We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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Author Sarah Kirton
Sarah Kirton
Updated on Nov 28th, 2023
Fact checked by Emma Vince

California Dog Kitchen 2023: Home-Cooked Diet for Dogs

Ilya Altshteyn, Co-Founder of California Dog Kitchen, embarked on a mission to revolutionize canine nutrition after witnessing his own dog, Lluvia's, health transformation through a home-cooked diet. Inspired by Lluvia's remarkable turnaround, Ilya, along with his brother, introduced human-grade, cooked food for dogs. Through their dedication and guidance from vet nutritionists, California Dog Kitchen's recipes were perfected, now available in over 80 independent pet stores across the West Coast. DeliveryRank has the opportunity to chat with Ilya.

What inspired you to create California Dog Kitchen, and how did your own dog's health challenges influence the journey towards providing organic and wild-harvested meals for other dogs?

When we welcomed Lluvia, our lovely Great Dane-mix, into our lives, we encountered a problem with every kibble we fed her. She faced red rashes, excessive shedding, and ongoing digestive troubles. It seemed evident that the processed food wasn't working for her, so we transitioned to cooking fresh meals, which remarkably improved her health in just a few weeks. Exploring more about canine nutrition, we discovered the significant benefits of food sourced outside typical factory farming. Opting for wild-harvested and organic ingredients free from conventional farming chemicals, we realized the immense impact on a dog's well-being. This realization became our inspiration to create better options for fellow dog parents seeking healthier, carefully crafted food for their pets.

Can you walk us through the meticulous process involved in sourcing and selecting organic and wild meats for your recipes, ensuring the highest quality and nutritional benefits for canine health?

Sourcing reliable providers for wild and organic meats can be quite a challenge. In our quest, we've managed to secure a few suppliers offering wild-harvested venison from the USA in the quantities we require. Currently, our primary collaborator is Broken Arrow Ranch, a fantastic small business based in Texas. They primarily cater to upscale restaurants, supplying venison and wild boar, and their commitment to quality aligns perfectly with our standards. When it comes to organic meats and vegetables, the landscape is slightly more accommodating. Mary’s Organic Chicken, located just a couple of hours away from our facility, is one of our direct partners for organic poultry. Additionally, we collaborate with a distributor specializing in organic produce to ensure top-quality ingredients for our recipes.

Your emphasis on certified organic meats and wild-harvested ingredients is impressive. Could you share some significant health benefits these ingredients offer dogs compared to conventional or non-organic options?

The emphasis on organic vegetables is paramount due to their cultivation without pesticides, a significant health advantage. Glyphosate, the world's most prevalent pesticide, is known to be carcinogenic when consumed. Studies have indicated that many commercial dog foods contain glyphosate levels exceeding deemed safe for humans, with high residue levels found in dogs' urine. Given that cancer claims about one in three dogs, preventing carcinogens from entering the food supply could dramatically impact canine lifespans. To mitigate this, we've recently transitioned to using 99% certified organic grains and vegetables in our recipes. While conventionally farmed meats may lack pesticide residues, their organic counterparts boast higher levels of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids and are inherently antibiotic-free. This health-conscious approach also extends to meats sourced from wild animals, such as venison.

The focus on organic farming methods extends beyond health benefits. Could you elaborate on how your approach contributes to sustainability and a more natural, environmentally friendly model for meat farming?

Opting for organic farming and wild meat harvesting aligns with a more humane approach to providing dogs with essential protein. Organic meat farming adheres to strict standards ensuring animals can engage in their natural behaviors, such as foraging and roaming freely, while also excluding the use of hormones and promoting natural diets. Similarly, wild animals live their lives without restrictions. Our wild-caught Pollock thrives in oceanic habitats, while our venison roams free on untouched Texas ranches. This starkly contrasts with the inhumane practices of modern conventional meat farming, which often prioritize profits over animal welfare.

What does the certification of your dog food as "organic" entail in terms of production standards and benefits for pets, and how does California Dog Kitchen ensure the quality and compliance of these standards in their recipes?

In essence, our dog food production adheres to the USDA Organic standards. This entails rigorous practices such as water quality testing, meticulous tracing of every ingredient to its source in each batch, utilization of mild and natural cleaning agents, employing non-chemical pest control methods, and more. While our certified organic line is specifically scrutinized by the USDA Organic program for adherence to these standards, we uphold these practices across all our food lines—wild and conventional. These standards significantly enhance the safety and quality of our end products.

Where to from here?

We've decided to focus exclusively on producing gently cooked foods, striving for excellence in this area. Our venture involves establishing a small co-packing business, creating these foods for other companies that align with our vision of dogs enjoying meals as nutritious as those of humans.

If you would like to find out more about California Dog Kitchen, please visit https://www.californiadogkitchen.com/

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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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