Dog Foods you should think twice about feeding

IMG_5623Hi, it’s Finn again and I want to talk about dog food today.  If you have read my blog before you know that I really get upset when I see bad ingredients in dog food that can do us dogs no good and have the potential to cause us great harm.  Let’s look at my top six bad ingredients and then check some well advertised brands to see if they contain these bad ingredients.

  1. BHA, BHT, 0r Ethoxyquin – These chemicals are all linked to cancer and are banned in human foods.  Why are they not banned for dogs and cats?
  2. By-Product Meal – Any part of an animal that is not muscle tissue.  These are all the parts that add weight to dog food but no nutritional value.
  3. Digest – Actually refers to roadkill and euthanized pets.
  4. Corn – Corn is simply a filler, adds little nutritional value, and is an allergen for most dogs.  Corn is also proven to cause cancer in dogs if it is a major ingredient in the food.
  5. Meat or Bone Meal (MBM) – These are the products of rendering and can contain sodium pentobarbital which is used for euthanasia.
  6. Brewers Yeast – Many dogs are allergic to yeast.  It causes itchy skin and upset stomachs.

At One Lucky Dog Bakery we care about all dogs and cats.  The information we try to give you hopefully helps you to be more informed.  You may currently be using one of the following dog foods and if it is working for you, great.  Like humans there are some dogs who can eat anything and never get sick.  Our hope is that you will read food labels and reduce the risk to your dog or cat by staying away from foods with the above six bad ingredients.

Purina Pro Plan – This food contains By-Product Meal, Digest, Corn, and Brewers Yeast.

Royal Canin – This food contains By-Product Meal and Corn.  To make matters worse these ingredients are #2 and #3 in the ingredient list.  As you know the first 5 ingredients listed supply the most weight for your bag of dog food.

Beneful – This food contains Corn, By-Product Meal, and Digest. Corn and by-product meal are #1 and #2 on the ingredient list meaning most of the weight of this dog food is bad for your dog.

Purina Dog Chow – This food contains Corn, Meat and Bone Meal, By-Product Meal, and Digest.

Bil-Jac – This food contains BHA, By-Product Meal, and Brewers Yeast.

We only carry Acana, Fromm, Primal, Zignature, and Orijen dog and cat food at our store.  You will find none of the bad ingredients in these foods plus they have no fillers thus you can feed less.  You save money and also have a healthy dog or cat.

Thanks for reading my blog; please leave me your comments or ask me to write about any dog subject that concerns you.  You can also email us at sales@oneluckydogbakery.com or message us on Facebook.

 

Are you paying too much for dog food?

IMG_7114We believe that the first question we need to ask when buying dog food is, “Is this food healthy for my dog?” The second question is “Am I getting the best value for my money?” And the last question is “Does the retailer I select have a knowledgeable staff that can answer food and health issues for my dog”? To simplify the process for you we have come up with an easy four step process.

Step 1. – Read the ingredients label you are currently buying.If you see any of the following items in the list go to step four immediately. All these items are not good for the health of your dog.

BHA, BHT, Ethoxyquin, wheat, corn, soy, animal fat, meat meal, bone meal, by-product meal, any dye coloring, brewers yeast, poultry or meat digest, cellulose, caramel, and egg product.

Step 2 – Refer to the dog food label to determine the feeding rate per day for an active 60# dog. The feeding rate for all brands is a straight line so the percentage difference in feeding is the same for all weights. Compare your food to the chart below for grain free dog foods. The reason for higher feeding rates are some brands use useless fillers like corn, alfalfa meal, or pea protein thus you must feed at a higher rate to get the same benefit.

Dog Food Dog Weight Ounces/Day % Cost Increase
Fromm 4 Star 60 24 0
Acana 60 24 0
Blue Freedom 60 26 8.3%
Blue Wilderness 60 26 8.3%
Beneful 60 26.6 10.8%
Your Food

 Step 3 – What size is the largest bag sold? Compare your brand to the chart below.

