CHICKEN FEATHERS IN DOG FOOD?
Another day, another disappointing headline about the US pet food industry. The manufacturers blame the co-packers. The co-packers blame the ingredient suppliers. The ingredient suppliers blame the farmers. Everyone sues each other.
It's time for someone to take responsibility for the shady practices in this industry. Here's what we are doing at COAST+RANGE to change the game!
GAME CHANGER #1: WE KNOW OUR SUPPLIERS.
This may seem obvious, but at COAST+RANGE we actually get to know each one of our ingredient suppliers and vet them using a rigorous set of standards (location, sustainability, environmental impact, treatment of animals, cleanliness and age of facilities, and historical track record, to name a few). We also work with an industry consultant with over 30 years of human and pet food ingredient supply experience to ensure that we have made the right choice for EVERY ingredient we use!
We have gone to even greater lengths when it comes to selecting the company that will be making our food. Over the past ten months, we interviewed dozens of co-packers in the US & Canada and visited facilities in three different states before making our selection. We will be sharing more details on our choice in the coming weeks, but rest assured, they are AWESOME!
Off to visit another supplier!
GAME CHANGER #2: WE KEEP IT SIMPLE
A typical bag of premium dog food contains over 50 ingredients. A bag of COAST+RANGE dog food will contain less than 30 ingredients - ingredients you will instantly recognize and know are good for your dog like duck, liver, apples, eggs, strawberries, and blueberries. By keeping our ingredient list short we use fewer suppliers which allows us to keep tighter control over the quality of the ingredients we purchase. We then gently bake our food in small batches which allows us to be very picky about the ingredients for our foods (unlike the big guys who must buy commodity ingredients in bulk regardless of quality).
Now, making a simple dog food may sound easy, but when you consider that every serving of food must meet a dog's nutritional requirements for an ENTIRE day, you realize it is actually quite hard. We spent months, and our (very patient) veterinarian/formulator went through over 30 iterations, before landing on our first simple (and not quite final) formula below. WHEW!
Less than 30 ingredients 100% of which I recognize? Not that's simple!
GAME CHANGER #3: WE EXHAUSTIVELY TEST
At the end of the day, personal relationships and small batches will only go so far. That's why COAST+RANGE will go beyond what is required by the FDA to ensure the safety of our products. We will test our foods (in a lab, NEVER on animals) for the presence of heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants. We will even perform DNA testing to check for adulterated product (like making sure our duck is actually duck and not inexpensive chicken masquerading as duck).
We will make the results available to our pet parents and, more importantly, we will let our suppliers know the results too. It's amazing what happens to ingredient quality when your suppliers know you are paying attention!
A C+R lab report + green tea = our idea of a fun afternoon!
WHY DOESN'T EVERYONE WANT TO CHANGE THE GAME?
All of this extra work and testing may sound expensive, but it actually isn't. For example, the DNA test we perform to check for protein adulteration costs just $120. It begs the question: if pet food companies really cared about our dogs and the quality of the ingredients they use, wouldn't they do the same things we do at COAST+RANGE? Sadly the answer probably lies in the fact that ~90% of the pet food sold in the US (even the expensive stuff) is controlled by five big mega-corporations who typically do only what is required by law.
Something to think about the next time you buy food for your dog!
FOR THE CARE+LOVE OF DOGS,
THE TEAM AT COAST+RANGE