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Yummy AquaFarm Recipes

The beauty of an herb is that you don’t need a lot to pack a punch. A bit of basil and you get a subtle, peppery note to an otherwise sweet smoothie. A sprig of mint brings a cool fragrance to a tangy citrus drink. Our first two recipes are a perfect example of [...]

History of Aquaponics

Aquaponics may sound like an underwater Cirque du Soleil spinoff but in fact it’s an incredibly efficient farming method that has been around for centuries and is now the basis of a brand new product at Petco. Aquaponics is a combination of Aquaculture (raising fish) and Hydroponics (growing plants without soil) where fish waste [...]

The Unique Nutritional Needs of Spayed and Neutered Cats

Royal Canin bengal cat

Hooray! More cat owners than ever are spaying and neutering their pets. Seventy-six million cats in the United States are spayed and neutered–and for good reason. Spaying or neutering can help cats to live longer, prevents unwanted litters (millions of unwanted cats enter shelters every year), reduces their tendency to roam, and cause some [...]

Help Support Digestive Health with Nature’s Recipe Grain Free Cat Foods

[caption id="attachment_8174" align="alignleft" width="184"] Nature’s Recipe Grain Free cat foods give your cat high quality protein without corn or wheat, which can cause digestive upset.[/caption] Does your cat often have an upset stomach? He or she may be suffering from a grain allergy. Nature’s Recipe Grain Free dry cat food is made with premium [...]

Say Goodbye to Hairballs!

Try Hills Science Diet Hairball Control formula for 30 days and let us know your results.

[caption id="attachment_8068" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="We all love our cats. Hairballs? Not so much."][/caption] Let’s get right to it: cats are amazing pets. Hairballs, however, can be amazing–for all the wrong reasons. So, when Hill’s Science Diet asked if they could send some of their Hairball Control Formula to our fans, we thought it was [...]

Small Dog? Big Nutritional Needs!

royal canin mini

  The smaller the dog, the greater the nutritional demands of the food the dog eats. Royal Canin’s Mini Formula’s are specifically formulated to address the unique nutritional needs of dogs weighing 9-22 lbs. These needs include: – Fussy appetites – Skin and coat issues – Dental disease – Weight gain Did you [...]

Take the Hill’s Science Diet 30-Day Hairball Challenge

Although more common in long-hair cats, even their short-haired cousins can suffer from hairballs.

  [caption id="attachment_7991" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Although more common in long-hair cats, even their short-haired cousins can suffer from hairballs."][/caption]   Hairballs. If you have a medium- to long-hair cat, you know what we’re talking about: the undesirable bi-product of self-grooming. And, while regular brushing can help diminish the volume of these unpleasant little presents, [...]

What Does It Take to Get a Beautiful Coat?

Healthy skin and coat begins with good nutrition

[caption id="attachment_7400" align="alignleft" width="238" caption="Healthy skin and coat begins with good nutrition"][/caption] What does it take to get a beautiful coat and healthy skin? Simply put, good nutrition. And, according to our friends at AvoDerm, specialized nutrition. As in avocados. Why avocados? That’s what we wanted to know, too. And here’s what we learned [...]

Nature’s Variety voluntarily recalls Prairie Beef Meal Barley Medley Kibble

A voluntary recall has been issued for Nature's Variety Prairie Beef Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs

[caption id="attachment_7256" align="alignleft" width="266" caption="A voluntary recall has been issued for Nature's Variety Prairie Beef Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs"][/caption] Petco was informed today that Nature’s Variety has initiated a voluntary recall of its Prairie Beef Meal & Barley Medley Kibble for Dogs due to an off-odor smell that may develop over time. All [...]