Dog Food Weight of Bag % Cost Difference
Fromm 4 Star 26 0%
Acana Heritage 26 0%
Blue Freedom 24 8%
Blue Wilderness 24 8%
Beneful 30 (15%)
Your Food

 Analysis of Charts:

  1. Beneful – If you are feeding this food you should seriously consider switching to a better food. The first four ingredients are corn (a useless filler), chicken by-product meal (a rendered product so who knows what is in it), corn gluten meal (another useless filler), wheat flour (another useless filler that also causes allergies in many dogs). This food has four dyes, red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6, and blue 2. It also has soy flour (another useless filler that is an allergen for many dogs), propylene glycol (banned in cat food by FDA but they haven’t gotten around to banning it in dog food).
  2. Blue Freedom & Wilderness – Blue is an above average dog food but they have had recalls so I would think twice about this supplier. Blue does contain caramel, which is a dye, and dried yeast, which can cause problems for many dogs. If this food is working for you, you may want to check the cost based on the higher feeding rate and the smaller bag size of Blue. Multiply your Blue cost by 1.16 (8% + 8.3%) and compare it to Acana or Fromm . You may come out the same price or you might save up to $15 per bag.
  3. Your current brand – Compare your current brand feeding rate and bag size to the above charts. We believe that in most cases you will actually save money and of course feed a dog food with zero bad ingredients.

Step 4 – Talk to Stacey at One Lucky Dog Bakery about switching if you are concerned about the food quality or the cost based on feeding rates and bag sizes. She can give you some samples to see if your dog would like to change. At One Lucky Dog Bakery “It’s all about the Dogs”.

How does your dog food compare?

Dog food labels contain a lot of ingredients so I thought I would simplify your life by giving you Finn’s simple rules for buying dog food plus give you a chart that you can use to compare with your dog food.

  • Since the label lists the ingredients by weight concentrate on the first four (4) items to make sure these contain a meat, poultry, or fish source that your dog loves to eat.
  • If the label includes corn or corn meal you should look for another dog food. Corn is a very inexpensive ingredient, it has little nutritional value for dogs, and for most dogs it causes allergy issues.
  • If the label lists chicken byproduct this is a red flag. It could be every part of any chicken and the chicken may have been sick. There are some parts of chickens that no one should eat, you just do not know what you are getting so why take the chance?
  • If you see BHA (FDA says BHA is ok in low doses but the fact that you are feeding your dog twice a day means a very high risk of cancer over time due to adding BHA every day), wheat middlings (this is the sweepings from the floor so what are you really getting), or food coloring you should keep looking for a better choice.

The chart below (just click on the link and you can view it or print it) shows four national dog food bands and compares their labels to Fromm & Orijen, the two products we carry at the bakery. Corn, corn meal, and chicken byproducts are fillers requiring you to feed more dog food and in these examples it shows that buying Fromm or Orijen can actually save you money.

DogFoodCompare

Since at One Lucky Dog Bakery “It’s all about the Dogs” we decided to carry only those dog foods that will keep your dog healthy and we stay away from any red flags in the ingredient list. Check the label of your dog food to see if you have any red flags and compare your cost per day.

Pet Food Buying Tips

IMG_7114My blogs on pet food hopefully get you to investigate, think, and question what you feed your pet. Feeding your pet is a very personal decision and my intent is to arm you with the information you need to make an informed decision. My Mum wants all pets to live a long and healthy life. Diet and exercise is why humans live a long life and is also the key for pets.

When looking at pet food labels you need to concentrate on the first three or four ingredients because by law they are the biggest part of the food by weight. If you see a filler (corn, wheat, oats). gluten, meal. or a by product you need to know that all these have very little nutritional value and just might be hard to digest. After you eat corn on the cob in the summer you may feel bloated and have a stomach ache. This is exactly how many pets feel after eating these same things. Proof that these items are hard to digest can be seen after they have been “digested” and come out as waste. If you see whole food like corn in the waste it is a good tip that your pet can’t digest it. If your pet eats one day and not the next, throws the food up, or is throwing up green or yellowish bile the food is probably bothering your pet and it is time for a change. Pets will not starve themselves even if the food bothers them.

When buying food for your pet don’t just look at the cost. Check all the ingredients, the long words you can’t pronounce are probably chemical preservatives, a really bad item for your pet. Where is the food manufactured? Do they have their own plant or do they use a common facility? This is important because when a recall happens cross contamination between different brands happens. Has this food ever been recalled, how many times? In the opinion of Mum if a food has been recalled there is a very good chance it will happen again.

Mum did careful research on food which is why the store only carries two brands plus raw. If your pet is on a good diet you will make fewer trips to the Vet and your pet will live longer , feel great, and look good. One of our Customers recently told us that after changing foods her Vet trips are down to one a year. In the past the trips were many and added up to almost $1,000. A good diet is the reason for the change!

Mum is very passionate about food and will be glad to answer any of your questions or concerns. We would love it if all our Customers purchased their pet food at our store but that is not being realistic. If you are educated about food and your pet is healthy Mum will be happy.

We have food for dogs and cats at the store. Get your questions ready for Mum   While you do that I will be thinking of new and exciting ways to get into trouble.

Thanks.

