Category Archives: Raw Dog Food

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French Bulldog Pouting near a bowl of kibble food

Transitioning Your Dog or Cat to a Raw Diet

What Do Cats and Dogs Naturally Eat?

Our dogs and cats are both carnivores, but while cats are true carnivores, dogs are often referred to as scavenging-carnivores. The main difference is simply that cats need no additional nutrition other than their prey animals provide, but dogs can tolerate eating limited amounts of produce and grain.
We all want healthy pets full of vitality, so as responsible pet owners one of our goals is to provide our pets with diets suited to their digestion. Commercial raw, complete, and balanced diets are formulated to meet your pet’s nutritional needs and be easily digestible.

Making the Transition: Dogs

Young, Healthy Dogs

First let’s talk about transitioning a young, healthy dog to a raw diet. Switching puppies and young dogs off a kibble/canned food diet to a raw diet will be relatively easy. Evaluate your dog’s health at each stage and slow down if vomiting, diarrhea, or decreased appetite occurs, however that will be very rare. Here’s what a typical transition schedule for young, healthy dogs would look like:

Puppy or young dog eating a chicken kibble/canned food diet:

Days 1 – 4 replace ¼ of current food with raw
Days 5 – 8 replace ½ of current food with raw
Days 9 -12 replace ¾ of current food with raw
Approximately at 2 weeks your pet will be on a raw diet!

For the first few weeks transition you could use Chicken then move to chicken/salmon then continue rotating different proteins throughout the dog’s life.

Older or Unwell Dogs

Transitioning older or unwell dogs to a raw diet may be more complicated. Sometimes dogs who have eaten kibble for many years can be resistant to change, but normally they love it. After years of eating inappropriate foods their digestive systems would do well with a slower transition to raw diets. Perhaps a week or two at each increment, always checking for any negative symptoms.
Dogs with current health conditions are in a category by themselves. Different diseases need to be evaluated by a veterinarian before diet changes are adopted. The best person to advise you would be a holistic veterinarian as they have the diet and nutritional background that conventional vets do not have.

In general, dogs are reasonably easy to switch onto a raw diet. Since they have evolved as scavengers, most enjoy a variety of different meats in varied forms such as raw and freeze-dried. But now we come to cats and things dramatically change.

Making the Transition: Cats

Imprint Eaters

Cats are imprint eaters. This means that they imprint on foods, shapes, and textures they eat as kittens and, as adults, don’t recognize new foods, shapes or textures as edible; so, unless you have a very young cat a raw food transition can be difficult for this species. Older, kibble/canned fed cats are able to switch, but it will require patience.

How Long Does It Take?

Knowing that the best diet for her cat was raw food, one woman admitted it took her almost a year to “trick” her cat into eating raw food. She literally had to replace one tiny kibble at a time with a morsel of raw food in her cat’s bowl. It was an exasperating year for them both with the cat sometimes eating more raw food and sometimes eating less. But it was worth it to the owner, knowing her cat was gradually transitioning onto a species appropriate diet. In the end, she was successful, and her cat is a sleek, healthy feline eating a correct raw diet. Weigh that story against the gentleman who had a four-year-old kibble-fed Bengal. The owner decided to try a raw diet, his cat devoured it on the first feeding and now will only eat raw food. Moral of the stories: transitional feeding with cats can take from 1 feeding to 1 year.

Different Textures: Frozen Raw Versus Freeze-Dried

When attempting a transitional feeding with cats, please remember another factor may be frozen raw versus freeze-dried raw food. Some cats enjoy the wet raw and will not touch the freeze-dried version while others prefer the moisture less texture of freeze-dried (always have water available nearby if not adding to freeze-dried food). Only experimentation with your cat will give you an answer.

Is Transitioning My Pet to Raw Food Worth It?

At this point you may be wondering if transitioning to a raw diet is worth the effort. The answer to that is a resounding YES! Normally, transitions go smoothly, and pets thrive on their new healthy raw diet. Not only will the biologically correct diet benefit your pet’s health and add healthy years to their lives, but you will feel a surge of satisfaction knowing you are doing the right thing for the animals who love and rely on you to take care of them.


