frequently asked questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Are the recipes grain-free?
- Yes, the recipes are 100% grain and gluten free. Our recipes include non-grain carbohydrates (starch). Some examples in our recipes are:
- Potatoes, flaxseed, field peas, and sweet potatoes
- Cooking (extrusion) completely cooks starch and increases its digestibility to more than 95% (depending on the plant source). These plant sources provide an excellent energy source.
What is a meal?
- Meal is perhaps the most misunderstood, maligned, and misused word in the pet industry. Despite what some pet food manufacturers want you to believe, meal is NOT animal by-products – feathers, heads, beaks, feet or entrails. In fact, our meal IS a combination of dry, clean flesh and skin that has been thoroughly cooked and ground into a fine powder. Properly handled and processed, meals are highly digestible and provide high quality protein and other essential nutrients to cats and dogs.
Why meal over fresh meat?
- Meals are pure protein, and have up to 300x more protein than fresh meat. Meal is also an extremely high-performing protein. The amount of meal that goes into each kibble is much easier to control than meat, providing greater certainty on how much nutrition your pet is actually getting.
Is it better to have chicken, beef, lamb, as the “first” ingredient, rather than chicken-meal?
- The “first” ingredient listed can be very misleading for consumers. Ingredients are weighed prior to the cooking process, with the heaviest ones usually listed first. In the case of meats, it must be remembered that they contain up to 80% moisture content. After cooking, dehydration occurs, and the “new” weight of the meat is very often less than other ingredients in the diets, and should be found further down the ingredient list.
- Even though this takes place, the manufacturer can still list chicken, beef, lamb, etc. as the “primary” ingredient.
Should fruit and vegetables be a part of a pet diet?
- Yes. Adding fruits and vegetables to a dog or cat diet will add to the overall quality of the diet – very similar to human diets – including overall palatability (taste), flavour, and the many benefits that antioxidants deliver.
Are there fillers?
- We do not use fillers in our recipes. Fillers are cheap ingredients that offer no health benefits. Two examples of this would be corn, and gluten meal. Every Homeward Bound ingredient plays a critical role in the recipe, and will contribute to the fibre, starch or protein content or will aid in digestion.
Why is Ash important?
- Ash will be present in ALL ingredients in varying amounts. Ash indicates mineral amounts in the product or ingredient. In products, it’s the unusable volume that is in your product. The higher the ash, the more useless mass in the product. Ash is required (up to 8 % in dog foods) for better gut chemistry, so ingredients can be digested properly. Since it indicates minerals, it is important to have this range in the diet.
- Increased Ash content indicates a higher percentage of bone.
- Ash contains calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. If ash is in a good range, your chances of health issues in general are less.
Do our recipes contain natural or artificial preservatives?
- Our recipes contain natural preservatives of tocopherols and citric acid. We do not use any artificial or chemical preservatives in our recipes.
Where are our products made?
- Our products are made right here at home with wholesome Canadian-sourced ingredients.
How do I transition my pet?
- Start by mixing 25% of HB with 75% of old food on day 1, and gradually increase the proportions till feeding 100% HB by day 7.
How many times per day do I feed my pet?
- HB recommends feeding your pet 2x/ day. Divide the amount recommended on the feeding chart into 2, and feed about 8-12 hours apart, however pets can present clues to their needs and/or preferences
(i.e. little desire to eat in the morning or evening) so if we're aware we can adapt to those signs.
What time in the day should I feed my pet?
- HB recommends feeding your pet at the same time each day. For example, feed in the morning and then late afternoon each day. This will allow for your pet to get into a regular routine.
How much water do they need?
- Your pet should always have fresh, clean water on hand at all times. It is very important that your pet stays hydrated.
How do I know if my pet is being fed enough?
- It is quite common to overfeed. For puppies and kittens, they require more food because they are growing. Follow the recommended feeding guidelines and keep track of their weight to help determine if they are being fed enough.
- For adults and senior pets, follow the recommended feeding guidelines and be mindful of unnecessary weight gain or weight loss.
Should I feed my pet treats?
- We all know that our pets love treats, but they should be given in moderation. Treats should only represent 5% or less or your pets daily food intake.
Do I choose the food amounts based on my pets weight?
- Yes, you will need to know the general weight of your pet. With that information, you will be able to go to our recommended feeding guidelines to find the amount that is suitable for your pet.