Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How can I be sure that your recipes meet my pet’s nutritional requirements?
Petcurean recipes are developed by a team of qualified and passionate nutritionists. Our Senior Nutritionist has a PhD in companion animal nutrition from the Western College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan, a Master of Science degree in nutrition from the University of Saskatchewan, a Bachelor of Human Ecology degree in nutrition from the University of Manitoba, and is a registered dietitian with the College of Dietitians of British Columbia. Also on the nutrition team is a nutritionist with a Master of Science in animal nutrition and a Bachelor of Science in animal science, both from the University of Guelph. Our product development assistant has a Master of Science in animal nutrition from the University of Guelph and a Bachelor of Science in animal science from the University of Vermont
How do you guarantee quality in the manufacturing of your pet foods?
We approach the quality and safety of our pet foods with utmost care and we set extremely high quality and safety standards for ourselves and all of our suppliers and partners. Petcurean products are manufactured at plants which are EU, FDA and CFIA certified, meaning they must meet a very high standard of sanitation, cleanliness and manufacturing practices. Our unique recipes are crafted using the highest quality ingredients. Other plant safeguards include: commissioning independent audits by the British Retail Consortium (also used for human food audits). We test our ingredients prior to receiving them at the plant; quality assurance tests include, but are not limited to, vomitoxin, aflatoxin, zearalenone, nutritional integrity and moisture levels. Testing continues on every batch at each part of the manufacturing process using standards set by Health Canada. These tests include but are not limited to, enterobacteriaceae such as salmonella and e-coli. We use Near Infra Red [NIR] technology during production to accurately measure the fat, protein and moisture content of the food. Food is only shipped, when favorable results are returned. We thoroughly clean and sanitize the manufacturing equipment between production runs to ensure the integrity of our recipes. We take important steps to avoid cross-contamination by requiring that employees in different areas of the production facility follow strict quality assurance protocols. We keep final tested food samples of all lots produced in our head office. All lot numbers can be tracked immediately using our complete and thorough tracking protocol. We update and monitor our quality control procedures regularly. As pet owners and animal lovers ourselves, we are committed to the health and safety of your pets and will continue to work diligently to ensure the quality and safety of all our products.
What is the shelf life of your dry and canned foods?
Our dry foods have a shelf life of 16 months and our canned foods have a shelf life of 3 years. For further information, please visit our blog here http://www.petcurean.com/downloads/Petcurean-Newsletter-Scoop-Issue-1.pdf
What is the best way to store dry food?
Dry food is best stored indoors in a cool dry place. If there is no zip closure, the top should be rolled down as far as possible and, if feasible, put in an airtight container, in the original bag. Dry food can also be frozen or refrigerated to maintain freshness. For further information please check out The Scoop article here www.petcurean.com/downloads/Petcurean-Newsletter-Scoop-Issue-1.pdf
How long can I keep an open can of food in the fridge?
Canned food should be covered and can be kept in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Canned food may also be frozen after opening but it's best to transfer the product to an appropriate freezable container.
Where do I find the "best before" dates on your products and how do I read them?
The best before date on our new packaging can be found on the back of the bag, in the top right corner of the “feeding guidelines” section. It will look something like, "BB/MA 2014 AL 04". Most people get confused by the BB/MA, but this just means 'Best Before' and then the French translation of ‘Meilleur Avant’ . You can easily understand the date if you start with the year. This one is April 4, 2014. On our cans, the best before date can be found on the bottom of the can.
Do you do any testing on animals?
We feel very strongly that if the new products we're developing are not fit to be "tested" on our own pets, then they shouldn't be tested on any animals at all. We do want to ensure the pet food we're developing performs as intended and so, we do non-invasive tests which include palatability, stool consistency, and urine pH during our product development process. The pets involved are not kept in cages, these tests are never performed in a lab environment, and we include our own Petcurean family pets in every test that we do.
Are the ingredients used in Petcurean products “human-grade”?
