JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

CORONA: Gourmet dog treat ready for its close-up

TERRY PIERSON/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

PE.com: Jackboy’s Dog Bakery owner Athena Yap of Corona with her dog Kernel and some of the many dog treats she makes in Corona, CA. The all natural artisan doggie pastries are good enough to eat but they are made for dogs.

As the founder of Jackboy’s Dog Bakery, Athena Yap has an uncanny talent for thinking outside of the bone.

And thereby hangs a tale of a former aerospace engineer who used to convert fighter planes into drones. These days she transforms dough into doggie delectables for a clientele that includes the T.J. Maxx Corp.

Now Hollywood has come knocking. Eventually, you can catch one of her cookie creations on a new series, tentatively called “Game of Pawns,” or “Pawn in the Game,” that Yap was told would begin later this month on the Discovery Channel. However, a spokeswoman for them, Emily Robinson, wrote in an email that the cable network hasn’t officially announced the show and there’s no definite air date yet.

Since Yap launched Jackboy’s in Corona six years ago, Jackboy’s has been a hit with customers who have helped double her revenues every year. Yap said sales of her 50 varieties of homemade, all-natural canine confections range from between $8,000 and $20,000 a month.

Clients include pet spas, animal hospitals, groomers, doggie boutiques and gift stores. About 70 percent of her business is online, catering to purists who clamor for Yap’s gluten-free, salt-free, filler-free, dye-free, chemical-free cakes, cake pops, cupcakes, cookies and artisan pastries. They’re made with human-grade ingredients that include honey, olive oil, carob, eggs, roasted peanuts, oatmeal and minimal sugar.

In fact, these pooch products are so good that Donna Kennedy Clark spotted her 3-year-old niece nibbling a Cranberry Bis-Scotties at The Paw Spa she owns at 320 S. Main St. Corona.

“I only carry top-of-the-line natural, holistic cakes and cookies,” Kennedy Clark, 47, said. “Athena cares about every ingredient that goes into them. She even makes her own sprinkles using beets and turmeric for the colors. Customers come in looking for her cookies because their dogs won’t eat any other kind.”

Yap said with a laugh that some people think she uses a fake name enhance her business. Actually, Yap, 40, is Chinese and grew up in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in an animal-loving family. At 19, she enrolled in Iowa State University in Ames because of its ranking as one of the top schools for aerospace engineering. After graduating, Yap received her MBA during her 15-year tenure in the industry, specializing in composite materials and processes. Her most recent position was supervising four engineers at BAE Systems in Mojave, but Yap wanted to be her own boss.

Her next move became clear after she and her fiancé, Steve Sunde, rescued from the streets a red German shepherd and dingo mix they named Jackboy, “He picked us,” Yap said. She began making her own dog food in 2007 after many animals died from eating poisonous pet food from China containing tainted wheat gluten. But the snacks and treats Yap whipped up really piqued Jackboy’s palate and with him as her chief taster, a business was born.

At their Corona home, Yap experimented, initially mixing wheat flour, canola oil and parmesan cheese to produce her classic twists called Knotty Parmesan. As her research intensified, so did her commitment to the finest ingredients and a ban on artificial colorings, flavors and commercially produced beef and chicken bouillon. She swapped the canola for 100 percent olive oil. “Everything evolved and business began snowballing,” she recalled.

Yap figures she’s invested more than $150,000 to grow the business. In 2009, she rented a commercial unit on Ott Street in Corona. A year ago July she relocated to her current, 800-square-foot site at 109 N. Maple Street, Unit B, where she employs two workers who bake every day but Sunday. Retail prices run from about $6.99 for a 5-ounce bag to a big birthday cake for $34.99

“People want instant gratification,” Yap said of her two-day turnaround. Jackboy stores shipments for its 15 to 20 daily orders in the warehouse of her boyfriend’s Corona business, Rockwell Aviation Services.

Jackboy died in April at age 12, but another rescue, a Chihuahua and miniature pinscher mix, now helps vet each new roll-out and disdains all but fresh baked goods. Her beau christened him “Colonel,” but Yap mistook the high-ranking title for the seed and registered the mutt as “Kernel.”

The showbiz request came last February from a freelance Hollywood producer who found Jackboy Dog Bakery online. Yap designed the cookie to replicate a World War II-era license plate for a pawn shop in Branson, Mo., that gives customers the chance to earn their asking price by playing a little trivia game. Jackdog’s confection represents the soybean license plates made by some states in the 1940s to save metal for the war effort. The plates began disappearing when animals began eating them right off the cars.

The indefatigable Yap seems to dream up a new goodie every week. Fare includes Garlic Pup-zels, Coco-Mutt Macaroons, Snickerdroodles, Muddy Paws Carob Fudge Sandwiches and Honey Dough-Mutts. “I do it all,” she said. “The design, recipes and labeling. I have a mission to make people appreciate their pets and treat them as part of the family.”

Follow Laurie Lucas on Twitter @LaurieLucas and check her blog on pe.com/business

August 26, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, pet fun, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Mistake That Can Wreak Havoc on Your Dog’s Skeleton

Story at-a-glance

  • Osteochondrosis is one of a variety of developmental orthopedic diseases that occur in young, fast-growing dogs, typically large and giant breeds. The most common form of osteochondrosis in dogs is osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), which can cause angular limb deformities in long bones, and cartilage damage in shoulders, elbows, knees and hocks.
  • Inappropriate nutrition has been identified as an important factor in the development of bone disease in big puppies. Free-feeding, overfeeding, and improper feeding of energy-dense diets, excessive calcium and mineral intake, and an imbalance of vitamin D metabolites present significant risks to growing large and giant breed puppies.
  • The diets of big puppies should be carefully managed to help prevent developmental orthopedic disease. The problem in today’s young, growing dogs is not one of dietary deficiency, but rather one of “over-nutrition” caused by overfeeding and inappropriate supplementation of certain nutrients.
  • To avoid “overgrowing” a large or giant breed puppy, the first step is to feed portion-controlled meals rather than free-feeding. Puppies should be maintained in optimal body condition, not maximal body condition.
  • The best diet for a large breed puppy is designed to meet the nutrient requirements for growth in large breeds, contains the proper amount of calories to avoid rapid growth, and also the appropriate levels of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, and the correct calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.

Large Dog Breed

By Dr. Becker

Osteochondrosis is one of several developmental orthopedic diseases that occur in young, fast-growing dogs, especially large and giant breeds like the Doberman Pinscher, the Labrador Retriever, Great Danes and Newfoundlands.

The most common form of osteochondrosis in dogs is called osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), which is a defect in bone development at the extremity of a bone. The problem is thought to be a disruption in the manufacture of bone tissue that results in injury to growth cartilage. These injuries can cause angular limb deformities in long bones, as well as damage to the cartilage in the shoulder, stifle (knee joint), hock (the joint in the rear leg below the knee), and the elbow.

Inflammatory joint disease often follows osteochondrosis, ultimately leading to degenerative joint disease.

