There’s a truth about food that too few pet parents realise - Food matters. What you feed your dog makes a difference.Feeding your dog means more than just filling their belly. When you choose the right foods, you help your pet thrive and not just survive. You are building the foundation for good health.
Choosing the wrong foods can leave the window open to unwelcomed consequences. It’s no secret that dogs are experiencing disease epidemics like never before, and chronic degenerative conditions related to poor lifestyle choices, including food, are at an all-time high.
This is why Dr Karen Becker is so against most commercially processed pet foods. The ingredients manufacturers choose to add aren’t usually for your pet’s benefit – it’s for their bottom line. Fresh, healthy ingredients cost more than inexpensive fillers and mystery meat meal concoctions.
Even if you do choose the right foods for your dog, putting them together in a nutritionally balanced meal that your pet will eat is a whole other issue. Many pet owners simply don’t know how to begin to do it correctly, and that’s a big problem.
From Best-to-Worst – How Dr Karen Becker rates today’s pet food diets
Surprisingly, Dr Karen Becker’s least favourite type of dog food isn't “high-street” kibble. Recently she rated all of the different types of pet food diets available today and here is that list - from best to worst, starting with her absolute favourite type of pet food:
- Balanced raw, fresh homemade diet
- Commercially available raw diet (found in the freezer section of your small, specialty pet store)
- Balanced cooked, homemade diet
- Dehydrated or freeze-dried food
- Human-grade canned food (The label must say the ingredients are human grade, or they are not.)
- Human-grade dry food (It must state human grade so it won’t contain low-quality rendered by-products.)
- Super premium canned food (found at big box pet supply stores)
- Super premium dry food (found at big box pet supply stores)
- Veterinary-recommended canned food (purchased at your vet’s office or clinic)
- Veterinary-recommended dry food (purchased at your vet’s office or clinic)
- Grocery store-brand canned food
- Grocery store-brand dry food
- Semi-moist pouched food
- An unbalanced homemade diet – raw or cooked
While many of these types of foods may be super convenient, they don’t necessarily provide the biologically appropriate, food-based nutrients necessary to maintain vibrant health in your dog.
What Pet Food Makers Don’t Want You to know About the Food You are Feeding your Pet
Most pet owners have little idea of what they are actually feeding their pets when they buy processed pet food - whether it’s dried kibble, canned food, dehydrated or frozen food, the trendy, artfully designed packaging provides few accurate clues.
Here’s the truth about more than 99 percent of pet foods on the market today - less than 1% is human-grade, GMO-free, organic or contains free-range or ethically sourced meats.
Pet parents are also unlikely to know these other closely held secrets about processed pet food:
- Most pet foods are made from leftover and recycled food waste from the human food industry and is not human grade.
- Food is heated, on average, four times during processing before sitting on a shelf for up to two years, making its nutritional content questionable, at best (unlike fresh food).
- Carcinogenic by-products, such as heterocyclic amines, acrylamides and AGEs (advanced glycation end products) can result from the high heat processing typically used to make processed pet food.
- The nutrients added to bring the food up to standards are typically feed-grade, cheaper forms of nutrients common in the animal feed industry, such as sulfates and oxides, rather than human-grade nutrients.
- Nutrients degrade quickly, especially enzymes and B vitamins, even in the freezer.
- Dry food provides only 12 % moisture and not the 70 % moisture found in fresh food needed to prevent organ stress and dysfunction.
- The incidence of pet food recalls has never been higher with independent testing confirming heavy metals, glyphosate, phthalates, flame retardants, BPA and pentobarbital (pet euthanasia solution) in pet food.
- Additives such as chemical preservatives, artificial colours, dyes, rendered fats and fillers are typically used with processed foods.
- Palatability enhancers are often added to trick pets into eating food that isn’t biologically correct for them.
- Commercial pet food sits on shelves for months to years before you buy it, with any remaining nutrients degrading by the day.
Why the Right Food for your Dog isn’t Necessarily Sitting on Your Plate
Many owners (maybe you, too?) are often shocked to find any type of homemade diet on the bottom of my list. How could a homemade diet, even raw, be the worst food you can feed your pet, you may be wondering. After all, it is homemade food, and you’re controlling everything that goes into it, right? How can it possibly be worse than grocery store kibble?
A lot of pet owners love sharing their meals with their dog. When they do, they believe they’re giving their pet better nutrition than what comes in a bag, box or can. Dr Karen Becker sees in her practice, an increasing number of misguided pet owners who think they are doing the right thing by serving their pet, say, a chicken breast and a few vegetables and calling it a day.