All of our fresh meat and meat meal ingredients are sourced from animals passed fit for human consumption by the CFIA. The fruits and vegetables used in our recipes also come from the human food chain. We do not, however, claim that our ingredients are “human-grade”; once an individual ingredient leaves a “human-grade” processing facility and enters a “pet food” processor, the ingredient loses its “human-grade” classification.
Where are your products made?
Petcurean dry pet foods are produced in Ontario, Canada. Our canned products are primarily produced in Ontario, Canada and secondarily at a plant in New Jersey, USA. We are 100% China free for processing and ingredient sourcing. None of our meat proteins, grains, cereals, fruits and vegetables in any of our recipes are processed in China, and none of our ingredients are sourced in China.
Do you use wheat gluten, or rice protein concentrate in any of your recipes?
No. Glutens from wheat and rice protein concentrate are an inferior source of protein and we prefer to use only premium sources of protein (in the form of meat, poultry and fish).
What is a meal (i.e. chicken meal)?
Fresh meat is converted into a meat meal by a third party using a cooking process. This process removes the water from the meat and allows pet food manufacturers to add meat meal as a dry ingredient. Meat meals are used in pet food to ensure a finished pet food kibble which is high in quality protein and more nutrient dense (since it takes 3 to 5 lbs of fresh meat to produce 1 pound of meal). In addition, meat meals have an increased shelf life as compared to fresh meat. Other manufacturers may use preservatives such as ethoxyquin, BHA and BHT on meat between slaughter and the processing plant, which may not be listed on a food's ingredient panel. At Petcurean, however, we ensure all of our meat meals are not preserved with ethoxyquin, BHA or BHT between slaughter and processing and require all of our suppliers and partners to use natural preservatives (Vitamin E). Petcurean only uses 'named' meat meals (such as chicken meal) in our foods as these meals are of higher quality protein source and are made only from muscle meats and bone. Alternative meat meal sources (by-product meals* and un-named meat meals**) are inferior sources of protein and are not used by Petcurean. *By-product meals (such as poultry-by-product meal) may include unwanted ingredients such as beaks and feathers. **Un-named meat meals (such as poultry-meal) may include meats from many different unknown animal sources.
Why do some of your recipes use meat meals while others do not?
GO!™ was created to be nutrient-rich and energy packed; a true fitness food for everyday dogs and cats, plus those with special dietary needs. GO!™ uses named meat meals (i.e. chicken meal or salmon meal), as a high-quality concentrated source of protein to ensure that your pet gets the most nutrients possible from the least amount of food.
Is the poultry used in your recipes cage-free? What about steroid and hormone free?
Yes. The use of hormones and steroids in the production of chicken is illegal in Canada and has been since the 1960's. Our trusted network of farmers raise their poultry in open barns; the flocks are free roaming and have constant access to food and water.
Is the fish used in your recipes tested for heavy metals such as mercury?
Yes, we ensure that the fish we use in our recipes are tested for heavy metals before accepting them for processing at our plant.
What kind of preservatives do you use in your recipes?
Petcurean uses only natural mixed tocopherols* to preserve our food; we don't use any artificial or chemical preservatives in our salmon meal or any of our pet food recipes (no ethoxyquin, BHA or BHT). We are extremely diligent regarding this issue and take extra steps to ensure all of our suppliers and partners are fully compliant. *Mixed tocopherols are also an excellent source of vitamin E
Is your food baked or extruded?
Our goal is to maintain the nutritional integrity of the ingredients we use in our recipes and so we extrude our foods at temperatures which are lower than typical baking. The end result; a nutrient-rich, highly digestible product for pets.
Where are the ingredients used in your products sourced?
GO!™ and NOW FRESH™ Products: All of the meat proteins, grains, cereals, fruits and vegetables in our GO!™ and NOW FRESH™ products are sourced from North America (as close to the production facility as possible) with the exception of our pasture raised lamb and grass fed venison which is sourced from Australia and New Zealand (from EU certified plants). We choose to partner with a trusted network of local farmers and ranchers who can provide us with the freshest and highest-quality product possible; this not only fulfills our requirement for freshness and nutritional integrity, but using local sources means less emissions polluting our air from long-distance trucking. SUMMIT™ products: All of the meat proteins, grains, cereals, fruits and vegetables in our SUMMIT™ products are sourced from North America (as close to the production facility as possible) with the exception of our lamb which is sourced from Australia and New Zealand (from an EU certified plant). All lamb is government and veterinarian inspected prior to entering Canada. We are 100% China free for processing and ingredient sourcing. None of our meat proteins, grains, cereals, fruits and vegetables in any of our recipes are processed in China, and none of our ingredients are sourced in China.
