Myth 1: Kibble cleans your pets teeth
Imagine if your dentist told you that all you needed to do to clean your teeth was eat cookies! Wouldn’t that be nice?
Sadly, its impossible for a food that contains nearly 50-60% carbohydrates (as nearly all dry foods do) to clean your pets teeth. The carbohydrates inside kibble are in fact the reason why your pets teeth need to be cleaned in the first place!
As many feeders of fresh foods can attest to, dental care is far easier for your pet if you do not feed a diet consisting of 100% dry food. Raw, meaty bones are an excellent way to scrape your pets teeth clean. Just make sure to never give your pet cooked bones, which can splinter and cause intestinal damage.
Myth #2: Your pet Should Eat The Same Dry Food Their Entire Life
This is perhaps the most pervasive myth that the pet food industry (and even some veterinarians) willingly perpetuate. I would argue feeding your pet the same dry food diet (no matter what the quality) is a risky proposition comparable to feeding yourself fast food every single day. No matter what the quality, dry food equals processed food, and processed food should never make up 100% of the diet for any pet.
Rotating foods offers several benefits to your pet. First, it ensures they are receiving a wide variety of nutrition from varying proteins and other ingredients. This rotation of ingredients can help prevent allergies from developing later in life. Secondly, rotating foods ensures that any contamination or ingredient imbalance will not affect your pet as severely as if you fed one food their entire life.
Myth #3: Kibble Is Better Than Canned Pet Food
Kibble has one and only one advantage over canned food: it’s lower cost.
The manufacturing process of kibble requires a high amount of carbohydrates, which can lead to obesity and an increased risk of cancers in our pets. Canned food, on the other hand, nearly always boasts significantly more protein (there are some exceptions, of course) and a much lower amount of carbohydrates.
Your pet has no biological requirement for carbohydrates. This is why when you look at the guaranteed analysis on the back of your pets food label, you won’t see carbohydrates listed. Despite this undisputed fact, carbs are still the most prominent ingredient in all kibbles, sometimes composing over 50% of the ingredients by weight. Why? Simply because grains and starches are cheap for manufacturers and often subsidized.
One important note: When you compare the guaranteed analysis of a canned food to a dry food, it often creates confusion. The protein percentage on canned food appears to be lower. When you compare however, on a dry matter basis (removing moisture) you will always have more protein in a canned food vs kibble. Another important benefit of canned foods is their relatively low amount of preservatives. Due to the canning process itself, canned food often contains minimal preserving agents.
Myth #4: Kibble Stays Fresh for Long Periods of Time, Even When Stored Properly
That huge bag of pet food you just bought to save money? Odds are, the fats inside it are going rancid within weeks of opening, putting your pet at risk. When fats in your pets food go bad, free radicals are created in the process. These free radicals can scavenge your pets body, causing untold damage over time.
Unfortunately dry food that has become rancid will not necessarily look or smell bad. But rest assured, the moment oxygen comes in contact with kibble, the process of oxidation has begun. If you have a pet food storage container, its always better to put the entire pet food bag inside of the container, and not pour the kibble directly into the bin. Pet food packaging is actually pretty advanced these days and does a better job at keeping the food fresh than a storage bin alone.
Myth #5: My Kibble Must Be a Good One Because Its Recommended by My Veterinarian or Breeder
This is perhaps the most frustrating myth of all. Veterinarians are wonderful people with wonderful hearts. I fully trust my veterinarian’s advice on nearly any topic, save one: their food recommendations.
If you compare the labels of food commonly recommended by veterinarians and breeders (such as Hill’s Prescription Diet and Royal Canin) you’ll find that they are low quality foods with a few therapeutic ingredients added in. Most of the formulas rely heavily on meat by-products, corn, wheat, rice, and soy.
In addition, manufacturers such as Hill’s Prescription Diet and Science Diet are no better than the rest at avoiding recalls, as recently we learned when a dangerous amount of vitamin D was added into some formulas.
Myth #6: My Kibble Shows Real Meat Pictures on The Bag, So It Must Contain Sufficient Protein
Unfortunately, nearly all kibble contains shockingly low amounts of protein, ranging from 18% to 33%.
