Feeding and transitioning to raw pet food.
What made you start feeding raw?
Before becoming an employee at The Pet Beastro, I was a customer and became interested in raw as I didn’t know much about it. I was able to learn more from Jill and the other staff at the time. I then made the change to raw in January 2019 by slowly incorporating it into both my dog’s Fromm kibble. While Fromm is an awesome kibble, I wanted to get away from carbs and starches and feed more of a fresh food diet. Prior to shopping at The Pet Beastro, I wasn’t aware of how to do that. Over the year's timeframe, I slowly began to increase my raw to kibble ratio until fully transitioning to a completely raw diet. This transition led to some drastic changes in overall vitality, dental health, digestive health, and skin & coat health for both of my dogs.
In June 2019, my dog Luna was diagnosed with Leaky Gut which is essentially a tear in the intestinal gut lining and can cause an array of health issues. Feeding a raw diet has significantly helped with her skin and coat health. She suffered from severe allergies; her skin was red, inflamed, and flaky and at times she had red scabs all over her belly. Adding Answers raw goat’s milk and alternating with Answers kefir have significantly improved her condition. Both of these products support her gut health as well as offer natural histamine support. My smaller dog, Lady, who is a Westie, turned 10 this year. After putting her on a completely raw diet last year her vitality has been great. Even her dental health is fantastic. What is most exciting for both of my dogs is that their stools are significantly smaller and my yard duty job is a much easier task!
When I first started feeding raw to both my girls, I used a variety of different brands but eventually stuck to feeding Smallbatch and Answers because I love their message and what each of their companies represent when it comes to pet nutrition. Both brands offer a variety of different products from chews to treats to various protein flavors to portioned sizes for ease of use. My girls love the brands and the products which is why I feed a mixture of from both companies.
Smallbatch Pet Food:
Smallbatch is a raw dog food brand that we brought into the store just over a year ago. They are an awesome small independent and family-owned pet food company out of California and have slowly started to expand to sell in other parts of the country. They are inspired by the wonderful local and sustainable sources around them and they set out to make a different kind of raw pet food. All of their ingredients are carefully selected to meet the standards they feel every pet deserves: organic herbs and vegetables, hormone and antibiotic-free meats, and only pure honest supplements such as organic kelp and bee pollen. The Pet Beastro was one of the first stores to carry Smallbatch in the Midwest! Both my girls love all of the proteins I have bought.
I love that they use whole food sources such as:
- Organic bee pollen
These whole food ingredients are all immune-boosting supplements. Smallbatch is very transparent about what goes into their pet food, how it’s made, and where ingredients are sourced. I also like that they have a variety of proteins to choose from as my big girl Luna can only eat non-poultry options.
- Patties - for dogs
- Sliders - for dogs and cats
- Small bites - for dogs
- Gently Cooked - for dogs
This variety can be very helpful for customers who have small, medium, and/or large dogs. These can be used as a complete meal, mix-ins, treats, toppers, or as a fresh food option to elevate your pet's daily meal.
Smallbatch also makes freeze-dried patties, small bite treats, and freeze-dried heart treats which are awesome to incorporate into any cat or dog diet!
- Freeze Dried Food - for dogs
- Freeze Dried Heart Treats - for dogs and cats
- Freeze Dried Bites - for dogs and cats
Answers Pet Food:
Answers is a small pet food company out of Pennsylvania that source from local Amish farmers as well as their own farm. This amazing independent pet food company is set apart from other industry brands because they use the process of fermentation in all of their pet food products. Plus the owners are complete gut nerds that understand all the benefits of adding fresh and fermented food into our pet's daily routine.
Their vision is to reinvent how pet parents think with standards set by science, and by socially and environmentally-conscious principles. They would like pet owners to re-examine how to meet their pets’ nutritional requirements and health care needs so they can live longer, happier, and healthier lives. They are always putting our pets first.
The fermentation process creates beneficial bacteria that most dogs and cats lack in their digestive and intestinal systems. This fermentation gives our pets the chance to have live active cultures healing their gut and immune system rather than dehydrated probiotics and enzymes that most would get from a supplemental source. My girls LOVE the goat’s milk, cow kefir, and the cheese treats that are made from both of those products. I also rotate proteins and use the patties and nibble sliders. Their transparency and commitment to changing the pet food industry with responsible sourcing and sustainable practices are unparalleled. Answers is always adding to their portfolio of options for cats and dogs with new products that you will find in our freezers here at The Pet Beastro.
Feeding raw pet food overall is such an awesome way to give your dog or cat a better quality diet to minimize health issues. There are a variety of ways to incorporate real food into your pet’s diet, which is something we love to share with our customers who are interested in learning more about feeding fresh!