Why should I consider raw food for my pet?

Dogs and cats are meat eaters by nature. That's why raw, fresh meat is the most instinctive diet for your pet. A diet consisting primarily of raw meat, organs, bone, and fat reflects what your pet would eat in his or her natural habitat. With natural proportions of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins, and amino acids, raw diets provide wholesome nutrition for the health and well-being of your animal companions.

Can I feed both raw and kibble during the same mealtime?

Yes. Even though raw leaves the stomach and is digested more quickly than kibble, it is no different from adding canned food to kibble. In fact, the added moisture from the raw helps to speed the gastric emptying (the stomach will empty when the contents have been liquefied).

Do raw and kibble digest differently?

Yes. Typically, kibble digestibility can range from 60%-90% depending on ingredient choice and quality. Likewise, because kibble is cooked, the proteins are denatured and not in their native conformation. Generally, one can say that corn and wheat based diets or those with by-product meals have a lower biological value and are less digestible. This is rather intuitive when we consider that dogs and cats are physiologically designed to digest animal-based protein and not plant-based protein. Our Prairie and Instinct kibble diets are made with high quality meat, poultry, and fish meals. Digestibility of these kibble diets ranges from 85-90%. Our Nature's Variety Raw Frozen Diets have been tested and shown to be 92% digestible. Because the meat is raw, it has a higher biological value, proteins are in the native state, and the body is better equipped to extract all the essential nutrients from the food.

How do I transition my pet to a new food?

It is always a good idea to start out slowly on a new diet with any pet. Slowly increase the amount of new food being added to the present diet over a period of 5-7 days. If any digestive upset or loose stool occurs, make the transition more gradual. It is a good idea to allow your pet's digestive system to calm down and return to normal before proceeding. There is no need to rush this transition.
(Once your pet is accustomed to Nature's Variety foods, you can rotate freely between forms and flavors. All Nature's Variety diets are specially formulated for rotation feeding.)

How do you develop feeding recommendations for your foods?

Our diets are based on AAFCO recommendations, which are based on the National Research Council's Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats. This is a compilation of all the scientific research that has been done on dog and cat nutrition and is the reference book used by veterinarians.

How much do I feed my pregnant/lactating dog or cat?

When dogs and cats are pregnant they need to consume much more food than they traditionally would eat. Each dog and cat is different, so it is important to work with your veterinarian to ensure your pet does not become too heavy or too thin. As a general rule, pregnant dogs and cats eat approximately 50% more food than when not pregnant. Please work with your veterinarian to develop the proper feeding regimen for your pregnant/lactating pet. Also, visit the Feeding Guide for helpful feeding information.