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Crushing plants with a mortar and pestle

How to Ensure your Pets are Absorbing their Minerals

Not all Pet Foods Contain the Minerals Needed for a Healthy Diet

Minerals are an important part of a healthy, balanced diet, for people and pets alike. While people have the luxury of opting for fresh, organic meals, pets often do not. Or, they did not until recently. While pet nutrition has come a long way, not all pet foods are properly formulated so that the right nutrients are able to be absorbed from the food.

How Do You Know What to Look for in Your Pet’s Food?

Natural and organic minerals are the best form. These can easily be absorbed by our pets’ bodies during digestion. It might sound like common sense to look for natural sources of minerals but there are both natural and synthetic, inorganic and organic minerals.

Natural vs Synthetic

The difference between natural and synthetic is pretty obvious. The reason synthetic minerals aren’t ideal for your pet’s nutrition, is that they aren’t as easily absorbed. They also differ slightly from natural sources, and those that are absorbed, aren’t as beneficial in terms of nutrition.

Organic vs Inorganic

This is where the terminology starts to get a little tricky. Organic here means plant based rather than plants that were grown without pesticides. Organic in terms of minerals does not get into that distinction. It becomes a bit clearer when we look at the next definition. Inorganic minerals are those in their natural state whether in the soil, rocks, or water. Minerals in the inorganic state are harder for pets and humans to absorb and utilize.

Formulating Minerals to Make them Easier to Absorb

Now that we’ve talked about minerals and where we can find sources of these nutritional building blocks, let’s look at how they should be incorporated into pet food for optimal nutrition. Naturally sourced organic minerals can be formulated to have high absorption rates. One of these formulations is called chelation in which a broad range of organic molecules are bound to the mineral molecule.

Of the various forms of chelation, proteination is the most effective. Proteination is currently the most effective mineral formulation and the highest standard for mineral supplementation for people or pets. The efficacy ranges from 15-30% higher than non-formulated natural minerals.

Why Get This Technical?

This post got pretty technical, but we went there because both you and your pets should have a healthy and whole diet. When selecting mineral supplements for yourself and your pet, look for natural, organic, chelated, or proteinated minerals. If these terms are absent, you might be getting a synthetic variant which is essentially empty nutrition.

Northwest Naturals has made it easy to find the best source of nutritional minerals for your pet. We go the extra nutritional mile in all of our pet food products to ensure the very best quality and nutrition. We use whole food sources to get the best minerals into our pet foods. Our raw frozen and freeze-dried diets are packed with natural organic minerals, and then we add proteinated minerals to ensure your pet gets their Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA). Stop wasting your money on empty pet foods. Give your cat or dog the very best. Give them Northwest Naturals.


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Brown and White Shepherd dog with mouth open in a smile

Do Wolves Go to the Dentist?

Pet Dental Health Month

Since this is Pet Dental Health Month, we here at Northwest Naturals decided to tackle this subject. Interestingly, we didn’t have much to share since raw fed dogs who are occasionally given raw bones rarely have dental problems. Dr. Katie Kangas a Californian veterinarian writing in “Dogs Naturally Magazine” (May 2020) had some great points about dental health for our pets which I am going to summarize for the benefit of all of our dogs.

Diet and Nutrition for Dental Health

Dr. Kangas’ first point is that a pet’s diet and nutrition is of paramount importance. She suggests that a raw diet including finely ground bones and raw meaty bones are your animal’s first defense against tooth decay. This is because raw bones provide natural enzymes that help fight plaque. Here is her advice on choosing an appropriate bone:

“Veterinary dentists report that large types of raw bones, such as
Marrowbones, rarely cause broken teeth…in contrast to small
bones. This has to do with dog anatomy and how your dog chews
his bones. Larger, bulky objects aren’t chewed with the same
angle and force on the large teeth at the back of the cheek and
mouth compared to smaller and longer objects. In fact, common
items known to break dogs’ teeth are nylon bones, cooked bones,
antlers, hooves and bully sticks.”

