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Meet Alisa Wechsler and Gunner Williams of Urban Wolf and Maxota Raw

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alisa Wechsler and Gunner Williams.

Alisa and Gunner, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Our dogs and cats are our inspiration, and the need to feed them the best food possible was the driving force behind creating Maxota Raw and Urban Wolf. Years ago, while living with Max and Dakota in Arizona, Max developed a skin allergy. An integrative vet recommended a raw diet, and we found a local producer. Within 3 weeks of feeding raw, Max’s skin allergy went away and Dakota was more energetic. Later, we moved to the east coast, had puppy Duke join the family, and we had a tough time finding a local raw pet food producer. We began researching and making our own food, and soon after we found we needed commercial equipment to truly make a quality food, and decided to become a business and a brand. We opened a retail shop in New York called Urban Wolf where we sold our brand of raw pet food, Maxota Raw. A majority of inquiries from Southern California led us to move the business to San Diego, where the dog population as well as health minded consumers were more prevalent.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Just a few years ago, people may not have realized how important it is to know what goes in to your pet’s food! With so many questionable (and worse) ingredients still being legally used in pet food production, we created a small batch, human grade, local as possible sourced, top quality food to be sure we could feed our dogs the highest quality food possible. It was a struggle at first to market this to a generation of people who were still under the assumption that kibble and other foods were safe and healthy for their pets. Today, with the help of research publicized on social media and the amazing documentary by Kohl Harrington, “Pet Fooled,” more and more people are becoming aware of the need to move their pets diet to a more natural, whole food and raw approach.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Urban Wolf and Maxota Raw story. Tell us more about the business.
Urban Wolf is a transparent company. Our small batch, open, professional kitchen is available for consumers to see what goes in our food, where it is sourced from, and how we make it. We want to show our clients that we use only the best human-grade edible, local as possible, non-GMO, antibiotic-free, and often organic ingredients available, with no fillers, additives, or grains. Producing 30-quart maximum batches helps us ensure the integrity of our products and allows for exceptional quality control. Meals are produced in our USDA-inspected kitchen with a former registered sanitarian, environmental health specialist, nutritional scientist in the top management position.

The atmosphere of our storefront is welcoming to both humans and pets alike. We are available for feeding and nutritional advice, and often give out snacks to visitors during production times. We are a completely hands-on company, where you can see us make the food and speak with us about what your dog’s needs are.

We have a trained, knowledgeable staff and on-call veterinary references to provide as well. While Maxota Raw Meals are currently only available at the Urban Wolf store, online sales will be launching soon.

We believe in biologically appropriate raw food for dogs, and we strive to mimic an ancestral diet for the modern Urban Wolf. Benefits of a raw diet can include: increased energy levels, improved skin and coat health, less susceptibility to illness, healthy weight management, and even better smelling breath! Urban Wolf currently offers six Maxota Raw Meal options, including grass-fed New Zealand venison, grass-fed bison, and organic, free range chicken, duck, and turkey. We also offer treats like beef marrow and knuckle bones, wild Alaskan salmon oil, organic raw goat milk frozen yogurt, and wolf cookies. Any pet parent who wants their fur baby to live a longer, healthier life should seek out Maxota Raw.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
The only stroke of luck for us was finding each other. This business was borne of love and circumstance and our collective desire to help animals!

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