Q: So what exactly is DNA; a kibble, a wet food or a raw food?
A: Yes to all three. DNA starts out as a raw food and is made in a cannery. It is mixed and made into large sausages and refrigerated to until it sets up into a solid meat loaf. Then it is diced and sent to a low temperature drying room (instead of being sent off to be cooked inside of a can). This drying process helps preserve some of the amino acids and enzymes found in raw food. The resulting dried dices of DNA pour and feed just like a kibble, or may be rehydrated back into its original meaty form. Every 3 lbs of DNA may be compared nutritionally to about 10 pounds of raw food, or 12 – 13.2 oz. cans.
FEEDING Q: How much water should I add to DNA to rehydrate it?
A: DNA will absorb about twice it’s weight in water. A good rule of thumb is to soak it in a coffee cup or glass, and just cover the food with hot tap water (tap water is usually about 175 degrees and will not damage the food). Allow to soak for 15 minutes or so, and pour into bowl. The colder the water, the longer the rehydration time! A little bit of leftover water is expected once completely rehydrated.
Q: Should I transition DNA gradually or just start feeding it all at once?
A: It is always a good idea to gradually transition any dog food over a period of 7 days or so – adding a little bit more of the new food and less of the old each day. Cats in particular can become dependent on traditional extrruded kibble containing large amounts of flour masked by intense flavorings used to enhance flavor. If your cat is a "junk food junkie" we recommend gradually transitioning to DNA over a period of several weeks.
Q: Can I feed DNA dry or do I have to rehydrate it?
A: We recommend rehydration – though feeding it dry will work. Dogs and cats can get dehydrated just as humans can. Rehydrating DNA back to its original meaty form is a good way to help ensure your pet is properly hydrated. Cats have a desert heritage, and in particular rely on the moisture content of their prey for water. Try rehydrating several days worth of DNA at a time and keeping it in the refrigerator to make it easier to serve.
Q: Will DNA turn mushy when rehydrated?
A: No – it reverts back to its original meaty form. The egg in DNA holds it together – just as it does when you make a meat loaf. No mush means less mess!
Q: I am confused – if DNA is “concentrated food without the fillers”, why am I still feeding the same number of cups as the kibble I was using?
A: DNA is more nutritionally dense by pound than most kibble, but takes up more volume. This allows you to fee about the same "cup" amount of DNA as you would with most holistic extruded kibble. The difference is that DNA does not contain the less expensive starch fillers found typical extruded kibble, nor has it been subjected to high heat and pressure. While the density of DNA will vary slightly, a 12 lb. bag of DNA dog food contains about 60 cups and will last a 50 lb dog about three weeks, depending on activity level. A 2 lb. bag of DNA cat food contains about 10 cups and will last an 8 lb cat about 2 weeks.
Q: So are the feeding instructions intended for DNA in it’s dry form, or in it’s rehydrated form?
A: DNA will not expand like kibble does when wet – at most perhaps 3-5%. So the feeding recommendations are essentially the same either wet or dry - if you are a strict "measurer" and want to measure the correct amount of DNA in its wet state - add a little bit more to than you would if it is dry.
Q: I have a dog that weighs more than 50 lbs. shown on the bag – how much should I feed?
A: For every 10 lbs. of body weight, add ½ cup. For example, you have a 60 lb. dog. The feeding recommendation says to feed 2 ¼ to 3 cups per day for a 50 lb dog. Adding another ½ cup means the recommendation would go up to 2 ¾ to 3 ½ cups for a 60 lb. dog. Confused? Just email firstname.lastname@example.org and give the weight , age and activity level of your dog, and we’ll do the math for you with a more specific feeding recommendation.
MANUFACTURING Q: What temperature is DNA dried at?
A: DNA is dried at 180°F [82°C]– enough to kill the pathogens, but still leaving many of the amino acids and enzymes found in raw food.
Q: I am confused - is DNA freeze-dried?
A: Freeze drying is an expensive process that uses a vacuum chamber to draw the water out of food that is heated to about 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Air drying is a process that uses circluating air to dry the food that is heated to 180 degreees Fahrenheit. While dried at twice the temperature as freeze-dried, DNA cost half to one third the cost.
