Evidence-Based Research

JustFoodForDogs is the most research-and-education-focused fresh pet food company in the industry.  Our veterinary team teaches the nutrition rotation for veterinary students at Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine and we have an ambitious goal to remain at the forefront of research as it relates to canine nutrition.

We believe important questions to ask when choosing a pet food company are: What is my pet food company doing with the money I pay for their products? Are they reinvesting it in research and furthering nutritional knowledge? Or is it just profit that is pocketed or used for clever ads and marketing?

Simply put – we are asking compelling questions in nutrition that no one else in our industry cares or dares to ask. Many times, they are just not interested in knowing the answers. 

Feeding Trials

JustFoodForDogs is the only fresh food company, and one of just a few pet food companies overall, to conduct systematic feeding trials on all daily canine recipes.

Determined to prove the health benefits of our veterinary formulated recipes but unwilling to conduct feeding trials using caged laboratory animals, we worked with two major universities to create more robust, yet more humane feeding trials. It remains the largest-scale humane feeding trial ever conducted by a pet food company at an independent university. 

Rather than simply adhere to AAFCO's bare minimum for testing, which requires only four blood parameters be tested over six months in just six dogs, we tested the recipes over the course of a year, looking at complete blood counts (CBC) and full internal organ chemistry (CHEM) panels in a total of 30 dogs. The data led to a research poster and an abstract that was published in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition and presented at the 2014 AAVN/ACVIM veterinary conference in Tennessee. The data showed that not only were the recipes beneficial for long-term feeding, they also promoted healthy functioning of the immune system in dogs. In-depth, independent research studies are currently underway to dive deeper into this observed result. 

Digestibility Studies

JustFoodForDogs is also the only fresh whole-food company to have commissioned digestibility studies at a major university. The data of these studies were independently published in a peer-reviewed journal by the University of Illinois research team. This study measured the actual true digestibility of our six daily diets. No fresh pet food company has proven digestibility and until this was published, no digestibility science existed in human-grade fresh pet food. The results of this study showed that our food is up to 40% more digestible when compared to similar studies that looked into kibble. The article is published in Translational Animal Science [DOI: 10.1093/tas/txz175].  

The most recent study also conducted by the University of Illinois Department of Animal Sciences under Kelly Swanson, Ph.D., professor of animal and nutritional sciences, is published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Animal Science. The data shows that dogs who ate JustFoodforDogs fresh whole food absorbed more nutrients and consumed a larger volume of food (as-fed) than when on a diet of processed kibble. Additionally, the dogs fed a fresh whole food diet produced up to 66% less poop than when eating premium kibble and up to 41% less feces when fed a feed-grade fresh processed brand. 

This latest research demonstrates that by feeding pets fresh ingredients, less waste goes in and less waste goes out. Feeding kibble, a highly processed pellet often made from the leftover waste and unusable ingredients from the human food chain, has the opposite effect.   

Nutrition Research Advisory Board

Our Nutrition Research Advisory Board is comprised of thirteen veterinarians, including eight board-certified specialists, who help steer the selection and direction of research funded by the company to inform and guide the future of pet nutrition.


  • Dr. John Tegzes, MA, VMD, DABVT (Toxicology)
  • Dr. Laura Wilson DVM, DAVCD (Dermatology)
  • Dr. Colleen Tansey Baldwin, DVM DACVIM (Oncology)
  • Dr. Emilie Chaplow, VMD, DACVIM
  • Dr. Mickila Collins, DVM DACVIM
  • Dr. Adam Davis, DVM
  • Dr. Sara Fiocchi, DVM DACVIM (Oncology)
  • Dr. Michael Geist, DVM DACVIM
  • Dr. Trina Hazzah, DVM DACVIM (Oncology)
  • Dr. Mary Sebzda, DVM DACT (Reproduction)
  • Dr. Julie Stegemen, DVM DACVIM
  • Dr. Vanessa Teresi, DVM
  • Dr. Matthew Wheaton, DVM

Ongoing and Published Research

In 2019, we helped to fund two groundbreaking pieces of research, making JustFoodForDogs the only fresh whole-food brand with published studies in these areas. The first was the already mentioned digestibility study.

Additionally, researchers at Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine and the University of California, Davis, conducted what they believe to be the first scientific research comparing both grain-containing and grain-free pet food with respect to mycotoxins. The study, published in the August issue of the journal Toxicology Communications, found that 75% of dry pet food, or kibble, contained a mycotoxin profile. Mycotoxins accumulate from moldy grains and ingredients commonly used to make dry kibble and low-grade levels have been linked to immunosuppression and chronic disease. Not surprisingly, JustFoodForDogs diets contained no mycotoxins whether or not they contained grains.

Currently, JustFoodForDogs diets are the subject of various ongoing research initiatives that are looking at the impact of whole food on health and wellness and chronic disease. Some of the subjects that are being independently researched using our food include:

  • Markers of Inflammation and Immune Function
  • Advanced Glycation Endproduct Levels in Various Types of Foods
  • Skin and Coat Integrity and Health
  • Fecal Microbiome