Kabo Dog Food Review

Kabo Dog Food

Kabo was founded in 2019 after pet parents Vino and VJ’s dog Kabo fell ill due to cancer. Like every dog parent, they began searching for answers, realizing that many of her health issues could’ve been mitigated through diet and exercise. Since then Kabo Dog Food was born and have made it a priority to work with a team of nutritionists and specialists to formulate several gently cooked diets for dogs.

Kabo Dog Food offers four different gently cooked diets that are balanced for both puppies and adult dogs. Recipes are all a single protein and offer two grain-free and two grain-inclusive options (beef, lamb, chicken, and turkey).

All of the diets are high in protein, and range in fat and carbohydrates depending on the recipe ( greater than 32% protein, between 4 to 32% carbohydrates, and 27-63% fat on a caloric basis). For highly active dogs or those requiring a carbohydrate-restricted diet the Kabo Lamb recipe may be an excellent option, as it is over 60% fat and only 4% carbohydrates on a caloric basis. For other dogs with more moderate activity levels the Kabo Beef, Chicken or Turkey may be excellent options.

OVERVIEW:

Company Responded to Questions Asked via Email: Yes, the information in this blog post was gathered from their website and through email conversation on June 2nd 2021.

Who formulated the Kabo Dog Food Recipes?

Kabo works with a diverse team of pet nutrition experts to create their recipes. The flow usually begins with our in-house companion animal nutrition scientist who sets parameters for what we want in our formulation. Once the specs are set, we work with an external team of Board Certified Veterinary Nutritionists and food engineers to optimize the diet for palatability, digestion and to ensure we meet AAFCO standards. 

Do you have anyone on staff at Kabo with an animal nutrition, food science, animal science, or veterinary background?

Yes! Andrea is our in-house companion animal nutrition scientist with a Master of Science in Veterinary Nutrition and Toxicology from the University of Saskatchewan. We also have an in-house Veterinarian with a graduate studies in Veterinary Pathology, Dr. Suzee Camilleri, DVM, DVSC and an in-house VetTech with over 15+ years of experience in small animal care at hospitals and clinics, Lorena Roderiguez Duch. This team works with external partners on the formulation to onboarding new customers so we can provide everyone an amazing end-to-end experience!

Where do you source the ingredients for Kabo Dog Food Recipes? 

Kabo’s ingredients are sourced from trusted, federally inspected Canadian suppliers. For every ingredient, we require a Certificate of Analysis, a Product Data Sheet, and a Letter of Guarantee. Furthermore, ingredients are audited upon arrival at our production kitchens to ensure they have nutritional integrity, are the correct temperature and there are to spec. The Certificate of Analysis that we receive for each ingredient has the test results for all pathogens, mycotoxins, and heavy metals. Both QA and Microbiology testing are done at 3 stages (supplier, kitchens and post packaging) to ensure consistency and safety so we can ensure that only ingredients that have passed all testing are used in our food. 

Where do you source the Kabo vitamin/mineral supplements?

Kabo sources our vitamin-mineral supplements from a local, human-grade, federally inspected supplier. We require the same paperwork for our supplements as we do for our fresh food ingredients (Certificate of Analysis, a Product Data Sheet, and a Letter of Guarantee). Similarly the vitamins and minerals are also tested at the kitchen and following production to ensure consistency and nutritional integrity.

Where are Kabo’s Human Grade Dog Food Recipes Manufactured? 

Kabo is manufactured in local human-grade food production kitchens in Ontario. The facilities are federally inspected and adhere to all of the same safety standards as any other human-grade food production facility.  Since our kitchen facilities follow CFIA and HACCP standards our cooking equipment is sanitized daily and whenever a new batch/recipe is being cooked. To prevent cross-contamination, only 1 protein is cooked at a time and the equipment is sanitized before a different protein can be cooked using that same equipment. Through production planning we are able to ensure consistency on exceeding best production practices.

What Quality Control Procedures does Kabo Lightly Cooked Dog Food perform on their foods? 

Every lot of Kabo food that leaves the kitchen facility is rigorously tested before it is transferred to our fulfillment centres for distribution. Microbiology testing is done on a per batch basis (listeria, ecoli and salmonella), Guaranteed Analysis, Amino acid testing and Essential fatty acid testing are done to ensure accuracy and consistency of our products. Following the lab testing clearance, we conduct QA trials over 7-14 days to ensure quality assurance around product experience consistency. Following clearance from lab and QA testing, our lot is then released for distribution. 

Is the food you produce considered “human edible” by AAFCO standards or “human grade”?

In Canada, there isn’t clearance or legislation on making claims around human-edible pet food. However, Kabo uses human-grade ingredients and follows current “Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packing, or Holding Human Food”. 

