Flint River Ranch Difference

Oven-Baked Natural Pet Foods for Dogs and Cats

The Whole Dog Journal recognized and ranked Flint River Ranch DryWater Dog Food as one of the top dog food formulas. An earlier issue also ranked Flint River Oven-Baked Puppy and Adult Food as being among the "Top 10 Dog Foods in the United States."

We begin with natural & nutritious human-grade ingredients...... and then we supplement to meet and exceed the requirements for a balanced dog or cat diet.

For Dog Food


For Cat Food

One of the things that makes Flint River Ranch exceptional in the industry is that they only use high quality human-grade ingredients. This is in sharp contrast to well over 95% of pet food manufacturers, including Science Diet, Iams, Eukanuba, Nutro, Purina One and Pro-Plan, which all use pet-grade meats, grains and other ingredients.

Pet-grade food is food which is deemed unfit for human consumption by the FDA. Pet-grade grains include those which are moldy or rancid, while pet-grade meats include those termed "4D," which refers to meat and other products derived from an animal which arrived at the slaughterhouse either dying, dead, diseased or disabled. From these 4D meats come the by-products which are also used in these foods. By-products are a mix of such items as chicken feet, chicken heads, duck heads, beaks, fish heads, hides, hoofs and intestines.

These ingredients are commonly found in many "premium" pet foods, even though they have essentially no nutritional value. It is not surprising that these items are deemed unfit for human consumption. The question is:

How can we justify feeding dead food to the pets we love?

In addition to rejecting pet-grade foods and by-products, Flint River Ranch uses no artificial colors or flavors, and no ethoxyquin, BHA or BHT, propyl gallate, propylene glycol or other chemical preservatives. Perhaps the most notable of these, ethoxyquin, has been the subject of a great deal of debate, as ethoxyquin is classified as a pesticide.

While ethoxyquin is allowed in pet-grade foods, the maximum amount of ethoxyquin allowable by law in human-grade food is five parts per million, or the equivalent of 0.0005 of 1%. If ethoxyquin levels in food exceeds that amount, the food is then deemed unfit for human consumption. Because ethoxyquin is cheaper than many other chemical preservatives, it is used in the vast majority of pet foods you see in grocery and pet supply stores.

Labeling Laws Do Not Help Us!
Some manufacturers simply list ethoxyquin as the letter 'E' on their ingredients panels, something consumers often mistake for vitamin E instead. In other cases, ethoxyquin can be contained in the meats purchased by the pet food manufacturer at the time of purchase, but because that manufacturer itself doesn't add additional ethoxyquin to the product, they are not required to list ethoxyquin in the product's ingredients, based on the way the laws are written.

Flint River Ranch has always been forthright in labeling regardless of what the law requires, and that's how they choose to label the ingredients. They purchase as much organic chicken as possible, but prefer to correctly say that they use human quality hormone-free chicken. Like all of their ingredients, they pay a premium price for the very best available. Lamb is range-fed, rather than contributing to the horrible practices of factory farming. Menhaden fish is a herringlike fish found along the North Atlantic coast of the United States, tested for assurance of no mercury content.. The flesh is an excellent source of menhaden oil for coat and skin. Fish is a prime source of a complete protein - it includes all the essential amino acids. Rich in unsaturated fats (Omega 3 fatty acids), Vitamin A and K, and important minerals.

The word "meal" means reduced in size. The flesh is cooked, some water removed and reduced in size (ground) in order for a uniform mix of the meat, ground grains, vitamins and chelated minerals. There are no rendered by-products in Flint River Ranch foods.

Grain Sources:
The grains we use are purchased from non-GMO human quality suppliers to avoid the potential of toxic molds, which have recently harmed some animals.

Rice is a combination of white and brown. The white rice for digestibility and the brown for its added nutritional value. A diet product that is 100% brown rice can be somewhat hard for some animals to digest.

Wheat flour is a fine-ground whole wheat grain. A course-ground whole wheat is also added for texture, along with a quality wheat berry.

Millet is an excellent source of nutrition for those animals that may have a gluten intolerance. This huskless grain is very stable and is highly digestible (95% reported). Additionally, it is naturally resistant to some bacteria and fungi. These traits, coupled with excellent caloric qualities and balanced vitamins and nutrients make millet a balanced, beneficial, all-natural grain.

Corn is not used as an ingredient in our dog food. It is an excellent grain, but difficult to digest - either by humans or dogs. The feline digestive systems better utilize corn and supplies important diet benefits to cats and kittens, so corn is included in the feline formulas.

Oven-Baked Process
The very finest cooking process for dog food is the oven-baking process. It produces a far superior product to extruded products. Over-processing and chemical additives destroy much of the nutritional value of pet foods. Flint River Ranch formulas are oven-baked under carefully controlled conditions and temperatures. The result is better nutrition, palatability and digestibility for your pet. Oven baking changes starches, which are hard to digest, into easy to digest dextrins, which are readily absorbed into your pet's system. The secret to optimal nutrition is not only how many high quality nutrients are present in your pet's food, but whether the nutrients can be digested and assimilated, which is called bioavailability of nutrients.

Flint River Ranch doesn't add probiotics to standard diets because the products don't require digestive enzymes to improve them. The superior ingredients and oven-baking process produces a food that is highly digestible and is quickly assimilated into the pet's system. Probiotics are not required, nor should they be added by customers to the formulas. The low digestibility and inherent problems of lower grade pet foods and those made with extruded processing almost mandate the addition of digestive supplements, but ours does not require it.

We do add probiotics to the Dry Water formula because it is made as an enhanced diet for extra-special nutritional needs and better results.

If nutrients are not effectively available to the body during digestion, they might as well not be in the food at all. Flint River Ranch Super Premium Health Food for Cats and Dogs is formulated to help your pet maintain a healthy lifestyle through properly balanced nutrition, the highest quality human-grade foods, and expert manufacturing processes.

From the Flint River Ranch Ovens.....to Your Door!
They bake three times a week and ship direct to you to ensure
the freshest pet food!
It never sits on warehouse shelves.

Flint River Ranch is very selective about what goes into their foods - and what doesn't. There are NO artificial colors or flavors, NO large amounts of salt, a trick many other makers use to make their foods more palatable, NO ethoxyquin, NO BHA or BHT, NO propyl gallate, NO propylene glycol - NO chemical preservatives, NO by-products, and, of course, NO pet-grade foods.

Read the article, "What's Really in Pet Foods" to understand the importance of choosing real food for your pets.

Why We Buy Flint River Ranch
"In 1978 we began using natural foods for our pets, and we've had cats live long healthy lives. I could count the number of times any of them have needed veterinarian services on one hand. When you feed them good food, it makes a difference. Our bodies, and theirs, run on nutrients. If what we eat doesn't have enough nutrition, something will not work properly and we will not have total health.

I was amazed to find what we thought to be "common" problems, simply disappear with good food. The body had a chance to defend itself. We no longer had skin problems, fleas, worms, and allergies. Their eyes look brighter and their coats shine.

The extra cost to buy natural had a greater return than we expected. No work time lost for vet visits and no frightening visits for the pets. It was a decision that has certainly paid off for all of us. The first stray cat we had lived to be 20 years old, the next 18. We know good food is helping them to live longer." Donna Watkins