A Raw Alternative: The Butcher’s Pup is Betting on Sous-Vide Meals for Dogs

By Pet Age Staff//March 1, 2024//

A Raw Alternative: The Butcher’s Pup is Betting on Sous-Vide Meals for Dogs

By: Pet Age Staff//March 1, 2024//

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With companion dogs being elevated to furry members of the family, pet parents are only happy to offer their pets premium nutrition. Enter sous-vide meals, which are gently cooked meals using a method that won’t denature the nutrients in the meal.

Pet Age recently spoke with Michael Leone of The Butcher’s Pup, to learn more about the health benefits of this form of pet food. 


How would you describe your background and how it influenced your transition into the pet industry? 

Growing up in a family deeply rooted in the meat industry, we’ve owned and run a top-notch butcher shop and meat manufacturing facility for the past 30 years. My dad, Paul, co-founder of The Butcher’s Pup, an experienced butcher and meat manufacturer, has been my mentor in this thriving family business. When we welcomed our adorable Yorkshire terrier, Harley, into our lives, it only felt natural to feed him with the fresh cuts and farm-fresh fruits and vegetables from our shop. The struggle to get him to eat any kind of kibble led me to question the pet food industry. Simultaneously, as I was finishing my diploma in Food Science, specializing in food safety systems, operations and technology, it became clear that my passion for quality food extended to our furry friends. This journey embodies a coordinated blend of family tradition, education and a genuine commitment to the well-being of our pets. 


Why did you choose a sous-vide style of cooking for your dinners and entrees? 

About four years ago, we noticed a gap in the market — people who loved the idea of a raw diet but didn’t want to go all in for personal reasons. We pondered on how to offer the goodness of raw without serving the meal completely uncooked. That’s when sous vide cooking caught our attention. With this method, the food is prepped and packed before gentle heating, ensuring that all the nutrients remain intact, unlike traditional cooking that can strip away the goodness. We stumbled upon sous vide while working closely with our restaurant clientele, and the benefits blew us away. So, what we offer now is a fully cooked meal, but with all the perks of the sous vide process — a game-changer for those wanting the best of both worlds: a nutritious, raw-inspired diet without compromising on a delicious, fully cooked meal. Our new and exciting sous vide cooked sausage entrees for dogs are a huge hit.


What can you tell us about your nutritional philosophy and ingredient panels? 

Our approach to nutrition is pretty straightforward. We’ve learned that too many added ingredients can mess with the palatability of a meal. So, all our dishes pack a punch with high-quality protein, sourced from the best meats in the market. What makes The Butcher’s Pup stand out is our commitment to keeping it all-natural — no synthetic vitamins or minerals here while formulating, fully complete and balanced meals to meet AAFCO’s dog food nutrient profile for adult dogs. We’re sticking to a pure, no-nonsense approach. We believe in letting the goodness of real, natural ingredients shine through in every meal. So, when your pup digs into Butcher’s, they’re getting a tasty and wholesome feast without any artificial stuff. It’s our way of keeping things simple, just like nature intended, so your furry friend can enjoy a diet that’s as close to the real deal as it gets. 


Are there any benefits to your brand being headquartered in Canada? 

Being based in Canada has its perks, especially in the realm of high-quality pet nutrition. Enjoying ample access to premium ingredients, The Butcher’s Pup stands out as a Canadian venture that holds CFIA approval, ensuring secure operations and exports into the U.S.A. Yet, the cornerstone of our success lies in the enduring relationships forged by our family business with trusted suppliers over the years. This network has been pivotal in crafting what we proudly declare as the highest quality pet food diet available in the market today.  


Why have you chosen to support independent pet retailers? 

Over the last five to seven years, the gently cooked pet food trend has really taken off, especially with companies going direct-to-consumer through ecommerce. But when we launched The Butcher’s Pup, we made a conscious choice to back our independent pet retailers instead of competing with them. We see these local stores as the backbone of our market. Their success isn’t just good for business; it directly impacts the local economy, creating a ripple effect of support. Beyond that, these independent retailers cater to a more local customer base, fostering a sense of community that’s hard to beat. At The Butcher’s Pup, it’s not just about selling pet food; it’s about recognizing and valuing the unique role these independents play in making our market vibrant and our communities stronger.