We all know that preparing healthy meals is one of the most important things we can do to take care of our family members, but how many of us consider our furry family members when it comes to making meals? Founder of Lucky Dog Cuisine, Dr. Janice Elenbaas, tells us she has never known anything different. Her mother had been preparing their dogs’ meals for as long as she can remember. Dr. Elenbaas has not only carried on the tradition, but she has created an empire out of it.
Originally from Canada, Dr. Elenbaas moved to South Carolina to “get away from Canadian winters”! When she was at the beginning stages of starting her business, Dr. Elenbaas found a local butcher for her cooking trials. Curious, her butcher asked her what she was doing with “all this meat”, and when she told him about her business concept, he offered to sell her dog meals in his shop. People would exclaim, “lucky dog” whenever they would hear about the ingredients being used in the dog meals, and so the name of the company was born and Lucky Dog Cuisine is now in its 14th successful year. (at the time of compiling this article)
History was made in that little butcher shop and while it looks like an overnight success, Dr. Elenbaas tells us it wasn’t without its challenges. “We were the first one to bring fresh dog food to the market. People said it wouldn’t work. There was no online shopping then and it was hard to get financing, but we persevered.” Expanding far beyond that little butcher shop, Dr. Elenbaas’ daughter takes care of their Canadian customers, managing a branch in Ontario, soon to move to a larger space, while Dr. Elenbaas runs the South Carolina location. All their pet meals are shipped from their facilities right to your door.
Dr. Elenbaas’ strong background in chiropractic, along with animal physiology and nutrition has helped her formulate some of the healthiest pet meals on the market, using ingredients such as grass-fed beef, vegetables, flax seeds, and quinoa, to name a few. “We used to use Peruvian quinoa but I liked the idea of using a Canadian product. NorQuin’s quality is similar and the shipping costs are much lower.”
Dr. Elenbaas doesn’t like to call it “dog food” at all, but rather “food for dogs”. To further make her point that Lucky Dog meals are perfectly fine for humans, she appears on television interviews, she comes equipped with a sample and fork for the interviewer to try a bite or two. In addition, Dr. Elenbaas’ husband ate Lucky Dog meals daily for a month while they were raising awareness for dog cancer, which is often caused by pets’ diets.
“Know that you’re doing a good thing when you feed your dog fresh cooked food. Any fresh cooked dog food is better than kibble,” explains Dr. Elenbaas, “because the vitamins and nutrients get damaged in the industrial cooking process. These vitamins are then added back in. It’s the most unnatural food you can give your dog. It’s hard on their kidneys.”
“Cooking for your pet is not the same as giving your pet table scraps. There are things to consider, such as keeping meals balanced, making sure the carb to protein ratio is correct. It’s also important to avoid common allergens that pets have toward certain foods, such as onions, avocado, and certain nuts,” Dr. Elenbaas explains.
“Dogs’ lives are being cut short by about 18% and that is mainly due to their diets. I feel it is a huge responsibility to care for our dogs,” Dr. Elenbaas , “Control what you can control. Food is one of the things you can control.”
Most people find a significant change in their pets’ demeanor, as well as improved skin conditions and more when they switch from dry kibble to fresh cooked dog food. If you would like to see for yourself what a blend of quinoa, fresh meat, non-GMO vegetables and more can do for your beloved furry family member, you’re in luck because Lucky Dog Cuisine has a special on their fresh pet food packages which you can find here.
Article by Chris Wood, Customer Service