Northwest Naturals Raw Marrowbones

Northwest Naturals provides packages of raw marrowbones in these sizes:
1” — 8 in pack
2” — 4 in pack
4” — 2 in pack

If in doubt about size, go larger to reduce any chance of choking, but always monitor your pets when eating bones.

Also our packages of freeze-dried chicken, duck, and turkey necks provide raw bone benefits, with the cleanliness advantage of being freeze-dried. Dogs love these necks which are totally consumable and are full of collagen and glucosamine as well as providing the teeth cleaning advantages of all raw bones.

Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Next Dr. Kangas mentions the benefits of antioxidants in guarding against chronic oxidative stress. Fruits and vegetables are prime sources of antioxidants and fresh vegetables and fruits make up 18.5% of our canine diet formulas. Coenzyme Q10 has been associated with reducing periodontal disease and folate is helpful in aiding gum tissue. Both nutrients are abundant in organ meats and fatty fish.

Probiotics and Fatty Acids

Other players in the dental health field are probiotics and fatty acids. According to Dr. Kangas fatty acids “help manage dental inflammation… of the gingival tissue.” Probiotics, according to her, “provide oral health benefits when you give them orally or apply them directly to the gums…use a gel or liquid or powdered probiotic and rub it on the gums.”

Toothbrushing Tips

Most dogs fed a raw diet will never have to have their teeth brushed, but Dr. Kangas reminds us that manual toothbrushing may still be necessary for some pets, particularly small dogs who are especially susceptible for dental problems. She recommends diluting a “pure therapeutic oil… (such as) clove, lemon, peppermint, orange, basil, myrrh and copaiba” and applying one of them to the toothbrush for added benefits. Let’s give Dr. Kangas a big “Thank you!” for some wonderful suggestions on how to keep our pet’s smiling during Pet Dental Health month and all year round!

Our dogs are simply familiar, domesticated wolves albeit many generations removed from their ancestors. Feed your dog a species-appropriate raw diet, take reasonable dental precautions and you, too, will rarely have to take him or her to the dentist.


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Bowl of shiitake mushrooms

Medicinal Mushrooms and Our Pets

Lately, there has been ample publicity about the benefits of medicinal mushrooms for human usage but not nearly as much information is available for our canines and felines. First, we must acknowledge the difference between wild fungus species growing in the forest or in your backyard and medicinal mushrooms.  Never let your pet consume mushrooms growing wild. Even if you can positively identify a fungus species as non-poisonous to humans, it may still be harmful to your pet. Please do not take a chance because the results could be fatal to your best friend.

Three Beneficial Mushrooms for Your Cat or Dog

However, medicinal mushrooms are a different story. These valuable fungi have been studied for centuries and their advantages are well documented. Three mushroom species that have been thoroughly researched and deemed extremely safe for canines and felines are: Maitake (Grifola frondosa), Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), and Shiitake (Lentinula edodes).

Maitake (Grifola frondosa)

Maitake, also called Hen of The Woods, is best known for its immune enhancing properties. That makes sense because these mushrooms are an outstanding source of vitamin D2, the sunshine vitamin. To increase the vitamin D2 content of any of the mushrooms you use, simply slice and place them gill-side-up under direct sunlight for a few hours. Maitake is a well-known anti-inflammatory that supports the immune system. This species has naturally occurring antioxidants, phenols, flavonoids, and ascorbic acid; all of which help protect against diseases. Maitake is a flavorful mushroom, semi-firm, chewy, aging to toughness.

Maitake is used for:

  • Cancer prevention
  • Support during chemotherapy and radiation treatments
  • Help with managing diabetes
  • Support for the liver
  • Regulating blood pressure

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum)

Reishi is called The Mushroom of Immortality for its life-extending properties. This species contains Zinc, Vitamin C, and Selenium, which fight free radicals and support healthy cells. Numerous clinical studies have verified that Reishi mushrooms have impressive anti-inflammatory effects and other broad health benefits, including energy enhancement. This mushroom has a bitter taste so is better suited for powder or supplement form.