This is the very reason why kibble is so much lower cost compared to canned food or fresh food. There is no way around it, animal protein adds substantially to the cost. But let’s not forget, cats and dogs are natural carnivores!
To make matters worse, much of the protein found in kibble is from lower quality plant sources such as corn, wheat, peas, or soy.
Myth #7: My Dry Pet Food Says Made in The USA, So All of The Ingredients Must Come from The USA
Sadly, its nearly impossible to find a dry pet food that contains 100% of ingredients sourced from the USA.
This is due to the fact that China produces an overwhelming amount of the world’s vitamins, in the form of premixes. These vitamins are not sourced from nature, but rather created in a lab. While synthetic vitamins are sufficient to prevent most deficiencies, they do differ chemically from vitamins and minerals derived from nature and should not be a replacement for whole food sources.
Bonus Tip: If you think your pets food is 100% natural because the label says so, think again. You’ll often see a claim such as all-natural with added vitamins and minerals. Believe it or not, that last statement about vitamins and minerals is the manufacturer’s way of telling you they are synthetic, and the exception to the all-natural claim!
Myth #8: You Can Trust The Recommended Feeding Amount On The Bag
Let’s be real here: Would you trust McDonald’s recommendations on how much to eat their food? Of course not!
Pet food manufacturers can often recommend too much food for your individual pets needs. Recommending too much only plays in their favor as it leads you to buy more.
The recommendations on the bag are an ok starting place, but remember that based on your pets activity level, you may need to substantially modify the suggested servings.
Most importantly, learn to recognize a healthy weight and shape for your pet. Understanding the signs of obesity in your pet, and adjusting their diet accordingly, is absolutely vital to preventing obesity related diseases such as arthritis and cancer.
Myth #9: Having Real Meat Listed As the #1 Ingredient Means the Food is Good Quality
Manufacturers love to brag with the following claim: “real meat is our first ingredient!”
Here’s why that isn’t as big of a deal as you think. The ingredient list is always listed in the order of weight, prior to processing. Whole meat such as chicken breast contains roughly 70% water, which means that after the ingredient is cooked in the kibble manufacturing process, it often represents a tiny amount of the total protein, as low as 5%.
Odds are, the ‘meat meal’ listed later on in the list of ingredients represents more total protein than the first ingredient! Strange, but true.
Myth #10: Grain-Free Automatically Equals Healthy
Over the last 5 years grain-free foods have exploded in popularity, mirroring a trend in human foods. However, many pet parents are shocked to learn that grain free foods can often contain more carbohydrates than grain based foods!
This is because substituting something like legumes (often peas) or potatoes instead of corn or wheat isn’t necessarily good for your pet, unless of course they have an allergy or food sensitivity to grains. Grain-free foods usually do not contain more protein than their grain filled counterparts.
In addition, while we don’t yet know all the facts, the FDA recently announced it is monitoring a surge in heart disease (dilated cardiomyopathy) linked to cats and dogs that are fed grain free diets.
Cats are "OBLIGATE CARNIVORES": They MUST eat meat in order to survive. Cats meet their blood sugar requirements by breaking down protein, rather than carbohydrates in their diet. They lack the ability to digest plant matter, and in fact, will eat vegetation specifically to vomit. Cats are also "IMPRINT EATERS", meaning they learn to eat by watching and learning from mom. So if mom eats Kibble, they eat Kibble... If mom eats Raw, they eat Raw.
Dogs are "FACULTATIVE CARNIVORES": They do best on a Carnivorous diet, but can "survive, not thrive" on a non-carnivorous diet.
Although our pets are long removed from their primal ancestors, their dietary requirements haven't changed. The most appropriate diet for your carnivorous pet is one which is high in moisture, contains quality sources of muscle meat, and has little-to-no carbohydrates.
The manufactured kibble diet full of processed and synthetic ingredients has led to many common illnesses plaguing our pets, such as: Obesity, Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Urinary Tract Infections, Urinary Crystal Formation and Blockages, and Dental Disease.
