JustFoodForDogs: Gently Cooked Dog Food

JustFoodForDogs was first founded in 2010 after the founder saw a need in the pet food industry for better regulation and transparency within the industry. After over a decade within the pet food space, JustFoodForDogs has accomplished many “firsts” for the fresh pet food space – doing the first AAFCO feeding trials on a gently cooked diet. They have also funded and participated in several research studies to prove benefits of fresh foods for dogs. This research-first approach has set them apart in the fresh pet food space.

JustFoodForDogs offers a variety of freshly cooked dog food recipes – they have six single-protein diets available for healthy dogs (chicken, beef, turkey, lamb, venison, fish), two of which (chicken & fish) are complete and balanced for puppies. Half of the recipes are grain-free, and the other half are grain-inclusive. Diets range in their dietary composition – with moderate to high protein, lower to high fat, and low to high carbohydrate options (26-43% protein, 25-53% fat, and 20-43% carbohydrates on a caloric basis). JustFoodForDogs also offers a prescription diet line for conditions like kidney disease, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, liver disease, skin support and cancer support.

OVERVIEW:

Company Responded to Questions Asked via Email: Yes, the company was contacted and the following answers we received on May 20th 2021.

Who exactly formulated the JustFoodForDogs diets? Did you work with a particular consulting group, or a particular individual to formulate your recipes – if so could you provide the name of the person/group that did.

Our original recipes were reviewed and tested through AAFCO. feeding trials at Cal Poly Pomona by Dr Allen Pettey, PhD in Animal Nutrition and Dr Oscar Chavez, who was still with Call Poly Pomona in 2011. Since then, they have been reviewed and enhanced by our extensive veterinary team including Dr. Lisa Weeth, DVM DIPL. ACVN (Board Certified in Veterinary Nutrition), Dr. Dan Su, DVM, MS (residency trained in clinical nutrition), Dr. Oscar Chavez, BVetMed, MRCVS, MBA (who became our chief medical officer) and more. Our diets are constantly being reviewed, tested, and improved to ensure they are the highest quality whole food recipes available. 

Do you have anyone on staff with an animal nutrition, food science, animal science, or veterinary background? If so what is their education level and experience in the field?

Yes! JustFoodForDogs has a vet team that consists of over a dozen veterinarians. Dr Su specifically is residency trained in clinical nutrition. Our other vets have trained under him to formulate custom recipes, as he leads a team of vets with additional animal nutrition training. We also have a Research Advisory Board consisting of 13 veterinarians who meet with our team multiple times per year to provide insight on nutrition research topics and product use in practice. We are a vet centric company.

In addition, our entire QC and kitchen production team comes from human food production and food science backgrounds.

Where do you source your ingredients from? What do you require from suppliers as far as paperwork so ensure ingredient consistency? What testing do you do on ingredients coming into the facility? In particular do you test for: pathogens (salmonella, listeria, e.coli, campylobacter), mycotoxins, and heavy metals? If you do not do testing yourselves what type of certificates of analysis or third-party testing do you require on ingredients coming into the facility?

All of our ingredients are sourced from human grade food suppliers, same as restaurants and grocers. Places like Sysco, AMC, West Coast Prime Meats and more. Our ingredients come with a certificate of analysis which includes a pathogen check (SPC, E.coli/Coliform, Yeast/Mold, Salmonella, Listeria). All testing on the certificate of analyses provided are done through a third-party lab. In addition we tested for pathogens on all finished product.

Where do you source your vitamin/mineral supplements? Do you require a certificate of analysis from suppliers of vitamin supplements?

We source our nutrients from NHK Laboratories. All supplements, vitamins, and minerals are prepared using the standards in place for human nutraceuticals and a come with a certificate of analysis. There are an FDA registered facility and only deal with human edible supplements. We are their only pet food client.

Where are your foods manufactured? Do you own your own manufacturing facilities? Are any other pet foods or human foods manufactured at the same facility, if so which ones? How is the equipment cleaned between batches? If you use a co-packing facility or a facility that also manufactures other food items how do they prevent cross-contamination between batches?

Our diets are all manufactured and packaged in our own production Kitchens. JustFoodForDogs recipes are the only foods cooked in these facilities. We have strict sanitation and cleaning protocols in place that have been established for human production kitchens to ensure our restaurant style kitchen equipment is thoroughly cleaned in between batches and whenever necessary. We hold a Food Processors License from the state of CA and adhere to very strict food preparation guidelines. Our kitchen locations are open to the public, in multiple locations, allowing full transparency of our cooking process.

What post-manufacturing testing is performed on the JustFoodForDogs products? Do you test for: pathogens, mycotoxins, metal fragments, guaranteed analysis, thyroid hormone, the full nutrient profile of amino acids, and essential fatty acids? Do your products undergo a “test and hold” procedure where the food is held for several days to wait for all quality control testing to come back prior to shipping it out to the customer?

Products are sampled, placed on hold, and not released until the microbial analysis results from an outside third party lab are received. Product is tested for Clostridium perfringensE. coliSalmonella, and Listeria. Product goes through a metal detector to look for metal foreign objects as per our FDA HACCP. We also hold retention samples of each batch made.

Is the food produced by JustFoodForDogs considered “human edible” by AAFCO standards or “human grade”?

We only use USDA inspected and approved meats and produce for human consumption. As specified in the FDA Code, we follow all practices for ‘Human Edible Food’.

Have the JustFoodForDogs recipes undergone AAFCO feeding trials? If not, do you have plans to do so?

