It started with this guy
My sweet little brown pup Willy joined our family in 1999. He was a zany entertainer, warm snuggle-buddy, fierce protector, but most of all a big ole marshmallow who loved everyone.
All was well until the largest food recall in U.S. history
Tragically, the "nutritious" and "highly recommended" food I was feeding our little guy was tainted with melamine, a toxic ingredient used to mimic wheat gluten. The manufacturer of his food had been importing ingredients from China, where the melamine was added. Before we knew it, our beloved Willy was terribly sick and ultimately he became a statistic along with the tens of thousands of other pets that lost their lives because of the tainted food.
All trust was shattered
Heartbroken and angry, I was determined to better understand the ingredient that claimed our furry family member. I began to more closely read pet food labels and research the listed ingredients. Not only did mystery-meat ingredients, such as animal by-products, make it difficult to uncover what actually was going in the food, but the origin of the ingredients was not publicized. Furthermore, I found dangerous chemicals such as BHA and ethoxyquine were routinely included. I concluded the only way to ensure my pet's safety and good health was to make my own food.
Exhaustive research on pet nutrition
After vowing to never again expose a pet to the risks of commercial dog food, I embarked upon my journey of learning by reading every book and article I could find on pet health, nutrition, and wellness. I poured through scores of research studies and spoke with numerous experts in the field such as Leslie Cook, owner of Woof Life, located in Crown Point, IN. Veterinarians Dr. Karen Becker and Dr. Jean Dodds, along with pet nutrition expert, Steve Brown were also very helpful. It quickly became apparent that fresh, whole food was essential to pet health and longevity and should be the foundation of all complete and balanced dog food. I then developed my recipes and began to cook for my pets as well as those of family and friends.
ARF -- Hand selected. Hand crafted. Hand packed.
Eight years after beginning my journey of learning, I formed Always Real Food, a fully licensed pet food company based in Crown Point, Indiana. All of my homemade dog food has been thoroughly laboratory tested to ensure compliance with AAFCO nutrition guidelines. Our ingredients are hand selected so we know their origin. Our food is hand crafted in small batches, in a kitchen, not a factory, so you can trust its quality. Every container of food is hand packed in eco-friendly freezer cups. At ARF, we love pets, and we hope our love shines through in every jar of home cooked dog food we sell.