Myth 1: Raw food is unsafe
There’s no getting around it – handling raw meat poses a risk. But chances are you handle it when cooking for your human family members, right? There’s really no difference when it comes to safe practices for handling raw pet food. Avoid using wooden cutting boards, dishes and utensils, and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after handling the meat. Many companies offer easy-to-open, pre-portioned packaging to make this process even more simple and safe.
Worried about your pet getting a food-borne illness? Fear not! Cats’ and dogs’ digestive systems are much shorter and more acidic than ours, meaning they’re designed to take on any bacteria that may be present in their food.
Myth 2: Raw feeding takes a lot of work
It’s true that feeding a raw diet to pets used to be quite complicated – it involved a lot of pre-planning, portioning and preparation. But nowadays, due to the steps companies are taking to pre-portion their raw meals and include the appropriate amounts of bone, organ and supplements, raw feeding has never been easier! If you opt for a frozen raw option, food for up to four days can be defrosted at the same time (stored in the fridge), so you don’t have to take food out of the freezer every day. Many products don’t require any additional prep – just thaw and serve the appropriate amount!
Myth 3: Raw food diet is unaffordable
As with any diet, the amount you spend will depend on the size of your pet! If you have a Chihuahua or a tabby cat, you’ll need to spend a lot less on pet food than someone who has three Great Danes. Pound for pound, raw is slightly more expensive than most kibbles or canned foods, but over the long-term, opting for a higher-quality diet will end up saving you money. Think about it: health starts with diet, so if you invest in a biologically appropriate food that helps your fur babe thrive, you’ll wind up spending way less on medication and vet bills down the road. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
Myth 4: A Raw food diet consists of just raw meat
If you’ve never fed raw before, it’d be easy to assume that the diet consists of nothing but raw meat. But this isn’t actually the case! Proper raw diets for dogs and cats are made up of meat, bone, organ meats, vegetables, and supplements. All of these elements are needed in proper proportions to ensure your pet maintains their health.
Myth 5: You can't feed both raw and kibble
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing! In fact, if you’re considering switching your pet to a raw diet, it’s best to make the transition slowly over a period of 1–2 weeks. One suggestion is not to feed both kibble and raw food in the same meal. When making the switch to raw, or if you choose to feed both over the long-term, feed raw in the morning and kibble in the evening, for example. This goes for both dogs and cats. Tip: supplementing your pet’s kibble-based diet with raw food is an affordable way to give his diet a boost!
The price of feeding your pet varies on a number of factors such as the size and number of pets your feeding, and the food types your feeding with. There's no questioning it, feeding only dry commercial brand kibble is the cheapest way to feed your pet... but isn't your pets health and quality of life more important than saving a few dollars? We think so!
Based on the brands your buying, and the types of food you choose between "Kibble", "Canned", "Fresh", and "Raw", it can be far more inexpensive than you realized to feed your pet a raw and natural food diet. Especially when your vet bills decrease due to a healthier feeding.
For example: A 24 pack of leading commercial brand canned cat food can cost around $4.50 per pound. When viewing their long list of ingredients, you'll see words like "meal", "by-product", and loads of names you can't even pronounce. And if you truly research where they source their meat, you'd find the results rather disgusting and shameful.
Whereas Raw food can average $1.95 per pound and the ONLY ingredients you'll find are Muscle Meat, Organs, and Bone, all ethically sourced and quality protected.
We encourage everyone to do the research we did. You won't like what you'll find as we've all been mislead through billions of dollars of advertising, convincing us dry commercial pet food is safe and healthy for your pets. Dig a little further, and you'll see the conditions and quality of the "meat" they claim to place in their food.
It's important to note Cats and Dogs will require different transitional methods. Given that cats are far more finicky especially when trying new foods, the first rule is we must be patient!
Remember the "3 Ts" of your pets preferences, "Taste", "Texture", and "Temperature". Cats are imprint eaters, meaning they learn from a young age what to eat by watching their mother. Once a cat has imprinted on food, they develop a strong preference for taste, texture and temperature of that food for the rest of their life. We often confuse them "not eating" as a sign of them "not liking" that particular food. It's actually that they don't recognize it as food, and may even try burying it.
