Keeping PETS out of vets since 2011

Power Paste makes it easy for people to whip up deeply nutritious and delicious meals for their dog... 

Rottie with Power Paste
a tub of Power Paste for dogs

Most agree DIY raw dog food is best because, regardless of quality, it’s impossible to actually know what your complete raw is made with – finely ground chicken carcass looks like chicken mince. Did they really put lamb liver in this?! How much of the power additions did they add?!! 

For this reason, I mostly DIY for Duds. Power Paste is my creation and it was born out of pure necessity because, as most of us will agree, finding the meat and bone bits is easy enough. At a minimum, you can find all the beef and chicken parts you need in any supermarket. 

The problem is always the tail-end ingredients, the various organ meats (some of which are simply not available in butchers in anymore eg spleen, pancreas, blood, hair!), lightly steamed veg and then all those little “power” additions that power up the mix, including sardines (for omega 3 but also a rare source of brains eyes!), wild berries and medicinal mushrooms, a variety of organic herbs & seeds (pre-soaked, of course) and some tooth-cleaning seaweeds (that’s right, at a functional dose no need for my beloved Canident with this). 

In short, all the good stuff. Or, another way of looking at it, all the harder to find and significantly more expensive stuff.

I found all these bits and stuck it in a tub to save me hassle. Now I have a product in the fridge that I can add to literally ANYTHING and make a perfect meal out of it for Duds, as we show you below. 

But it’s not just raw feeders Power Paste caters to…

raw power paste

Power Paste is ESSENTIAL for kibble feeders...

It’s hard for many pro-raw pet shop owners to watch their clients walk out with a bag of dry, especially the high carb variety. Now, they have a nutritious, meaty raw OR cooked topper for these clients, helping them take their first steps towards real feeding.

There are two critical scientific facts that we on this side of the fence are now painfully aware of (including the pet shop owners at the coal face above) but that sadly most kibble-feeders are not. The first is kibble is repeatedly found to be incredibly deficient in vital nutrients. Davies et al. 2017, published in Nature, found major nutrient deficiency concerns in the majority of “complete” kibbles tested in UK (n=177, including veterinary brands). In fact, 2 out of every 3 complete dry food products failed to provide the minimum nutritional requirements as set out by AAFCO (a staggering 94% of the “complete” canned failed, too). It should come as small surprise when other projects then find  60% of pets consuming these products are dangerously deficient in vital nutrients.

The other key point not highlighted to kibble feeders today is that every single study comparing dry and raw / home-prepared-fed dogs conducted to date (Jan 2024) , including two works published in Nature, has revealed that dogs fed real food appear significantly healthier (with less inflammation, less skin disease, less gut disease and less ear disease). Dogrisk, the research group in Helsinki who provided many of these works for us, shows us that just replacing 20% of the kibble diet with real food sets these changes in place.

The natural follow on question might be – if taking some kibble out, what should we put in? Well, guess what I’m going to say…?!

I see Power Paste as an essential topper for most-if-not-all kibble fed dogs, providing not only a lovely dose of fresh, readily absorbed, vitamins, minerals and fats, but also innumerable bioactive, anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory compounds found in the large range of organ meats and coloured veg but also the borderline-medicinal additions such as wild blueberries, seaweed and medicinal mushrooms, all of which are completely absent from most dry pet foods. 

* Power Paste can/should make up at least 20% of their kibble meal per day but not much more than 50%. To get him used to it, start off slow, little bit one meal, bit more the next. More tips below.

cooked power paste

This is why we have a cooked version. Folk new to the “real food” game can be put off by the term “raw”, particularly vets who we’re trying to get on side. In this way, we hope lightly cooked Power Paste can be the gateway product they have been waiting for. Now, instead of adding in that tin of meat and nutrient bereft canned food to “meaty” up the mix, they can recommend a truly nutritious (I would say essential) topper to their dry fed clients.

Stockists

A more detailed look at the Power Paste ingredients...

