What exactly does 'Complete and Balanced' mean?

This phrase has long been a talking point of many conversations regarding feeding and nutrition for pets. For us, our philosophy has been the same since our inception, and it will never change...


For the past 20+ years, the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), has been front and center in many discussions on email lists and blogs, especially since dry kibble came under the national spotlight. Even back then, the question of “complete and balanced” came under great scrutiny. It regularly became a talking point of many conversations regarding feeding and nutrition for pets and still does.

As pet patrons and manufacturers of raw diets, we struggled with the suggestion that there is something that could be considered a complete and balanced diet in nature – for people or for pets. The quest to create one outside nature for either party seems daunting and unnecessary. Nature, in its intrinsic wisdom has already provided for both. We merely must recognize it and utilize it. Variety is the key for vitality.

It is upon this philosophical pillar that Carnivora™ was founded. There is no one perfect food that exists in nature. A full nutritional profile is achieved through variety in a diet over time. We have never championed our foods as “complete and balanced”. We instead provide a large variety of protein options and specifics appropriate foods for customers to mix and match, in the same manner people achieve nutritional balance by eating a variety of healthy foods.

We have responsibly conducted our own nutritional testing over the last 20+ years. Our sourcing, processes, formulas, and analysis are made public through our promotional endeavours. We understand the need for education in the marketplace. We are the first and only company to publish a book as an educational tool for feeding raw. Consider purchasing the book if your store has not already received a copy – we sent out books to stores who are selling our food. More here.

We believe change will be driven on the manufacturing side through the Public Health Agency of Canada (PAHC). As part of our interactions with PHAC, we have learned that they are planning a taskforce to investigate the regulations (or lack thereof) surrounding the manufacturing of raw pet foods in Canada. We feel the future looks bright for the industry with government mandated processes for the responsible manufacturer of raw pet foods in Canada.

There are several more articles on this page that address our view on AAFCO and the notion of feeding the same “complete and balanced” food to pets for every meal, every day for the rest of their little lives (basically just for the pet caregivers convenience).


Our chief scientist Mother Nature is pleased to offer you some of her finest work.

The information on this website is not intended to replace Veterinary medical advice.