Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the bone ratio in the Ground and Original Formulas?
A: In our poultry products (Original and Ground) you will find a 10-15% bone content, we add a significant amount of muscle meat to those to ensure the proper amount ratios of meat to bone. Since these formulas use necks, meaty carcasses and whole pieces the exact bone content can vary from time to time (depending on frame of individual animal) but the 10-15% range is maintained and confirmed by our nutritional analysis. For any Original or Ground red meat recipes (beef, lamb, pork, kangaroo) the bone is added in separately and these formulas are 10%. It's important to note that not all bones have the same density of calcium content so percentages can vary dependent on the specific bone type used. We take this into consideration especially with our Beef blends – even though the bone is added separately and maintained at 10% we still add additional muscle meat to ensure the proper balance since cattle bones are so dense.
Q: Is the meat used in Iron Will Raw Hormone and Antibiotic Free?
A: One of our main focuses as a company is education and as a result, we are very particular on the wording we use when speaking to customers as it appears the terms “antibiotic and hormone free” are not be fully explained to the general public. All meats processed to CFIA standards in Canada can have the label “hormone and antibiotic free” according to labeling guidelines in Canada but what is most important to note and perhaps to educate is that this does NOT mean the animal is hormone free nor does it mean that the animals have never received vaccines, antibiotics/antimicrobials. Quite the contrary to be honest, all animals used for human consumption in Canada (even organic) are required by law to receive vaccines and must be treated if they become ill as it is inhumane to not treat a sick animal. Further to that – all animals have hormones in them (just like people) so what is important to recognize is that no Growth Hormones are added. This is the standard for all human consumption meat across Canada.
Research on vaccine and antimicrobial residue in meat produced for human consumption is huge. In standard production, a preset level of 'hormones' are used, and certain antibiotics/antimicrobials are approved with strict withdrawal times so no harmful level of antimicrobial residue remains in the meat. This is why it is critical to source meat from federally or provincially inspected facilities. The withdrawal times and residue levels and testing information can be found here and in the food and drug regulations.
The tricky part about 'hormone' and 'antibiotic' free animals is that there is an organic standard, which can be found here. But some vaccines are mandatory by law, and you have to treat an animal if they are sick, so approved antimicrobials can still be used, but the withdrawal times then apply, and hormones are in our bodies naturally, so it's added hormones you're looking for – which our meat does not contain. Click here for the list of permitted substances that can be used and a farm can still be called 'organic' (Chapter 5). No one using meats farmed and slaughtered in Canada can claim that the animal never received vaccines, antibiotics or antimicrobials.
Q: Where is the meat sourced?
A: All of our meats come from local human grade federally or provincially inspected plants. We select quality cuts of meats to ensure a superior quality of food produced for our companions.
Q: Can I feed Iron Will Raw to my Cats?
A: Cats are designed to eat raw meat and as obligate carnivores benefit greatly from an all meat diet. Iron Will Raw is ideal for cats – we recommend any of our Ground Formulas (Ground Chicken, Ground Turkey, Ground Duck, Ground Beef, Ground Pork) as well as Original Turkey, Original Beef and Original Rabbit. You’ll see that we have our taurine tested for all our formulas made specifically for our cat clients.
Q: Why use liver in the blends? Is it not used to process toxins in the body?
A: It is true that the liver is part of the digestive system and one of its purposes is to help with detoxification.The liver, however, can be seen as a filter, rather than a sponge. The toxins are not stored in the organ otherwise it would become toxic itself. On the contrary, the liver can be viewed as the storage centre for many critical nutrients. Not only is liver an incredible source of protein, healthy fat and vitamin A. Liver is so nutrient dense it also proves to be an excellent source of iron, copper, zinc, vitamin B12, D, E & K, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, niacin and phosphorus.
Q: Is feeding Pork to my pet bad?
A: Not at all, pork is completely safe to feed ourselves and our pets. It seems to be that pork gets a bad reputation still because trichinella spiralis reports were significantly high in the 1950’s and this was reportedly related to swine being fed uncooked garbage that contained the parasite. Since the 50’s strict regulations have been implemented in the processing of pigs for slaughter. T. spiralis is more common now in wild game such as boar and bear and this is where following guidelines for freezing, curing or cooking would be strongly advised. Trichinella Spiralis is a reportable disease which means any and all cases in humans or domestic animals must be reported to the Centre for Disease Control and less than 10 cases a year in North America are currently reported…so the risk is quite minimal – though still present. The last case in Canada was reported in 2013 in a human.
