Use the links below to find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Use the links below to find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
This is a question we frequently get and it is always very tough to answer. Generally speaking, a food is only as good as the ingredients used to make it. One way to quickly determine quality is to look for low-quality, by-product ingredients like “chicken by-product meal” or “corn gluten meal.” If you see any of these ingredients, you might not be feeding the best food.
The truly tough question to answer is how do you know which brand is better if the ingredient panel of one brand reads “Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat…” and the other also reads “Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat…” Both are identical! The short answer is, there is no way of knowing and the reason for this is pet food companies are not allowed, dictated by regulations, to state the grade of a particular ingredient. And there are differences – big differences! Take for example “chicken meal”, there are many grades of chicken meal available, all of which may be labeled as “Chicken Meal” on the ingredient panel. The same is true for other ingredients.
So what are some of the differences in, for example, “chicken meal?” First, the process and procedures used to make it can vary greatly from supplier-to-supplier. A good supplier will cook the chicken at low temperatures, helping ensure the amino acid profiles and overall nutritional integrity are not compromised. Second, what parts of the chicken were used to make the chicken meal? A high-quality chicken meal will have very little bone and almost 100% skin and flesh, whereas a low-quality chicken meal will have more of the bad stuff like bones, feathers, beaks, etc. Lastly, where did the chicken come from: the human-grade bin or the animal-grade bin? Because we export our products to the European Union all of our formulas must use what are called EU-approved ingredients. The animals used to make EU-approved ingredients must be fit for human consumption meaning that if any part of a chicken, for example, is rejected for human consumption it may not be designated as “EU-approved.” So if a chicken has a spot on its breast that causes it to be rejected for human consumption, no other part of that chicken may be used for EU-approved chicken meal and will, therefore, go into the “animal-grade” bin.
To answer the original question directly, ultimately the quality of the food will show up in how your dog or cat likes and performs on it. Our company roots do not come from feeding those dogs and cats that would do alright on just about any food, rather Best Breed was built feeding dogs and cats that came into Dr. Gary’s clinic with issues and required a TRULY high-quality food in order to maintain their health and happiness.
We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience of not having a retailer close to you. Our retailer/distribution network is growing very quickly and hopefully we will have one near you very soon! If you are in Ohio, Michigan, West Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky, western Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin you will likely be able to special order Best Breed through your local, independent pet shop. If you are unable to do that or are outside of the aforementioned states you may order Best Breed from Chewy.com or directly from our website, bestbreed.com. If you are ordering through bestbreed.com and a retailer near you starts carrying our food, we will try to let you know!
Find Best Breed online at chewy.com and on our website
Because we export our products to the European Union our food must be made using EU-certified manufacturing practices. One of the requirements to attain this accreditation is that all foods must use EU-approved ingredients. This means that meats and fats from animals must be fit for human consumption, so if any part of a chicken, for example, is rejected for human consumption it may not be designated as “EU-approved.” If a chicken has a spot on its breast and may not enter the human food supply chain, no other part of that chicken, including the breast, may be used in our food. The same holds true for all other Best Breed ingredients. While many of our ingredients come from the same suppliers selling to the human food market, we are not saying all of our ingredients are human-grade and here is why. Chicken meal, for example, is not made for the human consumption market and therefore may not be called human-grade no matter how high quality the chicken used to make it is, but what we are saying, unlike many other pet food manufacturers, the chicken used in our chicken meal is fit for human consumption guaranteeing, for example, that no fallen animals or 4D ingredients are used.
Nearly all of our formulas have two modes of action in promoting joint health for each kibble. The first is by including glucosamine hydrochloride, a common glucosamine source found in many foods and supplements for both humans and pets. The other ingredient we use is the Perna Canaliculus, a Green-lipped Mussel raised off the shores of New Zealand. The Perna Canaliculus is very powerful in helping prevent arthritis and maintaining healthy connective tissue, tendons, ligament, and cartilage.
