Frequently Asked Questions

About Our Pets' Kitchen

Our Pets’ Kitchen gently cooked real food for dogs and cats is handcrafted in small batches at a commercial kitchen in Oldsmar, Florida. In the near future, we hope to be able to build a commercial kitchen with a retail space where pet parents can visit us, see their pet’s food being made, and buy our products.

Yes, all Our Pets’ Kitchen gently cooked real food recipes for dogs and cats have been nutritionally balanced by Veterinarian Nutritionists and have all the vitamins and minerals your adult pet needs. In addition, all OPK’s dog foods meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance. And, all OPK’s cat foods meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance. Currently, we don’t have recipes balanced for the special needs of puppies and kittens.

AAFCO is the acronym for the Association of American Feed Control Officials. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a voluntary membership association of local, state and federal agencies charged by law to regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies. Although AAFCO has no regulatory authority, the Association provides a forum for the membership and industry representation to achieve three main goals:

  • Safeguarding the health of animals and humans
  • Ensure consumer protection
  • Providing a level playing field of orderly commerce for the animal feed industry

These goals are achieved by developing and implementing uniform and equitable laws, regulations, standards, definitions and enforcement policies for regulating the manufacture, labeling, distribution and sale of animal feeds – resulting in safe, effective and useful feeds by promoting uniformity amongst member agencies. Source: http://www.aafco.org/

Our Pets’ Kitchen gently cooked real food for dogs and cats does not contain any added preservatives, coloring, flavoring, or other additives. There is no meat meal or rendered meat, nor is there meat, vegetable, or grain by-products. OPK food has no carrageenan or other thickening agents. And, no corn or soy. In 2 words – NO JUNK. Our Pets’ Kitchen uses only real food ingredients – USDA inspected and certified meats, vegetables, and fruits, approved for human consumption, the same as you eat.

There is no comparison. Compare our ingredient label to any kibble or canned food ingredient list. Our ingredients are clean, whole, and recognizable. Look at Our Pets’ Kitchen gently cooked real food for dogs and cats next to canned or kibble food. There is a very noticeable difference between the way kibble and canned food looks vs OPK. You can identify the real meats, fruits, and vegetables in Our Pets’ Kitchen food. Which would you rather eat? There simply is no comparison. Here is additional information about kibble and canned pet food:

Real food is just that- USDA meats, vegetables, and fruits, the same as you eat. Many commercial pet food companies are claiming they use real food ingredients. They have multimillion dollar marketing budgets for advertising and show pictures of real foods on their packaging. For example, a “premium” pet food brand was recently involved in a class action suit regarding their misrepresentation of the ingredients they use. Blue Buffalo to Pay $32 Million to Settle Lawsuits by Pet Owners. There is a very noticeable difference between kibble and canned food vs Our Pets’ Kitchen gently cooked real food for dogs and cats. Look at OPK side by side with kibble and canned food. You can identify the real meats, fruits, and vegetables in Our Pets’ Kitchen food.

For additional information about commercial pet foods: Pet Fooled

Gently cooked means we do not overcook Our Pets’ Kitchen ingredients. We cook to the minimum allowable internal temperature for safety. Cooking beyond this would deplete the food of its natural nutritional value. In addition, all our ingredients are cooked in a steamer oven. Steam cooking is the healthiest form of cooking because steaming retains more nutrients, vitamins and minerals than other forms of cooking.

For those who believe in feeding real human foods to pets, there are 2 philosophies, raw and cooked. We applaud any pet parent and any company using only real, human quality ingredients for their pet’s nutrition. Our Pets’ Kitchen philosophy is that gently cooked real meats, vegetables, and fruits is best. As a former nutrition major, I learned about the many harmful microorganisms in raw foods. These parasites and bacteria are harmful to both pets and humans. For example, with a raw diet, if feeding bowls are not cleaned promptly or thoroughly they can cause food poisoning. While we completely understand the raw food philosophy, to feed pets as close to the same food that they ate hundreds or thousands of years ago, the fact is that most raw pet food is made from processed human food, not the same whole raw prey, dogs and cats would have eaten many years ago. In addition, the processing of human foods today leaves our food supply compromised with microorganisms. This is why we choose to cook all the ingredients, except the fruits, in Our Pets’ Kitchen real food for dogs and cats.