Q: Why does there seem to be so much chicken in the meal deals (Paw-ty Platter, K9 Buffet, Big Meal Deal)?
A: Chicken is one of the most easily digestible proteins and it’s also an economical protein option. Since the box deals are offered at such a discounted price the inclusion of more common proteins assists in providing these savings. It is also important to recognize that our Original Chicken contains beef organs and green beef tripe making it a wonderful blend.
Q: How often should I feed Raw Meaty Bones?
A: We typically recommend no more than 1-2 times a week depending on the bone. Because the intention of most raw bones is for the dog to actually chew them and ingest the bone if they have too much too frequently they can get constipated or you will notice stool that is crumbly and white. Alternately, if it is a rich bone (like a marrow bone) they can get loose stool. With all new bones, it’s important to remember to supervise when your dog is enjoying them, especially until you learn how your dog chews and which bones are suitable for her specifically. With puppies, we recommend softer bones such as necks and tendons. As their adult teeth start to come in you can work on neck bones (which are nice and meaty) and knuckle bones. Marrow bones are great as well though we find they are more recreational and offer fewer meat benefits to the dog, whereas necks and meaty bones can be given as meals substitutions.
Q: Do I need to add supplements to Iron Will Raw blends?
A: As long as you are rotating through different proteins of our Original formulas monthly your dog will be getting the necessary micronutrients and trace minerals required. If you are targeting a specific ailment, then you may want to look at supplements.
Q: My pet is drinking less water since being switched to raw. Is this normal?
A: Yes, it is completely normal for pets to drink much less water once switched raw. A raw diet provides a true natural hydration which supports organ health. Processed kibble is not only dry by definition but both kibble and canned food contain an unhealthy amount of salt which causes pets to remain in a chronic state of under-hydration.
Q: Where can I buy Iron Will Raw?
A: Iron Will Raw is available through retailers across Ontario. You can search for a retailer in your area by visiting our Store Locator.
Don’t see a store near you? Contact us directly: email@example.com
Q: Which meals off your menu are best to use when transitioning to raw?
A: We typically recommend starting off with a simple single protein such as the Ground Chicken. After a few meals you can then shift right into something like the Original Chicken and then Original Beef and from there pretty much any protein you’d like. Our most popular meal deals are the K9 Buffet and Paw-ty Platter (depending on the size of your pets). These offer a 5 protein variety while also extending a price discount for purchasing the meal deal.
Q: What is tripe?
A: Tripe is the lining of the stomach of grazing animals. Iron Will Raw uses Green Beef and Green Lamb tripe in many of our Original Formulas. The term “Green” refers to the tripe being natural - untreated and unbleached. This is unlike the bleached tripe found in grocery stores. Don’t let the foul smell fool you though - Green Tripe is commonly referred to as a superfood for pets as it offers critical amino acids, protein, incomparable probiotics and digestive enzymes. Green Tripe offers optimal calcium to phosphorus ratios and Omega 3 to Omega 6 fatty acids ratios. It is also an excellent source of unsaturated fats vitamins and minerals.
Q: Is raw meat safe to feed my pet?
A: The most important factor in feeding raw meat is safe food handling. This applies to the manufacturer and you the user! It is important to source your raw pet food from producers such as Iron Will Raw who follow strict food safety programs to ensure our high-quality meats are processed in optimal conditions to prevent bacterial growth and contamination. At home, we encourage users to practice safe food handling as well. Never thaw, refreeze and re-thaw meat as this can allow bacteria to grow. Thaw raw meat slowly in the refrigerator or in cold water. Avoid leaving raw meat out for pets to pick at throughout the day. Wash hands, utensils, bowls and serving surfaces with warm soapy water after contact with raw meat. Avoid letting pets chew raw meaty bones on indoor surfaces that can not be cleaned.
Q: Can you take Raw Food Across the Border (to the USA)?
A: Absolutely, we have many users who travel to the US and cross the border without a problem. The only protein which you can not take across the border is mutton (lamb & goat). The food must be in the original containers with the labels and ingredients legible.