Perna Canaliculus is rich in:
Natural Glucosamine: A key building block for healthy cartilage
Chondroitin Sulfates: The principal component of cartilage and shock absorbers for joints
Hyaluronic acid: Necessary for maintaining the proper viscosity of synovial fluid surrounding the joint
Essential Fatty Acids: A natural anti-inflammatory that is not produced by the body
Amino Acids: Perna contains all 21 essential and non-essential amino acids which are the building blocks of all bodily tissue
Minerals: Important cofactors for bone and cartilage health
Nearly all of our ingredients are sourced from the United States. The few exceptions include: Canada, where we source our Salmon and a few carbohydrates, New Zealand, where we source the New Zealand Green Lipped Sea Mussel and Lamb and Germany, where we source our duck. Our vitamins and minerals mostly come from the U.S. and Europe.
Most dogs are not natural masticators, meaning they do not mash their food up before swallowing. Typically dogs take one or two bites then swallow, so a lot of kibbles go into the stomach whole. We believe that the small kibbles are much easier to digest than large kibbles as they have more surface area in relation to weight. In addition, the small kibble allows for the formation of a tighter mass of food, which may help reduce air pockets in the stomach. Think of a jar full of BBs compared to a jar full of golf balls – which one has less air in the jar?
We use 100% natural ingredients and therefore do not use any artificial colors. The change in kibble color is coming from differences in the natural ingredients being used. This variation in color does not impact the nutritional integrity of the food.
We do not have any prescription formulas, but we have successfully accomplished the same objective of many prescription formulas for years. With that being said, we recommend working with veterinarian to help determine if a Best Breed formula will work for your pet’s specific health requirement. If needed feel free to call us at 800-500-5999 or email us email@example.com for more information.
Grain free means that the carbohydrates in the food are not derived from grains. In our grain free formulas the carbohydrates come from fruits and vegetables such as green peas, blueberries, cranberries, lentils, chickpeas, etc.
The answer to this question is – it depends. Our Senior/Reduced Calorie food is used more for overweight and less active dogs than a life stage formula. If he is in good physical condition, we recommend keeping him on his current food. As his metabolism and activity level goes down and he starts to gain weight, you might then want to consider switching him to the Senior Dog Diet or cutting back on the amount you feed him. Regardless of what formula you go with, it is extremely important to feed to condition and keep him at a healthy weight. Doing this will help ensure a longer and happier life.
Our Puppy Diet is nutritionally appropriate and balanced for both small and large size breeds. There is a wide range of nutritional considerations when picking a puppy food, but one of the most important is calcium and its inclusion relative to phosphorus. A study was done awhile back to test how different levels of calcium affected the growth of various size puppies. The results showed that small breed puppies, when fed a diet with calcium levels ranging from as low as 0.33% to as high as 3.3%, experienced minimal issues. On the other end of the spectrum, large breed puppies, when fed a diet with calcium levels as low as 0.59% and as high as 3.3%, developed significant pathological lesions. (1) So what does all this mean? Basically it means that small breed puppies do not necessarily require a special diet, but large breeds do. Or put another way, small and large breed puppies may eat the same diet, assuming it is appropriate for large breed puppies. A typical lab analysis for the Best Breed Puppy Diet shows a dry matter calcium level of 1.22%, which is well within the recommended range of 1.0% to 1.5% for large breed puppy growth. Our calcium to phosphorus ratio is around 1.3-to-1, which is also considered ideal.
While balanced nutrient levels are important, the absolute, most critical thing you can do to help ensure healthy growth and development is to feed your puppy the appropriate amount of food. While there are those puppies that are genetically predisposed to hip, joint and bone issues, studies have shown that for most puppies, even those genetically predisposed, nutrition can help mitigate such conditions. This is done by keeping your puppy at a lean weight. One of the easiest ways to test for this is to run your hand over their rib cage, if you can feel the ribs they are likely at a healthy weight.
