The Development of the Rawproconcepts® Program

As with most business startups, they begin with a plan to fulfill a presumed need in an industry segment. A need sometimes derived through personal experience, and in the case of the Rawproconcepts® Program, the need was identified while searching for scientific writings and publications available to teach proper formulation techniques for homemade dog food diets.

The internet provided a wealth of information on the subject, but nothing was available to match recommended recipes to any scientific basis for homemade dog food formulation. There was a lot of “preparing” but no “formulating” to match what was being recommended to actual nutrient requirements. Nutrient requirements as recommended by the National Research Council (NRC). The name NRC is mentioned quite frequently when it comes to dog nutrient profiles and daily recommended allowance of nutrients, so who is the NRC?

The NRC was organized in 1916 by The National Academy of Sciences to bring together science and technology for the purpose of advising the federal government. Operating under the policies determined by the Academy, the NRC has become the principle operating agency of The National Academy of Science and The National Academy of Engineering, for the purpose of advising the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The NRC is administered jointly by both the Science Academy and the Engineering Academy and the Institute of Medicine.

Sounds very impressive but what does this have to do with dogs? A LOT!

The NRC has a committee on animal nutrition, and in 2000 the NRC Committee on Animal Nutrition convened a specialized committee of animal nutrition experts to revise the nutrient requirements of dogs and cats established in 1986. Specifically, the committee was tasked to:

• Revise the 1985 and 1986 data and publish into a single report.

• Provide updated nutrient profiles.

• Provide discussions of nutrient metabolism, toxicity, deficiency, and diseases related to nutrition.

• Discuss impacts of physiological status, temperature, breed, age and environment on nutrient requirements.

• Address biological characteristics affecting nutrient digestion and utilization.

• Give guidance to considerations regarding ingredients and diet formulation.

• Present considerations for feed processing and manufacturing.

Over the course of a 3-year period, the committee held both private and public meetings with frequent expert guests invited to participate. As written in the Preface of the Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats, 2006, “by combining a thorough literature review with a critical analysis of scientific data and professional experiences, the committee developed recommendations that are firmly grounded in science.”

It is from this science and strict adherence to NRC recommendations that the Rawproconcepts® Program was developed. The task was to:

• Develop a workbook of tables based on formulas designed to mathematically figure the optimum food formulation of specified raw ingredients.

• Use United States Department of Agriculture nutrient data to choose raw ingredients specifically for energy and nutrient availability.

• Test developmental food formulations for palatability and appropriate health and digestive characteristics using our own dogs.

• Identify natural and unavoidable nutrient deficiencies of developmental food formulations.

• Analyze existing canine supplements available to correct and balance any nutrient deficiencies.

Challenges to the development process included:

• The broad spectrum of dog weights (5lbs to 250+lbs).

• Metabolism differences presented as a result of age, activity level, and breed type.

• Nutrient differences driven by metabolism and life stage, whether life stage is age impacted by animal working requirements or breeding requirements.

• Incompatibility of human supplements and dog supplements available for purchase—incompatibility due to improper ingredients for dogs, improper ingredient ratios for dogs, and the lack labeling disclosure of complete nutrient profiles of product contents.

Through the development process of a period extending beyond 7 years, the workbook was completed and published under the name, The Complete Nutrition Workbook For Dogs. The workbook provides meat-based (beef and chicken) homemade diet feeding formulations in an easy to use table format for:

• All adult dogs,

• Female dogs in gestation and lactation,

• All puppies - medium to giant breed.

Inclusive in the workbook is background information to teach basics of food prep and complete “how-to” instructional explanations of the formulation tables. Additionally as a benefit to commercial dog food users, there is a supplement section in the workbook providing gestation and lactation feeding tables helpful to breeders. The tables provide an extraordinary guide to feeding requirements during gestation and lactation.

Within an extremely short period of time during the development and testing of the program, it became very clear that the only option to precisely correct the unavoidable nutrient deficiencies of the dog food formulations and to correct critical ratios was to develop a supplement program designed specifically for this purpose. The Rawproconcepts® Supplement Program was born!

The Supplement Program became the challenge of all challenges to develop a master formulation for adult dogs and a master formulation for medium to giant breed puppies for use with workbook homemade diet formulations. The supplement formulations had to correct nutrient deficiencies and critical ratios for:

• A very broad spectrum of adult dog weights (5lbs to 250+lbs).

• Bitches in gestation and lactation.

• Adult dogs with significant metabolism differences driven by breed type, age, activity level, and a combination thereof.

• Medium to Giant breed puppies.

During the development phase of the Supplement Program, it was necessary to find a means to supplement the homemade diet feeding program we used with our own dogs. Unable to use any dog supplements available for purchase due to the universal lack of supplement levels disclosure on packaging labels or the lack of appropriate product ingredients, it was necessary to blend at least 11 or 12 different human consumables. Not a perfect balance, but an exceptional means to correct the nutrient deficiencies.

Note: most of the supplement products available for dogs are problematic because:

• Most of them do not disclose anything other than the ingredients on the packaging label. Without the detailed breakdown of the exact nutrient levels, the product is unusable. There is no way to determine if the supplement corrects any of the nutrient deficiencies of the homemade diet. These supplement companies refuse to acknowledge that the consumer may know what the deficiencies are, and under this philosophy don’t feel the need to disclose.

• Of those canine supplement products that do disclose the full nutrient analysis on the packaging label, the formulations do not match the needs of the homemade diet.

• Supplement companies are not following NRC guidelines for critical ratio combinations, as several of them are packaging product with critical ratios in reverse…meaning they have them incorrect and backwards. Sub Note: the Rawproconcepts® Program follows the NRC recommendations and it is certainly the choice of any supplement company to formulate under their own criteria, absent of the NRC recommendations.

• Supplement companies' trend toward appealing to the needs of the human purchaser instead of the needs of the animal. It’s about getting the consumer to buy.

Today the Rawproconcepts® Program is ready for you. We even wrote the book for you to make sure you “get it right.” The Rawproconcepts® website contains Detailed Analysis Data Sheets not available with any other company. Click on the link to see for yourself that the Program is exactly as described. Find a weight near your dog’s weight to review the feeding analysis. The analysis sheets are exact nutrient profiles feeding in accordance with the workbook recommendations and using the Rawproconcepts® supplements in accordance with the label instructions. Full disclosure and transparency …why not? We all want the same thing…the best possible nutrition for our dogs.

For those individuals not wanting to formulate and prepare homemade dog food, do a little homework on the internet researching the ingredients to look for in commercial dog food. There are websites dedicated to just this, and they enlighten anyone learning of the ingredients allowed to be used in commercial dog food.

Once you have chosen a good dog food, it is highly recommended to use our supplement program. No matter how good the food appears to be, it is important to understand that dog food manufacturers formulate production runs for “least cost.” Profit margins are slim so the profitability models drive them to put as little extra into the formulation as possible. For this reason and for the very reason supplements are recommended for humans, Rawproconcepts® Supplements are recommended to augment commercial dog food. Having been developed under very similar formulation requirements for homemade food, Rawproconcepts® is the best choice. The program has designed exact feeding guidelines on the product labels just for commercial dog food programs.

Welcome to Rawproconcepts® and Feed The Difference™.

Alan Anderson