So clearly, “homemade” means different things to different people. Sometimes pet parents take “homemade” to mean a little bit of everything they eat. Or many of my raw feeding clients assume feeding a rotation of several different meats, bones and organs will provide “balance over time.”
Unfortunately, research shows this rarely ever happens. Nutritionally unbalanced food, even homemade, is an accident waiting to happen for any pet.
As a practicing veterinarian, Dr Karen Becker sees dogs with endocrine and skeletal issues, and even organ degeneration, simply because they’re not receiving a diet properly balanced with the essentials, like trace minerals, omega fatty acids and calcium.
Because of these increasingly common scenarios, along with, of course, misinformation from commercial pet food makers, fresh homemade diets, especially raw diets, have been ’black-listed’ by many veterinarians.
Recognising this dilemma early on, combined with Dr Karen Becker’s passion for biologically appropriate fresh food for pets, she set out to find an easy and convenient way to help owners prepare affordable and nutritionally balanced homemade meals for their adult dogs.
One Important Reason to Take Control of What Goes Into Your Pet’s Food.
Over the last century, the pet food industry has convinced owners to feed pets highly processed diets that sustain life. However, these foods don’t necessarily nourish pets as nature intended.
Processed pet food is a relatively recent addition to a dog’s ancestral history. Dogs evolved to eat fresh food, even after branching off from Canis lupis (gray wolf) thousands of years ago.
In fact, the first bag of commercial “dog food” arrived less than 100 years ago, and while dogs are amazingly resilient, Dr Karen Becker believes what we’re feeding them today is nothing less than nutritional abuse.
Because dogs are so adaptable, they are capable of consuming species-inappropriate foods, but not without consequences. In Dr Karen Becker’s opinion, the staggering incidence of cancer, diabetes, obesity, allergies, autoimmune disease and organ failure today can all be linked back to feeding a completely unnatural diet to our companions over the last 50 years.
One other factor that many people don’t consider is the quality of today’s soils. Food can only be healthy as the soil in which it is grown. Nutritionally depleted soil yields nutritionally depleted food.
Organically grown food is certainly better, but typically only in terms of fewer chemicals entering your pet’s body. While preferable to conventionally grown food, using organically grown food in your pet’s food is not a guarantee that all the nutrients that should be there are present.
When you make your own food with wholesome ingredients and appropriate supplemental vitamins and minerals, you’re in control. You know what they are getting and what they are not.
Why Dr Karen Becker Believes a Balanced Raw or Gently Cooked Fresh Homemade Diet is the Best Food You Can Feed Your Pet.
Here’s the bottom line: dogs need to eat fresh, whole, species-appropriate food to be optimally healthy. Fresh food diets mimic nutrient-dense ancestral diets. These are the foods that our pets have evolved to eat!
As you saw, a balanced raw, fresh homemade diet sits at the top of Dr Karen Becker’s best-to-worst list, which is her number one choice for many reasons, including:
- Fresh, raw food is unadulterated and contains all the enzymes and nutrients that are typically destroyed during cooking or other types of processing.
- Homemade allows you to take complete control of the source and quality of the ingredients in your pet's diet.
- Homemade allows you to take advantage of buying fresh, seasonal vegetables on sale and rotate your use of species-appropriate fresh meats and poultry.
Yet, when recommending a species-appropriate, raw, fresh homemade diet, it cannot be stressed enough that it must be nutritionally balanced or it’s as good as worthless.
The trend for pet parents to feed a raw homemade diet is growing by leaps and bounds. However, this is a good thing only if that food is properly prepared with their dog’s personalised nutritional requirements in mind.
So, how can you make sure the food you prepare for your dog is balanced nutritionally and they’re getting everything they need?
Let me introduce you to Meal Mix a foolproof system for preparing fresh meals for your dog that they will love and you will feel good about feeding.
Introducing Dr Karen Beckers Favourite Creation Ever – Meal Mix – a Simple, Foodproof System for Making Your Own Nutritionally Balanced Fresh Homemade Food in Minutes
Dr Karen Becker firmly believe that owners who take the time to prepare their dog’s food want nothing more than to do it correctly. Yet, when you ask yourself or anyone who has ever taken on the task, you quickly learn it’s not easy to do. You have to do the research, hunt down the right foods, know how much to buy, figure out how to prepare and mix everything together just right. Then you have to cross your fingers and hope your pet eats it. If it sounds like a huge endeavour, it is!
