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FAQs

About CARNA4 Ingredients
Q: Where do your ingredients come from?
Q: Don’t you even source trace amounts of ingredients from overseas?
Q: Is your food organic?
Q: Why do you include barley, lentils and flaxseed products in your food?
Q: How do you know sprouted seeds will be beneficial for pets?
Q: As dogs are carnivores, how can they even gain benefits from eating quality seeds or grains?
Q: Are sprouted seed products suitable for grain-free diets?
Q: Why do you put potato starch in your food?
Q: Where does your meat come from?
Q: Why do you exclude meat meal from your food?
Q: How did you determine CARNA4’s protein level?
Q: What does the phrase ‘Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO
Dog Food Nutrient Profiles’ mean?

Naturally True Food
Q: What makes your pet food more natural than others?
Q: How can you make your food without adding any synthetic vitamins
or minerals (not even taurine)?

Q: Why do other companies add synthetic supplements like vitamins, minerals
and other nutrients to their food, if they pose potential risks to your pet?

Q: What do you use to preserve your food?
Q: How long does CARNA4 stay fresh?

Making CARNA4
Q: Where is your food made?
Q: Why is baked dry pet food preferable to extruded dry pet food?
Q: How can you claim that high levels of probiotics, enzymes and other nutrients in CARNA4 can survive after being dried at temperatures that reach 195° F/90°C?
Q: What is digest or natural flavor and why don’t you add it to your food?
Q: What kind of testing is done on CARNA4 before it is cleared for sale?

Feeding CARNA4
Q: Can young puppies with baby teeth be fed CARNA4? Can I feed CARNA4 to a young pup before his teeth grow in (or a senior dog with weak or no teeth)?
Q: Can I moisten your food when I feed it to my pet?
Q: Can I mix CARNA4 with a raw meat to serve to my dog?
Q: How digestible is CARNA4? How have dogs with digestive issues fared eating CARNA4?
Q: How does Carna4 affect a dog’s pH levels?
Q: How does CARNA4 affect a dog’s bladder health? Do you add any ingredients to acidify the pet’s urine?
Q: Is CARNA4 an anti-allergen dog food for dogs who suffer from chicken or other allergies?
Q: Shouldn’t you avoid feeding a large breed puppy a high protein food (like Carna4 ) because it might cause it to grow too fast and possibly cause skeletal growth problems?

Transitioning to CARNA4
Q: My pet has diarrhea or an upset stomach. Is there something wrong with your food?
Q: Why does my dog have larger stools since starting to feed on Carna4?
Q: Why does my dog have looser stools even after transitioning to Carna4?

Purchasing (or Selling) CARNA4
Q: Where can I purchase Carna4?
Q: How much does it cost to feed CARNA4?
Q: When will Carna4 be available in my town or city?
Q: How can I sell Carna4 in my store (or through an independent channel)?


About CARNA4 Ingredients


Q: Where do your ingredients come from?

All of our ingredients are grown on American and Canadian farms and we work with family operations whenever we can. Nothing is imported from outside North America, not even our packaging.
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Q: Don’t you even source trace amounts of ingredients from overseas?

A: No. All our ingredients are actual FOOD and come from American and Canadian growers. Our whole-food ingredients naturally contain all the vitamins and minerals pets require so we do not need to add any synthetic or man-made ‘pre-mix’ from overseas factories.
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Q: Is your food organic?

A: Where possible, we select organic ingredients, such as our sprouted barley seeds, green and red lentils and flaxseed, which are all Canadian Food Inspection Agency (USDA equivalent) Certified Organic. For some of our ingredients there is insufficient supply of certified organic available to us, so some of our products cannot be classified as organic overall. However some of our products, such as Flora4 Sprouted Seed Food Topper, contain 100% organic ingredients.
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Q: Why do you include barley, lentils and flaxseed products in your food?

