A new wellness dog kitchen opened in Lincoln Park, solving pets' health problems with a whole foods diet.
At the newly opened Just Food for Dogs, there is a huge kitchen where they make whole food meals onsite, using vegetables, potatoes and protein. Workers noted some recipes contain grains, which have recently come under fire for use in dog food.
“We believe that the healthiest way to feed your dog is with a lightly cooked whole food diet," founder Shawn Buckley said.
Five-year-old Liam, an Irish Terrier, has never had any digestive issues, according to his owner, Lisa Hendler, who attributes his health to eating a whole foods diet.
Hendler said she saw the impact it had on her previous dog who had bad allergies.
“He was chewing his feet raw and we couldn’t figure it out. So, my vet and I got together and started to educate ourselves, and we switched him to whole foods," Hendler said. "Within a month, the itching was gone.”
While new to Chicago, Just Food for Dogs is 10 years old with many locations around the country.
“By making the transformation to real food, you see the same transformation in their health that you would in a person that goes from a processed diet to real food," Dr. Oscar Chavez, the company's Chief Medical Officer, said.
The pet food industry has historically been dominated by kibble and canned food, which Buckley and Chavez did not promote. However, the two admitted that a whole foods diet is more expensive.
Buckley and Chavez recommended that pet owners consult a veterinarian to find the best plan.
And if feeding your dog a whole food diet is not in your budget,
“They should not feel that they are doing their dog any disservice by feeding them a high quality completely balanced dry dog food that’s been approved by their veterinarian,” Dr. Jerry Klein, American Kennel Club Chief Medical Officer, said.
Just Food for Dogs also makes cat food.