Journey Canine Food brings the goodness of raw BARF diets to Indian pets

Fueled by a deep love for dogs, Sagar Badakare's Journey Canine Raw Food is pioneering India's raw feeding movement with a commitment to quality and education.

0
288
Sagar Badakare, founder of My Pet Journey

Sagar Badakare, founder of My Pet Journey and visionary behind Journey Canine Raw Dog Food, is a passionate advocate for transforming the landscape of pet nutrition in India. He talks to Petbiz India about his deep love for dogs and an unwavering belief in the power of raw diets, he’s spearheading a movement toward natural, species-appropriate food for our canine companions.

  1. Mr. Sagar, can you start by telling us a little about yourself and your company My Pet Journey & JOURNEY Canine Raw Food. What ignited your passion for pet nutrition and led you to specialize in RAW diets? And could you please share some insights about your company’s founding and its growth story so far?

Sagar B. – Absolutely. My journey in the pet industry began over a decade ago when I started two pet shops and a grooming parlor in Goa. Along the way, I volunteered at animal shelters, organized adoption camps, and even provided pet-sitting services. It was during this time that I recognized a gap in the market for high-quality, species-appropriate pet nutrition.

My passion for pet nutrition ignited when I worked with two dog food companies for a total of 9+ years. During this period, I witnessed firsthand the transformative power of raw diets on canine health. Determined to make a difference, I founded Journey Canine Raw Food, a company dedicated to providing 100% species-appropriate raw food diets for dogs.

  • What are the ultimate goals of your company? How do you envision contributing to the overall landscape of pet nutrition in India?

Sagar B. – Our ultimate goal at Journey Canine Raw Food is to revolutionize the landscape of pet nutrition in India by promoting the adoption of species-appropriate raw diets for dogs. We aim to educate pet owners about the benefits of raw feeding and provide them with high-quality, human-grade raw food options for their furry companions. By prioritizing health, quality, and transparency, we strive to set a new standard in pet nutrition and foster a community of informed and empowered pet parents across the country. We also recognize the challenges associated with raw feeding and are committed to making the transition to raw feeding easier and more accessible for everyone.

  • What sparked your interest in raw dog food? Did personal experience with your own pets or observations within the pet care industry play a role in shifting your perspective?

Sagar B. – My journey into raw dog food began nearly a decade ago when I stumbled upon a video by Dr. Karen Becker on YouTube. This eye-opening encounter led me to reconsider conventional pet nutrition and explore alternative dietary approaches for dogs. Growing up with dogs at home, I noticed that many of them faced health issues, prompting me to seek better solutions. As I learned more about raw feeding, its benefits became increasingly apparent to me.

  • Mr. Sagar, can you explain the core principles behind the raw diet? What are the key components and the reasoning behind their inclusion?

Sagar B. – Absolutely! Raw feeding is based on the fact that, Dogs have evolved from wolves and still retain many of their ancestral traits, including their digestive systems. Regardless of their breed, dogs share approximately 98.8% of their DNA with wolves. This genetic similarity highlights the importance of providing them with a diet that aligns with their evolutionary history and nutritional needs. Raw feeding, based on the natural diet of wolves, reflects this understanding, offering dogs a diet that is biologically appropriate and supports their health and well-being.

  • Dogs share ancestry with wolves, but domestication has significantly altered their physiology. How do you strike a balance between respecting their evolutionary roots and addressing their modern nutritional needs within a raw feeding approach?

Sagar B. – Indeed, while dogs share ancestry with wolves, domestication and breeding has led to some physiological differences between the two. We achieve this balance by carefully formulating our raw diets to provide dogs with a blend of biologically appropriate ingredients that reflect their ancestral diet while also meeting their modern nutritional requirements. By incorporating a variety of high-quality proteins, organs, bones, fruits, vegetables, herbs and seeds, we ensure that our raw diets deliver the essential nutrients dogs need for optimal health and vitality in the modern world.

We carefully balance our raw food formula to provide dogs with a blend of biologically appropriate ingredients that reflect their ancestral diet while also meeting their modern nutritional requirements

  • The raw feeding approach can be controversial. In your experience, what are the main misunderstandings about raw feeding that contribute to this controversy?