START SMALL: Add only 25% new food/raw to their dish for about 3-5 days. At that rate, increase the percentage by 25% every 3-5 days. Eventually you'll be able to feed a full 100% raw diet.
SNEAK ATTACK: Occasionally place a small bowl of raw food next to your cats current bowl of food. This allows your cat to smell the raw food while eating their regular food. Maintain this routine for about a week, then sneak a layer of raw pet food under their current food.
TOPPERS, BROTHS, and TREATS: It can be beneficial to experiment with a variety of supplements added to the food to entice your pet to try out new foods. Many of our products offer such options which not only add extra nutrients to the food, but added flavors as well.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY: Once you choose a routine, you must stick to it! This will take time, and you will have plenty of uneaten food, which makes it difficult to not give up, as of course we see that as wasted food and money. NEVER NEVER NEVER starve your cat! One misconception is if your cat is hungry enough, they'll eventually just eat the new food. This is false and puts your cats life in serious jeopardy. Patience and variety is the ONLY safe and effective method for transitioning your pet into a new and healthy eating lifestyle.
Before we talk about their food, lets talk about their food dishes! You wouldn't put a plate that was covered in raw chicken back in your cupboard without washing it... the same applies for your pets bowl! Clean their dishes thoroughly after each feeding! Stainless steel, glass, or ceramic bowls are the most hygienic option for food and water dishes. On a second side note... We are fans of using stainless steel water fountains with carbon filters rather than dishes with stagnate water.
STORAGE: Store your pet’s raw food in the freezer until it’s time to thaw. Avoid fully thawing, portioning, and refreezing raw meat as this can allow harmful bacteria to develop!
THAWING: Thaw your pet’s food in the fridge or in cool water. Thawing your pet’s food in the fridge will take a bit more time and planning, but it’s the safest way to thaw raw meat. If you need to thaw your pet’s meals more quickly, partially submerge the pouch or container in cold tap water and change the water every 30 minutes or so. When meat is thawed in water it actually increases up to 1% in moisture (based on studies conducted on human consumption meat), so you may find the product is more moist when thawed this way. Never thaw in the microwave. This can change the molecular structure of the food. Destroying nutrients and increasing bacteria growth.
FEEDING: Raw food should not sit out for very long. Any uneaten food should be tossed within 20-30 minutes of being served.
CLEANING SURFACES: Always wash surfaces, utensils, and hands with warm soapy water after handling your raw pet food. We personally like to keep disinfectant wipes readily available near our food prep area.
Not to sound negative... but as a nation of animal lovers, we are surprisingly unconcerned about the food we give our pets. There's an overwhelming lack of ethical options and hypocrisy at the heart of how we show our animals love.
The word "Ethical" has taken on a generic level of endless meanings, similar to "Organic". The definition varies based on to whom you're speaking to.
Marketing campaigns and advertising "phrasing" is designed to sell their product and make money. Key phrases such as "Contains Real Meat", "Our First Ingredient", "Only Essential Ingredients", are all gimmicks to make the product sound better than it really is.
Raw meat is in fact... RAW MEAT. It's the meat, organs, and bones directly from the animal.
Synthetic Vitamins and Minerals are not healthy for your pets! While Cats are Obligate Carnivores, and Dogs are Facultative Carnivores.
Fruits and Vegetables contain a naturally complete and balanced package of vitamins and minerals, provided they haven't been damaged by the cooking process.
Superfoods such as Wheatgrass, Kelp, and Garlic highly benefit your dogs, while your cat will benefit from additional nutrients such as Taurine.
Probiotics are an amazing option to add to your pets food as they provide the additional needs for nutrition. Cats in particular cannot synthesize their own Taurine, so it's important their food sources have it. We recommend doing the research on your particular pets genealogy to learn what specific vitamins and nutrients they need, and be certain to add them to their diet.
The general rule of thumb for the amount to feed adult cats or dogs, either in raw or canned food, is to feed 2 to 4% of the ideal body weight per day. For an inactive and/or older pet, the 2% amount might be good and for a very active and/or younger pet, 4% might be closer to what's needed.
