Q: Why do DNA foods come in little squares?
A: The square shape is your clue that DNA is made of mostly meat. Dry foods with rounded edges use a machine called an "extruder" to make pet food, and need to be mostly grain, potato or other starch source in order to work properly in the extruder. DNA cannot be made in an extruder because of the high meat content, and must be diced instead.
Q: I noticed DNA is a lot less expensive to feed on a daily basis than the refrigerated and frozen pet foods I have been using - how can you do this if it has such a high meat content?
A: Two reasons - first, most refrigerated and frozen pet foods are about 2/3 moisture. So it costs a lot less to ship DNA on a per pound basis. Second, to ship and store things that need to be refrigerated or frozen costs a lot more than shipping something at room temperature. So even though the ingredients cost the same, we're able to pass on some significant savings on to you because DNA is dried and does not require refrigeration.
FEEDINGQ: How much water should I add to DNA to rehydrate it?
A: About equal parts DNA and warm/hot water. But feed it dry if you can.....DNA is cubed and dried to reduce the mess and headach of canned, refrigerated and powdered/dehydrated foods.
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 addicted in a way to the intense flavorings used to enhance the taste of traditional plant-based kibble. If your cat is a "junk food junkie" we recommend gradually transitioning to DNA over a period of several weeks.
Q: Will DNA turn mushy when rehydrated?
A: No – it reverts back to its original meaty form. DNA is most comparable to beef jerky - easy to digest in the presence of digestive enzymes, but hard to rehydrate with just water. The egg in DNA holds it together even when wet – just as it does when you make a meat loaf. No mush means less mess!
Q: I am confused – if DNA has so much real food in it, why am I still feeding about the same number of cups as the kibble I was using?
A: This is because a cup of kibble weighs a little more than a cup of DNA. Kibble is made under very high pressure and heat, which makes it more compact and heavier on a cup comparison basis. Heavier food, means there are more calories packed into the same space....which makes DNA and kibble very comparable in terms of calories per cup, even though kibble tends to use some inexpensive fillers. There are about 5 cups of DNA in a pound of food.
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.
MANUFACTURINGQ: What temperature is DNA dried at?
A: DNA is dried at about180°F [82°C]– a high enough temperature to kill any pathogens like salmonella that might be present in the raw meat ingredients, but still a low enough to leave many of the nutrients like amino acids and enzymes intact in the food. To compare, most traditional kibble is cooked under high pressure at about 400°F [204°C].
Q: 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 is actually less than one half the cost to feed.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll send you out an equivalent amount of DNA to replace the powdered content of the bag.
INGREDIENTSQ: Where does the meat come from in DNA?
A: The Chicken and Beef 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: I noticed DNA now has organ meat like heart, kidney & liver in it.....why?
A: Organ meats contain concentrations of natural nutrients not found in muscle meat alone. While humans may not eat heart, kidney or liver too often, dogs and cats in the wild will most often eat the organ meat first. No pet food can be a true ancestral diet without the inclusion of organ meat. Just like the muscle meat we use, the organ meat is purchased from the human food supply chain to ensure your pet is receiving only the best quality food experience.
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, Germany and Japan We guarantee no vitamin, mineral or any ingredient for that matter originate from China. The Taurine used in DNA for example is from Japan. It costs five times more than Taurine from China, but we think that guaranteeing the integrity of DNA ingredients is worth the extra cost. Some pet food companies may be using second party countries to import Chinese ingredients so that they can make a non-Chinese claim - and still save money too. We do not play that kind of deceptive and potentially risky game with DNA ingredients.
Q: Why do you use dried citrus pulp?
A: Dogs and cats digestive systems work best if the food they eat contains about 3-4 percent fiber. Because this food is mostly meat, we needed to add some fiber to achieve the correct balance. After researching various fiber sources and rejecting them (like beet pulp, for example) we decided that dried citrus pulp offered the healthiest and most natural form of fiber. It cost about seven times more than beet pulp, but we felt the quality of this ingredient was worth it.
Q: What percentage of DNA foods are animal ingredients?
A: DNA dog food is at least 78% and cat food is at least 80% animal ingredients.
Q: How much egg is in DNA and why do you use it?
A: 10% of the recipe is egg in both dog and cat food formulas. The cat formula contains dried egg-white, while the dog formula contains whole dried egg. Eggs are a great source of natural protein and natural fat....in fact eggs are close to being the "perfect" natural food.
Q: Why do you use wild alaskan pollock oil?
A: Wild Alaskan Pollock Oil comes from Alaskan waters that are fished under "sustainable" guidelines. The Omega 3/6 profile is very similar to Alaskan Salmon Oil. Wild Alaskan Pollock Oil is more naturally stable than salmon oil. In its pure, wild form it is a natural clear, reddish color that has very little "fishy" odor.
Q: Why do you use coconut oil?
A: Virgin Coconut Oil is in every formula of DNA dry foods. Dr. Oz says it best when he says "Studies have show that intake of coconut oil can help our bodies mount resistance to both viruses and bacteria that can cause illness. Even more, it also can help to fight off yeast, fungus and candida". While Dr. Oz is referring to human health benefits, we include coconut oil in DNA dog and cat foods because we are convinced the health benefits extend to dogs and cats as well.
Q: Is there yeast in the food?
A: Back in 2011 when DNA was launched, we used yeast in the food because it is a great source of trace minerals. However, we heard from so many folks that wanted a no-yeast formula, we decided to take it out of the foods in 2012.
Q: Is there any hidden MSG, BHA or BHT in DNA foods?
A: Some ingredients can be listed on a pet food ingredient panel that contain some of these chemicals without actually listing them on the label. DNA foods do not use any ingredients that contain these chemicals.
Q: What about "natural flavor" - is it in DNA foods, and if so, what is it?
A: Natural flavor is a term that pet food companies can use to cover a lot of different types of ingredients. DNA dog food contains no natural flavor by any definition of the term, and DNA cat food contains about 3% Natural Salmon Flavor. This is the dried product of whole salmon that is added to give DNA cat foods a little extra flavor to appeal to cats that have been eating heavily flavored traditional kibble cat foods.
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.