Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Better Bowl™ and how should I use it?

Better Bowl™ is a “just add water” instant homemade meal for dogs.

With a 100% natural raw blend of proteins, fruits, veggies, and healthy fats, Better Bowl™ meals deliver the full-spectrum nutrition dog owners look for in made-from-scratch meals, yet are as easy and convenient to serve as the conventional processed meal options!

The versatility of our dehydrated raw Better Bowl™ blends allow for customization and a variety of uses. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Just Add Water: Simply rehydrate with an equal portion of water or canine-safe broth to dry meal mix.
  • Top it Off: Customize or mix up your dog’s meals with the addition of meat, eggs, fruits, veggies, or canine-safe spices.
  • Use in Recipes: Boost the nutritional value adding Better Bowl™ mix to homemade dog treat recipes.
  • Base-Mix: Start your own made-from-scratch dog meals with the confidence of a nutrient-balanced base of one of our Better Bowl™ blends.
  • Supplement: Dogs on a typical processed diet can still get some of the benefits of a raw, natural homemade meal with a once-a-day serving of Better Bowl™.
  • Emergencies: When you forget to defrost your meat, or just don’t have time to cook, Better Bowl™ meals are a quick, convenient back-up for dogs on a made-from-scratch diet. Better Bowl™ meals are also smart additions to an emergency preparedness kit, staying fresh for up to 2 years.
  • Travel: Compact and lightweight, Better Bowl™ meals are ideal for road trips, backpacking, and camping.

The cuts of meat in my dog’s meal still feel firm after rehydrating. Is this normal?

Yes. Natural, chemical-free preservation methods like dehydration will alter the texture of meat. As meat jerky will feel and act differently than raw or cooked meat from a skillet would, dehydrated raw meat will also feel and act differently than un-preserved raw or cooked meat. Using hot or warm liquid to rehydrate your dog’s meal will result in meat cuts that are more tender than using cold water will. However, dehydrated raw meat will remain firmer, even after rehydration, than will un-preserved raw or cooked meat. If your dog can eat crunchy treats or dry kibble, they should have no issues chewing dehydrated raw meat. The texture of dehydrated raw meat will not affect the nutritional value and most dogs enjoy it!

What are the nutrient profiles of your meals?

The guaranteed analysis of both Better Bowl™ meal blends are as follows:

Better Bowl™ Fruit & Veggie Scramble™

Crude Protein (min)

Crude Fat (min)

Crude Fiber (max)

Moisture (max)

......... 22%

......... 12%

.........   7%

......... 13%

Better Bowl™ Hearty Harvest Chicken Zen Bowl™

Crude Protein (min)

Crude Fat (min)

Crude Fiber (max)

Moisture (max)

......... 27%

......... 16%

.........   5%

......... 11%

How will my dog’s teeth get clean eating a soft meal?

While you may have heard that crunchy food cleans a dog’s teeth, unfortunately, that’s not true. Regular teeth cleaning is the only effective way to prevent oral decay. Dry kibble isn’t actually hard enough to effectively scrape tartar off teeth and with the high sugar and carbohydrate content in most commercial kibbles, it’s probably doing more harm than good; if, indeed, it’s being chewed at all! For the most part, as dog owners who have had to clean up regurgitated food can attest, dogs swallow kibble whole.

A soft meal is no better or worse for your dog’s teeth than a traditional dry kibble.

How should I acclimate my dog to Better Bowl meals?

Each dog will adapt differently, but as with any new food, it’s a good idea to go slow and allow your dog’s body to acclimate to avoid digestive upset. Start by mixing a small portion of a prepared Better Bowl meal with the food they are used to. A good rule of thumb:

  • STEP ONE: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Meal: 1/8th prepared Better Bowl meal mix & 7/8ths their current food
  • STEP TWO: 4th, 5th, and 6th Meal: 1/4th prepared Better Bowl meal mix & 3/4ths their current food
  • STEP THREE: 7th, 8th, and 9th Meal: ½ prepared Better Bowl meal mix & ½ their current food
  • STEP FOUR: 10th Meal: 100% Better Bowl meal mix

Puppies, younger dogs, and healthier dogs may be able to adjust to a new food more quickly. Older dogs or dogs with digestive sensitives may need longer. If at any point in this process you notice signs of digestive issues (such as loose stools, constipation, or occasional vomiting), reduce the proportion of prepared Better Bowl meal mix back to the previous step until symptoms are eliminated.

