Two dogs behind the table

The Heart of the Grain-free Debate

Dr.DOUG_200x200Dr. Doug Knueven has been practicing veterinary medicine in Beaver County, PA since 1987 and practicing alternative veterinary medicine since 1995. He lectures at state and national veterinary conferences. He has written two books: Stand by Me: A Holistic Handbook for Animals, Their People and the Lives They Share Together, and The Holistic Health Guide: Natural Care for the Whole Dog.

By Guest Contributor Doug Knueven, DVM, CVA, CVC, CVCH

Since last July when the FDA released a warning regarding a possible link between grain-free dog food and the development of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), the grain-free debate has raged on. Before we get into the grain-free issue, let’s back up and look at the disease we’re talking about. DCM is an ailment of the heart muscle brought on by a weakening in the muscle tissue. It is the most common cause of heart disease in certain large-breed dogs such as the Great Dane, Boxer, and Doberman Pincer, so there is a genetic component. However, this disease is also linked to a deficiency of the amino acid taurine in a dog’s blood.

The concern with grain-free diets is that they might lead to taurine deficiency. Most caregivers choose grain-free foods because they realize that grains are an unnatural ingredient in a dog’s diet. What they don’t appreciate is that grain-free diets simply replace the grain with ingredients such as peas, lentils, legumes, or potatoes, which are equally inappropriate foods for dogs. In addition, these grain replacers contain anti-nutrients which are natural plant compounds that interfere with the digestion and/or absorption of nutrients such as taurine. So, grain-free dog food manufacturers may formulate their diets to contain adequate taurine, but not account for the amount lost to the anti-nutrients in the diet’s novel components.

The grain-free link to DCM has brought conventional veterinary nutritionists down from their ivory towers and into the media. They are using the concern over grain-free diets to extol the value of grain in dog foods. The mantra of the nutritionists is that, when it comes to pet foods, it’s not the ingredients that are important, but the nutrients. I suppose that they themselves eat “People Chow” [it would be great if you could link People Chow to this video –]rather than freshly prepared meats, vegetables, and fruits.

Pet caregivers are understandably confused. They seem to be forced to choose between foods with crummy ingredients, including gains, with adequate taurine, and dog food with nice looking ingredients that might cause heart disease. Some people have become convinced that corn is good for dogs (which is obviously not true unless you’re talking about corndogs).

For me, this whole grain-free debate is moot. The truth is that no mater how “natural” the ingredients, there is no processed dog food (grain-free or otherwise) that is appropriate for dogs. Dogs have evolved over millions of years to eat a balanced, raw diet such as that of wolves. That’s why their dental structures are nearly identical. A truly natural diet for a dog is free of grains, peas, lentils, legumes, potatoes and other starchy ingredients. It has all the needed taurine and no anti-nutrients.

So, skip the grain-free debate and go raw!

13 Nutritional Benefits of Duck Eggs for Pets

flock of indian runner ducks in the gardenOur newest Answers Pet Food Detailed Formula for dogs are now made with organic pasture-raised duck eggs instead of organic chicken eggs.

Duck eggs can have a uniquely beneficial impact on pet health, we’re pleased to bring these benefits to you.


Duck eggs are a high quality source of nutrition

* Duck eggs are an excellent natural source of protein.

* They are nutritionally-dense.

* Duck eggs have more yolk than chicken eggs.

* Pets (and people) with allergies to chicken eggs can often eat duck eggs.

* Pasture-raised ducks have access to the outdoors eat a healthier natural diet (including plants and bugs), which results in the better quality of pasture-raised duck eggs – and better nutritional value. Answers sources its eggs from pasture-raised ducks.

* Nutrients in duck eggs help support the health of bones and teeth.

• Duck eggs are also lauded for their delicious natural flavor.

duck eggs

Duck egg vitamins: naturally ideal

* Duck eggs contain many of the same vitamins as chicken eggs, but a higher amount of these vitamins are found in duck eggs

* Pasture-raised ducks lay eggs that are likely to contain more vitamin D from absorbing natural sunlight.

* Duck eggs are also a good source of Vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B9 (Folate), B12, E, Iron, Phosphorus, Zinc, Selenium and Choline. Chlorine is an essential nutrient that helps the body’s cells communicate. It helps create neurotransmitters that facilitate nerve communication.