Reishi can help:

  • Boost immune system
  • Improve sleep
  • Cancer treatment
  • Increase cardiovascular function
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Upper respiratory infections (viral)
  • Anti-aging properties

Shiitake (Lentinula edodes)

Shiitake mushrooms are well known for their anti-viral, anti-microbial, and anti-Candida effects. These powerhouse mushrooms stimulate white blood cell production and improve circulation. They are high in B vitamins, selenium, vitamin D2, pantothenic acid, and other helpful nutrients. Shiitake’s benefits include fighting infections and aiding bone health. This mushroom is tasty.

Shiitake is used for:

  • Reducing side effects of chemotherapy and radiation
  • Help in treating Cushing’s Disease
  • Regulating incontinence
  • Lowering cholesterol levels
  • Improving cardiovascular health
  • Skin problems

Make Sure You Are Getting Quality Mushrooms

If possible, always use organically raised mushrooms that have been grown on a species-appropriate growing matrix (straw, wood, compost, etc.). Many mushroom products today are grown on grain which produces copious amounts of mycelium. Unfortunately, according to most mycologists, mycelium does not have the nutritional benefits of actual fruiting-body mushrooms, so investigate thoroughly before purchasing mushroom powders or capsules. Everyone wants an effective product when purchasing supplements: caveat emptor (buyer beware)! Capsules can be given by hand and powders can be sprinkled over food.

If you are going to feed your dog or cat whole mushrooms, you will find cooked rather than raw mushrooms are easier on their digestive systems. One easy way to feed your pet whole mushrooms is to make Mushroom Broth.

Mushroom Broth:

  1. 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, if using dehydrated milk soak until soft and then slice
  2. Sauté in a pan with butter
  3. Add 2 cups of water
  4. Simmer for 20 minutes
  5. Blend for a soupy consistency
  6. You may add herbs to this broth for even more healthful benefits.
  7. Give your pet 1 tablespoon per 25 pounds of body weight. Freeze leftover the amount in ice cube trays. One cube equals 2 tablespoons. 

Medicinal Benefits Take Time

Remember that medicinal mushrooms work slowly. Most benefits will not be noticed before 1 – 3 months have passed, and those effects are often subtle. For example, you may notice a general sense of increased well-being or lessening of negative symptoms but be assured good things are happening internally. These three varieties of mushrooms are also considered to be nutraceuticals or medicinal foods. They are true adaptogens, generally safe for everyone, good at lowering stress, reducing infections, and working to balance hormones. Adding any one of these fungi to your pet’s diet may make the difference between average health to vibrant health and standard life expectancy to increased longevity. Explore medicinal mushrooms for your own pet. They might prove to be the powerful, nutrient-packed ingredient that improves your best friend’s life. 


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Sleepy older golden retriever

November is National Senior Pet Month

When are Pets Considered Seniors?

Is your dog 7 years old or older? That’s the magic number for determining senior status in most dogs. Smaller breeds aren’t considered golden oldies until they are 10 years old while the giant breeds hit senior status at age 6. Cats are seniors from age 10 – 14 years and are called super seniors above age 15.

The Perks and Pitfalls of Being a Senior Pet

Our senior pets are special. We’ve shared more heart-warming experiences with them through the years and loved them longer so when those muzzles start turning grey and we see them slowing down it can be distressing for us. Some of the problems we may see in our older pets are painful joints resulting in general reduced mobility, and because of less activity weight gain is not uncommon. Slowed digestion can also be an issue. Higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, dental problems and kidney problems often materialize with advancing years.

Improving Quality of Life Through Diet

To help our beloved cats and dogs in their senior years we need to focus on feeding them the highest quality and least processed proteins available. If you are feeding a raw diet continue to do so. If you are feeding kibble, try adding some raw food as a topper. If it agrees with your pet, try increasing the raw up to 50% of her diet. Definitely lower the amount of carbohydrates you are feeding as carbs slow digestion and add weight. Adding some healthy fiber to your dog’s diet will also aid her digestion and provide her with needed phytonutrients.

Cats simply need higher quality protein without added fruits and veggies. Since cats are obligate carnivores, raw protein is the most biologically appropriate diet for them. However, it can be very difficult switching a kibble fed cat to a raw diet in her senior years. Some cats adjust to freeze-dried raw easier than frozen raw diets because of the dry texture. But it may take a while to convince your cat that her new frozen raw or freeze-dried raw high-quality protein food is what she really wants to eat. If you own a cat, you know they have opinions!

