Read this if you’re new to Muenster!

   Welcome to the Muenster family. We’re so happy to have you as part of our pack, and want to give you a little insight to what makes our food the best & how to feed your dog!

  1. START SLOW: If you have been feeding another dog food for more than a month, your dog’s digestive system will need a tad bit of time to adjust. (the same way it would for a person if you went from eating pizza for a month to salad 🙂 😁
  2. FAST IF POSSIBLE: A 24 hour fast (no food) will do a wonder of good before transitioning a dog to a new diet. It lets the digestive system rest and helps the microbes in the gut to re-populate!
  3. INTRODUCE OVER 6 DAYS:
    1. Day 1: Fast (no food or treats 😬)
    2. Day 2: 25% Muenster, 75% old food
    3. Day 3: 50% Muenster, 50% old food
    4. Day 4: 75% Muenster, 25% old food
    5. Day 5: 75% Muenster, 25% old food
    6. Day 6: 100% Muenster 🐶
  4. FEED LESS: Did you know, Muenster contains appx 25-30% more calories per cup than most foods on the market? Due to our lower temperature cook process & higher meat inclusion recipes, we fit more calories in a cup than most! We ALWAYS recommend you feed your dog about 25-30% less than you were feeding on a prior diet. While it’s uncommon for a manufacturer to tell you to feed less of their product, we do! We want healthy trim dogs, not plump ones 😁!
  5. FEED ONCE PER DAY: While an unpopular choice, if you’re fighting digestive issues, allergies, obesity, this can be a game-changer for your dog. It allows the digestive tract to heal, rest & reduce inflammation with the body. It will take around 5-7 days to get your dog used to this, but you will see a difference in 30 days!
    1. If you have a highly active dog that has a hard time holding weight, continue feeding multiple times per day
    2. If you want to feed twice per day, we highly recommend feeding one of our many freeze-dried raw options in the morning as part of the meal plan. This will keep carbs low & provide you both with the happiness your dog wants!
  6. CONSIDER SWITCHING IT UP: Dog food can get a tad boring. I know this because I ate it for 30 days! Don’t believe me? Just google: man eats dog food for a month :) After this, we introduced the ability to customize a single bag with ingredients like salmon oil, coconut oil, bacon fat & other freeze-dried goodies. This allows you to keep the same base recipe to maintain a healthy digestive system, but also provide your dog with some of the variety it craves!
  7. REWARDS POINTS: Yep, that’s right, you just earned 100 rewards points just for ordering from us. Every time you purchase Muenster, you’re rewarded with 1 point for every dollar spent. 
  8. MOST IMPORTANTLY: Please let us know how your dog does on the food and if you need any help! As a small family owned company, we heavily rely on feedback from our customers. 5-star reviews on our products are always appreciated, as is some love on social media 🙂

Best Regards,

Mitch & Chad Felderhoff

4th Generation Owners


https://youtu.be/3Q_FPPslCWs


Day 4: I haven’t been this tired in a long, long, long time

Day 4 My middle son threw a curveball my way, and my day started at 2:30 am as he was informing me he just puked all over his bed…YES! Exactly what I was hoping would happen…

While I was sad for Cooper, I was dreading what the rest of my day would be like operating on such a low level of carbohydrates as a fuel source and not fully understanding how my body would handle the diet change yet…Even more concerning, if I got this, would everyone assume it was the food???

As many of you know, if you have kids….or a dog, that creates a massive mess at 2:30 am, most of the time, you may as well just stay up, because you may only wake up more tired if you take a nap at this point. Well, today, I did just that, and it was a terrible mistake. I could barely keep my eyes open by the time the clock hit 7:00 and it was time for me to head to work, and today was a busy day.

*Muenster Grain-Free Salmon with Bacon Fat & Freeze-Dried Chicken added. My snack for the next week or so!

While shooting videos to promote our new customized solutions, I found myself hungry, and desperately wanting a cup of coffee, on a day where I certainly could have used a boost. However, I held strong, snacked on some kibble & drank as much water as I could, and prayed the day would be over quickly. I also thought “Oh no, what if this is what I feel like for the next 26 days!?!?!” To say I felt a little panicked would be an understatement. 

The only bright spot I had today was when Aubree called me to let me know Cooper had rebounded and was doing better already. As we went back to filming videos for our “My Custom Dog Food” I was sure to include plenty of bacon fat on the product that I would be taking home for me and my pups! Here’s to hoping I break free of the carb flu tomorrow….because this was a tough day!


-Mitch Felderhoff

Also, a special coupon code: SwimUpstream will save you 10% on bags of Grain Free Salmon or Ancient Grains Ocean Fish good thru April 12, 2020

Check out our video blog here

Day 3: Why a new diet can have your dog feeling sluggish

Day 3 was a long tiring day for me…..the why behind it is simple. For the past 7 weeks I’ve pretty much eaten the standard American diet, including cheeseburgers, nachos, pizza & more sugar than I’ve had in years. The result – any time I needed a boost in energy, my body was searching frantically for sugar/carbs. 

