How does Healthy Active Pet work?
The Healthy Active Pet program and products are designed to give your cat or dog an optimal health and nutrition program to follow. Our focus is educating and informing pet owners to make the best decisions for your pet.
Our expert animal nutritionist and experts will educate you on what is best for your animal. You will also have the choice to follow one of our raw feeding recipe programs depending on the needs of your animal (we have a weight management dog program, a healthy dog program, a puppy program, a weight management program for cats and a sensitive dog nutrition program.
We also have a selection of freeze and air dried food which will give your dog optimal nutrition and will give you convenience.
Our website is also full of expert advice to help you become a more informed pet owner about the benefits of good nutrition for your pet.
Why is good nutrition important to your pet
Good nutrition is as important to our pets as it is to us as humans. We are what we eat and if we don’t eat well it can lead to weight gain and long term health issues.
But the pet food industry is dominated by pet food manufacturers who make highly processed food.
In order for thriving health to occur, all living things must consume the foods they were designed to eat. This is known as species-appropriate nutrition.
Certain species will die if not fed appropriately. Dogs and cats, like humans, are more resilient and can eat a number of things their bodies were not designed to eat. However, their health and vitality suffers.
How can I get my pet started
It is really easy to start and we recommend using one of our recipe books- and if you want to have the convenience of having home made air dried raw food you can buy our product here.
Can I buy products individually or do I need a subscription?
Yes you can - we just offer memberships and subscriptions at a better rate as a thank you for your ongoing business
Why is raw feeding good
Pretty much everything we know about healthy eating and weight management tells us that we should eat as much fresh, unprocessed food as possible, while avoiding things like refined sugars, simple carbs and heavily processed foods .
Common sense says this approach should also apply to our animals, especially if they need to drop a few kilos – but it’s also founded in evidence.
In 2020 the University of Florida conducted a large survey that clearly found dogs eating a processed dry or canned diet were more likely to be overweight or obese than those eating fresh foods, such as home cooked or commercial raw food4 .
Perhaps even more significantly, researchers at a teaching veterinary school in Finland found that dogs fed raw food have lower levels of inflammation and disease markers, regardless of whether they are overweight or not.
This is troubling for the dogs eating processed food because chronic inflammation is widely understood to be a precursor to a vast number of diseases .
A New Zealand study published in 2017 found a clear link between gut microbiome diversity with intestinal health.
It also found that kibble fed dogs had increased levels of bacteria associated with diarrhoea and irritable bowel, whereas the raw fed dogs in the study experienced greater gut microbiome diversity and improved nutrient digestibility.
The makeup of the microbiome is critically important to overall health, given that as much as 70-80% of the immune system cells are thought to reside in the gut.
Despite all of this, commercial weight loss foods are still brimming with heavily processed carbohydrates and typically achieve their lower calorie density with the addition of large amounts of indigestible fibre.
They often cost the earth, don’t work and cause insulin to spike (which may lead to weight gain), leaving your dog hungrier than ever and maybe even poorly nourished due to the fibre’s ability to hinder nutrient absorption.
Any weight they do lose is likely to be muscle mass, rather than fat .
We believe a far better way to support your dog through their weight loss journey is to provide them with a nutrient dense, species appropriate diet that will not only help them maintain a healthy weight, but also support their gut health, fight oxidative stress and inflammation, keep them feeling full and satisfied, and potentially may even extend their life
Another key consideration that doesn’t get a lot of attention is water. Water is the most important nutrient any of us consume, but it is decidedly lacking from most commercial dog food.
A fresh diet will naturally keep your dog hydrated, as most of our water comes from our food. This will not only help your dog’s weight loss goals, but it will also improve their overall health and the health of their organs.
What’s in commercial pet food?
"Have you ever picked up a bag of dog or cat food and seen ""Meat by-products and meat (poultry, beef &/or sheep)” or words to that effect? What does that even mean?
Chances are it means the manufacturer doesn’t actually know which one is in their food.
Heavily processed pet food like kibbles and tinned dog and cat products are almost always made from meat that has either been rendered to a shelf stable powder, or otherwise processed to a meat “slurry” that is then sterilised. Rendering is a process favoured by the fertiliser industry, whereby meat and bones that are not fit for human consumption are crushed and then heated to very high temperatures until the water and fat separate. The remaining “meat” is dried to a long life powder that contains mostly protein and bone, and then turned into garden fertiliser, dry dog food and livestock feed.