Ingredients: Irish grass-fed, chemical-free beef liver, Atlantic sardine, beef heart, beef tripe, beef kidney, beef spleen, beef pancreas, fresh and lightly steamed local kale, broccoli, carrot,Irish seaweeds, pre-soaked organic flaxseed meal and organic Styrian pumpkin seeds, beef collagen, organic rosehips,dehydrated organic reishi mushrooms, dehydrated wild Scandinavian blueberries, dried beef blood, organic cleavers, cattle hair.

There is a reason studies show carnivores such as dogs and cats go for meat organs first. Organ meat is to them what colourful veg is to humans. Their are essential carnivore nutrition. Not only are they an excellent source of protein, good quality fats and a natural vitamin and mineral sink, but they also contain all the bits and pieces that help them to function which carnivores like dogs and cats plunder to boost their own organ health (e.g. taurine and co enzyme q 10 in heart meat, lutein and zeaxanthin in eye balls, omega DHA in brains, etc) but many possess endocrine / exocrine functions (such as digestive enzymes in pancreas and growth factors in spleen) which also supercharge your pets health in ways we still poorly understand.

Sardines are the best source of omega 3. That’s first and foremost. But they’re a rare source of brains and eyes for your pet! They also provide dry fed dogs with their only bit of glucosamine and chondroitin for those starved joints. Is it enough glucosamine/chondroitin for them?! No, they need more. It comes from feeding them raw meaty bones

Blood contains a cacophony of nutrients in readily available form. It is the very best source of iron on the planet, called heme iron, which is far better absorbed than iron from plants or the horrible iron oxide (a.k.a. rust) in kibble. Studies show blood has opiate-like effects in meat eaters. How much does your dog need? No idea but some of the healthiest people on the planet (the Masai Mara) drink a LOT of it! We include it dehydrated so as not to liquify the mix even more than it is.

Type 1 collagen is not only deeply nutritious but as harder to digest is thought to be “carnivore fibre” (like plant fibre to humans). Dogs and cats need lots of it in their diet. Luckily it is found all over the body – meat, joints, bones. In fact, gut health aside, studies show it’s pivotal in stronger joints and bones, better skin, nails and hair as well eye and brain health. Again, poor dry fed dogs are afforded  none in their daily fare.

Again, studies show the indigestible parts of prey, including hair, hide and feather, play a crucial role in carnivore digestion. Collagen and the parts above are normal carnivore fibre. Studies of zoo carnivores show they benefit immedately when fed it compared to hair-less meals. All raw dog food companies leave out this ingredient as they are afraid their clients will think they are being cheap…but you guys are smarter than that.

Kale and broccoli are a great source of fibre and nutrients like B-complex and folate, vital to energy production and brain health. Carrots contain anti-oxidative compounds such as carotene and luteolin. Studies show the additions of dark greens and orange vegetables reduces cancer in dogs, as it does us. Dogs would naturally get some plant material in their diet, often from eating the gut contents of their smaller prey where it has been pre-digested for them (hence we cook it – they can’t digest it) but also some amounts that we know they can and do forage themselves for various reasons.

Multiple studies show blueberries and very good for you and your dog. We use handpicked wild blueberries from Scandinavian forests (called bilberries when wild) as studies show they are far higher in the good stuff such as reservatrol and anthocyanin. These are a deeply medicinal item. We use 1.5g of dehydrated bilberry powder per 1kg of Power Paste, which is about 10g of fresh blueberries. This may not sound like a hell of a lot but a) they’re incredibly expensive and b) I’m not sure they need lots. 

If you want to add more, please, have at it!

Normally sourced from bird and rodent stomachs, we use a mix of pre-soaked and ground organic flax seed for vitamin E, selenium and various PUFA’s and organic Styrian pumpkin seeds from the EU (the very best and with no shell) as they are not only high in vitamin E and zinc but highest in cucurbitacin, a potential worm preventative. We use 10g of flaxseed and 5g of pre-soaked seed meals in each kilo of mix, again should be enough.

Rosehips and cleavers are favourite of dogs when browsing for plant forage. Studies show rosehips have a range of benefits to humans including reducing arthritis pain and boosting heart health. They’re also very high in vitamin C (which dry-fed dogs get none of their kibble unless otherwise stated). 

