Ever wonder what’s in your dog’s food? I did and it launched a new career!

Posted on September 09 2022

While feeding my dog, Remy his twice daily ration of Purina, I couldn’t help but notice the laundry list of ingredients on the can and it hit me. Was he eating right? I like to think I watch what I eat. I try to avoid red meat. Could I be better about feeding my dog? 

  • I took to the internet. There’s a wealth of information related to healthy dog diets. Arguments for and against raw diets, diets rich in protein, whole grains vs grain-free diets. Hundreds of studies. The one concept most researchers and nutritionists agree on – a natural diet supplemented by the vitamins and minerals dogs need, is the best way forward.
  • Bad for us, bad for them. Over the last ten years it seems a trend has taken shape in the pet food industry, the humanization of dog food. Feeding our pets what we, ourselves consume and avoiding harmful ingredients along the way.

Take gluten, for example. In the standard kibble/dry food diet, gluten is used as a binder. But dogs, like humans can develop allergies and experience severe digestive distress.

Corn syrup, yes, corn syrup can be found in several popular dog foods and just like in humans causes spikes in blood sugar, weight gain and diabetes.

Sodium Nitrite is used as an approved preservative, giving dog foods shelf-stability. But it’s been linked to cancer.

  • Premium pet foods, are they worth the price? A lot of foods claim to be super premium, but before you buy, I would encourage you to do some research. The Clinical Nutrition Team at Tufts University Veterinary School, widely thought to be the top vet school in the country, did an excellent job breaking it down. Side note: I would also encourage you to read their thoughts on dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), a rare, but deadly heart condition, the cause of which is still being debated. This could be linked to grain-free diets.
  • Where to turn? I gave into a popular, all-natural food, widely advertised, supposedly tailored to Remy’s weight, energy level, age and breed. A safe alternative to his kibble diet, the food arrived monthly, but frozen solid and left me no place for my smoothies and other frozen human food. Yes, convenience is important to me. Searching for an alternative and with no desire to cook every meal for Remy, I decided to undergo what would be three years of R&D that led to Top Shelf Dog, a shelf-stable, what most would say, super-premium food with four simple ingredients that requires ZERO prep and doesn’t have to be refrigerated or frozen. The food is not cheap, but it is legit. My dog, Remy, along with every dog who tested it, went crazy for it. No artificial preservatives, no nitrites, no gluten. Ok. That’s as close to a product pitch as I’ll ever get.

Chip Bergstrom

CEO/Co-founder

Top Shelf Dog