Developmental orthopedic diseases occur during the early stages of bone growth, before the growth plates close. This crucial period (the first year of life) is when a puppy’s skeletal system is most vulnerable to physical, nutritional and metabolic damage due to increased metabolic activity. The reason large and giant breeds are at higher risk is because genetics cause their bodies to grow very rapidly. Another predisposing factor is whether a puppy’s parents developed osteochondrosis.

Nutrition Can Be a Significant Risk Factor for Bone Disease

Studies of nutritional risk factors involved in osteochondrosis have identified free-feeding and overfeeding – especially of high-energy foods designed for rapid growth – as contributors. Energy-dense diets can promote increased levels of growth hormone, insulin-like growth factor, insulin and thyroid hormones. Other dietary influences include excessive calcium intake, excessive mineral intake, and an imbalance of vitamin D metabolites.

For optimal bone development in puppies, diets must include appropriate and balanced amounts of nutrients. Excessive calcium and energy (calories), plus rapid growth predispose dogs to developing osteochondrosis. When a growing dog — especially a large or giant breed — is overfed and overweight, the bones are stressed by both static and dynamic forces that can cause damage to the skeleton.

In one study, Great Dane puppies that were free-fed a diet high in energy and minerals, or a diet high in calcium, developed osteochondrosis with clearly visible symptoms.

Studies have also shown that large breed puppies fed diets with high calcium content or high calcium and phosphorus content also acquired developmental orthopedic disease.

This is because puppies aren’t able to control or limit absorption of dietary calcium and certain other minerals. Absorption occurs through the intestines, and the higher the calcium and mineral content of the diet, the greater the level of absorption and assimilation into developing bone structure. This can disturb the natural process of bone growth and result in lesions in the skeleton and joints.

Even when highly palatable, energy-dense diets are well-balanced, when free-fed to large and giant breed puppies, the risk of OCD and other orthopedic diseases is increased. This is one of many reasons I don’t recommend free-feeding any pet. Most dogs and cats will overeat if free-fed, and as you can see, this is especially hazardous to the health of growing large and giant breed puppies.

To date, no studies have found protein intake to be a factor in the development of osteochondrosis.

Large Breed Puppy Diets Should Be Carefully Managed

Careful management of the diets of large and giant breed dogs won’t eliminate every instance of developmental bone disease, but it’s a crucial step in decreasing risk factors. The problem in today’s young, growing dogs is not one of dietary deficiency, but rather one of “overnutrition” caused by overfeeding and over-supplementation.

Young large breed dogs are at higher risk of developing skeletal problems than small breed dogs, even when both are fed diets with too little or too much calcium. Even when calcium intake is optimal, big dogs have more growth-related skeletal issues than smaller breeds.

To help prevent disease, we must make every effort to control the rate at which big dogs grow by feeding only the amount of calories needed to keep their bodies lean while they develop. The first step is to feed portion-controlled meals rather than free-feeding. We want to help dogs maintain optimal body condition, not maximal body condition.

Diets should not be extremely high in calories. Many super premium dog foods on the market are highly energy-dense. By contrast, large-breed puppy foods have reduced caloric density, calcium and phosphorus levels compared with other canine growth diets.

Switching a big puppy to an adult diet to try to control growth rate is not recommended. Adult diets don’t have the calories per serving that big puppies require, so they can end up eating more food and taking in excessive levels of other nutrients, which can be risky.

The Right Way to Feed a Large or Giant Breed Puppy

The ideal diet for a large breed puppy is designed to meet the nutrient requirements for growth in large breeds, contains the proper amount of calories to avoid rapid growth, and also the appropriate levels of calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, and the correct calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. Large and giant breed puppies continue to grow until about 18 months of age, so they should be kept on a specially designed growth diet until they are fully grown.

The goal in feeding a large or giant breed puppy is to keep him lean, with controlled growth. A healthy, large or giant breed puppy will thrive on a portion-controlled, balanced, species-appropriate diet. You can feed an ideally balanced homemade diet or an excellent quality commercially available food.

What about those large breed puppy foods? Traditional puppy foods often provide much higher calorie content than large breed puppies require, causing them to gain too much weight too quickly. This is why pet food manufacturers began producing formulas specifically for large breed puppies.

These are typically diets lower in calorie density (the number of calories per cup or gram of food) than a regular puppy diet. They’re also usually lower in calcium on an energy basis.

These are two very important factors for reducing too-rapid growth in big puppies. Some adult foods may also be low calorically, but often they have high calcium content on an energy basis, which is not what you want for a growing large or giant breed pup.

If you’re going to feed kibble to a large breed puppy, I recommend you look for special large breed puppy formulas or a formula (preferably a balanced, raw food diet) that is "Approved for all life stages." This means the food is appropriate for growing puppies or adult dogs.

I do not recommend feeding a traditional (high growth) puppy food to large breed puppies.

June 3, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Ditch This Pet Food Now – Can Be Deadly to Your Pets

Story at-a-glance
  • As we predicted in November of last year, dry dog foods containing corn and corn products harvested from last summer’s crop could present a significant risk of aflatoxin contamination.
  • The summer of 2012 across the Midwest was very dry and very hot, creating an environment in which certain types of plant mold proliferate. These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins, which are mycotoxins known to cause acute lethal illness in both animals and humans.
  • Voluntary recalls of dry dog food due to high levels of aflatoxin contamination have already begun across states in the Midwest. Unfortunately, because of the behavior of the molds involved, it has proved difficult to control, minimize or even accurately assess levels of contamination.
  • If you feed dry dog food to your pet, we are repeating our recommendations to transition to another type of diet and/or carefully avoid any pet food containing corn or corn products

Dry Dog Food

By Dr. Becker

In an article last November, I reported on the very real danger of future widespread aflatoxin contamination of commercial pet food, primarily dry dog food. Thanks to the very hot, dry summer of 2012, experts predicted U.S. corn crops would be heavily infested with two types of mold — Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus.

These molds produce metabolites called aflatoxins. Aflatoxins cause acute lethal illness and cancer in animals and humans, and are among the most carcinogenic substances on earth. Aflatoxins poison the liver, and their carcinogenic properties can lead to tumor formation.

Recalls of Aflatoxin-Contaminated Dog Food Have Begun

Reuters reports high levels of aflatoxins have been discovered in bags of dog food on store shelves in Iowa. And according to Michael Wright, the CEO of Pro-Pet, a pet food company in Ohio that recently learned some of its product was contaminated with aflatoxins, “Last year’s corn crop – it’s a huge issue. We test every load coming in. And we reject a lot of loads.”

During the last week of February, the Hy-Vee Inc. grocery chain was forced to recall five different products in its private dog food line due to high levels of aflatoxins in the corn used in the formulas. The dog food was produced at a Kansas City Pro-Pet plant and distributed across eight Midwestern states.

As I explained back in November, the behavior of the A. flavus and A. parasiticus molds makes it very difficult to control or minimize aflatoxin contamination, or to accurately assess the extent of the problem. There can be pockets of plants that are heavily contaminated, while the rest of the crop is relatively mold-free, so analyzing occasional random samples of corn plants can give misleading results.