Q: Where is DNA made?
A: DNA is made in South Dakota by Performance Pet Products (PPP). PPP has the ingredient sourcing power of the sixth largest manufacturer of meat products for human consumption in the USA behind it, and is crafted in a plant that was originally built to make products for human consumption.
Q: Why is there a small amount of powder in the bottom of the bag?
A: DNA is made with a natural process without the tremendous pressure and temperatures used in traditional kibble. Some of the product will naturally abrade into powder during shipping and handling. If you choose to rehydrate DNA, this powder will enhance the rehydrated product. If you feed DNA dry, however, and your dog declines to eat the small amount of powdered DNA in the bottom of the bag, please contact email@example.com and we’ll send you out an equivalent amount of DNA to replace the powdered content of the bag.
INGREDIENTS Q: Where does the meat come from in DNA?
A: The Chicken and Beef are local to South Dakota and start out as USDA human grade (meaning there may have been some hormones and antibiotics used). The Lamb and Venison however come from New Zealand and are free range and raised without the hormones and antibiotics. The Salmon is farm raised but in ocean waters in Norway. This offers the best of both worlds for Salmon – no danger of heavy metal contamination as with some wild caught Salmon, and the benefit of circulating fresh ocean water as opposed to pond water when farm raised.
Q: Where do the vegetables come from?
A: All of the vegetables are raised in the USA. We chose to use dried fruits and vegetables to reduce the overall drying time of the meat. This choice yields more naturally occurring enzymes and amino acids in the meat after the drying process is complete.
Q: Are your vitamins and minerals from the US?
A: Some of the vitamins are. However, we must still get some rare earth minerals and vitamins from France, Switzerland and Germany. However, we guarantee no vitamins originate from China.
Q: How much meat is in DNA?
A: On average, DNA Dog Food is 60% meat, 15% assorted fruits & vegetables, 15% whole egg and 10% added oils. DNA Cat Food is 80% meat, 10% egg, 8% fruits & vegetables, and 2% added oil.
Q: Why do you use different oils in each meat formula?
A: Since we use whole meat (including some naturally occurring fat), we add oils to compliment the each unique meat. This is done to achieve an optimum Omega fatty acid level in the food.
Q: What is the “natural flavor” in the ingredient panel?
A: When we mix the meat, fruits, vegetables and egg together, we have to add some liquid to ensure good mixing. Our original consumer focus groups were confused by our first ingredient panel that said “water sufficient for processing”. We chose to add species specific broth (i.e. chicken broth to the chicken formula) instead of water for mixing. This allows us to call the liquid “natural flavor” and eliminated the confusion as to whether DNA is wet or dry inside the bag.
Q: What is Sodium Tripolyphospate and why do you use it?
A: Polyphosphates are essential for life. This ingredient is water soluble, so the body eliminates what it cannot use. Sodium Triployphosphate is a chelating agent (helps bind inorganic minerals to an organic molecule to aid digestibility). This ingredient also helps maintain moisture levels in high meat content products - (the reason you don't see it used in traditional extruded kibble that is 2/3 flour).
Q: How long will DNA last?
A: DNA is rated for 18 months inside its intact packaging before the oxygen remover pack is added.
Q: How long will DNA last after it is opened?
A: As long as the bag is reclosed, it will last at least until the date of expiration on the back. Like beef jerky, the primary preservative in DNA is the lack of moisture. Long periods of exposure to high humidity may spoil DNA
Q: What is in the little white packet that says “do not eat” – how does it remove oxygen from the bag?
A: The oxygen remover packet is non toxic, though the sharp edges could trigger a vomit reflex in your dog similar to that seen when a dog eats blades of grass. The oxygen packet itself contains inert iron filings. The iron combines with moisture to make rust. Rust pulls the oxygen out of the air and burns it up, leaving only gases such as nitrogen in the bag. A lack of oxygen adds to the 18 month shelf life of DNA – we are conducting studies currently to find out exactly how much extra shelf life the oxygen remover adds.
Q: What sizes does DNA food come in?
A: Dog: 12/8 oz, 4/3 lb., 4/6 lb. and 12 lb. Cat: 6/6 oz and 2/2 lb.