It takes a lot of knowledge and effort to get it right. Which is exactly why so many well-intentioned pet owners give up, either before their first attempt or after trying to do it a few times.
Dr Karen Becker developed Meal Mix along with veteran pet food formulator Steve Brown for that very reason as it takes the guesswork out of preparing a nutritionally balanced meal for your pet.
Steve’s a real pro when it comes to formulating dog food. He created the first commercially available raw food diet in the U.S. more than 20 years ago. Today he maintains the largest nutrition database in the world for dogs – over 6,000 pages! Steve’s database is a virtual treasure trove... it includes AAFCO, FEDIAF, NRC, Ancestral and USDA nutrition information.
The Meal Mix system that they created together provides a way for you to know exactly:
- Which ingredients to choose
- How much of each ingredient to buy
- How to prepare the ingredients for optimal nutrition
- How to ensure the food is nutritionally balanced
- How to make sure it taste good so your dog will eat it.
Their goal was to create simple, easy-to-follow recipes that contain a variety of ingredient options to make homemade, nutritionally balanced pet food a reality for people who want to feed fresh food to their dogs.
How to Prepare Nutritionally Balanced Meals for Your Pet Without Worry, Fuss or Confusion – and No Complicated Maths!
Meal Mix is much more than a single product – it’s a system for preparing nutritionally complete food for your pet. Intended to be part of a total meal plan, you receive recipes and ideas for feeding your dog a variety of healthy, balanced homemade meals – not just one!
The two parts of the Meal Mix system are designed to work together:
- The online Recipe Creator allows you to customise meals from a variety of ingredients that work best for your budget and your adult dog’s nutritional needs, based on their weight and activity level.
- Meal Mix, a vitamin and mineral supplement made in the USA with all human-grade ingredients, helps you create nutritionally balanced, fresh, homemade food that you can trust in just minutes.
Steve and Dr Karen Becker felt strongly that this Meal Mix formula had to meet certain criteria:
- The nutrients needed to be human-grade, unlike what’s used in most processed pet foods.
- The nutrients had to be non-GMO, soy and gluten free.
- The nutrients had to be versatile enough to be used in many different recipes to allow for nutritional diversity and rotation of meats, vegetables and carbs (if desired).
- The formula had to meet optimal nutritional requirements for trace minerals and vitamins, not just the bare-bones minimum requirements necessary to sustain life like what’s found in most pet foods today.
While certain nutrients like zinc, vitamin D and E, iodine and choline are present in tiny amounts in many foods, they’re deficient in most homemade, fresh food diets. Which is exactly why so many veterinarians are against feeding homemade diets.
They know most pet owners are simply guessing when it comes to balancing nutrients. And they also know that adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that is a recipe for disaster and a very good way of creating nutritional deficiencies over time.
The whole idea of our Meal Mix was to help pet parents prepare fresh homemade food without having to spend a lot of money on expensive, rare ingredients. They wanted to make homemade food balanced and simple.
Meet the “Brain” of the Meal Mix System – the Recipe Creator
It took Dr Karen Becker with Steve’s help, three years to develop the two-part system: the groundbreaking, innovative Recipe Creator and Meal Mix Multivitamin and Mineral Supplement Mix.
Let’s take a closer look at how the Meal Mix system helps you prepare nutritionally balanced meals for your adult dog…
- Log in to the Recipe Creator, and enter your dog’s name, approximate weight and activity level. If you have more than one pet, you can create multiple recipes for each dog. You’ll discover exactly how many calories your dog needs to consume each day.
- Customise your recipes by choosing what type of raw or cooked meat or poultry and vegetables (and starch if desired) you want to use. You have plenty of options, so you can pick your pet’s favourite foods.
- Click “Create Recipe” to receive an assortment of customised recipes along with preparation instructions, nutritional information and suggested feeding directions.
- Choose a recipe and prepare according to provided directions.
- Add a high-quality source of omega-3s and a premeasured packet of Meal Mix (the recipe will tell you exactly how much to add of each), and you’re done.
- Store the remaining portions in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to two weeks.
Starches and carbs are totally optional with Meal Mix. They’re not required for a nutritionally balanced meal, so the choice to include them is yours. If you’re working on a limited budget, or if your vet suggests reducing the protein in your dog’s meal, sweet potatoes or quinoa make great starch additions.
With the Recipe Creator, you have access to hundreds of meals that allow you to choose from meat-only recipes, meat and vegetable recipes, or meat, vegetable and starch recipes to fit your budget and the nutritional needs of each dog in your family. You can view, print or email the recipes, and create as many as you like.
