and ongoing inflammation. This can affect the whole body and last a lifetime. This is clearly an indication that kibble does not support dental health as many believe.
Bad breath is a sign of a systemic problem usually starting with what’s in their bowl. Processed food creates an alkaline stomach environment more susceptible to bacteria that they then regurgitate into their mouth furthering opportunity for periodontal disease. Not to mention they lack the enzyme, amylase, in their saliva to break down carb residue on their teeth. Kibble is bound together to hold it’s form with carbs. That carbohydrate residue is there to stay.
Much of what we have come to consider normal is actually not. Dogs and cats shouldn’t be obese, or diabetic and should not have to suffer with the oh-so-common leaky gut syndrome. Itchy skin and yeasty ears should not be the norm for any animal. All of these things come back to a processed diet.
According to The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an Estimated 59% of cats and 54% of dogs in the United States are Overweight or Obese. Clearly something is wrong with the way we are feeding our carnivore companions. Dog Food Advisor claims, today’s average dry dog foods contain somewhere between 46 and 74 percent carbohydrates.
Dogs and cats can produce energy from fats and protein and have no need for carbs, and certainly not in excess. This is an immensely high glycemic load for anyone, but especially a carnivore.
It is very demanding on the pancreas to produce insulin to control constant spikes in blood sugar. Many animals, especially cats, end up diabetic and needing insulin shots. This is clearly a dietary issue. No wild cat has ever presented with diabetes.
Now for one of the most common culprits, yeast. Yeast feeds on sugars (or carbs) too. Excessive carbs in dry food provide a plethora of opportunity for yeast to overpopulate and cause yeast infected guts, skin and ears. We have seen these chronic yeast issues clear up in countless animals that have made the switch to less processed foods.
Responsibly sourced, properly handled raw food is completely safe!
We only use the best quality ingredients and follow strict cGMPs to ensure that our food is safe for your pets!
You should follow the same safety precautions handling raw pet food as is recommended for handling raw chicken you buy for yourself at the grocery store:
- Washing your “hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or and after handling food.”
- Running “cutting boards and utensils through the dishwasher or wash them in hot soapy water after each use.”
- Keeping “countertops clean by washing them with hot soapy water after preparing food.”
Consumer reports show that over 60% of chicken breasts in your neighborhood grocery stores test positive for some sort of pathogen that has the capability to make a human sick. This is the reason we need to cook our food, wash our hands, and take other precautions.
But it is different for dogs and cats. It is quite safe for dogs and cats to consume raw food. Which, when you think about it, makes sense since the ancestral diet for these animals obviously wasn’t cooked, processed, or “fortified.” Dogs and cats have a very acidic stomach environment that prevents bacteria like salmonella and listeria from gestating. They also have very short digestive tracts that protect them from naturally occurring bacteria in raw food. They don’t have long intestines like humans.
Statistics based on several decades of end-user data show that it is more likely to encounter contaminants in commercial dry food than in raw food. Traditional commercial dry food has taken thousands of lives due to contamination with melamine, toxic molds, and excess of artificial, fat-soluble vitamins. This is not the case with raw food.
Check out our transition guidelines here >> Feeding Guidelines
We always recommend rotating proteins as it will offer your pet a wider variety of micronutrients as well as prevent the development of protein sensitivities overtime.
All dogs are different and how much you should feed your dog will depend on a number of variables: weight of the dog, activity level, metabolism, goal (i.e., maintain weight, gain weight, lose weight), other health issues, quantity of treats between meals, etc..
Here are our guidelines for meals made by Natural Pet Pantry:
- In general, a dog will consume 1-4% of their body weight per day.
- If your dog has a high level of activity, start with 3%.
- If your dog has a low level of activity, start with 2%.
- Weigh your dog every 2-4 weeks and adjust the feeding portion appropriately. After a few adjustments you will have it figured out.
For example, our dog Chester was a 13 year old Golden mix that slept a lot and went for a 10-15 minute walk once a day. He weighed 75 pounds and needed to lose about 10 pounds according to our DVM. When we switched to raw food we started at about 2% of his body weight per day, 2% of 75 = 1.5 pounds of food per day (i.e., 12 oz per meal x 2 meals per day). Our thinking was that would be about right to have him lose some weight even though he had a pretty low activity level, and being older, probably also a low metabolism rate.
After four weeks we noticed his weight hadn’t changed at all, and actually had gone up a bit. But we also noticed his energy level had increased and he seemed a bit more active. So we took his serving size down to about 1.5% body weight, and over the course of several adjustments up and down over about six months we finally settled out at weight of 65 pounds and 1 lb of raw food per day (8 oz per meal x 2 meals per day), which is 1.5% of his new bodyweight of 65 pounds. It may seem low, but it makes sense because the kids feed him about 1-2 ounces of treats every day. He has more energy, fully digests his meals as indicated by how small his poops are, he doesn’t shed as much as before, and is much more puppy-like. He is 14 now and doing great.
Raw food is the ideal species-appropriate diet. However, there are other factors to consider. For families that are not able or ready to make the switch to raw, our gently cooked stews are the next best thing!
Natural Pet Pantry meals are formulated to be complete and balanced according to the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles for dogs or cats. Supplements are not necessary.
If you are using our ground proteins or whole necks to build your own custom diet we encourage you to work with your holistic vet or consult our Nutrition Specialist
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Our delivery service is designed for those customers that prefer the convenience of having a scheduled/regular delivery of their pets food. We deliver bi-weekly or monthly, depending on where you live and the size of your order. Call to see if delivery is available in your area!
206-762-5575, Option 1
We provide an event venue in our Kirkland store and promote events with pet service providers on a regular basis. Please call or send an email with a description of the event, proposed dates, the cost for attendees, and instructions for how to sign up and we will be in contact with you shortly.
We are always seeking smart, passionate, and energetic dog and cat lovers that want to be a part of the highest quality pet food company in Washington. Send us your resume and tell us what you do best and how you want to help.