The corn used in the recalled Hy-Vee formulas had been tested before it was added to the dog food, and the finished product was reportedly tested as well. But the contamination wasn’t discovered until a random bag was pulled from a store shelf in Iowa by an inspector for the Iowa Department of Agriculture.

According to PetfoodIndustry.com, Hy-Vee officials say the recall is only a precautionary measure and no illnesses have been reported. The recalled products were distributed to Hy-Vee stores in Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin between October 26, 2012, and January 11, 2013. Specific details of recalled products can be found here.

If you happen to have a bag of recalled product, you should stop feeding it to your pet. You can also return the food, opened or unopened, to a Hy-Vee store for a full refund.

How to Avoid Aflatoxin-Contaminated Pet Food

Aflatoxin-related illness is seen much more often in dogs than cats because more commercial dog foods than cat foods contain corn products.

To be very safe, I recommend you transition your pet away from all dry food. Replace it with a high quality canned food, a commercially prepared raw diet, dehydrated raw, a balanced home cooked diet, or a combination.

If you want to continue to offer dry food to your dog, I recommend you study the ingredients carefully and avoid products containing corn in any form, including corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, corn flour, etc. Corn is not only highly susceptible to aflatoxin contamination, it is also allergenic and difficult for most pets to digest.

Related:

The Feeding Mistake Linked to the Cause of Most Disease – Are You Making It?

Why Upgrading Your Pet’s Diet is More Important Now than Ever

More Dog Food Recalled for Toxic Contaminants

Yet ANOTHER Pet Food Recall for Deadly Contaminants

Pet Food Red Flags You Want to Avoid

Dr. Becker’s Real Food for Healthy Dogs and Cats: Simple Homemade Food – Cookbook

The Dangers of Genetically Modified Ingredients in Pet Food

Pet Jerky Death Toll Update: 360 dogs, 1 Cat According to FDA

A Raw Food KIBBLE?

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Free Homemade Dog Food Recipes

Liver Dog Treats Equals One Happy Dog

The Importance of Bones in Your Pet’s Diet

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Fatty Acids May Improve Mobility In Osteoarthritic Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems

Allergies and Springtime Ailments in Pets

Do Vaccinations Affect the Health of our Pets?

How the Pet Food Industry Has Helped Create "Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome"

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

Dysbiosis: The Root Cause of Many Other Pet Health Problems

Cancer and Your Pet: Two Things to Avoid

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

The Nutrient Your Dog Needs More of As They Age: Protein – And Expecting Your Pet to Get It from Rendered Pet Food Is the Worst of the Worst of the Worst Options!

Pupcakes

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Chicken Jerky Recipe for dogs

WHAT HUMAN FOODS ARE UNSAFE FOR PETS? (the 12 worst)–> chocolate, sugarless gum & artificial sweeteners, alcohol, yeast dough, grapes & raisins, Macadamia nuts, onions (bad for dogs and cats… but poison for cats), garlic (for cats), caffeine, fat trimmings and bones (bad for cats and limited fat and the right bones for dogs), raw eggs (for cats, but must be careful for dogs and humans), and milk.

Some of the best human foods for dogs: peanut butter (although peanuts and peanut butter can contain mold so could be bad for humans and dogs), cheese including cottage cheese (some some dogs can be prone to be lactose intolerant like people), yogurt, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe, blueberries, salmon, green beans, sweet potatoes, fresh raw carrots, pumpkin, and lean meat… cooked or raw.

Did You Know There are Two Kinds of Raw Pet Food on the Market?

Megacolon: A Terrible Outcome for Constipated Pets

Resources:

Not Fit for a Dog!: The Truth About Manufactured Dog and Cat Food

See Spot Live Longer – How to help your dog live a longer and healthier life!

Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals

screen-shot-2012-09-19-at-11.49.12-am[1]

Keep your pets healthy and help extend their lives with:

StemPet and StemEquine – Stem Cell Enhancers for Pets

April 8, 2013 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , | 3 Comments

Did You Know There are Two Kinds of Raw Pet Food on the Market?

Dr. Becker:

Story at-a-glance
  • High pressure pasteurization, or HPP, is a method of processing raw food to eliminate pathogens. High hydrostatic pressure is exerted by a liquid through a water bath that surrounds the product. The pressure is uniformly applied from all sides and throughout the product, which keeps the food from being crushed.
  • HPP is gaining popularity among raw pet food manufacturers who wish to make their products more appealing to the traditional veterinary community and pet owners who want to feed raw, but with zero risk of bacterial contamination.
  • Most raw food enthusiasts, however, do not believe “sterile” raw food should be considered raw, since HPP processing does modify whole living foods.
  • HPP-processed raw pet food can be beneficial for dogs and cats with compromised immune systems, and it’s a good alternative for pet owners who want to feed raw to a dog or cat in less than optimal health.
  • Dr. Becker believes unadulterated raw diets are best for healthy, thriving pets, and that “sterile” raw diets also have a place in households with an immunocompromised dog, cat or human family member.

By Dr. Becker

Today I want to talk about high pressure pasteurization, or HPP, and its controversial role in what we now refer to as "sterile" raw pet food.

High pressure pasteurization is a processing method used by the USDA to eliminate microbes in the food chain. According to Virginia Tech’s High Pressure Processing Lab:

"HPP is a non-thermal preservation and pasteurization technique that causes little or no change in the organoleptic and nutritional attributes of the product being processed unlike most conventional heat treatments."

Organoleptic attributes include things like taste, odor, color, and the feel of foods.

The High Pressure Pasteurization Process

The way HPP works is by applying high hydrostatic pressure, which is pressure exerted by a liquid, through a water bath that surrounds the product. The pressure is uniformly applied from all sides and throughout the product, which keeps the food from being crushed.

According to HPP proponents, the process does not cause the foods to undergo significant chemical transformation, but does successfully eliminate all pathogenic microbes from the food, including bacteria such as Listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli.

High pressure pasteurization is USDA-approved, touted as being a 100 percent natural process, and is allowed for use on organic and natural products in both the human and pet food markets.

Is Raw Food That Has Been High Pressure Pasteurized Truly Raw?

Many raw feeders believe HPP is a method of processing whole living food into a modification of whole living food, and that we should not confuse truly unadulterated raw food with raw food that has been processed using HPP.

Depending on the amount of pressure used, research has demonstrated that proteins do denature, and beneficial good bacteria are obliterated during HPP processing. For these reasons, some raw feeders don’t feel pet food companies selling HPP-treated diets should be allowed to call them "raw."

Some raw pet food manufacturers have started using HPP for a variety of reasons. I think one of the reasons is they are hoping to increase acceptance of raw diets by the veterinary community.

I also think they want to opt out of the never-ending debate about the potential presence of bacteria and parasites in raw food. They are hoping to appeal to nervous pet owners who want to feed raw with zero risk of bacterial contamination to their pets or themselves.

Some Pets Can Benefit from Sterile Raw Food

There are animals who can benefit from sterile (HPP processed) raw food. These include some pets undergoing chemotherapy. Dogs and cats with significantly compromised immune systems should not be exposed to potential pathogens from any source, including food.