Sometimes the colour and shape of the kibbles can vary. Why?
At Petcurean, we formulate our recipes using real food ingredients - the best of the best; and like real food that Mother Nature provides, the colour and texture of the ingredients going into our recipes varies. For example; Meat supply will vary between different suppliers and batches (e.g. dark meat vs. white meat). Also, diets with a higher meat content are denser and sometimes more difficult to extrude (versus cereal or grains) which leads to variance in the kibble shape. Oils, as they are applied, either outside of or inside the kibble, can affect the colour and the density (size) of the kibble. Oils also play a significant role in the palatability of the food. Finally, Petcurean does not use any artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, which also contributes to variances of the colour and texture.
What is the difference between GO!™ and NOW FRESH™?
The best way to compare these two products is to look at some key points of difference:
1. Primary Protein Source GO!™ was created to be nutrient-rich and energy packed; a true fitness food for everyday dogs and cats, plus those with special dietary needs. GO!™ uses named meat meals (i.e. chicken meal or salmon meal), as a high-quality concentrated source of protein to ensure that your pet gets the most nutrients possible from the least amount of food. NOW FRESH™, on the other hand, is formulated using ONLY 100% market fresh meats, with no meat meals. We pack NOW full of nutritious ingredients like 100% market-fresh turkey, salmon and duck. 100% fresh omega 3 & 6 oils from coconuts, canola and vegetables. Wholesome veggies, berries, fruits and herbs such as peas, spinach, cranberries, pumpkin, peppermint, chamomile, blackberries, alfalfa sprouts, kelp, lentils and carrots.
2. Primary Function The GO!™ family of recipes has three primary functions: GO! FIT + FREE™ grain free recipes are nutrient dense and feature meat proteins as the first 6 ingredients; a true fitness food that proves to be a quality dog food and quality cat food for everyday dogs and cats. The FIT+FREE™ line up includes recipes in life-stages for dogs (puppy, adult senior) and All Life Stages for cats. GO! DAILY DEFENCE™ whole-grain recipes are also nutrient dense, and are designed to refresh and revitalize your pet's energy needs. The DAILY DEFENCE™ line up provides a "whole grain" and an All Life Stage formulation alternative to the FIT + FREE™ recipes. GO! SENSITIVITY + SHINE™ recipes are specifically formulated for dogs and cats with food allergies and sensitivities. NOW FRESH recipes are specifically formulated for the life-stage and/or breed size of your pet: NOW FRESH™ Large Breed recipes feature balanced proteins, fats, calcium & phosphorus for large breed dogs, added ingredients for hip & joint care and added L-carnitine & taurine to promote heart health. NOW FRESH Puppy, Adult & Senior recipes and Kitten, Adult Cat and Senior Cat recipes feature omega oils to promote skin and coat wellness and pre/probiotics to aid with digestive health. The NOW FRESH™ Puppy, Adult and Senior Small Breed recipes feature a smaller kibble shape for easier chewing, includes pre and probiotics for sensitive stomachs and is formulated with parsley and peppermint to promote fresh breath.
3. Grain Free All NOW FRESH™ recipes are 100% grain and gluten free whereas GO!™ is available in both whole-grain and grain-free recipes.
How are kcals determined in your recipes?
The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) has been encouraging uniformity in the expression of kcals among manufacturers. AAFCO has recently approved changes to require kcal information using a calculation method whereby all food with the same protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels would have the same energy value, regardless of the type of ingredient used in the recipe. Please use our feeding guidelines to determine the appropriate amount of food to provide for your pet. And, as always, you should increase or decrease the amount you feed based on your pet's activity level and weight.