Some tinned pet foods also use these meat meals, while others grind whole meat and meat by-products (which may include heads, hooves, offal and basically any part of the animal that is otherwise discarded), and then add cereals and other binding ingredients to form the chunks in a tin that we might mistake for actual pieces of meat. These ingredients are then cooked so the starches gelatinise and proteins begin to denature, before being tinned and sterilised using temperatures over 120 degrees Celsius for several minutes. These products are basically always synthesised with vitamin and mineral supplements, because very little nutrition survives these heat intensive processes.
Because these meats are pretty much always not of a quality fit for human consumption, prior to being turned into pet food they are regulated by a different set of rules to food intended for the human supply chain. These rules don’t require that meat be properly labelled as “beef” or “sheep,” which is why pet food manufacturers don’t always seem to know which one is in their food. There are of course brands that do name their meats, and we can only give them the benefit of the doubt that this is because their sourcing ensures these claims are accurate, but the intensive processing methods remain the same, meaning that nutritionally there is very little difference between them by that point anyway.
Another thing you will see in pretty much all processed pet foods is high levels of carbohydrate ingredients. These may be mysterious “cereals” in cheaper brands (usually wheat, corn, soy or some combination of all three), or things like brown rice, peas, lentils, chickpeas, tapioca, potato, sorghum and beet pulp in the higher end brands. These may sound ok, probably because we know these whole foods are nutritious additions to our own diet. But dogs and cats have no nutritional need for carbohydrates, and these are not actually present in their whole food form like the pretty pictures on the label might suggest; they are ground down to highly refined starchy powders that act as fillers and binders, without which these product would not hold together. They also often appear spread across multiple different ingredients (a practice known as ingredient splitting), which serves to conceal that many processed dog and cat foods are upwards of 50% carbohydrates.
For animals that don’t need any carbs in their diet, that’s a whole lot of carbs!
The best way to avoid these mystery meats and processed cereals is to feed your four-legged friend a whole food diet, either in the form of homemade food using the same nutritious ingredients you would eat yourself, or a reputable pre-made food that has been minimally processed and is clearly labelled with everything it contains"
What's the benefits of slow feeding bowls
A slow feeding bowl is a dog food bowl or mat that has obstacles that the pup needs to get around to reach their food. They make your pet work out how to get to the food, so they work for it and it slows them down if they are a dog that eats a lot of food very fast
A slow feeding bowl can be shaped like a bowl, but there are also mats, balls and other shapes. They have ridges, nooks, lumps and bumps that your dog has to work around. They come in a variety of materials, from plastic and silicone to stainless steel.
How much exercise should my dog have
"Providing a nutritious diet that supports your dog’s weight loss goals is a hugely important step towards ensuring their health and longevity, but we can’t forget about exercise. Just like for us, any endeavour to slim down will be more successful if it is paired with regular movement.
If your dog has become very sedentary, start gradually and work up to longer periods of activity. If they are capable, your dog should get at least 20 minutes of regular daily exercise in the form of a brisk walk or play at the dog park or beach. Ideally, they will be active for an hour a day if this is appropriate for them, which may be split into multiple outings if this works better for you (or them).
For dogs, physical activity doesn’t just provide physical benefits, but also offers enormous mental benefits. Exercise doesn’t have to be intense either; interactive tasks like training, play, sniffing, chewing and problem solving all work out the body and the mind, resulting in positive outcomes for physical and mental health.
If you have a particularly active breed, you may find physical exercise alone is insufficient to wear your pup out – working dogs can run for hours without stopping but will be mentally challenged and tire from puzzles and intense chewing. This is because these activities release dopamine (the “reward” brain chemical) and have a calming effect.
What is the issue with animals being overweight
According to a 2018 survey from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention in the US, 55 8% of dogs are classified as overweight or obese.
While a similar study hasn’t been in Australia for over 15 years, it’s thought that rates in Australia are comparable and increasing.
The last time this survey was done in Australia (in 2005) the results showed 40% of dogs were overweight or obese, which is an enormous and worrying jump.
Equally as concerning, it’s thought that 90% of pet owners don’t realise their pet is overweight!
So, what’s a few extra pounds? Well, it could mean the difference between a long, happy and pain-free life, or one coloured by disease and shortened by obesity.
