Let’s Talk Nutrition for Our Dogs and Cats…

Our goal is to provide the most supportive experience for the animals that stay for boarding, come for grooming, and learn how to be trained. Their well-being is our highest concern.

Dry food is not a healthy option for dogs and it absolutely is not for cats.
Cats are obligate carnivores. They cannot digest and get nutrients from grains or legumes (or plant material, unless it is found in the stomach contents of their prey) and should be fed as such. Feeding dry food to a cat causes cavities in their back molars as well as sets them up for early kidney, liver, and bladder diseases. Cats in the wild get the majority of their water content from the muscle and organ meat of their prey.
Dogs who are fed a fresh food diet, whether raw or lightly cooked, have found to be much healthier and live longer than dogs fed a dry food diet. In order to process the dry food bits, the original ingredients have to cooked at such a high temperature that all the nutrition is cooked out. Then, after the fact, synthetic vitamins and fats are sprayed on the bits and food coloring is added. Contrary to popular belief, dry food does not clean teeth. Imaging eating a box of cookies. Do your teeth feel clean afterwards? With this in mind, we no longer offer our own dry food while boarding cats or dogs. If your dog or cat eats a dry food diet at home, please bring it while your furry stays with us.

We are happy to consult with you on how to feed a fresh food diet to your dog and/or cat.

​​Dogs are carnivores who do best on raw muscle meat, organ meats like heart and liver, raw bones, and (optionally) a little bit of well cooked vegetables, fresh fruits such as berries, watermelon, or banana, and occasionally a bit of soaked and slow-cooked grains (but not too much). We sell Marty’s Meals for dogs and cats who board with us, and we also sell raw meaty bones by the pound.

Dog food manufacturers (and many vets who sell kibble) want you to believe that their product is better for your dog, but it is simply not true. It may be more convenient, but it is NOT healthier for their teeth and gums or their vitality. But wait? Doesn’t feeding kibble to my dog keep their teeth clean? Kibble to a dog is like eating a cookie to a human. If you eat a box of cookies, do your teeth feel clean? Mine don’t. That’s the first myth. The second is that kibble, (whether it is a $4 bag or a $80 bag) by design, is a highly processed non-food whereby the process to extrude the small shapes takes all the nutrition and vitality out of the food. Then, flavoring and nutrients (that have been processed out) must be added back in. Yuck.

Take a moment and look at your dog or cat’s teeth, especially those molars in the back. If you are feeding kibble, there is a very good chance that you will find tarter and possibly even bleeding gums. That is not a healthy animal. Sure, you can pay a vet to put your dog (or cat) under anesthesia to clean those teeth (and pay $$$) OR, you can feed a species appropriate diet that will be nutritious whole food without the need for sprayed on flavoring and synthetic supplements. Feeding kibble to your dog is like eating fast food, every day, without the benefit of a toothbrush.

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their biology, tooth structure, and digestion are only able to process meat and fat. No vegetables, no fruit, and especially no grains. A mouse is the perfect ratio of meat and fat to bone to fiber that a cat can eat. Cats lack the salivary amalyse enzyme to digest carbohydrates. Plant-based proteins do not contain the full spectrum of amino acids (the building blocks of protein), and cats need them to thrive. In addition, cats do not have a high thirst-response; which means that they obtain the majority of their water intake in the form of their prey. So cats fed a dry kibble diet typically will not make up for the lack of moisture by drinking enough water, which in turn leads to serious consequences down the road, including kidney and urinary tract issues. Even feeding a high-quality canned food is preferred, as the canned food has a higher moisture content.

For more information on how to feed your cat a proper biological-appropriate diet, check out:
Cat Info Common Sense, Healthy Cats by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM
Feline-Nutrition A wealth of information on the care and feeding of your feline

Kibble is a convenience food. Convenient for the humans, but at what cost?


Black Mesa Kennels, LLC
(505) 753-9530 phone
Toll Free (855) 787-4420 fax