Raw food that has undergone HPP provides these pets with a convenient source of a better-quality food that is also sterile, which is important in reducing the risk to debilitated bodies.

Additionally, many veterinarians feel much more comfortable recommending sterile raw foods for pets with compromised GI defenses. Pets dealing with dysbiosis and inflammatory bowel disease may not have the gut resiliency to handle normal bacteria loads found in some foods. Many of these pets do much better on sterile foods until their gut issues are healed.

So sterile raw foods can be a good compromise for pet parents who want to provide the benefits of raw food to a dog or a cat, for which a true unadulterated raw diet would pose an unacceptable risk to the pet or themselves. We should keep in mind that some pet owners are also immunocompromised or immunosuppressed, but they still wish to feed their pets the best, most optimal diet.

One important point to remember is that HPP treated foods are sterile after processing, but are still susceptible to the same handling and storage issues that face all raw meat products. A half used bag of HPP treated raw food sitting in the refrigerator for four weeks will still pose the same risks as other raw meats. So the handling of HPP treated pet food is no different than the handling of any raw meat product.

Unadulterated Commercial Raw Pet Food: Safer than Canned, Safer than Kibble

I see two unfortunate issues unfolding with the increased use of HPP within the commercial raw food industry.

First, many HPP proponents believe ALL raw foods on the market should be treated with HPP in order to gain acceptance by the traditional veterinary community and pet owners who want to feed raw, but with the reassurance the food is initially bacteria-free.

Number two, a certain percentage of the general public may assume the increased use of HPP is due to issues or problems stemming from unadulterated raw food diets, which is simply untrue.

Most manufacturers of unadulterated (non HPP) raw pet food use high-quality USDA-inspected meats. They also test their products for proper nutrient levels and contaminants, which is why raw meat diets have substantially less potential for high loads of toxins and are typically not the subject of pet food recalls. By contrast, most mass-marketed dry foods, which are regulated by the FDA not the USDA, use rendered and 4-D meats (meats from dead, dying, disabled, and diseased animals).

Because commercially available raw food diets are grain-free and therefore mycotoxin-free… because raw pet food companies use high quality meats sourced from healthy animals… and because they focus on microbially responsible food processing, there’s actually a much lower risk of recalls involving unadulterated raw food than there is with commercial kibble.

My Recommendation

If your pet is a healthy, thriving dog or cat, then a completely fresh unadulterated raw diet is what I would recommend. There are tremendous nutritional benefits derived from eating non-sterile foods.

Those of you who have been subscribers here for many years know that I always recommend that we mimic Mother Nature when feeding our pets. Given the choice, our dogs and cats would choose to hunt and consume fresh prey — but they would certainly not be catching sterile prey.

Dogs and cats are designed to efficiently and healthfully process the normal bacteria loads found in their prey. That’s also why pets can lick their butts, eat poop, and not die from those behaviors — they were designed by nature to be able to do such things.

So, what’s my take on this up-and-coming hygiene procedure in the pet food industry? I don’t see a need for the majority of pets to be fed sterile raw foods, as the majority of pets are not significantly immunocompromised. However, I am thankful that we have some raw food options processed using HPP in the case of animals that cannot handle the normal bacterial load of unadulterated raw food. Feeding HPP-processed raw foods to healthy pets will not harm them, of course, but it’s unnecessary.

If you want to know whether the raw food you’re buying has been subjected to high pressure pasteurization, try checking the company’s website first and if you don’t find the information there, you’ll need to call the manufacturer to find out.

Homemade Chicken Jerky Recipe for Dogs (Pets)

chicken jerky

Yummy super-simple treat… and it’s also super-popular with dogs and healthy. Chicken Jerky is a Treat made from thin strips of chicken slow baked to almost the point of crispness.

Ingredients

1 pound chicken breasts (I baked three pounds!)

Start by preheating your oven to 170 or 180 degrees, depending on how low your oven will go. While that’s preheating, assemble the chicken. I used frozen chicken breast tenderloins (this is a great way to use any chicken you’ve got that’s become freezer burned!)

I had thawed the frozen chicken breasts by putting them in the refrigerator overnight…and woke up to find they were still frozen! I put the chicken in a big bowl of cold water for about 15 minutes which thawed it enough to slice with a sharp knife. TIP: It’s easier to slice the chicken when it’s semi-frozen rather than completely thawed; you can use the heel of your hand on the knife to “chop” the slices rather than trying to saw through thawed meat.

The only difficult part of this dog treat recipe is the slicing; you’ll want to slice the chicken no more than about 1/4 inch wide. Slice with the grain of the chicken, rather than against it; this will make the treats a little chewier and make them last a LITTLE bit longer when you give them to your dogs.

Slice up the chicken and place it on a greased cookie sheet; be sure to use one with a slight edge because there will be water and juices from the chicken during the first hour of cooking. Leave about a 1/2 inch or so between slices and just make sure they’re not touching.

Once you’re finished slicing, pop the cookie sheets in the oven and bake for two hours. After two hours, check the slices and see if they’re dry. You don’t want them to be crispy to the point of snapping but you do want them to be very chewy. (They should look like a very done french fry.) Because I baked three pounds of chicken at once, I had to bake my treats for an 90 minutes and I flipped the slices with a spatula after two hours of baking.

When they’re done, remove the treats from the oven and cool on a drying rack. If you don’t have one (I don’t), just flip a dish drainer over and drape with a dish towel then put your treats on the towel to dry. (You just want to get the treats up off the metal cookie sheets so they’ll cool crispier. A wicker basket flipped over and draped with a cup towel work work great, too.)

When the treats are completely cool, bag them in zippered bags or pop them in an airtight container and refrigerate. You can also freeze the treats for several months. Be warned, though: these are VERY popular treats…they’ll go fast! (Cats also love them!)

Related:

Pet Jerky Death Toll Update: 360 dogs, 1 Cat According to FDA

A Raw Food KIBBLE?

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Free Homemade Dog Food Recipes

The Importance of Bones in Your Pet’s Diet

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Fatty Acids May Improve Mobility In Osteoarthritic Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems

Allergies and Springtime Ailments in Pets

Do Vaccinations Affect the Health of our Pets?

How the Pet Food Industry Has Helped Create "Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome"

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

Dysbiosis: The Root Cause of Many Other Pet Health Problems

Cancer and Your Pet: Two Things to Avoid

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

The Nutrient Your Dog Needs More of As They Age: Protein – And Expecting Your Pet to Get It from Rendered Pet Food Is the Worst of the Worst of the Worst Options!

Pupcakes

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Chicken Jerky Recipe for dogs

WHAT HUMAN FOODS ARE UNSAFE FOR PETS? (the 12 worst)–> chocolate, sugarless gum & artificial sweeteners, alcohol, yeast dough, grapes & raisins, Macadamia nuts, onions (bad for dogs and cats… but poison for cats), garlic (for cats), caffeine, fat trimmings and bones (bad for cats and limited fat and the right bones for dogs), raw eggs (for cats, but must be careful for dogs and humans), and milk.

