Can our pets eat fermented foods? YES, fermented foods may actually be one of the most beneficial things you can add to your pet's diet!
What is fermentation?
Fermentation is a process as old as life itself. It's happening all around us, even inside our bodies! When it comes to food, fermentation is the process of bacteria and yeasts breaking down sugar and starch. You may already be familiar with some fermented foods and not even realize it! Yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha are popular fermented foods you can probably find at your local grocery store.
Why are fermented foods so beneficial to our and our pet's health?
Fermentation transforms food's nutrients; here are some of the amazing things that happen when food is fermented:
- During fermentation, bacteria and yeast break down sugars and starch, greatly reducing the overall carb content of a food. They leave the insoluble fibers intact, making fermented foods naturally low in sugar and high in prebiotics, the food source of probiotics!
- As the good bacteria consume the sugars, they rapidly multiply, making fermented foods a great natural source of probiotics! What are probiotics? Well, they’re the healthy bacteria in your pet's digestive tract! Probiotics are responsible for helping your pet break down their food, absorbing vitamins and minerals, and supporting the immune system.
- Fermentation also helps to break down antinutrients, compounds naturally found in plant matter that make it harder to digest and utilize nutrients. Carnivores have an especially hard time with antinutrients because of their short digestive tract, and fermentation is a great way to combat this issue!
- If that's not enough, not only is it proven to greatly increase the levels of certain vitamins and minerals already present in foods (calcium, manganese, iron, vitamin C, and vitamin K), but it can create B vitamins not previously present!
How do I add fermented foods to my pet’s diet?
After learning all the exciting benefits of fermented foods, you may ask yourself: How do I get these into my pet's diet?? Well, at Steve’s Real Food, we were asking ourselves that very same question! Have you ever tried to get your cat to drink Kombucha? Not gonna happen.
So we came up with a simple solution, a highly palatable treat that incorporates 20% fermented foods!
Protein Bites: freeze-dried treats with a purpose
Introducing our newest product at Steve’s Real Food, Protein Bites! This new line of shelf-stable freeze-dried treats will be the perfect solution for getting fermented foods into your pet's diet easily. 80% pasture-raised meat keeps these treats palatable and biologically appropriate for our carnivorous companions while 20% fermented fruits, vegetables, herbs, and botanicals pack a nutrient-dense punch!
To bring these treats to life, we’ve partnered with Gussy’s Gut, an amazing supplement company based in Colorado that specializes in wild fermentation. Created under the advisement of veterinary surgeon Dr.Ian Billinghurst, the “Father of Raw” food movement, Gussy’s Gut’s fermentation process uses the good bacteria and yeasts naturally found in raw fruits and vegetables to ferment the plant matter naturally. By not relying on added bacteria to begin our fermentation process, our one-of-a-kind treats have a different and more diverse profile of probiotics.
With their digestive system making up over 70% of our pets' immune systems, one of the absolute best things we can do for their health and longevity is to prioritize gut health! What better way than adding Power Bites to their diet?
Look for Protein Bites at your favorite Steve's Real Food store. Click here to find a location near you.
Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and of course, lots and lots of food. While you're looking forward to enjoying turkey, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie, it's important to remember your furry friends' needs too. Thanksgiving is the #1 day of the entire year for emergency vet visits. Here are a few tips to remember this Thanksgiving to ensure your pets have a happy and safe holiday.
Make a Plan for Your Pet Before Thanksgiving
If you are hosting or attending Thanksgiving events, it's a great idea to think of obstacles regarding your pets and prepare for anticipated scenarios.
A few ideas for making your plan:
- Take your dog for a walk, play fetch, or partake in other physical activities before Thanksgiving events to encourage a calmer, more relaxed dog
- Feed your dog before Thanksgiving events, so they are full and less likely to seek out food scraps
- Keep your pet in another room or their crate during peak times, such as when everyone is arriving or sitting down for dinner, to keep pets away from unsafe foods and kids who may not know how or aren’t old enough to be gentle to a dog.
- Don't leave dogs in the backyard all night. It can get quite cold in certain regions in November, so leaving pets outside for extended periods is not recommended.
