Frequently Asked Questions

What are the roles of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in dog food?

One of the main things that sets Redpaw apart from other foods is an understanding of how dogs use fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. While many dog food companies tell you that protein is the star of the show, the truth is that fat is the main ingredient to look for in a dog food.

Why? Because fats are the main primary energy source for a dog. Protein a secondary consideration for a dog. They need it, sure. But only to provide amino acids for amino acid synthesis.

Another misconception is that dogs don’t need carbohydrates. You see that in the current, misguided grain-free fad. The truth is that carbohydrates are necessary in a dog’s diet. Dogs require carbohydrates to live. They’re necessary for blood clotting and brain health. Fiber is essential for gut health. Yet we’ve been conditioned to think of carbohydrates as sugars or fillers. They’re not. They’re an essential component of any good dog food. 

Why do you include grains in your food?

You’ve probably seen tons of information telling you dogs shouldn’t eat carbohydrates. But dog science tells us the exact opposite. Dogs need carbohydrates for brain health, blood clotting, and other essential health functions. So even though it raises eyebrows, our foods include grains that are carefully chosen to complement our fats and proteins and provide optimized nutrition for your dog.

How often and how much should I feed my dog?

Dogs were designed to live in a feast/famine cycle. They have evolved to eat once a day. With Redpaw, because it’s so much more nutritionally dense, you’ll end up feeding about 20 percent less than you feed other foods. 

Why do you include beet pulp?

Dogs need fiber. It’s essential for gut health. But just any fiber won’t do. They need a fiber that is moderately fermentable so that it can feed the good bacteria in the gut. And they need fiber that is moderately soluble so that it can be partially used by the cells and partially used to add bulk to the stool. Beet pulp is the fiber that provides the best balance of fermentability and solubility. 

Unfortunately, beet pulp gets a bad rap because of some aggressive marketing campaigns against it. To avoid making waves, other dog food manufacturers include subpar fiber or try to come up with a blend of other fibers to mimic the fermentability and solubility of beet pulp.

Regardless of the trends or marketing campaigns, we’ll continue using beet pulp fiber in our foods. Here’s why: It improves gut health, modulates inflammation, regulates water balance, and supports growth of good bacteria in the gut. There’s no other fiber out there that can do all that.

How can I help my dog digest his food better?

First, start by choosing a food that is highly digestible, like Redpaw. Then add a bit of cool water to it just before feeding. This helps to rehydrate the probiotics on the food and activate the enzymes in the mouth. You may even find that adding a bit of water allows you to feed less food.  

Shouldn't we feed our dogs like wolves?

This is one of the marketing tropes that is hardest to dispel. Yes, dogs are descendants of wolves. But does your dog live like a wolf? Of course not. He doesn’t even live like a wild dog, or even a feral dog. Modern, domesticated dogs have very different energy needs than dogs in the wild. (Not to mention that dogs and wolves in the wild have a much shorter lifespan.) You need a dog food that understands the needs of modern dogs. Not wolves, not coyotes, and not wild dogs, but domesticated animals.

Do you add enzymes to your food?

Enzymes are essential for digestion. They break down fats, proteins, and carbohydrates so the body can use them. But adding enzymes to food is pointless, because they get destroyed in the acidic environment of the gut before they can ever do any good. So instead of adding enzymes to our food, we create food that supports the body’s productions of its own enzymes. 

What do probiotics do?

Probiotics are single-cell organisms that are also known as “good bacteria.” They’re a normal part of the digestive system. Without them, your dog can’t digest his food. But beyond that, probiotics also work to keep bad bacteria like salmonella and listeria from taking over. 

That’s why it’s important to help your dog maintain healthy levels of probiotics in the gut. One way to do that is to feed a food like Redpaw, which has probiotics added. But for probiotics to work, they need to be fed with what’s known as a “prebiotic.” That’s one of the roles of beet pulp in our food. It’s the perfect fiber to feed probiotics and help them win the war against bad bacteria.

The probiotic we use is called Lactobacillus, which is a bacteria that produces lactic acid. Lactic acid lowers the pH in the gut, which makes bad bacteria like salmonella go dormant.

My dog has hot spots and inflamed skin. Can Redpaw help?

When a dog licks his foot a lot or has red, raised, irritated spots on his skin, that means there’s an immune response. What you want to do is reduce inflammation throughout the body so that his skin can start to heal. The best way to do that is by curbing inflammation that starts in the gut. Redpaw is designed specifically to reduce inflammation, and we’ve seen it have great results for dogs with hot spots and inflamed skin. 

What is leaky gut?

When we talk about the importance of gut health, it’s more than just a catch phrase. It’s so important because the gut is responsible not only for allowing the body to use nutrients from food, but also for keeping all the bad stuff from entering the bloodstream. 

The cells that line the gut are called colonocytes. These colonocytes control the back-and-forth that happens between the inside and the outside of the gut. If those cells aren’t fed properly, they become saggy like a deflated balloon, instead of plump like a full one. That allows toxins, water, salt, and electrolytes to all pass between the colonocytes and leak out of the gut into the bloodstream and cause inflammation throughout the body. We call that “leaky gut.”

When dogs have leaky gut, you may see loose stool, lethargy, loss of appetite, and bad breath. The solution is a diet like Redpaw that feeds the colonocytes and keeps them healthy. 

My dog is allergic to chicken (or corn). Can I still feed Redpaw?

A lot of what we think of as “allergies” are actually just reactions caused by an unhealthy gut. It’s rare for a dog to have a true allergy to a protein. But depending on gut health, she may react to certain proteins or other ingredients. What we’ve seen is that a lot of dogs who previously appeared to have a chicken (or other food) allergy can actually thrive on those foods if we reset their gut health. 

What is menhaden fish meal? Why does Redpaw use it?

Menhaden fish meal is the type of fish meal we use in all our formulations that contain fish. Menhaden refers to a specific species of mid-ocean herring caught and processed in a sustainable way. The unique processing of this fish meal yields the highest-protein, highest-fat, most-digestible, lowest-ash fish meal available. It’s the best fish meal out there, and that’s why we choose it for Redpaw foods.

Why is there whey protein in Redpaw dog food?

Your dog needs proteins that are easily absorbed and metabolized. Whey protein is known for being both of those things. It also increases protein synthesis and can even be used as an energy source. Whey is an abundant source of branch chain amino acids, which all muscles need. That’s why we use it as a complement to our other protein sources in X-Series formulas. 

Why does Redpaw include blood meal as an ingredient?

Blood meal is an excellent source of minerals your dog needs, including calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, sulphur, copper, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc. These trace minerals are needed for many body functions, but overall they increase the metabolic and physiological efficiency of dogs. It is also high in the essential amino acid lysine, which is important for regulating hormones and supporting immune system function.

Is there corn in any Redpaw foods?

Corn is another ingredient that has gotten a bad rap, without any scientific reason. The fact is that dogs need carbohydrates, and corn is the ideal carbohydrate to complement the fatty acid and amino acid profiles of our PowerEdge foods. We choose whole grains to complement the protein sources in our foods, including corn.

When processed correctly and cooked thoroughly, corn is over 95 percent digestible.

Where is Redpaw dog food made?
All Redpaw dog food is manufactured in Wisconsin, U.S.A., at a facility that is inspected and approved by the USDA, FDA, and APHIS. All ingredients are sourced in North America.

Have a question that wasn’t answered here? We’re happy to help! Shoot us an email and we’ll get back to you in two shakes of a dog’s tail.