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.

February 7, 2017

"That's a lot of Salt!"

     One of the great parts of my job is meeting a lot of customers and associates at our trusted retail partners.  My memory certainly leaves much to be desired (just ask my parents) but when I get asked the same question multiple times, I recognize its' importance.   The observation that multiple ingredients with words like salt, chloride, and sodium; appear on multiple occasions in our ingredient decks located on the side of our bags raises the concern about salt content.  The simple explanation is that often these are micro ingredients with only trace amounts present in the food.  So why are they even in there you ask?  In order to formulate RAWZ as a complete and balanced diet, vitamins and minerals are added to the recipe as they are to all nutritionally complete foods.  Many of these important minerals, as is usually the case concerning salts, are best delivered via compounds containing salt.  However, with only trace amounts of these nutrients needed for optimal animal health, the total amount of sodium in RAWZ stays at a healthy level to balance a pet's vital functions like hydration, blood pressure, and nervous signal transmission.  

January 5, 2017

2017 Already?

Wow! Another year in the books. People always tell me that the older you get, the faster time seems to go by. If that's true, I'm in trouble because as it is I can't seems to keep up! In regards to RAWZ and our progress as a company, 2016 has been an exciting year that's seen us introduce additions to the RAWZ family of minimally processed foods formulated with pets health always as the top priority.

A common request we received from our trusted retail partners was for a chicken free version of our meal free diets. We heard you load and clear and now offer not one, but two formulas not containing chicken (our Duck and Salmon Limited Recipes)! Perhaps the best part of working at RAWZ for me is meeting our valued customers at demos held at our trusted retail partners stores. It was always a frustration to converse with a pet owner who although loving our story and cause, was unable to feed RAWZ due to all our recipes containing chicken. I'm happy to report that I now have a chicken-free option on hand at every demo!

As a company with a firm belief that feeding raw, when done correctly, is best; it's only logical that we would offer another minimally processed option to you. Enter RAWZ freeze-dried nutrition. In three tasty varieties (chicken, beef, and lamb), our freeze dried offerings offer not only premium nutrition, but as is the RAWZ way, we take it even further. Not only are all of our freeze dried ingredients human grade, but the preparation takes place in a human grade facility!

Lastly, recognizing the importance of moisture to pet's health, we decided to create RAWZ 96% meat gum-free canned food for both dogs and cats. Some pets, particularly cats, but some dogs too, need to get water through their food. Also, we often hear from pet owners whose pet(s) can't chew dry food for any variety of dental reason(s) or simply prefer a wet diet. While there are many wet product offerings out there, RAWZ thought we could offer something better: RAWZ 96% meat gum-free! We just thought that rather than using an ingredient whose sole purpose was to improve product consistency (gums), but didn't help the pet, we'd find a better way. We identified Fenugreek seeds as the special ingredient that not only gave our canned offerings great texture with less odor, but also acted as a digestive aid.

RAWZ remains forever committed to our causes after only your pet's health. To maximize the financial support we provide our wonderful non-profit partners, we must keep costs down which means you won't be seeing a flashy national advertising campaign. We truly appreciate the word of mouth buzz customers and retailers have given us as we build RAWZ. So thank you for all of your support and here's to another great year of helping people and pets!

December 4, 2016


Believe it or not, despite my family's nearly 60 years of experience in the pet food industry, up until my first time in a pet store presenting RAWZ to customers I had never held a "demo". A demo, short for product demonstration, is when a representative of a pet food company visits a retail store to present their company's offerings. For me personally and RAWZ as a company, demos hold particular importance for two reasons: First, these events allow me to better familiarize myself with our retail partners and them with our products and cause. Also, as a new company to the already crowded field of animal nutrition, educating pet owners on the benefits and unique traits of RAWZ's minimally processed foods is paramount to our success!

I always enjoy my Saturdays meeting customers and especially love when their pets come with them. Now that we've been on the market for a while I get the chance to meet some RAWZ consumers (usually dogs, but the occasional cat shows up too!) who are thriving on THE NEXT BEST THING TO FEEDING RAW! Lately I've been in the Boston area and have had some great conversations that I'd like to share two of here...

Just the other day I had my table set up and a very inquisitive gentleman seemed determined to get my opinion on the best "tasting" dog food. He actually wanted to know how much dog food I've personally eaten in my life and my description of some of the flavors I'd experienced? Now fortunately, despite my Mom's frugality, I've eaten a diet consisting of human food my whole life, however, the occasional kibble or treat has passed my lips over the years. While I couldn't recall well enough to provide bite by bite descriptions to this gentleman, I did tell him that after seeing the initial batches of RAWZs original chicken and turkey formula made from start to finish, and feeling confident enough to eat some; I'm happy to report, it tastes like chicken! I suppose this isn't surprising given that the first seven ingredients are real poultry protein.

One other common inquiry from shoppers surrounds RAWZs 100% profit donation pledge. I can't blame people for their suspicions as we've all heard of the less than honest "charities" paying high salaries and offering lavish expense accounts to executives. I can usually squash these worries by telling them that neither of my parents take any compensation from RAWZ and never will. We truly hold helping both people and pets as RAWZ Natural Pet Food's only mission!