Butternut Box

Yesterday I heard about Butternut Box. It is a company that prepares and dispatches ‘home cooked’ food. I am a bit unsure whether this information ought to be here in the home cooking section or in the dog food one. I opted for the home cooking forum because if someone was searching for individual cooked food, the information would be easier to find here.

The menus are here. Here is the recipe for the turkey variety:
Turkey Thighs (60%), Lentils, Carrots, Peas, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Rosemary, Flaxseed, Calcium carbonate, Dicalcium phosphate, Magnesium oxide and Minerals.

The frequently asked questions explains more about their philosophy and products.

As someone who is a hopeless cook but who has had an interest in home cooking for the dogs, I welcome this approach to feeding our beloved pets. From what I see, the meals look simple but nutritious.

The food is fresh and packed individually for each dog so requires a weekly delivery. Prices are on the home page.

I am quite excited with this innovation, not least because I can see it been really useful for dogs who have intolerances or other illness. I would very much like to hear what others think about it.

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Thanks Dottie for sharing this post, I just came across it.

I have to agree with everything you are saying. It is great to see a company now doing the home preparation for you. I have used Butternut Box over the past 6 months (whilst alternating with home cooking myself) and I have found the food to be of the highest standard. My dog, absolutely thrives on the food (poo’s are great, no farting, no sensitive stomach on it) and I really do feel like I am doing best my dog. It has also been approved by nutritionists so I know he is getting all of the nutrients needed on a daily basis.

I am also very excited by this innovation in the space.

Has anyone else tried them out?

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Has anyone tried this? https://butternutbox.com

Bit too expensive to be able to feed it to mine, although they do like it. I tried the free trial box. (Its a subscription service,)

I found it a bit too greasy, when you defrost it, it feels quite greasy. Lots of peas and carrots I can see ( good job my lot love veg) the rest seems to be very mashed up

Dogs like it, but they are gannets :slight_smile: and the fusspot like it, although I cannot hide his tablets in it, he still spits it out lol

Mine all got the runs after it, even mixing it with their own food, as you need to do, for the money, not very impressed.

Just wondred what others thought of this?

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I had a small delivery of this last year. The recipes seem wholesome and the food smells and looks good. However, as you rightly point out, this is an expensive product. Maybe it is more suitable for small dogs, as part of the diet or for those with very deep pockets.

The thing that I don’t understand is the sales method. I would not want to ‘build a box’, preferring to know the sizes, flavours and cost of the pouches. The pet owner can then choose for themselves. I can’t find this information on the website. You have to input personal information before reaching the price.

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I feed this to my (large) dog and agree it is very expensive-I can’t afford to feed her solely B.B. and she has one meal a day of cold pressed to supplement it.

I chose Butternut Box as I like the idea of feeding her a “home cooked” diet; I toyed with feeding raw but had some misgivings; this, being cooked at low temperatures, feels like the ideal compromise.

My dog enjoys all of the flavours but she eats her cold pressed food with just as much enthusiasm. She sometimes gets a tray of Forthglade as an alternative (particularly as it’s easier to transport when we’re on holiday as it doesn’t require chilling/thawing) and she seems to enjoy that equally.

Most days her poos are fine though some days a bit soft but that’s the same with whatever I’ve fed her.

I don’t think the food seems greasy, the beef and lamb do seem to be more fatty but it doesn’t appear to be a problem. There are quite a lot of vegetables in the food-particularly the chicken, it does have quite a lot of carrot pieces.

One thing I have found consistently impressive is their customer service, they have even answered email queries on Sundays! The delivery service is excellent and they do make you-and your dog-feel highly valued as customers.

My niggles are that I think the individual packaging could be better (sometimes the plastic packs leak when they thaw out and they can be fiddly to open-they have to be cut with scissors and can be messy).

The Woolcool insulation they ship the food in works a treat, I just wish they offered a returns service for it (other companies do this with financial incentives, ie: credit off your next order). This would be a nice touch.

I would also like to see a wider variety of flavours-a fish variety would be a welcome addition!

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My old English sheepdog is very fussy…she started on James Wellbeloved had Arden grange for a while…lost interest in that…tried Origen…added gravy hot water, tried it dry, tried it soaked. Moved to gentle…won’t eat it dry, tried for a while with it moistened…lost interest in that. Recently tried butternut…won’t eat any flavoirs other than the lamb and then only if warmed and only once a day when she is very hungry. She’s 9 months old now and losing a bit of weight as she’s not getting enough…how can I gradually introduce a new food when I cant find anything she likes!

I was at three counties show in June when I came across Butternut selling their product from a trailer. I have three hounds so to feed them this on a regular basis would be impossible due to the cost. I was quoted 49 pounds for a three week supply for one of my lurched\beddie cross so not a large dog. After some negotiation I managed to get two weeks trial pack for 16 pounds, delivered free. The meat quality was good but there are far too many vegetables in the packs for my liking. Plus the packaging seems to be a bit elaborate plus there is a fancy card wallet with leaflets in it which I felt were not necessary, this sort of thing is what pushes the price up. My dogs are it happily but they are a greedy bunch and don’t turn their noses up at anything, however I won’t be buying anymore.

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Butternut Box is increasing its range early 2019 by introducing two new flavours - fish and pork. That brings the choice to six - beef, chicken, fish, lamb, pork and turkey.

I am thinking of changing to butternut box but want to substitute with some dry food. Any recommendations?

Please can you let us know why you wish to add kibble to the wet food? It would seem that your dog doesn’t care for it. Dogs don’t need kibble if they are having complete wet food.

