Some of the most common questions that keep popping into our customer’s minds are answered here. We welcome any questions you may have to help us keep up with the most important topics.

How many cups are in a bag of Dog/Cat Food?

Each 8 oz bag of dog or cat food contains 6-7 cups of food.
Each 16 oz bag of dog food contains 12-14 cups of food.

The variation is due to the density of the proteins. For instance, there are closer to 6 cups in Beef and Lamb Recipes and closer to 7 cups in Chicken, Duck and Pork Recipes. This is because beef and lamb are dryer, more dense meats to start with, thus heavier, yielding less volume by weight when dry.

The poultry and pork start out with a higher moisture content so when they are dry, they are lighter (fluffier) meats and you will get more volume (cups) by weight but you will also need to feed more of these recipes to reach your pet’s energy requirements.

You can feed slightly less beef and lamb than the pork/poultry varieties since they are more calorically/nutritionally dense.

Our feeding charts are artificially high due to the AAFCO feeding guidlines based on kibbles manufactured at high temperatures with low digestibility ingredients, relying on fortification. We are required to provide these guidelines to comply with making AAFCO claims such as “For All Life Stages” or “Ault Maintenance.”

Because our foods are raw, nutrient dense and highly absorbable, we recommend feeding your pet according to a more simplified concept for 2 weeks and watch for weight gain or loss, then adjust accordingly. Most pets can meet their energy requirements eating less than what the charts indicate.

DOGS: feed 1 cup per 10 lbs of body weight daily. Adjust as needed to maintain ideal body condition and avoid excess weight gain. Puppies need up to twice as much food as adult dogs.

CATS: feed 1/2 cup per 4 lbs of body weight daily. Adjust as needed to maintain ideal body condition and avoid excess weight gain. Kittens need up to twice as much food as adult cats.

There is a big difference between cold-pressed natural sunflower seed oil and highly refined industrial sunflower oil (often used in highly processed foods like fried foods and extruded kibble). Gentle cold-pressing sunflower seeds for their oil,makes an excellent source of Omega-6 fatty acids.

We use only craft-made, cold-pressed oil from a small family business in Central Minnesota. Smude’s oil is full of its natural nutrition by using the cold pressing process. Their oil is produced without any heat or chemicals—as a result, Smude’s Sunflower Oil retains all the nutritional benefits that are essentially destroyed during the refining process. Sunflower oil is cholesterol-free, high in “good” unsaturated fats, and low in “bad” saturated fats. Because it boasts more vitamin E than any other vegetable oil, sunflower oil is also excellent for strong immunity and healthy skin, hair, and eyes.

You should buy some for your kitchen and taste the difference for yourself! https://www.smudeoil.com/

In light of recent growing concerns about the AAFCO nutrient profiles being out of date with regard to copper storage disease, and the over supplementation in pet foods, we have removed copper amino acid chelate from our recipes. There may still be some bags with copper listed on the ingredient panel in the marketplace, but our recipes do not contain any additional copper, only the naturally occurring, food-sourced copper found in meats, organ meats, vegetables and fruits. Our current ingredient list is here for all our foods:

“Fats will become rancid over time from oxygen exposure and we don’t use preservatives. Our products may last longer than 2 weeks once opened, but conditions of storage in each home differ so we make a 2 week recommendation as a guide. Let your nose be your guide. If it smells stale to you, it probably is. Storing the opened bag in the freezer may slow that oxidation process down.”

You can find this information for each recipe here and clicking on Typical Analysis: https://www.freshisbest.com/nutrition/
You can also download the information in a PDF format to take to your veterinarian and discuss how it may work for your pet.

When we (all mammals) eat raw plants, a substantial fraction of the nutrition they contain remains tangled in a mesh of cellulose fibers and passes through our gut along with the indigestible fiber. Any process that breaks down the cell walls will enable our digestive system to extract an increased amount of nutrition from plants.

This can include freezing, drying, cooking, pickling, fermenting, soaking in oil, and other food preparation methods. At Fresh Is Best, we are freezing (cryogenically) and drying (sublimating aka freeze-drying), so the nutrients are made more available. Even better, we’re not destroying any of them by using heat.

Cats may not have much, if any, carbohydrate requirement but they can still digest and utilize some fiber in their diet. Our recipes contain fresh fruits/vegetables to provide both soluble and insoluble fiber and imitate the consumption of feathers, fur, bones and stomach contents of their prey animals.