(1) Hazewinkel HAW, van den Brom WE, van’t Klooster AT, Voorhout G, van Wees A. Calcium Metabolism in Great Dane Dogs Fed Diets with Various Calcium and Phosphorus Levels. J Nutr 1991 121:S99.
We recommend keeping your pet’s food stored in the Best Breed bag located in a cool, dry place. We do not recommend dumping food into another container for storage as this significantly increases risk for contamination. When you are done removing food from the bag during feeding time, push the excess air out and close the zipper located at the top of the bag. Removing air and sealing the bag will help slow the oxidization process of natural fats and will keep the food fresher for a longer period of time.
There are two locations where it could be. For 30lbs. bags it is printed on the back panel located about halfway down in the tan part. For 4lbs. bags it is also located on the back panel all the way down to about 2 inches up from the bottom. It is printed with black ink on the blue part of the bag, so it is a little tougher to see without good lighting.
The specifications for kibble size has not changed. Our food is made using more of a hands-on approach in order to maintain the nutritional integrity of the food. Our operators are constantly fine-tuning the cooker to account for many variables ranging from atmospheric temperature to die size/shape. As it is being fine-tuned the kibble size will sometimes change slightly.
All Dog Formulas (except Working Dog Diet) – Approximately 120 cups
Working Dog Diet – Approximately 103 cups
Cat Diet and Grain Free Cat Diet – Approximately 126 cups
Our facility operates significantly below maximum capacity. The reason for this is we cook our dog and cat foods at a slightly lower temperature and at a slower rate than typical commercial facilities. There are two benefits in doing this. First, the lower cooking temperature helps protect the nutritional integrity (proteins, vitamins, minerals, etc.) of each kibble. Second, slowing the rate at which food is being moved through the extruder and oven increases the starch conversion rate, meaning carbohydrates are more fully cooked, increasing the bioavailability of nutrients in the food.
Recently, “allergies” is being diagnosed as the culprit for a wide variety of symptoms in dogs and cats. Often concerned pet parents believe their best friend is allergic to a particular ingredient in a food and while there are those cases where the pet is allergic or more accurately said, intolerant to, a particular ingredient the vast majority do not have allergies and if they do, they are allergic to something in the environment, such as house dust, grass, pollen, etc.
For those pets that are intolerant to a particular ingredient, we have a wide variety of foods with many different ingredient combinations ranging from grain free to chicken free to more limited ingredient-type formulas.
Regarding those cases where there is an environmental allergy or not even an allergy at all, just bad health, our food might be able to help. We have many customers who call us after using our food for a few months and tell us how surprised they are to find that their dog or cat is thriving on Best Breed, even though the food contained what they originally believed to be the ingredient causing all the issues. Why is this? The reason has more to do with what is in the food than not. A truly high quality food, like Best Breed and many others, will use truly high quality ingredients that are easy to digest and extract essential health-promoting nutrients from. One example is omega-3 fatty acids. A good food will have high levels of omega-3 fatty acids that are balanced with omega-6s and derived from quality sources such as fish and fish oils. How does this translate into helping with “allergies?” Those omega-3 fatty acids are used by the pet to build healthier skin and coat. If the pet does have environmental allergies, the omega-3 fatty acids and other nutrients will help build the immune system and skin barrier to where they can defend off such problem-causing pathogens.
While the changing seasons are very beautiful in Ohio, they cause great havoc on our four-legged friends. For example, as we move into winter and start turning on the furnaces, skin and coats tend to dry out causing pets to scratch. Pet parents often believe that their dog or cat is suffering from an allergy, but they might just have dry skin. In addition to feeding a high quality food, we often recommend bathing the scratchy pet with special shampoos to help replenish moisture in the skin. There are also environmental allergies that tend to occur at certain points in the year and then go away. While in some cases these symptoms are unavoidable no matter what you do, many times good nutrition can help transition from one season to another.
