Our resident expert in canine nutrition: Dr. Justin Shmalberg




We’re dedicated to your pet’s wellness, and as a result all of our recipes have been developed and formulated with consultation from a board-certified veterinary nutritionist. Dr. Justin Shmalberg has helped us to merge a whole foods approach with the latest science regarding pet nutrition. He is a board-certified specialist in both small animal clinical nutrition (DACVN) and canine rehabilitation and sports medicine (DACVSMR). He was one of the first in the Midwest to own and operate a natural pet food store, and later received his veterinary degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has completed several years of advanced training at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine where he now serves as a faculty member, seeing patients and training students in integrative medicine (nutrition, acupuncture, hyperbaric oxygen, and rehabilitation).

"Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food...for dogs"
Hippocrates (sort of)


Dogs have had a long, rich history alongside humans. Recent studies, involving whole-genome sequencing of Chinese indigenous dogs, Grey wolves, and various modern breeds suggest that dogs have been "man’s best friend" as far back as 32,000 years ago! It is believed that early canids began following the nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes of humans to scavenge their leftovers. The most friendly dogs soon began living amongst the tribes and thus began a symbiotic relationship. The early humans then practiced selective breeding to achieve desired traits (i.e. friendliness/loyalty, impeccable scent for hunting, vigilance for protection, speed and agility for herding wild game/domestic animals). As the dogs consumed the diverse offerings they became even more capable of digesting a variety of plant and animal foods, solidifying their place as omnivores just like their human companions. Some consider our philosophy to be progressive. As it turns out, feeding a fresh whole food diet is about as old-school as it gets.


Since the turn of the 20th century, a domestic dog’s diet slowly moved away from diversity and whole foods, and instead toward the heavily processed dry kibble that we know today. The United States made a marked step away from fresh food shortly after World War 2, when a paradigm of modernity and convenience took hold. Mid-century Americans dreamed of putting a man on the moon and were obsessed with the future, fully willing to embrace new technology. Contemporary dog food advertisements focused on convenience and the reduced cost of dog ownership (modern dry kibble cost is approx. 0.15 ¢/calorie). There were even advertisements warning against the “dangers” of table food scraps. Modern, processed dry kibble is now ubiquitous in the pet food industry.

Of course, dry kibble is a completely different vehicle for nutrient delivery than whole foods that have passed USDA inspection for human consumption. We've highlighted some major differences below.

Kibble Dishes For Dogs
High pressure processing destroys some essential nutrients Lightly cooked to preserve nutrient integrity and bio availability
Inclusion of "feed grade" ingredients, rendered products and byproducts Only sources ingredients that have passed USDA inspection for human consumption
Fats may oxidize in storage and more inflammatory fatty acids are often present High quality essential fatty acids reduce inflammation
Vitamins of variable quality can be used to supplement feed grade ingredients Whole food diets with high bioavailability work synergistically with DFD VitaMineral mix to achieve optimum assimilation

How much do I feed my dog?

You can reference our feeding calculator located on our navigation menu at the top right of this page. The serving portions are based on feeding an active adult dog once daily. These numbers should be used only as a guide, as every dog has their own unique metabolism and activity level. We do recommend using a digital scale for increased accuracy, but you can also use the measurement provided in cups. Always make sure to monitor your dog’s weight and adjust serving size as needed.