11 Reasons to Make Petaluma Part of your Pup's Daily Routine
#1 Traditional dog food is filled with dirty, highly processed animal byproducts from factory farms.
Most dog food companies - even the “premium” and “natural” options - increase their profits by using the cheapest meat available with little regard for quality. This means purchasing ingredients from animals raised and slaughtered in overcrowded conditions, which dramatically increases the risk of pathogens like E Coli and Salmonella ending up in the food.
Traditional dog food also uses low-quality and highly-processed byproducts like meat meals to reduce the complexity and cost of transporting raw meat. Meat meals are made by melting animal parts - often from different species - into a soup-like sludge and spray-drying it into powder before it is added to the dog food mix. This rendered “soup” includes animals deemed unsafe for human consumption by the FDA because they were diseased, downed (unable to walk), or died before they could be slaughtered. After being stripped of many nutrients through the rendering and drying process, the meat meal and byproducts are then re-cooked at extremely high pressure to become dog kibble. Exposing proteins and fats to two or three heating cycles can damage nutrients and decrease digestibility. While these ingredients reduce cost, they can have consequences on the welfare of your dog (and certainly the livestock).
We eliminated animal-derived ingredients and replaced them with a variety of whole food and minimally-processed plant-based foods.
#2 Petaluma is oven-baked in the USA to preserve nutrients and flavors that are lost with traditional pressure-cooked kibble.
Ever wonder why all kibble looks the same, no matter how much you pay for it and what the company claims to put inside?
The strangely consistent "brown and round" look and smell are a result of industrialized processing. Kibble is made by cooking the ingredients at extremely high pressure, forcing it out of small holes to form pieces, and then spraying the lumps with fat and powder to restore flavor lost during steam-cooking. These machines cannot process whole ingredients, so everything must be ground down into a fine powder to pass through. While pressure-cooking kibble allows for faster processing (and lower costs), it comes with nutritional and quality consequences and leaves you guessing about what is really inside.
Our cooking process is much closer to what you'd see in a home kitchen. We mix our ingredients - including whole foods like carrots, oats, and parsley - into a dough, roll the dough into bite-sized pieces, and slow-bake the dough in an oven. This baking process brings out a natural roasted aroma that dogs love. It also preserves nutrients that would otherwise be lost in a rapid pressure-cooking process.
Baking dog food preserves complex carbohydrates in the dough and results in a lower glycemic index - and blood sugar spikes - than comparable extruded kibble. Baking also results in less fat oxidation, which means that healthy fats like omega-3s keep more of their anti-inflammatory properties. Plus, the baked bites are extremely tasty without needing sprayed-on flavor powders like a potato chip.
#3 Petaluma provides your dog with the right balance of nutrients needed to thrive from high-quality and organic ingredients.
Just like humans, most dogs do best on a balanced diet that includes healthy fats, low-glycemic carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and complete and digestible proteins. Dogs evolved as omnivores alongside humans, and we use a diverse range of plant- and fungi-based ingredients to provide every nutrient dogs need to thrive.
Each cup of Petaluma has more protein than a serving of steak sourced from tried-and-true ingredients like peanut butter, chickpeas, and whole grains. Flax seeds and marine microalgae provide omega-3 fats that are balanced with omega-6 fats from unrefined (and tasty) sunflower seed and peanut oil. Vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes contribute natural vitamins and minerals, as do other nutrient-dense specialty ingredients like kelp and deactivated yeast.
We seek better sources for every ingredient - including buying over 50% from certified organic farms - and our unique baking approach allows us to ensure that more of the natural nutrients make their way to your pup’s bowl.
#4 Traditional dog food is likely the single most environmentally destructive item in your pantry. Our food (and company) were designed to dramatically reduce your pup’s environmental pawprint.
American dogs consume as much meat as all people living in Texas, California, and Pennsylvania - that’s over 20% of U.S. meat consumption! Traditional dog food increases demand for factory-farmed animal ingredients, which can require up to 30 times more natural resources to produce than plant-based alternatives.
Petaluma was designed to provide complete and balanced nutrition with a dramatically smaller environmental footprint, allowing you to care for the planet as well as you care for your pup. Switching a 45-pound pup to Petaluma from a traditional diet has a similar annual greenhouse gas reduction as commuting to work on a bike rather than a car one day every week. Each cup of Petaluma also conserves 25 gallons of freshwater and 70 square feet of land use impact - water and land that would traditionally be used to grow crops - to feed to livestock - to feed to your dog.
