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Companion Cuisine 

A Raw Deal for Dogs

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Kevin Christofora, owner of Woodstock Meats, thinks that he’s got the answer to what your dog craves for dinner. “We know what your pet would eat if they had their choice,” Christofora says. His Butcher’s Blend dog and cat food is just like what your pet’s ancestors ate.

After noticing that many of his customers were buying steak and lamb for their pets instead of their party guests, Christofora decided to make his own raw pet food. Butcher’s Blend was introduced to the market last January. Woodstock Meats also sells additional pet products, like bones, beef bone dust, turkey necks, tripe, and chicken liver.

Jessica Applestone, co-owner of Fleisher’s Grass-fed and Organic Meats, has been on the raw pet food diet bandwagon since opening her butcher shop in 2004. Fleisher’s sells pet food patties made from organic chicken, bones, heart, liver, and tongue. While Applestone’s an animal lover (she feeds her own dogs Fleisher’s patties), making dog food was also a matter of business savvy. “It is necessary in our business—we are nose-to-tail butchers—to use every part of the animal,” says Applestone. “It made sense to use this as an outlet for our offal and meat.”

“The notion that pets can eat the same thing every day for years and be healthy is a myth,” Christofora says.

“It would be comparable to a human eating only cereal.” To make canned or dried pet food, first a carcass is stripped for human products. Then it’s ground, cooked, and filled with preservatives. The healthy enzymes are gone, and a lot of chemicals and disgusting ingredients are in its place. Pet food contains everything from beaks and feathers to blood-soaked sawdust.

Raw diets, on the other hand, replicate the kind of meal a carnivore is designed to eat. In the wild, a dog would eat a rabbit, including the meat, bone, organs, and greens in the digestive tract. “That’s nature’s perfect meal,” Christofora says.

Plus, Chrisofora and Applestone don’t add any chemicals to their mix. Since mass-produced dog food has a high chemical content, and since the chemicals just pass through the dog as waste instead of being absorbed, raw dog food is much more filling. Your dog can eat less and feel satisfied longer.

Woodstock Meats’ Butcher’s Blend is distributed at Classy Creatures Boutique in Shokan; Emmanuel’s Pet-Agree in Stone Ridge; Lucas Avenue Pet Supply, The Barnyard Pet and Feed, Mother Earth’s Storehouse, and Pawprints and Whiskers in Kingston; Accord Plaza Feeds; High Falls Food Co-op; Woofstock in Woodstock; Paws of Distinction and Sue’s Zoo and More Inc. in New Paltz; Red Hook Natural Foods; Pleasant Stone Farm in Middletown; and the Beacon Barkery. Fleischer’s pet patties are distributed at Fleisher’s Meats locations in Kingston and Brooklyn.

Fleisher’s Grass-fed and Organic Meats Fleishers.com
Woodstock Meats Woodstockmeats.com

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