Sagar B. – In my experience, one of the main misunderstandings about raw feeding that contributes to controversy is the misconception that raw diets are inherently unsafe or unbalanced. Some people believe that raw diets pose a higher risk of bacterial contamination or nutrient deficiencies compared to commercial kibble diets. However, when prepared and handled correctly, raw diets are safe and nutritionally complete for dogs. Another common misconception is that raw diets are expensive or difficult to feed, which may deter some pet owners from considering this approach. At Journey Canine Raw Food, we aim to address these misunderstandings by providing education, support, and high-quality raw food products that make raw feeding accessible and beneficial for dogs of all breeds and ages.

  • You’ve mentioned transitioning some of your former clients away from commercial pet food. Can you elaborate on the common shortcomings of commercial diets that led you to advocate for the raw model?

Sagar B. – One of the main shortcomings of commercial pet food (kibble) is the use of low-quality ingredients and fillers that lack nutritional value, particularly their rendered meat and bone meals. Many commercial diets contain high levels of carbohydrates, artificial additives, and preservatives, which can lead to health issues such as obesity, allergies, and digestive problems in pets.

Moreover, the processing methods used in commercial pet food production, such as high-temperature cooking and extrusion, can degrade the nutritional quality of the ingredients and diminish the bioavailability of essential nutrients.

Additionally, the lack of transparency in the pet food industry makes it difficult for pet parents to know exactly what they are feeding their pets. Many commercial pet food brands source their ingredients from questionable suppliers and include waste products, by-products, artificial flavors, colours, fillers and synthetic additives in their formulations.

Even the so called prescription diets don’t contain any ingredients that would require a prescription. Similarly, hypoallergenic diets are often touted as a solution for pets with allergies. However, the concept of a one-size-fits-all hypoallergenic diet is inherently flawed. Every dog’s allergy profile is unique, making it impractical to mass-produce a hypoallergenic diet that effectively addresses individual sensitivities and intensities.

In contrast, raw feeding offers a natural and species-appropriate diet for dogs, consisting of raw meats, bones, organs, fruits, vegetables and herbs. This approach provides pets with essential nutrients in their most bioavailable form, promoting overall health, vitality, and longevity. By transitioning pets away from commercial diets and towards a raw food model, we aim to address these shortcomings and provide pets with the highest quality nutrition possible.

With raw diets, safe sourcing and food handling are paramount to prevent food-borne illnesses. Could you discuss the hygienic practices you recommend and potential sources of contamination that Indian pet owners should be particularly mindful of?

Sagar B. – At Journey Canine Raw Food, safety is our top priority. Our production facility upholds the highest standards of cleanliness and food safety, holding an FSSAI license for assurance. We maintain meticulous hygiene protocols to ensure our products meet stringent quality standards. Additionally, we stress the importance of safe ingredient sourcing to minimize contamination risks. By prioritizing hygiene and sourcing high-quality human-grade ingredients, we’re committed to providing safe and nutritious raw diets for pets.

  • Even with a well-balanced raw diet, might there be situations where supplementation is necessary? If so, how can pet parents identify these needs and choose appropriate supplements?

Sagar B. – While a well-balanced raw diet typically provides dogs with all the essential nutrients they need, there may be instances where supplementation is necessary, particularly in cases of specific deficiencies or health conditions. At Journey Canine Raw Food, we advocate for a holistic approach to pet nutrition, where supplementation is required as per individual’s requirements.

Pet parents can identify potential supplementation needs by monitoring their dog’s health and behavior closely, consulting with holistic veterinarians or experienced canine nutritionists, and conducting regular health assessments. Natural supplements like eggs, golden paste, mushrooms, raw eggs, garlic, chicken feet, goat’s milk, bone broth, and kefir can be beneficial additions to a dog’s diet, providing additional nutrients and supporting overall health.

  • You’re a strong proponent of the benefits of raw. Could you discuss some of the key improvements pet parents might observe in their dog’s health and well-being after transitioning to a raw diet?

