November 25, 2014.
Doreen: This question is coming from our Facebook pet parents. How often should you change protein and also when should you change or transition your pet from adult food to maybe senior food or special needs food.
Jeff Baker: We as a company recommend protein rotation, we recommend that you change every bag because it’s easier than remembering if it’s the second or third bag, or you can change whenever you prefer. The idea and the concept behind the protein rotation is more like the wolf in the wild. He would never eat the same protein every day. It’s actually stimulating the immune system by stimulating antibodies and getting a more rounded and complete amino acid profile. It really is up to you, and our philosophy is that you should to it every bag because we have such a limited ingredient diet. I know that some of the companies have said in the past that if your dog is on land (based protein) you should stick with a land-based protein their entire life. Our philosophy is different in that you should rotate that protein like they would do in nature. Our philosophy is quite simple, our diets mimic what the dog or wolf would eat in the wild without forcing them to be out there doing it themselves.
Doreen: Is there a certain process for rotation that they should do?
Jeff: Any of them, the most important thing is just to rotate because chicken has a different amino acid profile than lamb does or duck or fish or whatever it is. The important thing is just to give your dog a more complete amino acid profile. I know some people have asked us why we don’t put all of the proteins into one bag, and the reason we don’t do this is it’s not something that the wolf would do in the wild at all. A wolf would never eat a duck, a fish and a chicken all in the same day even if he wanted to.
Doreen: There’s no buffet in the wild.
Jeff: Our concept is really all about nature and mimicking what would be most natural for them.
Doreen: And what about transitioning your pet from puppy food to adult food to then senior food or special needs?
Jeff: It depends on the breed for sure. We recommend small breed puppy food for your small guys because they have more issues and they’re not going to grow into their food as much, typically we’re saying 12 months. It really is based on activity level, if you see them stopping growing as much or they’re starting to gain too much weight then you might want to consider switching to adult food. But it really is based on individuals just like us, you know we all have different metabolic rates, some people stop growing at 18, some people stop growing at 20. The dog is the same way, some of them will stop growing at ten months, some of them will stop growing at 18 months so everything is really a guideline, which is why we say that, even our feeding is a guideline, it’s not a requirement and it changes based on the needs of the puppy or the adult dog. It’s a recommendation but it’s based on the individualism of your pet and as a consumer or as a pet parent this is something that you need to control.
Touch your dog, feel your dog, get to know your dog, then you will know what he needs, if he needs more food or less kibble, you won’t need to look at the back of a bag of dog food to understand what he needs because you should know your pet. And the same with an adult, or an adult going into senior, a dog that might be 15 might be active like a puppy so why would you put him on senior food when you should keep him on an all life stages formula. It’s dependent on activity levels, if they’re starting to slow down a little, if they’re starting to gain that additional weight or if they’re starting to lose a step or you see something in their face and then this is when you might want to consider it. Even then we still recommend rotating through the lower protein foods like special needs and then you could do lamb to rotate through.
Doreen: I think the important thing is that it is a guideline and that you have to know your pet, watch your pet.
Jeff: I think in America maybe it’s more difficult for us, we’re a nation that’s maybe a little bigger than we should be, we’re used to eating a little bit more than we should and not getting the level of activity that we need. Our pets are much better at regulating their own system a little as well. You know, treats are something that people forget about, treats are the number one reason why our pets are fatter than they should be usually or weight more than they’re supposed to because the pet parent doesn’t take into consideration the amount of treats that they’re feeding their pets. Treats can be very high in calories, or sugar, when you go into the pet store there’s 30 feet of just treats so those people who are making the treats are just trying to make them tasty and they’re not necessarily worried about the nutrition value of it because technically they’re selling you a treat so we should it’s something that we should consider.
Doreen: So it’s something that can be compared back to humans, you eat salads, you drink water, you eat healthy but then you have a box of donuts, that would be the treat. So I guess for our pet parents you can look at the CC website, you can look at the bag as a guideline as to what you feed and then observe your pet to see if they need more or less. On the website and Facebook page we have the customer service number if people have questions specifically about their pets they can contact customer service.
Jeff: One thing to add, I guess, because there has been some chatter about our bags, and I think it’s important to know that we are a very small pet food company and we don’t produce packaging every week or every month or even every year sometimes like some of the bigger guys do so the website always has the most up to date information because it’s very easy for us to change and it’s not a big cost. When we buy packaging we have to buy 200,000 or 300,000 bags at a time and sometimes it takes even three years to go through all of them so sometimes we’re changing the kibble or the shape because of consumer demand so we’re trying to listen to our customers and try to do some of the things that they want so that we can try to eliminate some of the questions that we get to make our lives a little bit easier. Although we are all about education we want to direct your education where we think it’s most important and not have to worry about if someone thinks the calcium and the phosphorous on the large breed puppy is more than it should be and explain to them why it is this way. For us it’s easier to change the formula to accommodate their needs to what they feel is comfortable and still provide the same adequate healthy nutrition for the pet.
Doreen: I think it’s also important to let our pet parents know that when we do have a formula change it’s always an improvement on the past formulas because there’s a healthier way to do it or it’s better for the pet or it’s in response to what the pet parents are asking for like a different size or something, so I think that’s important to reference as well.
Jeff: We try to be very customer service oriented, which is why we do these hangouts, why we do these videos. A lot of the time we have people doing more than one job, a lot of things can happen because we are a small company. I think a lot of times people think that we are much bigger than we are but the reality is that we’re not.
Doreen: Thank you Jeff for joining us today, I’m so glad we get to answer our pet parent’s questions with you live. I think it goes back to the company’s value of being able to answer and be open and have that transparency with the pet parents and try to be responsive to what their concerns are.