Introducing: Foundations Raw (Formerly Complete)
Updated: May 19, 2022
Over 20 years ago, six friends and dedicated pet parents crowded into a home kitchen with a blender and a goal: To make better food for their precious furry family members. They were tired of the lack of transparency in the pet food industry; it was hard to know exactly what you were feeding your pet, other than it was cheap, highly processed, and full of synthetic ingredients. They loved their pets too much to keep giving them the equivalent of pet junk food, but there weren’t many options back then—other than making your own food. So that’s just what they did, starting small and expanding into the company Red Dog Blue Kat is today.
Those first meals were what became our Foundations (formerly Complete) line: ethically sourced meats, certified organic vegetables, and nothing else—all crafted with the same love and care they put into meals for their own families. It wasn't long before they saw the difference it was making in their pets' lives, and when one of the friends—our founder Inna—stuck with it, Red Dog Blue Kat was born. Since then, RDBK has spread the joy of a healthy pet across Canada by working with trusted retailers and pet parents to ensure their pets get food made with the highest safety standards and manufacturing quality. After all, our pets deserve nothing less.
It’s been over 20 years since that day in the kitchen, and times have changed. The community of pet lovers has expanded—not only in numbers but in their breadth of knowledge and the extent to which they’ll go to improve the life of their pets. To properly meet their needs, RDBK has decided to change, too—but just on the outside. We’ve updated the name of our original Complete line to Foundations Raw and redesigned our boxes and packaging, but the food itself? It’s still the same combination of high-quality, minimally processed human-grade meat and organic, sustainably sourced vegetables that your pets have always loved.
So if it’s just the packaging that’s changing, you might be asking, then why all the hubbub? Well, dear reader, we’re so glad you asked. Let’s get into it!
It’s Not Just Food, It’s How It's Packaged
The Foundations recipe has been doing what it was made to do for over 20 years: helping pets thrive. But there was one thing keeping Inna up at night: the packaging. Let’s face it, our packaging was a pain to use and a pain to make. Inna knew vacuum sealing was essential to preserving the quality of our food—it prevents fat oxidation and freezer burn—but there had to be a better way of doing it!
So the RDBK team sat down with years of feedback from our retailers and fellow pet parents, and we put our brains to the task. After months of researching, designing, and testing—then redesigning and testing it all over again until we were satisfied—we finally found the solution: more efficient and user-friendly packaging that would work for everyone.
What’s Staying the Same?
Before we get into all the details of our makeover, we want to reassure all the pet parents whose animal companions have loved our original Complete meals from the beginning: we know a good thing when we see it, and we’re not interested in changing what works.
We’re still offering the same proteins for dogs and cats as before, and the actual recipes of those meals haven’t changed one bit. We’ll be honest: unless your pet can read and open meals for themselves, they won’t know the difference between Foundations and Complete—but they’ll probably sense your excitement over our new convenient and colourful updates (also packed with more helpful information for those who are just joining the #rawrevolution)! Speaking of colourful…
Check Out our New Protein Colours!
But why the change in the first place? The decision to change the name of our Complete meals to Foundations Raw was born from a desire to better reflect the pets (and pet parents) for whom this food was made for.
Pets who need a limited ingredient diet—whether because of allergies, intolerances, or plain old picky taste buds—loved our “Complete” meals for their simple construction: muscle meats, organs, bones, and organic vegetables, without any fillers or synthetic ingredients. Pet parents loved them because they could trust the quality of the ingredients and customize the meals with supplements they know their pets could tolerate. That’s what these meals are for, and they do it well—but they aren’t a complete, well-rounded diet until they’re fed in rotation. Individually, these meals are more of a baseline of a healthy diet—or rather, the foundation of one, you might say.
Your Partner In Pet Health
Red Dog Blue Kat’s origin story is a key part of how we choose to create meals for pets. Learning what was right for our individual dogs and cats and seeing it work was beyond encouraging, it was empowering. Our goal has always been to replicate that feeling of control and confidence for you, our dedicated pet parents; we were never satisfied with just crafting meals and telling you to feed them—we know your pet is unique! That’s why we created an assortment of tools to help you learn what your pet needs.
