Our ingredients are the lifeblood of our company. We hold them with the highest regard and believe that they truly are the best ingredients in the world.
A lot of companies claim to have the best ingredients or that they provide a better quality of food over another company, in the most part this is marketing hype and not backed by any meaningful certifications, unlike our food.
Our standards can be found on the websites Pasture For Life and A Greener World UK (AGW) as they are written for farmers to follow and these are the same extremely high standards we keep.
A charity organisation called Food Tank class AGW as the “Gold standard” of food labels. AGW has the highest animal welfare standards in the world trumping organic and Red Tractor (which is bottom of the barrel standards in the UK in our opinion).
We make sure that your dog only gets the freshest and most natural raw dog food without any of the ultra processed, nasty stuff like fillers such as pea starch, cereals, wheat, maize and derivatives that go into most kibbles.
We put nature first and foremost to make sure the ingredients we use have minimal impact on the planet. By putting the planet first, we make sure that your dog can receive the best possible food — dog food, the way nature intended.
We are extremely passionate about our ingredients and the dogs that we feed. We want them to live long and happy lives and we think that fresh, raw food holds the key to that. We only buy directly from farms and we want to be as transparent and open as possible, so you can find a list of all of our farmers on Pasture For Life and AGW websites and we will be filming them in the coming months and years to showcase what the best in farming looks like.
We don’t buy directly from an abattoir or butchers but instead use and pay for their services for our products. This means we can ask for certain guarantees that most manufacturers cannot. We ask them to leave all of our offal attached, so that we can be confident that we are getting the correct offal back. Unfortunately for most others they pick from a bin and pay as little as 80p a kg and get whatever they have available from anywhere from factory farms to large scale farming operations.
Our packaging is not compostable. However, it is made from paper and lined with food safe plastic. Why don’t we use compostable products? The real reason is because the industry isn’t ready for them. If you put them into the recycling they don’t get recycled or composted they are simply thrown away into landfill. Some compostables can only be composted by industrial compost facilities, which there isn’t a lot of and no way to directly access them from your home. Will we ever change our minds on compostables, yes we would love too! We have tested compostable products and had quotes done but unfortunately they don't stack up. Also as we are certified by AGW, we must be GMO free which is something we strongly believe in and some of the packaging we were looking at were made from GMO corn which defeats the object.
Why is your food not organically certified. Some of it is. Like our fruit and vegetables, seeds and turmeric. Some of our meat is too, from Horton House Dairy who supplies most of our meat and The Greens Butcher who does a fantastic job for us. The reason why some farmers can’t become organic is not because their land is not being organic or their practices are not, but it comes down to the land owners and the complex agreements that farmers have while they are using rented land to feed their animals.
We are unlike most other companies that claim to be ethical or sustainable because not only can we back it up but all of our farms and ourselves are independently audited and inspected every year by AGW. Our standards and policies are the true Gold Standard of the pet food industry as a whole.
The best ingredients put all under one roof
Our meals are designed to meet FEDIA standards that truly means they are balanced and complete to the best science we have to date. If better science comes along that is proven better and most importantly higher than FEDIA standards, we will use them but until then we are science based using only fresh and whole foods. Unlike other companies out there, we also are the first and hopefully not the only for too long to actually publish our Lab results to prove that we are balanced and complete, after working with Junior Hudson (our in-house Nutritionist) to design the recipes. We are not sure how many companies have ever had their food tested, let alone follow the strict guidelines set out by Junior. We make our food in small batches to make sure they are accurate and don’t overheat. Large batch making can cook raw food because of the heat generated. Our food comes out the mincer at -0.1c.
We don’t use lung in our beef product but we do sell it if you wish to add it into your current food. Lungs are packed with nutrients and we like to use the whole body from nose to tail. We try to get everything back from our cows as much as possible. Even the skin goes back to our suppliers to make leather goods as much as we can or comes to us to make treats instead of wasting it. Beef lung has the following nutrients in it:
16.2g of Protein
7.95g of Iron
224mg of Phosphorus
340mg of Potassium
3.81ug of Vitamin B12
46 IU of Vitamin A
As well as trace vitamins and minerals
We would never use this as the main product in our food because we buy the whole animal when it comes to cows and the best parts when it comes to deer.
What's special about our venison?
Our venison is incredibly unique in the fact that we can guarantee that it's 100% grass-fed on rich pastures by our friends down at West Country venison.
These are not the normal deer you find on your supermarket shelves. Their standards far exceed traditional standards of welfare in the industry by being certified by AGW. These deer are slow grown in small paddocks and rotated throughout the land. We have been down and stayed with Pip & Matt, who proudly showed us around the farm and the amazing things they do.