Unlike many commercial pet foods with lots of preservatives and a shelf life of up to 5 years, Our Pets’ Kitchen gently cooked real food for dogs and cats has no preservatives and is made with 100% real, human quality food and remains fresh the same amount of time that your own fresh, perishable food lasts. OPK may be kept frozen for up to 6 months or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The 5 day time frame in the refrigerator begins at the time the product has thawed. Long term storage should be in the freezer.

1. Thaw 1 package OPK food.
2. Pour contents of package into a plastic or glass storage container.
3. Feed OPK based on the feeding guidelines on the package.
4. Store in the refrigerator and use within 5 days.

Nutrition & Feeding

Almost all recipes for dog and cat foods that you find online or in books are not balanced and have vitamin and mineral deficiencies. For short term feeding your dog and cat may do fine on these recipes, but in the long term your dog and cat will likely have health problems from nutrient deficiencies.

Each dog and cat is unique in their required caloric intake. Some factors include breed, activity level, age, genetics, and overall health. The recommended feeding guidelines on our product packages and website are just that, guidelines. We recommend keeping a close eye on your pet’s weight and weigh them frequently. For information about how to weigh your pet see Pet Weight

If your pet is a healthy weight, and they begin to gain weight, feed the next lower amount listed on the feeding chart. If they begin to lose weight, increase the feeding amount to the next higher amount listed on the feeding guidelines. We feed one of our cats based on the 5 pound feeding guideline, even though she weighs a healthy 8 pounds, based on her petite frame, otherwise she gains weight.

Also, if your pet is overweight, start to gradually decrease the amount fed, to the amount recommended for the weight she/he should weigh. See Pet Weight for additional information and resources.

If you have any question about the amount to feed your pet, please contact us and we are happy to help.

No, you shouldn’t need to pay for appointments at your Veterinarian to get your pet weighed. If you have a small dog or cat you can weigh them on your home scale. To do this simply step on your scale yourself. Record your weight. Next pick up your pet and hold them like you normally would hold them. Record the combined weight of yourself and your pet. Subtract your individual weight from the combined weight of yourself and your pet. This is your pet’s weight.
 
Here’s an example: Pet Parent weight = 150 pounds. Pet Parent weight while holding pet = 165 pounds. 165 pounds – 150 pounds = 15 pounds (your pet’s weight)
 
To get the weight of a larger pet you can use the scale at a pet store. Almost all the big box pet stores have a scale and don’t charge to use it. Also, many Veterinarian’s offices have the larger pet scale in their lobby and most won’t require an appointment just to weigh your pet.

According to the Association for Pet Obesity and Prevention, “An estimated 59% of cats and 54% of dogs in the United States are overweight or obese.”

Here’s how to tell if your pet is a healthy weight:

  • Ribs are easily felt
  • Tucked abdomen – no sagging stomach
  • Waist when viewed from above

Here’s how to tell if your pet is overweight:

  • Difficult to feel ribs under fat
  • Sagging stomach – you can grab a handful of fat!
  • Broad, flat back
  • No waist

Compare your dog or cat to this Body Condition Scoring Chart

If your pet is overweight, the first thing you should do is have them evaluated by a Veterinarian to make sure there is not a medical condition causing your pet to be overweight. After you’ve ruled out any medical conditions, the best things you can do to help your pet are 1. Feed them less and 2. Help them get more exercise. See Pet Weight for additional information and resources.

It is very important to not withhold meals from your pet. They must eat every day, just less food and treats. Feed your pet the recommended daily amount based on a healthy weight for their breed or mix, not their overweight current amount. See this resource for dog and cat ideal weight ranges. If you are unclear what an ideal weight is for your pet, talk to your Veterinarian.