Like rosehips, studies abound that cleavers  boost not just liver and kidney function in many animals studies, but also lymphatic drainage, crucial in detox.

We use 2g of each per kilo of Power Paste. While not a whole lot, it should be enough for the average dog to keep things in check.

It’s important to note here that these bits, like medicinal mushrooms, we view as medicines, so we purposefully keep them low and in the background.

If my dog was suffering something where one of the above may be beneficial, I would certainly increase these for my dog. However, I would do so by leaving it to the side of the bowl, allowing the dog to choose if they want / need more, in line with the best principles of canine self-selection.

In terms of a green superfood there is simply nothing better than locally sourced, Atlantic seaweeds sourced from the cool, clean waters off the West Coast of Ireland.

As well as a whole host of harder to source vitamin and minerals including of course iodine, seaweeds are notoriously full of anti-inflammatory compounds, such as fucoidans and fucoxanthin, proven effective in the fight against cancer among a number of maladies.

We have selected two dried seaweeds for Power Paste that will help remove the tartar from your dogs teeth and we have included it at the dose needed – 20g per kilo of Power Paste. 

To give you an idea of dosage there – the average 14kg Cocker eats 350g of raw dog food per day. 20% of his diet is 70g. 70g of Power Paste contains around 1.5g of seaweed, enough to clean his teeth over time (to compare to Canident, we recommend 1-2g per 10kg of dog per day).

Organic reishi mushrooms are wonderful. They offer an impressive immune boost and will help with energy production and fatigue as well as the fight against cancer.

Since switching on to Zoo Pharmacognosy (if you aren’t familiar, check it out online, it’s fascinating, all about animals self-selecting what they need), we view medicinal mushrooms as….well….medicine! As such, we take it each with including them in food. Each kilo of Power Paste contains 1.5g of dried, organic reishi mushroom, around 10g of fresh stuff. Again, not an enormous amount but should absolutely be enough in the background to have some highly positive effects on your dog.

But again, if my dog was suffering an ailment where this ingredient is expected to help, I would up it, but I would leave it to the side of the bowl. If they want / need it, they will take it. They may not, at least this type. Perhaps try another.

The many uses of Power Paste...

1. DIY 3 ways...

There are a variety of ways to DIY. The first and probably easiest is picking up some meat-with-10%-bone mix from your favourite raw dog food supplier. Often sold in bigger blocks This stuff is always cheaper, often more than half the price of their completes, as it doesn’t contain the pricier organ meats and power additions (even veg per kilo is usually more expensive than most of the meat cuts, eg carcass, necks, wings, used in most such products) often sold in bigger blocks.

Then there is the way I normally do it, which is pieces of meat and meat with bone. I make Dud’s food every couple of weeks – around 7 lunchboxes with 800g of food in each one. See below. Again, if new to this, don’t panic, it’s easy. Read the DIY article above or do my course, you’ll be a pro chef in no time…if just for the dog.

DIY raw dog food using power paste

It’s this process I have greatly simplified with Power Paste. Check it out…!

Now, I must warn you, once you start off at this sort of thing, some folk REALLY get into it…

2. Great use of leftovers...

Now, while this may be too much of a deviation for some, it’s also going to help me make a VERY quick dinner for him when I’m caught short. Once most folk immerse themselves in the raw / DIY / canine nutrition world they quickly realise that the whole idea of “complete” is nonsense. It’s no more important a concept for them than it is for your kids…which is not at all. Some days, often when they smell weakness from me, my kids demand plain pasta. Maybe I’ll get some sauce (which I seem to be able to sneak less and less good stuff in) and animal protein in there (be it meat or cheese) but all in all, little better than a pizza. And they’re OK. 

Power Paste makes a properly nutritious meal out of leftovers. What I’m doing here is I part defrost a tray or two of Power Paste in the fridge then stuff it into large ice cube trays, allowing for easier deployment when the opportunity arises.

Is this ideal every day?! If you’re still asking that at this point, I suggest maybe making your own food is a step too far for you right now. For now, stick to “complete” pre-made raws or lightly-cooked meals and, when you’re ready, check out my Raw Feeding Masterclass course which teaches you all you need to know.

