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Carnivora Basics
If a dog or cat is domestic, what makes them the same as their wild counterpart?
Research that included nuclear DNA testing has proven that wolves are truly the common ancestor of the domestic dog. The foundation of the dog and cat's nutritional requirements remian the same as a wolf or wild cat. The dog and cat are both anatomically and physiologically designed to get their nutritional needs met by the consumption of other animals.

What is a domestic Carnivore?

Dogs and cats are designed to consume animal carcasses. The closer you can come to thsi the better your pet's health will be. Feeding a whole prey carcass isn't practical for most people. The Carnivora prepares whole animal carcasses in convenient-to-serve patties to fulfill your dog and cat's nutritionally.

What benefits should I expect for my pet from a fresh food diet?

In general, the first thing pet guardians notice is a new vitality. Lethargic pets become more lively, and occasionally disposition improves too! Other benefits include small stool production, a glowing coat, healthy skin and no body odor. Cat guardians observe a reduction in hairballs, shedding and a decrease in litter box odor. Oral disease is one of the most common preventable canine ailments. Recent studies do not support long-standing claims that pets have less dental disease when fed dry food. Raw food diets dramatically reduce dental diseases and halitosis. A raw diet may decrease or eliminate responses to food related allergies. The Carnivora whole animal diets offer various novel protein sources for pets with food allergies. Obesity in companion pets is a serious medical problem. Carnivores are designed to meet their energy needs with animal protein, moderate fat and minimal carbohydrates. When pets eat whole animal carcass diets, guardians state their pets eat less, and have better weight control and muscle mass. Diabetes is a common disease in dogs and cats. The high-level of carbohydrates in dry food causes the blood sugar level to rise. With chronic high blood sugar, the insulin producing cells in the pancreas eventually "burn out" leading to diabetes. The carnivore's natural diet may help prevent diabetes; sometimes insulin therapy can be discontinued or drastically reduced. Raw food diets may be beneficial for many other diseases. Cancer is the number one cause of death in dogs and is also a concern for cats. The diets that work best for a pet with cancer or as a cancer preventive diet are low in carbohydrates, high in protein and contain naturally healthy fats as provided in a whole animal carcass diet. Hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) is common in cats fed a dry food diet, especially those that are obese. Fatty liver disease is less likely to occur if a cat eats a species-appropriate diet. Cystitis and stones are also common in cats fed dry food. Because whole animal carcass diets are higher in moisture, it decreases the cat's likelihood for urinary tract problems. Many dogs and cats with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) improve dramatically or show complete reversal when fed a low carbohydrate species-appropriate whole animal carcass diet.

Is the Carnivora a complete diet or do I need to add other foods or supplements?

The Carnivora is based on the whole prey animal carcass. In nature there is no such thing as a "complete and balanced" meal. However, the whole animal carcass provides carnivores with all the nutrients they require to maintain health.

What makes Carnivora different than other commercial raw diets?

Carnivora is the only pet food company in the world that purchases naturally raised live stock, slaughters it at regulated abattoirs and then processes and prepares it into our whole animal patties for your pets. Instead of relying on imperfect human formulations or recipes, we duplicate the diet Mother Nature has been feeding carnivores for millions of years.

Is the Carnivora better than dry or canned pet foods?

Quite simply, the closer you can feed any animal according to its inherent needs, including quality, quantity and frequency, the healthier they will be. We would never expect cattle or horses to thrive on meat, so why is it assumed that dogs and cats should eat a diet that is unnatural for their species? From one end to the other, your pet carnviore is designed to eat mostly animal matter.

What different varieties of Carnivora whole animal diets are available?

We provide a variety of whole animal sources including duck, lamb, elk, beef, turkey, bison and chicken. This gives you the opportunity to rotate protein sources in your pet's diet.

Carnivores - Vegetables 'n' Fruits and Tripe

Do I have to feed vegetables with Carnivora?

Strict carnivores, cats need only 'animal' foods. In nature, dogs will eat vegetation on a seasonal basis or when preferred foods are scarce. Vegetables 'n' Fruit and Green Tripe are not essential but can be included in the diet of normal, healthy pets and may benefit pets with certain health disorders. Carnivora offers two diets; one that is strictly meat, organs and bones and a "Dinner" which contains 15% vegetable/fruit mixture.

