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When my partner and I found out we were becoming dog dads, it was all systems go. What started as a casual info request on an adorable pit mix named Phineas (Finny for short) became a fully accepted application in 24 hours, with the caveat that we had to pick him up that week. If you could've seen us in the pet store…
Every leash, Kong, and kibble brand within clutching distance went right in the cart, with little rhyme or reason behind the purchase besides preparing for a sea change. Now, with the dust finally settled, I'm able to step back and think about what little Finny actually needs -- for his entertainment, for his comfort, but most importantly, for his health. That's where Petaluma comes in.
Where It All Started
On a weekend getaway to a small farm in Petaluma, CA (we love a gorgeous namesake), founders Garrett Wymore and Caroline Buck saw firsthand the bond among all creatures great and small. As their dog Leo played with goats, pigs and hens alike, years' worth of questions around the ethics of eating animals were suddenly answered. Garrett explored these concerns with his research team at a major pet care company, where he led one of the world's largest dog health studies, only to find that pet foods were one of the biggest contributors to our broken agricultural system -- and by extension, to greenhouse gases.
That means pet foods can drive solutions as well -- which is just what Petaluma was created to do. The veterinary team the brand employs takes a science-driven approach every step of the way, researching all the best approaches to maximize diet, taste, and eco-friendliness (a far cry from my eleventh-hour shopping experience). Petaluma’s dedication speaks for itself: not only has the brand partnered with a lab whose technology models dogs' internal organs to verify the food's digestibility, Petaluma considers every facet of a dog's make-up, right down to their DNA. And as anyone who's done a 23andMe can attest, genes don't lie. No matter how much chicken your pooch has pilfered from your plate, dogs are omnivores, evolved to eat mostly plant-based foods until the last century's switch to commercial dog food. The secret to a happy pup just might lie in going veggie.
From Box To Bowl
After months of lugging unwieldy tubs of kibble in from the car, I can't tell you how happy I was to see a Petaluma box delivered right to my doorstep. While unboxing, the first thing that caught my eye was the colorful illustrations that deck the whole bag (shoutout to the artist -- would commission wallpaper in a heartbeat). Petaluma otherwise keeps it simple: instead of crowding every inch with miniscule text, a handy QR code links you straight to all the factoids you could want. Before even opening the bag, I was able to find a full nutrient profile, tons of FAQs, and testimonials from vets across the country -- all without needing my glasses.
Busy pet owners know that subscription plans are the way to go, so you're never short-stocked at dinner time during a busy week. Petaluma's got every option on the table, with order frequencies ranging from 2 to 8 weeks, as well as 5- and 18-pound bags to choose from. No hemming or hawing necessary, since a handy "How long will this bag last?" chart lies right above the Add to Cart button. Everything from confirmation to delivery was a breeze, and once the bag came inside, the only remaining question was how my picky eater would warm to his new menu.
Full transparency here: the dog has never met a sliced meat he didn't like, but has turned his nose up at many a pea and carrot. As delicious as the Roasted Peanut Butter and Sweet Potato flavor sounded to me, there was only one judge whose opinion mattered, and he stared up at me expectantly with an empty food bowl. As I poured the first few pieces in -- carefully following Petaluma's easy and thorough transition guide -- the oven-baked bites looked different alright. In both size and sheen, it was clear this was high-quality stuff. And if I had any doubts moving from box to bowl, they disappeared along with the kibble before my eyes. Turns out my little "carnivore" is an omnivore alright.
If I had any doubts moving from box to bowl, they disappeared along with the kibble before my eyes. Turns out my little "carnivore" is an omnivore alright.
The Way Of The Future
As Garrett and Caroline rightly put it, there's no Planet B. The evidence is clear that factory farming and meat-based eating accelerate climate change, and our furry friends contribute just as much as we do. In fact, dogs consume a whopping 20% of all meat consumed in the U.S. each year, with nearly all of that meat sourced from factory farms. A simple switch to plant-powered Petaluma reduces your dog's diet-related greenhouse emissions by 75%, water use by 50%, and land use by an eye-popping 90%.
Plant-based foods are paving the way forward -- yes, for mankind, but also for my family. Everything behind the Petaluma approach, from the organic ingredients to the brand’s donations to environmental causes, is the way I want to shop, and my dog needs no convincing. He was hooked from bite one. So even if you can't coax your feisty fur babies into sleeping in their crates, I promise you can get them to go green. With delicious healthy fats and gently-baked flavor in every bite, Petaluma gives your pups the appetite for activism.
5 More Reasons To Love Petaluma:
- Protein Power: Each cup of Petaluma has as much protein (33 grams) as a serving of steak or 4 whole glasses of milk -- with no cows harmed in the process. Who says you need meat to get gains?
- Get Your Vitamins: All the essential vitamins and minerals contained in Petaluma were formulated specifically for their digestibility, meaning your dogs will see the benefits at every mealtime.
- Compassion > Cruelty: Certified humane in accordance with PETA'S Beauty Without Bunnies program, Petaluma is trialed by volunteer companion dogs inside their homes instead of dogs kept in kennels and labs.
- Hitting Net Zero: Through partnering with Climate Neutral, Petaluma has achieved zero net carbon emissions both by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and by purchasing carbon offset credits.
- Beautiful Inside and Out: With the right balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fats, Petaluma's ingredients provide both internal and external benefits, improving everything from skin and coat health to inflammation and risk of chronic disease.