- Let your guests know in advance that you have pets so they can take necessary precautions, such as keeping their food out of reach, keeping the front door closed, etc.
- Consider a calming aid such as CBD oil if you have a pet who is anxious around strangers.
Keep Pets Out of the Kitchen
The kitchen can be hazardous, with all the hustle and bustle of preparing a Thanksgiving feast. Dogs can get under your feet and eat unsafe foods dropped on the floor or sneak something from the trash while nobody is looking. Cats can counter-surf while you are trying to cook and eat something unsafe or even step on hot surfaces.
Don't Feed Pets Table Scraps from the Thanksgiving Feast
We all know how tempting it is to share your food when a pup gives you those big, pleading eyes while you are eating - but resist the urge! Thanksgiving table scraps are often high in fat, sugar, and salt, which can be dangerous for pets.
Here are a few Thanksgiving foods the ASPCA recommends avoiding giving to your dog or cat:
- Turkey bones and skin: while plain, uncooked turkey can be an excellent protein choice, Thanksgiving turkey should be avoided. The cooked turkey bones can pose a threat of splintering and causing internal damage or even causing blockages if swallowed whole. The string that is used to tress the turkey can be swallowed and require surgical removal. Turkey skin is very high in fat and could stress the pancreas.
- Cranberry sauce: while plain cranberries can be good for a dog, cranberry sauce can contain the sweetener xylitol, which is toxic to pets.
- Alcohol: Giving alcohol to animals is never a good idea. Alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and even coma or death in severe cases.
- Fatty or greasy foods such as gravy, bacon, butter, meat drippings, etc. are not toxic; however, they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain, and in worse cases, pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) or other GI issues.
- Chocolate or baked goods such as pie can pose health risks for pets - as little as 0.5 oz of certain chocolate can cause poisoning. Chocolate contains the toxin theobromine and caffeine, which can cause your dog’s heart to race too quickly.
Some safe Thanksgiving foods for dogs include:
- Plain carrots or green beans
- Cooked, plain sweet potato
- Apples - no core or seeds
- Plain or canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
- Turkey’s gizzards - neck (uncooked), heart, liver
Remember to give these foods in moderation or stick to their regular raw dog food.
Following these simple tips can help ensure that your pets have a happy and safe holiday.
Have you ever considered adding fish to your dog’s diet? If not, maybe it’s time to consider the many benefits of feeding a dog food with fish in it.
Fish is a Novel Protein for Dogs with Food Allergies or Sensitivities
Many pets have not had exposure to white fish, making it a novel protein. Fish-based dog food may be recommended for dogs that don’t tolerate common proteins, like chicken or beef. Because white fish is naturally low in saturated fats, this diet is easy to digest, taking some pressure off the pancreas, gallbladder, and liver. With the lowest fat content in our lineup, it’s a good choice for pets affected by pancreatitis or other digestion disorders.
We have incorporated fenugreek in this recipe. Fenugreek is a vitamin-packed herb that has long been used in eastern medicine for its anti-inflammatory properties. It has also been used as an appetite stimulant, so the white fish formula will likely appeal to picky or sensitive eaters.
White Fish Dog Food Provides a Diverse Nutrient Profile
Steve’s Real Food is excited to introduce our newest protein - white fish! This new formula is made from pacific cod, pollock, rockfish, and salmon - this will surely get your pet excited for dinner! A rotational diet has many benefits including reducing the potential for developing food sensitivities, ensuring a diverse nutrient profile in your pet’s diet, and, of course, keeping mealtime exciting for your pet!
Benefits of a rotational diet:
- Reducing food sensitivities and allergies
- Different proteins provide different nutrients
- Flexibility to switch things up as needed
- Keeping mealtime fun
Fish is Packed with Healthy Fatty Acids
Omega-3s are essential fatty acids that the diet must provide and cannot be synthesized by the body without proper supplementation. Heavily-processed dry foods are typically lacking in healthy fats and are highly inflammatory. Our white fish diet is rich in omega-3s thanks to the variety of white fish and the New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussels, making this formula excellent for skin and coat support. It may help bring relief from dry, flaky skin and itchiness.
