FAQ

Doggiecatessen We've Got the Answers
Have some questions? Not sure about something? Take a little time to read some of the most frequently asked questions we get from our customers and maybe you'll find your answer. If you still have questions, drop us a line and we will get in touch with you shortly.

Feeding Questions

HOW DO I DETERMINE MY PET’S IDEAL BODY WEIGHT?
The good news is that as a pet owner, you probably already have a good idea whether your pet is at their ideal body weight or not just by looking at them. As a general rule, a dog or a cat at a healthy weight should have an apparent waist when looking at them from the side and above. Their ribs should be palpable upon feeling their body, but never visible to the eye.

If your pet is very thin or overweight, we advise to consult with your veterinarian to determine your pet’s ideal body weight.

HOW DO I DETERMINE MY DOG’S ACTIVITY LEVEL?
Most city-dwelling dogs will fall under one of the following two categories:

Normal Activity – 30 minutes of daily exercise.
High Activity – 60 to 90 minutes of daily exercise.

CAN I FEED DOGGIECATESSEN FOOD ALONG WITH MY REGULAR FOOD?
Most certainly!

Of coarse in an ideal world, we would love to see all dogs and cats get better nutrition, but even if you only treat your pet with an occasional Doggiecatessen meal – it is still better than depriving your pet of ever experiencing real food.

Give Doggiecatessen a try and see how your pet likes it. From then on, you can decide on a diet plan that works for you.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I FEED?
Just so you’re clear - we recommend feeding your pet twice a day. One bag of food per day, divided in two equal halves. One half for breakfast and the other half for dinner.

You do not need to measure any food, as we have already done that for you. The amount of food in each bag – is the exact amount of food to feed your pet per day. All you have to do is make sure to thaw the food properly, rip open the bag and serve to your pet!

The reason we believe in portioning every meal is to ensure that your pet is getting the precise nutrition they need – not less, not more. In contrast, many other mass-production pet food manufacturers often need to generalize their feeding instructions to accommodate many dogs. The results of such imprecise practices, along with pet owners often eye-balling food amounts - is over-feeding, which can lead to obesity and related health problems.

Food Handling: Storing, Thawing, Preparing

HOW LONG DOES DOGGIECATESSEN FOOD STAY FRESH?
We recommend using up Doggiecatessen food in less than 6 months, although the food should stay unaffected if frozen for up to 12 months. Once defrosted, store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

WHAT IS THE BEST METHOD FOR THAWING FROZEN FOOD?
For gradual thawing, it is best to put the frozen food into the fridge overnight. However, if you’re in a crunch for time, we suggest placing the entire package of food into a bowl under running cold water for a quicker thaw.

SHOULD I SERVE MEALS COLD OR WARMED UP?
After the food has been properly thawed, if you’d like - you can warm up the food in a microwave-safe container to room temperature. Please, never heat the food in its original plastic packaging.

Your pets can eat Doggiecatessen food just as well cold, but by slightly warming it up, all the yummy aromas will be released - making the meal that much more appetizing for your pet.

DO I NEED TO ADD A MULTI VITAMIN/MINERAL TO THE FOOD?
You don’t need to add any supplements to Doggiecatessen food as it is already completely balanced for long term feeding. The only thing you’ll be adding is plenty of love and exercise.

Nutrition Related Questions

DO YOU USE ANY PRESERVATIVES?
We do not add any preservatives at all. The only preservation method that we use is freezing.

WHY DOES YOUR FOOD CONTAINS CARBOHYDRATES?
Not all carbohydrates are one and the same. When is comes to animal nutrition, there are definitely good and bad carbohydrates. At Doggiecatessen, we use specific carbohydrate-rich ingredients that supply the animal with substantial nutritional benefits.

Not only can carbohydrates be a superb source of energy - given that they come from fresh food ingredients - they also introduce large quantities of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber into the diet. We only use premium quality carbohydrates such as buckwheat, potatoes, carrots, green peas, and brown rice. Most of these are gluten-free and grain-free (except for the brown rice, which is a grain).

ARE ALL HOMEMADE DIETS THE SAME?
A recent study* has shown that 87% of all published homemade diet recipes are nutritionally inadequate. This is truly an alarming statistic!

With so many different diets advocated by popular authors and well-meaning pet owners on the Internet, it is very confusing to discern which diets have undergone nutritional testing and are safe for long-term feeding.

Unbalanced or improperly balanced homemade diets pose a significant risk to pets because they are deficient in many essential nutrients and may cause a number of health problems if fed on long-term basis.

Please do your research before attempting to cook for your animal!