A: We use high quality, certified organic barley seeds, lentil seeds and flaxseed in a sprouted state because they provide extensive, bio-available nutrients and help our food remain pure and synthetic additive-free. We developed a unique formula that combines the distinct attributes of each of these seeds to create a diet with all the essential nutrients in optimal proportions.
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Q: How do you know sprouted seeds will be beneficial for pets?

A: Mortec Scientific Inc., a third-party independent food science research company, has found that available clinical and anecdotal evidence suggests dogs and humans alike can benefit from the Omega-3s in sprouted flaxseed and in comparable portions. Various sprouted seeds also have natural fiber and active enzymes that you don’t find in Omega-3s from fish and fish oils, which most pet food manufacturers use.
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Q: As dogs are carnivores, how can they benefit from eating quality seeds or grains?

A: Dogs actually need more nutrients than they can get from meat alone and they need calories without fat, supplied by the right carbohydrate sources. This is demonstrated by dogs left to fend for themselves in the wild. The first thing they eat after killing their prey is its stomach and stomach contents, which includes plants, grasses and seeds in a pre-digested form they can easily absorb. These foods provide the extensive vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed for a complete and balanced diet. It’s hard however for dogs to benefit from whole, intact grains because they can’t easily break them down through digestion. That’s why, CARNA4 is made with sprouted (or “pre-digested”) seeds – which have already begun to “digest” — making them more bioavailable and resulting in high levels of nutrients, plus probiotics, antioxidants and enzymes.
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Q: Are sprouted seed products suitable for grain-free diets?

A: A grain and a seed are related but different from a botanical standpoint. A seed is not a grain – they have much different levels of nutrition and digestibility. A germinated or sprouted seed is even less similar, having gone through a complete physical and chemical transformation during and after germination. For example, ordinary barley used in many pet foods is only 5% digestible and has very little absorbable nutrition. Sprouted barley seed is 95% digestible, with enormous amounts of bio-available nutrition, including antioxidants, probiotics and enzymes.

The changes in a seed during germination can be compared to the metamorphosis experienced by a caterpillar when she comes out of the cocoon as a butterfly.

A grain is the small edible fruit of the plant, usually hard on the outside, harvested from grassy crops. Grains grow in clusters at the tops of mature plants, such as wheat, oats, and rice. Depending on the type, grains have a low to moderate amount of nutrition and digestibility for many animals. This has understandably caused many pet-owners to seek products with zero grains.

A seed is defined as an embryonic plant covered in a ‘seed coat’. It is formed from the ripened ovule of plants after fertilization. The seed contains all the nutrients required to build a new plant! These nutrients are dormant until the seed is germinated, or sprouted, at which point it wakes up and becomes extremely digestible and a great supplier of nutrition for those creatures who eat it, including our pets. ONLY germination causes the unlocking of digestion inhibitors in the seed, making it super bio-available.

This means that the right blend of sprouted seeds and legumes such as those found in carna4 products are entirely suitable for people (and pets) looking to avoid grains yet needing access to plant-based enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

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Q: Why do you put potato starch in your food?

A: Our recipe includes a small amount of potato starch to help our raw mixture bind together before baking.
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Q: Where does your meat come from?

A: We use only clean, fresh, meat that is from a Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspected facility and from animals processed for human consumption in federally inspected facilities.
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Q: Why do you exclude meat meal from your food?

A: We can produce a more nutritious food by using large amounts of fresh, unprocessed meat, instead of protein concentrates or meat meals, which can have low to high ash levels (depending on their bone content) and vary in quality. When meat is processed at high temperatures to produce low-moisture meal, the bio-availability of its nutrients and overall protein quality can be drastically reduced. Also, since meat meal is received in dry, powder form, it’s impossible to inspect it to verify what types and cuts of meat have been used. We don’t want to use mystery meats!
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Q: How did you determine CARNA4’s protein level?

