FAQs

We're here to help

About Hug Pet Food

  • How is your pet food different?

    To discover what sets our raw food apart, pop over here. If you’re interested in learning why our cold pressed food is the best of the best, head here!

  • Is the meat you use free range?

    We only use free range and high welfare meat, sourced from suppliers of food fit for human consumption – no green tripe in sight.

  • Where do you source your ingredients?

    We source our ingredients in the UK, whenever possible. For vegetables, herbs, and supplements that aren’t native to the UK or aren’t produced to a high enough standard, we work with carefully selected growers as close to home as possible.

    Our cold pressed food contains top-notch ingredients from suppliers in inspirational Norway. Everything is world-class, from the quality of their produce to their clean manufacturing processes and small farm management, allowing us to make the finest quality dog food for your pooch.

  • Where is the food made?

    All of our food is made right here in the UK.

    Our raw food is prepared at Hug HQ. We chose to partner with a small, trusted manufacturer for the preparation of our cold pressed food – their level of experience enables us to ensure it meets the highest UK standards. Every recipe is researched and developed by us, then gently cooked by them.

  • Why do you add supplements to your food?

    Many years’ experience in raw food and veterinary nutrition has taught us that a species-appropriate diet – as nature intended – is the best way to feed your pet. By formulating a diet that incorporates nature and science, we make sure that cats and dogs get proper nutrition in every meal; supplements play an essential role in this.

    Rather than expecting pet parents to buy a mix of proteins and feed regularly – as some companies do – or giving instructions to feed additional items, we wanted to deliver meals that were already correctly balanced.

    Supplements restore balance, which is why we add those of the highest quality and natural composition to our food, ethically sourced from the best producers we can find. We haven’t added supplements to tick boxes for the pet food industry – we’ve actually gone beyond minimum requirements so we can provide pets with the right quantities of nutrients such as vitamin E and omega-3.

    Whether you’re feeding Hug food cooked or raw, our supplementation ensures both deliver optimal nutrition to your pet.

  • Does your food contain artificial preservatives?

    No. We’re all about natural diets for pets, so you won’t find artificial preservatives in any of our recipes.

  • Can I cook your raw food?

    Yes – you can serve it raw or cook it. Better still, our cooked meals still deliver all the benefits of a whole food diet.

    A common concern related to raw feeding is the presence of bacterial content; this can be reduced by heating the food. The ability to safely cook Hug food sets us apart from all other raw food companies and enables pet parents to eliminate the risk of bacteria. The cooking of our food has been made possible by removing the bone from our recipes and replacing the minerals it offers with natural alternatives.

     

  • How is the food made?

    Our raw recipes are made with high welfare fresh meat and fresh seasonal British vegetables, along with a superfood mix of krill, herbs, and seeds. We carefully measure our ingredients, to ensure we are following recommended nutritional guidelines. We then gently mix the ingredients. Finally, we fill our recyclable tubs or pots with our tasty raw food.

    Each meal is complete, grain free, and provides a carefully developed mix of bioavailable vitamin and mineral supplements, along with antioxidants and essential fatty acids. Everything your pet needs for balanced, healthy eating.

    What about our cold pressed dog food? This is made by gently cooking premium ingredients at low temperatures for a short time, locking in maximum flavour and nutrients. Like our raw recipes, each cold pressed recipe includes an optimal mix of bioavailable vitamin and mineral supplements, in addition to other top-tier ingredients such as veggies, high welfare meat, herbs, and krill.

  • Is the food nutritionally complete?

    Absolutely. All of our recipes comply with FEDIAF guidelines for a complete diet – and go one step beyond them. Our recipes contain adequate levels of omega-3, vitamin E, and phytonutrients that we know to be so beneficial to pets’ health, when, in fact, FEDIAF doesn’t even call for their inclusion.

  • Is your raw food suitable for weight loss?

    All of our raw pet food recipes are naturally low in carbs, making them an ideal option for overweight pets. Of course, some recipes are leaner than others, so may be more suitable for weight management.

    To find out more, see our advice on pets maintaining a healthy weight.

  • Do you sell natural dog treats as well?

    Yes, we sell a wide variety of natural treats! Head over to our shop to see our range of tasty options.

Environment

  • What is Ecologi?

    Ecologi is a fantastic organisation that invests in tree planting, carbon reduction, and, well, saving our precious planet. For every new Hug customer, they plant a tree on our behalf.

  • How do I recycle Hug pet food packaging?

    You can recycle our packaging as follows:

    Delivery box, tape, labels & liners

    These are all made from cardboard and paper so they can be recycled in your curbside cardboard collection.

    Ice packs

    The water in our ice packs Is pure and has food safety certification. It has been put through a 6-stage filtration process before being softened, chlorinated, and UV light treated.

    Being pure water, it is:

    Great for plants

    Safe to pour away down the drains

    EnviroIce® can be disposed of either with local food waste or garden waste collections.
    If it does happen to end up in landfill, it will still degrade to nothing. EnviroIce® Packs are certified fully compostable, according to BS-EN13432. Whether industrial or home composting it WILL break down and it WILL disappear completely!

    Raw pots and sleeves

    These are made from cardboard so can be recycled in your curbside cardboard collection.

    Pot/tub film lids – PET & CPP (polyethylene terephthalate & cast polypropylene)

    Sadly, a compostable or recyclable plastic that can tolerate heat sealing that’s suitable for our cardboard containers does not exist at present. We tried many alternatives, even a new kind of plastic made from wood pulp. But this simply disintegrated after defrosting.

    While we search for an alternative film, we don’t want this plastic to end up in a landfill. Therefore, we’d appreciate it if you could please wash and save your film lids; you can then send them back to us in batches of 50 (50, 100, 150, and so on). We’ll ensure the plastic doesn’t go to landfill and will issue you with a £5 discount to cover your expenses! Just make sure you to pop your details on the envelope you send us, so we can email you a discount code for your next order.

    Cold pressed boxes

    These are made from cardboard so can be recycled in your curbside cardboard collection. Please leave plastic tamper tabs on the box when you recycle (these are treated like glue).

    10kg cold pressed box handles – 4 LDPE (low-density polyethylene)

    These are made from LDPE, a flexible, recyclable plastic. Please check your local curbside service covers this: if not included in your curbside collections, please contact your local recycling centre for more information on recycling LDPE.

Allergies and intolerances

Raw pet food for dogs

  • Do you test for bacteria?

    As required by law, our food is tested for salmonella, in addition to other bacteria and parasites. We only ever use fresh meat and ingredients fit for human consumption. To find out more, visit our page on Hug’s bacteria and safety policies.

  • Can dogs eat raw chicken?

    Yes, it’s safe for dogs to do so as long as the pet food containing raw chicken is stored correctly. We follow strict bacteria and safety guidelines here at Hug, and all of our meals come with clear storage instructions.

    We understand that salmonella is a concern for pet parents. Every batch of our food is tested for salmonella, in addition to other bacteria and parasites, as required by law. We have a zero-tolerance salmonella policy, so we will not use any batch in which salmonella is found. We only ever use fresh, human-grade chicken, and all of our suppliers share our commitment to the highest standards of quality and animal welfare.

  • Why does your raw food contain no bone?

    Our raw pet food recipes do not contain pieces of bone. This eliminates concerns over choking, blockage, and internal damage, and allows for raw meals to be safely cooked.

  • Is it better to serve Hug food raw or cooked?

    Both are excellent options for your pal. We know that a raw diet isn’t always appropriate, whether it’s due to the health of your pet or a family member. As a result, we’ve made sure our recipes can be fed raw or cooked, so no pet misses out.

  • Can I serve Hug meals straight from the fridge?

    Yes, once the food is defrosted, you can serve it straight from the fridge. However, some dogs aren’t too keen on cold food. In these cases, leave your Hug portion on the side for 10-15 mins, so it comes up to room temperature (make sure you cover it to fend off bugs). Alternatively, you can gently heat Hug by mixing it with a little warm water before serving, or by popping it in the microwave.

  • How do I transition my dog or puppy to raw food?

    You can find our guidance on transitioning dogs and puppies to raw food here.

  • Can I mix raw and dry food?

    Yes – as our raw food contains no dry bone, you can happily mix it with dry food, should you wish!

  • Can I still feed dry food on the side?

    Our meals are complete, so you don’t need to supplement them with dry food on the side. Of course, it’s ok if you want to do so, but it’s key to adjust feeding amounts accordingly.

  • How do I clean my dog's teeth without using kibble?

    It’s a common misconception that kibble cleans canines’ teeth, as dogs don’t chew on kibble to break down plaque or tartar – they’re just enjoying a tasty meal.

    A cooked diet is soft and won’t have a cleaning effect. As a result, it’s best to keep up dental hygiene by providing your pooch with raw bones or alternative chews once weekly, to help break down any build-up. For advice on choosing the right bones or chews for your pet, please get in touch.

  • Is green tripe safe to feed my dogs?

    Green tripe is a great probiotic for many dogs. The downside is that it contains a lot of bacteria, so it cannot be stored in the same fridge or freezer as human food. To ensure our food is human-grade, we don’t include any green tripe in our recipes.

  • I have a pregnant bitch, is the food suitable?

    Both our raw and cold pressed puppy ranges are suitable for pregnancy.

  • How many times a day should I feed my dog?

    For adult dogs, we normally recommend feeding 1-2 times a day. In some cases, this may need adjusting to suit the individual canine. For puppies, we recommend feeding 3 meals a day until they reach 6 months of age. At this point, this can gradually be dropped back to 2 meals a day.

  • Do I need to worm my dog more if I'm raw feeding?

    While all dogs are susceptible to worms, a raw diet (from a reputable company) poses no more significant a risk of worms than that presented by dry and wet foods.

    All of our food is tested for levels of parasites, and we only use human-grade ingredients. The risk of feeding parasite-contaminated meat is further reduced by freezing to -18c. Toxoplasma, Neospora, and Sarcocystis are killed by freezing at this temperature for at least 7 days. Worm species such as Toxocara, Taenia, and Echinococcus are killed by freezing meat at -20c for 10 days.

  • My dog seems hungry since switching to raw, is this normal?

    We often find that dogs switching from kibble to a raw diet appear hungry. This is because kibble swells in the stomach, and the carbohydrate content gives pooches a false sense of fullness. Once your dog gets used to a raw diet, their stomachs will adjust. Even so, it’s always important to monitor their weight in the early stages of a new food plan. Feeding amounts may need tweaking to suit their needs and ensure they maintain a healthy size.

  • Will my dog be at risk of developing Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) on a raw, grain free diet?

    Historically, pet food contained a high percentage of grains. In recent years this has been questioned by owners, due to grains being common allergens for dogs. In a bid to move away from grain-based diets, pet food companies replaced grains with gluten free ingredients.

    Over time vets began to see the connection between these grain free diets and taurine deficient DCM. The FDA started to research the connection. Results so far have shown conflicting views. However, a recent study did suggest a link between DCM and grain free foods that have replaced the grains with lentils and pulses.

    While it appears breed genetics play a key role in the likelihood of DCM developing, there’s a need for further research.

    Here at Hug, our focus is on debunking two grain-related myths:

    Myth #1 Grain is essential for dogs
    Myth #2 The lack of grain in a diet is what causes a taurine deficiency; therefore, a raw, grain free diet can trigger DCM.

    In fact, a raw food diet contains plenty of methionine and cysteine – the amino acids required to make taurine. The conclusion? The lack of grain in pet food is not the cause of a taurine deficiency. To find out more about DCM, you can click here.

Cooked pet food for dogs

  • Why would I want to cook my dog's food?

    Sometimes feeding raw isn’t the right option, whether this is due to the health of your pet or a family member. Some owners are concerned by bacterial content present in raw food.

    You can safely cook our raw recipes, happy in the knowledge your pooch will still enjoy all the health benefits of a whole food diet. In addition to this, cooking raw food reduces bacterial content. Cooking our raw recipes also makes them even tastier – useful when transitioning fussy dogs to the Hug diet or feeding a canine with a diminished appetite.

  • Should I serve my dog Hug food while it's hot?

    We recommend allowing the food to cool slightly after cooking to ensure the food isn’t too hot. Once you’ve checked the temperature is ok, serve up!

  • How do I transition my dog or puppy?

    You can find our guidance on transitioning dogs and puppies to a cooked diet here.

  • How many times a day should I feed my dog?

    For adult dogs, we normally recommend feeding 1-2 times a day. In some cases, this may need adjusting to suit the individual canine. For puppies, we recommend feeding 3 meals a day until they reach 6 months of age; this can then gradually drop back to 2 meals a day.

     

  • Can I still feed dry food on the side?

    Our meals are complete, so there’s no need to supplement them with dry food on the side. If you wish to do so, remember to adjust feeding amounts accordingly

  • How do I clean my dog's teeth without using kibble?

    It’s a common misconception that kibble cleans canines’ teeth, as dogs don’t chew on kibble to break down plaque or tartar – they’re just enjoying a tasty meal.

    A cooked diet is soft and won’t have a cleaning effect. Subsequently, it’s best to keep up dental hygiene by providing your pooch with raw bones or alternative chews once weekly, to help break down any build-up. For advice on choosing the right bones or chews for your pet, please get in touch.

  • I have a pregnant bitch, is the food suitable?

    Both our raw and cold pressed puppy ranges are suitable for pregnancy.

Cold pressed food for dogs

  • What is cold pressed dog food?

    You can learn more about our premium cold pressed dog food here.

  • Is cold pressed dog food bacteria free?

    Bacteria and parasites are removed during the cold pressing process. However, you must store the food correctly to prevent any bacteria growth, just like any other food in the home.

  • How do I transition my dog or puppy?

    You can find our guidance on transitioning dogs and puppies to cold pressed food here.

  • Can I mix the cold pressed and raw together?

    You can! Our cold pressed food breaks down easily during digestion, and our raw food doesn’t contain bone. As a result, our cold pressed and raw recipes are fine to feed in combination.

  • I have a pregnant bitch, is the food suitable?

    Both our raw and cold pressed puppy ranges are suitable for pregnancy.

  • How many times a day should I feed my dog?

    For adult dogs, we normally recommend feeding 1-2 times a day. In some cases, this may need adjusting to suit the individual dog. For puppies, we recommend feeding 3 meals a day until they reach 6 months of age. This can then be gradually dropped back to 2 meals a day.

  • Why don't you use raw meat in your cold pressed dog food?

    Due to EU regulations, all meat in cold pressed food should be thermally pre-treated to remove harmful bacteria before the manufacturing process. No cold pressed food can include fresh or raw meat, despite claims pet food producers may make!

  • I want to feed vegetarian all the time - is it safe to do so with your cold pressed food?

    All of our recipes comply with FEDIAF guidelines for a complete diet, so you can be assured your pooch will enjoy optimal nutrition on our cold pressed vegetarian diet.

    Our vegetarian diet is based on eggs, a species-appropriate protein source, with the addition of some wonderful meat free whole foods. We have formulated our vegetarian dog food so it can be used flexibly as part of an elimination diet or full-time.

    Cats, however, are obligate carnivores and therefore, should not be fed a vegetarian diet.

Raw pet food for cats

  • Do you test for bacteria?

    As required by law, our food is tested for salmonella, in addition to other bacteria and parasites. We only ever use fresh meat and ingredients fit for human consumption. To find out more, visit our page on Hug’s bacteria and safety policies.

  • Can cats eat raw chicken?

    Yes, it’s safe for cats to do so as long as the pet food containing raw chicken is stored correctly. We follow strict bacteria and safety guidelines here at Hug, and all of our meals come with clear storage instructions.

    We understand that salmonella is a concern for pet parents. Every batch of our food is tested for salmonella, in addition to other bacteria and parasites, as required by law. We have a zero-tolerance salmonella policy, so we will not use any batch in which salmonella is found. We only ever use fresh, human-grade chicken, and all of our suppliers share our commitment to the highest standards of quality and animal welfare.

  • Does your raw food contain no bone?

    Our raw pet food recipes do not contain pieces of bone. This eliminates concerns over choking, blockage, and internal damage, and allows for raw meals to be safely cooked.

  • Is it better to serve Hug food raw or cooked?

    Both are excellent options for your pal. However, we know that a raw diet isn’t always appropriate, whether it’s due to the health of your pet or a family member. As a result, we’ve made sure our recipes can be fed raw or cooked, so no pet misses out.

  • How do I transition my cat or kitten?

    You can find our guide on transitioning cats and kittens to raw feeding here.

  • Can I mix raw and dry food?

    Yes, you can mix our raw food with dry food, should you wish!

  • How do I clean my cat's teeth without using kibble?

    It’s a common misconception that kibble cleans cats’ teeth. The problem is, felines don’t chew on kibble to break down plaque or tartar, they’re just enjoying a tasty meal.

    A raw diet is soft and won’t clean your pet’s teeth. Subsequently, it’s best to keep up dental hygiene by providing raw bones or alternative chews once weekly, to help break down any build-up. For advice on choosing the right bones or chews for your pet, please get in touch.

  • Do you have food suitable for weight loss?

    Our raw recipes contain zero carbs, so they can definitely help your cat slim down. To begin, we suggest selecting one (or more) of our lower fat recipes and feeding at the lower end of our portioning guidelines. Felines also need exercise to lose weight, so ensure yours has the opportunity to hunt and play.

  • Do I need to worm my cat more if raw feeding?

    While all cats are susceptible to worms, a raw diet (from a reputable company) poses no more significant a risk of worms than that presented by dry and wet foods.

    All of our food is tested for levels of parasites, and we only use human-grade ingredients. The risk of feeding parasite-contaminated meat is further reduced by freezing to -18c. Toxoplasma, Neospora, and Sarcocystis are killed by freezing at this temperature for at least 7 days. Worm species such as Toxocara, Taenia, and Echinococcus are killed by freezing meat at -20c for 10 days.

  • How many times a day should I feed my cat?

    Cats tend to be grazers, so may want smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. As we don’t recommend leaving the food out, we suggest you split portions into 2 or even 3 meals per day. For kittens, we would recommend feeding 3-4 meals a day until they reach 6 months of age. After this, you can then drop down to 2-3 meals per day, depending on your feline’s preferences.

  • Do I need to supplement the food with taurine?

    Taurine is heat sensitive and water-soluble, so, to account for this, we have added a taurine supplement to our raw cat food – there’s no need to add a further supplement.

  • Do my cats need different food if they're indoor or outdoor?

    Our meals are suitable for both indoor and outdoor cats. Feeding amounts may need tweaking to suit their individual needs, as indoor cats with lower levels of activity may not require as much food.

  • My cat loves rabbit, why don't you offer it?

    Wild rabbit can be difficult to source year-round as it’s seasonal. Disease can also affect supply, and, sadly, in recent years, the European rabbit has been marked as endangered. A new strain of the Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease virus has caused massive declines in the rabbit population. An alternative would be farmed rabbit, but at present, the EU has no species-specific legislation protecting their welfare, so it tends to be very poor – that’s not the Hug way.

Cooked pet food for cats

  • Why would I want to cook my cat's food?

    Sometimes feeding raw isn’t the right option, whether this is due to the health of your pet or a family member. Some owners are concerned by bacterial content present in raw food.

    You can safely cook our raw recipes, happy in the knowledge your cat will still enjoy all the health benefits of a whole food diet. In addition to this, cooking raw food reduces bacterial content.

    Better still, cooking can increase the palatability of raw food – this is especially useful for tempting fussy cats to tuck in, and can also aid your feline’s transition to a raw diet.

  • After cooking, should I serve my cat's food while it's hot?

    We recommend allowing the food to cool slightly after cooking to ensure your cat’s meal isn’t too hot. Once you’ve checked the temperature is ok, serve up!

  • How do I transition my cat or kitten?

    You can find our guidance on transitioning felines to a cooked diet here.