I love it when a client has built their way up to a raw diet with the help of research, talking to friends, hearing from others who feed raw, and of course listening to my spiel. I just had such a client the other day. He first came into my store about 2 months ago and he had heard great things about PennyPetz and was interested in upgrading his dog's food. Fortunately it was almost closing time so we stayed after hours and spent a decent amount of time going over all the foods we carry and discussed the pros and cons (please feel free to contact me and make an appointment before or after hours to discuss your pet's specific nutritional needs).
Mr. B (that's what we call him because I didn't ask to use his name in this blog) wasn't sold on raw, thinking it was too messy and inconvenient, so he settled on Smack dehydrated raw. One thing that I respect is that when choosing the best thing for your pet there are alot of factors that need to be considered: your pet's specific needs including any allergies or sensitivities, age, activity level, overall health, and the family dynamic which means budget, lifestyle, workload, responsibilities, and more. So, we started with Smack which is an amazing Canadian company that uses incredibly high quality ingredients like organic chicken, fruits and vegetables. It's raw but dehydrated and this means it can be stored in the cupboard and is fed like a kibble - best of both worlds.
Fast forward a month and Mr. B is back in the store (again close to quitting time) and as it turns out a friend of his feeds raw and gave him some to try with his dog and guess what, his dog LOVED it! So now Mr. B is ready to move on up. We took our time and discussed the many options, the amount of food his dog should eat, and the importance of a rotational diet. I would love to just take a minute or two and go into details and elaborate on the benefits of a rotational diet. First of all it's fun and exciting for your furry loved one to eat a different meal every day! Would you want to eat chicken, carrots, and green beans 365 days a year for 15 years! No. But more importantly, to ensure a balanced. well-rounded diet, we need to supply our pet's with variety.
Here is a basic chart to demonstrate the difference between a few common proteins. As you can clearly see there is a huge difference in copper levels, for example, between chicken and beef. And take a look at taurine in beef versus duck. My point that I was making with Mr. B is that it is important to vary the raw diet.
Another point that I wanted to get across, because I am asked this question often "Which brand do you like the most?" and it is a valid question. However, I like them all AND I use them all, and that's because I want as much variety as possible for my cats and dogs. I do have limitations because I have a dog with pancreatitis so that means he needs to stay on a low fat diet plus I have another dog with chicken sensitivities and my indoor cats tend to put on weight quite easily, BUT I want variety. All this to say, we spoke in great detail about his dog's specific requirements, the amount of food he would eat, the packaging and sizing options available, and the importance of offering different proteins from the many companies we stock.
He left with Tollden Farms Boar & Vegetable, Big Country Raw Beef, and Iron Will Original Duck. I am confident his dog is loving them all and I can't wait to hear back from him next month.