DETOX: Older dogs or dogs who have been on steroids, antibiotics, or other long-term drugs may experience detoxification symptoms while acclimating to raw Better Bowl meals. Detoxification symptoms may include mucus in the stools, shedding, dry skin, runny eyes, or a temporary worsening of symptoms. While this can be unnerving, this is actually a good sign that the body is ridding itself of toxins, and symptoms usually resolves in a week or two. Increased exercise and consistent access to fresh water can help speed the detoxification process and time until detox symptoms subside.

I notice there is no meat in your Fruit & Veggie Scramble. Is a vegetarian meal really appropriate for a dog? What about protein?

While dogs may belong to the order Carnivora, contrary to popular belief, dogs are omnivores! Like us, their bodies have the ability to transform the amino acids they get from fruits, vegetables, eggs, and dairy into the protein they need. In short, dogs can get all the amino acids and protein they need without meat.

In fact, eggs have the highest biological value (a measure of a specific protein’s ability to supply necessary amino acids) of all protein sources commonly used in pet foods!

Do I have to add extras like veggies or meat?

Nope. Many dog owners enjoy customizing their dog’s meals with extras, however, this is not necessary. Better Bowl meals are already nutritionally balanced.

Do I need to add a supplement?

No. The blend of raw proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats in our Better Bowl™ meals already deliver a balanced blend of nutrients. Additional supplements like probiotics, enzymes, or herbs may be added per your dog’s needs, but this is not necessary for most dogs.

Can I give my dog Better Bowl™ without adding water?

Short answer – no. It is essential that the meal mix is rehydrated prior to serving. Dehydrated ingredients swell when they encounter moisture. Rehydrating prior to serving will ensure this happens in your dog’s food bowl and not in their dog’s tummy where it could cause bloating and discomfort.

Our meal mix will not swell further if rehydrated prior to serving making it ideal for dogs prone to bloat.

Do I have to give my dog both the veggie and the chicken blend?

Nope. Many dogs and dog owners enjoy serving a combination of our Fruit & Veggie Scramble™ and our Hearty Harvest Chicken Zen Bowl™, however one or the other is perfectly fine. Both are nutritionally balanced on their own and do not need to be used together to meet your dog’s nutritional needs.

The cuts of meat in my dog’s meal still feel firm after rehydrating. Is this normal?

Yes. Natural, chemical-free preservation methods like dehydration will alter the texture of meat. As meat jerky will feel and act differently than raw or cooked meat from a skillet would, dehydrated raw meat will also feel and act differently than un-preserved raw or cooked meat. Using hot or warm liquid to rehydrate your dog’s meal will result in meat cuts that are more tender than using cold water will. However, dehydrated raw meat will remain firmer, even after rehydration, than will un-preserved raw or cooked meat. If your dog can eat crunchy treats or dry kibble, they should have no issues chewing dehydrated raw meat. The texture of dehydrated raw meat will not affect the nutritional value and most dogs enjoy it!

Can any size dog eat either Better Bowl™ meal blend?

Yes. Better Bowl™ meals are formulated to meet the needs of both small and large breed dogs. Simply consult our guide to select the right amount for your dog’s needs based on their weight and activity level.

What is the serving size for my dog?

The following is a suggested guide to dry mix portion size based on weight and activity level.

* We recommend an equal portion of water be added to the dry mix to rehydrate the meal.

Dog’s Weight Average Activity Meal (dry) High Activity Meal (dry)
2 to 12 lbs (1 to 5 kg) ¼ cups (62.5 ml) ½ cups (125 ml)
12 to 22 lbs (5 to 10 kg) ½ cups (125 ml) ¾ cups (187.5 ml)
22 to 44 lbs (10 to 20 kg) ¾ cups (187.5 ml) 1½ cups (375 ml
44 to 77 lbs (20 to 35 kg) 1½ cups (375 ml) 2¼ cups (565.5 ml)
77 to 110 lbs (35 to 50 kg) 2¼ (565.5 ml) 3 cups (750 ml)
110 to 145 lbs (50 to 66 kg) 3 cups (750 ml) 3½ cups (875 ml)
145 to 180 lbs (66 to 82 kg) 3½ cups (875 ml) 4 cups (1000 ml)
180 to 215 lbs (82 to 98 kg) 4 cups (1000 ml) 4½ cups (1125 ml)
* Appetite and nutritional needs can vary by age and activity level and should be adjusted to meet your dog’s unique needs.

