Numa Wholesome Dog Food

by Jason Smith

In February 2012, an idea came to me to start a line of dog food that would be the “Papa John’s” of dog food.

When I originally started ReALife LLC back in 2007, God gave me a big vision for this company. First, we would be known for being the first professional poop scooping company in Hardin County, Kentucky. Then, as we grew we would offer pet sitting services, pet taxi services, a dog food delivery service, and eventually we would have a doggie day care and training center. This vision came to me before I enrolled in Sullivan University’s business administration program.

After a few years in the program, I started to think it would be good for business to launch a product line. Although I enjoyed being service-minded and helping people by providing my services to them, I began to wonder how much more we could benefit pet owners if we produced a tangible good. I began to think about the whole dog.

At the moment, we specialized in cleaning up dog waste. So I thought, what are other areas of the whole dog that need attention. Immediately, my mind went to nutrition. I began some cursory research into the dog food industry. I read a lot of questionable material in the initial phase, but even though the subject matter might have been unreliable, there was one consistency I found: dog food as it is currently produced is not ideal for dogs.

It wasn’t until I read Ted Kerasote’s Pukka’s Promise: The Quest for Longer-Lived Dogs that I realized I barely scratched the surface when it came to my research on dog food. Because of Kerasote’s book, I have found another incredible resource, veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker. She runs the Healthy Pets section of Dr. Becker emphasizes the “species appropriate diet” and Kerasote’s research explains the history and evolution of dog nutrition.

In summary, grain-based foods made up of corn, wheat, and potatoes are not a natural part of the canine diet. Dogs, although physically different from their ancestors the wolves, are genetically similar to wolves. In fact, Kerasote points out that dogs are 98% wolf. Dr. Becker explains that domestics dogs, Canis lupis familiaris are members of the order Carnivora. In other words, dogs are meat eaters, just like their predecessors the wolves.

In light of this new information, I have realized that the timing of the launch of Numa Wholesome Dog Food in 2013 is premature at its best. While we do have four recipes that we believe are healthy alternatives to store bought kibble, I feel that further research on dog nutrition is necessary before we can develop a food that will have better ingredients that will result in longer-lived healthier dogs.

Continue to check back with us for more information on Numa. If you have any questions about the Numa Wholesome Dog Food project, feel free to contact us at


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