If your pet is overweight, you will want to gradually decrease the amount of food they eat. For example, if your dog weighs 50 pounds, but should weigh 40 pounds, you will want to initially feed him based on the guidelines for 45 pounds for the first 1-2 weeks, then decrease to the feeding guidelines amount for 40 pounds and continue to follow this schedule until there is weight loss. Please note it is very important that your pet not lose weight too quickly. A safe general guideline is 3-5% of their overall bodyweight per month. So, for example, for a 50 pound dog that translates to 1.5 to 2.5 pounds per month and for a 15 pound cat that’s not even a half a pound per month. Slow and steady is best. You will want to weigh your pet weekly and keep track of the amount you’re feeding and his or her corresponding weight.

You may also need to feed less than the feeding guidelines chart states, to achieve or maintain an ideal weight. For example, we feed one of our cats based on the feeding guidelines for a 5 pound cat even though she’s a healthy 8 pounds for the petite frame she has.

You will also want to cut down on the amount of treats you feed and also probably change the treats you feed. Many treats are high in calories and not the healthiest. See Our Pet’s Kitchen Blog People Food for Pets – Healthy or Dangerous, for healthy treat ideas. We will be more than happy to help you develop an ideal feeding amount and a plan for getting your pet healthy. Contact us today!

See Pet Weight for additional information.

Although many pets have no issues transitioning to Our Pets’ Kitchen gently cooked real food for dogs and cats, whenever you change to a new diet, it is best to transition your pet slowly. If your pet has a particularly sensitive stomach, or they develop sensitivities during the transition, then transition even more slowly than recommended. A suggested schedule is as follows:

First 3-7 days: 25% OPK, 75% old food
Next 3-7 days: 50% OPK, 50% old food
Next 3-7 days: 75% OPK, 25% old food
Next 3-7 days: 100% OPK!

Absolutely! Feel free to heat for a few seconds in the microwave, or a few minutes at a low temperature on the stove or oven. Don’t overcook. If you heat in the microwave please be sure to stir the food before serving to dissipate any hot spots. And serve at a warm temperature, as you would when feeding a baby.

We have one of the finnickiest cats ever, so we understand. Whatever you do, make sure your pet is eating. According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, dogs and cats who don’t eat for as little as 2 days can develop a life-threatening form of liver disease, hepatic lipidosis. Here are a few ideas to get your pet to transition to Our Pets’ Kitchen gently cooked real food: Try mixing just a teaspoon of Our Pets’ Kitchen food with your pet’s current food. Some pets prefer the teaspoon of food to sit on the top or the bottom of their old food. Some pets will only eat it if it is mixed completely, like cake batter. After you’ve successfully been able to get your pet to eat a teaspoon of the food, gradually increase the amount you mix with their regular food and decrease their regular food, until they are eating 100% Our Pets’ Kitchen food. You can also try warming the food in the microwave for just a few seconds. Just make sure to mix it so there are no hot spots and test the temperature like you would for baby food.

It may. It’s worth a try! See Our Story for why we started Our Pets’ Kitchen and how this food helped our dog’s digestive issues. Many people and pet health conditions are related to the food eaten. For example, some skin allergies and food sensitivities are actually due to the additives in commercial pet foods, not a chicken or other meat sensitivity. There are no preservatives, additives, coloring, flavoring, by-products, meat meal, rendered meat, or thickening agents in OPK’s pet food. We suggest feeding exclusively Our Pets’ Kitchen for a minimum of 30 days as a sufficient amount of time to see the health effects.

In some cases feeding your pet real whole foods may solve the health issue underlying the reason for feeding a prescription diet. Check with your Veterinarian to see if your pet can try Our Pets’ Kitchen. We are always happy to talk with you and your Veterinarian with any questions about Our Pets’ Kitchen.

Many of us have been conditioned that people food is harmful to pets. Just like some foods you eat are harmful to you, so are some people foods harmful to pets. But many human foods are healthy for pets. Some dangerous people foods for pets are alcohol, apple seeds and almost any seed of any fruit, avocado, chocolate, chives, coffee and any other products containing caffeine, cooked bones, currants, grapes, hops, macadamia nuts and some other nuts, milk products for some pets, onions and anything with onion powder, raisins, salt, spices, sugar and sugar substitutes like xylitol (found in many chewing gums, peanut butter, and candies), tobacco, and any food that’s not healthy for you, isn’t healthy for your pet either, such as fried and greasy foods, moldy and spoiled foods, and scraps that you wouldn’t eat. See Our Pet’s Kitchen Blog: People Food for Pets – Healthy or Dangerous

This is a widely believed, but huge misconception. I heard a Veterinarian once give a great analogy: “Thinking that kibble cleans a pet’s teeth is like thinking potato chips clean your own teeth.” While there are some kibble products that claim to be a dental formula and may help keep your pet’s teeth clean, the negative side effects of feeding kibble probably outweigh the benefits of any teeth cleaning ability. Brushing your pet’s teeth and regular dental cleanings at your Veterinarian is a better way to keep pet’s teeth clean.