Low-carb duck eggs are a natural boost for a healthy diet

* Duck eggs have more Omega-3 fatty cells. Omega-3 fatty cells are believed to help dogs with skin conditions, heart health, kidney health, cognitive function, and arthritis issues.

* Low in carbs, yet high in fats and a large amount of cholesterol (more than twice as much as chicken eggs), duck eggs are perfect for low carb (and Keto) diets.

* Reports suggest that the peptides in the whites of duck eggs can help body absorb other important nutrients. It is also reported that they can potentially help prevent other diseases (such as heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases).
To learn more about the Answers Pet Food formulas that now feature duck eggs, please visit our site to see our complete range of pet foods.

Please visit us on Facebook for news, regularly updated product information, and live question and answer sessions with our experts.

Lystn, LLC, Manufacturer of Answers Pet Food In Response to the January 14, 2019 FDA Warning Notice

 This press release by Lystn, LLC d.b.a./ANSWERS Pet Food is in response to the January 14, 2019 Food Drug and Administration Warning Notice: “FDA Cautions Pet Owners Not to Feed One Lot of A+ Answers Straight Beef Formula for Dogs Due to Salmonella”. 

Before addressing the history and investigation behind the events leading up to the FDA’s posting of this Notice, please allow Lystn to correct a number of errors in the FDA’s Notice: 

(1) The Best Use By Date (BUBD) is incorrectly listed as 20/08 20. The correct BUBD is 02/08 20. 

(2) The statement that Lystn has recalled the affected lot in Nebraska is not correct. Lystn stopped further distribution of the lot in question working with Lystn’s distributor, retail stores and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture who reported the follow-up that the product was removed from retail store shelves. 

(3) Just one reason Lystn has not implemented a nationwide recall is because the product was only tested by the State of Nebraska and Lystn for which the test results were contradictory addressed below, and not tested by the FDA. 

The FDA Notice comments that the reason why the FDA issued this warning is because it (the product in question) represents a serious threat to human and animal health and is adulterated under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). It is important to note that neither Lystn nor any government agency has received any report of animal or human illness. Neither the State of Nebraska nor the FDA quantified the alleged finding of Salmonella which is just one factor for consideration when defining adulterated food under the FD&C Act. The FDA uses a Compliance Policy Guide which contains Nonbinding Recommendations of a “zero tolerance” of Salmonella for enforcement. In contrast to human consumed products inspected by the USDA, a certain percentage of Salmonella is allowed (some of the same sourcing Lystn buys as ingredients for its pet food). For just some of the reasons stated below, Lystn disagrees with the FDA “zero tolerance” policy, based upon our understanding of science and the FD&C Act. For additional information on our response to the FDA and Lystn’s position on these and other raw pet food industry issues, please visit our website. Additional information is forthcoming through continued updates. 

Because Salmonella is prevalent throughout much of the food chain and in our environment, Lystn formulates ANSWERS Pet Food products to protect the pets and their owners from potential harmful bacteria using what is referred to as “Hurdle Technology”. One step of Lystn’s Hurdle Technology uses natural competitive inhibition through fermentation by inoculating our products, which favors growth of desirable (good) bacteria but inhibits the growth of pathogens (bad bacteria). This avoids destroying the benefits of good bacteria needed in the gut of the pets ingesting ANSWERS Pet food and continues to protect the pets post ingestion and the household environment from potential pathogens. 

One (1) random test by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture was sampled 12/10/18 and revealed the presence of Salmonella in the Straight Beef Formula 4lb. Pounder for Dogs. Lystn requested a split sample of the product in question and while a confirmation of Salmonella was detected on the initial sample supplied by Nebraska, there was insufficient quantity to run all the quantitative tests. Lystn requested and received a subsequent larger quantity and all 4 samples tested negative for the presence of Salmonella. It is Lystn’s belief (as well as our science advisors) that the initial sample sent from Nebraska may have been cross contaminated in the lab, transport or elsewhere and should not be considered a representative sample. Even if Salmonella was present in the initial sample, equally important was that the quantification of Lactic Acid Bacteria in the subsequent samples was significant in quantity (greater than Log 7) confirming that our fermentation process was working and therefore evaluated as a safe product by Lystn’s team of scientists and advisors. 

