By Liz Palika
My Perfect Pet, Poway, CA 1-858-486-6500 www.myperfectpet.net
Disclaimer: I have no association with My Perfect Pet and have received no compensation from them.
Regular readers know I’ve been studying nutrition and dog foods for many years. The huge recalls of 2006/2007 were certainly a turning point for me and convinced me that the pet food industry had some problems. Let’s just say, some people/companies/corporations didn’t have our pets’ health in mind when they created their products.
When one of my dogs was diagnosed with a congenital illness, I discovered The Honest Kitchen’s foods. These foods supported her health nutritionally so that even though there was no cure for her illness, she was able to live a long life. I continue to feed The Honest Kitchen’s foods today because they are excellent foods and I enjoy the company’s ethics and business philosophies – a rarity today.
I continue to study nutrition and watch dog foods and dog food companies. Not only are companies bought out by corporations on a regular basis but recipes and formulas change. Recalls also continue to happen with pets suffering from bad ingredients or contaminated foods.
The industry doesn’t have many bright hopeful moments but a new company out of Poway, CA (San Diego county) appears to be one. My Perfect Pet makes cooked frozen dog foods. The foods are in bar form that need to be thawed before feeding.
The phrase that the company uses to describe the foods is, “Lightly cooked.” This is apparently used to differentiate their foods from kibbled or canned foods that are cooked at much higher temperatures. These high temperatures can destroy nutrients while the lower temperatures that My Perfect Pet uses maintain nutrients yet destroy bacterial contamination that could potentially be in the ingredients. Cooking at lower temperatures can also help make the ingredients more digestible.
There are several recipes. One, Boomer’s Blend, contains chicken (skinless breast and thigh), beef (London broil and brisket), whole sweet potato, whole grain brown rice, whole egg, beef liver, organic safflower oil, natural calcium, organic flaxseed oil, and other ingredients that supply oils, vitamins, and minerals.
Another recipe is Hunter’s Blend. This is a cereal grain free recipe that contains turkey (skinless white), chicken (skinless thigh), whole sweet potato, salmon, spinach, chicken liver, and other ingredients.
There appears to be a focus on using whole foods (versus food parts) in the recipes so that more complete nutrition is provided. For example, in many dog foods the egg ingredient is listed as dried egg product. This often means the eggs parts are the leftover from another recipe. My Perfect Pet uses whole cooked eggs with the shell removed. The company states, “While the shell is relatively high in calcium, they can be abrasive to the more delicate digestive tracts and so are never included in our products.”
While looking at the guaranteed analysis on the packaging of the food, you might think that the foods are low in protein and fat. Many of the foods show on the label that they contain 11 to 12% protein and 6 to 7% fat. Compared to most dry kibble foods, this is low. However, these foods have a moisture content that can be compared to canned foods. So if the dry matter content of the foods is figured out, the figures change. Looking at the Hunter’s Blend food, the dry matter protein basis is 37% and fat is 20%. These are comparable to many other high quality foods.
Overall, I really like the My Perfect Pet foods. The foods are of good quality, the ingredients appear to be of good quality, and the processing helps the foods retain essential nutrients. The company’s website is informative. Plus, my dogs eagerly ate the foods.
I had a problem with the foods, though. I’m not used to dealing with frozen foods. The foods need to be thawed before feeding so at each meal, the next meal’s bars need to be moved from the freezer to the refrigerator. Because I’m not used to doing that, invariably I would go to feed the dogs and the bars would be frozen. But this isn’t a problem with the food; it’s my issue. I’m sure that if I fed the food regularly I would develop the habit.
The cost of the food might be prohibitive for many dog owners. I compared costs for a 50 pound dog (as my Australian Shepherds average 50 pounds) for one day. The My Perfect Pet foods were significantly more expensive than The Honest Kitchen’s Keen. If I were to feed all three of my dogs the My Perfect Pet foods, it would be an expense that would need to be considered.