batches vs. blends

An email usually pops into our inbox and it reads like this….What is the difference between a batch and and a blend? And how do I choose which one to feed? We love these emails. First, because we love communicating with our customers. Second, because we have so much to say!

Batches: The original smallbatch dog and cat food complete and balanced for all life stages. We started making these way back in 2003 and instead of calling them diets or formulas we opted to call them Batches. It seemed like the fun thing to do at the time not intending to cause confusion. However it seems over the years confusion arose from the name. So here is the skinny on our Batches. They contain muscle meat, organ meat, raw meaty bones, vegetables, herbs, berries, and supplements. We offer dog specific Batches and cat specific Batches. Dog specific Batches come in two different portion sizes. 8 oz patties or 1 oz sliders. The 8 oz. patties are available in 6 lbs. bags and the 1 oz sliders are available in 3 lbs. bags. Cat specific Batches are only available in 1 oz sliders and only come in 3 lbs. bags. All of our Batches are made fresh and frozen immediately and then packaged in a resealable bag. They are incredibly convenient since we have done all the formulating and portioning for you. You simply take the desired amount out of the bag (a feeding chart can be found on both the bag and our website) thaw the food out overnight in the fridge in a designated container (we use recycled to go containers from our favorite take out spot). Once thawed either feed as is or mash it up and give it to your dog or cat and watch them dig in! Easy right? Also, there is no need to add any additional ingredients.

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However, we are well aware that pet owners are still inclined to add certain things to their pet’s food no matter how complete and balanced the particular food is. We do it too! And at smallbatch we believe less is more and that is why we like to keep our diets simple with a limited ingredient profile. We do not add any synthetic: vitamins, amino acids or minerals to our foods. All of our amino acids, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals are derived from the whole food sources that make up our Batches.

Blends: We started making our Blends around 2005. Although our Batches are pretty limited in their ingredient profile the need for an even more stripped down version sprang up and we filled that need with our Blends. Why did we call them Blends? The name sounded like a good counterpart to our other product, Batches. And Blends are just that, a stripped down, closer to the wild version of their counterpart the Batches. So how are Blends different than Batches? First, they are not dog or cat specific instead they are great for both dogs and cats and boy do they both love them! Blends contain ground up raw meaty bones, organs and muscle meat. There are also a variety of Blends that contain a small amount of vegetables. Second, Blends are only available in frozen 2 lbs. chubs. Third, they are intended for supplemental or intermittent feeding only. But, shhhhh, we have seen multiple generations of dogs and cats flourish on these types of diets.

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Blends are most popular in large breed dog households and multiple pet households because they are cost efficient. They are also popular in finicky cat households. Cats in general tend to prefer blends because after all cats are true carnivores and crave a super meaty meal and who doesn’t want to give a cat what they want, Meow! Blends are also the best choice for pet owners that want to customize or tailor their own diet to meet their pets’ specific needs. So what is the catch with Blends they sound great, right? Well, they are! However, they are not portioned out like the patties and sliders (Batches) so they are not as convenient to feed so a little elbow grease is required. Large dog or multiple dog households benefit from being able to use the food up quickly but still you will need to take into account a couple things. One, you will need a container large enough to hold the meat and any additional ingredients you add. Two, is the time it will take to chop, measure and mix the added ingredients. For households that will not use up 2 lbs. in 2 to 3 days you can either defrost the entire chub and mix in all your ingredients and then divide the mixture into individual servings and freeze. Or you can slightly defrost a chub to the point where you can cut it into individual servings and freeze. With the latter method adding additional ingredients is done daily at feeding time. For either one of these two methods you will need to have containers or freezer bags on hand for the daily portions you h!ave made from the original 2 lbs. frozen chub.

Are you still scratching your head wondering which of our formulas, Blends or Batches that you should feed? Well it all pretty much boils down to what you are comfortable feeding and before you decide there are a few things to consider. For instance does your dog or cat have any specific dietary needs? Does your dog or cat have any ingredient restrictions? Does your pet have any food allergies? Also consider your schedule. Do you have time to customize your pets food and do you feel comfortable doing so? You can consult a nutritionalist to help you with a specific diet for your dog or cat and we’d be happy to refer you to one if that appeals to you. Or is your schedule so tight they you need a convenient ready to feed option? Or is saving a few bucks worth the extra effort you have to put in? Once you have answered these questions you will definitely know which of our products is right for you.

A quick recap.

Batches are our complete diets, we offer dog specific batches and cat specific batches. The dog batches are available in 2 convenient sizes 8 oz patties and 1 oz sliders. The cat batches are available in purfectly convenient 1 oz sliders. Our Batches are loaded with meat, produce, and supplements delivering all the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids and amino acids your pet needs. Batches are also ready to feed and require no additional work or supplementation on your end. You just thaw and feed.

Blends are our incomplete diets and are appropriate for both dogs and cats. They are available in 2 lbs. chubs and require a little extra effort before feeding. They are a blend of meat, organs, bone, cartilage, and blood and contain a multitude of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and EFA’s. In essence they are complete by nature’s standards but to make them complete by industry standards (AAFCO) additives are necessary to make them more nutrient dense. It is recommended that you add an oil for EFA’s and a vitamin mineral supplement. Or you can add a base mix from one our friends at Honest Kitchen or Sojo’s to make your Blend complete.

Here at smallbatch we recommend and encourage rotating between Batches and Blends if your pet and your schedule permit. We also recommend feeding an array of proteins. Total nutrition is more easily attained from a varied diet.

Still confused? Call us, Seriously!