Our radically sustainable formula cuts out the ‘middle cow’ to allow both your pup and the planet to thrive.
#5 Petaluma supports the digestive system for better health and💩
We formulated our food with natural prebiotics and plenty of dietary fiber to feed the healthy bacteria in your pup’s gut and keep their digestion running smoothly.
Your pup’s digestive system is filled with bacteria - a system called the microbiome - which can have major effects on their health. A healthy microbiome has a balance of ‘good’ bacteria species that help break down food, produce beneficial compounds, and don’t leave room for other ‘bad’ bacterial strains to take hold.
We include natural ingredients like sun-cured miscanthus grass that act as food for the ‘good’ bacteria - i.e. a prebiotic. We also use different types of whole grains like oats and brown rice as well as vegetables like sweet potato that are high in dietary fiber. Dietary fiber adds bulk to stool (you may notice slightly larger #2s) that keeps dogs from straining, regulates the speed that food passes through the intestines (not too fast or slow), and modulates water absorption for that easy-to-pick-up consistency.
#6 Petaluma is designed by a veterinarian and reviewed by veterinary nutrition experts.While feeding a meat-free diet may seem extreme, there is a long history of dogs eating and thriving on plant-based diets. Many veterinarians even prescribe meat-free diets, particularly for those with food sensitivities. Thousands of dogs - including the world’s longest-lived dog - eat and thrive on a vegan diet. Our lead formulator Dr. Blake Hawley has designed hundreds of diets, including many that are sold through veterinary clinics, and brings his 25+ years of experience to our food. We also consulted with two board-certified veterinary nutritionists to ensure we met the gold standard in canine nutrition.
#7 You'll know what you are feeding. We test every batch and share all test results with our customers.
We are grateful that pet parents trust their pups’ wellbeing to Petaluma and believe our customers have the right to transparent information about what they are feeding. We publish our full laboratory analysis - including all 50+ essential amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals - as well as the results from our digestibility tests so you can make informed choices about your beloved family member’s health and communicate dietary details with your veterinarian.
#8 Petaluma eliminates the most common food allergens and can cause big improvements for dogs with diet-related skin issues.
Many people are surprised to learn that the most common ingredients triggering allergic reactions in dogs are actually meat and fat from animals. Many veterinarians even prescribe vegetarian and vegan diets to dogs with persistent food-related allergies.
We eliminated all animal-derived ingredients and avoid the most common plant-based allergens (corn, soy, and wheat) in our diet. Many Petaluma customers who have had diet-related skin issues showed improvements after transitioning to our food.
#9 Feeding Petaluma supports sustainable agriculture and farmworker welfare by purchasing from certified organic farms.
Organic farming results in a number of important benefits - including improving soil quality, protecting biodiversity, and limiting farmworkers’ exposure to carcinogenic pesticides. Over 40% of land in the US is used for agriculture, so the way we choose to grow our food has a widespread impact on wildlife and humans alike. Certified organic farms must meet stringent standards - including the prohibition of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and genetically modified organisms - which significantly reduce the negative consequences of agriculture.
Very few pet food companies invest in organic agriculture because of the increased cost and a lack of concern about environmental sustainability. Petaluma is a public benefit corporation with a specific mission to create a more sustainable agricultural system by feeding our beloved pups more nutritious and environmentally friendly food. We source over 50% of our ingredients from certified organic farms.
#10 We treat animals with compassion.
Petaluma was founded out of a deep love for dogs and the special relationship they have in our daily lives - but also the acknowledgment that other animals deserve compassion and consideration. The traditional dog food industry has placed no value on the welfare of the animals that are often used as ingredients. The vast majority of meat used in dog food comes from factory farms that are notorious for cramped, filthy, and high-stress living conditions. We leave no doubt about animal welfare by completely avoiding the use of animal-derived ingredients and harnessing the nutritional power of plants and fungi.
We eliminate animals from our supply chain and also our testing process. Most dog foods are tested on laboratory-owned dogs that spend their entire life in kennels without an owner. We use cutting-edge technology to validate our foods’ impact on a pups’ digestive system without the need for laboratory animals, and all of our taste testers are volunteer companion animals that live in homes vs. laboratories.
#11 Customers - both human and canine - love our product
Don’t just take our word for it - see what people are saying about our food!