The raw diets formulated at Northwest Naturals are appropriate for senior dogs and cats. The proteins are of the highest quality, minimally processed and are the primary ingredient in our dog food. At 80% protein the diets are palatable and healthy. In NWN dog food veggies and fruit comprise 18.5 % of the diet. They provide needed fiber and are rich in antioxidants, both important elements in a senior’s diet to protect against cancer and diabetes. Natural supplements are the final 1.5% of the recipe to make sure all nutritional bases are covered.

Cats will thrive well into their senior years eating a 98% raw protein diet with the addition of 2% natural supplements to ensure each meal is complete and balanced for their unique nutritional needs.

Other Tips for Taking Care of Your Senior Pet

Providing our senior pets with optimal nutrition is one of the most important elements in making their declining years their golden years. But we cannot overlook such simple things as perhaps providing more comfy orthopedic beds, switching to raised bowls and making sure toys are appropriate for aging mouths. Puzzle toys and feeding games can also be helpful for slowing cognitive decline. Shorter walks give you both time to stop and smell the roses as your pet enters this slower more contemplative time of life. Spend time looking deeply into your pet’s eyes and savor the love and contentment you see there. Hopefully, we will all age as gracefully as our beloved pets.


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Raw Pet Food for Dogs & Cats from Northwest Naturals

The Northwest Naturals Difference

Feed Your Pets the Very Best, Because They Give Us Their Very Best Everyday

Pets aren’t just pets. Your dog or cat is a member of your family. You want the very best for each and every member of your family. And that extends right down to the food they eat every day. Mass produced dry food brands, even canned wet foods, are missing vital nutrients. In order to give your pets the very best, you need to feed them a complete and balanced diet such as Northwest Naturals. The Northwest Naturals difference is clear: Clearly better-quality ingredients, clearly better nutrition.

See the Northwest Naturals Difference for Yourself

While most of us aren’t picky eaters, we are picky about what we feed our pets. The Northwest Naturals difference means that we strive to find the very best ingredients for your dog or cat’s foods. The ingredients in our pet foods are sourced from only the finest farms, manufactured in our USDA inspected facility, approved manufacturing and cleaning procedures, here in the United States. Northwest Naturals products are made start to finish in Portland, Oregon.

Quality Ingredients:

Our suppliers are carefully chosen for their dedication to quality and safety practices, sustainable farming activities, and consistent and reliably available commodities. We’ve worked with these suppliers closely over many years, building trust in their integrity. As a consumer, you can rest assured that your pet’s food is the very best, because of the Northwest Naturals difference.

Proteins

All proteins used in Northwest Naturals products are inspected and graded safe for human consumption, the highest criterion for meat safety in the food industry. We source all of this protein from the USA with three exceptions: Lamb which we source either from the USA or New Zealand, Rabbit which comes from France (used in cat food only) and Green Lipped Mussels (treats only) which comes from New Zealand. Our salmon is Alaskan wild caught.

Produce

All of the produce used in our products comes with a letter of guarantee confirming that every step from the field to our door has been monitored for the safest and most wholesome human edible produce. Northwest Naturals vegetables are sourced from the USA. When we can, we source them locally, here in our own backyard, the Pacific Northwest.

Manufacturing

We combine our healthy ingredients, adding natural vitamins and minerals, to provide the very best in nutrition for your cat or dog. Our recipes follow recommendations from the American Federation of Feed Control Officials (AFFCO), so that each is complete and balanced. After sourcing the finest ingredients, Northwest Naturals takes great care in the production and processing of our foods. In fact, each product is manufactured from start to finish in our facilities.

In order to keep our products free from bad bacteria and pathogens like salmonella, E.coli, and Listeria, we use High Pressure Processing (HPP). HPP is extremely safe and has been used extensively in the human food industry for many years. With decades of scientific evidence behind it, HPP has proven no degradation in nutrition. Northwest Naturals chooses HPP instead of heat pasteurization, chemicals, bio-preservative, and irradiation because they can change the flavor, texture, color, and damage the nutritional value of the food. After processing, our products are tested by our in-house lab and an independent lab to ensure that our foods are safe for consumption. Only after test results are confirmed negative do we release our products for shipment.

