Carna4 has a lower carcinogen load – Cancer-causing carcinogens are produced when foods are cooked at high temperatures. While most kibbles are cooked between 230-350 degrees for as long as 30 minutes at a time and sometimes up to 4 times (Rendering, drying, extrusion and drying again). Carna4 is cooked once, at only 190 degrees for only 4 minutes.
Carna4 does not use synthetics – Synthetic Vitamin/Mineral Premixes are sold with skull and crossbones on them* and are contaminated with heavy metals. In order to be compliant with AAFCO suggested nutrient minimums, most companies add this inexpensive and potentially dangerous premix. Rather than using synthetics, Carna4 achieves nutritional adequacy with whole foods and regularly laboratory tests their products to validate that their vitamin and mineral levels exceed AAFCO suggested nutrient minimums. Further, Carna4 lab tests to prove probiotic and enzyme survivorship after manufacture (good luck finding another kibble or dehydrated company that does that).
Carna4 does not denature their ingredients – Products that are condemned for human food consumption due to toxicity, contamination or other problems must be denatured by law. Denaturing is usually done with a blend of Coal Tar, Carbolic Acid, Citronella, Red 40, Blue 1, Blue 2, and Yellow 5. Denaturing is mandatory so ingredients used for denaturing are not required to be put on the label and in most cases, companies will not actually even know which denaturing agent is used in their own products. Carna4 uses safe, quality ingredients that are not denatured.
Carna4 has a lower antinutrient load than other brands of kibble – All grains (corn, wheat, soy, etc), non-grain binders (peas, lentils, tapioca, etc) and even many vegetables (spinach, brussel sprouts, etc) contain anti-nutrients, which prevent the absorption of important vitamins and minerals – potentially causing disease over time (DCM/Heart Disease, leaky gut, pancreatitis, etc). Laboratory analysis of Phytic Acid done by KnowYourPetFood.org showed that whether the product contains grains or grain alternatives, all tested kibbles contained an astounding average of 5% Phytic Acid. Carna4 sprouts their base ingredient, reducing their antinutrient load and increasing the absorbability of nutrients.
Carna4 has never had a recall – Dry kibble foods are the only pet food products to have caused CDC regulated outbreaks in which humans got sick from handling a pet food.** This is due to poor quality sourcing and inadequate cleanliness of the facility. Carna4 has never had a recall, sources cleaner meats and other ingredients, and keeps their facility clean.
Cost – In order for dry kibble products to be inexpensive they must cut corners in order to be widely available and inexpensive for the consumer. Carna4 appears more expensive but is not as bad as you might think due to its nutrient density, especially when considering the health of your pet. Carna4 is the only kibble brand (that we’ve found) with the qualities listed above.
22lb - $130.00
Calories/cup – 500
Cups/pkg – 107
Cost/month (50lb dog) - $72.90/mo
Open Farm Chicken 24lb - $78.99
Calories/cup – 436
Cups/pkg – 89
Cost/month (50lb dog) - $61.23/mo
30lb - $144.00
Calories/cup – 544
Cups/pkg – 60
Cost/month (50lb dog) - $100.70/mo
Taste of the Wild High Prairie 28lb $48.99 –
Calories/cup – 370
Cups/pkg – 128
Cost/month (50lb dog) - $31.01/mo
Also, when considering cost, compare the cost of what you’re purchasing to the cost of you making the same product. Imagine if you purchased the least expensive chicken, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, eggs, tomato pomace, pea protein powder, blueberries, raspberries, and supplements. In order to dehydrate the ingredients down to 10% (max) moisture you would have to start with a minimum of 100lbs of fresh food in order to make 25lbs of dry food. Would you be able to source 100lbs of quality ingredients in order to make 25lbs of kibble for less than $80? Further, would you be able to do it AND make a profit, pay for advertising, pay for shipping, give a distributor a fee and leave room for a retailer to make a profit on it, too? *** The answer is no.
** (2007, 2008 and 2012 – all Diamond and Mars Brand Products - understand dirty pet food manufacturing facilities at https://truthaboutpetfood.com/millions-of-roaches-with-no-regulatory-enforcement/)
***Walmart Chicken Drumsticks, 5lbs - $4.76, Perdue Chicken Livers, 20oz - $1.79, Walmart Sweet Potatoes, 3lb - $2.64, WebstaurantStore Whole Green Peas, 20lbs - $15.49, Target Russet Potatoes, 8lbs - $4.19, Target Grade A Large Eggs, 30ct (1.9lbs) - $2.29, Augason Farms Dehydrated Tomato Pomace, 3.6lbs - $28.66, Pea Protein Isolate Powder, 2.2lbs - $17.99, Azure Standard Blueberries, 30lbs - $11.76, Azure Market Raspberries, 5lbs - $25.72, and Walmart Pro Sense Vitamin Solutions, 90ct, $4.98
With only 25% meat (though it should be 75%+), and 75% “filler” this blend would still cost at least $138.26/mo. It prioritizes only cost and does not attempt to get chemical or hormone free products – it is also not a nutritionally complete or balanced diet. Further, it does not, of course, include the costs incurred by manufacturers such as advertising, shipping, distribution fees, etc.
Carna4 is able to purchase in bulk, thus reducing their costs – but they also don’t advertise much and have small margins.