City Desk

Area Woman Brings Raw Food Diet to Pets


It took two deaths for Carole King to decide to sell raw dog food.

First her dog Russ died. She blamed his dry-dog-food diet for aggravating his anemia. Then veterinarians diagnosed her cat Woody with lymphoma and gave him 3 months to live. Woody had been on a raw-meat diet for a year. He lived for two more years.

"Up to his last day he was eating," she said.

In April 2009, King launched Chow Now in Marshall, Va., which manufactures and distributes raw dog and cat food. Currently there's a chicken formula for dogs and cats, a lamb formula for dogs, and the company will soon introduce a turkey formula. King says she is considering adding pheasant.

Takoma's Big Bad Woof sells a pound of Chow Now food for $7.59. The frozen meat has to be defrosted a day before serving, and pets have to be weaned off dry foods before they'll regularly eat raw meat.

Big Bad Woof manager Mindy Mailman says Chow Now was initially slow to catch on because of the preparation and expense involved, but it has since become more popular.

"We definitely have had people start to ask about it," she says.

Although the Food and Drug Administration has cautioned pet owners about giving their animals uncooked food, King said the chickens and lambs she uses are healthy enough that pathogens in the meat are not a concern.

The meat, King says, is fit for human consumption  too. Lamb femurs, for instance, are too thick to grind into formula, so they're sold to restaurants in Washington, she says. She wouldn't name those customers.

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  • Rahim

    I wonder if a raw food diet for dogs can have a positive mental and psychological affect like it has known to have for humans.

  • The Healthy Pets

    I think I won't mind feeding my pets raw food as long as the brand itself has undergone tests and considered safe.

  • Nicole

    Properly prepared raw meat-based diets are very safe for dogs and cats and has so many health benefits. "The Healthy Pets" is absolutely correct when they say that as long as the manufacture tests extensively then their product is completely safe for your dog or cat. I feed Steve's Real Food because it is available at Whole Foods. It has been great for my dogs heath and temperament.

  • Pinky

    Raw feeding is the healthest form of feeding cats and dogs there is PERIOD. The majority of commercial kibble is full of cereal, fillers, tainted meat. When are people going to "GET IT" about the fact that dogs and cats are carnavores and are not going to be healthy,etc eating corn, wheat gluten and all the other crap in kibble. Look at dogs teeth, they are not made to crunch cereal, they are made to crush bone and tear meat.

  • Animal Lover

    Chow Now works! This raw pet food saved my golden retriever's life. I highly reccomend this brand to anyone that loves their animals!

  • Terry

    UNBELIEVABLE!!! My cat and dog sit in front of the refrig at meal time waiting for me to feed them. CHOW NOW has been the best!!

  • Chow Now Carole

    Great comment from The Healthy Pets - safety is extremely important when considering raw. Chow Now Pet Food is produced in a human grade USDA facility in Virginia - the only pet food made there. We follow all of the
    HACCP and FDA guidelines for raw food safety through the entire process. When you decide to feed raw, regardless of the brand, make sure the product you choose meets these same criteria and that the ingredients are traceable back to the original supplier.

    Chow Now is in Whole Foods in Charlottesville, VA and in pet stores, veterinarians and food stores throughout DC, Maryland and Virginia. Check the web site for a complete list of Chow Now partner retailers - we're
    adding new ones regularly.

  • Amy Bass

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    lose weight, will surely get some tips. keep it up!

  • Kaitabasura

    I have a pet turtle. here is a video of my Turtle attacking a cat it's so funny