Welcome to our FAQ page, where we address common concerns about the impact of processed foods on human and pet health.


Why real food? Health Benefits, Dental Benefits.

Over the years, the surge in popularity of processed foods has been scientifically linked to a notable increase in various health issues. Studies show that there has been a significant rise in dental disease, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes in pets and humans since the 1950s, when processed foods gained popularity in the human and pet food market.

Not surprisingly, our furry friends are not immune to these health challenges. Despite the parallel increase in pet diseases, the veterinary community has been slower to advocate for a shift towards whole foods for pets.

At Ellie's Kitchen, we're committed to promoting the well-being of both humans and pets by raising awareness about the potential risks associated with processed diets and encouraging a return to the use of wholesome, natural foods.

The consumption of fresh foods has been linked to improvements in numerous comorbidity conditions, as well as a reduction in inflammation and an improvement in overall wellbeing.


Dental Disease

Dental health is a crucial aspect of our pets' overall well-being, and the composition of their diet plays a pivotal role. Kibble, the most common pet food, generally contains over 45% carbohydrates, less than 10% moisture, and lacks the ability to provide the abrasiveness that whole foods provide for dental health because the majority of dogs don't chew kibble.

Unlike humans, most dogs don't have a regular teeth-brushing routine, and many are free-fed, allowing them to graze throughout the day. Additionally, the ingredients found in dog cookies, mirroring the issues associated with high-heat, heavily processed kibble, can contribute to dental problems. The high carbohydrate content in kibble can act similarly to starchy foods in humans, potentially getting stuck between your pet's teeth.

Moreover, the lack of moisture in kibble can contribute to dry mouth, a condition known to negatively impact oral health. At Ellie's Kitchen, we advocate for a shift towards whole foods that promote natural dental care for pets, addressing these concerns and supporting their overall health and happiness.

Why this brand?

Choosing Ellie's Kitchen over other brands of raw pet food reflects a commitment to providing your pet with superior nutrition and care. Unlike many raw pet food manufacturers that may use "pink slime" or mechanically separated meat (MSM/MDM) sourced from low-quality meats, Ellie's Kitchen prioritizes quality ingredients.

Many manufacturers sterilize such meats through high-pressure pasteurization (HPP), a process used for McDonald's chicken nuggets, which can lead to nutrient degradation and the introduction of plastic microparticles.

In contrast, Ellie's Kitchen diets are meticulously crafted with high-quality meats, hand-blended with care, and gently cooked to preserve the essential nutrients. Opting for Ellie's Kitchen ensures that your pet receives a premium, nutrient-rich diet without compromising on quality or resorting to processes that may diminish the nutritional value of the food.


How was Ellie's Kitchen formulated? 

Formulating pet food to meet or exceed the nutritional adequacy minimums established by scientists is paramount for ensuring the well-being of our furry companions. Proper mineral ratios are critical to maintaining optimal health in pets. Deviations from these ratios can lead to a host of health issues, including bone and joint problems, growth abnormalities, and impaired immune function.

Nutrient deficiencies, if present in a pet's diet, can have far-reaching consequences, affecting various physiological systems and potentially leading to serious health detriments. Furthermore, inadequate mineral content in pet food may compromise the body's ability to chelate heavy metals, leaving pets vulnerable to toxicities.

At Ellie's Kitchen, we prioritize the meticulous formulation of our pet food, adhering to the highest nutritional standards to safeguard against mineral imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, and heavy metal toxicities, ultimately promoting the longevity and vitality of your cherished companions. We do this by using a higher ratio of organ meat and nutrient base ingredients.

Why is having zero chemical supplements is best?

Choosing nutrients from whole food sources rather than relying on man-made synthetic isolate supplements is essential for ensuring the health and safety of our pets. The majority of Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) reports on synthetic isolates reveal a concerning lack of comprehensive safety research.

Disturbingly, some man-made synthetic mineral blends, often labeled as feed grade, bear a skull and crossbones symbol, signifying potential hazards. Regulatory official data further underscores the risks associated with synthetic isolates, indicating inextricable contamination with heavy metals.

The high likelihood of contamination or improper blending amplifies these risks. In contrast, Mother Nature provides nutrients in their natural, bioavailable forms, without the pitfalls associated with synthetic isolates. Whole foods not only lack the safety concerns of synthetics but also offer a nutritional symbiosis that benefits the body in ways that science is still unraveling.