There are reviews of Butternut Box on the Internet so have a look at those before you make up your mind. Many owners have tried mixing kibble with it and report that their dog spits it out. BB is high quality and there is no need to add anything. However, if you are wanting to add dry food to make BB go a bit further, perhaps cold pressed food would be acceptable to your dog. Cannot guarantee it though so ask for a trial sample if you want to go down this route.

Regarding dental hygiene, AFAIK there is no evidence that eating kibble prevents plaque/tartar. In fact it could be the opposite because dry food tends to be high in carbohydrates. The best way of keeping teeth clean is to brush them using canine toothpaste.

Edit 28.12.18: Your Pet’s Bad Breath is no Laughing Matter.
Dog Breath is no Laughing Matter[video)
Nick Thompson discussing dental hygiene in relation to kibble. Jump to 27 minutes for the discussion. He dispels the myth that kibble is necessary for cleaning teeth.

I feed Butternut Box but partly to keep costs down and partly for convenience my dog also has one meal per day of kibble. She is a large breed and I feed her three meals a day; Butternut for breakfast and dinner and cold pressed (Tribal TLC) kibble for lunch.
She is not a fussy eater though and loves her kibble as much as her Butternut Box food.
Butternut say it is absolutely fine to mix their food with another food.

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I have fed butternut for about 6 months or more , my dog copper was on 700gs per day, but as he was thin I got them to up it to 800g and then 900g. I found that it was costing me £60 per 2 weeks so when back to raw and the as it was too costly and then found out that at the yearly health check he had lost weight. He is now on raw and slowly putting on weight.A good food but sadly not for my dog. :slight_smile:

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Your findings are interesting Rebecca and goes to show how different dogs can be in their requirements. I am currently trialling BB and am finding that the dogs are holding their weight ok more or less with the amounts suggested by their algorithm on the website. I have small dogs and the cost is higher than before but probably not by much because I was topping up to give more variety. With BB I don’t have to do this because there are currently four types with two more to come in the new year. The dogs aren’t fussy but really enjoy the fresh food. I sometimes warm it up for a few seconds in the microwave.

Hopefully there will be more companies producing fresh food but perhaps it won’t happen as quickly as raw.

Can I ask what your dogs were on originally? I posted a while back; my golden retriever (almost 9) is on raw complete and whilst a lot of her yeasty issues have just about disappeared, she has put weight on with raw, and it is hard to keep down - we are feeding just under 2% of her ideal weight, so don’t like to reduce even more. Her weight has crept up; so any snacks are now veg or Fish jerky. We have thought about going on to cold pressed or wet (eg forth glade, Lily’s kitchen, Millies), but then I saw your post about Butternut Box which sounds more appealing than dry, albeit quite pricey for a 35kg retriever! Is it better than the wet varieties I’ve mentioned? She will eat anything so fussiness is not an issue. How have you found weight issues with fresh compared to raw - I think you once said yours had been on raw before? I know, talking to someone about the raw completes they said the fat content can be quite high, this could be her issue.

Hello Reggie. I don’t like to appraise a food until they have been having it for a while. My two have been using BB only for about two months but I had some other food in stock so for much of that time I have been mixing. It’s all used up now so I am beginning to monitor response more accurately.

I have two speyed bitches, one with a tendency to put weight on. A few years ago when I had three dogs I tried raw and found exactly the same as you. The weight gain on two of them was rapid and visible, despite giving less than the lower RDA of 2% of ideal body weight.

What I am finding so far with BB is that their weight is holding very well. They are not gaining and both are getting more food in the bowl so their appetites appear to be sated.

You asked about cold pressed food and from my experience of using it for a long time is that it worked well in terms of weight control. My dogs did well on the food and their poo was (IMO) better than on BB presumably because of the fibre in the brown rice. Currently their poo is small and firm so I am not complaining about that. It is just getting used to the difference. I only changed food because I was topping up to give variety. Now I don’t have to so it is much easier for me.

Based on my own experience I think you would be helped by either cold pressed in the right quantity or Butternut Box. If you go for the latter their algorithm will tell you how much to give or you could contact the staff. It is based on calories and the dog’s age, activity level etc. For me, their suggested amounts seem accurate at the moment but as I said, I am still assessing.

It’s a minefield isn’t it?!
I’ve been avoiding changing but there’s no escaping the fact that Ive exchanged one set of health issues (nibbling paw, ear issues) for another (weight gain); with her age I have to make another move to something which suits her and doesn’t leave her hungry after meals. She will seriously eat anything - not a chewer, an inhaler! The other possibility is the wet/canned food - any experience of these? I’m not overly keen on returning to dry, more to do with her just swallowing whole! In the meantime I’ll have a good look at the food directory and also give Butternut a ring. Thanks

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Yes, it is a minefield. BB is pricey, but high quality food. At the moment there are four flavours with more to come. Lamb and beef are higher in fat, chicken and turkey are lower. You can choose.

Regarding wet food, there are some good ones these days. The quality ones tend to be high in fat but as long as the right amount is given they should be ok. Portion size is key. Some have a range of flavours so the dog gets variety. As your dog is a speed eater, wet food might be useful because you could spread it out into a slow feeder.

Thanks. I shall have a good read of the different options this weekend; I do think high fat content is probably her issue, so I need to be wary of that. I assume going from raw to wet or fresh I could just switch rather than wean on to? I know with cold pressed I can mix the two initially if needed.

You are probably right about the fat and it may be why you are having problems. Companies usually advise gradual transition to their products but raw to wet or fresh shouldn’t be an issue - much depends on the dog’s digestive system. Butternut Box have information on their website but you can telephone for further advice. If you try cold pressed food there are good transition instructions on the Guru website. In view of your dog’s problems I would advise gradual transition so you can accurately monitor condition.

If anyone would like to give Butternut Box a try , I 'd be happy to supply them with a 75% discount voucher code for their first order. Pm me.