Fergus

Dog Feeding Options

IMG_7114When it comes to food we dogs are a lot like our owners.  We hear our owners say all the time,” I’m getting very tired about eating the same thing all the time”.  Well we dogs feel the same way so here are a few options to think about that will make us very happy at feeding time.

  1. Hopefully you will have picked a great dog food like Fromm, Orijen, Acana, or Zignature whose formulas for all their food is essentially the same thus allowing you to switch the primary meat source from meat, to chicken, to fish. Some dogs and cats really respond well to variety in their diet and will really look forward to feeding time.
  2. Feed raw turkey or chicken necks.
    a.  Can be as much as 30% of your pet’s daily diet.
    b.  Great for teeth and gum nourishment.
    c.  Provide a natural source of protein, fat, and calcium.
  3. Feed raw marrow bones.
    a.  Provides proper calcium and phosphorous balance in the diet.
    b.  Great for pet oral health and stimulating mental function.

    1. Some tips on feeding raw bones:
      a.  Introduce slowly to allow your dog to build tolerance
      b.  Raw bones are sold frozen. When they thaw they can be messy. Feed       on a surface that can easily be mopped (never on a carpet) or outside.
      If your dog has a sensitive stomach or can’t stand excessive fat in the diet the marrow may cause diarrhea. Either scoop out the marrow, offer bones with no marrow, or just stay away from this option.
  4. Feed Raw freeze-dried foods.
    a.  Make sure you pick a brand like Primal that uses high pressure processing which helps ensure food safety.
    b.  Make sure you pick a brand like Primal that only use human grade ingredients and are free from genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
    Some owners alternate from kibble to freeze-dried in their feeding and others simply top off the kibble with the freeze-dried.

    1. Feed frozen Raw foods.
      a.  As with freeze-dried look for a supplier that uses high pressure processing, human grade ingredients, and no GMOs.  These frozen foods can be the complete diet for that feeding or you can simply add the thawed meats mixed in with the kibble.

Of course One Lucky Dog Bakery carries all these options to keep your pet happy at feeding time plus your pet will be healthy and active. Just ask Mum (Stacey) about these options on your next trip to the store. She loves to talk about keeping your pets healthy and active.

I hope this answers some of your questions about dog food feeding options and now it is time for me to do a little counter surfing for one of my favorite foods, a One Lucky Dog Bakery dog treat. Thanks for your time.

Fergus

Top 7 questions we get on dog food

Here are the top seven questions we get asked about dog food. If you do not see your question here just ask us at the store or send an email to sales@oneluckydogbakery.com

  1. Why do you only carry Orijen, Fromm, Acana, Zignature  and Primal at the store? Our objective at One Lucky Dog Bakery is to keep your dog healthy and looking good. We researched dog foods for over a year before we started offering food for our Customers. What we found was that these five companies kept all the bad stuff out of their food, (click here to read about the bad items to look for on your dog food label) and didn’t load up the food with useless fillers. More about fillers in items two and three. The bad stuff in many dog foods causes skin and coat issues for most dogs. Eating dog food without these items keeps your dog looking good. The other way we try to keep your dog looking good is with the unique lines of USA manufactured collars and leashes we carry at the store.
  2. My Vet suggested I switch dog food because my dog has gained some weight; should I do this? Weight gain in dogs is traced to two factors. The first is the dog is not getting enough exercise and the second can be traced to excessive fillers in the dog food you are using.
  3. How can I tell if the dog food I’m using has useless fillers? The easiest way is to look at the daily feeding rate for the weight of your dog that is on the label. Here is an example for an active 22# dog:
    Feeding rate for Orijen is 1.25 cups per day.
    Feeding rate for Beneful Healthy Weight is 2.5 cups per day. This product has chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soybean hulls, and ground yellow corn. All this items are useless fillers which is why you need to feed at a higher rate plus these items cause bad allergies in many dogs.
  4. Can I afford to switch to better dog foods, they seem to be too expensive? When you check the price of Orijen or Fromm against products such as Beneful, Pedigree, or Blue Buffalo you are correct that you will probably be paying more per bag. You need to take the pricing comparison to the next level and that is the cost per day based on the feeding rate per day. What you will find with these three products is you must feed twice as much per day and when you check that cost vs Orijen or Fromm you will find Orijen costs less that $.10 per day more against Beneful and Pedigree and is over $1.00 less per day than Blue Buffalo. We believe when you add in the bad things you find on the other labels it is the other dog foods which are too expensive. Click here if you haven’t seen Finn’s dog food comparison.
  5. Do all USA dog food suppliers produce their food in the USA?  Some USA companies actually manufacture their dog food in China which means you really do not know what is in the dog food. There are many USA companies that have multiple food lines with very different names all made by the same company. You switch foods after hearing about a recall on the brand you use but you just may change to a dog food made at the same facility. The list of dog foods that have experienced a recall is much too long and all dog owners need to be constantly alert to the plants and companies having these recall problems.  The 5 foods we carry have their own dedicated manufacturing lines.  All are made in the USA except Orijen which is made in Canada.
  6. I have a really small dog and it takes me a long time to use the large bags you stock, why don’t you stock smaller bag sizes? Actually we do. We don’t like to do this because your cost per pound is higher for those smaller bags but if it is easier for you to buy the smaller bags, you win. Just ask for the size you want and we will stock it.
  7. I have been using Orijen, feed by the rate on the label, and why is my dog gaining weight? The label is simply a guide and it appears that the feeding rate for your dog should be a little less. Just cut it back a little.