Nature's intricate balance and synergy in nutrient delivery remain unmatched, emphasizing the importance of choosing whole foods for the optimal health of our beloved pets. At Ellie's Kitchen, we prioritize the use of wholesome, natural ingredients to provide the nutritional excellence your pets deserve.


Are grains good for dogs? 

The quality of grains used in pet foods can have a profound impact on the health and well-being of our furry friends. Many pet foods utilize distillers grains, which are EPA-registered chemical by-products stemming from the alcohol and ethanol production chemical industries. These chemical grain by-products often undergo treatment with substances like sulfur dioxide, anhydrous ammonia, liquid urea, and more.

The potential harmful effects of these treatments raise concerns about the overall health implications for pets consuming such ingredients. On the contrary, human-grade, quality grains provide a markedly different and more wholesome option. These grains offer easily accessible carbohydrate fuel, which serves as a vital energy source.

This is particularly beneficial for young pets, active animals, those with fast metabolisms, pets with larger appetites, and working dogs. At Ellie's Kitchen, we prioritize the use of human-grade, quality grains to ensure that your pets receive the best possible nutrition, promoting their health, vitality, and sustained energy.


How to switch from dry dog food to fresh dog food?

Transitioning your pet to a new food can be a taxing process for some. Understanding your pet's individual needs can make the transition smoother. Research by Mark Roberts suggests that fasting a dog for 24 hours can significantly alter its gut biome and prepare it for the introduction of a fresh food product.

Since fasting may be challenging for some pet parents, an alternative approach is to provide only raw goat milk for 24 hours. Keep in mind that some pets are hyper-sensitive, and a slow transition may be more suitable. If you choose a gradual shift, start by incorporating 10% of the daily calories from Ellie's Kitchen, and 90% from the old food. Monitor your pet's stool, and once it becomes "normal," increase the Ellie's Kitchen to 20% of calories and maintain 80% from the old food. Repeat this process until your pet is fully transitioned.

The duration of this transition can vary, ranging from a few days to a few weeks, depending on your pet's sensitivity and response. As a pet owner, you know your furry companion best and can determine the most suitable approach for a successful food transition.

What if I see diarrhea? What other switching issue might I see?

Transitioning your dog from a high-heat processed diet to a fresh food diet can bring about positive changes in their overall health, but it's important to be aware of potential side effects during this adjustment period. High-heat processed diets often contain higher levels of carbohydrates and may carry risks associated with cooking carcinogens and potentially contaminated synthetics.

When switching to a fresh food diet, the body seizes the opportunity to detoxify and purge, primarily through the stool. It's not uncommon to observe loose stools during this transition. Mildly loose stool is acceptable as long as the diarrhea is not severe enough to cause dehydration. Additionally, the body may use the skin or urinary tract for purging, leading to temporary changes in skin condition or urine output.

These adjustments are typically short-lived, lasting for 1-3 weeks, before witnessing an overall, generalized improvement in your dog's health on a fresh food diet. Monitoring your pet closely during this transition ensures a smooth and comfortable shift towards a healthier diet.

My dog has a health condition, is this food safe? Helpful?

Transitioning your pet to a fresh food diet can be a beneficial step, even if they have a health condition. Similar to humans, providing whole food nutrition during times of health crisis is essential for supporting the body's overall well-being. A fresh food diet emphasizes the avoidance of contaminated ingredients, oxidized fats, carcinogens, and other potentially harmful elements commonly found in highly processed diets.

It is crucial to note that switching to a fresh food diet should not replace medical care but should complement it. Think of this transition as one of several variables, alongside factors such as the environment and exercise, contributing to the holistic support of your pet's health.

By incorporating a fresh and nutritious diet into your pet's care regimen, you are providing valuable support for their overall health, helping to prevent health problems, recover from imbalances, and enhance the effectiveness of medical treatments. Always consult with your veterinarian and pet care team (to include groomers, trainers, nutritionists, etc) to ensure a well-rounded approach to your pet's health and well-being.

What do I do when my vet discourages my food choices?

While many veterinarians do not support the use of fresh food diets, it's essential to understand the reasons behind this stance. Veterinary education primarily focuses on diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, and surgeries, with limited training in nutrition, often funded by major pet food companies such as Hills Science Diet (Colgate-Palmolive), Mars Petcare, and Nestle' Purina. These companies, known for products sourced from industry by-products, may influence veterinary opinions through marketing efforts that include scare tactics regarding the perceived dangers of fresh food feeding.