Lystn’s Hurdle Technology and labeling addresses the concerns expressed by the FDA regarding product exposure and handling risks to children and immune compromised individuals, in that the good bacteria from the fermentation process continues to compete with bad bacteria, regardless of manner of exposure. Lystn’s labeling conspicuously identifies the products as being in the raw state and states – “For Pet Use Only: Not for human consumption. This product has not been pasteurized and may 

contain harmful bacteria.” The labeling also contains – “Safe Handling Instructions: Keep raw meat separate from other foods. Wash working surfaces, utensils, hands and any other items that come in contact with raw meat with hot soapy water.

We advised the FDA of Lystn’s extensive third party test results and science based evaluation that the food is safe and not a public health risk, in accordance with the assessment of an independent Ph.D. science expert in concurrence with Lystn’s science team. Nevertheless, the FDA proceeded to issue this Warning Notice without further consultation with Lystn. 

Many of our distributors, customers, and retailers alike understand Lystn’s use of competitive inhibition through the process of fermentation to protect our foods from pathogens. But, if after presenting our customers with our views, if a customer is uncomfortable with an ANSWERS’ product, they may return it (or any unused portion) to the place of purchase for a full refund. The Straight Beef Formula 4lb. Pounder for Dogs product comes in a cardboard milk carton box marked with lot code 2018 and a Best Use By Date (BUBD) of 02/08 20 sticker on the carton. The above referenced lot number and BUBD Lystn product was distributed at various times from 8/17/18 to 9/14/18 and sold through retail stores within the United States. 

ANSWERS Pet Food continues to be at the forefront as a leader in transparency and is committed to keeping you informed. We are in the process of creating a page on our website for the web and social media for our customers to go see the latest information concerning state and federal regulatory matters applicable to ANSWERS Pet Food and the raw pet food industry. To learn more about ANSWERS, our unique process, and the raw pet food industry, please visit our website at 

The above comments and observations by Lystn are the current view and understanding of Lystn and not intended to be a statement of law nor contain all details that may apply. Thank you for time and understanding. 

Lystn, LLC, Manufacturer of Answers Pet Food 

Roxanne Stone, VP of Quality Assurance/Quality Control (801) 707-2175 or 

Why We Choose To Feed Raw

Dog (Black and White Border Collie) with Raw Chicken Thigh in MoBy Roxanne Stone, Vice President of Research and Development for Answers Pet Food

At Answers Pet Food, our philosophy on pet nutrition is fairly simple. We believe Mother Nature is the best authority on proper animal nutrition and it’s difficult to argue otherwise. A quick glimpse into observing the diets of canine ancestors, as well as their wild counterparts—the wolves, is all that is necessary to gain a good understanding of their basic diet and what makes them thrive.

Once most pet owners do even a small amount of research on dog or cat nutrition, the decision to feed raw is obvious. We encourage all pet owners to become educated on the basics of pet nutrition so they have the knowledge and tools to make the best choice in feeding their pets.

Historically, it has only been in recent years (about 80 years ago), that our pets have been introduced to the highly processed, sterile, grain based, enzyme deficient, modern diet. Prior to this, they consumed a raw, protein-based diet either through hunting smaller animals and rodents or from the raw bone and meat scraps they received from their human caretakers.

It isn’t surprising that we can observe a parallel in the same degenerative diseases and allergies in our pet populations that we see in our own human population, as humans have also moved to this highly processed, high carbohydrate diet.

Dr. Karen Becker, DVM and licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor, clearly explains that the short G.I. tracts of dogs and cats (carnivores) are not designed to digest large amounts of carbohydrates, which unfortunately are the base of most commercial pet foods. Rather, they are intended to digest raw protein based diets. Dr. Becker links many of the following diseases to the high carbohydrate, grain based pet food diets including;

• chronic skin conditions

• auto-immune diseases

• allergies

• urinary tract infections

• kidney stones

• degenerative joint disease

• and cancer

…just to name a few.

Many pet owners who see the nutritional benefits of raw are reluctant to try it for fear of harmful bacteria. Dr. Doug Knueven, DVM and author of The Holistic Health Guide, Natural Care For The Whole Dog, mentions that in his experience, pathogens such as E. Coli and Salmonella, are rarely a problem for dogs and they are able to handle these bacteria much the same way their ancestors have for millennia.