Northwest Naturals Facility:

Your pet’s optimal health is our everyday goal. For your pet to achieve this level of health and wellness, they need raw, bioavailable nutrition, and stringent food safety practices.

Our dedication and commitment to excellence starts at our facility. We follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), and Sanitation Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP’s). We’ve welcomed the USDA and the FDA into our home to inspect our manufacturing plant and process.

Did you know that Northwest Naturals is a certified human food facility by the USDA, FDA, and APHIS organizations? It’s true! We also have a USDA inspector on site for all production. As part of our rigorous safety protocols, Northwest Naturals strictly follows the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Guidelines established in partnership by the FDA and USDA.

Quality ingredients, food safety, and the highest standards for manufacturing practices are what make Northwest Naturals “The best in complete and balanced raw food for your pet”.

Learn more about why a raw diet is so important for cats and the benefits of a raw pet food diet.


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Light Brown Puppy being petted by woman with a hat

National Best Friends Day

When the Rest of the World Celebrates What We Pet Parents Already Know

June 8th is National Best Friends Day. Pet owners live “best friends day” every day. Our furry, feathered, fishy (scaly, etc.) friends hold a special place in our lives, and our hearts. In early June, the rest of the world joins us in celebrating best friends, though theirs might be of the two-legged variety. While we might not need another reason to love or spoil our pets, we’ll gladly take it!

What is National Best Friends Day?

While no one can really track down the origins of this holiday, we hazard to guess it was a pretty paw-some person who had some great pet to celebrate. In all fairness, it was this national holiday got its start right here in the USA. It was created by congress in 1935 to celebrate our best friends, but they never said these friends had to be human. June 8th was picked because most of the country experiences good weather at this time of year which makes it possible for almost all of us to get outside and have some fun with our friends.

How Will You Celebrate?

Will you go for a nice long walk? Maybe go for a romp in a creek or a pond? Will your best friend or friends get a few extra special treats?

There are so many fun ways you can spoil your pets on national best friends day. Whatever way you choose to celebrate, share some photos of your pet and your fun with the hashtag #bestfriendsday

Our Favorite Way to Spoil Your Pet

We care about our friends. They’re there for us every day, whenever we need them. Our pets get us through tough times. They make us laugh. We love them so much that we wish they could be with us forever. One of the easiest and healthiest ways to celebrate your pet is to feed them a fresh, tasty, and nutritious diet.

Have you ever dished out your dog or cat’s dry, smelly food and wished you could feed them something better? Have you thought that there has got to be something more exciting out there? With Northwest Naturals, there is!

We make feeding your pets fun. We make it delicious. And above all, we make it nutritious because that’s what you want for your best friend: a healthy happy dog and cat that lives a vibrant long life.

From flavorful treats to perfectly portioned dinner bars, from frozen raw food to freeze-dried diets and treats, you can be confident that you are giving your pets the very best when you give them Northwest Naturals. Check out what independent sources like Dog Food Advisor are saying about our foods and treats. And why not surprise your pet on Best Friends Day with a tasty treat from Northwest Naturals wide selection of nutrition rich foods?

 


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Dog Paws

Nutrition & Nails

Choosing the Right Pet Food Shouldn’t Be a Nail Biter

Making Healthy Foods Simple

You don’t eat food with thirteen syllable additives, supplements, and byproducts, so how do you do the same for your pet? Big store dry and wet pet foods often contain fillers which lack the nutrients your pets need for healthy skin, fur, nails, brain health, and more.  These bulk foods leave your pets at risk for broken nails, dry skin, and nutrient deficiencies. 

Pet nutrition experts suggest sticking to wholefoods, foods with actual ingredients that you can see and recognize.  When selecting your pet foods look for proteins, fruits, vegetables, and oils.  On top of fillers, the more highly processed a food is, the less nutrition it generally contains.  As food is processed it loses essential vitamins and minerals.  Other experts will add that your pet food should offer complete nutrition, meaning you shouldn’t have to add supplemented nutrients outside of their daily meals.

