Frequently Asked Questions

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Has Pinto Canyon pet food ever been recalled? Is it safe for my pet?
Why oven-bake? Why not extrude?
Why is a single meat protein important?
Why is protein quality more important than quantity?
Is the kibble a good size for large or small dogs?
Do you have a wet food?
Are any ingredients from China?
Where are Pinto Canyon ingredients from?
What is ash?
Are the minerals in Pinto Canyon Pet Food chelated?
Should I give my pet vitamin supplements?
Do Pinto Canyon Recipes have corn, wheat. or soy?
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?

Has Pinto Canyon Pet Food ever been recalled? Is it safe for my pet? Return to Top

There is nothing more important than the safety of your pet's food. Pinto Canyon Pet Food has never been recalled. Our baking facility is certified per FSSC22000 (Food Safety System Certification) and has never had a recall in over 20 years of baking pet food.

We don't stop there. Our ingredient sources are carefully vetted.

We don't stop there. We test every batch, not only to ensure it meets our nutrient requirements, but also to verify that there are no contaminants, such as those that are causing sick pets and recalls. Our food is safe. Pinto Canyon Analysis Results for batch BUB MAR 2018

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

Why oven-bake? Why not extrude? Return to Top
We've been selling oven-baked pet food since 1998—the feedback from our customers, veterinarians, and the health and vitality of our own pets speaks for itself. Our customers continually report fewer health issues, reduced vet bills, alleviation of allergy symptoms, and increased vitality and well-being when they switch their pet's diet to our oven-baked foods. Click here to read what our customers and their vets say about oven-baked food.

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.

Many pets that experience allergy symptoms on extruded foods thrive on oven-baked food.

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!

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 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, and if your pet can eat them all, it allows for rotation to give your pet variety!

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

The Guaranteed Analysis on pet food labels shows the amount of "crude protein." You may be wondering why does this food have "not refined or processed" protein in it? The meaning of "crude protein" may surprise you. Crude protein is an estimated protein level. The estimate is derived from a chemical analysis of 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, and why it was used to yield false protein levels.)

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.

The amount of protein in Pinto Canyon foods exceeds the amount required according to AAFCO (the association that sets the requirements for cat and dog foods). We select a high-quality, highly-digestible meat as the main ingredient in each of our recipes.

"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." The Dangers of High Protein Dog Foods -

Is the kibble a good size for large or small dogs? Return to Top

Our kibble is a perfect size for all dogs. We've heard from Chihuahuas to Great Pyrenees, and they are all gobbling it up! The approximate size of each kibble is about a quarter of an inch thick, and a little less than a half inch in diameter.

Nutrient-dense oven-baked food is particularly helpful for tiny puppies and small breeds with small tummies unable to eat enough of other diets to fulfill adequate nutritional needs. With a higher metabolizable energy, your pet will absorb more energy from a smaller amount of food. They will eliminate less as waste—less waste to clean up! Pet foods with a higher metabolizable energy can also save you money because you feed less.

Also, our kibbles are crunchy, but not hard—delightfully tasty, yet easy on the teeth.

Do you have a wet food? Return to Top

Another great quality of oven-baked food is that it doesn't swell and get all gross when wet, so if your dog prefers wet food, or has sensitive teeth, just add a little lukewarm water over the kibble, let it sit for a couple of minutes, and your dog can enjoy a wet meal!

Are any ingredients from China? Return to Top

Nothing in Pinto Canyon pet food is from China. Many pet food companies use supplements from China, but still claim, "No ingredients from China!" Apparently, they do not consider vitamins and minerals to be ingredients. 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).

When choosing a food, ask if anything at all in the food is from China, and specifically ask about the vitamins and minerals.

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!

Should I give my pet vitamin supplements? Return to Top

No, please do not give your pet vitamin supplements without consulting your veterinarian. Our foods are complete and balanced; you do not need to feed your pet additional supplements unless recommended by your veterinarian. Your pet may receive harmful amounts of some vitamins and minerals if they're fed supplements in addition to their food. From the website: "Too much calcium can cause skeletal problems, especially in large-breed puppies; too much vitamin A can harm blood vessels and cause dehydration and joint pain. Excess vitamin D can prompt a dog to stop eating, harm bones, and cause muscles to atrophy." Is there any danger in giving my dog vitamins?

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

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

What is ash? Return to Top

Ash is an indicator of the level of mineral in the food. Often we think, "Is there fireplace ash in my pet's food?" There is no fireplace ash in your pet's food, and it's not something to avoid in food. To the contrary, when referring to food analysis, the term "ash" refers to the mineral content of the food—minerals that are essential to life!

To determine the mineral content of food, a test is performed where a food sample is completely burned at a controlled temperature; the remaining "ash" contains primarily minerals (including calcium, phosphorous, iron, zinc and selenium) because they don't dissipate when burned. It was once thought that the level of ash was an important factor in the production of bladder stones, but it is now known that there are many factors involved, and ash is not useful in determining if the food will contribute to the formation of bladder stones.

Are the minerals in Pinto Canyon Pet Food chelated? Return to Top

Yes. All of the minerals in Pinto Canyon Pet Food are chelated for better absorption.

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 aren't the same company as Flint River Ranch. We sold Flint River Ranch pet foods here at for 19 years. We designed Pinto Canyon recipes to have the qualities we loved about Flint River Ranch foods, such as:
  • Oven-baked
  • A single-meat protein per recipe
  • High-quality meat protein from human-grade sources
  • Similar Guaranteed Analysis (percentages of protein, fat, fiber, carbohydrates, and moisture)
  • No unnamed meat sources, no by-products, no synthetic preservatives

And Pinto Canyon recipes have these advantages:

  • Fresh, deboned muscle meat is the primary ingredient
  • Chicken, lamb, fruits, and vegetables are from human-grade sources
  • Free-range chicken and lamb; wild-caught fish
  • Wholesome fruits, berries, and vegetables
  • Prebiotics and probiotics—live bacteria essential for a healthy digestive system
  • Our warehouse is climate-controlled—no more summertime blues!
  • No white rice, wheat, corn, soy
  • No GMO ingredients
  • Absolutely nothing from China, including vitamins and minerals

Baking high-quality ingredients in small batches is not cheap. Most other pet foods are extruded quickly at high temperatures in large batches, which keeps their costs down. Flint River Ranch tried to keep their prices comparable to cheaper extruded foods, and they ultimately went out of business. Nevertheless, we refuse to compromise. Quality is not cheap. There's truth in the saying, "You get what you pay for." When you see how happy and healthy your pets are, and have fewer trips to the vet, you'll know it's well worth it!

To read more about who we are, go to About Us

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