Have Kabo Dog Food recipes undergone AAFCO feeding trials? If not, do you have plans to do so?

Unfortunately in Canada, there are only a few facilities approved for AAFCO feeding trials and due to the pandemic timelines have been adjusted. However, all of Kabo diets are all formulated to meet AAFCO standards for dogs of all life stages. They undergo lab testing and internal data collection to ensure consistency is met.   

Has Kabo done digestibility trials on their diets?

We have not done any in vivo or in vitro digestibility studies on our diets. We are working with the University of Guelph on some feeding trials to start in late 2021/early 2022, which will include in vivo digestibility endpoints.

Has Kabo Dog Food ever been Recalled?

To date, Kabo has not been recalled. We have a strict testing program in place that allows us to review all products thoroughly before distribution, which helps to avoid common recall issues. As well as a plan in place in case a recall were to occur. However, the nature of being direct-to-consumer allows us to produce products fresh and ensure higher safety measures than retail products.

RECIPES:

Luscious Lamb Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Lamb, Chickpeas, Potatoes, Squash, Beans, Kale, Broccoli, Chia, Sunflower Oil, Nutrient Mix

AAFCO Statement: Kabo Dog Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile for all life stages.

Balanced for both puppies and adult dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 15%
  • Fat: 12%
  • Fiber: 1%
  • Moisture: 69%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 48%
  • Fat: 39%
  • Carbs: 10%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 33%
  • Fat: 63%
  • Carbs: 4%

Savory Beef Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Fresh ground beef, Russet potato, Sweet potato, Carrots, Red apples, Green peas, Beef liver, Green beans, Nutrient mix

AAFCO Statement: Kabo Dog Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile for all life stages.

Balanced for both puppies and adult dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 10%
  • Fat: 5%
  • Fiber: 2%
  • Moisture: 73%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 37%
  • Fat: 19%
  • Carbs: 37%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 32%
  • Fat: 39%
  • Carbs: 29%

Tender Chicken Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Fresh ground chicken, Long grain rice, Chicken liver, Carrots, Red apples, Green peas, Green beans, Dicalcium phosphate, Nutrient mix, Nutritional yeast, Fish oil, Sunflower oil, Sea salt.

AAFCO Statement: Kabo Dog Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile for all life stages.

Balanced for both puppies and adult dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 15%
  • Fat: 4%
  • Fiber: 0.3%
  • Moisture: 68%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 43%
  • Fat: 13%
  • Carbs: 43%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 41%
  • Fat: 27%
  • Carbs: 32%

Hearty Turkey Dog Food Recipe

Ingredients: Fresh ground turkey, Long grain rice, Turkey liver, Whole eggs, Carrots, Red apples, Green peas, Green beans, Dicalcium phosphate, Nutrient mix

AAFCO Statement: Kabo Dog Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profile for all life stages.

Balanced for both puppies and adult dogs.

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Protein: 15%
  • Fat: 7%
  • Fiber: 0.4%
  • Moisture: 66%

Dry Matter:

  • Protein: 44%
  • Fat: 21%
  • Carbs: 34%

Percent Calorie:

  • Protein: 35%
  • Fat: 40%
  • Carbs: 25%

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ( FAQ )

Where to buy Kabo fresh Dog Food?

Kabo Fresh Dog Food is purchased through their website and then is shipped directly to your door on dry ice in Canada. To order Kabo Dog Food you simply answer their questionnaire, then they will ask you about your pup and recommend which diet may be the best option for your pup.

Storage Instructions and How to Feed Kabo Dog Food?

Since Kabo Dog Food is a lightly cooked diet without the use of preservatives it is stored in exactly the same manner as you would store your own food. Thankfully Kabo is portioned to your pup’s individual needs, thus rotation from being frozen in your freezer to your fridge to thaw, then the bowl to serve is simple! Depending on freezer space you can order 2-4 weeks of Kabo Dog Food at a time on automatic delivery.

The majority of the food will live in your freezer, then about 2-3 days worth of food should live in your fridge. A good rule of thumb is whenever you feed one portion of food, take the next portion out of your freezer. Personally, I have a drawer in my fridge for my dog’s fresh food and place the frozen food in the back, then the fresh thawed in the front and rotate each day after feeding. This way no food goes bad.

If you ever forget to thaw food for your dog and need to do a “quick thaw” there are two food-safe ways to do this. The first is by placing the food in the packaging into a bowl of cool water and allowing it to come to room temperature while rotating the water. The second is by removing the food from the original packaging and placing in a microwave-safe container – then use the defrost setting on your microwave to thaw.

Never heat Kabo fresh dog food on the stovetop or leave food out on the counter to defrost. Reheating fresh food can degrade heat-sensitive vitamins, and leaving food on the counter to defrost is not considered food-safe and could make your pup ill.