The impact of additional weight or obesity on our dogs can include
an increased risk of skin conditions, chronic inflammation, arthritis, orthopaedic issues, kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, colitis and other digestive problems, urinary issues, liver disease, pancreatic inflammation, an increased risk of complications during surgery (which is more likely to be required) and, ultimately, a reduced life expectancy .
Cross reference this list with the top ten reasons for vet visits in dogs in 2018 (in the USA), and a clear pattern emerges:
26% saw a vet for stomach issues,
17% for skin conditions,
14% for pain,
10% for ear infections,
7.7% for eye conditions,
5.8% for a growth or lump,
5% for cancer,
4.8% for cruciate ligament or ACL,
4.8% for a UTI and
4.5% for a heart condition
What is the right weight for my pet
"The first step we recommend is to use a body condition chart to determine if your dog is a healthy weight, like the one below. This will give you an idea of how much work you have ahead of you, and it will help you document your progress.
Before embarking on any weight loss journey for your dog, it’s important to have a thorough check up at the vet to make sure there aren’t any underlying health problems causing your pet’s weight gain, such as an under active thyroid.
Most dogs will be completely fine to follow the exercise guidelines in this meal plan, but it’s a good idea to check with your vet what an appropriate amount of exercise is for your dog if they are a bit older or have any health conditions, like arthritis.
Unfortunately, not all vets are well versed in fresh food diets and aren’t always supportive of home cooking. This is a complex topic that relates to both the risks of poorly formulated homemade recipes, and the influence of “big pet food.”
These recipes have been formulated to meet the same standards commercial pet food in Australia is generally formulated to meet (the AAFCO standards), which will hopefully alleviate any concern. If not, finding a vet that supports fresh foods is a helpful step to successfully implementing this meal plan, as they can encourage and guide you, building your confidence and supporting you and your dog on their journey to wellness."
What can we do to help our animals if they are overweight
"As time has passed and our dogs have gradually gotten heavier, it’s understandable that we may have lost sight of what a healthy weight really looks like . After all, it’s now the norm for dogs to be overweight, if not obese!
Before we get into the meaty bits, we have summarised out top 10 tips to help your dog lose weight and keep it off.
1. Ditch the heavily processed, carbohydrate dense dog food
2. Start your dog on a fresh, species appropriate diet
3. Stop obsessing over restricting calories and focus on nourishing your dog
4. Exercise with your dog daily
5. Make sure your dog is hydrated
6. Quit the ultra-processed treats and make simple, healthy swaps
7. Become a planner and incorporate your dog’s food prep into your family’s routine
8. Keep healthy, easy options in the pantry for when life inevitably gets busy
9. Monitor your dog’s body condition score regularly to track their progress
10. View this as an investment in your dog’s health that will extend your life together"
What ingredients do you use in your pet food?
We only use the highest quality human grade food in our ingredients. Fresh meats, fruits and vegetables - all of which are premium ingredients fit for human consumption
Where do your ingredients come from?
Our meats come from high quality Australian butchers. We only use human grade meat which is designed for human consumption. Our fruits and vegetables come from Australian producers of the freshest quality ingredients designed for human consumption.
Do you cater for allergies/intollerances?
Our current selection of ready to eat food uses turkey not chicken and does not include beef. Chicken and beef can often be tricky for animals with sensitivities so these are a great option as well as being low in calories and high in taste, nutrition and protein.
How do I prepare the food for my pet?
You can feed the turkey treats directly as they come and with the complete meal we suggest adding water.
How do I store dried pet food?
In your pantry or in a cool area of your house
How long does dried food last?
It will last for at least 2 years
How do I know how much food to give my pet?
It can be super confusing working out how much your pup should have and there is no 100% correct answer as each animal is different.
The Healthy Active Pet recipes are all formulated to a similar calorie density, ranging from 850 – 1100 calories per kilogram, with an average around 950 calories.
If you’re used to feeding dry food it can be a little bit confusing to compare calories with fresh food, because they’re really very different. This is largely due to the natural water content in fresh food, meaning that it has a lower calorie density, but you feed more of it.
But water is the most important nutrient we consume, and generally most of it would come from our food, so that’s definitely not a bad thing!