We agree that healthy pets with well developed gut micro-flora should not experience any ill effects from consuming raw meat. However, Answers Pet Food also takes food safety and manufacturing to the highest level when sourcing and preparing our products. We understand that reducing the risk of harmful bacterial contamination starts at the farm, and in the manner the livestock are raised, fed, and handled. All of our raw meat ingredients are sourced from livestock that are free-range, pasture-fed, and have never ever been administered growth hormones or antibiotics. Our raw meat ingredients are from USDA inspected facilities and are passed for human consumption.

Answers_Chickens_0112_altAnswers puts strict quality control measures in place at our manufacturing facility (also USDA inspected) to control pathogens. In fact, many of our ingredients are delivered fresh and processed upon arrival to deliver the highest quality end product. In addition, we use one of the most traditional methods in the history of food preparation for reducing the potential growth of harmful bacteria—fermentation. We add fermented green tea (decaffeinated kombucha) into each batch of our Detailed formula. This decreases the overall pH of the product, provides a competitive environment of “good, beneficial bacteria” and reduces the growth of any harmful bacteria.

On the consumer level, raw products should always be handled with the utmost care and concern. We recommend following the same safe handling procedures as you would when preparing your own meals using raw ingredients. Always keep raw food separate from cooked and ready to eat products. This can be as simple as dedicating one of the lower shelves or drawers in the refrigerator to raw products only. Wash all surfaces, utensils and hands thoroughly with hot, soapy water after they come in contact with raw products. Keep raw products frozen until you are ready to thaw and serve them. Once raw products are completely thawed they should be kept refrigerated (<42°F) and consumed by the pet within 7 days. We recommend not to re-freeze previously thawed raw foods if at all possible. Following these safe handling practices and using good hygiene is the best defense in keeping both humans and pets in the household healthy and happy.

ALL_represented_groupedPreparing your own homemade, nutritionally complete, raw dog food can be expensive, inconvenient, and time consuming. Specially created by a nutritional scientist, Answers Pet Food developed one of the most nutritionally-dense lines of raw dog food. No calculations, guessing, preparing, or mess—Answers raw, fermented food is available in several sizes and forms. These formulas come in an environmentally-friendly, recyclable package. It’s a convenient, nutritious source of naturally raw food for pet owners to choose and feed with ease.

We are here to help support and share our knowledge with all pet owners and provide their pets with a safe, nutritious, high quality, 100% raw, whole food diet.

Brushing Made Fun.

Judy Dethloff, guest blogger

Over the past year I have talked to many pet owners who do not regularly, or ever, clean their pets’ teeth. Oh, did I hit a nerve? Are you one of them? Let February 2018 be the beginning of this important element of your pet’s life.


Yes life. Just like humans, serious diseases and even death can occur from neglecting those pearly choppers. Death, are you kidding me? I’m not. Many years ago my vet told me a story about his own mother’s dog dying because she never took care of it’s teeth.  Over time the dog’s gingivitis escalated, became septic and died. That is an extreme case, however, it’s not an isolated incident.


You’re in luck! I can help you get past the procrastination of starting this fun task. Yeah, make it fun! You’ll be surprised once you begin how happy and excited your pet will be when it’s teeth cleaning time. For those of you who already brush your pet’s teeth regularly….you rock.


In the past twelve months I have gone from three dogs to one. Nick is a 5 year old Norwegian Elkhound. When his sisters were alive, boy did we have fun at brush time.  All three lined up, not as interested in the act of brushing, but more about getting to the yummy toothpaste.


When Nick sees the toothpaste tube he literally comes running. I have to clean him on the carpet or he slides all over the place.  He sits between my legs and as I reach for his mouth, he tilts his head. I grab his lip and go all the way back to his molar and scrub. I do the canine mainly to humor him as I have been told the main objective is the back molars. Off to the other side, I finish with a squirt of toothpaste on my finger that he licks off thinking it’s a treat.


I only have two hands, all of which is handling Nick’s mouth, so I’m unable to guard the toothpaste tube away from the others and clean him at the same time.  Several times Sam would chew the tube while the Black Labrador had her head under my arm waiting for me to finish with Nick.  Long story to an easy task.


Regarding the toothbrush itself, none of my dogs did well with the brush on each end of the handle. Their heads spun around as if they were trying to follow the brush in order to get the goodies off the end.  Instead, I switched to a brush that would fit on the end of my finger which allowed me to have better control.


My dogs were 17 ½ , 13, and Nick who is 15 years old. None of them ever had a dental visit in their life nor did they need one. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate enough to know Jacqueline Hill, Vice President of Operations and Product Development for Answers Pet Food. Jacqueline educated me, providing excellent guidance on pet nutrition and care, along with my own veterinarians’.

