Get answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.
Can I feed any of these foods to my puppy or kitten?
We have two great puppy formulas in the Taste of the Wild line—High Prairie Puppy and Pacific Stream Puppy. These two formulas have special features to help support optimal health and well-being for growing puppies.
Our two feline formulas—Rocky Mountain and Canyon River—are both formulated to meet the needs for all life stages, including kittens.
Follow the recommended feeding guidelines on the package and adjust up or down as needed to maintain your pet in an ideal, lean body condition.
Do I need to supplement my pet’s diet?
Do you need to? No. All of our pet foods are complete and balanced. If you want to though, you can—with caution. In most cases, supplements will do no harm. However, it is important to remember that human supplements may contain things that are harmful to pets, and you should always check with your veterinarian prior to using any supplement for your pet.
Sometimes veterinarians will prescribe supplements to treat specific conditions. It is becoming more common that veterinarians are turning to natural therapies, either in combination with traditional therapies or alone, to treat different conditions. One such example would be the use of probiotics when an antibiotic is prescribed. Probiotics add back “good” bacteria to the digestive system to keep it healthy. Many antibiotics will actually kill the good bacteria in the digestive system, leading to diarrhea. Probiotics, when administered at least one hour before or after antibiotics, will help to minimize the digestive upset that can be associated with the use of antibiotics.
Do you have a vegetarian diet?
At this time we do not have any vegetarian diets. We believe strongly in the value of high quality animal proteins for optimal health and lean body condition. We offer a variety of formulas with a variety of animal protein sources to appeal to many different pets and their owners. The blend of amino acids that are found in animal protein sources better meet the nutritional requirements for dogs and cats. This does not mean that a balanced vegetarian diet is not possible, but we have decided to stick with quality animal protein sources for now.
Does the heat of the cooking damage nutrients in your food?
Yes and no. It is true that some of the nutrients in the food are diminished by the cooking process. Because of this, we make sure to add higher than necessary levels of these particular nutrients so that the finished product provides optimal nutrition and meets our guarantees.
The food must be cooked under certain conditions (including heat of approximately 200 degrees) to guarantee that the starches in the food are gelatinized. This means that the chemical structure of the starches (or carbohydrates) in the food are altered so that they are able to be digested by the animal eating the food.
While there are some nutritionists who believe that raw foods are the only way to feed ourselves and our pets, we know that you can provide your pet excellent nutrition by feeding a high quality, convenient dry product like ours.
Does this food contain Ethoxyquin?
Taste of the Wild Pet Foods sources all protein meals (chicken meal, fish meal, etc) from vendors that do not add ethoxyquin.
Ethoxyquin is a common preservative throughout the fish meal supply. We work with our fish meal suppliers and pay a premium such that our fish meals are not preserved with ethoxyquin.
Internal testing has shown that our ethoxyquin levels are at true trace levels or below, 5 parts per million (ppm), 0.0005% or one half of one thousandth of a percent.
How do I know if my dog is considered a small breed or a large breed?
Small breed dogs usually weigh less than 20-25 pounds as adults. Large breed dogs are usually dogs that are heavier than 50-60 pounds as adults.
How do probiotics help my pet?
Probiotics help to maintain balance in the digestive system by suppressing bad bacteria and helping the body break down food and distribute nutrients more efficiently. They also help support a healthy immune system.
How much water does my pet need?
Your pet should have free access to fresh water at all times. Most pets will drink the amount of water that they need. In very rare situations, dogs can develop a behavioral condition called psychogenic polydipsia. This simply means that a dog drinks excessive amounts of water with no apparent medical cause. This can be a real challenge to diagnose and treat, so if you suspect this condition, make sure to work very closely with your veterinarian.
Pets that are outdoors or very active will drink more water than pets that live indoors or lead a sedentary lifestyle. Monitor how much water your pet typically drinks. If he is suddenly licking the bowl dry faster than before, a visit to your veterinarian is important. An increase in water consumption can be an indication of many different health problems including diabetes, kidney disease and even infections.