3. Enhance dry food!

Regarding how much kibble to replace, it’s not quite as easy as swopping like for like, weight-wise. Remember, you’re taking out DRY food (meaning food without water) and replacing it with fresh food (that contains 70% water).

This makes the maths roughly 1 part dry food to 1.5 parts Power Paste.

So, if your dog gets 200g for his morning feed and you take out 20% you will be removing 40g of nuts from his bowl. We recommend you replace this with 60g of Power Paste. He’ll be delighted as he’ll think he’s getting more food! But it’s just water, so don’t worry.

Warning: as soon as you introduce Power Paste your dog is going to start doing the meat-boogie. Check out Jaspers’ reaction. Need we say more?! 

4. How to make Power Cake (a.k.a. good dry food)

Dry food is 50% ultra-processed carb filler, most often wheat, corn, soy or now pea. The rest is a mix of poor quality plant ingredients and a George Jetson vit/min pack of poorly absorbed conical flask nutrients. I’m here to tell you, that stuff is VERY FAR from rocket science. In fact, high-carb kibble is a terrible diet for your dog, regardless of the wrapper or promises of your vet. As above, studies show these candy-company products are more most likely not providing the minimum nutrition to your pet and they are suffering because of it. You are wasting your money and their health.

If this is the starting point, believe me, you can make much better stuff at home yourself. Let’s say you thought 50% carbs was a good idea for a meat eater. OK, well, why not whip up a big pot of potatoes? Or pumpkin? As slower to digest carb sources, these are more suitable carb sources for your pet than wheat, corn or soy (which happen to be the cheapest) . Pop in some Power Paste in there as the other half, mix them up, bake under low heat until dry and boom, you have just made “Power Cake” (patent pending!). You now not only have a far superior meal for your dog but it’s half the price.

But would that be “complete” Conor?! 

No (or, more accurately, maybe, depending how much you believe in the AAFCO minimum nutrient profile, which we do not, at all. It’s dry food nonsense). We do not advise 50/50 carbs and Power Paste long term in your dog or cat. If you read my book or blog or do my courses, you will realise such a high carb content is not advised for your dog and little will ameliorate the damage of it over time. 

However, I would certainly feed that diet, free of chemical preservatives and now with a whole bevvy of easily absorbed nutrients and bioactive compounds, over chemically preserved, nutrient bereft dry food. I would use it if the person minding my dog for a week would not give raw food. I would use it if staying over in the vets and they were going to treat him differently because he’s fresh fed. I would use it when travelling. I would use it for treats.

Check out this video below where they use a mix of coconut flour, eggs and broth as a base for their treats. That is AWESOME food by anyones reckoning…

Example of a "Chicken & Beef" recipe with COST breakdown...

Before we begin, we will all mentally compare the price per kilo of Power Paste to our favourite complete raw but understand that this is not a fair comparison as it is not the same type of product. Think of Power Paste more as a nutritional power-up, all the fancy bits you want / need all in one place, ready to go.

Here is an example of a quick, money-no-worries Chicken & Beef recipe that you can quickly and easily put together from the supermarket (prices as per Tescos, Jan 2024). It makes 3.8kg, suitable for a medium sized (12kg / 26lb) dog for 13 days (eating 300g per day).

  • 1kg of 5 or 10% fat grass-fed beef mince (or chunks or any beef really). Cost €7.40/£6.30 per kilo
  • 2kg of chicken thighs (has 30% bone, work out perfect with the rest added). Cost €3.50/£3 per kilo
  • 2 trays of Power Paste. Cost €7/£5.95 each.
Total cost: €7.40+€7+€14=€28.40 for 3.8kg or €7.47 / £6.20 per kilo for the Rolls Royce of easiest-to-source raw dog food meals.
 