Some of the best human foods for dogs: peanut butter (although peanuts and peanut butter can contain mold so could be bad for humans and dogs), cheese including cottage cheese (some some dogs can be prone to be lactose intolerant like people), yogurt, watermelon, honeydew and cantaloupe, blueberries, salmon, green beans, sweet potatoes, fresh raw carrots, pumpkin, and lean meat… cooked or raw.

Resources:

Not Fit for a Dog!: The Truth About Manufactured Dog and Cat Food

See Spot Live Longer – How to help your dog live a longer and healthier life!

Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs: The Definitive Guide to Homemade Meals

screen-shot-2012-09-19-at-11.49.12-am[1]

October 25, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, animals, Dogs, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Friendship and Love, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Raw Food KIBBLE?

Raw Kibble

Story at-a-glance

There’s a new entry in the ever-inventive pet food market – “raw kibble” – a blend of grain-free kibble and pieces of freeze-dried raw meat.

The target consumer for this new product is the pet owner who wants grain-free and raw food for her dog or cat, but who for whatever reason finds frozen pet food doesn’t fit her lifestyle.

The important thing to remember about “grain-free” kibble is it isn’t free of carbs or starches – only those derived from grain. Case in point, the new “raw kibble” formula lists tapioca, a carbohydrate, as its second ingredient.

The important thing to remember about “raw” meat added to a bag of kibble is it has to be processed in some manner to prevent spoilage.

  • For pet owners who truly want to feed a grain-free, raw, species-appropriate diet, the answer won’t be found in a bag of kibble.

By Dr. Becker

 

I was recently made aware of a new type of pet food on the market: "raw kibble." This product, available for both cats and dogs, is actually a blend of grain-free kibble and chunks of freeze-dried raw meat.

According to PetfoodIndustry.com, the new combination formulas are being marketed as an answer for pet owners who want grain-free and raw diets for their animals, but who find frozen pet food does not "work with their lifestyle."

Hmm. I hope this is not an attempt to convince pet owners they can provide the benefits of raw, species-appropriate nutrition from a convenient bag of kibble.

I’m also concerned about pet owners’ interpretation of "grain-free" when it comes to kibble.

Pet food ingredients can’t be turned into kibble without some type of starch included in the mix. So a kibble that is "grain-free" is not starch or carbohydrate free – it just doesn’t contain grain as a starch or carbohydrate.

Grain-free Does NOT Mean Carb-free or Starch-free

In the case of the new "raw kibble" blend for dogs, the second listed ingredient is tapioca. Tapioca seems to be taking the place of grain-based fillers in many pet food formulas of late.

Tapioca is used commercially in pearl, pellet and flour form. As flour, it can be used to make bread and thicken desserts. It mixes well in cold water, turns to gel/paste at 125°F to 150°F, and becomes more gelatinous the higher the cooking temp and length of cooking time.

In the extrusion process used to create dry pet food, tapioca expands extremely well – up to two to three times that of rice.

Tapioca is a starch. In certain regions of the world, including the U.S., tapioca is primarily associated with a flavor of pudding. But in many other countries, it is considered a staple carbohydrate in the diet. On a dry basis, tapioca contains insignificant amounts of protein, ash, fat, and fiber, and not much sugar. It is essentially a pure carbohydrate.

The plant that produces tapioca is known by a variety of names, including cassava. The leaves, stems and skin of the cassava plant contain cyanogenic glucosides which can produce cyanide effects. These effects include development of goiter, pancreatitis, paralysis and death in both people and companion animals. The cassava plant must be properly processed to eliminate these effects.

As kibble binding agents go, tapioca is less problematic than many others. But it isn’t nutritious for dogs and cats. And keep in mind it’s number two on the ingredient list, which means there’s lots of it in the mixture.

Additional Observations About the Ingredient List

The sixth ingredient on the list is sun-cured alfalfa meal ("sun-cured" simply means it was cut and left in the sun to dry). Alfalfa is a member of the hay family more commonly included in horse and cattle feed than dog food. It contains plant (not animal) protein and a lot of fiber (25 percent). I’m not sure why this ingredient is in there at number six, but I suspect it’s to boost the overall percentage of protein in the food.

The freeze-dried raw meats included in the "raw kibble" blend show up on the ingredient list at items 9 through 12. Obviously, kibble represents a much greater portion of the formula than raw meat.

Unadulterated Raw Meat vs. HPP and Freeze-Dried Raw Meat

The raw meat in this pet food has undergone high pressure pasteurization (HPP) to sterilize it. Raw food enthusiasts maintain that food handled in this manner is no longer truly raw and shouldn’t be marketed as such.

In addition to the high pressure pasteurization, the meat has also been freeze-dried, which is yet another process.

Freeze-drying removes the moisture from food, which extends its shelf-life. Sterilized, freeze-dried meat is the only kind of meat that could be combined with a kibble mixture. Clearly there’s no safe way to add unadulterated raw meat to a bag of kibble that might be stored at room temperature or higher for up to a year or more.

So the "raw" meat in this formula has actually been processed in two different ways.

Diets Lacking in Moisture Are Not Species-Appropriate for Dogs and Cats

One of the main problems with all kibble is lack of moisture, and adding freeze-dried chunks of meat to the mix is hardly a solution.

Carnivorous dogs and cats were designed to consume moisture-rich foods. Unadulterated raw foods are about 70 percent moisture. Compare that with dry pet food, which is only around 12 percent moisture.

Your pet’s body has evolved to consume a diet rich in moisture. When raw pet food ingredients are turned into kibble, several strange things happen, but the most detrimental is that the food becomes too dry.

Feeding kibble requires that your pet’s body provide sufficient moisture to reconstitute the food in the digestive tract. Although an animal’s body will make a noble effort to consume extra water to compensate, most pets and certainly most cats simply can’t make up the difference.

The Association of Feline Practitioners recommends that owners feed cats a diet of primarily canned or raw food instead of dry food for this very reason. A lifetime of minor dehydration is stressful to multiple organ systems and can easily be avoided by feeding foods that have not been dehydrated, dried, kibbled, or extruded.

Kibble is Kibble is Kibble

Having said all the above, I should probably point out that as dry pet foods go, this new blend of grain-free kibble and freeze-dried raw meat is far from a terrible formula. Certainly there are many worse products on the market.

The important things to know about this new formula are:

  • It’s primarily kibble, and therefore lacking in moisture content.
  • It doesn’t contain grains, but it does contain tapioca – pure carbohydrate – as the second ingredient.
  • It contains very little "raw" food and the raw meat it does contain has been both high pressure pasteurized and freeze-dried.

If you want to feed your healthy dog or cat balanced, species-appropriate nutrition, kibble is the first thing to avoid. Your best bet is to either make homemade pet food in your own kitchen (from balanced recipes only, of course), or provide your dog or cat with a high quality, commercially available, balanced raw diet.

