Our Most Frequently Asked Questions
If there is a question we didn't answer, please feel free to contact us. We are here for you.
1. Do you have a shop?
We do not have a "shop", however, our farm customer service area is open for pick ups on Friday afternoons, and on some weekends. We are very flexible with visiting or picking up orders in the afternoon, but please make arrangements with us so we don't miss you. Just call, text, or email to let us know when you'd like to come. We hand-craft Napa Fresh on Thursdays, so pickup and delivery day is Friday, but other arrangements can also be made, including evenings. We also deliver every Friday to Camp Curious Canine in Fitchburg, our favorite doggie day care center and training facility.
2. Are you licensed and registered?
Yes, we are registered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, inspected, and have all the required permits to produce Napa Fresh right here at Highmeadow Farm.
3. Can I buy your products anywhere else?
No, our products are only available at Highmeadow Farm, pre-ordered through this web site. You can also pre-order and have it delivered every Friday to Camp Curious Canine in Fitchburg.
4. Will my veterinarian approve of Napa Fresh? Is it "complete and balanced"?
Mostly, veterinarians are unduly concerned with bacteria. Read what four well-known and respected veterinarians who support fresh raw feeding have to say about it here. Just scroll down to the Low Risk of Bacteria section.
Our fresh raw food is veterinarian formulated and veterinarian recommended. Some veterinarians refer their patients to us. Some vets approve, some don't. The ones that don't fully support a fresh raw diet happen mostly because they just don't know about fresh feeding and the myriad of benefits for many dogs. Many veterinarians will tell you that they received little or no nutritional training in school, and if they did, it was funded by one of the national dog food companies, who take waste and feed grade ingredients, turn it into dog food, and make a fortune on it through less-than-honest marketing tactics that all dog owners have fallen for at one time or another, us included. Also, for some veterinarians who do support the concept and know about the benefits, it may be unwise for them to recommend a home made diet because, for many dog owners, it's just not that easy to do it at home correctly, and imbalances and the risk of mis-handled food can cause more harm than good. Yes there are books out there, some good, some bad, and some written by lay people with no clinical experience. In any case, it's at least part time job to do it right. So, it is understandable when some vets don't approve, and why buying fresh dog food from a known and reputable source can make all the difference. That's where we come in.
Some veterinarians might object because we are not labeled "complete and balanced" according to the AAFCO guidelines. Napa Fresh is labeled "supplement", but don't let that deter you. Dr. Billinghurst teaches that as long as a dog is getting a variety of proteins and vegetables according to the formulas he shares, that over time, Napa Fresh would be considered complete and balanced. That is the reason we created 7 different recipes. Dr. Becker's own recipes mimic Dr. Billinghurst's recipes, and she assures that they are complete and balanced. The proof is really in the health of your dog. Some of our customers' vets have been astounded at the improved condition of the dogs that were switched to Napa Fresh and have now become believers in fresh, raw feeding. If you have concerns, contact us for the names of integrative veterinarian practices that will support your decision to feed Napa Fresh. Or, like many of our customers, you can also simply let your veterinarian know what you plan to feed, and ask them for an appropriate multi vitamin.
Here's an excerpt from one of Dr. Becker's articles, addressing how precisely the AAFCO determines whether or not a dog food is complete and balanced. It's actually pretty sad.:
"AAFCO also uses feeding tests to standardize pet food formulas.
The protocol for these tests is a six-month feeding trial involving as few as eight test subjects, and the goal is only to determine whether a formula can sustain life in test participants. Only six of the eight animals need to finish the trial, and if weight and certain blood tests are normal, the food is deemed ‘complete and balanced.’
Needless to say, six pets still alive at the end of six months is hardly a ringing endorsement for a ‘complete and balanced’ pet food formula.
These trials are simply not a good measure of a food’s ability to cause nutritional deficiencies or overdoses over a longer period, nor can they demonstrate the food’s impact on longevity, reproduction or multi-generational health."
If one is to believe the feeding trials described, we have passed with flying colors, since our own dogs, 16 of them, have been eating nothing but our fresh raw food for over 6 years, and they are living longer than they ever have in the the 30 plus years we have owned our breed, and are vibrantly healthy! We have weaned three litters on nothing but Napa Fresh and all have grown up without issue.
One of our customers is a veterinarian with six dogs, practicing at a major animal hospital in Boston and has wholeheartedly agreed to act as a reference for other veterinarians and has recommended our food to Susan Thixton, the well-known pet food advocate. Our own veterinarian is the one who gave his "blessing" for us to make Napa Fresh to begin with, and our favorite integrative vet still gives us good advice about feeding our fresh raw diet, recommends it to his patients, and treats some of our Napa Fresh customers.
If your dog is ill, it may not be a good idea to feed our food raw. It's always best to check with your integrative veterinarian.
5. Can my cat eat Napa Fresh?
Cats need a different ratio of meat to vegetables for ultimate health, and should be fed a fresh diet for all the reasons a fresh diet works for dogs. A cat would be OK temporarily on the raw food formulas for dogs, but, we do make available, on a custom basis, a special order cat formula for you with the proper ratios according to Dr. Billinghurst, just ask. We will have some questions for you about whether or not you want vegetables in your order. Contact us for more information.
5. Can Napa Fresh be cooked?
The healthiest food for dogs and cats is raw, whole, and unprocessed. However, if your dog is ill, or if you simply cannot accept feeding raw food to your dog, then yes, lightly cook it. It is still a healthier option than any commercial pet food available anywhere.