Recently the owner and operator of Just Food For Dogs, Shawn Buckley, came to pay the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital staff a visit. If you live in West Hollywood or happen to drive around the Fairfax district, you’ve undoubtedly noticed the beautiful Just Food For Dogs storefront on the corner of Fairfax Ave. and Santa Monica Boulevard.
Shawn gave a presentation about his company and what it is exactly that makes Just Food For Dogs so special.
At the heart of this operation, nutrition nutrition nutrition is the focus.
Their mission statement: To increase the quality and length of life for as many dogs as possible through a balanced, whole food diet.
Just food for Dogs contains USDA certified meats. USDA certified denotes that the meat is used for human consumption! Typically, pet food is made exclusively from non-USDA certified meat products, and this includes raw foods as well as high-end bagged food diets. This is why Just food for dogs is such a great product and how it separates itself from other pet foods.
Shawn works hand-in-hand with a veterinarian, Dr. Oscar E. Chavez, who also gave a presentation about how nutrition has extended the health and well-being of his 17-year-old golden retriever, Rey.
Shawn and Oscar gave multiple examples of how the pet food industry often cuts corners and includes ingredients that are not at all healthful for your pet. For example, often times bagged foods will print the term “vegetable fiber” on their ingredient list when they actually use fillers like peanut and almond shells, which contain no “vegetable” and hardly any “fiber,” and absolutely nothing healthy or beneficial for your pet’s diet. Major pet food companies are able to do this legally, because the pet food industry is still regulated by standards that were set in the 1980s! You can read more here about the unwelcome things that end up in some bagged animal food, like animal waste, hooves, blood, and hair, but be sure to do so on an empty stomach.
To combat this unhealthful pet food reality, Shawn started his pet food company, which makes dog food from real actual food. We visited his West Hollywood store, and it looks and smells like a restaurant, absolutely delicious -large professional ovens, people working at stations chopping up cauliflower and baking chicken. The foods are comprised of proteins, fruits, vegetables, grains, and grain-alternatives that have been lightly cooked that day or within the last few days, kept in the freezer in vacuum sealed-packages until ready to be purchased and taken home. And these freshly made portions aren’t much more expensive than the bagged pet foods purchased from shelves– in some cases, they are even cheaper! You can see a photo of a daily-cost chart, organized by protein and the size of your pet, below.
There are crazy expensive dermatological alternatives, such as line-caught halibut and kangaroo meat, which Shawn and Dr. Chavez developed with their partnered dermatologist, Dr. Laura Wilson. These, of course, will be more expensive.
But there are also beef, chicken, and turkey with fresh vegetable dishes that are comparably priced to any other gourmet bagged foods available from pet stores and boutiques on the market today.
Just Food For Dogs also works with veterinarians to develop remedy-specific diets, such as meals for pets with renal (kidney) support needs, urinary support and stone-preventative needs, cholesterol-sensitivity and diabetes-sensitivity needs, and dogs that need liver and pancreas support. And unlike buying the ready-made prescription diets in cans and bags, these meals can be specifically formulated for your pet between your veterinarian and the store.
To top it off, if you cannot afford these ready-made foods, Just Food For Dogs has DIY kits that you can buy, which contain vitamin and mineral supplements, recipes, and tips for making your own dog food at home. The recipes are also available for download on the website, which just goes to show that Shawn is really in this for the love and health of dogs. His heart is definitely in the right place, and we at the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital support his mission statement and cause.
Just Food For Dogs delivers! And you can take your well-behaved pet to the store to check out their kitchen and what they have on the shelves.
Below are some more photos from our trip to the West Hollywood store — enjoy!