Frequently Asked Questions

About Side By Side

At Side by Side, we approach pet food a little differently.  Not only do we nourish your pet’s body, we also nourish your mind as the pet parent! We are here to empower pet parents so that you feel properly informed about your pet’s individual needs.  We take pride in the many testimonials we receive on a daily basis with our customers sharing the positive changes they see as they feed our recipes.

Our main focus at Side By Side is a back-to-basics approach that focuses on whole foods.  When your pet’s diet consists of whole foods, they can absorb all of the nutrients efficiently without the need for synthetic vitamins and minerals commonly found in commercial products.  We formulate our batches using the time-tested method of Eastern Food Therapy; a principle that each ingredient has energetic properties that can either negatively or positively impact your pet’s internal organs.  Our main passion is to help your pet live a longer, happier, healthier life side by side with you.

At Side By Side we know that the foundation of Western medicine, commonly referred to as modern medicine, comes initially from Eastern medicine.  Over the past 50 years, our pet’s lifespan has dramatically reduced due to the decline in quality of ingredients and nutrition.  Oftentimes, synthetic vitamins and minerals can add to this decline.  It’s important to use Western medicine lab work to determine where our pet’s nutrition is deficient and create recipes based on how nature intended utilizing food as medicine.      

About Food, Treats, and Supplements

Our freeze-dried food batches are lovingly made in a licensed pet food facility in Wisconsin and Indiana where local farms are in more abundance.  Our lightly cooked stews are also manufactured in Wisconsin.  These facilities are all USDA audited and meet the highest qualities and standards. 

We care deeply about the quality of our ingredients.  For this reason, we source our ingredients from local and ethical farms.  A small selection of specialty herbs and supplement ingredients are sourced globally as they are not available in the US at the quality level we demand. All ingredients originate in the US apart from coconut oil sourced from the Philippines, and turmeric from India.  Sourcing can always vary on availability of a particular ingredient. 

Yes, all of the whole food ingredients used for our diets, treats, and toppers are human grade. There are some items that aren’t meant for human consumption (e.g. turkey necks), but they are sourced from human grade, USDA Certified food suppliers. 

We do not use artificial preservatives in any of our products.  Natural preservatives, such as Vitamin E, contain antioxidants that extend the life of our 100% natural whole food recipes.  

Yes!  We absolutely recommend rotating proteins for multiple reasons.  Animal proteins all contain different essential amino acids for your pet’s overall health.  It is always beneficial to rotate your pet’s proteins to ensure you are providing a balanced and nutrient-rich diet.  Protein rotation also decreases your pet’s susceptibility to developing allergies and can also keep mealtime exciting for pickier eaters.

To find out which protein matches your pet’s individual needs, take our pet assessment HERE.

Take our Pet Assessment HERE! It will guide you on what recipes will be most beneficial for your pet and his/her individual needs. We are always here to explain your results in more detail and address any questions you might have.
If you have any questions about your assessment results, please email grace@sidebysidepet.com.  A wellness and nutrition representative is available Mon-Fri from 9 am to 5 pm EST.

  Yes, you can feed them together or separate as your pet prefers.  It is a common misconception that you can’t mix kibble and raw because they digest at different rates.  Feeding just 10-25% whole foods can have a significant positive impact on your pet’s overall health and your pet will appreciate any amount of a fresher diet!  We guarantee your pet will prefer Side By Side with every meal!

Our whole food recipes provide your pet with unadulterated nutrients and the most species appropriate foods for a pet’s anatomy.  We are very focused on protecting and preserving the cellular structure of our whole foods.  If your pet’s diet consists of whole foods, they are able to absorb all of the nutrients efficiently without the need for synthetic vitamins and minerals commonly found in commercial pet products.  When we say broccoli is included in our recipes, we mean broccoli in its unaltered state.  Each of our ingredients is thoughtfully selected to deliver important species appropriate nutritional benefits.

The benefits of a whole food diet:

  • Live and naturally balanced amino acids and enzymes
  • No preservatives, fillers, chemicals, or anything synthetic
  • Provides proper hydration
  • Easier to digest and maintain a healthy Body Condition Score
  • Aids in healthier, stronger teeth, a more lustrous coat and healthier skin
  • Helps create a healthy digestive tract
  • Helps decrease inflammation (e.g., in joints and GI)
  • Aids in healthier sleep patterns
  • Supports brain function
  • Improves the immune system

We utilize grains that have beneficial properties to enhance the nutrients your pet is getting. For example:

Rice – helps regulate and improve bowel movements, stabilize blood sugar levels, aid in digestion and boosts the immune system. Rice has resistant starch, which reaches the bowels and stimulates the growth of useful bacteria that help with normal bowel movements.

