What is the Steve's Real Food difference?
Besides being the first nationally distributed complete and balance raw food for pets, Steve’s Real Food stands out from the competition because of our:
- Convenient Packaging - Easy To Open - Easy To Serve
- Ingredient values that provide 20% more nutrition than other high-quality raw foods
- Quality sources, that make our calories mostly from protein and not fat
- Balanced And Complete Diets, which are stress-free for customers new to raw
- Affordable price
- Nutrition expertise, backed by years of research and development
Why are raw pet foods healthier?
Raw food is healthier than canned or kibble for one simple reason. Cooking destroys nutrition. When heat is applied to food, important digestive enzymes are killed, along with Omega-3s and other important nutrients. These micronutrients, such as enzymes, phytochemicals, complete families of antioxidants and flavonoids, vitamins and minerals simply cannot be replaced (not with additives and not with supplements). This is why dogs and cats begin to slow down and develop chronic diseases around 6-8 years of age - their bodies have run out of their natural stores of digestive enzymes and without these, they have to work harder to digest the food they eat. Our fruits and vegetables are natural sources of enzymes, vitamins, minerals and much more, in a form that is more bio-available than synthetic vitamin packs. Finally, our supplements are superfoods that provide an extra punch to the nutritional whammy of our food, and they increase the bioavailability of the other nutrients, making our food the most easily digested and nutrient-available food on the market. This triple-threat (quality meats, quality vegetables, and superfoods) help to make our formulas complete and balanced, naturally. By providing the highest quality ingredients and leaving them the way they are, we provide optimal nutrition and health for your pet.
Natural, Whole, Raw... The Way Nature Intended!
This is vitally important because while studies have proven that fruit and vegetable-rich diets can lower cancer incidents and other diet-related ailments they cannot pinpoint the particular nutrients that provide these benefits. As we said above, to get all the nutrition food has to offer, it must be raw!
What ailments can be improved on from a raw food diet?
A properly prepared raw diet for pets like Steve's Real Food has been shown to be effective in improving cases of allergies, arthritis, bloat, obesity, hip dysplasia, hot spots (cysts), diarrhea, kidney and liver dysfunction, urinary crystals, and reduction of fleas. This makes sense because quality, real food is free from the toxins, byproducts, additives, and large number of carbs that weaken the digestive and immune system and help the body fight off disease. It also means whiter teeth, better breath and a shiny coat. These are just some of the benefits of feeding raw food. We hear daily from customers who have had health problems they thought were incurable improve or disappear entirely on a proper diet.
Are raw foods safe for all dogs, even puppies and kittens?
The answer is yes, Steve's Real Food is made for all ages and stages of your pet's life. Steve's is great for puppies, kittens, young and older dogs or cats. If your pet has never had raw food before, start slowly with just a couple nuggets. Then gradually increase the amount of Steve's while decreasing the amount of other pet food. This allows for a smooth transition and easy digestion!
Why is Steve's more than just meat?
Canine and feline nutritional requirements reflect the evolutionary experience, extending hundreds of thousands of years. Until recently, pets always ate a diet based upon real, raw foods. Scientists are only now learning the importance of phytochemicals, antioxidents, bioflavonoids, enzymes and essential fatty acids (especially Omega-3). New research is focusing on the cancer fighting properties of phytochemicals and enzymes. Tens of thousands of phytochemicals occur naturally in fruits and vegetables along with thousands of enzymes in raw foods. Feeding a 100% meat diet deprives pets of these benefits, so even our PREY bulk diet contains superfoods like flaxseed and goat milk.
The key point is balance. Just giving your dog or cat a portion of raw meat is not appropriate. A true raw diet is balanced with specific portions of meat, fruit and vegetables. Our formulas are based on a dog or cat’s “evolutionary diet,” replicating what a dog or cat would eat in the wild—in their natural state. When these animals hunted prey, they not only ate the meat and the bones, but the food digesting in the stomach of the prey as well, which would contain fruits and vegetables.
What about E.coli, Salmonella and other microbes?
Steve's Real Food uses only the highest quality (100% human-grade) ingredients, which is our first line of attack from keeping bacteria out of our food. When meat comes from healthy, well-cared for animals with adequate amounts of space, sunlight, and quality food, the risk of bacterial contamination is drastically reduced. Nevertheless, any raw meat has the potential for containing bacteria. Cats and Dogs are biologically designed to handle these bacteria, often having them in their systems naturally to begin with. They have much more acidic digestive tracts than humans, and most bacteria is no match for their systems. In reality, the question of food safety is more for the pet parents than for the pets themselves. That is why we encourage our customers to use safe food handling techniques regardless of the pet food they are feeding. Treat it as you would raw meat you were preparing for your family, by washing your hands after contact, thoroughly sanitize food bowls, and clean any surfaces the food comes in contact with.
We regularly test our foods for Salmonella, E.coli 0157-H7, & Campylobacter to ensure our products safety. We also test our foods for hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides to ensure that our sources are living up to their promises.
Sometimes we get questions about parasites, especially in our pork products. Parasites live in the guts, and we only use the organ and muscle meat, therefore there is no risk of parasites. Even if there were, freezing the food for a minimum of three days effectively kills off such parasites, so our foods are risk-free.
What is the normal PH level of your food, and is it good for dogs and cats with kidney, urinary and other issues?