The Recipe Creator tells you exactly what’s in each meal, too. It provides the full nutrient profile for a 1,000-kcal meal. Each recipe you create will have a specific kcal recommendation per day based on your dog’s activity level and weight.
Because every recipe meets or exceeds the AFFCO nutrient standards for a complete and balanced meal for maintenance, you’ll know with no uncertainty that you’re giving your pet what they need.
What Makes the Meal Mix System Stand Apart
A couple of other products may appear similar to Meal Mix on the outside, but if you look closer, you’ll realise there’s nothing else like it. Here’s what sets Meal Mix apart from the others:
- You don’t need to use carbs if you don’t want to. Thissystem was designedto use just meat or poultry or a mixture of meat and whatever vegetables you choose.
- The Meal Mix supplement is made of human-grade ingredients, not feed-grade like the others. Plus is made only with human-grade ingredients and it’s made in a human-grade certified manufacturing facility in the U.S.A.!
- Contains no genetically engineered ingredients or GMOs, soy or gluten. This is especially important considering the pet food industry’s current trend in using genetically engineered soy as a filler ingredient in foods.
- NO sulfates, oxides or sodium selenite, or menadione (synthetic vitamin K) are used which are all cheap forms of nutrients common in the animal feed industry.
- The Recipe Creator program allows for nearly endless variety. If your dog is a fussy eater or has digestive issues, food allergies or sensitivities, you can choose from more than eight different proteins, including many novel proteins.
- Meal Mix is the only product on the market that can be mixed with red meats (ruminants), poultry or wild game (elk, goat, bison, rabbit) to make a complete and balanced meal for adult dogs.
- Can be added to gently cooked or raw food.
You’re in complete control of every single ingredient going into your dog’s bowl and Dr Karen Becker couldn’t be more excited about Meal Mix. In fact, she believes this is likely the most important product she has ever developed for Mercola Healthy Pets. The Meal Mix system levels the playing field. A long-time dream of hers, it gives everyone the opportunity to feed their dogs fresh food because it simplifies the process and takes the guesswork out of meal planning and prep.
Whether you’re already preparing a homemade diet for your dog, or considering adding in a few homemade meals during the week and want to make sure you’re doing it right, Meal Mix provides that assurance and more.
This unique product makes preparing nutritionally balanced, fresh homemade food convenient and easy. There’s no guesswork... no searching for the right vitamin and mineral supplements... and, best of all, no hassle.
The only product on the market made with bioavailable, human-grade nutrients at a human-grade GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) facility.
No matter if you offer your dog fresh homemade food at every meal or a few times a week, there’s no question in my mind. The more you can avoid highly processed, commercially prepared foods for your furry family member, the healthier and happier your pet will be. And you’ll know you’re taking the best possible step for your dog’s well-being.
- Delivery Information
SUMMARY OF UK DELIVERY INFORMATION
For orders of £0 – £39.99 & under 2kg, delivery methods available are:
First Class – £2.99 (estimated 1–3 days)
Second Class – £2.50 (estimated 2–4 days)
For orders over £40 (and under 2kg) orders are sent Royal Mail - First Class - FREE
For Orders over £80 - Orders are sent via a tracked service - FREE
If you need a guaranteed / fully trackable delivery then there is also the option to have your order delivered by Courier as follows:
UK Mainland Next Day - £5.99
Special Postcodes - Two days £11.99
For heavier items (over 2kg), such as food, the following delivery methods are available:
For orders of £0 – £79.99
DPD Courier – £5.99 Next day – UK Mainland
DPD Courier – £11.99 Two Days – UK Special Postcodes (see Delivery & Returns section of the website for details of these)
Orders sent via DPD – Free
All orders placed before 3.00pm* will be dispatched the same working day. Orders placed after 3.00pm* will be dispatched on the following working day. *Courier deliveries have an earlier cut-off.
For courier deliveries, order cut off for same day dispatch is 1.30pm. Orders placed after 1.30pm on a Friday will be dispatched on the following Monday for delivery on Tuesday (or Wednesday for UK special postcodes).
Saturdays, Sundays and all Bank & Public Holidays are classed as non-working days and orders will be dispatched on the next working day.
Email notification will be sent once your order has been dispatched. Please double check your delivery address is correct and contact us straight away if not.
If in the unusual situation there is an issue with your order, such as an item is unexpectedly out of stock or there is an issue with delivery, we will make contact with you. In these instances, we will keep you update via email or telephone to confirm the progress of the order.
For full information including international deliveries, please see our Delivery & Returns section of the website.