A: Fresh chicken, duck, chicken liver, pork liver, eggs, herring and salmon are among the first and highest concentration of ingredients in our Carna4 Dog food; they give us a protein level that our research deems optimal for high quality ingredients. However, comparing the listed percentage of protein between pet foods has little meaning without considering each ingredient’s quality, particularly its bioavailability of nutrients. A food with 28% protein derived from high quality, minimally processed fresh meats has more useable grams of amino acids than a food with 35% protein derived from highly processed meat meals.

The same holds true for carbohydrates. In some foods, 20% carbohydrates may be too much for a dog to easily digest, if the sources are white rice, potatoes and oats. But if carbohydrates come from highly digestible ingredients, such as sprouted seeds, a level of 40% can be very beneficial, if accompanied by large quantities of antioxidants, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and live probiotics and enzymes. Essentially, it’s all about nutrient balance and bioavailability.
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Q: What does the phrase ‘Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Dog Food Nutrient Profiles’ mean?

A: It means that AAFCO has not assessed the corresponding nutrient (e.g. omega-3 fatty acids) as an essential requirement for survival.  However, some of these nutrients AAFCO doesn’t recognize have been shown by other research organizations to provide significant health benefits. For example in 2010, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published a series of studies that showed how Omega-3 fatty acids could improve mobility and reduce arthritis pain in dogs.
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Whole Food for Dogs

Q: What makes your pet food more natural than others?

A: Unlike other dry pet foods, our products are truly natural because they are made from only actual food, naturally grown, with no vitamin pre-mixes or supplements added!  This means our food contains: no synthetic vitamins, minerals or amino acids; no vegetable or meat protein concentrates; no preservatives; no digest/flavors; no meat, poultry or other meal; and no other manmade additives of any kind.
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Q: How can you make your food without adding any synthetic vitamins or minerals (not even taurine)?

A: We don’t need to add supplemental additives because our certified organic sprouted seeds are alive with antioxidants levels and bio-available vitamins and minerals that exceed AAFCO standards.
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Q: Why do other companies add synthetic additives like vitamins, minerals and other nutrients to their food, if they pose potential risks to my pet?

A: Other pet food manufactures must add synthesized nutrients and other additives to raise the levels of vitamins and minerals in their formulas enough to meet AAFCO standards for pets’ nutritional needs, preserve their food and ensure palatability. Some of these additives may contain cancer-causing substances or toxins like the heavy metal contaminants in synthetic minerals. AAFCO allows manufactures to add synthetic nutritional additives to “natural” pet foods up to specific levels it has defined as safe and many pet foods display a disclaimer stating: “natural with added vitamins and minerals.”
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Q: What do you use to preserve your food?

A: We do not add any preservatives at all. As you may know, most dry pet foods contain added poultry or beef fat to enhance their palatability and make up for insufficient nutritional fatty acids in the meat meal they use. Since this added fat can go rancid quickly if not preserved, most “natural” dry foods are preserved with manmade “natural” mixed tocopherols.

However, Carna4 contains only high quality, fresh meats and no added fat, so there is a much lower potential for rancidity. And because the live probiotics contained in our sprouted seeds survive our quick gentle baking process, they actually absorb the oxygen in the bag, ‘eating it up’ as it were, lowering the risk of oxidation and therefore greatly extending the shelf life of our products!  Lastly, the sprouted seeds supply huge amounts of naturally-occurring antioxidants,so our Carna4 products are all ‘self-preserved’.  You gotta love those native probiotics!
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Q: How long does CARNA4 stay fresh?

A: CARNA4 will stay palatable and fresh for 24 months, whether or not the package has been opened. There are several reasons for CARNA4’s long shelf-life, including:

  • no added fats or pre-processed meat (meals) which would normally cause early spoilage in unpreserved pet food
  • precise reduction in moisture (free-water) during our quick and gentle baking, which prevents early oxidation and mold
  • live native probiotics in all of our products, which absorb the oxygen (‘free radicals’) in the package, reducing oxidation levels naturally
  • huge amounts of natural antioxidants in our sprouted seeds that “self-preserve” the food.
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Making CARNA4

Q: Where is your food made?