Related:

When Raw Food is NOT the Right Food for Your Pet

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Free Homemade Dog Food Recipes

The Importance of Bones in Your Pet’s Diet

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age: Protein

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

“Holidays Are Great and Fun To Share With Our Pets, As Long As We Avoid the No-No Foods”

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Fatty Acids May Improve Mobility In Osteoarthritic Dogs

Pets and Toxic Plants

Natural Pet Remedies For Everyday Problems

Allergies and Springtime Ailments in Pets

Do Vaccinations Affect the Health of our Pets?

How the Pet Food Industry Has Helped Create "Carnivore Metabolic Syndrome"

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

Dysbiosis: The Root Cause of Many Other Pet Health Problems

Cancer and Your Pet: Two Things to Avoid

Now dogs Have a Food Truck of Their Own With Bow-Wow Chow

September 7, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Animal Related Education, Dogs, Dogs, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Diamond Dog Food Recall

In a press release dated April 6, 2012, Diamond Pet Foods has announced a voluntary recall of its Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal and Rice dry dog food due to possible contamination with Salmonella bacteria.

Lamb Meal and Rice by Diamond Naturals

The recall event was also confirmed in an FDA news release last updated and posted on April 10, 2012.

So far, no illnesses have been reported and no other Diamond-manufactured products appear to be affected.

The product was distributed to customers located in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia.

The company goes on to warn:

Individuals handling dry pet food can become infected with salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to this product. Healthy people infected with salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.

Pets with salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.

What Products Are Affected?

Diamond Naturals Dog Food Recall Product Information

What to Do

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.

Or go to http://www.fda.gov/petfoodcomplaints.

For more information about this recall, consumers should contact Diamond Pet Foods at 800-442-0402.

Get Dog Food Recall Alerts by Email

Get dog food recall alerts delivered right to your Inbox the moment we become aware of them. Subscribe to The Dog Food Advisor’s Dog Food Recall Alert email notification list now.

May 7, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ridiculous Pet Weight Loss Products Continue to Flood the Market

Story at-a-glance
  • Pet food manufacturers continue to try convince consumers their too-heavy dogs and cats can lose weight by being stuffed full of grains and fiber-filled pet food.
  • The goal of many pet weight management formulas is to create a temporary feeling of fullness in dogs and cats so they won’t beg for food. This takes the heat off owners who don’t want to say no to a begging pet.
  • One company has even gone so far as to invent a bizarre ingredient that when added to pet food impedes digestion so the animal feels full longer.
  • And the gimmicks being employed! There’s a ‘meal replacement’ drink for cats that contains not a scrap of animal protein. And then there’s the ‘weight management’ dog food loaded with seven different kinds of grains and a special ‘fat-burning’ ingredient.
  • Parents of overweight pets would be wise to steer clear of the ever-evolving gimmicky ‘weight loss’ products appearing on store shelves. Almost without exception, these formulas contain as much if not more of exactly the type of food that is making pets fat in the first place.

By Dr. Becker

As pets keep getting fatter, pet food companies get ever more creative developing ‘weight management’ formulas to peddle to uninformed consumers.

It’s a discouraging trend, since most of these special formulas consist of the same inappropriate, low quality ingredients that contribute to pet obesity in the first place.

And in fact, these foods actually contain more of exactly the wrong type of nutrition for overweight pets … or any pet.

The Goal: Fool Pets into Thinking They’re Full

According to PetfoodIndustry.com, one of the goals of pet food companies is to develop formulas for overweight dogs and cats that create a feeling of fullness or satisfaction.

Per the article, inducing satiety is important because, "… as long as the pet doesn’t act hungry we will be less likely to give in and overindulge begging behavior."

And according to one pet food manufacturer, studies show overweight dogs fed ‘fiber-enhanced’ foods consume fewer calories and appear less hungry.

So if I understand this correctly, the goal is to stuff carnivorous dogs and cats full of species-inappropriate fiber rich food so they won’t act hungry, and in turn, their owners won’t overindulge them.

This thinking is so wrong on so many levels I’m not sure where to begin.

Let’s just say I’m adamantly opposed to intentionally feeding companion animals biologically inappropriate nutrition, so their owners don’t have to deal with begging behavior or the temptation to overfeed their pets.

Certainly if we have an overweight pet we can find the energy and ambition to feed our dog or cat the nutrition she was designed to eat, in reasonable portions?

And certainly we can muster the patience to ignore begging behavior (which is typically temporary when ignored) for the sake of our pet’s health?

But Wait … It Gets Better …

Another pet food company has created a ‘satiety-triggering ingredient’ which they say reduces calorie intake in pets.

This magical ingredient is described by its manufacturer as a "patented emulsion of highly purified palm and oat oils." What this emulsion does is delay digestion of the fat in the food. This leads to the presence of free fatty acids in the small intestine.

When food is ‘delayed’ in the small intestine, it slows down gastric emptying and gut motility. According to the manufacturer of the ‘satiety-triggering ingredient,’ this permits better digestion of gut contents (hogwash) while creating a feeling of fullness and reducing appetite.

So if I understand this correctly, certain oils can be added to certain pet foods that are designed to significantly impede the normal, natural digestive process of dogs and cats.

And this is, again, for the purpose of creating pets that don’t act hungry, and therefore run less risk of being overfed by their owners.

Certainly we don’t need to feed bizarre, unnatural ingredients to our pets that gum up their intestines and interfere with normal digestion in an effort to help them lose weight?

More Gimmickry

The PetfoodIndustry.com article also mentions another company’s ‘meal replacement and food supplement’ to help adult cats maintain a healthy weight.

A meal replacement for cats?

Needless to say, I had to take a look at the ingredients in this meal replacement/food supplement. It’s apparently a powder you mix with warm water. The ingredients:

Maltodextrins, dried milk protein concentrate, dried whey protein concentrate, canola oil, casein, vanilla, fructooligosaccharide, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dicalcium phosphate, disodium phosphate, dipotassium phosphate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin supplement, copper gluconate, vitamin E supplement, manganese sulfate, biotin, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, pantothenic acid, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin D supplement.

So this is a ‘meal replacement’ intended for obligate carnivores that contains not a speck of animal protein. How is that not an absolutely terrible idea?

And then we have a ‘weight management’ food for dogs being promoted for its L-carnitine ingredient, which is touted as a "proven fat-burner that helps dogs naturally burn fat instead of storing it."

L-carnitine may help burn fat, but when the food it’s added to has seven different grains listed in the first dozen ingredients, making the formula wildly inappropriate nutrition for dogs at any weight, the addition of the L-carnitine isn’t going to matter one iota.

Parents of Overweight Pets Beware

For the sake of your beloved, overfed four-legged companion, I recommend the following:

  • Beware any pet food marketing ploy aimed at making you believe the newest grain and fiber-filled bag of pet food is the answer to your dog’s or cat’s obesity. It isn’t.
  • Beware any pet food marketing gimmick that names a specific ingredient (example: L-carnitine) as being the secret key to your pet’s weight loss. It won’t be.
  • Beware any pet food marketing scheme that uses human diet buzz words (‘meal replacement’) to convince you the same nutritional principles apply to your pet. They don’t.
  • Feed a balanced, species-appropriate diet to your pet. Regardless of her weight, your dog or cat still needs the right nutrition for her species, which means food that is high in animal protein and moisture, with low or no grain content.
  • Practice portion control — usually a morning and evening meal, carefully measured. A high protein, low carb diet with the right amount of calories for weight loss, controlled through the portions you feed, is what will take the weight off your dog or cat. And don’t forget to factor in any calories from treats.
  • Regularly exercise your pet. An overweight body gets back in shape by taking in fewer calories and expending more energy. Daily exercise, including at least 20 minutes of consistent aerobic activity, will help your pet burn fat and increase muscle tone.

