Why Wholesome Ingredients Matter to your Dog

The whole foods movement is gaining traction as more people become aware of the importance of whole, unprocessed ingredients for their health. The same principle applies to our best friends and companions! We want every dog to enjoy a long and healthy life. The right food not only nourishes our pups physically but also improves their quality of life and emotional wellbeing. That’s why Bernie’s formulas are always made with wholesome ingredients that are never processed or genetically modified. Our locally sourced dog food contains no fillers and preservatives - just pure, simple, and true ingredients. Each ingredient has a  purpose. This is no surprise if you find in the ingredient list several superfoods, like cod liver, kelp  or fresh eggs. Our gentle proprietary process unlocks  bioactives packed with functional properties.


It all starts with functional food

The term functional food  was first coined in Japan in the early ‘80s. Functional food science has gained momentum recently in response to changing health concerns. In a nutshell, a functional food is a food that provides health benefits beyond the basic nutritional impact it has. Functional foods  promote health and reduce disease, when consumed regularly and at effective amounts. The food contains biologically-active compounds  either naturally or when processed in specific conditions. Those bioactives provide a health benefit for the prevention, management , or treatment of chronic disease.


Healthier Digestion

A healthy dog needs a healthy digestive system.  It means providing a clean, well controlled source of unprocessed fibers.  Did you know that most commercial pet food brands do not contain significant  levels of the “healthy” ingredients they advertise? Even the large protein contents advertised in dried foods are packed in bulk and not easily digestible. The dry kibbles are primarily made of a large amount of grain and already heavily processed animal meals. To ensure all the ingredients  stay uniformly together,  they are re-heated at high temperature. And then re-dried before being covered with a flavor agent to encourage  eating. This leads to a large amount of  stools of undigested food and in too many cases, some health conditions and chronic diseases. Our dogs deserve better than food  their  digestive system  does not process well. 

Bernie’s goal is to bring together simple ingredients to create excellent recipes our customers can trust. We use MSC-certified Cod, Wild Alaska Pollock, Beef and pork liver, and fresh eggs as the protein sources for all of our wet food formulas. But we also use ingredients from the vegetable world, like kelp, a plant packed with beta glucans or Jerusalem artichoke, containing inulin. This means less frequent, softer, and smaller stools because they’re digesting and properly processing the nutrients from the food! 


Better Skin & Fur

It’s very common for dogs to suffer from skin issues such as frequent rashes, dry coats, or itching. The type of food they consume  plays a role in maintaining a healthy coat and reducing shedding. While food allergies can play a role, fillers like corn, wheat, and soy found in most dry food may cause dry skin and a dull coat. 

Bernie’s makes fresh food with whole ingredients packed with protein, healthy fat, vitamins, and minerals to maintain healthy skin and fur. To take it a step further, Bernie’s crafted Beauty Oil, specifically designed to deliver nutrients and promote coat health and beauty, reduces itchy and flaky skin, and helps relieve allergies.


Sustainable Nutrition

Sustainability is more important than ever given current global conditions. While most humans are making the switch to locally sourced, sustainably farmed ingredients, the same expectations are not being met in the dog food industry. Unsustainable farming practices, emissions from transportation, and processing harm the environment and your dog’s long-term health. The point of eating sustainably is to eat healthy while ensuring that future generations can do the same. 

At Bernie’s, we prepare all our recipes in our Seattle cookhouse using only fresh, human-grade ingredients - never processed. Located in the heart of the city’s Industrial District, Bernie’s benefits from fantastic sources of fresh fish, from Sole to Pacific Mackerel, wild Alaska salmon, or cod liver. Our fish is human-grade and frozen at sea right after being caught to keep its freshness intact. Our products are made in small batches and are minimally processed to ensure food safety and keep all the nutritional value of these fresh ingredients.


Emotional Wellbeing

A dog’s microbiome can influence their feelings and behavior. When their gut is not healthy, it can translate to anxiety and stress. Some symptoms may display as gut health issues, including picky eating, excessive barking, restless sleep, hyperactivity, and compulsive biting. Mental health is imperative to keep your furry best friend happy. 

To care for the functional well being of your pet, Bernie’s has formulated Recovery Bone Broth. This formula is a robust and rejuvenating beverage packed with minerals, amino acids, glucosamine, and many more valuable nutrients. Bernie’s whole food formulas constrain nootropics such as turmeric that boost brain performance for humans and dogs. Pure Velvet and Ô Puppy formulas support cognition, mental acuity and prevent lack of playfulness 


Joint Health

Many dogs, especially as they age, start to have problems with their joints and can develop osteoarthritis- even at a relatively young age. Poor nutrition can be a cause of joint diseases. Therefore it is essential to feed them the proper combination of nutrients. Lean proteins from grass-fed animals support stronger muscles and long-term joint health. Bernie’s formulas only use pasture-raised, human-grade beef liver locally sourced in Washington State from farmers who care and maintain high animal welfare standards.  We also make our pasture-raised beef broth (used in the Pure Velvet Recipe) with 100% human-grade ingredients. The formula's high content is cold -water fish also contribute significantly to joint health due to their EPA and DHA  omega 3s high content.

These are just five of the main reasons why wholesome ingredients matter to your dog. Bernie’s firmly believes that as our greatest companions, dogs deserve the best food on the market. There’s a reason they always want table food, so why not offer them the same level of quality explicitly built to nourish them inside and out. No need to read the fine print; Bernie’s is pure, simple, and true. 

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