Can I just chop up some vegetables or give them whole?
Dogs and cats can't properly grind plant matter as their jaw structure isn't designed in the same fashion as an herbivore such as a cow. Their digestive system can't process the outer cellulose wall of uncrushed plant foods all that efficiently either. In order for plant foods to be nutritionally valuable, vegetables and fruits need to be pulped or cooked prior to feeding them. Over-ripe fruit can be digested without processing. You can feed pieces of whole vegetables as treats, but in most cases they come out looking almost the same as they went in!

Should I mix the Vegetables 'n' Fruit or Green Tripe with the Carnivora whole animal diets?

Dogs and cats prefer meat foods rather than vegetables and fruit. For this reason you may find mixing Vegetables 'n' Fruit and Green Tripe in with our whole animal patties advantageous. If your dog enjoys the Vegetables 'n' Fruit or Prairie-fed tripe on its own you can also feed it this way.

I heard fruit shouldn't be mixed with vegetables or it will ferment and turn toxic in the dog's stomach?
Fermentation doesn't occur in the stomach. Fruit is nutritious and readily digested in combination with other foods, including vegetables. Fruit is not a hard-and-fast category; many foods we call vegetables, such as tomatoes, are really fruits. Also, remember that dog's are scavengers and have the ability to consume and digest a wide range of foods without a thought to whether it should be properly combined or not!
Carnivora Quality, Standards and Availability

What is the quality of the whole animal sources?

Carnivora provides a variety of animal carcasses, poultry and fowl that meet the following criteria: All natural - free from hormones, antibiotics or harmful feed additives. We do not buy from intensive farming operations. Certified organically grown whenever possible.

How is Carnivora packaged?

We are the original patty diet in Canada! The Carnivora products are presented in 8 oz patties - 8 patties to a package. Each patty is separated by a wax patty paper. We follow the Canadian Guide for the Labeling of Pet Foods which provides consumers with English and French information, nutritional analysis as well as handling and feeding instructions.

What standards are followed for processing Carnivora?

Live animals are obtained from selected producers for Carnivora products. This is the first step towards providing quality food for your dog and cat. Animals are humanely slaughtered at regulated abattoirs, prepared and processed in the same manner as human-grade meat products. Carnivora diets are processed at a human-quality facility that follows human food handling protocols. Every step of processing through to final packaging is carried out in a controlled environment to maintain food integrity and eliminate bacterial contagion. Our whole animal diets are deep frozen for a minimum of 7 days prior to shipping to resellers

How long can I keep Carnivora in the refrigerator once it is thawed?

We recommend no more than three days if thawed in the fridge.

Can I let Carnivora completely thaw and then refreeze it?

No. Once meat is thawed to room temperature it should be immediately fed and any unused portions refrigerated. Bacteria quickly multiply at temperatures ranging from as low as 5 degrees C to 60 degrees C.

Can I cook Carnivora?

Carnivora can be fed fully cooked if necessary; however we highly recommend feeding it fresh. Your dog will gain more benefits from a fresh food diet than from a cooked diet.

Preparation, Storage and Handling

How long can I keep Carnivora in the freezer?

Carnivora can be kept in the freezer for approximately six months. If freezer burn or ice crystals develops it won't affect the nutritional value, only the appearance of the product.

Can I use the microwave to thaw Carnivora?

This is not recommended. The safest way to thaw meat is in the refrigerator but if you are in a hurry you can seal the meat in a container and submerge in luke warm water. Microwaving food destroys nutrients in raw food!

Can I feed Carnivora if it becomes freezer burned?

Yes. Freezer burn may dry the meat somewhat, but it doesn't affect the quality and taste of the product.

How long can I keep Carnivora in the refrigerator once it is thawed?

We recommend no more than three days if thawed in the fridge.

Can I let the Carnivora completely thaw and then refreeze it?

No. Once meat is thawed to room temperature it should be immediately fed and any unused portions refrigerated. Bacteria quickly multiply at temperatures ranging from as low as 5 degrees C to 60 degrees C.

Can I cook Carnivora?