Here’s the information and definitions from the Association of American Feed Control Officials:

The following materials are all rendered products that have been subject to cooking to destroy any harmful bacteria before they are shipped to a pet food manufacturing plant. Rendering is a process where the materials are subject to heat and pressure, removing most of the water and fat and leaving primarily protein and minerals. You will notice that the term “meal” is used in all cases; because, in addition to cooking, the products are ground to form uniform sized particles.

Meat Meal is the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. It shall not contain extraneous materials not provided for by this definition. …. {the definition goes on to include the required mineral specifications and required nutrient guarantees}….. If the product bears a name descriptive of its kind, composition or origin it must correspond thereto.”

The rendering process is designed to destroy disease-causing bacteria, leaving an ingredient high in protein that while unappetizing to people appeals to the carnivore’s palate. Unlike “meat” and “meat by-products,” this ingredient may be from mammals other than cattle, pigs, sheep or goats without further description. However, a manufacturer may designate a species if appropriate (such as “beef meal” if only from cattle).

Meat and Bone Meal is the rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents except in such amounts as may occur unavoidably in good processing practices. It shall not contain extraneous materials not provided for by this definition. …. {the definition goes on to include the required mineral specifications and required nutrient guarantees}….. If the product bears a name descriptive of its kind, composition or origin it must correspond thereto.”

Similar to “meat meal,” but can include added bone in addition to what is normally found in whole carcasses.
Source: http://www.aafco.org/consumers/what-is-in-pet-food

Here’s the information and definitions from the Association of American Feed Control Officials:

Meat by-products is the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially de-fatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs. It shall be suitable for use in animal feed. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.”

To put it another way, it is most of the parts of the animal other than the muscle tissue, including the internal organs and bones. It includes some of the parts people eat (such as livers, kidneys and tripe), but also parts that are not typically consumed by humans in the US. Some by-products, like udders and lungs are not deemed “edible” by USDA for human consumption, but they can be perfectly safe and nutritious for animals not inclined to be swayed by the unappealing nature of these parts of animals. As with “meat,” unless the by-products are derived from cattle, pigs, sheep or goats, the species must be identified.

Poultry By-Products must consist of non-rendered clean parts of carcasses of slaughtered poultry such as heads, feet, viscera, free from fecal content and foreign matter except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice. If the product bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.”

Similar to “meat by-products,” it is most of the parts of the bird that would not be part of a raw, dressed whole carcass. That may include the giblets (heart, gizzard and liver) but also other internal organs, heads and feet.
Source: http://www.aafco.org/consumers/what-is-in-pet-food

We encourage all pet parents to find the time to watch the 1 hour documentary, Pet Fooled. Even though some involved in the film prefer raw food and we prefer gently cooked, this documentary sufficiently exposes the commercial pet food industry and the reasons behind why we started Our Pets’ Kitchen. While we may have different philosophies in terms of cooked vs. raw food for dogs and cats, we are all trying to achieve the same outcome. That is, to feed our pets the healthiest, most nutritious food available, which is not kibble or canned pet food. We applaud all those involved in creating Pet Fooled.

Whether you choose to serve Our Pets’ Kitchen or not, we believe all pet parents should be educated about what they are feeding their pets. Please share Pet Fooled with your friends and family. And, we’d love to hear your thoughts.

Subscriptions & Delivery

Our Pets’ Kitchen subscription plan is an auto-delivery of your pet’s food, at your choice of either every 2 weeks or every 4 weeks. Here are the advantages to OPK’s subscription plan:
1. Cost savings on each of our products,
2. Free reusable delivery bag for local deliveries in Pinellas and Hillsborough, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties, and
3. No worries about running out of food.