Now that I’ve reduced the number of carbs/sugars to less than 20% of my diet by utilizing our low carb kibble & Freeze-Dried raw, my body is learning how to pull energy from somewhere other than the junk food I’ve been relying on (not to mention caffeine). Typically, when you remove the sugar & carbohydrates from your body, it can take 5-7 days to learn how to efficiently operate on a low carbohydrate diet.

What’s the good news about this? Your dog can take as many naps as it wants to throughout the day because most of our dogs don’t have a strict work schedule! However, they are just as susceptible to an insulin “crash” as we are. When we feed our dogs starches & carbohydrates, the body converts them to sugar, uses what they need from an energy standpoint & then an insulin “dump” takes place after the body has the fuel it needs.

The insulin released into the bloodstream causes the body to switch it’s energy supply away from carbohydrates/sugars and to the next most efficient/easy source of energy (the dog’s muscle). Now, it resorts to muscle because of the high level of insulin forcing the body to “freeze” fat storage and flips the switch to gathering the energy/nutrients it needs from muscle.

Over time, this can be devastating to a dog. It causes a reduced level of muscle, chronic inflammation & lowers the dog’s metabolic rate. In turn, the dog needs fewer calories, but we keep feeding them the same amount, and in turn, cause larger and larger insulin dumps….until it’s too late and the dog’s pancreas can no longer keep up, resulting in insulin-resistant diabetes.

Sooooo…..In order to combat this, we need to give our dogs a diet lower in carbohydrates. When feeding our dry based kibble and combining about 25% freeze-dried, you’re lowering the carbohydrates to approximately 15-20% of their diet, ensuring they stay well below the 24% that dogs can efficiently process. However, it can still take your dog a week or so to get efficient, so let’s give them some grace if they take an extra nap or two :).

Day 3 is in the books and I’m looking forward to the transition into a light ketosis state!


-Mitch Felderhoff

Also, a special coupon code: StartStrong will save you 10% on any order of Beef Heart Strong Meal Toppers good thru April 12, 2020

Check out our video blog here

Day 1: What did I commit to?

A valuable lesson learned for special needs dogs.

On the morning of my first day to eat exclusively dog food, I had yet to eat even a single meal of only dog food, much less a full days’ worth. I found myself on the first day of eating dog food with 29 left to go….I hadn’t made a plan on what I would eat or when, I just said the heck with it, I’m doing it, we’ll figure this out as we go. 

Well, at 7:00 am, I told myself I would pass on breakfast and just snack on some kibble at lunch, or maybe some freeze-dried….Well, lunch came and went, and I had just spent a few hours in our freeze-dried facility where I had the smell of freeze-dried beef liver powder coating my sinuses and inside of my mouth (not a pleasant taste you really want to carry around with you all day), and it certainly didn’t make me hungry.

By 6:00 pm, I still haven’t taken a bite of food and I’m not really sure what I’m going to try first. Eventually, I’m staring at a kitchen table filled personal-sized pizzas Aubree has made for herself and the kids. She looks back at me and says, “well, WE’RE eating, and I suggest you join us, are you doing this or not? I smiled, and just said “ok,” grabbed some Ancient Grains chicken & pork, a few chicken meatballs and sat down.

The first bite I took made me cringe….I thought “I just committed to taking thousands of bites of dog food, and this was just one”. I thought to myself, “what in the world did I just sign up for, and why didn’t I try this for a day or two first?” Well, the truth is, if I had tried this for 2 days first, there’s no way I would have voluntarily said: “let me do this for 30 days.” 

One…bite…at…a…time

Bites 2,3,4,5,6 & 7 weren’t any easier. I wondered to myself, “how could I get out of this?” The truth was, I couldn’t. I had told everyone I knew I was doing it, proclaimed it on social media, and told my kids. I thought of what our customers would if I called it quits after one meal and thought “that’s really showing them how much I care.” Then I thought about my boys, and how pathetic it would be if I gave up on day one. We have a set of family core values that Aubree and I are trying to instill in our boys, and this was an opportunity to lead by example. 

We tell our boys all the time: “Serve God. Don’t lie, cheat, or still…..and never, ever quit.” Well, with that in mind, I knew I had no choice but to continue, and figure out a way to make it 29 more days. So, I decided, I would eat fast, drink a lot of water & find creative ways to prepare the food without adding seasoning, sauces or spices.

If I wanted to make it through this, the key was going to be making sure I had a plan each day, just like we do for our dogs. I mapped out the rest of my month to determine what time of day I had meetings when I would have to plan on avoiding lunches, how to eat dinner when we meet other’s out, and most importantly how to carve out the time needed to prep my own meals each night.

This is when I learned my first lesson. Feeding a dog is something we take for granted often, and we need to make sure we have an easy delivery mechanism. For the most part, you can just feed it to a dog as is. However, one thing I didn’t consider is, what about people who have dogs with special needs, that don’t have teeth or need the food to be warmed before eating it? Well, for these 30 days, I have special needs, make the food in a way I can eat it without spending an hour on it, and in a way that I can replicate it quickly.