A: We make our food in an EU-certified family-run bakery called Bio Biscuit Inc. in Quebec, Canada.
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Q: Why is baked dry pet food preferable to extruded dry pet food?

A: Baked dry pet food retains significantly more nutrients, probiotics, enzymes and flavor than extruded pet food. With baking, a food’s molecular structure is retained because it is done at moderate temperatures with minimal pressure, as compared to the abrasive pressure and high temperatures of extrusion which can create huge quantities of free radicals, damaging the food’s molecular structure and causing early rancidity. When ingested, unusually high levels of free radicals can accelerate damage in the body, leading to serious conditions like arthritis and growth of cancer cells. In response, antioxidants, like vitamins C and E, can get reallocated to combat and neutralize free radicals but this may create a nutrient shortfall for preserving the food and meeting other health needs. The sprouted seeds we put into each of our products have very high levels of naturally occurring antioxidants, which are much more stable and effective as preservatives than synthetic antioxidants used in most other pet foods.
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Q: How can you claim that high levels of probiotics, enzymes and other nutrients in CARNA4 can survive after being baked at temperatures that reach 195° F/90°C?

A: In post-production testing of every batch, Mortec Scientific Inc. (an independent research and laboratory testing firm) found exceedingly high levels of probiotics, enzymes and other nutrients survived during CARNA4’s specialized manufacturing process. Although research is ongoing, we believe this resilience starts with our use of high quality sprouted seeds to produce naturally-occurring (‘native’) live probiotics and other nutrients with exceptional stability because they are born, raised and sustained in their native environment. (This contrasts with the more commonly used cultured probiotics that are artificially grown in labs and have limited life spans.) This advantage is coupled with advancement in precise baking techniques, which are fine-tuned to protect a food’s nutritional value.
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Q: What is digest or natural flavor and why don’t you add it to your food?

A: Digest or flavor is often added or sprayed on extruded food to increase its palatability. AAFCO defines digest as: material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue. The animal tissues used shall be exclusive of hair, horns, teeth, hooves and feathers, except in such trace amounts as might occur unavoidably in good factory practice and shall be suitable for animal feed. This may mean a cooked-down broth made from specified (or unspecified) parts of specified (or unspecified) animals that have been boiled in a solution of sulphuric acid and water to break the proteins down, much like stomach acid during “digestion.” Flavor, such as an extract or spice, can be entirely natural, manmade or a combination of both but its specific origin is often missing or vague on the packaging. And even “natural” flavors normally undergo processing with heat and/or chemicals before they’re used in pet food.

We don’t need to add any flavoring additives or digest to our food because our recipes are naturally delicious without it and gentle baking helps retain this palatability.
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Q: What kind of testing is done on CARNA4 before it is cleared for sale?

A: For each batch of CARNA4, Mortec Scientific Inc. (an independent research and laboratory testing firm) uses highly precise equipment to run laboratory tests to ensure it contains at least 64 different nutrients in the guaranteed levels and that it doesn’t contain pathogens (salmonella, E. coli, coliforms, and listeria monocytogenes), mycotoxins (aflatoxins, vomitoxins and others), yeast, mold or heavy metals (including mercury and arsenic). The entire batch is held in quarantine until these nutritional and safety tests have been completed.
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Feeding CARNA4

Q: Can young puppies with baby teeth be fed CARNA4? Can I feed CARNA4 to a young pup before his teeth grow in (or a senior dog with weak or no teeth)?

A: Yes, young puppies and small dogs (even Chihuahuas) with teeth can readily chew CARNA4, which has the hardness of a small biscuit. For toothless dogs, you can serve CARNA4 as a porridge-like mixture by following a few simple steps before adding water, as outlined in response to the next question: Can I moisten your food to feed it to my pet?
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Q: Can I moisten your food when I feed it to my pet?

