Kibble 'pre-mix' ingredients
First Basenji's

Well, my naive question would be… how do you know that the additional ingredients at the end of a list are all from a pre-mix, and not individually added to the food by the company/local manufacturer themselves?

THK is dehydrated food as well, not kibble. Maybe their process is different from NRG's. At any rate, I shot a message over to THK asking how they would respond to this article. I am curious about how they would respond, but honestly, I am not worried because I consider them one of the most transparent, ethical pet food companies that I know of… They've gone to the trouble to note discrepancies of 0.01% of some ingredient in their nutrient profiles -- indicates to me that they're extremely proactive about monitoring the quality of their product, no matter how it's made.

@curlytails:

Well, my naive question would be… how do you know that the additional ingredients at the end of a list are all from a pre-mix, and not individually added to the food by the company/local manufacturer themselves?

THK is dehydrated food as well, not kibble. Maybe their process is different from NRG's. At any rate, I shot a message over to THK asking how they would respond to this article. I am curious about how they would respond, but honestly, I am not worried because I consider them one of the most transparent, ethical pet food companies that I know of… They've gone to the trouble to note discrepancies of 0.01% of some ingredient in their nutrient profiles -- indicates to me that they're extremely proactive about monitoring the quality of their product, no matter how it's made.

Actually, I didn't read far enough to realize THK was a dehydrated product, my bad. Perhaps they do add in the stated additional ingredients individually or in house, which would be a very good thing, and put them right up there as a food I would consider buying. I will be interested in their response.

Regular kibbles require the pre mix because they don't meet nutritional standards without it.

As far as how long a bag of NRG lasts me, I must confess that I am not good at keeping track. I know I don't have to buy it that often. When the supply gets low, I go get another package. Maybe every six weeks or so? Must start paying attention. I am only feeding one dog, so for me it lasts a long time.

I feed THK as the evening meal for my dogs. Feeding 6 adults, 1/3 cup dry at their evening meal, 10 pounds lasts about 3 weeks. I buy a case about every 3 months. It is more pricey than kibble but has been really worth it for Nicky, his fatty tumors have shrunk since we started feeding it after his surgery to remove his spindle cell sarcoma so I feel it is worth the investment. If you collect the UPC from the boxes you can earn a free box for every 12 purchased.

@lvoss:

I feed THK as the evening meal for my dogs. Feeding 6 adults, 1/3 cup dry at their evening meal.

So THK is dehydrated as well as NRG. Would the amount to feed a basenji NRG be the same as THK - 1/3 cup dry per meal? Also, I'm working on getting a pound off Kipawa, so would 1/4 cup be okay along with some fresh broccoli and other fresh veggies (and a little raw steak every now and then)?

I don't remember seeing on the bag (I bought the grain free one) much info on how to feed - perhaps I need to look again or go back to the website. How much water and then how long do you wait?

@curlytails:

How can you tell if a kibble uses a pre-mix, Fran?

NRG looks great, but I am curious about their "table grade" claim. Here in the US, I think the issue is that several pet food companies make that claim, but because these statements are not even regulated by the industry, you can't necessarily hold them to it. There is only one pet food manufacturer (so far?) in the US that actually applied for the right to claim human-grade ingredients: The Honest Kitchen.

Fran, this brand may also be an option for you as well. When I saw 'pre-mix' in your subject title, this is actually what I thought you were talking about. 😉

From what I am understanding (hope I deciphered it right) 'pre-mix' is a product that is mixed with the other ingredients (the really good main ingredients) to make kibble. Kibble on its own would not be sufficient enough (healthwise) to feed our dogs and cats. And a lot of the pre-mix comes from either China or India, places where we know quality standards are no where near what ours are in North America.

Canada is super picky when it comes to products passing certain standards, so the fact that NRG is made here and also has no pre-mix is making me feel it's a good choice. It's not like Kipawa has had any problems with his TOTW High Prairie (Bison formula). But he is so special to me I want to take every advantage I can possibly get to keep him as healthy as possible.

I think I am going to contact Taste of the Wild and ask if their pre-mix is made in North America FROM North American products. My understanding (correct me if I am off base) is that it is legal for companies to say something is Made in USA when in fact the ingredients are from elsewhere and the 'Made in USA' only refers to the final production/packaging of the product (this includes products other than dog and cat food).

I just sent Taste of the Wild the following question. I am not speaking on behalf of individuals, I only asked the question based on general health concerns we all have for our dogs. I hope I have not offended anyone. Here is the message I sent, and I will post the answer when I receive it.
–--------------------------------------------------

In your FAQ, you talk about: "add(ing) higher than necessary levels of these particular nutrients so that the finished product provides optimal nutrition and meets our guarantees.

I belong to an online basenji forum with hundreds of members. We are currently discussing 'pre-mix' which is usually added with the kibble ingredients to make the kibble. Our concerns are that the majority of these 'pre-mixes' are made in China and India, where quality control is no where near those in the USA or Canada.

My question to you is: Do you use a pre-mix (to add additional vitimins and minerals, etc.) to your kibble production and if you do, what country is the source of the pre-mix you purchase.

Our concerns for our dogs' health is of primary importance to us.

Thank you,
Frances Harder
BC, Canada

I checked the NRG website to see if I could find a comparison with kibble, and came up with this:

N-R-G VITALITY contains 500 K Calories to the cup , 5-6 cups to the lb and is 93% digestible. Most kibbles contain an average of 350 K Calories to the cup and are 75% digestible. Therefore one cup of VITALITY is calorically equal to 1.5 to 2 cups of kibble depending on the brand.

That might help you calculate how much to feed. My guy is fed between 1/3 and 1/2 cup twice a day, depending on how much exercise he is getting. Less in winter, as we don't get out as much.

Thanks eeefarm, that helps me at least because Oakley gets 3/4 cup x2 of Fromms now and I think feeding him 1/2 cup x2 a day would make sense. Now it's much easier to calculate how many days a bag lasts. I'm no cheapo ( Oakley wears hurtta and equafleece, I buy bully sticks in bulk $$, and I pay good money for good food…. But I don't want to break the bank!) so this will give me a better breakdown... The website sells a 15lb bag for 115$ so the number just got me... I'll do the math now!

First Basenji's

This was the answer from The Honest Kitchen, via their Facebook page:

Me:
_This article came up in a discussion on one of my dog forums: (link)

It was pointed out that the Honest Kitchen appears to use a pre-mix, given the list of minerals and additives at the end of your ingredients lists. I know you have a very thorough list on your website about the countries from where you source your ingredients, but I was wondering if you could respond directly to the concerns raised in this article about mineral and additive sources?_

Their answer:
Great question! We have an affidavit from our premix supplier that ALL the components are from European and North American Sources with the exception of one, which is from Israel. The components are blended right here in the USA. As with every ingredient in our diets, no part of our premix is derived from or has even been near to, China.

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