OK kids! Off to fun, happy, and healthy brushing. Please don’t get discouraged if it doesn’t go like clock work at first. Honestly, I don’t think it will take long before your pet enjoys it. It didn’t take long for mine, and they were adopted adult rescues. Oh, I forgot, be prepared for the occasional spit flying!



Helping Your Dog Have a Healthier Mouth

by Dr. Dog Mom, DVM, guest blogger

I love my dogs! They are sweet, funny, smart, loving, and fun! I could go on and on! I bet you love yours too or you wouldn’t be reading this. Their biggest fault is they don’t live long enough. I try to give my dogs the best care available so they will lead long and healthy lives. Don’t you?

One very important, but often neglected, key to keeping our dogs healthy and maximizing the chance they will have a long life is home dental care.

Unhealthy mouths are part of a terrible disease cycle, which starts with with bacteria, leads to tartar (an ugly brown/tan substance) building up on the dog’s teeth, and, if left unchecked, will be followed by gingivitis (inflamed gums), bad breath, and even more serious hidden problems under the gum-line, in the jaw and in the dog’s body.

What causes tartar?

Dogs’ mouths are a complex environment of bacteria and immune cells. There are millions of bacteria living in our dogs’ mouths. Unfortunately, some of the bacteria in their mouths are what we call pathogenic or disease-causing bacteria. These bacteria feed on carbohydrates and others food material in the dogs’ mouth and start forming a biofilm across the exposed surfaces of the teeth and below the gum line. Initially, this is invisible but sticky. Gradually, the bacterial matrix will combine with minerals and harden into tartar, which you can see.

Not only is tartar unsightly, but the dog will also suffer from bad breath. This can affect the enjoyment of our relationship with our dogs. But, even worse, the bacteria produce toxins and will erode the attachments of the teeth and may eventually erode the jaw bone. Even more disturbing, the bacteria may enter the bloodstream and affect the heart and/or kidneys.

What influences dental disease?

The amount of dental disease a dog suffers from depends on several components: genetics, the size of the mouth, diet, the bacterial population in the mouth and mechanical removal of the sticky bacterial film.

How can we, the pet parent, help our dogs and minimize this problem? Let’s look at each of the above listed risk factors and how we might influence our dog’s dental health in each case.

1. Genetics and jaw size

Before you pick a dog, you could select a breed that is less prone to dental disease. Toy breeds are especially prone to dental disease. This is not only due to having a small mouth and crowded teeth, but also due to genetics. Yes, genetics influence the size of the jaw, but beyond that, genetics affect how the dog’s body responds to the attack of the oral bacteria. The majority of the damage from dental bacterial disease is actually a result of the inflammatory response the dog’s own body develops in response to the bacteria. Personally, I am stuck with these risk factors as I am in love with a toy breed! Also, once a dog is part of our family, we can’t do anything about the genetic or jaw size part. Our dog is our dog! So, this gives me a lot of incentive to concentrate on the risk factors I can influence, which we will discuss next.

2. Diet

A diet high in carbohydrates and starches will only encourage the growth of the destructive bacteria in the dogs’ mouths and give them “fuel” for developing tartar. For this (and many other reasons) please feed your dogs a natural meat based diet and treat them with only with natural healthy snacks. (I am always amazed at how many pet parents sped a lot of money on their dog’s food but then give them treats that are full of grains and/or made in China or are full of sugar!)

3. The bacterial population

The bacteria causing dental disease are very hard to kill, especially once they form plaque. Plaque is actually a protective biofilms the bacteria form. Once the biofilm forms, the bacteria are over a thousand times harder to kill with antibiotics. Therefore, antibiotics are not useful in treating dental disease. At one point, there was a vaccine developed against some of the destructive strains of oral bacteria but the data was very mixed and the vaccine turned out to be potentially harmful, so the conditional license was withdrawn and it was removed from veterinary tool boxes.

Another concept would be to overwhelm the “bad bacteria” with “good bacteria” in the from of probiotics. This idea has been explored in both human and veterinary dentistry. The studies I have looked at show mixed results. Some lactobacillus species, especially Lactobacillus brevis, may be helpful here. The good news is Answers Raw Fermented Goat’s Milk and Kefir contain Lactobacillus brevis!!!

