June 8, 2017

Mission Affirmed

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to be invited by my great friend and fellow Krempels Center member, Dr. Ted King, to crew for him in an adaptive sailing regatta on the waters of Long Island Sound (LIS). While I could go on and on about the phenomenal volunteers, sponsors, and host club (Rye NY's American Yacht Club), the weekend really solidified my belief in The RAWZ Fund's causes. I certainly didn't have any reservations about the amazing organizations we've chosen to support, but it sure was powerful to witness the events at the 2017 Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta!

I only began sailing a few years after my TBI and was delighted to once again feel the rush of competition and camaraderie of a group of athletes after sustaining a life-altering injury. This year's Robie once again provided me with tremendous joy and satisfaction. After speaking with many of the competitors I was struck by the amount of work, and help, we'd all both put in and received in our journeys to being on the waters of LIS. Each of us has his or her own story of challenge and struggle(s), leading to the joy of competitive sailboat racing; truly a quality of life building activity!

Once again at this year's Regatta was Chris Slavin with her incredible NEADS trained service dog, Earle. I am writing this post not as an ego building exercise or to brag, but to recount how clear it is the different roles played by The RAWZ Fund's non-profits can improve lives. In short, it is the goal of The RAWZ Fund to improve the lives of those living with disability by supporting organizations dedicated to different aspects of helping people maximize their own enjoyment of life. Witnessing a disabled sporting event participated in by athletes who've completed countless hours of therapeutic exercises was certainly phenomenal.

That my particular team included a captain (Ted) and a crew member who both greatly benefit from being active members of the Krempels Center was pretty neat. Add in the fact that I got to see the super-handsome Earle (a RAWZ dog by the way), waiting on the dock to greet Chris after each days' sailing, really motivated me to do all I can to help people and pets with RAWZ!

May 2, 2017

"That's a lot of peas!"

As I've mentioned previously, one of the best parts of working for RAWZ is the interactions I have with customers, both RAWZ feeders and our retail partner store's teams. These interactions can be retailer trainings with store associates, demos, or dialogues on our Facebook page. I always learn a lot by answering questions and looking through all of our product information, and of course, swallowing my pride enough to ask "Dad". In the interest of full disclosure, I can usually find an answer on my own :)

One of the questions I've heard, more of an observation really, that I'd like to share was a comment about RAWZ's limited recipe dry food offerings. An associate wondered why we used 3 separate pea-based ingredients in each recipe? The quick answer is that to create a diet for dogs with food sensitivities you want to introduce as few ingredients as possible. Fortunately, for RAWZ in the pea we found 3 components that make valuable contributions to the diet:

(1) Pea Protein- A good source of vegetable protein included because animal proteins are known to be common allergens. Pea protein is easily converted to muscle tissue by the animal and is one of the most hypoallergenic of all vegetable proteins.

(2) Pea Starch- The starch of the pea has a relatively low glycemic index value and is a naturally gluten free carbohydrate.

(3) Peas- Whole peas add the nutritionally vital vitamins A and K while also contributing Magnesium and Phosphorus to the recipe.

While RAWZ's original recipes are more meat focused, our limited recipes use versatile high quality peas to make minimally processed, rendered-free nutrition available to more pets!

April 7, 2017

"Seriously though, 100% of your profits?"

At one of our valued retail partner's 2 year store anniversary last weekend, my parents and I got to speak with quite a few pet owners who were understandably shocked to find out that we donate 100% of our profits to a group of wonderful non-profit organizations. I guess it's not surprising that this business model confounds most people because, after all, by its' very nature a business exists to generate profits for the company's owner(s). Conceptually; and often in actuality too, these profits are enough of a motivator to keep entrepreneurs starting, operating, and evolving the goods and services offered by their businesses.

So what's the deal with RAWZ? Well, to be honest, it's not about the money. Our family has been incredibly fortunate in many ways. Both my brother and I have had amazing recoveries aided by the hard work of countless people helping every step of the way! While we put quite a bit of effort in along the journey, it isn't lost on anyone in this family that the therapeutic tools available to us were vital. Additionally; the Scott family's involvement in pet nutrition, started by "Grampy" with Old Mother Hubbard in 1961, has been very rewarding culminating with the sale of WellPet almost ten years ago. Like both Andy and my recoveries, the success of the family's business, represents hard work meeting opportunity with a lot of grace thrown in.

The point is this: With the profit motivator absent and at the risk of sounding egotistical, RAWZ is only in existence to improve the lives of people and pets while first providing your dog or cat with minimally processed nutrition. In fact, neither of my parents have, or will ever, receive(d) any compensation from RAWZ. By feeding RAWZ, your pet gets an incredible product from a company that dedicates any and all profits to improving lives through our support of 5 wonderful non-profits!

March 3, 2017

Digestibility and PER, a Powerful Combination!!!

As we have previously discussed on our blog, digestibility is an important value when discussing animal nutrition. I'll just briefly recap here: Digestibility is the amount of a given food eaten by an animal, expressed as a percentage, that is actually absorbed or used by a pet (in this case). Measured with simple, non-invasive feeding trials by simply recording the input and output over a set period of time; this important number communicates how much of their food pets derive nutritive value from.

"Well, don't I want my pet to digest all of their food?" you ask. It seems logical that if your paying for something you would want all of it to be used. However, the reality is that one of the important jobs of the digestive systems of animals, like humans, is to also pass waste products. Just like us, certain things aren't meant to be digested and will naturally pass through the intestines, take fiber for instance or the waste created after nutrients are processed. You do , however want your pet to get the macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are essential to their health.

One last thing on digestibility, generally a good rule of thumb is that a digestibility above 80% indicates a high quality food, particularly when you consider that some dry foods feature digestibility ratings lower than 75%. Then you have to consider what the value of the ingredient is once it's digested...

Now about Protein Efficiency Ratio or PER. Just like digestibility, PER (a value from 0 to 100) is a measurement, in PER's case how much of a protein is used by the animal to create new body mass. Much like digestibility, PER can be thought of as a percentage, or portion of the protein actually used by the animal to build new tissue. PER is calculated to see how efficiently the animal can use a protein, basically how much of the protein is useful to your pet.

So where am I going with all of this you ask. Well; if you take a highly digestible food like RAWZ, which averages almost 88% digestibility (87.8% to be exact), that also happens to feature minimally processed, highly efficient protein, you have incredible pet nutrition. In fact, the gently dehydrated (never rendered) chicken we use has a PER value of 98 vs. the 55 of what is considered a high quality chicken meal (rendered).

The bottom line is that in RAWZ you have a highly digestible food that after digestion delivers extremely efficiently used protein to your pet.