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Pinto Canyon FAQ

And if you can't find it here, please call 1-866-236-5102 or email CustomerService@FlintRiver.com!

Cat Food FAQ   Dog Food FAQ

Who is Pinto Canyon?
Has Pinto Canyon pet food ever been recalled?
How is Pinto Canyon pet food stored?
What is the shelf life?
Do Pinto Canyon Recipes have corn, wheat, or soy?
Why don't we add yucca schidigera extract to our recipes?
Why oven-bake? Why not extrude like everyone else?
Why is a single meat protein important?
Why is protein quality more important than quantity?
Are any ingredients from China?
Where are Pinto Canyon ingredients from?
Why don't you have colorful plastic bags, zipper enclosures, and a flashy website?
Is Pinto Canyon pet food the same as Flint River Ranch?
Who or what is AAFCO?


Who is Pinto Canyon? Return to Top

Our passion is to bake all-natural foods for pets, just like the Flint River Ranch pet food we served for 20 years, because we watched pets thrive on our foods. We use the same all-natural baking process, all-natural preservatives, and the best ingredients we can find. We store it carefully in climate-controlled warehouses. We test thoroughly and publish the results. We ship directly to your door; our foods don't sit on retail shelves so you know your pet's food is fresh. The competition is fierce; they can extrude poor-quality ingredients in enormous batches at low cost. We really are a small family-owned business providing the best for pets. Read more about Pinto Canyon.


Has Pinto Canyon pet food ever been recalled? Return to Top

Pinto Canyon pet food has never been recalled. Our baking facility is inspected and certified per Food Safety System Certification 22000 (FSSC22000), Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), FDA, and EU. Most importantly, no Pinto Canyon foods, or any foods baked at our baking facility have ever been recalled in over 20 years of baking pet food!

You won't find Pinto Canyon on this list: FDA List of Pet Food Recalls


How is Pinto Canyon pet food stored? Return to Top

We ask that you store Pinto Canyon pet food carefully. We do too. Pinto Canyon pet food is always stored in climate-controlled conditions.


What is the shelf life? Return to Top

See Storage and Shelf Life.


Do Pinto Canyon Recipes have corn, wheat, or soy? Return to Top

No, none of our recipes have corn, wheat, or soy.


Why don't we add yucca schidigera extract to our recipes? Return to Top

Yucca schidigera extract (YSE) is so common in pet foods that it's often accepted without consideration. We questioned it, and based on our research we won't add it to our recipes.

What is yucca schidigera extract? Yucca schidigera is not the same as the ingredient used in human foods that we're familiar with. The "yuca" ingredient used in human foods is of the Manihot genus, and is commonly used to make tapioca. Yucca schidigera is of the Yucca genus, and is a flowering desert plant used by Native Americans to make rope, sandals, and cloth.

Pet food companies typically claim that YSE controls stool odor; for example, Fromm claims, "Yucca extract supplies generous quantities of vitamins and minerals that can help support the immune system and metabolic functions throughout the body. In addition, it is thought to aid in the control of stool and urine odors."

The study that's most-commonly cited to support the claim of reducing stool odor is The ameliorating effect of Yucca schidigera extract on canine and feline faecal aroma.

The reasons our recipes don't include Yucca schidigera extract are:

1. No studies conclude that YSE is safe for long-term use, in humans or cats and dogs. (Web MD: Yucca Side Effects & Safety)

2. No studies demonstrate health improvements in cats and dogs fed YSE for prolonged periods. For example, this articles states, "The efficacy of yucca schidigera added to petfoods will also depend on type of preparation and food composition, but no solid conclusions are possible."

3. Blood urea increased significantly in YSE-treated cats. Increased urea is a serious concern! (Pet MD: Kidney Failure and Excess Urea in the Urine in Cats) Is prolonged ingestion of YSE the reason renal failure is so common in cats?

4. Some saponins are toxic to cats or dogs. For a list of plants that are toxic due to their saponin content, see Saponins Toxicity in Dogs "If you suspect your dog has chewed on a plant that contains saponins, contact your veterinarian right away."

YSE contains significant amounts of saponins. Is this OK for your pet?

5. Supplements should be fed at the direction of your veterinarian. This allows you to control the dosage and monitor the results, which is the most effective way to address your pet's needs.

6. YSE may contain arsenic, lead, mold, and other undesirable ingredients. The data sheet of commonly-used YSE additives are below. (Also note that none show any vitamin content.)

But what about the stool odor? Control stool odor naturally. Feed a high-quality, balanced, natural diet of Pinto Canyon Pet Food, and excess fecal or urine odor won't be an issue in the first place.

High quality food fed to a healthy cat or dog will be properly digested and stool odor will be normal — normal size, firm, and not stinky. Probiotics ensure that the digestive tract stays healthy and prevents proliferation of "bad" bacteria. Feed a healthy, all-natural food with premium quality ingredients, and a daily probiotic.


Why oven-bake? Why not extrude like everyone else? Return to Top

An effective cooking method is essential to ensure that the nutrients in our premium ingredients are assimilated—not expelled as waste. The cooking method directly affects the digestibility and absorption of proteins and carbohydrates, the vitamin and mineral retention, and the conversion of starch to sugars. Oven-baking ensures maximum utilization of our high-quality ingredients!

For over 20 years, our customers continually report fewer health issues, reduced vet bills, alleviation of allergy symptoms, and increased vitality and well-being after feeding their pets our oven-baked foods. This feedback, together with the good health and vitality of our own pets speaks for itself.