A: If your pet prefers to eat dry food that is slightly moistened, you can mix Carna4 with water but must follow a few simple steps first. First measure the desired amount of Carna4 and put it in sealed zip-lock, plastic bag. Using a heavy soup ladle or similar utensil, pound the bag to break the food into little crumbles. Then, put the crumbles in a bowl, add some boiling or hot water, mix it in, let it cool and serve. Note: You can’t just add water to Carna4 because to keep it fresh and retain the most nutrients for a shelf-life of more than 18 months (if unopened), it is deliberately designed not to absorb moisture from the air, which could otherwise hasten oxidation and spoilage.
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Q: Can I mix CARNA4 with a raw meat to serve to my dog?

A: A number of our customers are committed to raw or home cooking but buy CARNA4 as a conscientious replacement meal for the morning rush, travelling, vacations or other days when there’s no preparation time or place. We don’t however recommend adding CARNA4 to a meal of raw meat. Instead, we suggest you feed raw meat on its own, as it gets digested in a wholly different way than any other food. Then for an alternate meal, you can feed CARNA4 on its own or mix it with small amounts of raw vegetables or fruits.
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Q: How digestible is CARNA4? How have dogs with digestive issues fared eating CARNA4?

A: Our CARNA4 recipes are extremely digestible and have proven to be a great choice for many dogs with digestion issues. This is because they are made with fresh meat (which is much easier to digest than processed meat meal) and sprouted seeds that aid digestion thanks to their high levels of digestive enzymes and live naturally-occurring probiotics. This is also supported by feedback from many of our customers.
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Q: How does Carna4 affect a dog’s pH levels?

A: A dog does not actually have a pH level. A dog’s blood, stomach cells, saliva and so on will have a pH level. A ‘dog’ however is actually a collection of various fluids and tissues, each with an acid balance appropriate to the specific organ, cell or tissue. Like raw food, CARNA4 has a more alkalinizing effect on the stomach and blood tissue. Feeding raw will be most alkalinizing with feeding CARNA4 a close second due to baking, which is well ahead of other pet foods with their heavily processed and acidifying ingredients. Generally speaking, CARNA4 is a good balancer of pH of the blood of a dog accustomed to eating typical processed food.
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Q: How does CARNA4 affect a dog’s bladder health? Do you add any ingredients to acidify the pet’s urine?

A: We consider bladder health the result of various dietary factors – namely proper ingredient quality and the balance of certain vitamins (e.g. D, B6), minerals and other nutrients. Often manufacturers will add ingredients to acidify the pet’s urine and reduce crystal formation caused by poor quality ingredients. With CARNA4, there is a reduced tendency towards crystal formation because of the high quality ingredients we use and the nutritional profile they create. For this reason, we exclude urine acidifiers, which might cause irritating side effects.
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Q: Is CARNA4 an anti-allergen dog food for dogs who suffer from chicken or other allergies?

A: CARNA4 is not specifically designed to alleviate allergies. That said, some owners have told us how their dog, who previously suffered from allergies or was thought to be allergic to chicken, has improved after going on the CARNA4 diet. Many dogs who suffer from allergies attributed to chicken or other meats are actually reacting to other ingredients found in most commercial pet foods during the processing of chicken or the making of chicken meal, or the synthetic vitamin and mineral pre-mixes, preservatives and other additives used in most commercial pet food. The dogs may also be reacting to trace contaminants that find their way into manufactured food ingredients during processing of non-table grade food sources.
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Q: Shouldn’t you avoid feeding a large breed puppy a high protein food (like Carna4) because it might cause it to grow too fast and possibly cause skeletal growth problems?

