FAQs

Foodie Question

How it works

Buying & Delivery

How fresh are the meals?

Our meals are freshly prepared and gently cooked to order in our kitchen. They are blast frozen to lock in all the nutritional goodness and flavour before they start their journey towards your home (No nasty preservatives or additives required!).

How are Butternut meals made?

We work alongside leading animal nutritionists who help us formulate our pawfectly balanced, complete and human grade recipes. We carefully source our ingredients from suppliers that we know and trust. Our meals are gently cooked in their own juices at low temperatures, in small batches, in our kitchen. We have more than 30 quality checks in place and that is just on our pouches! We’re so confident in our processes that we taste the food ourselves before it is released for packing into your box.

Where are the meals made?

We’re proud of our meals so we’ve always made them ourselves using methods that you could mimic at home. We make each meal in our kitchen in Lancashire which helps us to reduce our food miles and carbon emissions.

What does 'made to order' mean?

Before we start preparing any of our meals, we look at all the orders which have been placed and then plan our kitchen accordingly.

Should I consult my vet before feeding Butternut?

We’re proud to say that we develop our own recipes, but it doesn’t hurt to have some extra support. We consult and work with veterinarians, leading pet nutritionists and industry experts to ensure that we deliver the best food for your dogs.

All of our meals have added vitamins and minerals to ensure that they are complete and balanced so that you can rest assured that your dog is getting all the nutrients necessary to thrive.

If your dog has a specific health issue or has had food trouble in the past, we always recommend playing it safe and asking your vet.

What is the difference between Butternut meals and the rest?

We believe our meals are the best meals you can feed your dog, period. We use human grade meats, recognisable ingredients and absolutely no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives!

  • Our food vs. the dry stuff.

    Dry biscuits can contain meat meals, bone meals, cereals and grains. Carbohydrates are required to form the biscuits, before they are exposed to high temperatures for cooking and drying. Preservatives are frequently used to ensure that the product stays fresh throughout its shelf life.

    We only use unprocessed meats and offal taken straight out of the human food chain. We never use meat meals, bone meals or rendered meats. We always cook in small batches, at low temperatures, in our ovens. To make it even better, we don’t need to fill our food with carbohydrates so we can stick to the good stuff: simple veggies, meat and lentils.

  • Our food vs. canned wet food.

    Usually declared by categories, making it difficult to decipher what is inside. Meats tend to be mixed proteins from offal and carcasses with only 4% of the leading claimed meat e.g. with chicken. High quantities of added water and additional thickeners can also negatively impact your pet's poops.

    We believe that we should always share everything that is going into our recipe. We only use recognisable ingredients and meats and offal taken straight out of the human food chain. We never add additional water and we don’t add thickeners.

  • Our food vs. raw.

    We like that raw food is good quality and transparent but we’re not keen on the pathogens that come with it! Dealing with raw food never really worked for us.

    By gently cooking our meals in their own juices, it not only eliminates those nasty pathogens, but also helps to increase digestibility and lock in flavour. We only use meats and offal taken straight out of the human food chain and we don’t use bones which, when not from the right species, can splinter in a dog’s stomach. All of our meals contain added vitamins and minerals to ensure that every meal is pawfectly balanced.

  • Our food vs. home cooking.

    We take the stress out of meal prep and make sure your dog has all the nutrients they require, thanks to the development of our recipes alongside leading animal nutritionists.

    If you home cook, then we’re perfect for you. We take all the stress out of meal planning and preparation and make sure that your dog receives all the nutrients they require to thrive. We work alongside leading animal nutritionists who help us formulate our pawfectly balanced, complete and human grade recipes.

Is Butternut Box “a complete” dog food?

All of our meals are complete and balanced which means that it will deliver your dog’s daily requirement of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Make sure that you have updated your meal plan to factor in treats and any mixed feeding.

Is Butternut Box a raw diet?

Nope! We gently cook all of our meals. By gently cooking our meals in their own juices, it not only eliminates any lurking pathogens, but also helps to increase digestibility and lock in flavour.

What does 'Grain-free' mean?

We do not add any grains into our meals. Each recipe is carefully formulated without them.

Why do you use only human grade ingredients?

Not to be confused with “meat coming from animals fit for human consumption”, we use actual human grade meats! We believe in only feeding our dogs something we would be happy to eat ourselves. We never use meat meals, bone meals or rendered meats. Only what’s good enough for us, is good enough for them. We even taste the food ourselves before it is released for packing into your box.