Even with mixed results about the helpfulness of probiotics for dental health, since probiotics are important for a healthy gut immune system, I advocate using Answers Fermented Goat’s Milk and Kefir for these reasons also.

4. Mechanical Removal of the biofilm before/after it becomes plaque

How? By hand scraping? Brushing? Professional veterinary cleaning? Bones? It goes without arguing that the most thorough way to clean teeth is by a veterinarian under anesthesia, where the teeth can even be cleaned below the gum line, and the teeth can be thoroughly polished after the removal of tarter. But, there are the downsides of the risk anesthesia and the ever increasing cost. Also, this is just a temporary measure. Sadly, within hours of even a professional cleaning, the bacterial populations will start back up. So it is extremely important to have daily home care of the teeth. We can help our dogs here!

Hand scraping without polishing will damage dental enamel. I do not recommend scraping dogs’ teeth without following it with sufficient polishing, which is about impossible to do right without the proper equipment.

Some raw feeders like to use raw bones for nutrition and to help keep teeth clean. However, raw bones come with the risk of breaking teeth and bones may also be a choking hazard. I personally do not feed raw bones (though I will use ground bones and bone broth for nutrition). Never feed cooked bones or ANY weight bearing bones. I know many raw feeders may disagree with me on this, but this I am sharing my honest opinion. We can do a lot to help our dogs by brushing their teeth which gently mechanically removes the biofilm. Years ago, I started brushing my dogs’ teeth. Due to personal circumstances in the late 90’s, I stopped brushing their teeth for a while. I saw very quickly a huge increase in the amount of tartar building up in my dogs’ mouths! Never ever use human toothpaste for a dog, some contain xylitol which is fatal, none are meant to be swallowed and dogs don’t spit out toothpaste! There are many dental products made for dogs but choose wisely. READ the ingredients. There are many products I avoid due to containing unnatural ingredients. Board certified veterinary dentists have told me the mechanical action of brushing is the critical part and even brushing without paste or gel will help. I do find, however, some products do seem to help some, others do not.

Now, if you have never brushed your dogs teeth, don’t expect to just pick up a brush and be able to do this on the first try! This is, after all, a rather alien concept for a dog to accept why we are sticking a plastic stick in their mouths and moving it around!! Many dogs don’t even like their mouths touched. You need to condition a dog to accepting teeth brushing. I use positive reinforcement and my dogs fight to get their turn at teeth brushing! I start by just handling their mouth and clicking and treating. Gradually, I open the lips, click and treat. I build up to touching the teeth, touching a toothbrush to the teeth and so on. If you are not familiar with the process of teaching a dog to accept something this way, please get an experienced person to work with you.

Answers Pet Food, Treats

Answers Pet Food, Treats

But how do you reward teeth brushing and not undo everything you just did by brushing their teeth after eating?

This has been a dilemma of mine —until recently! I now use Answers Rewards after I brush my dogs’ teeth. Not only do my dogs absolutely love these treats, but they are full of probiotics and have other healthy ingredients good for their immune systems.

Just go in small steps, several times a day. Take your time. It is very important to make the rewards worth it for you dog. My most recent puppy used to act like I was killing her, just by touching her mouth! It took a lot of time and patience, and high value rewards, but now I can brush her teeth throughly (and yes, she lines up with the others for her turn).

Additionally, I am really excited to share with you that I learned through my research in dental literature that cheese has been shown in clinical studies to have a protective affect on teeth. Studies by human dentists have shown that eating cheese after a meal will actually help protect the teeth! In humans, the literature states it only takes 15 grams, which is about a half an ounce, of cheese, to have a protective effect. If an average human weighs 150 pounds, it does not sound like it would take much to reach a helpful level in my dogs! I see no reason why this benefit would not apply to dogs. (One Answers Reward weighs about 0.2 ounces, by the way).

So using Answers Rewards to positively reward my dogs accepting teeth brushing has been win/win! I am giving my dogs probiotics to help their oral and GI flora, I am rewarding them for accepting brushing and the cheese is helping prevent the bacteria acting on the teeth in the first place!

Will you pledge to start incorporating home dental care to help protect your dog’s health today?

It may be one of the most important steps you can take to influence your dog’s health. I really can’t emphasize enough how important it is for you to start incorporating at least once daily brushing into your pet care routine. However, if you absolutely can’t brush their teeth, please at least feed a species appropriate raw meat based diet and follow the meal with a raw goat’s milk based Rewards!