From here, your cost per kilo can only go down. For example, instead of uber-pricey beef mince, why not buy a beef heart and tripe from a raw dog food supplier, costing around €3.50/£3kg (eg Rathlin Raw) this slashes the cost of at least that ingredient, a vital saving when feeding bigger dogs. Then there is leftovers which easily make up 10-20% of Dudleys diet per day. They cost nothing as they’d be going in the bin otherwise. This adds up over the month. Skint one month? Use one tray of Power Paste instead of two. If we’re honest, it’s still a luxurious amount of those ingredients compared to many premades out there.

But even at that full price, bear in mind that most “Chicken & Beef” raw dog food completes sold today consist of chicken necks / carcass with a couple of beef organs (liver ideally though now kidney / spleen, as all organ meat prices are now rocketing, hence no beef organ mixes for sale out there today) and virtually zero of the fancy additions bar maybe some seaweed. For this type of mix, you will pay the same as the above, €6-€8 (£5-£7) per kilo.
 
Power Paste contains a far superior array of organ meats (now with pancreas, spleen, blood, hair etc), properly prepared veg as well as all the awesome power additions (berries, mushrooms, seeds, herbs and tooth-cleaning seaweed addition).
 
But there is also the actual meat content of the above mix to consider. Most pre-mades do not include much if any actual beef at all. It’s too expensive. Above we’re using very fancy beef mince. Some  may include some extra beef heart (not so much these days with price increases) or tripe to meaty up the mix (again, far pricier than chicken necks/carcass). Nothing much wrong with that, albeit a slightly different nutrient profile. 
 
*Note Your percentage chicken bone content will go up slightly but for most dogs this is absolutely fine (try your dog and see). Fact is, chickens are babies when killed (10-11wks of age). Their bones are soft, full of water and not to be compared to beef (1-2yrs), pork or lamb (6mths) bones, which are much harder. Your dog can eat much more chicken bone in his diet and hence we suspect most pre-made raw dog food chicken products to be far higher in bone than what is written on the label. 

Other frequently asked questions...

RRP estimated at €6.95 (£6) in shops per 400g raw tray (0% VAT as working-dog food product)

RRP estimated at €7.30 (£6.30) per 400g cooked tray (0% VAT as working-dog food product)

We understand, at this cost, Power Paste may not be for everyone but here are the facts – beef organ is the most expensive part of any pre-made raw dog food. Check it out in the shops per kilo. Veg too is rising in cost. Then we have the power additions.

If you look online you will see the ingredients of a “good” food product will be one third to one quarter of the sell price. We are at the very low end of this and cannot make it cheaper at todays prices without sacrificing quality somewhere. The manufacturer (pays for all the ingredients, makes it, has all the machinery and staffing issues) gets a third, the retailer (all the operating costs) gets 30% and, if we (Dogs First) sell enough of it each month, and after paying for all the packaging and distributor and storage fees, we might come out with €1 on each tray for all our effort to date and all our marketing going forward (try run an ad campaign on that!).

This known, raw isn’t the sexiest business to be in, is it?! 

Why am I telling you all these trade secrets? Because first of all, I’m lazy and Duds badly needs this product, so work myself to the bone I will. Far be it from me, in 2024, for my dog to want for absolutely anything. But more importantly, I’m not a raw dog food manufacturer nor pet food retailer nor do I want to be. At these sorts of margins, Power Paste barely features in my future plans for repaying my mortgage. This product is there as a service, largely to me. If it works, great, we’ll keep making it. If it doesn’t, believe me, we’ll stop. Nobody loses and I have gotten another “idea” out of my brain.

Whether it is the raw or cooked option you choose, Power Paste lives in your freezer. Once fully thawed (best done in your fridge (takes 2 days) it will last 4 days.

This is the estimated nutritional analysis per 100g based on the most accurate diet formulator for EU ingredients. We will verify this with a thorough nutritional analysis shortly.