Carnivora can be fed fully cooked if necessary; however we highly recommend feeding it fresh. Your pet will gain more benefits from a fresh food diet than a cooked diet.

Feeding Carnivora

Which Carnivora whole animal diet should I start feeding first?

Some pets may initially experience digestive upset from just changing the diet or if they are introduced to diets with higher fat levels. For this reason, we recommend starting dogs and cats on one of our whole animal diets that are lower in fat content. Elk, bison, and rabbit  whole animal diets are the lowest in fat.

Can I feed a different Carnivora whole animal diet each day?

Yes, this is highly recommended providing your pet has no sensitivities to a particular protein source. For pets just starting on Carnivora we recommend introducing one whole animal diet at a time. When your dog or cat demonstrates acceptance along with normal bowel movements, you can add another whole animal diet to the menu. Your pet will likely let you know which his/her favorites are!

How much Carnivora should I feed my pet?

Feeding guidelines for the Carnivora are displayed on the back of every package, in our brochure and on this web site. The amount to feed will vary from one dog or cat to another depending upon age, activity level, size and whether they are pregnant or lactating. Generally you will feed normal/average pets 2% of their body weight, active dogs and pregnant females 4% and puppies, performance dogs and lactating females as much as 6%+. If you can see your pet's ribs, you're not feeding enough and if you can't feel his ribs you are feeding too much. Let your pet's activity levels, appetite and body condition be your guide.

Do I need to add organ meats like Carnivora Beef Offal to Carnivora whole animal diets?

Generally you do not since Whole animal diets supply organ tissues in a naturally correct ratio. But if organs are nature's best form of supplements so adding a small amount three times a week can be very beneficial! If your dog or cat needs extra iron and copper due to anemia, or if your dog requires a more nutrient dense diet during lactation or throughout a period of convalescence, additional organ meats can be very useful or even necessary.

Can I feed Carnivora patties while frozen?

No. We do not recommend feeding the patties frozen as there is potential for your dog to choke if he bites off a piece too large to completely swallow.

Bacteria and Parasite Questions

Can my dog get parasites from eating Carnivora pet food?

Once processed, Carnivora diets are deep frozen for a minimum of seven days to destroy parasites. Dogs are commonly treated for parasites regardless of what diet they eat. If parasites are a concern for you, there are effective and convenient worming medications, both pharmaceutical and holistic, that may prevent or eliminate worms. Discuss an individualized deworming program for your dog with your veterinarian.

My vet said that two thirds of raw foods tested in one study contain pathogenic strains of bacteria particularly salmonella. One third of dogs fed raw foods become chronic salmonella shedders. These pets present a risk to other dogs, their owners and children!
Other studies show that food-borne pathogens are present in a surprisingly large proportion of dogs tested. Hackett and Lappin (2003) found infectious agents in the faeces of 26% of healthy Colorado dogs Fukata et al (2002) found salmonella antibodies in 15% of apparently healthy dogs. (Not limited to dogs eating raw diets.)
Do raw foods cause health problems due to bacteria?
Human quality, raw foods that are properly manufactured and appropriately handled and processed can be considered safe. If this were not the case, then thousands of pets eating raw foods would not be thriving today! Bacteria are everywhere including dry and canned pet foods. Remember that proper handling is key to raw food safety!

I'm worried about bacteria in raw pet food making me sick. Will my children be at risk?

If you prepare meat for yourself or your family then you need to follow the same hygenic rules when handling the Carnivora food. It is unlikely your children would be at risk, but if you are concerned you can encourage your children to wash their hands after playing with the dog or cat. Picking up your dog's stools immediately after it defecates in public will also help environmental bacterial concerns.

Health Considerations

Will Carnivora help my pet's allergies?

Many pets are allergic or intolerant to pet foods that are based on cereal grains or the protein source used in the diet. Multi-ingredient foods can contain other hidden allergens for food sensitive pets. There are many issues involved in food allergies but controlling your pet's diet with species-specific protein (novel) sources is the first step in the right direction. Many pets make improvements or regain total health when changed to a diet that can be individualized for their particular needs.