The key to getting and keeping your pet lean and healthy can’t be found in the latest bag or can of inferior quality, species-inappropriate pet food, no matter how slick and convincing the marketing campaign.

The key to keeping your dog or cat nutritionally fit at the cellular level is with a high protein, moisture rich diet fed in controlled portions, and augmented with plenty of physical activity.

Source: PetfoodIndustry.com December 5, 2011  -  Cross-posted at Dr. Mercola.com

Related Links:

Related Posts:

The Nutrient Your Pet Needs More of As They Age:  Protein

Surprise, Surprise… the Best Food for Dogs Is Homemade Food

Cat & Dog Owners Not Considering Age When Selecting Food

Good Diet and Advice for Dogs with Pancreatitis

Pancreatitis in Dogs

Ensure Holiday Fun For Your Whole Family Including the Furry and Feathered MembersBy Staying Away from the No-No Foods

Pupcakes

Gourmet Doggie Biscuits and Some Holiday Snacking Tips

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs – Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive.

Pets and Toxic Plants

February 24, 2012 Posted by | Animal or Pet Related Stories, Dogs, Holistic Pet Health, If Animlas Could Talk..., Just One More Pet, Man's Best Friend, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, dispels the long-held myth that “table food” is bad for your pets.

Animals Like People Benefit From Live Foods

Veterinarian, Dr. Karen Becker, dispels the long-held myth that “table food” is bad for your pets.

Human, edible foods can be very healthy for your pets. Throw away the concept of “cat” food and “dog” food, and just think “food” — food that grows in the ground or comes from animal products.

A whole generation of pet owners is afraid to feed anything but over processed rendered food to their pets. But there’s no way you can create abundant health in an animal by providing only the minimum nutrients it needs for survival. Dogs and cats have a living food requirement, just like you do.

The food you feed your pet should be biologically suited to meet your dog’s or cat’s needs. Dog and cat chow may be nutritionally “complete,” but it is akin to your drinking a meal replacement shake three times a day for the rest of your life … or giving them to your kids in lieu of fresh foods.

Yet, many veterinarians will often recommend you feed your pets kibble or canned food for the rest of their lives. Some will go so far as to say that feeding your pet anything that doesn’t come from a bag or can will be harming your pet!

This is a paradigm problem, and one that can be very confusing for pet owners.

In reality, there’s no way you can give your pet the food it needs to thrive if you do not feed it a biologically appropriate diet that includes a variety of fresh foods.

In fact, a growing number of holistic-minded veterinarians state that processed pet food (kibbled and canned food) is the number one cause of illness and premature death in modern dogs and cats.

So how did conventional veterinary nutrition positions get so skewed?

Well, major dog and cat food manufacturers provide much of the veterinary nutrition information to veterinary students. It becomes engrained in many new vets’ minds that it’s wrong to feed pets “living” fresh foods.

This is a myth!

Your Pets Need Living Foods

Veterinarians tell you to never offer living foods to your pet. But your pets need living foods on a consistent basis to achieve optimal health.

So, yes, you can and should offer your pets some of the very same foods that you enjoy. And since those foods are at a much higher grade nutritionally than typical dog or cat foods, they may be the healthiest foods your pets have ever consumed.

As you know, I recommend you feed your dogs and cats an all raw, nutritionally balanced living food diet. In my opinion, the only viable excuse to not to feed your pets a species appropriate diet is cost. Feeding raw food cost more than dry food .However, raw fed animals have fewer health problems, which mean lower vet bills over a lifetime. If you cannot afford to feed your pet an all raw diet, don’t deny your pet’s access to living foods throughout the day, in the form of treats. Remember, treats (even really healthy treats) should not constitute more than 15 percent of your pet’s daily food intake.

Berries are one of the best treats you can offer. Bite size and packed with antioxidants. Many cats enjoy zucchini and cantaloupe. . My favorite training treats for dogs include peas, raw nuts (remember, the only nuts you should never feed your pets are macadamia nuts).

A salad without dressing, but with plenty of dark green leafy vegetables, is also good for your cats — your pets are chewing on your houseplants for a reason, after all.

Avoid giving your carnivorous companions biologically inappropriate foods, including grains, such as oats, soy, millet, , wheat, or rice. Dogs and cats do not have a carbohydrate requirement and feeding your pets these pro-inflammatory foods creates unnecessary metabolic roadblocks to health.

Furthermore, there are certainly some foods that are toxic to feed to dogs and cats such as grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts and onions. Never feed your pets these foods.

The Optimal Choice to Feed Your Pets

I highly recommend you give your dog or cat an opportunity to experience living raw foods like fruits and veggies as treats, and feed them a biologically appropriate, balanced raw diet the rest of the time.

Remember, your pet is resilient and can eat a variety of suboptimal, metabolically stressful foods on occasion and be fine, but because it’s my goal to provide a diet that most closely fits your companion’s biological requirements, I don’t recommend a lifetime of kibble or other “dead” over-processed food.

The goal is to provide a diet that mimics your pet’s biological nutritional requirements as closely as possible … in this case it means rethinking the “lifetime of dry food” or “canned food” theory.

If you are unable or unwilling to feed your pet a species-appropriate, nutritionally balanced, raw food diet, then I strongly recommend you compromise with the next best choice: USDA-approved canned foods (and supplement with raw)

My last choice would be a dry food (kibble), made from human-grade ingredients with little to no grains, and LOTS OF WATER.

But no matter which option you choose, remember that you can treat your dog and cat to berries, leafy greens, raw nuts and many other fresh fruits, veggies and meats on a regular basis.

I hope this insight will help you feel more confident offering foods and treats to your pets that are unadulterated and fresh. They deserve the same benefit of living foods that you get, and there’s no better way to start than by sharing some of these raw healthy foods with your dog or cat today.

We have always cooked for our pets, so always find it amazing, if not horrifying, that there really are pets who never get live food and who are doomed to eat the same dry food every day and that there really are pet owners who think that would be okay!!  This myth created by the pet food industry and perpetuated by pet stores who just want to sell animals, regardless of whether the potential purchasers should be pet parents and then accepted by the “ME” generation, is another one of those practices like keeping your pets in a crate all day or all night, or shock collars, electric fences and collars with spikes etc that defy all common sense and really fall into a category of pet abuse or neglect, perhaps pet abuse light… but unacceptable pet parenting to be sure!!