See Feeding Guides for each of our products to know how many bags of food your pet will need per week.

You choose a frequency of every 2 weeks or every 4 weeks for deliveries within Pinellas, Hillsborough, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties.

Place your order by noon on Mondays and your order will be delivered on that Thursday. If you miss the noon cut-off on Monday, your order will be delivered the following Thursday.

You can purchase as many as you would like! If your order won’t fit into one insulated cooler bag/cooler box we will use as many as needed. Please contact us in advance for really large orders.

Yes, you can! Login in to your account and you can delete products, add products, change the quantities of products, etc. This will change the products for all future deliveries/shipments. You will need to make the change no later than your subscription renewal date and time. Your subscription renewal is either 2 weeks or 4 weeks after your last order processed. For example, if your last order was made April 8 at 1:00pm and you selected  2 week delivery, then you would need to make the change no later than 12:59pm on April 22. If you selected the 4 week delivery, then you would need to make the change no later than 12:59pm on May 6. Please contact us with any questions.

Yes, you can pause your subscription service, as needed. Simply login to your account and select PAUSE. Pausing your subscription will need to occur no later than your subscription renewal date and time. Your subscription renewal is either 2 weeks or 4 weeks after your last order processed. For example, if your last order processed April 8 at 1:00pm and you selected  2 week delivery, then you would need to pause the order no later than 12:59pm on April 22. If you selected the 4 week delivery, then you would need to pause the order no later than 12:59pm on May 6. Please contact us with any questions. When you return from vacation you will need to login and select PLAY to resume your subscription service.

We hope you won’t leave us, but yes, you can cancel your subscription. Cancellations must be made by no later than noon on Monday for that Thursday’s delivery. Simply login to your account and select DELETE SCHEDULE.

We deliver anywhere in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Sarasota, or Manatee Counties. Place orders by Monday at noon and receive your pet’s food on Thursday after 1:00pm. If you are making a one-time purchase, you will receive your order in an insulated recyclable cooler box. If you choose our subscription plan, your orders are delivered in a reusable insulated cooler bag. Please leave your empty cooler bag and thawed ice packs from the previous delivery at your delivery location before we deliver. Your previous week’s empty cooler bag will be replaced with a fresh cooler bag, frozen ice packs, and your order of Our Pets’ Kitchen gently cooked real food for your cat and/or dog. Our cooler bags work really well, but please make sure to place your OPK pet’s food in the refrigerator or freezer as soon as you are able.

Yes, we do. Please be sure to provide a suite number and floor with your office address and any other details required to get your pet’s food to you. Please keep in mind, as you consider delivery to your office, that Our Pets’ Kitchen gently cooked real food for dogs and cats must be kept in the freezer or refrigerator.

No. We know you’re super busy and will sneak in and out quietly. We want to make delivery as convenient and easy as possible for you.

Please provide us with your gate code or any other detailed delivery instructions, at checkout.

When you join our subscription plan, the delivery bag is FREE. If you forget to leave your empty cooler bag from your previous delivery, we will need to charge you a $15 fee for each cooler bag needed for your delivery.

We understand you have a million things going on and it’s hard to remember everything. If you forget to leave your empty bag on delivery day from your previous delivery, you will be charged $15 for each additional bag needed for your delivery. But, if you leave all empty bags on your next delivery day, you will receive a $15 OPK gift card to be used for your next OPK order

Delivery in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Sarasota, and Manatee Counties is a flat rate $9.95 for all orders.

Contact us for information and shipping rates.

We believe you and your pets will be very happy with Our Pets’ Kitchen gently cooked real food for dogs and cats. But if you need to return OPK products, of course you may. Please contact us, let us know the reason, and we will make it right.

We believe you and your pets will be thrilled with Our Pets’ Kitchen gently cooked real food. However, if for any reason you’re not 100% satisfied with the products you’ve purchased from us, we will give you a full refund without hesitation. Delivery fees and insulated cooler bag fees are non-refundable. If you have any questions or need assistance of any kind please contact us.

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