How do you know how much to feed my dog?

We’ve developed a proprietary algorithm alongside our nutritionists to determine the ideal meal plan for each dog. We start by asking the right questions and create a customised plan to fit your dog’s needs. We might even check in with you from time to time, just to re-tune your plan to your dog’s needs.

Why we don’t use meat meal?

The short answer – because it’s gross. The slightly longer and more scientific answer: meat meal is produced through a process of boiling animal parts that are left over after every useful part has been utilised by other food manufacturers and industries. It is then dried and ground into a fine powder. If the source animal is not specified, the general term 'meat meal' is used this means it may have originated from any animal. If it’s not fit for human consumption, it’s not good enough for the Butternut Box Gang.

Are your meals “natural”?

All of the ingredients in our meals are made with natural ingredients, except for our vitamins and minerals which have been designed for your dog and to withstand cooking. We use chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption.

By natural, we mean that our ingredients have nothing added and they have their natural composition.

My dog has allergies. Is Butternut Box suitable?

Our meals are hypoallergenic. We don’t add cereals or gluten into our products. If you want to talk in depth about your dog’s specific needs, please give us a call or drop us an e-mail using the “contact us” tab in the footer.

Do you produce any waste?

We strive to keep food waste to a minimum but sometimes, no matter how careful we are, we do have some leftovers. Any meals that are safe to eat are always donated to our partner charities. Should we be unable to do this, we empty the pouches and send the food to be turned into something useful such as biofuel or compost.

Why can I see fat in my meals?

Our meals are gently cooked in their own juices. When the meat is cooked, the fat on the outside melts and provides flavour to the food. You can see the fat in our meals because we don’t use emulsifiers. We believe in keeping our meals as natural as possible. Fats are really important because they’re the first nutrient to be used for energy and they’re highly digestible. Each meal is perfectly balanced with a fat content suitable for your dog.

Can my dog eat kale?

Yes! Kale is safe for your dog in small quantities. They can eat cooked kale but not raw. Kale contains lots of vitamins and potassium along with fibre which is important to support a healthy digestive tract.

Does the packaging contain BPA?

BPA stands for bisphenol A. We’re pleased to share that our packaging is BPA-free!

What regulations do you follow?

We are strictly regulated by the government and EU legislation. We are registered with APHA (Animal and plant health Agency) which is part of DEFRA (department for environment food and rural affairs). These are government organisations who have verified our facilities and methods.

Why are my meals changing colour?

We don’t use any colourants in our meals, so the colour can naturally fluctuate. In our poultry dishes, this natural variation can be more noticeable because we use a combination of dark (meat near the bone) and light meat. Whatever the colour, you can be assured that it’s balanced and made with meats direct from the human food chain.

How long does the food in each delivery last?

With our meal plans, you’ll receive deliveries of freshly prepared food on a recurring basis. Meals are customized to fit your dog’s needs and come in convenient serving packs to make feeding easy. We’ll ship a box every 2-6 weeks depending on your dog’s size and preference. We perfectly time deliveries to make sure you never run out of food.

Where do I store the food and how does it keep fresh?

Keep 5 meals in the fridge and the rest in the freezer. Every time you finish a meal, just place another one in the fridge and it will be defrosted by the time you need it.

Should you forget to put your pouches in the fridge to defrost, you can put an unopened pouch in a little warm water for a few minutes and it will be ready to serve!

Pouches are safe for up to 7 days unopened in the fridge.

How much freezer space do I need?

You will need space equivalent to a loaf or two of bread in your freezer. So now there’s an excuse to chow down on that ice cream.

Do I need to cook the food?

You don’t have to cook. Each meal arrives pre-portioned and ready to serve in our freezer-friendly packs. All you have to do is scoop portions into a bowl and let your dog do the rest! We’ll share a top tip though, some fussy eaters, do like to have it warmed and mixed with a fork.

How much shall I feed my dog?

Feeding guidelines vary depending on a dog's activity level, age, breed and body condition. After taking two minutes to go through our nutritionist questionnaire we calculate your dog’s exact requirements for you. If you think that your dog needs more or less food than calculated, it is possible to manually change the meal sizes on your page. Alternatively, contact our customer love team.