It's crucial to recognize that kibble products statistically pose higher risks for pathogen, heavy metal, foreign object, and nutritional toxicities. Unfortunately, these risks are often falsely marketed about fresh foods to maintain kibble sales. As a pet parent, you have the autonomy to make choices about your pet's health, even if they differ from your vet's opinions.

Consider building a network of support for your pet's well-being, utilizing your vet for their expertise while also consulting with specialists such as nutritionists, trainers, groomers, and others who focus on different aspects of pet care. Make informed choices based on your pet's individual needs and preferences.

What if the health problem that caused me to change foods isn’t better?

If a switch to a fresh food diet does not lead to the expected improvement in your pet's health condition, it's important to consider that underlying issues may be at play. While many health problems can be resolved through a transition to fresh foods, some conditions may require further investigation and targeted interventions.

Stubborn health problems are often linked to factors such as parasitic infestations, hormone imbalances, mineral imbalances, vitamin deficiencies, or underlying disease conditions. Identifying and addressing these issues is crucial for eliminating symptoms and promoting overall well-being.

You may choose to collaborate with a veterinarian who can conduct thorough diagnostic assessments or opt for independent testing through reputable companies such as ParsleyPet.com or VDI labs. Working closely with healthcare professionals can help pinpoint the root causes of persistent health problems and guide you toward an effective and personalized plan for your pet's optimal health.

How much do I feed? Why do some dogs not eat the recommended amount? 

Ellie's Kitchen is committed to providing a comprehensive feeding guideline designed to suit the nutritional needs of most pets. However, recognizing that every pet is unique and may have varying metabolic requirements is crucial. Just like humans, individual factors such as age, activity level, and health conditions can influence caloric needs.

Pets that are underweight, intact, puppies, or highly active may require additional calories, while overweight, fixed, adult/senior, or less active pets may benefit from a decreased total intake. Specific health conditions such as thyroid or adrenal imbalances may also necessitate adjustments to calorie levels.

At Ellie's Kitchen, we understand the importance of personalized care, and if you have any questions or need guidance on tailoring the feeding guideline to your pet's specific needs, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're here to support you in providing the best nutrition for your beloved companion.


Will my dog drink less water on a high moisture diet?

Pets that consume a fresh food diet, such as Ellie's Kitchen, often require less supplemental water compared to those on a kibble diet. This is due to the composition of kibble diets, which typically contain around 50% carbohydrates.

For every gram of carbohydrates consumed, the body retains an average of 3.5 grams of water. Since kibble diets provide less than 10% moisture, a dog consuming 100 grams of kibble may need to drink approximately 175 grams of water just to break even, with this amount not contributing to actual hydration. In contrast, Ellie's Kitchen diets contain less than 5% carbohydrates and approximately 65-70% water.

If a dog consumes 100 grams of Ellie's Kitchen, it contributes around 50 grams of water. This higher moisture content in the fresh food diet means your dog will likely need to drink substantially less water to stay adequately hydrated, contributing to their overall well-being.

What if my puppy is picky?

Your dog may be picky about transitioning to a fresh food diet if they haven't experienced this type of food before. The difference in texture or temperature, relative to kibble, may be a factor. To encourage your pet to try the new food, consider bringing it to room temperature, adding a small amount of their old food, or placing the fresh food under the old food so they become familiar with the taste.

Fasting your dog for a stint before offering the new food can also increase their appetite and increases the chance of them trying it. Additionally, you can try adding a small amount of tripe or quality butter to entice them.

Once your pet gives the fresh food a try, it's generally uncommon to face ongoing challenges. Most pets quickly adapt to the new diet, and you'll likely find that they enjoy the nutritional benefits and flavors of Ellie's Kitchen.


What if I cannot afford to feed my dog fresh food for every meal? Is some better than none? Benefits of adding fresh food to dry food?

If feeding exclusively from Ellie's Kitchen is not within your budget, incorporating it into your pet's diet whenever possible still brings significant benefits. Just as in human nutrition, adding fresh, whole foods to a predominantly processed diet can enhance overall well-being.

Whatever portion of Ellie's Kitchen you can afford to feed is a positive step toward providing your pet with high-quality nutrition. It's important to recognize that there's a distinction between the upfront cost of purchasing a product and the overall cost of using it. In many cases, feeding fresh food may not be as expensive as it seems at first glance.

If you're uncertain about how Ellie's Kitchen fits into your budget or need assistance in determining the best approach for your pet, don't hesitate to reach out. We're here to help guide you toward providing optimal nutrition for your beloved companion.