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Why we only carry several brands at the studio...

People often ask me why I only have a handful of brands at the Studio.. Spoiler alert, it’s not due to the lack of space. Regardless of our footprint, I would still carry the same brands. My ethos has always been more about quality than quantity, which is why I’ve narrowed our food options to represent only the best of the best. I am strictly committed to partnering with brands who uphold high levels of integrity. Period.

If you find yourself overwhelmed by all the choices for pet food, and wondering which ones are actually good for your pet, you are not alone! There are literally HUNDREDS of fresh pet foods companies and new brands popping up every day. Unfortunately, most of these "fresh pet foods" do not come close to being quality options. As a pet parent, I can absolutely see why you would have a hard time picking the best option for your pets. Great marketing campaigns are effective and generally work to promote low quality products by utilizing pretty packaging and heartfelt messaging. Marketing exists because it works on most people! This is why certain companies spend thousands on marketing and pennies on the actual ingredients. Very problematic if you ask me! If only beautiful marketing meant that we could actually trust what’s inside the package, the nutrition world would be much easier to navigate.

The problem is, looking beyond the marketing and into the products requires some serious time consuming due diligence..Don’t have time to go down the rabbit hole to investigate? Please rely on me, as I pride myself in being the ulti-MUTT investigator. I love looking beyond the packaging and into each and every ingredient. Being a certified canine nutritionist means that I am obsessive about sourcing and quality. I am also completely unbiased when it comes to aligning with brands. Nobody is sponsoring me, paying for my freezers, my shelf space, or my schooling. I am 100% independently motivated by QUALITY and am happy to give you advice on any of the food you are currently feeding with zero strings attached. Of course, I realize that there are other great brands out there that I don't carry at the studio!

I take my job to feed your pets seriously so that you don’t have to! I spend most of my free time researching pet food brands, listening to podcasts and reading books, so that I keep my finger on the pulse of all things pet nutrition.
At this point, you are probably wondering…what it is that I look for when I am giving a pet food my seal of approval…Here are the basics:

1. Meat is grown humanely, animals are fed biologically appropriate diets and raised on pastures.

What this means for your pets: Healthy food for your animals means healthy animals overall. You cannot get healthy food from a sick animal, it’s just not possible. More than 85% of our meat comes from factory farms but is still considered “human grade.” I’m not sure if you’ve ever googled “factory farm”, but all it takes is one look to realize that these animals are anything but healthy. Not only is it cruel and inhumane to treat animals this way, but the food that we get from these animals is sickening us and our pets. I’m sure you’ve heard pet food companies use the buzz word “human grade” which is meant to build consumer confidence in the pet food. It truly means nothing when it comes to the quality of the food, other than the fact that they cannot use 4 D meat. Let’s remember that low quality hot dogs are “human grade” but definitely not an acceptable long term diet for those wanting vitality and health.

2. I prefer zero synthetics but limited, thoughtful, and well sourced vitamins and minerals are tolerated.

What this means for your pets: Lots of whole food, nutrient dense products is the key to optimal. health. Adding lots of synthetics pretty much means that your pets will receive high levels of heavy metals. Synthetics should be mostly unnecessary if a company is formulating their food with FRESH, unprocessed, high quality whole food ingredients. High levels of synthetics become necessary in sterilized, heavily processed pet foods because they are rendered at high heat temps which destroy whatever REAL ingredients were left in the food. AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) is the organization that oversees pet food regulation. Their rules and regulations cater to high heat processed foods aka "kibble" They have set arbitrary minimums on some vitamins and minerals as well as completely disregarding maximum thresholds on minerals like copper. “Trying to regulate fresh food under the same standards as high heat processed foods is irresponsible and unfair.” -Chelsea Kent (Owner of solutions pet products)

3. I know the manufacturers. Like REALLY know them. I continually engage in ongoing conversation about the direction of the company and I must align with their motives and future goals. I have taken tours of their facilities and know where they purchase their ingredients. In my case, many of the owners have also become friends and valuable resources for learning more about nutrition.

What this means for your pets: You can TRUST us that your pets food is made in good hands. I know them. I like them. I’ve asked all the hard questions! I think that most of the regulatory agencies have failed us as far as protecting our animal food goes. So I took matters into my own hands, and dug deeper for all the brands that I carry. When you trust me with your pets health, I take that seriously and would never rely solely on AAFCO to tell us what food is “safe” and “balanced”

4. Packaging is earth friendly.

What this means for your pets: Healthier food and a Healthier planet. Sure we love our planet, but plastic packing is also terrible for your pets health. Some foods that are packaged in plastic are also cooked in that same plastic causing potentially harmful leeching. Excessive plastic packaging is just flat out unnecessary, wasteful, and potentially harmful for your pets. Skip the plastic when possible and opt for compostable, biodegradable, or recyclable packaging.

When you come into the store, you can rest assured that whatever you purchase will be healthy for your pets! I always get "what's your favorite food?" and my answer is always "all of the brands that I have in the studio" Don't be scared to try new things and rotate frequently between brands and proteins. If a brand that I carry would ever become compromised, I would immediately remove them from the store. Generally this happens when a brand sells a majority stake in their company and the original owners are not involved anymore. I haven't had to make this decision yet as a store owner, but in my 10 years in the industry, I have seen good companies turn bad.

To summarize, I am not here to bash anyone on their food choices. I fully understand that not everyone is capable of feeding themselves and/or their pet these options. I only wish to educate and expose the darkness of our industry. I dream of a time when the best healthy food options will become readily available to all and local communities shift back to supporting their local farmers. Until then, knowledge is power..food is medicine! <3



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