Would you want to eat the same packaged food everyday?  Would you want to be locked in a cage all day or all night?  Would you want to have to wait to go to the bathroom all night or most of the day, until some lets you out and says it is okay?  Would you want to receive an electric shock when you tried to talk or walk across a boundary area… or have spikes dig into you?  Would you do these things to your kids?

When making decisions for your fur-babies, you should ask yourself, “Would I want to be treated this way?  And would I make these choices for my human children?”, and then act accordingly!!  As Dr. Laura would say… Use common sense and compassion and “then go do the right thing!”.

Posted:  Just One More Pet

Related:

Beef Verses Bison for Dogs

Teach Dogs Impulse Control – Not Just Submission

Excessive Barking A Common Behavior Problem

Dog Training – Train Your Dog From Barking

Dogs Left Home Alone – With Anxiety

Crate “Training” – Blessing or Abuse

Our 2-Year-Old German Shepherd Has Started Biting

Company Will Start Building “the World’s Most Pet Friendly House(s)” – But Here Are Some Hints For All Pet Parents

Dogs Left Home Alone – With Anxiety

Crate “Training” – Blessing or Abuse

How Safe Is Invisible Fencing?

Shock Collars, Crate Training, And Needing to Control

Pet Parties – The Latest Craze

November 11, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Some Dog Foods Deliver Toxic Doses of Poison

fluoride, dog food, dogs, cats, petsWith the memory of the melamine pet food scare still fresh in the minds of many, the Environmental Working Group is publicizing a new threat: potentially toxic doses of fluoride in dog food.

An EWG analysis found troubling levels of fluoride in 8 of 10 dog foods tested. The concentration of fluoride was up to 2.5 times higher than the safe level the EPA sets for drinking water. Some puppies may be exposed to five times this limit.

The fluoride in dog food originates in bone meal and animal by-products. EWG recommends choosing dog food brands free of bone meal and meat by-product ingredients like chicken by-product meal, poultry by-product meal, chicken meal and beef meal.

Sources:

The Daily Green June 30, 2009

Environmental Working Group June 26, 2009 [Full Report]

Related Resource: Dr. Mercola

Most pet owners consider their four-legged companions beloved members of their family. With everything else to keep track of, the diet of your pet can easily get tossed on the backburner. Unfortunately, your pet’s health is as dependent on the food you serve as the rest of your family.

Fluoride, it seems, may be a particular problem, as many pet foods contain some form of bone meal, which is believed to be the main source of fluoride in commercial pet foods.

The Power of Advertising is Just as Potent in the Pet Food Industry

As you probably know by now, the food industry spends millions of dollars each year influencing your dietary habits, and the pet food industry is no different. But despite advertising claims and pictures of happy puppies, the majority of commercial pet foods are far from optimally healthy.

Much of the so-called “healthy pet foods” on the market contain inferior meat meals, cheap grains like corn and soy, fillers, by-products, food coloring, pesticides, preservatives, and other contaminants, including fluoride.

Pet food has simply not gained the same amount of scrutiny as human foods, and only when widespread disaster struck did the quality of pet food ingredients become the talk of the town. You may remember the melamine mass-contamination that rocked the pet food industry last year. Since it led to thousands of sick and dead pets around the country it was impossible to ignore.

Fluoride, on the other hand, is more insidious, and likely will not cause sudden death. But it is a potent toxin that can have devastating long-term health effects, both in humans and in pets.

Dangerous Levels of Fluoride Detected in 80 Percent of Commercial Pet Food

When the Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted a survey of ten national brands of dog food, they discovered that all but two contained “potentially dangerous” levels of fluoride.

Unfortunately, no one really knows what the safe levels of fluoride for animals might be and there are no standards for pet foods, but eight of the brands contained fluoride in amounts between 1.6 and 2.5 times higher than the Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum legal dose in drinking water.

We also know that 2 grams of fluoride is enough to kill an adult, and just 500 mg is enough to kill a child. To those of you not familiar with the metric system, a teaspoon is 5 grams. So less than one half teaspoon of fluoride will kill most adults and one tenth of a teaspoon will kill most children.

In the U.S., people have died, and many have become sick, when faltering fluoridation equipment has pumped excess fluoride into the water. And, since fluoride is used as anactive ingredient in a number of pesticides, we also know it’s definitely deadly to a number of smaller critters, in small amounts.

At an average of 8.9 mg of fluoride per kilogram of dog food, the sampled brands also contained far higher amounts of fluoride than what is associated with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer that typically occurs in young boys.

Posted: Just One More Pet

July 25, 2009 Posted by | animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, pet products, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beef verses Bison For Dogs

Although cows (beef) and buffalo (bison) are both considered “red” meats, they are two distinct protein sources. Veterinarians have recognized that feeding your pet (or your own body, for that matter) the exact same food for a lifetime cheats your pet out of excellent nutrition that a variety of meats and other foods can offer.

Remember, there is no one “perfect” protein, or food. Variety is critical for your pet to receive the full spectrum of amino acids, essential fatty acids, trace minerals, vitamins and antioxidants necessary to thrive. Bison meat is one of the richest natural sources of CoQ10 (humans should eat more bison as well!). Your dog will benefit from offering him or her this terrific alternative to the typical beef or chicken-based dog foods.

I recommend you rotate at least 3 different proteins annually (the more the better… I feed LOTS of different proteins to my pack: rabbit, ostrich, duck, quail, chicken, turkey, beef, bison, elk, venison, goat and fish before starting the list over).  

I also occasionally throw in some roast (free-range) pork, if I have fixed it for the family. However, if you do feed your dog some pork now and then make  sure the meat is fresh and well cooked, eliminating the chance of your dog getting worms from eating eating it. Pork is a fatty meat and has the potential to cause pancreatitis, a painful and potentially life threating illness, so feed it sparingly.

I also feed my dogs organ meats:  heart, liver, kidney, pancreas, gizzards, and brain twice a week. Organ meats are a nutrient dense source of food and too much organ meat is not good.

  • There are two approaches to feeding organ meat:

    1. Feed organ meats in larger amounts twice per week.

    2. Feed organ meats every day but in smaller amounts

  • Liver is high in oil soluble vitamin A (not to be confused with the vegetable source of vitamin A also known as beta carotene). If you feed too much liver then you will actually cause liver stones because liver stones are created when the body gets too much oil soluble vitamin A. 

  • If you choose option 1 and thus feed organ meats twice per week, then the organ meat should be approximately 50% of the meat source. So let’s say, as an example, you were feeding 1 cup of meat. In this situation you would then use approximately 1/2 cup organ meat and 1/2 cup muscle meat.

  • If you choose option 2 and thus feed organ meat every day then approximately 10% of the meat source should be organ meat. So let’s say again, as an example, that you were feeding 1 cup of meat. In this situation you would add approximately 1/8 of a cup as organ meat and the rest as muscle meat.  My personal favourite is heart because of its high taurine content.  Taurine is an essential amino acid.  Also often mix the liver or organs with brown rice and veggies.

Your dog will thank you for the variety.

Source:  Dr. Mercola

Another reason to feed your pets inside…

PatiencePatience

May 9, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Health, Pet Nutrition, Pets, responsible pet ownership | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments