Butternut Box: the new food business getting tails wagging

For many (us included) the idea of tucking into a bowl of dog food is not one you want to think about for too long. But, there’s a new purveyor of puppy provisions in town, and it’s making us reconsider. We spoke to the team from Butternut Box, who deliver weekly boxes of fresh, cooked to order dog food, about what goes into its canine-oriented culinary fare.

Tell us about Butternut Box: who’s behind the business, and where did the idea come from?

To start with there were three of us, (Mary, David and Kevin) and our story begins with a rescue dog, Rudie.

When we brought Rudie home from the shelter, she was suffering from many of the problems associated with over processed, commercially produced pet food. She was anxious, itchy and suffered from flatulence (hence her name) and after consulting with our vet, we thought her diet could be to blame.

We switched Rudie to a homecooked diet and were amazed at how quickly her condition improved. Home cooking is widely recognised as an excellent way to feed your dog, but it is notoriously difficult to make sure the diet is balanced and contains all of the nutrients needed on a daily basis for a dog to thrive. It also takes a lot of time and effort in the kitchen!

We realised that no one was providing a homecooked meal delivery service for dogs so we set about building our business. We worked hard with PhDs in small animal nutrition in order to take our homecooked diet and turn it into one that owners can feed their dogs every day. After lots of trials and testing, we can now give our clients the convenience and peace of mind of a homecooked meal, combined with the knowledge that all of our food is nutritionally complete.

Butternut Box

What kinds of meals can four-legged friends expect to enjoy when their owners order from Butternut Box?

Each week we drop off seven individually portioned meals in an insulated delivery box. At the moment, the menu consists of beef, chicken and turkey meals, and the feedback from all has been off the charts! We make sure to deliver a variety of meals each week in order to keep your dog interested and excited at meal times.

We use only human-grade meats, vegetables and carbohydrates, and all of our food is grain- and gluten-free. Everything is hand-cooked to order and needs to be stored in the fridge, and the dogs are loving the freshness! As a company we are proud never to use any preservatives, animal derivatives, or nasty additives. Our labeling is clear, honest and transparent so owners can feel confident in what they are feeding their loved one.

Would you consider eating the meals yourself?

Absolutely, and we do! Each week, we make sure to taste test every batch that leaves the kitchen. We are firm believers that only what is good enough for us, is good enough for our dogs.

What has the response been like from dogs who’ve tried Butternut Box meals?

The reaction that we have had from our clients has been the most rewarding part of the journey so far. We have helped dogs with sensitive stomachs, allergies, and even down-right fussy eaters to fall back in love with their food. This can be a huge cause of stress for owners and to know that we have helped out is a great feeling. Trainers and behaviourists have been recommending our food to clients as part of plans to improve happiness and calmness, and it seems to be working.

We are constantly asking our clients for feedback and in doing so, we found out about ‘The Happy Dance’. Some of our client’s dogs are so excited at meal times that they dance with excitement. That’s the kind of thing that we love to hear and makes it all worthwhile.

Butternut Box

You donate meals to dogs in need; how does this work?

For every new dog that we sign up, we donate a meal to a sheltered dog. We have a pot that is constantly accruing and we periodically donate it all to a charity. Our last donation was to an amazing charity called Happy Staffie Rescue. As we grow, we look forward to increasing our positive social impact along the way.

How do we get Butternut Box meals for our poochy pals?

It’s super easy, just go to our website and sign up! You can’t buy our food in shops so there are no middle-person markups along the way. That way, you can be confident that you are only paying for the highest quality ingredients and the best possible service. You can cancel, pause or skip deliveries at any time and if for any reason you aren’t completely satisfied, just let us know and we will fully refund you. We look forward to hearing from you!

Have you ever cooked for your pets? What do you like to make them?

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Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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Follow Butternut Box on Instagram for a serious dose of cuteness, and check out these tips for people with dogs in London.