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 Writer
Updated on Jun 6th, 2024
Fact checked by Emma Vince

The Happy Howl 2024: Howlingly Human-Grade Dog Food

Colin Buckley, founder of The Happy Howl, started the company to create a healthier dog food delivery service after his beloved blue-eyed husky, Rocky, suffered from chronic digestive issues. Despite trying numerous diets and veterinary recommendations, Rocky continued to experience severe stomach problems. Driven by a desire to provide real, human-grade, and nutritious food for his best friend, Colin conducted extensive research and collaborated with experts to develop a fresh, all-natural dog food. Since then, Rocky has thrived on his customized diet, inspiring Colin to share their journey and offer healthier food options for dogs everywhere. DeliveryRank has the pleasure of chatting with The Happy Howl!

Colin, can you share more about the journey that led you to start Happy Howl, particularly the key moments or realizations that made you decide to create your own dog food company? 

Well, it all started with Rocky, my Siberian husky and partner-in-crime during my college years. Rocky was this adorable ball of fluff with a knack for causing chaos – I'll never forget the time he turned my bedroom into a snowstorm with shredded toilet paper! 

But alongside the laughs came some serious challenges. Rocky battled stomach issues that had us running to the vet more times than I can count. We tried every dog food out there, from prescription diets to "premium" options, but nothing seemed to help. 

The journey with Rocky opened my eyes to some harsh realities about traditional dog food. I learned that most kibble is made through a process called extrusion – basically, it's cooked at super-high temperatures, which can strip away a lot of the nutrients our pups need to thrive. And don't even get me started on those "meal-grade" ingredients you see on the label. It's basically the leftovers from human food production, and let me tell you, it's not pretty. 

After seeing Rocky struggle with his health despite trying all these so-called "premium" dog foods, it hit me – why are we feeding our best friends stuff we wouldn't even touch ourselves? I realized there had to be a better way. 

That's when I dove into research mode, talking to vets, nutritionists, and anyone who would listen. I learned about the importance of real, fresh ingredients in a dog's diet – stuff you'd actually find in your own kitchen. And thus, the idea for Happy Howl was born. 

We ditched the extruded kibble and meal-grade nonsense and started cooking up meals using real, human-grade ingredients. And let me tell you, the difference in Rocky's health was like night and day. 

Now, we're on a mission to spread the word and give every pup out there the chance to eat like royalty. I believe our dogs deserve the best - we all know that a dog's only fault is the short time we have with them here. 

Happy Howl emphasizes using human-grade, fresh ingredients and avoiding artificial preservatives. What challenges did you face in developing a shelf-stable product that maintained these high standards, and how did you overcome them? 

Crafting a shelf-stable product with human-grade, fresh ingredients while avoiding artificial preservatives posed quite the challenge. We knew that we wanted the convenience of a shelf stable product with uncompromising ingredients. Obviously, this was the first big challenge of the company. Fresh ingredients are fantastic for nutrition, but they can be tricky to keep fresh on store shelves.

Preserving flavors and nutrients without resorting to artificial additives was a tough task, but not impossible. Many preservatives used in commercial dog foods are far from natural, and we were adamant about keeping our recipes clean and wholesome. 

To tackle these challenges, we got creative. We experimented with different cooking techniques, and packaging methods to find the perfect balance. One breakthrough was adopting a food processing method that's a mix of steam and pressure, akin to the way we used to cook our homemade recipes in a crockpot on our counter. 

This innovative approach allowed us to retain the freshness and nutritional integrity of our ingredients while ensuring a shelf-stable product without the need for preservatives. It's essentially like serving up homemade meals straight from our kitchen to your dog's bowl. The same exact recipes I cooked in our kitchen for Rocky. 

By using this method alongside innovative packaging that locks in freshness, we were able to create a shelf-stable product that maintains our high standards and provides dogs with the nutrition they deserve. 

All of our food is cooked in our USDA grade kitchen with ingredients that are sourced in the US! 

Transparency and education seem to be important pillars of your company. How do you ensure that your customers are well-informed about what goes into their dog's food and why it's beneficial for their pets? 