We can’t be sure pets get all of the vitamins/minerals in the fruits/veggies, (so we don’t rely on it for all of their nutrition), but why not offer them the chance to glean some, instead of using non-nutritive fiber sources like psyllium husk and inulin powder? Plus, the roughage (cellulose) can help increase stool volume and frequency as well as help cats with constipation and hairballs.

Since farm raised meats and produce are raised/grown in different locations, given different feed ingredients or grown in different soils using fertilizers, etc., they will result in food with varying levels of nutrients.

Our pets have short digestive tracts so there’s not much time to absorb nutrients from plants. Plant ingredients, (not likely something dogs/cats would encounter often and/or by choice in the wild) may contain lots of nutrients. But, if they aren’t able to be extracted from the plant cells by the pet’s digestive system, a vitamin/mineral supplement will be more bioavailable to meet the need in the small intestines. It’s just a little insurance that the needs of all animals are met, as best we can.

Lastly, making small batches equals greater quality control. We use very little vitamin/mineral premix in our recipes. Each batch makes approximately 100 bags. We would never encounter a scenario where thousands, (or even tens of thousands, as has been seen in recent incidents), of bags of food have toxic levels of nutrients mistakenly added.

Each item that goes into a batch is checked off a list and signed off on by only 2 people in charge of the blending/mixing process. Also, we purchase our supplements from manufacturers of only human vitamin/mineral supplements – they are food-grade, not feed-grade, so there are rigorous testing and quality control checks and balances in place.

Taurien is naturally occuring in fresh raw meats, especially the heart muscle of food producing animals. We use ample amounts of fresh muscle and organ meats to provide plenty of taurine in our foods. We have tested our finished freeze-dried foods for taurine and they exceed the AAFCO profiles.

Yes, all of our ingredients come from human food suppliers and are labeled “edible” for humans. Our meats, fruits and vegetables are all USDA inspected and passed for human consumption.

When animal fat is dried it turns into a solid oil similar to the way butter, lard or shortening stays solid at room temperature. However, when the dried fat comes in contact with the bag, and is seen through the clear window, it looks like moisture. It’s actually a little oily from the natural fat of the meat. Rest assured, our products are dried to a very low water activity which gives them an extended shelf life without the need for refrigeration.

Our dog foods are approximately 20% vegetables, 80% meat. Our cat foods are 10% vegetables, 90% meat.

Caregivers of dogs and cats who have switched their pets to raw food diets have noticed many positive results. This list is just a sampling:

  • Overweight pets often lose weight as the carbohydrates are removed from the diet; thin pets gain muscle mass given high-quality protein and fat.
  • Pets often stop having painful allergic reactions, which manifest through the skin and GI tract, and become more comfortable and symptom free.
  • Hyper pets can become calmer, as many behavioral problems related to allergies can be dramatically reduced or eliminated with species appropriate nutrition.
  • Lethargic pets often gain much more energy and personality due to the nutrient dense food and enjoyment they get from eating it.
  • Pets with body odor and bad breath often become fresh and clean smelling as their entire body chemistry changes with the introduction of fresh raw food.
  • Pets with dull, dry and course coats will often become more shiny, lustrous, and soft to the touch; along with that, their skin may become more supple with less dander.
  • Many pets experience a strengthening of their immune system, which seems to reduce or eliminate symptoms of chronic ailments such as arthritic and joint stiffness, and digestive problems such as inflammatory bowel.

Dogs and cats may go through a period of detoxification when starting a new raw diet, especially if the animal is over two years old and has been eating a lower quality dry food. It is sometimes referred to as a ‘healing crisis’ when the body must dump toxins it has stored in the cells of tissue and in organs such as the liver and skin.  The bodies of humans and animals are constantly trying to rid themselves of toxins accumulating from non-nutritive ingredients in food and pollution in the air, water, and environment.  

When toxins are no longer being introduced in the food, the body has more of a chance to rid the built-up waste.  There can be symptoms such as waxy build up in the ears, intermittent diarrhea and/or vomiting, lethargy, mild fever, bad breath, and skin irritations.  This doesn’t last very long, and it is a good sign to see some detox symptoms.  Some younger animals or those that have been on higher quality foods may not have symptoms.