To give you an idea of how they compare, a typical weight management dry food is 270 calories per 100g, whereas these recipes are more like 100 calories per 100g.
The dry food recommends 146g per day for a 10 kilogram dog (a teeny tiny portion!), which works out to be 394 calories.
We would recommend 250-300g per day of fresh food, which is only 250-300 calories.
They are getting less calories with fresh food, but a far greater nutritional outcome and as a bonus they stay hydrated.
This means that you can be more generous with portions if you find your dog is still very hungry, and you don’t have to deprive them of the joy that dinner time brings. It’s no wonder dogs that eat real food have less issues with weight management.
There’s even plenty of room for treats!
You can work out your dog’s recommended portions using a calorie calculator (eg . https://petnutritionalliance.org/ dog.php), but we find they often massively overshoot the mark when feeding a fresh diet, and this may actually lead to weight gain.
They tend to be designed for processed foods and sometimes the recommendations are as much as double what we recommend.
This is to do with the fact that protein and fat make up the bulk of a fresh diet, whereas carbohydrates make up most of a processed diet.
Ultimately, how much you need to feed your dog depends on your unique pet, and there is some trial and error involved in working this out initially.
They are just like us and some dogs will naturally have a faster or slower metabolism than average.
Some will be very food motivated and hungry, whereas others are a bit more indifferent to mealtimes.
We are aiming for slow and steady weight loss, so there’s no need to drastically limit their food.
Because the food is generally far healthier and better suited to canine metabolic needs, it will likely result in fat loss and muscle gain even if you don’t restrict portions at all.
How will I receive the program?
It will be within your My Account area and you will be able to view it online, download it or print it
Can I download the program again?
You can download the 4 week program as a PDF
Can I get a refund?
We don't offer refunds on our digital programs
Can I start the program again after 4 weeks?
Absolutely. You can redo the program and we also put new recipes in your members area each quarter.
When will new programs come out?
Each quarter new recipes are released. We currently have 4 programs and based on customer needs we will create more.
Can I print out the meal plans and shopping lists from the dog and cat challenges?
Yes you sure can!
The plans come in a PDF format and you can print the entire plan off which includes the shopping lists, meal plans and recipes. You can also access all recipes in your private members area.
Can I cancel my membership at any time?
Yes, you can cancel your membership* at any time. You will continue to have access to the Healthy Active Pet members area for the remainder of the period you have paid for.
For example, if you are on a monthly subscription and cancel one week into that month you will continue to have access to the app until the end of that subscription period.
To manage your membership, you can do this via your account on the Healthy Active Pet Website. Please click here to login and go to subscriptions.
What's included in membership?
Your membership includes full access to all programs and all recipes. It also includes a members only additional 10% discount on all items bought. You also recieve new recipes each quarter and VIP access to new content and launches.
How do I access the Member's Area?
You need to log in and click on your account area.
How do I access Recipes?
All recipes will be in the members area as well as in the program PDF
How do I use the 5% discount?
When you are logged in, your additional 5% discount will automatically apply.
Is the 5% discount applicable on everything?
Yes it is
How do I get invited to the Private Group?
The link will be on your welcome email and in youe members area
Shipping & Returns
How long does delivery take?
All our parcels are packed by the warehouse and dispatched (not delivered) to you within 2 working days after placing your order.
Depending on your postcode, Australian orders can take 3-7 days to reach you. International orders can take 10-14 days.
Can I cancel my order?
Once your order has been processed you cannot cancel it.
Change of mind returns
We only offer refunds if your order is faulty or unusable.
My item was delivered faulty, broken or unusable
Please contact our customer service team to arrange a refund.
What payment methods do you offer?
How do subscriptions work?
Our memberships are subscriptions and you can choose your payment terms and recieve a heavily discounted rate for full access to all programs and content as well as receive additional discounts as a member. You can cancel at any time and are not locked in.
How do I change or cancel subscriptions?
You can go to your account area and cancel. You will have access to the programs and expert content for the length of your subscription you have paid for. Your access will end at the end of your paying period.
Where can i see my previous orders?
In your Account area.
Become a member!
Get exclusive access to our catalog of recipes as well as instant access to new recipes added every month.
You'll also get access to ALL health & wellness programs for all pets, VIP access to sales and launches, and access to our private group with animal expert Q & A's.
We'll also give you 5% OFF everything just for being a member!What are you waiting for?