My pet may be allergic to its food. How can I tell and if so, which food?
A food allergy is an immunologically based reaction to food characterized by itchy skin. There is no quick fix; however the most reliable way to diagnose a food allergy is to feed the allergic pet an elimination diet for a trial period. The pet is fed a food it has never been exposed to before eand receives nothing other than this diet and fresh water for up to 8 weeks. For further details about an elimination diet contact your veterinarian.

My pet has skin problems. Will Carnivora help?

Quite often, dogs and cats show improvements depending on the cause of the problem. If your pet's skin condition due to preservatives or additives, allergens to specific food ingredients or it's immune system needs a healthful boost, then a fresh food diet will be helpful. Your pet may be deficient in certain essential fatty acids. In this case the Carnivora Cold Water Fish Oil or Primrose Oil will be helpful.

Can dogs with kidney stones eat the Carnivora?

Carnivora is more than a diet. It is a simple feeding program that can be individualized for pets with special health concerns such as kidney stones. Your holistic veterinarian can  provide a special diet for your pet.

I've heard pets can get pancreatitis from eating raw diets. Should I be concerned?
Pancreatitis can develop for a variety of reasons. For instance, pets introduced to a raw diet that is too high in fat may develop pancreatitis. Other contributions to the development of pancreatitis can include stress or medications such as steroids. We recommend a careful transition to a low fat fresh food diet that takes into account the pet's health history to eliminate the possibility of pancreatitis.

My pet is diabetic. Can I feed Carnivora?

Yes. In fact a raw diet is a healthier way to feed diabetic pets. A carnivore appropriate meat diet provides protein and no unsuitable carbohydrates such as grains or starches like potatoes. Protein meat-based diets prevent the development of diabetes whereas diets with carbohydrates increase glucose levels in the blood.

My pet has just been diagnosed with cancer. Can I feed him Carnivora?

Yes. Pets with cancer respond favorably to low carbohydrate diets. This means a cancer specific diet should contain high quality biological protein, the correct balance of appropriate esential fatty acids, no grains and no vegetables which are high in starch or sugars. Of course it goes without saying that only pure food sources should be fed to pets with cancer. Carnivora whole animal carcass diets are perfect for pets with cancer.

My pet has a a health condition. How should I transition him to the Carnivora?

If you have a pet that is on medication, has a compromised immune system, autoimmune disease or is a senior you must take extra precautions when introducing and feeding a raw diet. The job of some medications such as steroids is to stop the immune system from functioning. Some medications my lower immunity, even on a temporary basis. Older or ailing pets need thoughtful transitions to a raw diet or any type of diet change for that matter.

What if my pet vomits after eating Carnivora?

If the food is served too cold or your pet eats too quickly it may cause vomiting. In any case, many pets will re-eat the food if allowed. (Disgusting to humans but acceptable for pets!) Vomiting several hours after eating with or without diarrhea may indicate digestive upset due to a change in diet providing there are no other reasons to cause vomiting. Do not feed your pet until its digestive system returns to normal, with the exception to availability of fresh water. Once your pet has recovered you can begin feeding two to three smaller meals throughout the day. Ensure that the diets you are feeding are not too high in fat for your pet. If your pet vomits bile early in the morning or long after its last meal it may be due to an empty stomach. More frequent feedings may be necessary. Sometimes pets have difficulty recycling bile salts and when the body is unable to resorb bile it accumulates in the small intestine causing vomiting of bile. Continuous vomiting will require veterinary intervention.

My pet is having trouble passing his stools. Now what?

Hard stools that are difficult to pass or that involves any amount of straining are indications that are indications that the diet may be too high in bone content for your pet and te diet require additional meat or organs. The Carnivora Offal is an ideal addition for this problem. If you find your pet cannot pass a stool after repeated attempts, then a trip to the veterinarian may be in order. Blood or mucous in the stool may be a sign on intestinal irritation and diet modifications should be considered.

Why does my dog have mucous in his stool?

Mucous in the stool may appear when a pet is initially transitioned to a raw diet. Mucous should not last for more than a day or so. Although rare, mucous may appear in the stool of dogs that have been eating a raw diet for some time. This may be due to intestinal irritation or other factors. If mucous in the stool is diet related then modifications may be necessary if the situation doesn't rectify itself within a day ot two. Mucous in stools can also be a sign of coccidia (a parasite) so you might want to consult with your veterinarian.