Is Southwest Canyon a food solution for any particular problems dogs may experience?
Southwest Canyon was made specifically for those dogs that thrive on a red meat diet. Because Southwest Canyon includes peas and chickpeas instead of potatoes, this formula has a lower glycemic index. Utilizing ingredients with a lower glycemic index results in more stable blood glucose levels for your dog.
Is Taste of the Wild irradiated?
Food irradiation is a process in which foods are exposed to radiant energy, including gamma rays, electron beams, and x-rays to eliminate food-borne pathogens.
We do not irradiate Taste of the Wild for a number of reasons, the most important of which is that it is not guaranteed to kill 100% of pathogens present. Irradiation also has the possibility to accelerate the oxidation of the fat in the food and make it spoil faster. If misapplied, irradiation has proven to be hostile toward vitamin activity, especially B1 (thiamine). A thiamine deficiency in cats can cause numerous health concerns, including neurological disorders.
Isn’t the protein in these foods too high for my dog?
Absolutely not! There is not any reason to be fearful of higher protein levels in pet foods unless your pet is suffering from very specific kidney or liver diseases. Quality protein provides the necessary amino acids for your pet to remain in a healthy, lean body condition. Muscles use amino acids as building blocks. When dogs are overfed, they become overweight, just like people. Providing protein that your dog can use to maintain lean body mass will help keep him lean and healthy. You can still overfeed these foods, so if your dog is gaining weight, make sure to reduce the amount that you are feeding.
There is a myth that high protein causes allergies. This is absolutely not true. Proteins themselves are the components of foods that pets may be allergic to. If a pet has a mild allergy to a particular ingredient, it would make sense that the allergy symptoms would become worse when the pet is exposed to higher levels of this ingredient. It is not protein that is the problem, but the specific type of protein.
What are probiotics?
Like humans, dogs and cats have both “good” and “bad” bacteria in their digestive systems. Probiotics, or good bacteria, help to restore balance in the digestive system by suppressing bad bacteria.
What is pea protein?
Peas are a legume. They are made up of protein, fiber and carbohydrates or starch. Peas can be separated into these different components and sold for use in pet foods. We use the protein portion, pea protein, to add amino acids to the diet, which does not contain the higher ash levels that come from dry animal protein sources.
Where are your foods made?
We have five manufacturing facilities, all located in the United States. One is in northern California, one in central California, one in Missouri, one in South Carolina and one in Arkansas.
Why are the protein levels different in the puppy formulas versus the adult formulas?
Our real protein sources add essential nutrients to our formulas, and puppies need higher percentages of some of these nutrients to ensure proper growth and development. All of our formulas provide an ideal balance of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to keep your pet healthy.
Why did you change the probiotics in Taste of the Wild?
We are committed to continually developing new products to meet the ever-changing needs of our customers and their pets. The K9 Strain Probiotics are the only species-specific probiotics available and were developed from bacteria strains found in the canine GI tract. Canine-specific strains are more effective in reducing the risk of irritation and allergic reaction.
Also, for maximum benefit, the bacteria in a probiotic must be viable, or alive and able to multiply. Often, probiotics are added prior to the cooking process where the cultures are killed and no longer active. We now add the probiotics to Taste of the Wild formulas after the cooking process and can guarantee that for every cup of food live, active cultures make it into your pet’s system.
Can I feed this food to my large breed puppy?
Our new Taste of the Wild High Prairie Puppy and Pacific Stream Puppy are the best formula options for large and giant breed puppies because of the levels of nutrients they contain and the special features included in the puppy formulas, such as higher fiber for optimal digestive health and salmon oil for enhanced DHA levels, which helps support brain and eye development.
Large and giant breed puppies should be fed a little differently than small or medium breed puppies in order to control their growth rate. Overfeeding calories can lead to rapid growth, which puts stress on the developing bones and joints. It is important to keep your large breed puppy in lean body condition—ask your vet how to determine whether your puppy is lean or too heavy. You may have to adjust the feeding amount up or down from what is indicated on the package; the package provides an estimate of the amount to feed, and every puppy is a bit different.