This may be attributed to air getting in his stomach while “gulping” food down, causing discomfort and inducing vomiting. To help with this issue we often recommend using methods to slow the eating process down; there are several ways to do this. One is to spread the food around in a sheet cake pan – doing this will make him work for the food a little bit more. Another idea is to soak the kibble in warm water for a few minutes. This will create a more bulk to the food. Lastly, there are several products on the market available at your local pet shop that may help slow him down. Some of these products work and others not, depending on the dog.
Yes, we recommend adding a little bit of warm water to the kibble and let it soak for a few minutes. Microwaving the kibble in water is another option. Doing this helps bring out the natural flavors in the food.
You absolutely may mix formulas! We have seen many pet parents successfully take one formula and mix it with another to get the best of both. For example, if a customer is currently feeding our Large Breed formula, but would like to put a little more weight on her dog, she might consider mixing our high-calorie Working Dog formula in.
Absolutely. All Best Breed formulas are designed to easily transition from one to another.
The obvious answer to this question is look at the feeding guidelines printed on the bag, but those who have used the feeding guidelines, only to end up with a pet either too fat or too skinny know that they are not very helpful. Just as with humans, pets metabolize their energy at different rates and therefore require a feeding program specifically tailored to their body and environment. The nutritional objective for your pet is to match calories consumed with calories burned and the only way to know how many calories your pet requires to maintain a healthy weight is to carefully monitor his or her weight and how much you feed. Initially, start with the feeding guidelines and from there adjust accordingly. So if he or she starts to gain weight you will want to adjust that amount down and on the other end of the spectrum, if he or she starts to lose weight you will want to adjust that amount up. Feeding treats and human food is alright in many cases, but factor the calories from those foods into the equation. Some biscuits, for example, have up to 250 calories! If you are looking for a treat that does not have many calories, consider fresh vegetables, such as carrots or green beans.
While we almost never hear of a dog or cat experiencing issues switching to our food, we do recommend a slow transition over the course of 10 or so days just to be safe. Start out by feeding 25% Best Breed the first three days 50% the next four days and 75% the remaining three days. If you do not have enough of the old food left to do a full 10 days, just shorten the duration down to whatever you can do.
For small breeds – 10 to 12 months
Larger breeds -12 to 16 months (Maybe a little bit longer than 16 months for giant breeds)
If your dog is doing well on the Puppy Diet, it is perfectly fine to leave her on it through adulthood.
Just as with humans, the more times you can feed your pet throughout the day, the better. Two to three times per day is optimal. Twice per day would be the total amount found in the feeding guidelines divided by two.
We often hear of customers who are able to feed less, sometimes significantly less depending on what food they are switching from. The reason for this is quite logical. Dogs and cats require a certain amount of daily calories for body maintenance and if you are switching to a food that has more calories per cup your pet will require less cups per day to meet their daily caloric requirements. Our formulas are very nutrient dense and tend to run a little higher, sometimes significantly higher, in calories per cup. This is largely attributable to the quality of ingredients we use. When switching to Best Breed we do not recommend immediately dropping the quantity you are feeding, rather start with the current amount and adjust according to body condition.
We do not currently offer a formal breeder program, but one is currently in the evaluation stage. We have worked with breeders and retailers on a case-by-case basis to provide discounts for large orders. If you are interested in pursuing something like this, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes! Just visit your local pet specialty store for more information.
Yes! Samples of our products are available at select independent retailers. You can find a retailer near you by visiting our dealer locator.
Sometimes we will partner with stores or give coupons out at special events, but we do not have a regular couponing program. To have a couponing program we would need to do one of two things. One, increase the price of the food to offset the cost of the coupon and expense to administer processing the coupon. Two, decrease product quality by using cheaper ingredients. Decreasing quality is NOT an option and increasing the everyday price $5 to offer a $3 dollar coupon does not make much sense either. Our philosophy and commitment to you is to keep our everyday price as low as possible without compromising quality!