Ensuring transparency and education for our customers is at the core of what we do at Happy Howl. However, it's not without its challenges, especially when we're up against age-old myths perpetuated by the traditional veterinarian industry. 

For years, pet owners have been told the debunked adage of "don't feed your dog people food," which can make it difficult to educate them about the benefits of fresh, high-quality ingredients. Many (not all) veterinarians still adhere to this outdated advice, despite a growing body of evidence showing the benefits of a more natural diet for dogs. 

Adding to the challenge is the influence of mainstream dog food companies, which often fund organizations like the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and heavily influence their guideline recommendations. These guidelines typically endorse the same kibble and canned foods of the companies they are funded by, which may not always align with the best interests of our dogs. 

However, at Happy Howl, we believe in empowering pet owners with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their dog's nutrition. We're committed to providing transparent information about what goes into our food and why it's beneficial for pets. From detailed ingredient lists to educational resources on our website, we strive to demystify the pet food industry and empower customers to make the best choices for their dogs.

Ultimately, we believe that fresher, healthier, and higher-quality ingredients simply make sense. And while we may face resistance from traditional sources of advice, we're confident that by staying true to our mission and prioritizing the well-being of dogs, we can make a positive impact in the lives of pets and their owners. 

Sustainability is another key aspect of Happy Howl's mission. Can you elaborate on the steps your company takes to minimize its environmental impact, particularly in terms of packaging and sourcing ingredients? 

Sustainability isn't just a buzzword for us at Happy Howl; it's a core principle that guides everything we do. From sourcing ingredients to packaging and shipping, we're committed to minimizing our environmental impact every step of the way. 

One of the cornerstones of our sustainability efforts is our pledge to achieve zero waste. That means not just minimizing, but completely eliminating waste from our production process, packaging, shipping supplies, and more. We believe in leaving behind as small a footprint as possible, and that starts with reducing waste at every opportunity. 

Our shelf-stable food is a key component of our zero waste pledge. Because our meals don't require extra plastic or cardboard packaging, dry ice nonsense, or other excess materials, we're able to significantly reduce the amount of waste generated by our products. Plus, since our shipments are lighter and more compact than those of competing brands, they have a lower carbon impact from freight and shipping. 

Our commitment to sustainability extends to our packaging as well. We've made sure that our packaging is fully recyclable, so once your pup has enjoyed their delicious meal, you can feel good knowing that the packaging can be recycled and repurposed. 

We believe that sustainability is a responsibility. By prioritizing zero waste and eco-friendly practices in everything we do, we're working to create brighter and greener yards for our dogs to run in! 

What advice would you give to other pet owners who are struggling with finding the right diet for their pets, based on your experiences with Rocky and the creation of Happy Howl? 

If there's one piece of advice I could offer to pet owners struggling to find the right diet for their furry companions, it would be this: get rid of the nonsense. 

Start by saying goodbye to kibble. Seriously, it's often loaded with powdered fillers, preservatives, and other questionable ingredients that are extruded in a flash heat processing method that wreaks havoc on your dog's health. Don't even get me started on anything with meal grade, feed grade, or byproducts in it. Your pup deserves better than that without question.

One common misconception is about grains. Many people think their dogs are allergic to grains, but in reality, it's often the low-quality, feed-grade grains that cause issues. These grains can be contaminated with mold and mycotoxins due to less regulation in transportation and storage. Opting for 100% human-grade ingredients can make a world of difference in your pup's health and well-being. 

If you've found yourself in the "tried everything" camp, you're not alone. Many dog owners end up resorting to home cooking for their dogs, just like I did with Rocky. And while homemade meals can be incredibly nutritious, they can also be incredibly time-consuming. 

That's where Happy Howl comes in. Our goal is to give dog lovers their Weekends back. We provide the same high-quality food you would cook in your kitchen, but without the hours spent shopping, preparing, cooking, and storing. It's all the goodness without the hassle, so you can spend more time enjoying precious moments with your family, friends, and doggies. 

So, if you're struggling to find the right diet for your pet, remember to keep it simple, keep it human-grade and keep it real.

If you would like to find out more about The Happy Howl, please visit https://www.thehappyhowl.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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