Nature’s Variety CEO Reed Howlett Explains What is Unique About Their Food

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Reed Howlett, the CEO of Nature's Variety, the manufacturer of Instinct and Prairie holistic pet diets, to learn more about the inspiration behind Nature's Variety and what pets--and pet parents--love about their products: PETCO: If you could only tell consumers one thing about your brands, what would it be? HOWLETT: "The one thing that I would tell them is that our brands are raw-inspired. As the leaders in the raw frozen category nationally, we believe pets are at their best when they are eating raw or our raw-inspired foods. Raw pet food is high in the animal protein that pets need and is minimally processed so the naturally occurring vitamins and minerals have not been cooked off. In short, raw mirrors the ancestral diet that dogs and cats ate in the wild for thousands of years." PETCO: Every product you offer is raw-inspired? HOWLETT: "Pet parents can feed our raw frozen diets, which are the purest form of pet nutrition available. However, if they prefer to feed dry or wet food, yes, these are formulated in a way that is raw-inspired. Specifically, we coat each dry kibble piece with freeze-dried raw coating which increases the nutritional value of our dry and makes it highly palatable, too. And, when it comes to wet, our Instinct canned food contains 95% animal protein, just like our raw food, so you can get that same high animal protein level in a convenient canned product." PETCO: As many of our customers may not know a lot about your brand and products, can you tell us a bit about your inspiration? HOWLETT: "First and foremost, we stand very directly behind our purpose: to empower people to transform the lives of their pets. And, for us, the way we do that is by making foods that truly make a difference in the overall health and wellness of the pets. "We believe that, beginning with Instinct raw and all the way through our entire line, we produce a food that transforms the lives of pets. There are many pet parents that may not be aware of the linkage between the food that they feed and their pet's overall health. We really try to impart the knowledge to people that when you feed your pet the right food, you are doing your pet an incredible favor; they will be happier and they will thrive. And we know that pets are such an important part of the household. When your pet is healthy and happy, that makes the home a better place. And we really believe that our food can help accomplish that." PETCO: Because you're offering a "raw" product, you have to do things a bit differently than other pet food providers. Are there safety processes and research behind every container? HOWLETT: "There are. From a food safety perspective, people might initially be concerned when they first hear about it. What's different about our Instinct raw frozen diet is that we apply a food safety step called High Pressure Processing, or HPP. "This process is patterned after the way life has evolved at deep sea levels at extreme pressure. At these extreme pressures, pathogenic bacteria are not able to survive. This is due to the fat that pathogenic bacteria are less hardy than other beneficial bacterial. Our HPP step mirrors these conditions and kills the pathogenic bacteria, without harming the beneficial bacteria, preserving all the nutritional value of the food while assuring its safety. "In reality, a dog or cat's stomach is able to process salmonella, listeria or e-coli in a way different than we can as humans. So the risk is very low even if we didn't take the step, but it's an extra assurance step we think is important." PETCO: Most of your products are grain- and gluten-free, correct? HOWLETT: "Our Instinct brand is grain-free and gluten-free. Our Prairie line is a holistic kibble line that is free of corn, wheat, soy and fillers, but does include hearty whole grains such as oatmeal and millet." PETCO: Can you tell us a bit about your rotational philosophy and how you believe it optimizes an animal's health? HOWLETT: "We believe that pets benefit when they are fed a variety of proteins. And each diet, each protein source, has different health benefits associated with it. And, we believe, consequently, that pets benefit nutritionally when they're fed a variety of proteins. You as an individual wouldn't want to eat chicken every day, and your health wouldn't be at its best if you did. Because the nutrients you would be receiving would be less than you would receive if you ate a more balanced diet across many different protein options and food categories. "Now, all of our foods are complete and balanced; if someone wants to feed chicken all of the time, they certainly can. But to get the best nutrition, it's best to eat a variety of proteins. So we encourage people to move among proteins periodically. It doesn't mean that you have to serve chicken one night and the next night feed beef, but it does mean that you might buy a bag of chicken and feed that and then the next time you can feed beef, salmon, lamb  or venison. We encourage pet parents to do that. "We also encourage pet parents to feel free to move among different forms. So , if you're a dry feeder and you want to feed our raw diet, it doesn't have to mean you do it all of the time; you can mix it in periodically. Or if you're a wet feeder, and you want to go ahead and serve it over our dry food, you can do that as well. "We formulate our foods so that you can move freely among proteins and forms without any fear of digestive upset and we encourage pet parents to do that." Learn more about Nature's Variety and its Instinct and Prairie lines, available in select Petco and Unleashed by Petco stores. Instinct raw frozen diets are currently available in select Petco stores.