We created a transition guide for new pawrents—it’s an easy, foolproof way to get your dog or cat on track to their new, healthy lifestyle.
Our Feeding Guide and Portion Calculator are perfect for pets both new to raw and long-term feeders. The portion calculator gives you a great starting point on how much to feed for every animal (based on exercise level and age), from your adult cat who’s just having fun to your large breed or working dog. It also specifies how much of each protein to give, as in x amount of grams of buffalo compared to x amount of chicken to get the same amount of calories. Need a little more help trying to control your pet’s weight or ensuring your growing pet is getting enough nutrients? That’s where our feeding guide comes in—fill out the quick questionnaire and our on-staff Veterinary Nutrition Advisor will give you some free guidance!
Finally, we’ve always been fond of going the extra mile, which is why we’ve been dedicated to something called “live labelling” (or real-time labelling). Technically, companies can wait up to six months to update their food labels after changing their ingredients or nutritional information—sometimes they wait even longer! We’ve always printed our labels in-house, so you can always trust that what’s on the label is exactly what you’re feeding your pet at every meal.
Now that we’ve gone over that, let’s get into the fun stuff! First, we recognized that our two main lines—Foundations and Everyday Raw—could be challenging to differentiate. We made sure the focus of our new boxes was to highlight what Foundations Raw did best and which pets it was meant for; plus, the new colour coding means you’ll never accidentally pick up a box of cat food for your dog, or vice versa!
We’ve never shied away from the fact that these meals aren’t complete and balanced without rotation; we keep them simple on purpose so you can supplement them as you see fit. Not sure which supplements you want to add and to which meals? We’ve got you covered: flip open the box, and you’ll find a guideline for three perfect supplement options to complement every protein choice, so you’ll never have to guess how to best boost your pet’s bowl. We also included a reminder to try and rotate through the main protein categories—poultry, red meat, and fish (for dogs)—so you can build a diet with all the necessary nutrients for their optimal life.
We also recognized that raw has a few more steps than plain old kibble, and sometimes that might seem intimidating. Flip over to the other inside flap, and you’ll see we listed 6 easy steps to feeding and handling raw safely—plus a few bonus tips that’ll make feeding that much easier!
As for the box itself, well, we’re big fans of forests, so we’ve made all our cardboard boxes under the supervision of the Forest Stewardship Council, meaning we’re using a mix of recycled materials and fibres harvested from sustainable forests. These forests are managed so that their biodiversity and ecosystems are maintained, conserved, and in some cases, restored—all while respecting Indigenous Peoples’ legal and customary rights of ownership, use, and management.
Now let’s go inside the box: pull out one of those packages—you might have to fend off a hungry pet here—and you’ll see it’s quite a different shape from our old “sheets” of raw meals. We mentioned this before, but gosh, weren’t those a struggle to use? We stayed with the food-safe vacuum-sealing design but reimagined the packages for easy, everyday use. Easy peel covers—no more scissors!—and an option for pre-portioned ¼ lb sectioned “pots” means you can defrost just as much as you need and not a speck more. An added bonus? These trays produce 35% fewer carbon emissions and use 18% less raw materials compared to traditional vacuum packaging, so they’re not just easier to use, they’re easier on the planet.
New Look, Same Us
We know that repacking our food with a new name isn’t exactly revolutionary, but it feels that way to us. We’re finally representing our food (and ourselves) the way we feel it should be seen: colourful, unique, and fresh. We’ve gone the extra mile because we know that’s what you’re doing for your pet: you care enough to give them the very best, and more. This update is nothing short of what you deserve for all your hard work—but we’re not done yet! We believe that self-improvement is a journey, not a destination, so we’re still listening and learning to all your feedback, especially your experiences with our new packaging. Click here to take part in our survey and let us know how your raw journey is going—we’d love to hear from you!