How do I find out the percentage of carbohydrates in your foods?
You can get a good idea of the carbohydrate percentage of our foods by using the following calculation: Look at the guaranteed analysis of the food you've chosen. Add the percentages of protein, fat, moisture and fiber together. From the detailed nutrient analysis, find the ash content percentage and add that figure in. Take this total amount and subtract it from 100 to find the approximate carbohydrate percentage.
Do you make prescription-type foods?
Although many of our foods meet the parameters required and work well for various medical issues, we do not make specific prescription diets. If your pet has a specific medical concern and you're wondering which food might be best, we encourage you to call our Health and Nutrition Specialist toll-free at 1.866.864.6112. We'll help you find the food that's right for your dog or cat, even if it isn't our own.
Is it okay for my cat to eat the dog food or vice versa?
Dogs and cats have different nutritional requirements, so please don't allow them to share each other's food.
What is ash?
Ash is the total mineral content in food. Every food has ash, regardless of whether it is raw, extruded kibble, or baked.
What is the best way to transition my pet to your foods?
It's important to slowly transition your pet to a new food so their system has a chance to adapt to the change. The transition period should be at minimum, ten days and could take upwards of two weeks, depending on your pet's sensitivity to change: On day one, introduce 10% new food / 90% old food. Keep the food at this ratio for two or more days. Next, increase the ratio to 20% new food / 80% old food for two or more days. Repeat increasing in increments of 10% until you're feeding 100% of the new food. If your pet experiences any kind of digestive upset during this time, try slowing down the process to let his/her digestive tract adjust to the new food. Some vomiting and/or diarrhea can be normal when introducing new foods as the digestive process and the naturally occurring bacteria your pet's body requires is a complex and delicate system. If you experience any vomiting and/or diarrhea, be sure to reduce the amount of new food the next time you feed and overall, slow the whole transition period down even more.
I followed the feeding guidelines on your packaging, but my pet is too fat/thin. Why?
Feeding Guidelines are simply a place to start. You should increase or decrease the amount you feed based on your pet's activity level and weight. If you need additional assistance, please call our Health and Nutrition Specialist toll-free at 1.866.864.6112.
Is it okay to wet the dry food with warm water?
Yes, often a little warm water on the kibble will encourage a picky dog to eat because of the yummy aroma the warm water releases. However this often does not work for cats.
My pet is allergic to chicken. Can I still feed him a formula containing chicken fat?
Yes, the molecular structure of fat is different than protein and chicken fat, therefore, shouldn't bother a pet with a chicken allergy.
Who owns Petcurean?
Petcurean is a family owned business, and is still owned by the two people who originally founded the company in 1999.
Do you guarantee your products?
Yes, our products are 100% guaranteed. On the rare occasion that a pet will not eat or has a physical difficulty with one of our recipes, please return the bag to the store where you bought the product, along with your receipt, for a full refund or exchange for another one of our products.
Can I order my food directly from Petcurean?
We sell our products through distribution channels to pet specialty retailers dedicated to pet health and nutrition. If you live in an area where our products are not available, we do have a number of online retailers as well.
Do you offer a Breeder's program?
Yes. However, this program may not be available in all areas. To get program information, please fill out the application form located under the Breeder Program tab, here. Information about the program will be sent to you upon receipt of your application.
What is your company's stance on sustainability?
Petcurean is committed to sustainable business practices, and we are continuing to encourage the flexible packaging industry to invest in the research and development required to make our packaging 100% recyclable. Our packaging's plastic interior lining is made from material that currently can't be recycled; since all of our foods are free of artificial preservatives, this layer is essential to ensure our premium-quality food is kept fresh and safe. In addition to the other ongoing green initiatives, Petcurean is pleased to announce that all product brochures and coupons are now printed on FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified paper. FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not for profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world's forests. Products carrying the FSC label are independently certified to assure that they come from forests that are managed to meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations. www.fsccanada.org/fscpaperproducts.htm. Petcurean will continue to make day-to-day business decisions that will reduce our carbon footprint while minimizing any negative impact on the environment.