Whole Oats – offer an incredibly nutritious food packed with important vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fiber and antioxidants which support the thyroid gland and metabolic system. Whole oats are also naturally gluten free.

Whole Grain Barley – high in fiber (intestinal cleanser), vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants all of which help heart health and diabetes protection. It is a cooling grain that contributes to calming inflammatory responses.

Whole Foods help with allergies because of the way the body assimilates and digests nutrients.

Our foods are based on Eastern Food Therapy which focuses on the energetic property of each ingredient that will help heal your pup from the inside.  Pets with allergies may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Itchiness
  • Swelling of the face, ears, eyes, paws
  • Ear infections
  • Digestive issues such as diarrhea or frequent loose stools

All of these symptoms inherently cause inflammation within the body and when inflammation occurs, it is best to feed cooling ingredients such as rabbit, pork heart, and celery.  These ingredients can all be found in our cooling products.  Foods that contain a high moisture content such as these, will help cool your pup down when they are experiencing these irritating inflammatory symptoms.  If you think your pet might have allergies, take our pet assessment HERE  to determine which recipe is best to help heal from the inside.


Transitioning –

What is the best way to transition to Side By Side recipes?

When transitioning your pet to our foods, we always recommend doing so over a 10-day period to avoid digestive upset.  For the first 3 days, start by mixing 25% of our recipe into 75% of your pet’s current diet.  On days 4-6 increase our recipe to feed a 50/50 ratio.  By days 7-9 increase our recipe to feed a 75/25 ratio.  By day 10, your pet will be 100% transitioned to our yummy, all-natural food!


Even with a slow transition, your pet may experience a detoxification process during the transition period. This process usually occurs within the first month of transitioning to a whole food lifestyle and may last 1-2 weeks while your pet’s body removes toxins and replaces old cells with new better functioning cells. It may take much longer if your pet has had frequent use of antibiotics or steroids. Although it may appear scary and unhealthy, the body is actually rebalancing itself and preparing to perform in a healthier manner.

Symptoms of detoxification:

  • Diarrhea
  • Mucus coating the stool

These symptoms may be worrisome, but it is part of your pet’s detoxification process. Once their body has adjusted, you will notice vast improvements in their overall health and well-being.

If you have any concerns about your pup’s health, please consult your veterinarian.

Common Concerns

For dogs with sensitive stomachs, we would recommend trying our chicken based warming recipes and we have both freeze-dried options and stews to choose from.  We would also recommend pairing these diets with our Belly Balance supplement.  This veterinarian formulated supplement combines pro/prebiotics and digestive enzymes to help maintain a healthy gut microbiome particularly beneficial for sensitive stomachs.

Please be sure to consult with your veterinarian with any dietary concerns.

Shop our warming foods and treats here!

Dogs don’t have as many taste buds as we do and predominantly use their sense of smell to detect if something will be delicious or not!  Unlike processed kibble which can lose much of its appeal during heating and processing, freeze-dried foods not only retain nutrients but also lock in much of that smelly goodness!  For this reason, we think any one of our foods and treats would be suitable for a picky pup!  Shop our recipes, treats, and supplements HERE

For a tailored recipe please refer to our pet assessment HERE and find out which yummy recipe will suit your pet’s personal needs.

Allergies are tricky because this can either be an environmental issue (ie grass, trees, a new shrub) or can be symptomatic of a reaction to something they are ingesting (ie. food, treats). 70% of the immune system is in the gut microbiome and because it’s easier to change diets than change your environment a diet change is where we suggest starting.

Under Eastern Food Therapy cooling diets help alleviate scratching and other symptoms associated with allergies.  Scratching is a result of the body’s inflammation due to allergies so healing from the inside with diet is always most effective.  Shop our cooling recipes here.  We would also suggest trying our Belly Balance supplement a blend of pro/prebiotics and digestive enzymes to assist your pet’s body in absorption of the whole food vitamins and minerals in our recipes.

Please be sure to consult with your veterinarian with any dietary concerns.

According to Eastern Food Therapy, dogs prone to pancreatitis would benefit from a low-fat diet.  Within our portfolio of recipes, some of our cooling recipes are the lowest fat recipes we have including freeze dried rabbit mini patties and our pork and rabbit stew.   Adding our Belly Balance digestive enzyme supplement to your pet’s diet would also be beneficial as infections cause a lack in enzymes to help with digestion.

Be very mindful of treats as they can contain added fats and sugars.  Stick with treats that are single protein such as our Duck L’Orange jerky.  Additionally, our Beef Heart with Blackstrap Molasses chews would help aid with inflammation commonly caused by pancreatitis.

Please be sure to consult with your veterinarian with any dietary concerns.

Other Questions? please email grace@sidebysidepet.com.