Unlike wild deer these deer are not eating non-organic, GMO rapeseed that is covered in pesticides, herbicide and chemical fertilisers. These deer are also not shot and do not suffer at the end of their lives unlike some of their wild counterparts. They also do not travel anywhere, they are walked down, stress free to the onsite abattoir, which is one of the cleanest places we have ever seen and the bacteria results from the lab prove this.
This is by far the best venison in the UK and that’s why we had to work with them as they share the same passions and values that we do. Also, we can and will be offering Venison all year round. *Subject to demand*
So why else should you choose Venison?
Here are just some of the health benefits...
1. It has the most protein of any red meat and is very rich in heme Iron.
2. It is full of vitamin Bs; B2, B3,B6 and B12, which may lower homocysteine build up in the blood, which in turn could lower the risk of potential strokes and heart attacks. Such high levels of vitamin Bs can play a vital role in your dog's brain and nervous system function.
Ethically raised is not just based on the raising of animals having the highest welfare standards but also how they are killed. We are proud that we only use small abattoirs that pay the highest respect to the animals, making it quick and painless by using pre-stunning. So our meat is never halal or kosher for that reason. Junior our nutritionist is also a vegan, so it is important for us to be respectful of the animal from birth to bowl.
So what are the ingredients used in our food and what are their benefits. In no particular order:
100% Grass-Fed Beef
High quality protein sourced solely from regenerative farms with leading environmental & animal welfare standards. Providing essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Naturally reared cattle on pasture free from chemical pesticides & fertiliser. Grass-Fed beef contains significantly more Omega 3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef, leading to it's lower and less inflammatory Omega 6 - 3 ratio. CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid) is also higher, carrying additional health benefits.
100% Grass-Fed Venison
High quality protein sourced solely from regenerative farms with leading environmental & animal welfare standards. Providing essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Venison is lower in fat than other red meats but has a higher protein content, which makes it particularly rich. Often used as a novel protein source, for dogs with existing sensitivities to other meat protein.
100% Grass-Fed Beef Offal (Liver, Kidney)
High quality protein sourced solely from regenerative farms with leading environmental & animal welfare standards. Providing essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Naturally reared cattle on pasture free from chemical pesticides & fertiliser. Grass-Fed beef offal has increased nutrient content.
100% Grass-Fed Venison Offal (Liver, Kidney)
High quality protein sourced solely from regenerative farms with leading environmental & animal welfare standards. Providing essential amino acids, vitamins and minerals. Venison Offal has increased nutrient content and richness than muscle meat.
Apart from being Popeye the sailor man’s favourite foods it is one of the most nutrient dense super greens. Spinach is a fibre source which has been found to lower blood glucose levels and prevent oxidative stress, due to its phytonutrient antioxidant content. One of it’s star phytonutrients is a group of carotenoids called epoxyxanthophylls, which have cancer preventative properties. Vitamin and mineral rich with good levels of iron, manganese & vitamins E & A.
It is also packed with some pretty amazing things that could slow down dog aging according to some vets such as Dr Karen Becker with her book Forever Dog. It is packed with Folate that helps with the creation of new DNA cells to replace damaged ones this is very important as damaged DNA is a big contributor to aging.
According to some data some of the elements such as flavonoids, Kaempferol, Quercetin and glycoglycerolipids which are present in Spinach could possibly help to reduce the risk of cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and promote memory function. Eating green leafy vegetables such has spinach at least 3 times per week has a 88% reduction in the risk of developing bladder cancer according to research.
Organic Blueberries & Organic Raspberries:
These little superfoods are packed full of phytonutrients carrying numerous health benefits; reducing inflammation and preventing free radical damage. These berries provide fibre with an antioxidant punch.
Raspberries are little red powerhouses just like their blue counterparts they are packed with antioxidants that can help your dog live potentially longer by boosting their immune system. The main reason why we use them is for its amazing vitamin profile such as: A, B1, B2, B3, C, E and Manganese.
According to science blueberries have been shown to slow down aging by again the same as spinach repairing our dogs DNA and modifying genes that are linked to aging which could lead to a longer life span for our pets according to The Forever Dog team. Although these little powerhouses are in our food we would definitely recommend feeding them as treats and they are perfect frozen in the summer as a cool refreshing treat.
This wonderful herb carries numerous health benefits. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, it is also antibacterial and antiviral. Its phytochemicals properties have been researched for years, in areas such as cancer prevention and inflammatory conditions such as IBD.