Finn’s top 13 worst ingredients in dog food

IMG_5623If you have been reading my blog you already know how important I think it is to read dog food labels. To make things easier for you I am going to list Finn’s top 13 worst ingredients in dog food. If you see any of these on the label of your dog food it is time to run to One Lucky Dog Bakery and talk to Stacey about the health of your dog.

  1. Wheat – #1 allergen for dogs.
  2. Corn – #2 allergen for dogs.
  3. Animal Fat or Meat & Bone Meal (MBM)- These are products of rendering(could be diseased animals), the Food & Drug Administration found that these products are most likely associated with the presence of sodium pentobarbital, drug used by Vets and Shelters for euthanasia.
  4. Chemical Preservatives – BHA,BHT, or Ethoxyquin which are all linked to cancer. Why is Ethoxyquin banned for human foods but ok for dogs?
  5. By-Product meal – Any part of animals that are not muscle tissue. Can be heads, feet, feathers or in other words parts which add weight to the food but no value.
  6. Brewers Yeast – Can cause yeast overruns in your dog. Yeast infection will be seen in the ears and the skin.
  7. Soy – #3 allergen for dogs.
  8. Egg Product – Whole eggs are extremely good for dogs. Egg product refers to egg shells, eggs that have gone rancid or eggs that have spoiled.
  9. Digest – Poultry digest and meat digest actually refers to roadkill animals and euthanized pets.
  10. Cellulose – Just another name for sawdust.
  11. Soy Flour – A filler with little nutritional value.
  12. Animal Digest – Animal byproducts with little nutritional value.
  13. Yellow 5 or 6, Blue 2, Red 40 – These dyes will cause allergic reactions, behavior problems, and cancer.

Hope this helps with the confusing world of dog food labels. At One Lucky Dog Bakery we carry Fromm, Orijen, Acana, Zignature, and Primal because we did the research for you and found none of these 13 items, plus these companies have never had a recall.

You should also know that you will not find any of these ingredients on the Ohio approved dog treats we make every day at the store.

Thanks.

Finn

How to read dog food labels

IMG_7114Picking a dog food isn’t easy but I have found three simple rules that really work.

  1. Look at the first 5 foods on the label and if your dog has allergies look for another dog food if you see corn, corn meal, any meat by-product, animal fat, or any grains.
  2. If you see BHA or any food coloring look for another dog food.
  3. Check the label for the feeding rate for your dog. Calculate the cost per day and compare it to $1.59/day for a 22# dog on Orijen which I believe is one of the best dog foods you can buy.

Step three is really important because many dog foods contain a lot of fillers like corn meal which means you have to feed more per day. You will probably find out that feeding the best dog food that will give you a healthy dog only costs 10 to 15% more per day or less than a quarter. This is a really small price to pay to ensure that you have a happy healthy dog, just like me.

As you know another thing that makes me happy is a dog treat from One Lucky Dog Bakery. Time for me to do some counter surfing.

What are the things to avoid in dog food?

IMG_5623Hi, it’s Finn again and today I decided to talk about what makes us dogs healthy. There are five major things which will improve the health of us dogs. These are love, shelter, exercise, water, and food. I am absolutely positive that your dog owner is having no problem with supplying you with more of the first four items than you can absorb but most dog owners struggle with the last item. Hopefully I can help.

The options for feeding your dog are commercial dog food, raw dog food, and homemade dog food. From personal experience I can tell you that a raw food diet really works. My coat and skin are healthy, I have a lot of energy, and I really think my diet helped me run faster in coursing and racing events when I was younger. The major problem with raw food and homemade food diets is they both require a lot of work. With today’s economy most dog owners are working more hours to make ends meet and simply do not have the time to spend on creating and preparing homemade meals for us. The good news as far as raw food diets is that you can buy this food just like other commercial dog foods.

