Bones & Co. is an Austin, TX-based raw pet food company that prioritizes pet metabolic health. As a small, family-owned business, each batch is hand-packed and carefully crafted in 250lb micro-batches. Bones & Co., sources ingredients exclusively from small family farms in the U.S., are human grade (not specified on their product bags) and prioritize responsible animal-raising practices. All Farm-To-Bowl ingredients are grass-fed, cage-free, and contain no antibiotics or added hormones.
Now let's talk about their keto diet; it is a low-carb diet with a 1:1 fat-to-protein ratio. It forces the body to burn fat for fuel because it lacks carbohydrates. So while you can say it's similar to a Prey-Model or BARF, it is not simply because of that fat ratio. Fat is an essential nutrient for your pet (Fats do not work the same way it does on our bodies) – it provides energy, insulation, and many other crucial roles in animals' bodies. Fats can be separated into two categories: Saturated fats are found in animal foods such as beef and milk. Some plant foods like coconuts are part of this group. Unsaturated fats are usually found in plant foods, such as vegetable oils, nuts, and seeds; Omegas are part of this group. Too little or too much fat can cause health issues in dogs.
So, what is the benefit of this Keto Diet? From the research, it is impressive for dogs fighting certain cancers since most cancer cells will not use fat as an energy source, so they have no way of growing. Also, Keto does reduce seizure frequency in epileptic dogs and balances sugar in diabetic dogs. The Bones & Co website has a detailed section that explains the benefits of their keto low-carb raw dog food and information on the sourcing and quality of their ingredients. They are not just a company focused on selling products but is dedicated to educating and supporting its customers.
Barkin' Beef Recipe
Ingredients: Beef, Beef Heart, Ground Beef Bone, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Organic Spinach, Organic Broccoli, Organic Squash, Organic Pumpkin Seed, Organic Flax Seed, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Dried Kelp, Krill Oil, Organic Alfalfa, Cod Liver Oil, Organic Parsley, Vitamin E Supplement.
Crude Protein (min): 14%
Crude Fat (min): 15%
Crude Fiber (max): 2%
Moisture (max): 68%
1790 kcal/kg; 76 kcal per 3 ounces
Is it Complete and Balanced? Yes, Bones & Co exceed AAFCO's nutritional standards for complete and balanced pet foods. While they claim complete, I have some suspicions and requested a full nutritional analysis. I am still waiting on it and will report once received.
Weight and packaging of the product: The weight was correct, and their packaging was the standard plastic bag (with their info, of course) with a zip closure. Once you get to the bottom of the bag, it can be a dirty job.
Visuals of the meat: We purchased the Barkin' Beef Patties; each "patty" was about 3 ounces. The exterior of the patty looked oxidized, and the texture or grain of the meat is very fine. However, once opened, you can see a pink color. I do not like the "patty" processing and so much color change. But remember, this food is 50% fat (from the ingredient list, it seems like higher unsaturated fat), and fats spoil quicker and become rancid no matter what type. That's why this food must be stored in the freezer and portioned and defrosted hours before serving (which can be inconvenient.)
Taste: Yenko seemed to enjoy it; no problems there. Oscar and I did try it; when we cooked it in slow heat, a liquid would continue to reproduce (unsaturated fats), even when fully cooked. It tasted very fishy and oily. It's good to see most of the fats seem unsaturated, although, for dogs, it's not as severe a problem as for humans. Check out the poop section for what happened once Yenko had been on this diet for three days.
Poop: Not good; we usually try the food for a week; for this product, we did four 1/2 days. Yenkos's poop started moving from a nice healthy log to coming out oily and grey; on the fourth day, early in the am, he could not hold it in; and began throwing up bile with white matter.
So what happened? When food enters a dog's stomach, the fat is digested last. When fat enters the small intestine, it's broken down by the bile secreted by the gallbladder. So what is supposed to happen is enzymes released by the small intestine and pancreas then release the fatty acids to be utilized by the body. However, our suspicion is Yenko, not used to eating a high-fat diet, ate this food which caused his body to be unable to take the fat content.
Price: We purchased a 3-pound bag for $27.00, totaling $9.00 a pound. It is average considering the diet.
Delivery: Bones & Co does not offer delivery; they believe in supporting small businesses versus shipping. To find their items, visit their website for a directory.
Other things to Note: I didn't get to speak on the importance of complex carbs; I advocate for adding whole foods, primarily plant-based, into dogs' diets. It is true dogs have a small nutritional requirement for dietary carbohydrates to thrive; they get everything they require from protein and fat. However, compared to simple carbohydrates, which turn to glucose quickly, complex carbs metabolize slowly and can be further classified as either starches or fibers. Unprocessed whole foods, mainly plant-based foods such as vegetables, are the primary sources of soluble and insoluble fibers. Complex carbohydrates provide sustained energy, facilitate digestion, regulate metabolism, and support the immune and nervous systems.
As of May 3rd, I requested their Nutritional Analysis of their foods about four weeks ago and am still awaiting a reply. It's confusing why they're transparent about sharing Cancer research but not their food analysis.