The split of the total daily portion size is up to you. Some pet parents like to feed 2 meals, and others 3. The power is in your paws.

How long does it take to transition my dog over to Butternut Box?

Excellent question. When you change your dog’s diet too quickly, they could get an upset tummy. We recommend gradually introducing Butternut to your dog’s diet so as to give their stomach time to adjust to the new type of diet. Mix it with their current food for the first week. If you pup loves the food and is getting on well, then enjoy being a butternutter! If your pup has some runny poops, you’ll need to transition a bit slower. It may take your dog’s digestive tract up to two weeks to adjust, especially if they have eaten dry kibble their entire life.

Remember, if you do transition slower and have some extra pouches, you can always push forward your next delivery by logging onto your account.

Can I recycle?

The good news is that all of our boxes are recyclable. The extremely awesome Woolcool that keeps your food cool is biodegradable too!

Our meal pouches aren’t easily recyclable at home - this will massively depend on your whether your local council can recycle the meal pouches. However, we have good news - there is a recycling scheme that can accept our meal pouches run by a company called Terra-cycle, and for free.

In an ideal world we’d absolutely love to find something completely reusable, recyclable, and completely free from plastic. We’re currently working really hard on finding a substitute for the plastic that we use. So far we haven't been able to find a recyclable/biodegradable solution that will withstand cooking but we will keep on researching - if you have any suggestions we’re all ears!

What if my dog gets sick after eating the food?

With any food switch, there’s a chance that your dog’s stomach will get upset. That’s why we recommend transitioning over a ten-day period and give you specific recommendations for how to do that in the welcome kit that comes in your first box (or check out our transitioning FAQ).

I have more than one dog but only received one portion per day?

Unless you have specific order requirements, we look to combine both dogs’ daily pouches into one to stay eco-friendly and cut down on waste packaging.

How do you know how much to feed my dog?

We’ve developed a proprietary algorithm alongside our nutritionists to determine the ideal meal plan for each dog. We start by asking the right questions and create a customised plan to fit your dog’s needs. We might even check in with you from time to time, just to check in and re-tune your plan to your dog’s needs.

How much does it cost?

Each dog is different, and pricing will depend on a variety of factors including age, weight, activity, and more. If you take two minutes to go through our nutritionist questionnaire we can calculate your dog’s exact requirements. We don’t use any retail stores, so your money will go more towards your dog’s ingredient quality, and not to all the middlemen.

How does it work?

You start off by giving us some details about your dog. We lovingly prepare the meals. We then drop your Butternut Box off to you every 2-6 weeks.

When do you deliver?

We deliver on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday. All of our deliveries are carbon neutral!

Where do you deliver?

We deliver to 99% of the UK mainland but we don't currently deliver to parts of Scotland, the Scottish Highlands, Northern Ireland or islands off the UK.

Not going to be around for delivery?

No problem. You will have the option to leave the box outside, with a neighbour, or in a safe place. Our boxes are chilled and insulated for 24 hours, so they can be left outside until you get home.

Can I pay with cash?

We are a subscription-based service and in order to make things as seamless as possible, we only take payments online.

What if I need to change the amount of food?

All you have to do is login to your account and change your dog’s profile information, and we’ll update their recommended serving size accordingly. Or you can call us directly and someone on our customer service team will help you sort it out.

When am I charged?

The card on your account is charged on a regular schedule in accordance with your deliveries.

What if I am out of town or travelling?

Butternut Box can travel with you! We can ship our food anywhere in the UK so there is no problem at all there.

How can I add multiple dogs to my subscription and is there a discount?

This is super simple. Just click through to the get started process and there will be an option to add additional dogs. Adding additional dogs is more economical as we are saving on packaging and are only delivering to you once. We are very transparent about this, so any questions give us a call and we can walk you through it.

Can I amend, pause or cancel my subscription?

Of course! If you want to change or amend your subscription at any time just drop us a line. We can amend serving sizes, flavour selections and delivery options at any time. If you go away on holiday we can put your deliveries on hold until you return or deliver to another address. We are here to make you feel the love.

Something is wrong with my order, what can I do?

We are here to help. Just contact us and we will resolve any issue as soon as humanly possible!

Are Butternut Box products available in store?

No we are not! We are moving with the times and are a pure online shop. You won't find our food in the supermarket stored at room temperature and stacked next to the cleaning products!