We care a heck of a lot about safety.
When it comes to safety, we do everything for your everything. Every ingredient, every person, every step in the process must meet the highest safety standards every day. No exceptions. Ever.
It’s about simple ingredients, responsibly sourced.
Our ingredient lists are short: fresh chicken raised antibiotic-free, superfood veggies, high-fiber grains and natural preservatives. But our sourcing standards are rigorous. All of our ingredients must meet the highest standards for quality and traceability. And every bag of Heckova! is produced in our state-of-the-art freeze-dry facility in Nebraska.
And handled with care at every step.
We’re proud to have the highest safety standards in the pet food industry. At every step – from sourcing and mixing to purifying and freeze-drying - we use the greatest care and the most precise practices to deliver the safest possible product with the most satisfying taste, texture and nutrition. No compromises. No shortcuts. Heck no.
Here’s our process in a nutshell.
Using recipes created by our dedicated pet food scientists, we blend fresh, raw chicken raised antibiotic-free with nutrient-rich purple sweet potatoes, carrots and high-fiber brown rice to support healthy digestion.
The food is then purified through high-pressure processing (HPP), which treats the food with >85,000 PSI of water pressure to safely kill harmful bacteria while retaining the great raw nutrition, taste & texture your dog loves.
The food is then chopped into bite-sized pieces and freeze-dried. The result is pup-pleasing food that has all the taste and nutrition of raw, but is much lighter and totally shelf-stable, so there’s no need for refrigeration.
Raw can have incredible benefits for dogs.
To be safe, raw food needs to undergo a process to eliminate pathogens. At Heckova! we use high-pressure processing, or HPP, which has been scientifically validated to eliminate harmful bacteria. It allows foods to remain raw, but without the risk of pathogens. That’s important because raw food has been shown to have important nutritional benefits over cooked food, including higher protein content and greater digestibility. Best of all, dogs love it!
Heckova! FSQ (Food, Safety, Quality) Manager
Safety? Not my highest priority.
But I’m glad my hooman is looking out for me. TBH, I’m kind of a natural scavenger -- you know, eat first, throw up later, right? But my person is a whole lot more careful, both with her food and mine. And I appreciate that because I do like to look and feel my best -- and that’s what Heckova! is all about.
Tough guy with a tender heart
Hungry for more? Let’s dig into the details.
How is the bacteria in raw food controlled?
The bacteria in our raw food is killed through a step called high-pressure processing (HPP). HPP uses extremely high pressure to eliminate microorganisms such as E. coli., Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella. HPP is a scientifically validated process that retains the nutrients in the food much more effectively than cooking it.
Does high pressure processing reduce the overall nutrition of Heckova!?
Nope, HPP has little to no effect on the nutrition of Heckova! products. That’s what makes HPP such an essential step – it kills harmful pathogens, while preserving the nutrients of the raw food.
What specific quality control measures do you implement to guarantee the safety and quality of Heckova!?
Quality starts with our ingredients. We have a very rigorous supplier approval program to ensure that all of our ingredients meet the highest standards for quality and traceability. During processing, each batch is high-pressure processed, goes through multiple metal detectors, and is tested for pathogens and microbiological indicators at three points during the manufacturing process. In addition, 100% of the product is manufactured in a facility that is Safe Quality Food (SQF) certified in both Pet Food Manufacturing and Quality. We’re proud to report that our facility has received the highest rating achievable (“Excellent”) in every SQF audit. Finally, we test and hold the product until it passes all of our rigorous safety and quality control steps to ensure that only the highest quality food makes it into your dog’s bowl.
What does Safe Quality Food (SQF)-Certified mean?
The Safe Quality Food (SQF) Program is a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-recognized certification. The SQF program details strict food safety and quality standards that cover all aspects of the food supply chain. Every year, our food safety and quality program and manufacturing facility are audited by an SQF auditor. We’re incredibly proud to have earned an “Excellent” rating (the highest rating achievable) in every SQF audit.