Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Feeding Your Furry Friends with Care

Nearly a decade ago my husband and I welcomed our first child — a 70+ pound Lab. He was two years old, yellow and beautiful. We proudly paraded him around the neighborhood, showered him with affection and took care in choosing just the right food. No mystery nuggets for this guy.

Not surprisingly we aren’t the only one who feels this way. About 79% of pet owners consider the quali­ty of pet food to be as important as the qual­ity of human food, according to Mintel market research. So while many of us are committed to eating better, why shouldn’t we take a closer look at what we’re feeding our pets, too?

I’m excited about this new line of pet foods, available only at Whole Foods Market. We’ve been hard at work to offer options made with organic and responsibly sourced proteins you can feel good about feeding to your furry friends. That’s why we are proud to offer Tender & True, a brand new line of premium wet and dry pet food. It raises the bar by being:

  • The first and only pet food line to offer fully USDA Organic certified dry dog and cat food choices
  • The first and only pet food line made with animal proteins from farms that have been certified to the 5-Step® Animal Welfare Rating System
  • The first multi-ingredient line made with only Marine Stewardship Council (MCS) certified-sustainable seafood

The first ingredient in every can or bag of Tender & True is animal protein. In fact, all Tender & True offerings are made without grain, soy, or corn and are made from animals raised without antibiotics. Plus, all Tender & True offerings are produced in the US.

Just like all of the food sold at Whole Foods Market stores, our pet foods must meet strict quality standards, which means no artificial flavors, colorings, preservatives or sweeteners.

Tender & True is available only at Whole Foods Market stores in the US. Prices vary by location. Look for these Tender & True wet and dry formulas at your local store:

For Dogs

  • Organic Chicken & Liver Dry Dog Formula
  • Organic Chicken & Liver Wet Formula
  • Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Dog Formula
  • Turkey & Brown Rice Dry Dog Formula
  • Chicken & Brown Rice Wet Dog Formula
  • Turkey & Brown Rice Wet Dog Formula

For Cats

  • Organic Chicken & Liver Wet Cat Formula
  • Organic Chicken & Liver Dry Cat Formula
  • Chicken & Brown Rice Dry Cat Formula
  • Turkey & Brown Rice Dry Cat Formula
  • Ocean Whitefish & Potato Dry Cat Formula
  • Chicken & Brown Rice Wet Cat Formula
  • Turkey & Brown Rice Wet Cat Formula
  • Ocean Whitefish & Potato Wet Cat Formula

Transitioning to New Food

If you’re transitioning to a new pet food, Dr. Jennifer Larsen, a board-certified veterinary nutrition specialist at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, recommends making the switch over at least 7-10 days. For dogs, it often works best to simply mix the new food into the old food in gradually increasing amounts. For example, for the first couple of days, reduce the old food by about 25% of the volume, replacing it with the same amount of the new food. If that goes well, increase the mixture to half and half, and so on until the transition is complete.

Cats, and some finicky dogs, may be more resistant to diet changes, especially if they have been fed only one type of food for a long time. In this case, Dr. Larsen advises using a two bowl approach rather than mixing the foods together. At mealtime, offer a small amount of the new food in a shallow, clean bowl or plate. Once the cat has investigated — and hopefully tasted — the new food, offer the rest of the meal in a different bowl. Gradually increase the amount offered of the new food while decreasing the amount of the old food until the transition is complete. It’s very important to be sure that your cat is eating any new food well and regularly, since skipping several meals can make a cat very ill.

Does the ingredient list in your dog or cat’s food matter to you? Tell me about it