What will I try first? As soon as I get home and need dinner quick, I’ll be turning on the stove and heating some water in the tea kettle. This will ensure I have warm water to rehydrate the freeze-dried (warm water works 10 times faster), and I can eat it quickly without waiting. If you have a picky dog or a senior dog that can’t eat easily, this is a great solution to ensuring you can feed them without an hour of meal prep.

Today was a tough day, a nerve-racking day, but also a day I realized I was going to learn a lot about not only myself but also how to make myself think as other pet owners may think. I also realized that by the end of this, I would have a paradigm that no other pet food manufacturer can look through, and that is “how does the dog think/feel about what, how, when, and why it eats what it eats?”

-Mitch Felderhoff

Also, a special coupon code: meatball5 will save you $5 on any order of meatballs, beef or chicken through 2/29/2020

Check out our video blog here


What is Freeze-Dried dog food?

Muenster Milling’s Freeze-Dryer, located in Muenster, TX

By now, most of you have heard the term “freeze-dried,” and have probably seen it on the shelf at your local pet food retailer or online. It’s one of the fastest-growing segments of the pet food industry and for good reason. The process gently removes moisture from the food without cooking it, leaving you with a nutritious, shelf-stable, uncooked product to feed your dog. 

Why is freeze-drying a superior process for producing pet food?

It’s simple really, you get out of the freeze-dryer what you put into it without having to add extra fillers. The freeze-dried process was initially developed to maintain structural integrity and nutrient levels in foods for our astronauts. When cooking foods, vitamins & minerals are lost during the heating process. In freeze-dried, since everything happens in a frozen environment, the proteins aren’t denatured, so vitamin/mineral concentration isn’t lost. The freeze-dryer provided our astronauts with a complete and balanced diet that was light and could be reconstituted, while ensuring they had all the nutrients necessary for their travels. Another important application of freeze-dried products is in pharmaceuticals.  As expensive as prescription drugs are, the manufacturers can’t afford to lose half of the integrity of their product to the heating process – which is why, oftentimes, pharmaceuticals are freeze-dried.

Our goal for feeding your pets is to give them the nutrients they need without having to pack in an abundance of high-calorie carbohydrates to make it happen. Carbohydrates are sugars that have low nutritional value for carnivores – but do a great job of holding kibble together, making extra carbs a common ingredient in conventional pet food. Since freeze-drying removes water from foods while frozen, carbohydrates are no longer needed to hold the foods together. Freeze-drying also negates the need to add glycerin to foods (used many times in baked & cold extruded treats). When freeze-dried, a dog’s diet is more simple & pure without extra filler ingredients.

This image was taken shortly after opening our freeze-dryer in Muenster, TX. The ice you see on the condenser plates is the moisture we have removed from the meat via freeze-drying.

What exactly is the freeze-drying process?

  1. We put frozen, raw meat onto trays in our freeze-dryer.
  2. The temperature lowers to around -60°, turning the water content in the meat into ice.
  3. A vacuum seal lowers the pressure to less than .06 ATM (atmospheric pressure).
  4. The trays heat up gradually. Once above 32° and without pressure, the water in the meat moves directly from ice form to vapor form, skipping the liquid form entirely (like dry ice evaporating on a counter).
  5. The water vapor collects on condensing plates (similar to the way frost condenses to your car in the winter), effectively drawing the moisture out of the meat. This condensing process can take anywhere from 24-48 hours.
  6. After all moisture has been removed, the vacuum is released and we’re left with a shelf-stable, super-nutritious raw meat product you can feed your dog or cat without any fillers or added carbs!

This is what frozen chicken looks like prior to entering the freeze-dryer. The trays slide onto the shelves and the sublimation process begins, taking water directly from ice to vapor.

How to incorporate freeze-dried into your pet’s diet

  • Freeze-dried foods can be 100% of your dog’s diet by allowing them to transition to a full carnivore diet over the course of one week.
  • Incorporate freeze-dried as 25-50% of your dog’s diet by mixing it in with kibble or canned foods.
  • Feeding freeze-dried during the day and kibble at night is a popular method.
  • Gradually adding freeze-dried meal toppers to kibble can be used to slowly remove carbohydrates from the diet.
  • Use freeze-dried as a treat only. Personally, when feeding as a treat, I like to hide freeze-dried foods throughout the house and let my dogs “hunt” for it. 

Image of our Freeze-Dried Elk & Venison Meal Topper. All it takes is a little sprinkle over their regular food, and your dogs’ mealtime will never be the same!

However you choose to incorporate the freeze-dried product into your dogs’ diet, you’ll want to make sure you monitor how much food your pets are eating. Freeze-dried foods are more rich in protein and nutrients than conventional pet foods, so your pet will likely need a lower quantity of food in general. But every single dog is different and will have different needs. You are the best judge of your dog’s body condition, and you can easily help your dog by ensuring you adjust the feeding amounts as directed. If you need any help putting together a freeze-dried feeding program for your dog, please reach out to us and we can help set you up a program. Send us a note: info@muenstermilling.com

To save 50% on our Freeze-Dried Elk/Venison meal toppers, use coupon code 50offelk.