Boreal Dog Food

About Boreal
Hugh and I have spent our working lives helping dog owners have more success. Over the past 30 plus years we have been committed to nutrition and dog health issues and we are more convinced than ever that all of us must change how we feed our dogs! Time to throw out the high carb foods and focus on a smarter, healthier diet for your dog. Take a walk through our information and see if we have something to offer you and your best friend!

Using primarily Canadian ingredient sources, Boréal dog foods will allow you to control the protein and carb sources you feed and help keep weight off and your dog’s energy levels where they belong. Most of our foods use a single source protein, and we lean heavily on peas and beans to keep our foods healthy. We have added an antioxidant and a prebiotic package to our blends to cover not only taste, but digestion and health concerns.

We are trying to reduce the wrong kind of carbohydrates and really focus in on low GI – glycemic index – starches. By basing our foods on low GI foods like peas, beans and single protein meat sources we think your pet will feel full longer after they eat and the diet will help keep blood sugar levels from fluctuating. Add in the right amount of exercise and we think this is a smart way to feed your pets.

We add Availa®Pet, an easily absorbed trace mineral package containing zinc, iron and manganese to all our pet foods for important health benefits.

We have two lines of canned foods - a new Canadian-made lineup of of Cobb Chicken, Heritage Turkey, Canadian Duck, Atlantic Salmon, Angus Beef and NZ Lamb and a Red Meat Tuna line from Thailand.

Boréal Wet Food is Grain Free, Gum Free, and Potato Free - a limited ingredients diet that is high meat and low carb. Like our dry foods our new wet foods have Availa® Pet - Organic Zinc for Healthy Skin and Coat.

Too Many Dogs and Cats Today are Overweight

We know too many dogs and cats are carrying around too much weight. As with people, being overweight is unhealthy. Excess fat means hearts could be strained, joints taxed, and blood sugar levels elevated. Pet diabetes is on the rise. We believe the reason is many pets are eating foods that are heavily processed and full of ingredients chosen for low price and storage benefits rather than for proper nutrition.
Healthy Pets

We see troubling signs in much of the dog and cat population in North America: Obesity, increase in diabetes, and heart and orthopedic issues. We knew pet parents were often too busy with jobs, children and life to exercise their dogs properly. And when too busy, and feeling guilty about leaving their pets alone so long, pet parents tended to over-feed and over-treat to compensate. We developed Boreal to provide an affordable and healthy pet food solution using low Glycemic Index ingredients.

Understanding Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index (GI) is a human measure of how quickly blood sugar levels rise after eating a type of food. The same effect happens in pets. Carbohydrates break down quickly and release glucose (a type of sugar) rapidly into the bloodstream. A low GI score is healthier.

(Glycemic index chart)

  • Glucose / Sugar has a GI of 100.
  • High GI (greater than 70) foods: white bread, most white rice, corn flakes, breakfast cereals, pretzels, French fries.
  • Medium GI (between 56-69) foods: potatoes, pita bread, white enriched bread.
  • Low GI (less than 55) foods: beans, most vegetables, most fruits.
  • Meat has a GI of virtually 0.
Carbohydrates & Proteins

In addition to questions about the Glycemic Index, many pet owners have asked about protein numbers and carbohydrate percentages. What are carbs? What are good carbs versus bad carbs? What is a protein?


Carbohydrates are nutrients, and the major source of energy for all animals.

Carbohydrates range in structure from a simple small glucose molecule to a large complex molecule such as a starch. Think about “carbs” as building blocks, with simple sugars such as glucose being small blocks that can be put together in different ways to form longer complex chains. When your pet eats a complex carbohydrate, their digestive system breaks the large chain back into smaller blocks and simple sugars. These simple sugars are then absorbed into the blood stream.

Foods full of simple sugars - or simple “carbs” - (think white bread, French fries and pasta) are easily absorbed and can quickly get turned into fat. Foods full of complex “carbs” (think salad, beans or celery) require more time for the body to break them down to simple sugars.

So simple “carbs” are bad and complex “carbs” are good.

Generally we try to reduce the percent of “carbs” in most of our diets, both for pets and people. Boreal dry pet foods typically have Carbohydrate levels in 27-32% range.


Proteins are similar to carbohydrates in that they are complex molecules, but where “carbs” are built out of sugars, proteins are built from smaller amino acids.

Protein cannot be stored in your pet’s body like fat, so you must provide protein daily to maintain healthy bodily functions.

Proteins are important for your pet’s:

  • coat
  • muscle, skin, blood, bone and cartilage
  • ability to repair and build tissue
  • ability to speed up enzymes reactions
  • Hormone levels

In pet foods, protein can come from meat sources or from plants. In the past, pet owners used to feed cornmeal based dog foods that lead to weight gain. Today, cornmeal is found only in the cheaper pet food diets. Pet foods with a large percent of meat protein are considered a higher quality product.

Boreal Original dog foods contain between 65-80% protein from meat, with a total protein level in 25-28% range.

If your dog is more of a house pet versus a working dog then watch the total percent protein number. We think total protein for house dogs should run in 25-28% range. Higher percent protein can cause stomach issues.

The Way Their Ancestors Ate

After spending our lifetimes working with animals we knew we could do better. The result is our Boréal line of pet food formulated to provide a balanced and healthy diet similar to what dog and cat ancestors ate.

Serving your pet with food that contains only low glycemic ingredients like meat, peas, beans, and good grains that take your dog or cat longer to digest and do not spike blood sugars, will go a long way to helping your them live a healthy life and avoid obesity.

Boréal pet foods are similar to the diets of your pet ancestors that occupied the Boréal forest regions of North America. 


Boréal sources local Canadian ingredients, grown and raised under world-class conventional agriculture quality standards, whenever possible.

Our dry foods are made in Ontario using Green Whole Peas and Northern White Beans grown in the prairie-provinces and Southern Ontario. The meats used in our dry foods are from Canadian raised chicken, turkey, duck and sustainable salmon farms. Lamb is imported from New Zealand. Boréal wet foods are from sustainable sea products raised British Columbia and Thailand. Our focus is on producing affordable, sustainable, healthy low glycemic index foods.

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