'Farm to Fork' or 'Farm to Table' refers to the principles of sourcing local products for delivery within the local community. This should help keep a close link between the source of the raw ingredients, i.e the farm, through minimal processing before reaching local consumers.
The aim is to support the local economy, build an awareness of food and where it comes from and hopefully provide greater accountability in the food chain.
An important side-effect is that it results in fewer food miles so is more environmentally responsible.
Is a cooked diet best for my dog?
In truth, some dogs thrive on home-cooked diets, some on raw, some on commercially produced kibble.
At Wholefood Hounds we believe that a natural, wholefood diet intuitively makes more sense for dogs just as good diet, excercise and a healthy lifestyle promote better wellbeing in humans.
There is plenty of information on the internet (some high quality and some not so high quality) for you to read to help inform your decision. You could also enrole in an online canine nutrition course, just as we at Wholefood Hounds did, to further your knowledge to help you decide what's best for your dog.
Can dogs digest carbs?
Yes, there is evidence to suggest the domestic dog has evolved with humans to digest carbohydrates. Although they do not produce the enzyme amylase (which breaks down carbs) in their mouths like humans, they do in fact produce it in their pancreas instead.
Carbs provide energy in the form of glucose (all animals have a metabolic need for glucose). Dogs don't have an absolute dietary requirement for carbs because they can synthesize glucose from protein. However, the advantage of feeding carbs is that they help with the functioning of the digestive tract and it saves the protein from being diverted from its primary use, i.e. tissue repair and growth.
Is it possible to get a complete and balanced diet from home-cooked food?
We have all heard that the 'best' way to feed a complete and balanced diet to our dogs is through commercially processed dog food.
There is no doubt that the pet food industry has worked hard for many years to make us believe this is the 'only' way to feed our pets. However, when you think about it that would mean that dogs must be about the only animal on the planet that cannot get a balanced diet from wholefoods! We know as humans, that heavily processed diets are bad for us and that healthy, wholefood, minimally processed diets (along with excercise) promote better well-being and health.
When a commercial pet food is described as being "complete and balanced," it means that it has been formulated to meet the minimum and maximum levels of nutrients in the amounts required by the dog for its life stage. So it's easy; you buy the food, feed the correct amount, and your dog gets the nutrients it needs.
With home-cooked food a little more effort is required to ensure your dog is getting a good balance of nutrients. As with humans, eating a broad range of foods is the best way to achieve this. The main nutrient lacking is usually calcium (a bit of cheese or yoghurt is not going to meet a dog's calcium requirement). Therefore, we include a natural (eggshell) calcium supplement, use several protein sources in each mix, and recommend you feed your dog a good variety of our products and don't just stick to a 'favourite' or allow your dog to pick things out.
Also, if you have any concerns consult your vet for advice or look for a vet who practices holistic veterinary care and has an interest in nutrition.
Why is it extra for grain-free and coconut oil?
At Wholefood Hounds we recognise that everybody's dogs and circumstances are different. We want all dogs to benefit from fresh, natural, chemical-free, wholefood, dog food but recognise that this is more costly than kibble, especially for households with several and/or big dogs.
For this reason, we keep our base price as low as possible (see how we compare to supermarket wet dog food!). Then, if you wish to add-in other options you can.
With the grain-free option, pumpkin is more expensive than grain as a raw ingredient. In addition to this, the preparation of pumpkin is labour intensive.
With coconut oil, we add 30 teaspoons (approx 150ml) per 3kg meal which supplements along the guidelines of 1 tsp daily for every 4.5kg of the dog's bodyweight (assuming you are feeding Wholefood Hounds' meals at 2-3% of your dog's bodyweight daily).
Organic, cold-pressed, virgin coconut oil is a very expensive single ingredient to add at this quantity, and, would increase the base cost significantly. Therefore, we put it as an optional extra so the choice of if and how to supplement with coconut oil is down to you.
How environmentally friendly is the packaging?
We try to keep our disposable packaging to a minimum. However, for the ultimate in sustainable packaging, you can join our 'Milk Bottle Scheme' and have your dog's food delivered in glass containers (with plastic lids). Glass is an inert, reusable and recyclable material that won't leach chemicals into your food and is freezer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe.
Is the food organic?
Our priority is sourcing high-quality, fresh local produce at an affordable price. We are commited to supporting WA/Australian farmers and keeping down food miles. Some of our ingredients may be organic where possible but on the whole our food isn't.
However, as all our food is made to order, please contact us if you would like us to price up 100% organic options for you. Please note that due to availability we may have to substitute ingredients and source whole foods from further afield.
How long does your food last?
Since our food contains no artificial preservatives and has not undergone intensive heat treatments we recommend you take the same care and safety precautions as you would your own food.
We recommend you freeze for later any food you won't use straight away to keep the food safe for longer and prevent wastage.
As a guide, please see here for advised storage times.
I have dogs at different life stages, is the food suitable?
Absolutely! You can tailor our food to suit the needs of each dog. Personalise your dog's food in the drop down menu when you select the item. For puppies, try adding our Puppy Supplement which is high in easily digestible protein and Omega fatty acids. This supplement can also be used to tempt sick or old dogs who are in need of extra protein and fatty acids.
Can I leave the food out for my dog to graze on?
We recommend you feed your dog at set mealtimes, ideally twice daily. If you wish to leave food out for your dog during the day then a small amount of kibble in a play ball during the day is probably a better idea and keep the meals from Wholefood Hounds for mealtimes when you are at home.
Our foods are made from fresh, wholefood ingredients, without artificial preservatives, and have only been gently cooked. For this reason, please take the same safety precautions for storing them as you would your own food.
My dog is fussy, is this food suitable?
With fussy/selective eaters we recommend blending the food to prevent the dog picking out and leaving foods it doesn't like.
It is important that your dog eats a good range of foods for a balanced diet. We hope your dogs find all our food yummy but if they won't eat their veggies we are happy to hide them in meaty gravy.
If you want us to blend your dog's food for you just let us know when you place your order.
My dog has specific dietary requirements, is this food suitable?
All food is made fresh to order so we are happy to work with you/your vet to tailor a suitable menu.
Please be aware that our food contains eggs, dairy, grains, and nuts and is produced in a kitchen where all of the above plus other allegens such as soy, sesame etc. are present. Please contact us BEFORE purchase if you have any allergy questions or concerns.