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Answers Pet Food

Answers Pet Food

This past weekend I had the opportunity to join a Facebook Live event to hear an interview with Billy Hoekman, the Nutrition Science Director of Answers Pet Food.  The discussion on the table was about their raw food for cats.  While I am somewhat familiar with Answers raw cat food, I learned more about their company and some cool things that make their products very unique and special.  Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean!

pasture-raised Jersey cows

Answers Pet Food Jersey dairy cows/Instagram

Who is Answers Pet Food?

Located in Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, Answers is a small independent company whose mission is to put pets’ health and quality food ahead of corporate profits and greed.  In contrast to the majority of major pet food manufacturers, Answers dedicates itself to transparency and supporting local, family-owned farms who raise their livestock humanely with lots of grass and sunshine.  Furthermore, they also promote sustainability and desire to leave the earth a better place for future generations.

We knew it was time to offer a humane, sustainable way of organic, pasture-raised farming that protects the food state, the environment, animals, and our pets’ well-being.

Fermentation is the difference

You’ve probably heard of fermented foods.  The fermentation process produces good bacteria which flourish in the gut and promote a healthy immune system by overpowering the bad bacteria that grow there.  What I learned in Billy’s interview is that Answers Pet Food is the only pet food manufacturer that uses fermentation to make their pet food products.  Their website states:

By utilizing kombucha (fermented organic decaffeinated green tea), raw cultured whey, cultured raw goat’s milk and kefir, we created our own category and became the first and only fermented raw pet food supplier in the industry.

We inoculate every one of our foods with good bacteria and allow them to thrive. These bacteria go to work pre-digesting the food, making it easier for your pet to assimilate nutrients. They also create new vitamins, enzymes, and organic acids that simply aren’t present in non-fermented foods. Good bacteria fill up the food, and also inhibit the growth of bad bacteria.

Fermentation supports healthy immune function by increasing the B-vitamins, digestive enzymes, antioxidants, and lactic acid that fight off harmful bacteria. It’s also the ultimate source of probiotics.


Answers fermentation products/Instagram

Answers Pet Food = Simple, safe and bio-available

Some people have concerns about feeding raw food to their cats, including spoilage and waste.  Do you have a cat that eats slowly, perhaps over hours at a time?  No problem!   One of the most surprising facts about Answers, Billy explained, is that the longer you leave it out the better it gets.  How?  Keep in mind, the food is fermented with loads of good bacteria.  Therefore, the longer it sits out it will have more digestive enzymes, more probiotics, more organic acids and become more bio-available.  Overall this results in a safer and healthier food!

In addition to being able to leave the food out, I also learned a couple of tips for cats who may not like the smell of the food (due to the fermentation), event though it may not detectable to a human nose.  For example, one customer opened a pickle jar and left it out across the room from the raw food.  Over time she began to move it closer and closer to the food bowl, helping the cat to adjust to the smell.  Personally, I don’t notice any smell when I feed it to my cats, but cats have a stronger sense of smell than people do.

Finally, another tip pertained to helping cats adjust.  Billy suggested adding a soft-cooked egg yolk underneath the food.  Apparently some cats love soft egg yolks, and this may drive them to eat down to the bottom of the bowl.  As with introducing any new food item to your cat, it takes patience and persistence.

Answers raw cat food

Where you find Answers?

Currently Answers is only sold in the US.  The biodegradable, 16 oz cartons of cat recipes come in four flavors:  chicken, turkey, beef, and pork.  Surprisingly, they have perhaps the shortest ingredient list I’ve ever seen: “Meat, organs, ground bone, organic eggs, fermented raw goat’s milk, raw goat’s milk whey, fermented cod liver, Montmorillonite (natural trace minerals), carrot fiber, sea salt, vitamin E supplement.”

Other products popular with cats include Turkey Stock with Fermented Beet Juice, Fish Stock, Raw Goat’s Milk and Kefir.  Similarly, these contain fermented products that are locally farmed, organic vegetables, pastured turkeys, goats and Jersey Cows, and wild, sustainably caught North Atlantic whitefish.  These superfoods can be fed alone or added into your cat’s food.  If your cat has a certain health condition you may even contact the company to learn about condition-specific recipe recommendations.

Finally, Answers even makes it easy to determine just how much of their food your cat will need.  Data shows that fermented foods require fewer daily calories.  Therefore, to make sure you’re not overfeeding your cat, be sure to check out their food calculator

Watch the interview yourself!

Because he is usually discussing dog products, Billy was excited to have the opportunity to talk about their cats.   In case you want to check it out for yourself, hop on over to Facebook and watch the interview here hosted by the Two Crazy Cat Ladies.

Has your cat tried Answers pet food?  If so, how did it go?  Leave a comment below!

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