From 2012-2013, we worked with a research team at Cal Poly Pomona to run year long feeding trials on our daily recipes. These met all AAFCO requirements, however the full trial was more stringent that the AAFCO requirements. (We had 30 participants, monitored for 12 months, and full blood parameters run at day 0, 6 months and 12months). An abstract was published from the data of this trial in 2014 and can be found here: Feeding Trail Abstract

Have you done digestibility trials on your diets? If so what are the Dry-Matter, protein, fat, carbohydrate and percent calorie digestibility for each of your diets?

JustFoodForDogs diets have been included in two digestibility studies performed by Dr Kelly Swanson et al (University of Illinois). The first in 2019 can be found here. The second study, published in JAS (Journal of Animal Science) was published Feb 2021. This study can be found here. (Abstract here). Fresh whole food diets were found to be highly digestible, even more digestible than kibble and refrigerated feed grade food for dogs. True Energy Digestibility of our food matched or exceeded Atwater factors for human food.  Dogs fed Fresh produced up to 66% less feces than dogs on Kibble. 

Has JustFoodForDogs ever had a recall? If so what have you done to prevent this from ever happening again?

We were involved in a recall of human edible green beans in 2018. Through testing, we discovered that the human grade green beans from one of our suppliers contained Listeria. As soon as this was discovered, we pulled the affected recipes from the shelves. With pets health in mind, we communicated with customers who may have purchased the affected diets.

As we use human grade ingredients, when this was discovered, we reported this to the FDA, which led to a broader nationwide recall of several batches of green beans in the human food supply. We also made changes to our suppliers. We have implemented additional, and stricter quality assurance protocols to prevent such an event in the future. 

RECIPES:

Chicken & Rice Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Chicken thigh, chicken gizzard, chicken liver, long-grain white rice, spinach, carrots, apples, fish oil, nutrient blend.

AAFCO Statement: Feeding trials using AAFCO procedures substantiate that the JustFoodForDogs Chicken & White Rice recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance.

Balanced for both puppies and adult dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 8%
  • Fat: 4%
  • Carbs: 13%
  • Fiber: 1%
  • Ash: 2%
  • Moisture: 72%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 29%
  • Fat: 14%
  • Carbs: 46%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 26%
  • Fat: 32%
  • Carbs: 43%

Fish & Potato Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Cod, Sweet Potatoes, Russet Potatoes, Green Beans, Broccoli, Safflower OIl, Nutrient Blend.

AAFCO Statement: Feeding trials using AAFCO procedures substantiate that the JustFoodForDogs Fish & Potato recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance.

Balanced for both puppies and adult dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 7.5%
  • Fat: 2%
  • Carbs: 7.5%
  • Fiber: 1%
  • Ash: 2%
  • Moisture: 80%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 37.5%
  • Fat: 10%
  • Carbs: 37.5%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 38%
  • Fat: 25%
  • Carbs: 38%

Lamb & Brown Rice Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Lamb, Lamb Liver, Brown Rice, Spinach, Cauliflower, Carrots, Blueberries, Safflower Oil, Fish Oil, Nutrient Blend.

AAFCO Statement: Feeding trials using AAFCO procedures substantiate that the JustFoodForDogs Lamb & Brown Rice recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance.

Balanced for both puppies and adult dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 8%
  • Fat: 5.5%
  • Carbs: 13.5%
  • Fiber: 1.5%
  • Ash: 1.5%
  • Moisture: 70%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 27%
  • Fat: 18%
  • Carbs: 45%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 26%
  • Fat: 38%
  • Carbs: 36%

Turkey & Macaroni Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Turkey, Whole Wheat Macaroni, Broccoli, Zucchini, Carrots, Turkey Liver, Cranberries, Fish Oil, Nutrient Blend.

AAFCO Statement: Feeding trials using AAFCO procedures substantiate that the JustFoodForDogs Turkey & Whole Wheat Macaroni recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance.

Balanced for only adult dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 11%
  • Fat: 4%
  • Carbs: 13%
  • Fiber: 1%
  • Ash: 2%
  • Moisture: 69%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 36%
  • Fat: 13%
  • Carbs: 42%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 33%
  • Fat: 29%
  • Carbs: 39%

Venison & Squash Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Venison, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, Brussel Sprouts, Cranberries, Safflower Oil, Fish Oil, Nutrient Blend.

AAFCO Statement: Feeding trials using AAFCO procedures substantiate that the JustFoodForDogs Venison & Squash recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance.

Balanced for only adult dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 9%
  • Fat: 3%
  • Carbs: 4.5%
  • Fiber: 1.5%
  • Ash: 2%
  • Moisture: 80%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 45%
  • Fat: 15%
  • Carbs: 22.5%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 43%
  • Fat: 35%
  • Carbs: 22%

Beef & Potato Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Beef, Beef Liver, Russet Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Carrots, Green Beans, Green Peas, Apples, Safflower Oil, Fish Oil, Nutrient Blend.

AAFCO Statement: Feeding trials using AAFCO procedures substantiate that the JustFoodForDogs Beef & Potato recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance.

Balanced for only adult dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 8.5%
  • Fat: 7%
  • Carbs: 6.5%
  • Fiber: 1.5%
  • Ash: 1.5%
  • Moisture: 75%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 34%
  • Fat: 28%
  • Carbs: 26%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 27%
  • Fat: 53%
  • Carbs: 20%

Processing…
Thank you for joining the pack! Make sure to check your inbox for "10 questions to ask your dog food manufacturer".

CONTACT ME:

thecaninehealthnut@gmail.com

Leave a Reply