But what are you to do? Natural and raw pet foods are a big switch.  They’re expensive.  Making your own is an option but that can leave your pet at risk too.

At Northwest Naturals we know that you’re busy, and would rather be spending your money on toys, treats, and taking your fur baby out on the town, than spending loads of cash on their food.  We make it easy to get wholesome nutrition in easy to serve portions at a price that won’t break your catnip or squeaky toy budget.  Our ingredients are simple and nutritious.  We use bison, beef, and broccoli rather than byproducts.  Our foods are packed with the right amounts of zinc, iron, and vitamin E so that your dog or cat have absolutely the very best.

Nutrition and Nails

Whether you have a cat or a dog, both, or multiple pets, you know that health starts at their nails.  Your babies scratch, dig, grip, and protect.  Nails are important.  With poor nutrition however, they become brittle and break, leading to other potential health conditions. 

If your pet has a serious condition, please first consult your vet.  Diet is important but your vet can help determine if there are other factors involved and suggest an overall treatment which might include diet.  Pet nail health, like human nail health, is reliant on consuming the right nutrients such as omega fatty acids and biotin.

Grooming

Proper nutrition isn’t the only factor in the health of your dog or cat’s nails.  Grooming or trimming your pet’s nails regularly will help to strengthen them and prevent damage.  Inside the nail is a nerve and a blood vessel called the “quick.”  Cutting the nail too short can be painful and harmful to the overall health of the nail.  Most veterinarians and groomers offer nail trimming services, or you can ask to be shown the proper method for trimming the nails at home. Pets with dark or black nails can be more intimidating than those with lighter color nails because it’s not as easy to see where the blood vessel ends. Other pets dislike the process of having their nails trim and fight against it, making it harder, and more difficult to do safely at home. Vets and groomers who have experience can be helpful in those cases. 

For more information on how and why to feed raw, check out this page on our website: Why Feed Raw? 


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Dog running in the field - Northwest Naturals

The Benefits of a Raw Pet Food Diet

There are many benefits of a raw pet food diet, which allows them to develop and maintain a healthy digestive system. Processed foods are easy to feed but cause pets to experience more health problems, which means more trips to the veterinarian. Consumers are researching and educating themselves on the benefits of health care through nutrition. One of the first steps is to try a raw diet. By adding even a little raw food to your dog’s diet, you will notice immediate benefits.

  • Fresher breath, cleaner teeth, improved coat condition and smaller stools.
  • Heat processing destroys natural vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids.
  • Raw meats, properly prepared minimally processed, quick frozen or freeze dried are high in Essential Fatty Acids, amino acids and enzymes.
  • Along with the Essential Fatty Acids, live enzymes, antioxidants and friendly bacteria are found in a bio-available form in raw meats, fruits and vegetables.  The long-term health and strength of any given companion animal is reliant on these nutrients.
  • Remember what our doctor says, “Eating 20% fresh fruits and vegetables will make us healthier.” Why would we not do the same for our pets?
  • Minerals are found in abundance and in nature’s own ratio in the uncooked bones of animals.  Not only does giving your dog a bone make them happy; it may well be the best thing you can do to provide for their nutritional well-being.

All of these lead to healthy, happy dogs!

Health Benefits of a Raw Diet:

  • Brighter Teeth – Cleaner Teeth – Less chance of plaque buildup especially if combined with Raw Meaty Bones.
  • Better Breath – Almost odorless indicating a healthy start to the digestive process and cleaner teeth.
  • Healthy Skin – Indication the immune system is healthy. Healthy immune systems are not bothered by parasites.
  • Shiny Coat – Helps decrease shedding. Raw Feeding is very popular among kennels, show dog owners and judges. Currently many of our top working, performance and show dogs are fed raw diets.
  • Less Stool – Dogs utilize more, eliminate less.
  • Optimal Body Weight – A healthy weight is easily obtained and maintained. Better muscle mass.
  • Healthier Joints – Ranging from puppies to seniors. This is greatly attributed to the natural Essential Fatty Acids as well as the overall PH balance becoming normalized, reducing inflammation. Glucosamine, chondroitin and collagen are a natural component in raw meat.
  • Quicker Recovery – from surgery, infections or infestations as well as over-all healing occurs.  The strength of the immune system is revitalized.