The case against High Pressure Pasteurization.

What is HPP?

High Pressure Pasteurization is a USDA-approved non-thermal pasteurization process that is commonly used in the food industry. It’s viewed as an effective way to eliminate disease-causing bacteria, or pathogens such as E. coli, in food. It achieves this result through the application of using extremely high pressure exerted by a liquid through a water bath that surrounds the food. The pressure is uniformly applied from all sides in order from the product from being crushed.

The case against HPP.

+ Once HPP process is used, food cannot be considered legitimately raw

+ Pasteurization depletes and irreversibly denatures enzymes, vitamins, essential
fatty acids, and benefical bacteria

+ Processing deteriorates the molecular composition of meat

+ HPP does not kill the spores that may form when bacteria go into hibernation mode

High Pressure Pasteurized raw foods are no longer truly raw.

Pressure pasteurization strips away naturally-occurring probiotics, proteins, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. There is no good bacteria left to protect against bad bacteria. After the HPP process, meat is reground, due to the cooked appearance. Regrinding can contaminate meat with harmful bacteria, and further have a deteriorating impact on the chemical composition of the meat; including grinding, mixing, vacuum stuffing and freezing.

Standard mass market approach.

Much of the meat in this country contains pathogenic bad bacteria loads–a direct result of the crowded housing conditions, poor hygiene, and improper feeding and handling techniques of livestock animals. Thus the reason many companies chose or need to use HPP.  This is why we only use livestock that is not kept in confinement.

HPP loopholes.

Although HPP kills both bad pathogenic and beneficial bacteria, many bacteria will hibernate and form spores when faced with a hostile environment like HPP. Since beneficial bacteria have been destroyed, pathogens (bad bacteria) have no competition in the environment, and harmful spores can freely proliferate to infectious levels.

Our unique process sets us apart in the pet food industry



Our nutritional vision is to make the best pet food available. We found that the best way to accomplish this was by using fermented raw foods. Since the birth of our company in 2009, we have enjoyed organic growth all over the country thanks to the fantastic results of pets switching from processed, raw or so-called raw foods to our fermented diet.


Unlike any other raw diet, Answers Pet FoodTM enhances the nutritional value of raw food through the process of fermentation. It’s a safe, healthier option to standardized HPP. Fermentation produces a natural medicine known as bacteriocins, which destroy unwanted bacteria. By utilizing kombucha (fermented organic decaffeinated green tea), raw cultured whey, cultured raw goat’s milk, and kefir, we created our own category by becoming the first and only fermented raw pet food diet in the industry.


Good bacteria is needed to create a thriving gut, and we believe that bacteria is the number one missing ingredient in pet food. We inoculate every one of our foods with this beneficial bacteria and allow the organisms to thrive. These bacteria go to work pre-digesting the food, making it easier for pets to assimilate nutrients. Fermentation helps support immune function; it increases B-vitamins, digestive enzymes, antioxidants, and lactic acid that fight off harmful bacteria. Good bacteria fill up the food and also inhibit the growth of bad bacteria. Safety through inhibition—just like nature has done from the very beginning. Fermentation is the most natural and effective way for us to make our products as safe and healthy as possible.

From Farm to Bowl

We knew there needed to be a higher level of quality nutrition, food bioavailability, and a more humane way to source farm animals in the pet food industry.

Knowing the state of operations and quality of food that were currently on the shelves, we didn’t want to be a large, industrial corporation that outsourced materials, or one of the so-called raw food companies employing harsh processing techniques like high pressure processing or freeze-drying.

We knew it was time to offer a humane, sustainable way of organic, pasture-raised farming that protects the food state, environment, animals, and our pets’ well-being. From farm to bowl, this is how Answers Pet FoodTM was created.

Our standards are set both by science and by socially and environmentally-conscious principles. We’d like pet owners to re-examine how to meet their pets’ nutrition requirements and health care needs.

Our mission is to be more than a pet food manufacturing company, but an ethical, social,
environmentally-conscious and best-practices-based movement in the raw pet food industry. And our goal is to improve the probability that our pets live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Beyond the Bowl was created to meet the needs of our pet parents that were looking to us for guidance on nutrition, feeding practices, health concerns, current and upcoming events, and sharing advanced medical news and research in the holistic pet health care industry.