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Who Makes Big Country Raw Recipes?

July 8, 2021

By Julie Lauzon, agr, MSc, Pet Nutrition

Have you ever wondered who formulates the Big Country Raw recipes? Who decided which and how much of each ingredient to use? I could tell you that recipes are formulated by one single person and that it is all about writing numbers down on paper but that would not be true. Making raw dog food involves strong teamwork and software formulation including sourcing and production, which are another extremely important part of the recipe creation.

Between what is written in nutrient requirement guidelines such as the National Research Council, there is what we like to call the reality check. There are recipes and numbers that look perfect on paper but once you grind and mix all the ingredients together it simply does not work. The texture and coloring are bad, the pet will not eat it, we choose an ingredient that is simply impossible to source or there is too much variation during a year to rely on that source of nutrients. There might also be an interaction between the ingredients meaning adding one might alter the nutrient value of the other.

Many pet food brands will hire a Pet Nutritionist (with a recognized University diploma such as Bachelors, Master’s Degree or PhD in Agronomy of Veterinary Medicine with a specialization in nutrition) for their formulation and it is very important that this person is part of a professional institute to guarantee their work. The professional institute makes sure that their members are qualified, doing continuous training and to protect the public against mistakes that the professional might make. If a brand is produced with an individual that does not have these credentials and if that individual makes mistakes and pets are harmed by their improper formulation, there is nothing you can do legally to get compensation, because that person is not regulated by an Institute.

It is even better if the professional works full time with the brand, which is the case with Big Country Raw. The full time Agronomist can therefore work with product development and can help with customer service issues. If the nutritionist is simply hired for the food formulation and you are not able to source the ingredients, or the production is having problems with the grinding and mixing, the brand cannot rely on the nutritionist to help make changes to the recipe without losing the nutritional integrity of the recipe.

Another big role in the process of making the recipes are the people responsible for sourcing the ingredients. These individuals need to find suppliers that adhere to the brand’s values such as animal care and proper production methods. Some production methods have an impact on the nutrient value of the ingredient: grass fed, free range, local vegetables, etc. Since we rely 100% on natural ingredients for micro vitamins and minerals, we absolutely need high quality meat and vegetables. Using CFIA inspected suppliers assures us that the ingredients are as nutritious as the ones we buy to feed ourselves. The supply chain needs to be very stable as well. The laboratory analysis of a certain ingredient only reflects the nutrient value of the sample that is used for the testing. If the supplier changes, the analysis needs to be done again to make sure that we can still rely on that ingredient for certain nutrients. When using the software, chicken carcasses will always have the same analysis. While “real” chicken carcasses nutrient values can change depending on many factors such as chicken species, chicken age and what the chicken was fed, etc. A serious raw brand will not rely on a generic database like the USDA. Just like Big Country Raw does, every brand should always invest in laboratory analysis to make sure the recipe formulation is accurate.

Production also plays a major role. Once we have the amount of each ingredient on paper, the lab analysis confirms the nutrient values in each ingredient. Then the supply chain is secured, and the recipe is created. It is not just about throwing a bunch of ingredients and mixing them together! The weight and humidity of fresh ingredients are precisely calculated with the software and this precision needs to be reflected during the making of the recipes. Each production employee at Big Country Raw plays a crucial role in the making of the recipes. All the work of the supply manager and the nutritionist is nothing, if one person makes a mistake in the mixing and grinding of the ingredients.

Finally, once we have the formulation, the ingredients and the final meal created the last team members that play a major role in the making of the recipes is the packing team. There is a very important reason why Big Country Raw does not sell raw food in a bulk bag and that is, everything is carefully and individually packaged and vacuum sealed – this is to preserve the nutrient values! Exposure to air, humidity and cold temperatures can create freezer burn on the meat as well as oxidate certain nutrients. When you feed your pet raw food, the food should be a rich and colorful red or pink with a certain amount of humidity, not brown or grey and dry.

Who makes the Big Country Raw recipes? The answer is not a single person writing down numbers on paper, it is all about an amazing team working together who are all motivated by the same passion for feeding our pet a fresh and healthy diet.

English (Canada)
193 --- Cookhouse - Beef Meatloaf - 750g ---- 162 ----LOCATION ID>>>>157775<<<<0 ----- LOCATION ID>>>>157773<<<< TOTAL STOCK:162 ------ In Stock
194 --- Beef Neck Bone 4-6" - 1 lb ---- 0 ----LOCATION ID>>>>157775<<<<0 ----- LOCATION ID>>>>157773<<<< TOTAL STOCK:0 ------ Out Of Stock
197 --- Pure Beef Tripe CARTON - 4 lb ---- 235 ----LOCATION ID>>>>157775<<<<579 ----- LOCATION ID>>>>157773<<<< TOTAL STOCK:814 ------ In Stock
198 --- Country Blend Carton - 4 lb ---- 611 ----LOCATION ID>>>>157775<<<<1512 ----- LOCATION ID>>>>157773<<<< TOTAL STOCK:2123 ------ In Stock
200 --- Chicken Dinner Carton - 4 lb ---- 1502 ----LOCATION ID>>>>157775<<<<2125 ----- LOCATION ID>>>>157773<<<< TOTAL STOCK:3627 ------ In Stock
202 --- Chicken Necks (Skinless) - 2 lb ---- 0 ----LOCATION ID>>>>157775<<<<1 ----- LOCATION ID>>>>157773<<<< TOTAL STOCK:1 ------ In Stock
203 --- Slobbers® Organic Virgin Coconut Oil - 250 ml ---- 0 ----LOCATION ID>>>>157775<<<<598 ----- LOCATION ID>>>>157773<<<< TOTAL STOCK:0 ------ In Stock
204 --- Hero Dehydrated Beef Liver - 114g ---- 22 ----LOCATION ID>>>>157775<<<<321 ----- LOCATION ID>>>>157773<<<< TOTAL STOCK:343 ------ In Stock
205 --- Hero Dehydrated Beef Lung - 65g ---- 29 ----LOCATION ID>>>>157775<<<<313 ----- LOCATION ID>>>>157773<<<< TOTAL STOCK:342 ------ In Stock
207 --- Hero Beef Bully Stick - 6" ---- 82 ----LOCATION ID>>>>157775<<<<414 ----- LOCATION ID>>>>157773<<<< TOTAL STOCK:496 ------ In Stock
209 --- Hero Dehydrated Chicken Feet - 114g ---- 60 ----LOCATION ID>>>>157775<<<<206 ----- LOCATION ID>>>>157773<<<< TOTAL STOCK:266 ------ In Stock
211 --- Duck Dinner Carton - 4 lb ---- 927 ----LOCATION ID>>>>157775<<<<468 ----- LOCATION ID>>>>157773<<<< TOTAL STOCK:1395 ------ In Stock