What is a fresh diet?
Good question. There are so many words to describe this approach to nourishing our pets, and a lot of them aren’t particularly meaningful, especially as the processed pet food industry co-ops more and more for their own marketing.

Fresh, raw, natural, species appropriate, biologically appropriate, ancestral, whole prey model... The best way I can define it is simply ‘a whole foods diet.’

A fresh or whole foods diet is how just about every animal on the planet—including us—eats, with the glaring exception of domesticated companion pets. A fresh diet for dogs and cats is primarily different types of raw meat, with some additional plant derived ingredients added to fill any nutritional gaps.

A balanced whole food diet ensures that your pet receives all of the nutrients they require, without the addition of anything heavily processed or synthetic. All of my current online products are raw diets. Sometimes a cooked whole foods diet is better suited to your pet, and this is something I can custom design. I hope to have cooked recipe packs available in the future.

Why should I feed a fresh diet?
Because it’s the food dogs and cats are designed to eat. Peer reviewed studies have shown that dogs fed a fresh diet have a greater gut microbiome diversity than dogs fed a processed diet. This goes great lengths to explain the vast benefits reported by pet owners, which include a stronger immune system, improved digestion, healthy organs, improved joint health, less body and breath odour, less shedding, cleaner teeth and gums, better weight management, firmer + smaller stools, natural anal gland relief, healthy skin, shiny coats and improved mental health.

How much does it cost to feed a fresh diet?
This depends on a number of factors, such as your location, but generally it is entirely possible to feed a fresh diet for around the same cost as a “premium” dry pet food, and in many cases it costs much, much less over time. Ultimately, a healthy pet costs far less than a sick one.

Can I use your recipes for my unwell pet?
I’d prefer you didn’t. My products are designed for healthy pets and I am not a veterinarian, so my services do not extend to clinical nutrition. I always recommend speaking with a vet if your pet is unwell and you wish to use food to heal them. That said, I am happy to work with your vet if they are open to this approach. If your dog or cat has a minor health complaint (such as seasonal allergies or food sensitivities) and you wish to support their recovery through food, contact me and we can discuss how I may be able to complement their treatment with food, or I can refer you to a suitable healthcare provider.

Why doesn’t my vet support homemade diets?
Possibly because a nutritionally deficient homemade diet can be just as bad, if not worse, than a processed diet. All of my products have been designed to meet the AAFCO nutrition standards for dogs and cats in the relevant life stage, which are considered the industry standard in formally mandated nutrient requirements for dogs and cats.

Or it could be because the corporate interests of the processed pet food industry have infiltrated the animal care industry at just about every conceivable level. Hard to say for certain.

Why do you use AAFCO standards?
Because they are the leading industry standard for nutritional requirements of pet food in Australia and globally. I think it’s important to offer an assurance of sorts that the recipes I develop are meeting the established guidelines for the nutritional requirements of your pets. There is currently no professional software available that I am aware of that doesn’t use AAFCO or FEDIAF (the European equivalent of AAFCO), or both. There are beta versions for pet owners and plenty of spreadsheets that claim to do the calculations for you using other standards, but I have used them in the past and I do not personally believe these approaches are adequate for preparing recipes at a professional level.

That said, I also believe these standards are deeply flawed. I believe many aspects of the pet food industry to be deeply flawed. That is the main reason I do what I do. I personally do not believe that you must feed your pet a perfectly measured and balanced diet, according to a set of rules written by a private, for-profit corporation with strong ties to the major players in the processed pet food industry. But I do very much enjoy demonstrating that you can do it entirely with fresh, whole foods.

Because honestly fuck those guys.

Can I use your adult dog recipes for my puppy?
Nah. Puppies have increased requirements for protein, fat, calcium, phosphorus, iron, copper, sodium, manganese, zinc, selenium and all of the essential amino acids, when compared to adult dogs. I have a raw feeding recipe pack specifically for puppies that is available to purchase, and it comes in a bundle with my adult recipe pack for only a few more beans. This is the most appropriate way to approach your dog’s nutrition from puppyhood through to maturity.

Can I use your cat recipes for my kitten?
Yes! Unlike puppies, kittens are mad chillers and their nutritional needs aren’t as drastically different to adult cats. Because a raw diet is really well suited to feline metabolic needs, they will mainly just require more food relative to their body weight and the rest works itself out. My raw feeding recipe pack for cats + kittens has been formulated for all life stages.

Can I email you if I have any other questions?
Of course. I endeavour to get back to everyone within a day or so, but just give me a friendly nudge if I seem to have forgotten.

I don’t have a business yet but I have an idea, can you help me develop it?
Sure. It’s much easier for me to help you if you have a pretty specific concept, a strong vision, or even just a great story underpinning your idea, but I can help at any stage of your project. I will probably be annoying and give you homework to develop your idea further if it’s very basic, because I like my clients to be involved in the process and be able to take ownership of whatever we create.

If it’s really clear to me that you are only interested in making money, we are probably not going to be a good fit.

I am a business and I already have recipes that I want to make sure are balanced, can you do this?
Absolutely. I would say around half of the clients I work with already have recipes in production and my role is more revision, rather than development. I’m super flexible.

Do I have to formulate my commercial recipes to AAFCO?
No. Legally you do not currently have to formulate your recipes to any standards, although I do not recommend ignoring them. I am happy to formulate recipes that I believe are safe and nutritionally “balanced,” even if they don’t technically meet AAFCO. However, I will not create recipes that I believe are not suitable or that are nutritionally insufficient.

I am a business and I want to formulate a kibble recipe, can you help me?