Hi! My name is Mindy Fenton and I own and operate K9 Raw Diet in beautiful Bell Canyon, California. I have fed my dogs (and my current cat) an entirely species appropriate diet for over 12 years. What I have witnessed over that time tells me that sure enough, feeding an evolutionary diet is the single best thing we can do to enhance and sustain the overall health of our companion animals. When you give the body the building blocks it needs in order to function properly, we then afford the body a better opportunity to perform as nature intended. If you want the body to function properly, you need the right fuel.
Back in 1995, one of my Chows was diagnosed with kidney disease. She was about 8 years old at the time. Maggie had been eating a home cooked diet for many years, she was sprightly, she was always very alert, she had personality beyond belief and outwardly I didn't notice too many other symptoms that would be cause for alarm. You know, only "regular dog issues" that, I assumed, were common to mostly all dogs.
These symptoms included gunky ears, some generalised itching, the occasional "doggie smell" and things of that nature. However, when Maggie's yearly blood tests clearly showed the onset of kidney disease, I stepped back in shock and dismay because I had been feeding her a very good quality home cooked diet for most of her life. I knew all about the progression of kidney disease and I remember that as I stood there and looked at my beloved companion, I promised her that I would do everything in the world to stave off that ugly disease. I promised her that I would do everything within my power so that she would not have to walk down the path of kidney disease and eventual renal failure.
Interestingly enough, at that time I had just read Dr. Billinghurst's book, Give Your Dog a Bone. This book talks about why our dogs need to eat a raw diet, why a raw diet is entirely species appropriate and why providing raw food is fundamentally the best thing we can do for our dogs here at home. It made logical sense to me. I have to admit, I was scared about feeding whole raw bones to my dogs but with a leap and a prayer I switched Maggie to a raw diet the day after her diagnosis was returned.
Over the course of 9 months, Maggie's bloodwork returned to normal. She no longer had that "doggy smell," her skin cleared up and she no longer scratched. We never did re-visit those kidney issues. Her vets were shocked, I was pleasantly surprised and we were hooked. Maggie had another 8 fabulous and active years and she lived to be a little over 16 which is outstanding for her breed, the Chow. Maggie is dearly missed.
At the time Maggie was switched over to a raw diet, I also switched my other two Chows and while both of them passed at the age of 14 from non health related reasons, both of them lived superb lives that were free from organ disease as well as periodontal disease. How many dogs do you know live to such advanced ages without organ or teeth issues? It all comes back to diet.
Over the years, I have assisted many people as they changed their dogs and cats over to a raw diet. I am not a veterinarian, I do not have a PhD in nutrition and I have no specialised training in the veterinary world. I am a regular person, just like most folks who keep companion animals, and my dearest hobby in the entire world is making sure my own pets lead the longest, healthiest and happiest lives possible. This is important to note because it doesn't take a specially trained person to formulate a basic diet for one's pets. Just in the same way you already know what foods are good for humans and just in the same way you are already more than equipped to feed your human children, you already have all the capability you need in order to feed your own companion animals. Most if it is simply common sense. It involves taking a step back, looking at what the dog would eat in the wild and then approximating that in your own kitchen. This is easy stuff!
However, there are now a growing number of people who have the desire to feed their dogs a raw diet but have valid reasons why they haven't made the switch. I strongly believe that we, as compassionate pet people, have the obligation to help others while still listening to their concerns and working within the individual's comfort zone. In talking to others, I learned that some people don't want to deal with the hassle of sourcing whole bones for their dogs and cats, others are concerned about their dogs choking on whole bones, some people have lifestyles that are more conducive to feeding easier-to-feed products and there are folks who don't feel comfortable feeding their dogs all by themselves. These are all valid reasons to look for alternative raw food products. In addition, there are a large number of people who are feeding whole bones but who are unable to provide the kind of variety that our dogs need and, of course, sometimes it's virtually impossible to search out the types of whole bones that we desire without spending an arm and a leg. This is another very good reason to supplement a whole food diet with products manufactured by Bravo since they provide both ground products and whole bones in the widest variety of foods available today.
In trying to assist those who live in my local community, my suggestion to them was (and is) to feed a product like Bravo. Bravo products are, by far, my number one choice for a raw food diet. It's what I choose for my own dogs and my cat and ethically, it's the only food that I would carry. Bravo is obsessed with quality control, their products are all human grade (with the exception of grass fed green tripe which is not meant for human consumption) and their products are USDA approved. Foods such as the beef and lamb are grass fed, hormone free, antibiotic and stem from Australia and New Zealand. Duck and quail are farm raised, hormone free and antibiotic free. Chicken is humanely raised, antibiotic free and hormone free. Almost every food that Bravo manufactures is naturally fed, hormone free and antibiotic free. Bravo voluntarily subjects themselves to strict USDA inspections so you know that your foods are being handled and manufactured according to the same standards as our human food. For those who are looking for easier-to-feed products, Bravo carries special blends that include meat, bone, offal and a little veg. For those who are looking only for ground meat and bones, they have that too. And if you want whole bones, yep, they've got those too! Their products also include exotic meats which are wonderful as a novel protein source and their wide variety allows you to pick and choose what you feel is best suited for your pets.
I like the Bravo products. I like the variety. I love the quality. I like the ease of control that I have over the exactly what my dogs (and cat) are eating and I like to be able to tailor the diet to my pets' specific needs. I like the company. I like the way the people run the company and I like the way they care about companion animals as a whole. I feed only Bravo foods and with good conscience; this is the only raw food that I recommend. Why? Because I know that it's clean, I know that it's safe, I know that it's the best quality possible and I know that the folks who are taking care of my food care about my dogs just as much as I do. They guarantee my food in the same way that I can guarantee yours. I can't put a price on that. With this in mind, I am proud to bring Bravo products to Bell Canyon, the west San Fernando Valley, Calabasas, Westlake Village, Agoura, Newbury Park and all the surrounding areas.
I believe in supplements - not because a diet may be lacking but because there are many supplements that are 1) good for general use and 2) give a little added boost for those in need. On a daily basis, I personally take a good quality fish oil, anti-oxidants and a small amount of "green" supplements. The same goes for my dogs. Some people use supplements to "fill in the gaps" and others, like me, believe in their general use on the whole. The one thing about supplements is that you can tailor them to specific needs and because Bravo foods are free from all additives, this gives you the comfort zone in knowing that if you do choose to add supplements to the diet, you can do so on a very individual basis.
The only supplements K9 Raw Diet carries are those supplements which my dogs have personally used and those which I personally recommend. As an individual, I stand by the integrity of those products I have used and still recommend and as the owner of a company I only feel comfortable retailing those products which I feel are safe, produced with extreme quality control and which are guaranteed to provide maximum effectiveness. K9 Raw Diet carries supplements from B-naturals, Animal Essentials and Bravo all of which live up to my own personal standards.
The purpose of K9 Raw Diet is pretty simple: to help you help your companion animals lead the healthiest, longest, happiest lives possible. It all starts with good, clean, wholesome and biologically appropriate food. When we provide our dogs and cats with the very best food possible, we're giving them the building blocks they need in order to achieve the type of good health they deserve. We all know that the foundation of health begins with diet and since our pets rely on us to make good choices, it's our responsibility to do right by them.
K9 Raw Diet is dedicated to providing you with only the best quality products. Everything here is "ultra premium." We are always available to answer your questions, to point you in the right direction, to assist you with local referrals and to supply you with the building blocks of good health. We stand by our integrity and we are nuts about quality control!
If you have any questions, ever, please feel free to contact Mindy Fenton at:
K9 Raw Diet
Bell Canyon, CA