Over 30 years ago, before starting FirstMate Pet Foods, Michael fished commercially off the shores of British Columbia, Canada, and Alaska. The digestibility and health benefits of a fish-rich diet were evident to Michael and important for him to incorporate into his own pet’s diets.
All FirstMate dry fish formulas use a combination of wild-caught herring, anchovy, and sardine. These fish are caught near the water’s surface using sustainable fishing practices. The fish used in our diets are sourced in the Pacific Ocean.
The herring family feed on plankton, making them a rich source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Spending most of their lives in the middle of the ocean reduces their exposure to heavy metals such as mercury.
In pet food it can be difficult to determine if a fish formula contains the whole fish or just the heads and frames, as the fillets are utilized for human consumption.
Herring, anchovy, and sardine are sourced mainly for their roe in North America, enabling FirstMate to use the WHOLE fish. The inclusion of the whole fish increases the percentage of meat protein, which helps to ensure a high-quality fish diet.
Quality ingredients are just one of the ways that we ensure a superior diet for your FirstMate.
We have been feeding our Ridgebacks 1st Mate Products for many years
Thank you for the ongoing brand support!
– FirstMate Team
Hi, is your fish meal at any point in the processing preserved with ethoquixin?
We do not add ethoxyquin to any of our products. Furthermore, we work diligently with our suppliers to source protein ingredients, including fish meal, that are free of chemical preservatives. The fish we use is typically treated with a natural antioxidant blend consisting of rosemary extract and mixed tocopherols.
Although not common, it is possible that fish meal was treated with ethoxyquin prior to us receiving it as a result of natural variation, government regulations in the handling of fish, and seasonal availability. However, with a current move away from the use of ethoxyquin overall, this is becoming less of an issue.
Do you test for kibble for mercury levels?
We routinely test our ingredients and finished products for heavy metals, including mercury, through third-party independent labs. In addition, the fish that are used in our kibble formulas eat low on the food chain and therefore do not accumulate mercury and other heavy metals.
Wendy Vandersteen, PhD
Manager of Research and Development