When your pet has been eating a raw food diet for a period there will also be a change in stool color and consistency. Stools will often be smaller in size and frequency with less odor

Freeze dried raw goes well with any other food including kibble, canned or home-prepared meals.  Using our freeze-dried foods as an exclusive ration fed daily or as a portion of the diet such as supplementing kibble are both excellent options for making sure your pet has fresh, raw, nutrient dense food available.

We always recommend getting as much moisture into your pet’s diet as possible so re-hydrating the freeze-dried raw is important first.  Then you can add it to kibble or canned food by putting it on top or mixing it in. Some animals may experience some gas at first depending on the brands/ingredients being combined but the adjustment shouldn’t take long.

We believe it will.  Two things likely cause coprophagy, which is the consumption of fecal matter. There is some thought that coprophagy manifests in certain animals due to an underlying nutrient deficiency.  Much of today’s commercial dry food goes undigested due to its high grain content. The sweet smell of undigested grain can attract some dogs to eat their own stool, or the stools of other dogs and cats.  Raw food, grain/starch-free food is almost completely digested. Feeding raw food may not stop your dog from eating the stool of other dogs.

Most likely, a switch to raw food will alleviate allergic symptoms your pet may be having. Many pets are allergic to grains or are overloaded with carbohydrates.  These allergies can be seen in symptoms of chronic yeast infections, skin rashes and stiff joints or arthritic conditions. Long-term exposure to large amounts of grains, for these animals, can be a precursor to more serious and permanent illness over time. But it is never too late to switch to a raw natural diet. Pets of any age can be given a new diet and benefit from it very quickly.

We believe so. There are holistic veterinarians around the country recommending our foods to their renal clients.

The most recent research on the effects of protein on the kidneys is showing that the quality of protein makes a difference and dietary protein is not detrimental to kidney function. On the contrary, protein restriction can result in impaired wound healing, diminished immune function, lowered enzyme activities and cellular turnover.1 

Animals with kidney failure should be provided a diet of high-quality protein, highly digestible protein, fat as a preferential fuel source, a nutrient dense diet in small volume, moderately fermentable fiber, and an optimum ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acids for nutritional management of inflammation.2

1 Overview of the Aging Process: Fortify the Food Bowl of the Aging Canine – Part 3, authors Susan Thorpe-Vargas, Ph.D. and John C. Cargill, M.A., M.B.A., M.S., originally printed for Dog World Magazine in May of 1999) http://web.archive.org/web/20011215124346/http://acmepet.petsmart.com/content/health/senior.html also see studies mentioned here https://www.dogaware.com/health/kidneyprotein.html

2 Dietary Management of Clinical Disorders in Dogs, by Dr. R. Kadirvel, Printed in the JOURNAL OF INDIAN VETERINARY ASSOCIATION, KERALA, Volume 5, Issue 2, https://www.jivaonline.net/archives_files/2000,Vol-5,Issue-II/10.Dietary%20rtranagement%20of%20clinical%20disorders%20in%20dogs.pdf

Our foods are complete, but we recommend that a few quality supplements be added to your pet’s diet no matter what brand of food they eat.

  1. Digestive enzymes. Added to the food for middle age or senior pets to help them get as much nutrition from their food as possible.
  2. Probiotics (some digestive enzyme products come with a probiotic included) may help maintain a consistent level of healthy bacteria in the intestines.
  3. Essential fatty acid supplements, such as fish oil, are important as these are difficult to obtain through diet and should be added separately. Many companies add them to the food but it is debatable if they are stable and absorbed by the time they reach the small intestines.

We recommend feeding your pet twice daily. Just divide its daily food requirement into two equal portions, one to be fed in the morning and one in the evening. This will keep your pet from becoming too hungry from one meal to the next. Feeding smaller meals throughout the day can be beneficial to some pets.

Cats require more meat and less fiber to meet their nutritional requirements. Our cat food varieties are more expensive to make, so cost more than the dog food varieties.

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NOTE: The statements made on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements and the products of this company are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Please consult your veterinarian before implementing any new diet, exercise, and dietary supplement programs, especially if your pet has preexisting medical conditions or is taking prescribed medications. The statements made on this website are for educational purposes only and are not meant to replace the advice of your veterinarian.

Proper treatment of health conditions depends upon several factors, including, but not limited to, your pet’s medical history, diet, lifestyle, and medication regimen. Your veterinarian can best assess and address your pet’s individual health care needs. You should consult with your veterinarian before starting a new diet, supplement, or treatment regimen. Individual results may vary.

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