Since Kabo is a fresh food item it is also not recommended to leave food out all day, instead, feed in portioned meals throughout the day, and clean bowls between meals to remove bacteria (similar to how you would your own dishes).

Is Kabos Dog Food cooked Food Balanced for Puppies?

Yes, Kabo Dog Food is balanced for puppies and adult dogs including large breed puppies.

Kabo Dog Food vs. Kibble – how does it compare?

The main difference between Kabo fresh food Diets and kibbled diets comes down to processing methods and preservation. Lightly cooked diets are cooked just enough to remove potentially harmful bacteria, but not enough to dehydrate the food completely for shelf stability. Preservatives are also not added, but instead, fresh food diets use the freezer to keep food fresh.

Kibbled diets typically cook to both kill pathogens and to dehydrate completely – this means longer cook times or higher temperatures than the typically lightly cooked diet. Kibbled diets also typically rely on preservatives to keep their diets shelf-stable for a longer period of time – depending on the brand this may be natural preservatives like vitamin E and rosemary, or artificial preservatives like BHA/BHT.

Though there is variation between brands – research has shown that fresh food diets typically offer higher digestibility and a more robust microbiome than kibbled diets. Though many anecdotal benefits have been cited for fresh food, such as improved skin/coat, improved stool quality, and more energy.

Is Kabo Dog Food a Raw Dog Food?

No, Kabo Dog Food is a gently cooked dog food. Lightly cooking food allows us to remove potential pathogens from meats, and as 20-50% of grocery store meats have pathogens (salmonella, e.coli, listeria, etc), cooking is one way to remove these pathogens so they cannot make our pets ill or spread them into the environment.

Can Kabo Dog Food be Used as a Topper?

Yes, Kabo fresh Dog Food is able to be used as a topper. You can actually set up a meal plan and delivery schedule that allows you to order at a frequency to feed Kabo at 25% of your dog’s daily caloric needs. You can even combine Kabo’s fresh food diets with their Kibbled option to create a full diet without needing to order from multiple platforms/services.

How much does Kabo Dog Food Cost?

Depending on the size of your pup their age and their activity level will depend on how much it will cost to feed Kabo. You can receive a free quote on their website by clicking the “start now” button and answering some questions using their nutritional questionaire.

But for the typically 50 lb healthy adult dog who has around an hour of activity per day, you should expect to pay about $426 CAD per month, or $14.20 CAD per day for the Kabo Chicken Tender Recipe (or the equivalent of $329.60 USD per month, $11 USD per day), which is about average to most fresh food brands.

Are Kabo Dog Food Recipes Good for Dogs with Allergies?

As all of the Kabo fresh dog food recipes are single protein recipes this may be helpful for dogs with food allergies because it may be easier to avoid certain allergens. However, it should be noted that dogs can be allergic to any food item that contains protein thus depending on the individual dog and their diet history will depend on what diet maybe the best choice. Statistically speaking the best food for dogs with food allergies would be either the Lamb or the Turkey recipe as both chicken and beef are common allergens in dogs.

For dogs with environmental or seasonal allergies we typically look for diets that contain the building blocks needed for skin repair, and to help with inflammation. These are typically higher protein, higher fat diets rich in omega 3 fatty acids, in particular EPA and DHA. Probably the best diet for a dog with environmental allergies would be the Kabo Lamb Recipe.

Are Kabo Dog Food Meals Good for Dogs with Loose Stools or Diarrhea?

Typically for dogs with more sensitive stomachs we look for recipes that are lower in fat and highly digestible. And though most fresh food diets are highly digestible – the Kabo recipes are not low-fat recipes. The lowest fat recipe is the Kabo Tender Chicken Recipe which is 27% fat on caloric basis. For some dogs with fat sensitivity this may work well, but others may require even lower fat diets at around 20% on a caloric basis.

But it is important to note that there are many causes of loose stools in dogs – including dogs who need high fiber diets (fiber responsive diarrhea), and those with food allergies or intolerances. If you have a dog with a sensitive stomach it is always a good idea to speak to your veterinarian prior to choosing a food for your pup.

About the Author: Nikki is a Registered Veterinary Technician (Veterinary Nurse) and Dog Mom with over a decade of experience with dogs and cats. Since graduation from college (BS Biology, AS Animal Health -2013) she has adopted two mixed breed dogs – Ranger and Ash, and has focused her time learning about pet food and nutrition.

Nikki shares information on a range of dog nutrition topics: from how to create a homemade complete and balanced dog food recipes, to how to choose a dog food. Nikki strives to give dog parents the information they need in order to make the best nutrition decisions for their pup!

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