Butternut Box is pretty remarkable stuff. What started as a couple of guys cooking for their own dogs has turned into one of the highest quality, most nutritionally sound complete dog foods in the country. While Butternut Box certainly ticks all of the usual boxes (natural, hypoallergenic, high meat content, no fillers or added nasties), the two things that really make it stand out are the impeccable sourcing of top quality ingredients and the gentle, low temperature (90℃ for one minute), small batch cooking that helps ensure those ingredients retain their benefits.
Having spoken at length with the two founders of Butternut Box, it is impressive to see how seriously they take nutrition. They have spent a huge amount of time and money carrying out tests and consulting some of the top experts in veterinary nutrition to really make sure that they are doing everything right. This may seem like the obvious course of action for a start up pet food company but from my experience this level of commitment is actually very rare.
The range is made up of four varieties, each with a different single meat source. All four contain 60% meat which, while not as high as some other foods on the market, is plenty by anyone's standards. Again though, the quality really stands out with all of the meat coming from Smithfield Meat Market in London (the same place many of the city's top restaurants source their meat) which must make it some of the highest quality meat found in any commercially produced pet food out there.
The veg portion is made up of carrots, sweet potato, peas, cauliflower and broccoli, all of which are brimming with natural nutrients and are excellent choices for dogs.
Lentils, particularly the split red variety, also make great options as they provide a good array of amino acids and fibre as well as a number of essential minerals.
Even in the fairly ubiquitous supplements lower down the ingredients list, Butternut Box go that little bit further by opting for organic flaxseed and cold pressed linseed oil.
The macro-nutrient profile is fairly standard apart from a fairly high protein content but since the protein primarily comes from very high quality meat sources, that shouldn't be an issue for any but the most protein-sensitive dogs.
A quick note about storage: Because no preservatives are added at any stage and since the food hasn't been pasteurised at the normal very high temperatures, Butternut Box does need to be kept refrigerated even when sealed. In the fridge it lasts up to 10 days so the company suggest receiving deliveries every few weeks, keeping several pouches in the fridge ready to go and the rest in the freezer.
And how about the price? All of this won't come cheap, right?! Well, prepare yourselves for another surprise. At £2.14 for a 400g pouch and a relatively low recommended feeding amount, Butternut Box actually works out very economical to feed. In fact, for a mid-sized dog, it's currently the least expensive 5 star wet food on the site!
So, what's in the bowl? One of the best all-round foods available at a very attractive price. Butternut Box might just be the next big thing!