Additional Benefits of Omega-3s:
- High in EPA and DHA
- Support the brain and immune system
- Helps to prevent and relieve the effects of arthritis
- Supports heart health
For more information on the importance of Omega Fatty Acids, see our blog post Why Omega Fatty Acids Are Necessary For Pets
White Fish for Senior Dogs
An older pet on a raw diet barely acts like a “senior” to begin with! That’s one of the amazing benefits of the raw lifestyle. However, a day may come when your pet starts to slow down. While each Steve’s formula meets the requirements of all life stages, as our pets age we will want to incorporate foods that complement their retirement-style way of life into their diet. During this period, some dogs may eventually need a diet lower in fat. Every senior can benefit from extra support for their aging joints and cognitive function. When it’s time to start looking for a senior dog food that will provide those benefits, our White Fish formula is a great addition to their rotation. With the lowest fat content in our lineup, it can also be a good choice for pets affected by pancreatitis or other digestion disorders.
Benefits of our White Fish formula:
- Exciting new protein for your pets to enjoy
- Low in sodium
- High in Omega-3 for joint support, heart health, skin and coat, and cognitive function
- Low in fat
- Easy to Digest
- A great option for food sensitivities and allergies
- Fantastic for senior pets
Ask Your Local Retailer About the NEW White Fish Diet from Steve's Real Food
To say we at Steve’s are excited about this new formula is an understatement. Our pets are our family! Continuing to provide them with the best nutrition possible is our main goal. We are proud to present this new White Fish food for dogs and cats to you, and we hope your pet loves it as much as ours do!
Haneet Kaur, Ankita Singla, Snehdeep Singh, Sandip Shilwant and Ravneet Kaur. 2020. Role of Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Canine Health: A Review. Int.J.Curr.Microbiol.App.Sci. 9(03): 283-2293. Doi: https://doi.org/10.20546/ijcmas.2020.903.259
Just as processed food has contributed to human health issues, processed pet foods are doing the same for our beloved dogs. Chronic conditions such as cancer, obesity, allergies, and diabetes in dogs today are skyrocketing.
The big question then becomes, well, what can we do about it? Just like with humans, the solution is a natural, species-appropriate diet.
As a pet parent, you want to provide your furry friend with the best possible food, but what does that mean for the environment? With growing numbers of people and pet populations, our earth’s natural resources are dwindling. By making environmentally responsible choices, we can reduce our impact on the planet while providing cats and dogs with nutritious meals they love.
Our company is driven by five core values and accountability is one of them. We are accountable to the distributor, retailer, and customer. The decisions we make must ensure that we have everyone’s best interests in hand while not compromising on our mission of creating a pet food that is convenient, affordable, and of the highest quality.
You’re at your local independent pet retailer to pick up cat food. These days you don’t bother with dry kibble and speed past it straight to the canned food, nothing but the best for your kitty (you’ve heard great things about raw, maybe next time). A new canned food catches your eye and even though it’s a little more expensive than you’re used to, you spring for a few cans in various flavors like “beef wellington” and “chicken a la king” because your cat is going to LOVE it!
It’s undeniable; dogs and cats have captured the hearts of millions. Whether you pair ‘em together or think of them as opposites, the two undoubtedly go hand in hand. Or do they? Even though they have many similarities, they have less in common than one might realize. That’s because many of their differences are hiding beneath the surface and these differences impact many things. Today, we’re going to highlight nutritional requirements for cats and dogs. Understanding nutritional differences allow us to make better choices when deciding what to feed our pets. This is important because, despite their differences, their whole health is what matters - inside and out.
Walk into any health food store, or shop the natural food section of your local grocer and you will find many products that contain chia seeds. They are sold in bulk bins, added to yogurts, baked into desserts, included in drinks, and often found in granolas and cereals. With so many products made for humans that include chia seeds, it only makes sense that we would also see them show up in pet foods. But why? What does this little blackish seed have going for it that makes so many people, and pets, want to add it to their diet?
Dogs have both a physical and psychological need to chew. If not provided with a safe, approved chewing option, they will seek out and find things that we may not want them to!
Puppies start exploring their world with their mouths and will chew on almost anything they can find. As they grow, chewing can help with pain caused by incoming teeth. The action of chewing is also a great exercise for the jaw and helps the teeth grow in proper alignment.