MACROSUnit 
Protein%14.1%
Fat%4.19%
Ash%1.55%
Net Carbs%7.24%
Fiber%1.8%
Sugars (limited data)%1.07%
Moisture%71.12%
   
MINERALS  
Calciumg1.28
Phosphorusg1.73
Ca:Pratio0.74 : 1
Potassiumg2.97
Sodiumg1.74
Magnesiumg0.44
Ironmg216
Coppermg6.61
Manganesmg3.38
Zincmg15.84
Iodinemg13.25
Seleniummg0.32
   
   
VITAMINS  
Vit AIU17796
Vit Cmg116.49
Vit DIU244
Vit EIU16.35
Thiamine, B1mg1.38
Riboflavin, B2mg4.74
Niacin, B3mg19.75
Pantothenic Acid, B5mg6.84
B6 (Pyridoxine)mg1.99
Vit B12mg0.04
Folic Acidmg0.76
Cholinemg462
Vit K1mg0.46
Biotinmg0.05
   
FATS  
Totalg34
Saturatedg8.78
EPAg0.21
DPAg0.03
DHAg0.42
06:03:00ratio1.12 : 1
EPA + DHAg0.63
   
AMINO ACIDS  
Total proteing115
Tryptophang0.91
Threonineg2.16
Isoleucineg2.45
Leucineg4.33
Lysineg4.12
Methionineg1.55
Methionine – Cystineg2.15
Phenylalanineg2.37
Phenylalanine – Tyrosineg4.27
Valineg2.78
Arginineg4.13
Histidineg1.85
Purinesmg292
Taurineg0.07

If you have a smaller dog they may take longer to go through the pack. Feel free to part-defrost your tray of Power Paste in the fridge (do not defrost at room temperature, anything above 5oC encourages the growth of nasties), remove half into a tub for scooping and you are safe to re-freeze the rest. Others are half-defrosting and using ice-cube trays to make for easy daily deployment. Really like that idea actually.

No, is the answer, absolutely not. We include sardines at 10% of the mix. We would love to include more but the mix starts to smell fishy, which we are trying to avoid.

At 10%, Power Paste will of course contain a nice whack of omega 3 and together with the meat organs, it means there will be some omega 3 in there for sure. No doubt most dry fed dogs will be extremely grateful for it (most Irish/UK raw-fed dogs are expected to have enough omega 3 in their diet from all the grass-fed animal fat they get) but is it enough for them? Surely not. Studies show most dry foods are utterly deficient in omega 3. We would need a LOT more sardines or to supplement with omega 3 oil, which we are not prepared to do right now. Asides the fact many dogs eating this product will not need that supplement, adding needless expense, the whole fish oil supplement industry has issues. Adding it in in oil form will increase the liklihood it oxidises, making it a more harmful addition in many cases. 

If you think your dog needs more omega 3 in his diet for sure you should give it to him. We recommend algal oil (containing both EPA & DHA) in capsules. 

Yes – cereal-based, grain-free, cold-pressed, dehydrated, cooked trays, cans, etc.

Just remember, if you’re swopping out dry stuff, the dry stuff is 1 to 1.5.

If you’re swopping out wet stuff (cans / trays etc), then the ratio is one part the old stuff to one part Power Paste.

No, it doesn’t. We would say fresh is best but lightly cooked is a very close second. Most nutrient loses in cooking are lost to the water it is cooked in. However, as Power Paste is cooked in a tray, everything is retained so hardly anything is lost. Also, the cooked version might be something they’re more familiar with so you might start with that and progress on when ready.

 Buy a whole frozen turkey, allow to defrost, chop into 6 or chunks, cover with water, simmer for 6-8hrs, remove bones, simmer off excess water (maybe throw in a handful of oats near the end to soak up the last of it) and add 1 part Power Paste to 4 parts turkey meat stew.

You can add cheaper meat (do my course to get some ideas on meat sourcing) but some ideas include:

  • buy in bulk
  • buy cuts less used by humans from raw dog food producers online
  • make friends with butchers
  • buy yellow label meat in supermarkets

Or you can add some carbs. Now, this is a long conversation and not for now (see my Raw Feeding Masterclass for more on this topic) but YES your dog can have a little carbs in the form of pumpkin or oats if you need to save some money. Anything is better than very high carb dry food (and their carbs are awful cereals like wheat, rice and corn which you shouldn’t feed dogs or cats). If you added 20% carbs to the beef and chicken recipe above you would save €1.20 / £1 a kilo. As long as 80% of his diet was perfect, I’m not sure it really matters.

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