A: Carna4 has been carefully formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition for all breeds of dogs throughout all life stages. Only feeding portions need to be varied. We believe our food cannot cause a large breed puppy to grow too fast and encounter skeletal growth issues because our food is made with only real food ingredients, containing bio-available nutrients found in the same natural surroundings inhabited by dogs for thousands of years. Unlike other pet foods, it contains no synthetic supplements, which may cause toxic or lethal effects if taken in high doses or for long durations. These effects include skeletal growth issues in large breed puppies if the manmade compounds are mixed in concentrations that are incorrect for your dog.
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Transitioning to CARNA4

Q: My pet has diarrhea or an upset stomach. Is there something wrong with your food?

A: Digestive upsets may occur if you abruptly stop feeding your pet’s former food and start a new food, even when transitioning to a much higher quality diet. To prevent this, you should gradually transition your pet to Carna4 and its richer nutrients. For dog food, start by mixing 1 part Carna4 dog food with 4 parts of your current dog food for 2 to 3 days. Then, gradually increase the proportion of Carna4 over the next 5 to 7 days, while reducing that of your current pet food until you are exclusively feeding Carna4. Remember that you will need to feed your dog slightly fewer cups of Carna4 than other dry dog foods.

Some sensitive pets may experience diarrhea or upset stomachs even if you are transitioning to a much healthier food. If this happens, go back to your old food until the diarrhea stops completely. Then start transitioning to Carna4 more slowly, over 2 to 3 weeks. If however the diarrhea or other upsets persist, take your pet to the vet as this may indicate early stages of an infection or a more severe medical issue.
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Q: Why does my dog have larger stools since starting to feed on Carna4

A: Your dog may have larger stools in the early part of his or her transition period because the better quality fiber in Carna4helps to clean out the colon. This is a normal and healthy effect and you will see the stools return to a normal size later in the transition.
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Q: Why does my dog have looser stools, even after transitioning to Carna4?

A: This is healthy because unlike other products, Carna4 doesn’t contain by-product ingredients, such as beet pulp, which “bind” and harden your dog’s stools but provide no nutritional value. Even though small, hard stools make for easy clean-up, they can build-up to create a hard mass in your dog’s colon that may not be ideal for his or her health. Feeding Carna4 (or some other natural foods with no by-products) may result in slightly softer but healthier stools, even after your dog has transitioned.
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Buying (or Selling) CARNA4

Q: Where can I purchase Carna4?

A: Carna4 is available from a growing list of pet specialty retailers in Canada and the United States, as well as select veterinarians, breeders and groomers. Check our ‘Stores & Dealers’ menu to locate the store or dealer closest to you.
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Q: How much does it cost to feed Carna4?

A: Carna4 costs the same or less than other real food for dogs, like raw or home cooked. This works out to about $18 a week to feed a 50-lb dog Carna4 Chicken Dog, $10/week to feed a 20-lb dog and $33/week to feed a 100-lb dog if you purchase the smaller-sized bags. If you buy the largest (23 lb) bag of Carna4 Chicken Dog, the weekly cost to feed a 50 lb dog drops to $17. Be careful not to confuse 8oz weight (2 per pound) with fluid ounces, as our feeding guide (like most) gives instructions in 8 fluid ounce cups, not 8 ounces of weight.
With Carna4, you also save on the cost of additional powdered or liquid add-on supplements because it already contains outstanding levels of antioxidants, probiotics, Omega-3 fatty acids, naturally-derived vitamins and minerals and enzymes that dogs require, eliminating the need for supplementation of these nutrients.
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Q: When will Carna4 be available in my town or city?

A: Our network of stores selling Carna4 products is gradually being extended to new states, provinces and countries! Please check our Newsroom, or send us an email at info@carna4.com to learn when it will be coming to your town or city.  You can join our Carna4 Community to receive regular updates, offers and holistic pet care tips. And if you need it right now just order from one of our ON-LINE RETAILERS found in the BUY NOW section of this website!

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Q: How can I sell Carna4 in my store (or through an independent channel)?

A: Visit our Join Our Team page for more information on how you can become a Carna4 retailer or distributor.

Do you have a question we haven’t answered?
Please contact us at info@carna4.com or call 1-855-4Carna4.

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