Sagar B. – Transitioning to a raw diet can lead to several noticeable improvements in a dog’s health and well-being. Pet parents often observe improvements in their dog’s coat quality, with a shinier, softer, and less oily coat. Additionally, dogs may experience better digestion, leading to smaller, firmer, and less smelly stools. Many dogs also show increased energy levels, improved oral health, reduced allergy symptoms, and better weight management. Overall, a raw diet can promote optimal health, vitality, and longevity for dogs, enhancing their overall quality of life.

  • Switching from kibble to raw can be a big change for a dog’s digestive system. What’s your recommended approach for pet owners who wish to switch their dogs from commercial pet food to raw? Do you offer any guidance or transition plans?

Sagar B. – When transitioning dogs from commercial pet food to raw, our recommended approach depends on the dog’s age and health status. For young pups, typically a few months old, a cold turkey switch can be done right on day 1. This approach allows for a faster transition, detox process, and puts less stress on the digestive system by avoiding mixing diets. However, for older dogs or those with digestive issues or recovering from ailments, a slower transition over 10-15 days is advisable. This gradual approach helps minimize any potential digestive upset and allows the dog’s system to adapt more comfortably to the new diet.

  • Some people perceive raw feeding as expensive. Could you share some tips for making raw more budget-friendly for Indian pet owners?

Sagar B. – Certainly! While some may perceive raw feeding as expensive, there are several ways to make it more budget-friendly for Indian pet owners. At Journey Canine Raw Food, we prioritize affordability without compromising on quality. Here are some tips:

a. Opt for human-grade ingredients: We use only human-grade ingredients in our raw meals, avoiding waste products commonly found in lower-quality pet foods. This ensures that your pet receives high-quality nutrition without unnecessary additives.

b. High meat content: Our meals contain more than 90% meat, providing essential nutrients and protein for your pet’s health. This high meat content means you’re getting more value for your money compared to pet foods with lower meat content.

c. Avoid additives and fillers: We do not use any chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavors, synthetic nutrients, or fillers in our products. This focus on natural ingredients ensures that your pet receives a wholesome and nutritious diet without unnecessary additives that can drive up costs.

d. Competitive pricing: Our prices start at Rs. 425/kg, making raw feeding more accessible for Indian pet owners. When comparing the cost to that of decent kibble, which typically starts at around Rs. 700/kg and often contains lower-quality ingredients and fillers, our raw meals offer excellent value for money.

By following these tips and choosing Journey Canine Raw Food, pet owners can provide their furry companions with a nutritious and budget-friendly diet that supports their health and well-being.

  • How do you see raw feeding evolving in India? Do you foresee any new trends or modifications emerging within the raw feeding philosophy? What potential challenges or opportunities do you foresee concerning mainstream acceptance of raw feeding?

Sagar B. – As raw feeding gains traction in India, I anticipate several trends and modifications emerging within the philosophy. One potential trend is an increased focus on convenience, with more pre-packaged raw food options becoming available to cater to busy pet owners. Additionally, there may be a growing emphasis on transparency and sourcing, with consumers seeking products made from high-quality, ethically sourced ingredients.

However, mainstream acceptance of raw feeding may still face challenges, including misconceptions about the safety and nutritional adequacy of raw diets. Education will play a crucial role in overcoming these challenges, as we work to provide accurate information about the benefits of raw feeding and address any concerns that pet owners may have. Additionally, building trust through quality assurance measures and rigorous testing can help reassure consumers about the safety and reliability of raw food products.

Overall, I believe that as more pet owners become aware of the potential benefits of raw feeding and as the industry continues to innovate and evolve, we will see increased acceptance and adoption of raw diets for pets in India. At Journey Canine Raw Food, we are committed to leading this revolution by providing high-quality, species-appropriate nutrition and educating pet parents about the advantages of raw feeding for their beloved companions.

About the author

Tushar Kanchan, Publisher & Editor
Petbiz India | petbizindia@gmail.com | Website | + posts

Tushar Kanchan is the editor and publisher of Petbizindia.com. As a dedicated connector within the pet industry, committed to fostering a vibrant community of entrepreneurs, innovators, and professionals. Tushar believes in collaboration and knowledge-sharing are essential for the advancement of the Indian pet care landscape.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!