A series of positive changes will occur in your pet in response to being fed Northwest Naturals™ pet food. These changes may occur almost immediately while others appear as prolonged quality of life.

In the first several days your pet may experience:

  • Decreased anxiety level between meals
  • Decreased hyperactivity
  • Increased energy level
  • Increased food drive
  • Normalization of stools

In the first several weeks your pet may have:

  • A more attentive disposition
  • An improvement in or disappearance of skin allergies, disorders and irritation
  • An improvement in colon health
  • Brighter and clearer eyes

In the first several months you may notice:

  • Your dog has a healthier, shinier, softer coat
  • Your dog completely digests dog food
  • Your dog has more stamina

Longevity on a Raw Diet:

Bluey, (Jun 7, 1910 – Nov 14, 1939) was the name of an Australian Cattle Dog owned by Les Hall of Rochester, Victoria, Australia which holds the Guinness World Record as being the longest recorded living dog in history at an age of twenty-nine years, five months, and seven days. Another dog, an Australian Cattle Dog / Labrador mix, died in 1984 reportedly at the age of 32 years and 3 days, but this case was not fully documented, and so it is not official. (As of 2007)

benefits

CANBERRA, Australia — A 26-year-old mongrel living with an Aboriginal family in Australia’s Outback has the potential to become the world’s oldest living dog, a newspaper reported Sunday. Jerry, an Australian cattle dog-bull terrier cross, will next month turn 27 – the equivalent of 189 years for a human – said Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals veterinarian Honey Nelson in Sydney’s Daily Telegraph.”He will be 27 years old in August – I have no doubt at all,” Nelson reportedly said after examining Jerry. “He could push on to 28, going by his good body condition.”


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Dog hanging out the window of a car with its tongue out

Camping with Your Dog

Tips and Tricks for a Stress Free Getaway with Your Furry Companion

Thinking about taking a camping trip with your dog?  Worried that it might be a bit stressful? With a little bit of preparation, you can bring your canine companion along on your next camping trip for a relaxing getaway.  We’ve pulled together some helpful tips and tricks to help you get started.

Stay… Hydrated

There’s no air conditioning in nature, so staying hydrated is important.  A collapsible bowl is a lightweight and portable tool that helps you make sure your dog is getting enough water.   Allow these bowls to dry before collapsing them to help keep them free from anything unsanitary.

northwest naturals raw dog food - camping with your dog

Meals

Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Diets makes feeding your pets while hiking and camping with your pets easy. Lightweight and convenient to feed, the NWN Recipes are complete and balanced for your canine companion. Just pour in a bowl and add water.

The Freeze-dried nuggets can be fed during the day to keep the energy level and nutritional requirements stable while hiking. For weekend camping trips, you can pack your raw frozen diets that have been frozen into convenient portions. Smaller portions stay fresh longer and can be frozen to maintain freshness (and act as ice packs).

northwest naturals raw dog food - camping with your dog

Don’t forget the Treats!

Packing an easy to transport treat option like freeze dried treats makes rewarding, and spoiling your pet safer, healthier, and easier.  Freeze dried treats won’t spoil and don’t need to be refrigerated.  They’re wholesome and healthy options for which your pets will go bananas.

Pet First Aid Kit

While bandages and wraps might work on both pets and humans alike, when it comes to scrapes and sores, pet first aid is very different.  Pain pills and anti-inflammatory drugs that are made for us can be poisonous to them.  It’s also a good idea to have a salve or poultice that will stop a scrape from bleeding if you are going to be hiking any rugged terrain.

Flashing Lights

Often overlooked, a small light that can clip to your pets collar or harness is a great way to keep them safe at night.  Keep an eye on your pet as it gets dark, while you sit around the campfire and after the lights go out, make nighttime potty breaks a breeze.

Preparation is the key to a great outdoor experience with your dog.  Now it’s time to hit the trail and enjoy some fresh air and nature!