*Lauten, S, 2005. Nutritional Adequacy of Home Prepared Diet Recipes. Poster, University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

IS DOGGIECATESSEN FOOD COMPLETE & BALANCED?
Yes, all Doggiecatessen recipes have been formulated to meet the nutritional levels recommended by the National Research Council for Adult Dog and Adult Cat profiles, depending on the recipe.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AAFCO AND NRC NUTRITIONAL REQUIREMENTS?
When it comes to complete and balanced pet nutrition, there are two main science-based sources we have referred to when formulating our recipes:

1. Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats published by the National Research Council (NRC) in 2006

2. The annually updated Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Official Publication.

When formulating our recipes, we have looked at both the AAFCO and the NRC nutritional guidelines and came to the conclusion of balancing our food to NRC standards because it is considered to be the gold standard and includes important fatty acid nutrients that are not included in the AAFCO profiles.

Contrary to belief, most nutrient level requirements set by the NRC are pretty much the same as those set by the AAFCO. Because we make pet food just like you would cook food in your own home and out of high quality ingredients - it makes more sense to balance recipes to NRC standards, rather than the standards set by the AAFCO for big factory manufacturers.

It is important to keep in mind that both the AAFCO and NRC nutritional recommendations are very similar. In fact, the AAFCO nutrient recommendations are the result of expert evaluations of NRC recommendations. You can sleep well at night knowing that fresh food diets balanced to either standard will provide all the necessary nutrients your pet requires.

WHY NOT CONTINUE FEEDING KIBBLE OR CANNED PET FOOD?
The bottom line is that all commercial pet foods (dry and canned) are highly-processed food imitations. Although convenient, they contain chemical preservatives, potentially toxic by-products from high temperature and high pressure processing, and lack in nutritional variety and wholeness.

Commercial foods are modeled after reductionist nutritional studies isolating individual ingredients and then measuring nutrient amounts sufficient to prevent deficiency nutritional disease.

In contrast, Doggiecatessen’s nutritional philosophy is based on the holistic model of cooking our recipes with wholesome ingredients that are rich in bioavailable nutrients. As a result, our home-style recipes provide the dog and cat with complete and balanced food that promotes optimal health based on a wide array of antioxidants, macrominerals, microminerals, food-bound nutraceuticals and phytonutrients.

Remember, just because animals SURVIVE on a modern-day commercial diet, it certainly does not mean that these animals THRIVE on such diets. Someone can probably survive on an all fast-food diet, but what consequences will such a diet have on the health of that individual in the long run?

You just can’t beat real food. There’s simply no substitute.

Cooked vs. Raw Questions

WHY COOKED, NOT RAW?
There are many philosophies when it comes to dog nutrition and cat nutrition. Some people advocate feeding raw, while others swear by kibble. Doggiecatessen’s goal is not to change anyone’s mind - we would like to offer an alternative.

We believe that our middle-ground approach of gently cooking our food reduces the risks associated with the two extremes of either feeding raw or overly processed commercial foods. It is a fact that not all animals are able to tolerate raw diets and many animals fed commercial diets develop food intolerances due to numerous, unnecessary additives. Not to mention the possibility of introducing pathogens into the household by way of handling and feedings raw meat diets.

By gently cooking our food, we find that it improves digestion, allows for increased absorption of nutrients, and is gentler on the sensitive gastrointestinal tracts of dogs and cats. Without the many fillers, preservatives, and chemicals in Doggiecatessen recipes – your pet will have a better chance of maintaining good health for many years to come.

MY DOG IS BASICALLY A WOLF, SO FEEDING A RAW MEAT DIET MAKES MORE SENSE, RIGHT?
While it may seem reasonable to come to such a conclusion, dogs have evolved pretty considerably from their wolf ancestors in the many hundreds of years of joint evolution with humans. Fact remains that wild carnivores are much better equipped to consume raw meat, bones, cartilage, and large levels of bacterial contamination than their domesticated counterparts. Domesticated dogs have been living along side humans for a long time and have adapted well to receiving all the nutrients they need from a variety of food sources. Unlike wolves, dogs are omnivorous and can survive on both animal tissues and vegetables. At the end of the day, dog nutrition in our modern world is considerably different from wolf nutrition in the wild, thats why our approach to a dog's diet should not be to simply copy a wolf's diet. Same thing goes for cat nutrition, which is considerably different from a wild feline's diet.

Another reason we stray away from all raw meat diets is because biochemical and mathematical analysis of the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) and other raw diets has shown that there are significant imbalances in quite a few minerals like calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, copper and iron.

I READ THAT RAW MEATY BONES THE BEST FOOD FOR MY PET?
Feeding of raw meaty bones is a very risky practice due to the real threat of perforation or obstruction of the GI tract. We advise strongly against it.