Is the serving size for a meal or for an entire day?

Suggested serving sizes are for one meal. We recommend at least one Better Bowl™ meal per day for optimal nutrient benefits.

Is the serving size for my dog based on the dry mix or the prepared meal?

Suggested serving sizes are portioned for the dry meal mix. An equal portion of water or canine-safe broth should be added resulting in the full meal size.

What if the serving size is too much/too little for my dog?

Our suggested servings sizes are just that – suggestions. Nutritional needs can vary depending on the age and activity level of your dog, and servings size should be adjusted to fit your dog’s unique appetite.

  • If the portion size is too much for your dog, you may refrigerate the uneaten portion and serve the remainder in their next meal. For future meals, you may prepare a smaller portion.
  • If the portion size is too little for your dog, make a little more. For future meals, prepare a larger portion or add some favorite food mix-ins to your dog’s meal – meat, dairy, fruits, or veggies.

How long will a bag last me?

That will depend on the weight and activity level of your dog. Please consult the chart below for estimate:

Dog’s Weight Average Meals per Bag High Activity Meal per Bag
2 to 12 lbs (1 to 5 kg) 40 20
12 to 22 lbs (5 to 10 kg) 20 13
22 to 44 lbs (10 to 20 kg) 13
44 to 77 lbs (20 to 35 kg) 4
77 to 110 lbs (35 to 50 kg) 4 3
110 to 145 lbs (50 to 66 kg) 3
145 to 180 lbs (66 to 82 kg)
180 to 215 lbs (82 to 98 kg) 2

How do I store Better Bowl™? What is the shelf life?

Store Better Bowl™ in a cool, dry place out of sunlight. We don’t recommend refrigerating dry food, as this may introduce moisture and shorten shelf life. If you prefer to make pre-portioned meals, rehydrate first and then freeze.

Better Bowl™ raw meals are dehydrated for natural, chemical-free preservation of freshness and nutrition. Depending on the ambient temperature and humidity where you live, a bag of Better Bowl™ has a shelf-life between 12 and 24 months!

Can prepared meals be refrigerated? For how long?

Yes, they can. Cover and refrigerate prepared meals for 2 to 3 days. Frozen leftovers will keep fresh even longer.

To replace moisture which may evaporate during storage of prepared meals, we recommend adding a little warm water before serving.

Any tips for a picky dog?

Like a child who has only ever eaten chicken nuggets and fries, some dogs may initially present a challenge when presented with a more healthful meal. Dogs can become hooked on their current dry kibble or other low-quality commercial dog foods (typically, flavor-enhanced) and don’t see any reason to accept a new option. Fortunately though, there are plenty of things you can try for stubborn dogs. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Serve it Warm: If you’ve tried serving their Better Bowl™ meal either cold or room temperature, try serving it warm instead. The heat makes the food more aromatic and enticing for dogs.
  • Use Broth: Try using a canine-safe broth instead of water.
  • Adjust Texture: Adjust the proportion of water to dry mix. Increase the water for a more brothy meal or decrease water for a firmer textured meal.
  • Top It Off: Try mixing in a little of a favorite food – meat and dairy are generally welcome additions.
  • Get them Scheduled: If your dog is used to free-feeding, help them to adjust to a new schedule of regular feeding times.
  • Restrict Feeding Time: Offer the food for just half an hour. Anything that is not consumed within this period can be refrigerated and served again at your dog’s next feeding time.
  • Temporarily Eliminate Treats: Especially filling grain-based treats until your dog begins accepting the new food.
  • Fast For a Night: Your dog will have greater interest in the new food in the morning.

My dog’s stool has bits of food in it. Are they not absorbing the nutrients?

A high moisture, natural meal like Better Bowl™ not only looks a different going in, it may look a little different coming out too. Stools may be more colorful, and it’s not abnormal to see pieces of kelp, green bean, ect. Since the food is high in moisture and fibrous ingredients, you may also see an increase in stool volume. This is natural, healthful, and to be expected. The vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and micronutrients are still being absorbed.