We don’t use the basic supermarket turmeric, which can have no real benefits to our dogs because of its lack of Curcumin. We use Double Strength Turmeric, some of the best turmeric pastes on the market for dogs contain similar levels that we use which is 6% Curcumin. A 2015 study into Curcumin and Cancer Stem Cells show it has Asymmetrical effects on cancer and normal stem cells according to a published study in the Journal Anticancer research.
Organic Butternut Squash:
A great source of both soluble and insoluble fibre for gastrointestinal health, with a low glycemic load (low blood glucose increase from carbohydrate content). It can also help our dogs regulate their blood glucose levels and lessen the risk of diabetes.
Butternut Squash is packed with vitamins and minerals including; A, B, C, E, Calcium, Magnesium & Zinc
Squash also has similar beneficial nutrients that carrots have as its loaded with beta-carotene, Lutein, Anthocyanins and lycopene which are all antioxidants that could help with arthritis, aging, diabetes, inflammation and cancer. Carrots are not the only vegetable that can help with eye health so can butternut squash because of the beta-carotene.
Organic Purple Spouting Broccoli
A cruciferous vegetable, packed with phytonutrients such as sulforaphane and isothiocyanates, yielding cancer preventative properties. Rich in vitamin C, also contains vitamins A, B complex, K and minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc and manganese.
Organic Pumpkin Seeds & Organic Sunflower Seeds
Nutrient powerhouses, these seeds are packed with vitamins (particularly vitamin E), minerals, antioxidants, protein, healthy fats and fibre. It’s also high in magnesium & potassium.
Pumpkin seeds have the additional benefit of being natural (and safe!) de-wormers, they contain the amino acid cucurbitacin which has anti-parasitic properties. It's said to paralyze the worm in its tracks, so it can pass straight out of your dog's gut. There was an evaluation study done on mice to see if pumpkin seeds had any anthelmintic (antiparasitic) activity in 2015 published study in the Academic Journal;
“These results revealed that pumpkin seeds has high anthelmintic activity against nematodes (roundworm) as well as its continued use in traditional medicine for the treatment of helminthiasis” (worm infection).
Although we support the use of Verm-X as an alternative to artificial chemical treatments alongside our food.
Organic Sunflower seeds are also an amazing source of Vitamin B1, B6, LA and ALA. LA can also help improve your dog's skin and coat.
Organic Bladder Wrack Seaweed. (Fucus Vesiculosus):
Nutrient rich source of both protein and fibre. We use Bladder Wrack seaweed primarily for it's crucial iodine content, which is in a more moderate and appropriate amount than Kelp (extremely high content). Too much iodine can negatively affect thyroid health. Fucus vesiculosus also has a higher antioxidant content than most other seaweeds.
Where do we get this amazing seaweed from?
From the coast of Scotland this beauty is hand picked by the team at SHORE the Scottish seaweed co. They have sustainability at the heart of their business by carefully hand cutting your seaweed to protect the natural habitats and to promote growth and reproduction. They are always making sure they have the least impact possible by working with small teams that are trained in the Marine Wildlife Conduct Code and their harvesting plans are always being reviewed by Scottish Natural Heritage. So of course you can expect full traceability, regular monitoring and a harvesting management plan to make sure they are protecting our ecosystems and never machine harvested which could damage ecosystems and habitats.
A simple overview:
A toxin free and more sustainable alternative to fish oils. Algae oil is also arguably a more bioavailable source of the omega 3 acids DHA & EPA, as algae is the original source. Fish obtain these acids from feeding on algae, so with algae oil you are effectively ’cutting out the middleman’!
A Deeper Dive
Why do we use Algae Oil instead of fish oil for Omega 3?
- Heavy Metal content of fish oil
- Sustainability of fish oil
Unfortunately our seas are highly polluted from the use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizer as well as oil & gas activity. This means a lot of the bigger fish such as Cod have high levels of contamination. So we wanted to find a clean oil that was also sustainable. Now if we could find a fish oil supplier that only brought from small boats off the coast of Devon and Cornwall and was line caught, we would have been onto a winner but unfortunately most of the small fish today are caught by massive trawler boats that causes massive environmental damage. Although these small fish are cheap to buy and amazing source of food for your dog we wanted better oil. That’s why we chose Algae oil with its impressively high EPA and DHA levels higher than most fish oils on the market including Krill.
New recipes will be coming with new and exciting ingredients which will be added to this list in due course. We will make sure that all of our recipes are balanced and complete and will always have them lab tested to make sure.
Thank you to Dogs Naturally Magazine for inspiring this article and a massive thank you to Junior Hudson for coming up with our amazing dog food recipe.