Trouble Shooting

What if my dog won't eat Carnivora whole animal diets?

Dogs that eat commercial dry foods may object to changes in their diet specifically aroma or texture. Some dogs may prefer one type of meat to another. Eliminating the foods your dog is accustomed to will encourage a healthy appetite for the new diet. You can encourage your pet to eat the new diet by bringing the food to room temperature. You can also initially cook it adding small raw portions to the cooked portion, then reduce the amount of cooked food until the dog accepts it totally raw.

Can I mix Carnivora with dry or canned foods?

People that decide to mix raw with canned or dry pet foods do so for a number of reasons. It may be that they are uncertain a raw diet will provide all the nutrition necessary for their dog or cat. In this icase more information on a raw diet would be helpful. Some people can't or won't commit to the higher prices associated with fresh food diets. In this instance you definitely get what you are prepared to pay for! Some pet food companies will state that dogs and cats can't digest a combination of kibble and raw diets but this is untrue. The most important reason to only feed raw is because dogs and cats are not physiologically and anatomically designed to eat dry and canned foods.

Is it dangerous to feed my pet the bones in Carnivora patties?

Fresh bone is the most carnivore-appropriate way your dog or cat can receive essential minerals in the diet. Carnivora prepares bones in a finely ground form that are very safe to feed your dog or cat.

Some of the Carnivora whole animal diets are high in fat compared to dry pet food. Will my pet get fat?

If a dog or cat is fed a diet according to their caloric (energy) needs you should see a positive change in muscle mass and body shape instead of an overweight pet. Pets that require a diet lower in fat should be fed elk, bison, beef and rabbit.

How do I feed Carnivora when travelling?

You can use a cooler to keep the diets frozen for several days or longer. It best to pack the cooler as full as possible to prevent rapid thawing and replace the ice as it thaws while enroute to your destination. You might also consider purchasing a vehicle cooler that plugs into the cigarette lighter. This cooler also has an adaptor option for electrical outlets.

What if my cat won't eat the Carnivora patties?

Cats that are reluctant to eat their new raw food diet can be transitioned using several methods: the first is to try cooking the food to begin with gradually cooking it less until it is served raw. Ensure the food is room temperature or just slightly warmed. Cats eating a dry diet can be switched to a premium canned food and increasing amounts of the raw diet can be slowly increased while the cannned food is decreased. Free choice feeding should be discontinued and set feeding times incorporated.

Will my dog get aggressive if I feed it a raw meat diet?
No. There is no correlation between feeding a raw diet and aggressive behavior. Many breeders, show dog trainers, herding, hunting and retriever enthusiasts feed their dogs raw meat diets with no associated behavior problems.

Can I feed my pet table scraps with Carnivora

Farm dogs and cats, village dogs and cats and even wild dogs and cats eat human waste. Domestic pets survived on human leftovers and table scraps long before commercial pet foods came into existence. Healthy food scraps can become useful extras to feed your pet if fed infrequently and providing the raw diet is the predominant food in the overall diet.

What about treats?
Treats are not a necessary part of your pet's nutritional requirements but everyone knows that pets love them ... and it makes their human feel better too! Like table scraps, preservative-free treats can be given providing they remain a small part of the diet.

My dog eats his stool. Will Carnivora whole animal diets help stop this?

Autocoprophagia may be due to various medical issues such as pancreatic insufficiency, pancreatitis, intestinal infections, malabsorption and over-feeding - especially diets high in fat. There are many behavioral reasons for this habit as well. For example, females may have an intuitive nature to clean up or it may be that your pet observes you cleaning up and learns from you! In nature, wild canids eat the feces of other animals. It is hypothesized that interspecific coprophagia plays a role in wild health nutrition. The feces of herbivores may contain many valuable nutrients hence the reason it is readily consumed. The best cure is to immediately clean up after your pet following defacation.

Why is my pet drinking less water since eating a raw diet?
This is perfectly normal for the majority of raw fed pets. In nature whole prey contains 60-80% moisture and is often the main source of fluids for carnivores. It is important to ensure your domestic carnivore has fresh water available at all times. Water keeps toxins in the body systems flushed and is especially important for puppies, kittens, performance dogs, and lactating queens and dams.

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