By Julie Lauzon, agr, MSc, Pet Nutrition
If you have been feeding Big Country Raw for a while, you already know about our transparency and our desire to always offer the best raw food on the market. As the industry grows and changes, so does our knowledge and our recipes.
Unlike kibble, we only rely on fresh and real food. We are always challenged by the variation and variety in fresh raw meats, particularly as we strive to offer consistency to our customers. Therefore, even with these new changes, we will continue to promote a rotational meal plan. Variety is and will always be the key to balanced nutrition and a healthy digestive system.
The changes to our Dinner recipes – Complete Raw Meals for Dogs, reflect our evolving knowledge of nutrition, and our desire to achieve the perfect complete raw meal for dogs while staying as close as possible to their biological needs. These change are so small that likely your dog won’t notice anything, but each bite will bring the best nutrition possible.
The first change you will notice is that we removed every high glycemic ingredient. Dogs have no real requirement for carbs in their diet, but some vegetables can be very beneficial for the nutrients they bring as well as the fiber content. That being said, not all vegetables are equal. Our fruit and vegetable mix is now strictly made of green leafy vegetables and berries. These ingredients have a denser nutritional profile.
We have also added organic chelated minerals to our recipes (less than 1% of the total recipe). The term organic minerals mean the minerals used are highly digestible and in the most natural form we can find in nature, because it is bound to a carbon-molecule. In our case, the carbon-molecule is a highly tested specific amino-acid that will not only increase the digestibility of the mineral, but also protect it from any interaction with other nutrients in the food. These newly added micronutrients are; Zinc proteinate, Manganese proteinate and Copper proteinate. Our recipes still use mostly whole food sources for our micronutrients including Kelp, Barley Grass and Wheat Grass. These new minerals will ensure all of our recipes consistently meet our nutritional benchmarks.
In addition, you will also now see Calcium Phosphate and Calcium Carbonate in our red meat dinner formulas including Beef, Pork and Lamb Dinner. These minerals are essential for bone health, particularly in growing puppies. By adding these minerals, we can ensure that every bite will bring those essential micronutrients as well as stability over time, which is the major challenge with relying only on raw whole food.
These new recipe changes have also allowed us to reduce our fat content in our red meat formulas, ensuring all of our dinner recipes are more equalized in regards to calories and fat percentage.
Lastly, you will notice the addition of Vitamin E in our Dinner recipes. Vitamin E is a welcomed addition for all raw feeders. Vitamin E does a lot in a dog’s body, including help to build cell membranes, support healthy eyes and skin, and metabolize fat. It’s most important role however is as an antioxidant. This new addition will ensure adequate vitamin E intake, particularly when supplementing a raw diet with whole fish or fish oil supplements as recommended on our label.
Our Signatures Blends and Pure Formulas stay unchanged. They are still a mix of 80% meat, 10% bones and 10% organs, with no fruits, vegetables, or supplements added. They will not match the NRC standards unless supplemented accordingly. They are still a great meal base for raw feeders who wish to add their own fruits, vegetables and/or supplements.
At Big Country Raw, we believe that knowledge is power, and we will never stop learning. Science is always evolving, and we will continue to improve our products as we learn more about what is truly the best nutrition for our beloved pets.