The commercial food industry spends a huge amount of money on advertising to convince us that their dog food is the only one your dog owner should buy. I wish that more of them would take part of that money and put it into better ingredients for their dog food. If your dog owner is going to feed you commercial dog food please convince them to learn how to read dog food labels. Concentrate on the first five items on the ingredient list since these are the major ingredients. The things you must see in these first items are whole meats and vegetables. If you see grains (even if they try and fool you by saying organic) such as barley, oats, corn you should run away. These are great for horses but not your dog plus this means this dog food is made of mostly carbohydrates and your dog needs protein. Concentrate on AFFCO complaint foods and foods which do not come from or are made in countries other than the USA or Canada. Many dog owners think you should never change dog foods but if you do it gradually and use dog food brands that are designed to be switched you will be giving your dog various sources of protein which is a very good thing.

If they see any of the following items on the label your owner should run as fast as they can from that dog food. These ingredients will result in health issues for dogs.

  • Chemical preservatives (BHA, BHT, or Ethoxyquin)
  • Listing meat with no definition is a red flag.
  • Animal fat (could be from rats to roadkill)
  • Beef & Bone meal (inexpensive and low quality, it is used to raise the protein level)
  • Corn & Wheat Gluten  – These are fillers, have no value, and can cause allergy problems in many dogs.
  • Propylene Glycol ( this is a cousin of antifreeze)
  • Chicken byproducts (can be anything from heads to feet)
  • Meat byproducts (could be anything and might even be from dead or dying dogs)
  • Please remember that all human food is not good for dogs. Stay away from grapes,raisins, white flour, and onions.
    My Mom wanted to offer dog food to her Customers that come to our bakery for our dog treats, collars, harnesses, leashes, dog beds, natural supplements, natural spa products, pet greeting cards, dog coats, dog art, cat treats, and horse treats. The Customers asked her to see if there were commercial foods available that used healthy ingredients, no chemicals, and were grain free just like our dog treats at One Lucky Dog Bakery. Her research is complete and we now have Fromm and Orijen available for our Customers. Mom also carries raw food diets from Primal and Vital Essentials.   Excellent dog foods are more expensive than the brands you will find at the major pet stores but Mom decided to price ours at low mark ups and she offer discounts for repeat Customers.

I’m sorry I have to run, Mom just took a batch of dog treats out of the oven and I have to live up to my reputation as a champion counter surfer and get a few for Jane and me. If your owner buys treats at other stores they should also pay attention to the label. Avoid those with salt, sugar, propylene glycol,grains, and any that are made in China. Check our label approved by the State of Ohio and you will not find these bad items.

Bad Things in Dog Food, #5

IMG_7114I am going to finish this discussion by talking about Pet Food Industry secrets.

1.Co-Packing – Many dog owners have standardized on a large pet food company thinking that that company is responsible for the ingredients and the packing process. In fact one company can make the food and another packs it and places their label on the package. In 2003 Iams signed a 10 year contact with Menu for 100% production of its canned foods. When Doane’s and Diamond were recalled we learned that dozens of private labels were involved. It all comes back to closely reading the ingredient list. The packer may be packing foods for many companies but the ingredient list may vary widely.

2.Marketing – To make every dog feel special you will see a wide range of foods especially made for every breed and for any problem your dog might have. Everyone wants to feel special and a product with a specific target will sell better than a general product. In fact there are only two standards, adult and growth. Everything else is some marketing persons way of getting you to spend more money.

3.Natural/Organic – The natural definition adopted by AAFCO actually allows for artificially processed ingredients that most people believe makes the food unnatural. The term organic as defined by the USDA requires that the growing area must be free of synthetic chemical pesticides, fertilizers, and defoliants for three growing seasons. Pick organic over natural.

4.Meat is the first ingredient claim – A claim that meat (chicken, lamb, beef) is the #1 ingredient by weight is seen in a lot for dry food. We need to remember that chicken contains a lot of water. The product may really be mostly corn gluten meal, soybean meal, or some other high protein meal. This is essentially a powder and weighs very little. It could be most of the food even though chicken weighs the most when you include the water in the chicken.

5.What can you do? You have two choices. The first is to stop buying commercial pet food. Purchase a book and make your own. Only then will you know what goes into the food. Secondly if you do not have the time to make your own then you need to learn how to read a pet food label.  Just stop in at the store in Medina and we’ll be glad to give you some tips.

At One Lucky Dog Bakery we do not play games with labels. We bake right in front of you and invite you into the kitchen to check what ingredients are in our gourmet dog biscuits. With us, “It’s all about the Dogs”, and we want dog treat time to be special and healthy.