Why I Made Sundays

My clients asked me for something better. When I couldn't find it—I made it.

By Dr. Tory Waxman

As a veterinarian, I wanted to be able to recommend better food to dog parents.

In veterinary school, I learned the importance of feeding a balanced diet that meets AAFCO requirements and underwent strict safety testing. When I first graduated, I recommended kibble made by the "big four" companies. As a general practitioner in NYC, clients started coming to me asking if they could feed one of these new kibbles that claimed to be "all-natural", “no fillers or byproducts”, "grain free", "minimally-processed", etc. I understood my clients’ desire to want to feed their pups something better, but the more I looked into these new dog food companies, the more I realized they were just marketing companies that happened to make dog food. The kibbles they were making might sound good in a commercial, but looking at the ingredient list or their science made me realize that often they were worse than traditional kibble.

I made Sundays because I wanted to create something better than traditional kibble - that actually was what all the other companies claimed to be but fell comically short of - minimally processed, all-natural, human-grade and no-prep (because let's face it, I would do anything for my dogs but I just don't have time to prep their food twice a day).

I made Sundays because I wanted to create something better than traditional kibble - that actually was what all the other companies claimed to be but fell comically short of - minimally processed, all-natural, human-grade and no-prep

Dr. Tory and Mabel in Central Park, NY
While I think the kibbles the big traditional pet food companies make are fine - they are highly processed and subsequently have little nutritional value after extrusion, therefore requiring the addition of 30-40 synthetic vitamins/minerals. But they are balanced and end up providing the essential vitamins and minerals. They are fine. But what if we could make something better?

For clients that had the time to homecook for their dogs, I would recommend consulting with a nutritionist to formulate a home-cooked meal. But what if there was a food that was as high in quality as homemade, but as easy as kibble?

As a veterinarian, I resent the lack of transparency of the dog food industry and the way they take advantage of dog parents trying to do the best thing for their dog. When dog food companies claim their food is "all-natural" there is almost always a little asterisk nearby that states "with added vitamins and minerals.” When we say our food is all-natural - we mean it. Period. End of story. No asterisks. 

Similarly, many dog foods claim to be made with "human-grade ingredients.” This is against AAFCO guidelines. Food is either human grade from start to finish (ingredients, processing, packaging, etc.) or it's not. Once again, when I say our food is human grade - we mean it. Period. End of story. No asterisks.

My vet school nutrition courses emphasized the importance of a complete and balanced diet for good health, and therefore the need to supplement numerous vitamins and minerals back into pet foods to meet with rigorous/scientifically determined AAFCO standards. But in my own diet, instead of taking a multivitamin, I aim to fulfill a well-balanced diet with a variety of whole food sources - healthy proteins, fats, complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. Why should it be different for our dogs? This is why Sundays is complete and balanced with no added artificial vitamins or minerals.

As a dog parent, I kept asking myself how I can feed my dogs better.
My dogs are more than just dogs to me - they are part of our family. My dogs are also athletes. They are my running and walking partners, and also my agility and dock diving teammates. Traditional kibble provided adequate nutrition but I didn't want to give them just "adequate" food. I wanted to give them something better. 

My partner and I tried over 50 foods for our pups, ranging from traditional kibble to alternatives including dehydrated and refrigerated foods. (I refused to feed our dogs raw food due to the risk to my family for pathogen transmission). Many of the foods were messy and took time to prepare. As a veterinarian, I wasn't totally comfortable with many of these alternative diets as they did not have strong science behind them. Rarely do these companies employ a veterinarian. When I would question companies about their quality assurance protocols, or ingredient sourcing, they would quickly get defensive and skirt my questions.

I didn't want our food to be about buzz words or marketing speak - I wanted our food to speak for itself. 

After all - I'm a vet and dog parent. I am definitely not in marketing or sales. After two years and traveling literally around the world and producing over 100 iterations from our original recipe, I think we've made it.
Try Healthy, Easy Sundays