Most pet food is extruded—a method of cooking with high temperatures over a short time, forcing ingredients through a die to create the desired shape. Extrusion is faster and cheaper than old-fashioned baking, and is more efficient for mass production of a very consistent product; however, it affects starches, nutrients, proteins, and vitamins in ways that baking doesn't, making the food more difficult to digest, and even changing the structure of proteins, which may trigger allergic symptoms.

Our kibbles move slowly through multiple ovens at precise temperatures. This gentle process protects the vitamins and minerals and maintains the integrity of the ingredients while enhancing the aroma and taste. The resulting crunchy, yet light morsel has varying textures and colors due to the natural process of cooking—just like when you bake cookies at home!

Read more about our baking process.


Why is a single meat protein important? Return to Top

A single meat protein in each recipe is important because the meat protein molecule is a relatively large molecule and is often responsible for food sensitivies. Having a single meat protein, along with a limited variety of the major ingredients, is also referred to as a "Limited Ingredient" diet. Being able to feed one meat protein at a time is tremendously helpful in determining which protein is best for your pet, especially pets with allergies. It also allows for rotation of ingredients so that your pet doesn't develop allergies, which can happen if they eat the same ingredients repeatedly.


Why is protein quality more important than quantity? Return to Top

Quality, bioavailability, and digestibility of proteins are more important than the amount of "crude protein" shown on the label. Toenails and beaks have protein, but are not nutritious!

The Guaranteed Analysis on pet food labels shows the amount of "crude protein" — the meaning may surprise you! Crude protein is an estimate derived from the amount of nitrogen in the food. The amount of nitrogen is then multiplied by a constant which yields an estimate of total protein. The problem with this estimate is that it includes nitrogen from all sources, which may be low-quality protein sources, such as beaks, and even non-protein nitrogen sources, such as melamine! (This is how melamine escaped detection in 2007; it falsly showed as a protein source! FDA: Melamine Pet Food Recall of 2007)

Protein is made up of amino acids. Essential amino acids can't be created by the body and must be obtained through diet; non-essential amino acids can be manufactured within the body as long as the diet is otherwise adequate. The protein quality of a food is determined by how closely the ratio of essential amino acids in the food matches the requirement, and by how easily the protein is digested and utilized within the body.

A veterinarian explains it well in the article, The Dangers of High Protein Dog Foods, on Pet MD:

"Proteins are the building blocks of the body and an absolute necessity for daily function. However, when a dog consumes too much protein in a meal it cannot all be utilized at one time, nor can it be stored for later. The body will then excrete the excess protein through the kidneys and out of the body via urine. Thus the quality of the protein actually becomes more important that than actual amount as a high quality protein is more bioavailable and can be better absorbed by the body."

We select only high-quality, highly-digestible meat, poultry, or fish as the main ingredient in each of our recipes.


Are any ingredients from China? Return to Top

We don't use ingredients from China primarily because of the recalls of 2007: thousands of pets died because ingredients from China were tainted with the toxic chemical melamine; when tested for protein, melamine falsely shows as a protein because of its high nitrogen content, so products appeared to have high levels of protein when it was actually melamine (FDA: Melamine Pet Food Recall of 2007).

Many pet food companies use supplements from China, but still claim, "No ingredients from China." They can make this claim because the FDA doesn't consider vitamins and minerals to be "ingredients."


Where are Pinto Canyon pet food ingredients from? Return to Top

All of our ingredients are from the USA and Canada, with the exception of our free-range, grass-fed lamb, which is from New Zealand, our tapioca, which is from Thailand, and our wild-caught Pacific Salmon, which is from the clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. Our vitamins and minerals are from the USA!


Why don't you have colorful plastic bags, zipper enclosures, and a flashy website with a lot of ads? Return to Top

Our goal is to provide high quality, safe nutrition for pets with the least environmental impact, and the ultimate convenience to you! Plastic bags are more expensive than paper, and do not decompose; artwork for plastic bags is expensive and just gets thrown away; while zipper enclosures are convenient, they are expensive; flashy websites are annoying and slow. Google ranks our site loading time as "Excellent"—we think that's important for busy shoppers! We focus on quality and convenience. Our website is easy to use, and chock-full of information.

"I love your site because it's clear and succinct. It is the BEST site that I'm acquainted with to order." Carolyn H.


Is Pinto Canyon pet food the same as Flint River Ranch? Return to Top
We sold Flint River Ranch pet foods for 19 years. We became passionate about serving pets the best food possible! The tremendous amount of positive feedback helped convince us that oven-baked food is the only food we'll feed our pets, and the only food we'll feed yours.

Pinto Canyon recipes have the qualities our pets loved about Flint River Ranch foods, and are even better!

Read more here: Compare to Flint River Ranch


Who or what is AAFCO? Return to Top

AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, sets the nutritional standards for all pet food sold in the U.S. This organization has a tremendous impact on your pet's food. *All* manufacturers of pet food *must* comply with nutritional standards established by AAFCO. Look at the bottom of your pet food bag. To be legally sold in the U.S. as a complete and balanced meal, the package must state that it meets the AAFCO nutritional requirements, either by measure or by feeding trials. This is the most important statement on the bag.

It's interesting that AAFCO provides separate nutrient profiles for puppies, pregnant or nursing bitches, and adults, but not for different breeds, sizes, weight loss, or other "varieties" of food that are available. All dog foods sold in the U.S. meet these same nutrient profiles established by AAFCO, and required by the FDA.


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