When entering Pet Grocer’s store in Alliston, there is one stark difference that stands out as soon as you walk in - there is no kibble, anywhere. Where other stores have huge shelves stacked with giant bags, Pet Grocer™ has a wall and a half of freezers stocked full of fresh options. There are also shelves of freeze dried meals and high quality canned options for customers looking for shelf stable convenience. And then you’ll see bags of Carna4….which may have you scratching your head. Turns out what may look like typical dry food in a bag is anything but, and many in the fresh & raw feeding community love Carna4.
So How is Carna4 different from Kibble?
The biggest difference begins with the cooking process. Kibble is a mix of meat, grains, and other ingredients extruded and heated at extremely high temperatures many times to create a shelf stable product. By comparison Carna4 uses a short cycle of dry hot air to gently heat (for just 4 minutes!) their mixture of whole vegetables and clean, real meat from federal-inspected facilities, carefully preserving their nutrients which include live enzymes and probiotics, while eliminating any traces of pathogens. They then air-dry the nuggets for a longer period to reduce their moisture level. This creates a shelf-stable, power-packed nugget that looks just like a kibble on the outside – but with concentrated, live nutrition on the inside.
There are hundreds of kibble formulations and we couldn’t possibly list them all. Generally speaking on the higher end of kibbles, recipes consist of meats, dry processed meat meals, a selection of carbohydrates to help bind the formula (rice, beans, potatoes, beet pulp, etc.), fruits and/or vegetables, supplements & synthetic vitamin pre-mixes coated with fats to improve flavour. On the lower end you can add by-products & by-product meal, digest, preservatives, colours, sprayed on flavour, and corn to that list.
In stark contrast to that, for a dry, baked product Carna4’s recipes have a variety of ingredients* that you could literally put on your own weekly shopping list: Fresh human grade meats (sourced from Canadian, US, and New Zealand farms), organ meat, eggs, salmon, herring, perch, sprouted seeds (that include flax, lentil, barley and peas), sweet potato, fava beans, veggies, fruits, brown rice, kelp, sea salt, and baking soda.
*specific ingredients vary depending on individual recipes
Vitamins from Real Whole Foods!
If someone offered you two plates of food, which would you be more likely to choose?
Option 1 has had all the original nutrients striped out through ultra-high heat processing and then sprayed back on with synthetic counterparts and added fats for palatability.
Option 2 a plate of gently baked whole foods that still retain all the original enzymes, vitamins, minerals, omegas, and probiotics.
Option 2 sounds more tempting, and is more easily digested by the body due to the lack of processing and synthetics - That is Carna4, a food that is completely synthetic free!
The Magic is in the Sprouted Seeds that they use combined with minimal processing of the final product. Seeds by themselves are great. They have lots of useful nutrients packed into a tiny package. The downside is that seeds are pretty tough, which nature has planned in order to allow the seed to survive until just the right conditions come and it can germinate and grow into a plant. Before that germination occurs it is quite difficult for a body to extract all the nutrients. According to Carna4’s website:
'Sprouted seeds have been “awakened” and are beginning the physical transformation from their dormant seed state to living, breathing plants. In the first 24 hours of germination, the nutrients in the sprouted seeds can multiply by an average of 14 times; antioxidants can multiply by 10,000 times; and enzymes & probiotics flourish by the millions & billions. Sprouting also lowers gluten and glycemic levels and transforms carbohydrates into highly digestible phytonutrient components. And germination also neutralizes anti-nutrients, such as phytic acid, which will otherwise hinder nutrient absorption.'
Scoop for Scoop, you’ll feed less than Kibble
The other benefits of a whole food nugget is that it is more calorically dense than kibble, which means you feed less. Most people will find they feed 10 - 15% less than you are used to. Typically a 22 lb bag will last 100 lb dog one month.
Because of the naturally high enzymes and whole foods in Carna4 it is gentler on your pet’s digestion. It is also loved in the raw feeding world as a go to option for supplementing raw feeding and the convenience for travel and shelf stability.
Quality Control & Testing
Carna4 products are developed by a team of nutritionists, food scientists and engineers, with graduate degrees in biochemistry, nutrition and biology. The Carna4 team also has more than 50 years combined industry experience in developing complete and balanced pet foods. In addition to great formulation each batch is tested by an independent third party to make sure quality and safety standards are being met. And those standards are not pet food standards, they are EU Standards set for the human sector.
Nugget for nugget, Carna4 blows kibble out of the water with better digestibility, ingredients, and quality control. It is a great option if you are looking to move away from highly processed foods and aren't quite ready for the leap to fresh feeding. It is also a perfect product for fresh feeders to take on the road when traveling or keeping on hand for those days where you forgot to defrost your pet's meat in time for dinner.
If you would like to learn more about Carna4 and their product line check them out in store at Pet Grocer.
You can also find more in depth information on Carna4's website www.carna4.com