Yes, a balanced raw pet food like Steve's Real Food for Pets can help support and maintain your pet's nutritional needs naturally. Steve's is great for both dogs and cats with stones, crystals or other issues associated with internal dysfunction. Our target PH for our foods are a normal acid level of 6.2 - 6.4. In addition, the moisture in our food is very beneficial for pets with these type of issues.
Are your ingredients organic?
Steve's Real Food uses only Human Grade, 100% certified USDA inspected raw meats, fruits and vegetables grown in the USA. We use certified natural whole foods. All our ingredients are 100% natural without hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and other chemicals etc.
Why don't you use organic meats?
It is our mission to provide you with an affordable product. We use all natural, free-range, grass-fed meats. We do not use organic because this would put the product as a price point that is much higher then we want and we believe that a antibiotic/hormone free, all natural option is sufficient. In reality, our food meets essentially every requirement for organic, but the organic certification is too expensive for many small farms, and we support their efforts to grow good quality food.
How do I start my dog or cat on Steve's Real Food?
We do not recommend cooking Steve's Real Food, as this counteracts the best qualities of our food. Most dogs are able to switch to Steve's without any adverse effects, especially when allowed to do so gradually over the course of a few weeks. More sensitive dogs/cats or those with digestive issues should start with our gentle Goat Milk Yogurt to wake up and heal their digestive system before introducing the meat. Essentially the best advice is to monitor the poop, as long as it stays firm you can continue to increase the amount of Steve's you are feeding.
How do I mix Steve's with other foods?
Many of our customers mix Steve's with a premium grain-based food. There are two general theories on mixing:
Some people believe that you should not mix meat with grain because they are digested differently. These people feed Steve's one day, and a premium grain-based food the next day.
Others believe that the dog or cat should receive some of the thousands of enzymes, phytochemicals and antioxidants that are only in properly prepared raw meat-based diets everyday. These people will mix 25% to 75% Steve's in with the kibble daily.
We think both points-of-view make sense. We've also seen wonderful results either way. Our advice is to use whichever system works for you.
What's the caloric content of Steve's Real Food for Dogs?
Please see our Product pages for exact calories for specific diets.
What's the caloric content of Steve's Real Food for Cats?
Our Chicken, Turducken, and Pork diets are all labeled for cats and dogs. The main nutritional difference between dogs and cats is the amount of taurine in the food, and these diets have sufficient taurine for cats as well as dogs. Our beef naturally has enough taurine for cats but is not labeled as such yet. You can feed our turkey to cats, (they love the flavor!) but we recommend using a taurine supplement if you choose to do so.
Can I use Steve's while traveling?
Yes, of course. The easiest way to do this is to use our Freeze-dry products, but our Steve's frozen food can be kept in a thermal ice-filled cooler or in your motel room mini-fridge for about 3 to 4 days.
We're having problems introducing Steve's to our cat. Any suggestions?
Cats sometimes react negatively to new foods. We've had great results by slowly working the raw food into their diet, one step at a time. Start slowly try mixing one nugget (or less) with their normal meal. Cats are so picky it can take months to gradually increase the amount to 100% Steve's while decreasing the amount of cooked pet food per meal. Find more Transitioning Tips Here.
Can I feed Steve's frozen? Can I warm it up?
Steve's Real Food for Pets can be fed frozen, defrosted or slightly warm. Try not to heat it above 118° F so that you don't destroy the enzymes. Some dogs like the food best slightly warm, some like it frozen.
What are some proper handling tips?
Our frozen foods should be kept in the freezer until you’re ready to feed your pet. For cats and smaller dogs, we suggest that at each meal, you simply pour the number of nuggets you will feed into a separate bowl and defrost in the refrigerator. For large and multiple-dog families, you can defrost the entire bag in the refrigerator. The food stays wholesome for about four days in the refrigerator without significant nutrient loss.
Keep the freeze-dried products in a cool, dry location until opening. After opening, refrigerate or freeze.
My dog likes to lick my child’s face. Is this OK? Can’t my child get sick from the bacteria in the dog’s mouth?
It is not recommended to let dogs or cats lick you just after feeding. Bacteria can be transferred, but the risk is incredibly low and it is unlikely that you will become ill. From a behavioral standpoint face-licking is not recommended, as it is a form of begging. Many dry and canned pet foods have tested positive for bacteria as well, so regardless of what diet you feed, licking can carry the same risks. The two main points of contamination risk from your pet is through their tounge and their feces. Practice basic habits of cleanliness and safety and it is unlikely you or your child will get ill.
What is the shelf life of both frozen and freeze-dried products?
The more fresh any food is, the better tasting and more nutritious it is. Quick freezing, which is done in our plant, and keeping the food frozen are the best ways to preserve nutrition and taste. Steve's Real Food frozen varieties, as long as it remains frozen, can remain in your freezer for up to a year. (Please check our best if used by date). Once the raw food has defrosted in the refrigerator it will last for about 3 - 4 days. When given in a bowl at feeding time, it should be fed within four hours.
What is this freezer burn and how to prevent it?
There are slight differences between frost and freezer burn. Frost can occur when the food is frozen because the moisture creates ice crystals. These can increase when the bag is opened because of exposure to air. It has no effect on the nutritional quality of a product, but often diminishes the appearance of a food. However, it does not affect the taste, and your dog or cat will be perfectly happy and safe eating the food.
Freezer burn can occur when the frost accumulates over months and months, and carries an unpleasant smell. The food is still safe to feed, but it is recommended to not buy so much food that it is sitting in your freezer for long enough for the freezer burn to become an issue.
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