Now keep in mind you are not required to feed only raw food. You can feed canned or kibble food as well to keep that variety. For example your pets tummy is only so big. If your cat should only eat 6 oz. in a day then feed 3 oz in the morning and then 3 oz. in the evening.
Our kitties tend to like kibble mixed with freeze dried or canned food mixed with a freeze dried topper in the morning and the raw foods at night.
Processed commercial dog and cat food is a relatively new phenomenon, introduced only about 100 years ago. However, your animal’s GI tract has not evolved in those 100 years to make good use of a diet based entirely on poor quality kibble – and it never will.
Fortunately, the bodies of dogs and cats are amazingly resilient and capable of handling foods that aren’t biologically appropriate. Unfortunately, this has led to a situation of dietary abuse in the veterinary community.
Commercial pet foods – especially dry diets – are so convenient that the majority of vets recommend them for all their patients.
It’s easy to feed, inexpensive, and there’s no preparation or cleanup required. You stash the bag in the pantry, scoop out a portion at meal time, drop it in your animal’s food dish and you’re done.
Because commercial pet food has been so successfully marketed (dog and cat food products are a multimillion dollar industry), and because our animals’ bodies are resilient and can survive on this stuff, we have been lulled into a sense of complacency about the food we feed them.
Most veterinary students don’t learn about species-appropriate pet food in vet school. The only foods discussed are the processed, commercial pet formulas. The concept of feeding a living food diet is foreign to many vets.
It doesn’t take much research to uncover the fact that dogs and cats are designed by nature to eat living foods – unprocessed, raw, nourishing foods. Feeding a commercial formula is a bit like deciding your child can be healthy on a diet of meal replacement bars. A meal replacement bar is fine now and then, but no responsible parent would ever consider raising a child on those alone. Yet that’s what we’re doing when we feed our animals nothing but poor quality, commercial, processed foods.
Living foods in your companion’s diet are necessary for successful overall immune and organ function.
Rawhide is described as a natural chew… but it's nothing more than leftover material from the leather industry, and not a piece of dried beef skin shaped into a bone as the public is lead to believe.
First the hides are placed into a brine to slow their decay, not stop it. They are then shipped to tanneries where the fat and hair are removed using toxic chemicals such as ash-lye or sodium sulphide liming.
They are then whitened using hydrogen peroxide bleach or other strong chemicals, which removes the smell of the decayed leather.
Rawhides can be then basted with flavors or smoked and dyed in different colors, or painted with titanium dioxide.
To preserve the rawhide, they use various chemicals which may include formaldehyde or chromium salts. Finally different types of glues are used to help make the variety of shapes they come in.
Sounds healthy and natural right??? Yeah, didn't think so. So why is all of this bad for your pet?
If the chemicals used to create rawhide weren't bad enough, there is also the risking of choking and blockage. Rawhide is very indigestable and can sit in a dogs stomach for months.
Similar to Kibble claims, Rawhide is not good for your pets teeth. The chews start out hard, but get softer as chewed.
So What are Your Options? Raw Recreational Bones, Freeze Dried Treats such as Duck Heads, Turkey Necks, Turkey Hearts, Freeze Dried Salmon Skins and more.
ALL SALES ARE FINAL!
The Documentary "Pet Fooled" was a bittersweet moment for us as we watched this program. While it was heartbreaking and disturbing to see what commercial pet food companies did to convince everyone their food was safe through genius marketing... It also validated the countless hours of research we did and the facts we discovered about the benefits and necessity for feeding our pets a raw food and natural diet.
This is a documentary worth watching, because our pets are worth everything to us. For more information about this documentary, here is a link to its IMDB page, PET FOOLED. Wikipedia Page: PET FOOLED.
Our Mauston Pet Food Store is dedicated to providing only the highest quality, all natural, low ingredient, and grain free foods for cats and dogs. Our Moto is "Feed Your Carnivore as Nature Intended". Whether you're experienced in feeding raw or are entirely new to the idea and only now learning of its benefits, we're happy to help you make the best choices in food for your pet and within your budget.