Shopping for dog food is really simple if you follow this one very simple rule; read the label. To give you an illustration I decided that today I would compare the labels of dog treats of two suppliers. The first is from a national well known manufacturer who probably was the first to supply dog treats as a food for dogs and a late comer, One Lucky Dog Bakery.
Here is what is taken directly from the label of the national distributor of dog treats:
- Wheat flour – Most dogs are allergic to wheat.
- Wheat bran – same comment.
- Meat & Bone Meal – This is the really bad stuff from a rendering plant that could include material from diseased animals. If you do not believe me read any website about the definition of meat (can be any meat) and bone meal.
- Milk – No issue for some dogs, others can experience acute intestinal distress.
- Wheat Germ – another wheat product.
- Salt – This is a cheap flavor enhancer and dogs like humans need to control their salt intake.
- BHA preservative – preservatives are required because this product could sit in the warehouse and store shelf for months. BHA is Butylated Hydroxtoluene and has been listed as a suspicious cancer causing compound by the World Health Organization for years.
After reading any label like this with so many bad things on it I would hope that your owner would run as fast as possible away from that dog treat no matter what the price or how long the manufacturer has been selling the dog treat.
For comparison here is what is on the label of one of the dog treats from One Lucky Bakery (Chicken MacKnight):
- Brown Rice Flour – more expensive but this flour has no gluten and will not cause allergy problems for your dog.
- Canola Oil – Rich in energy but healthy for humans and dogs. Low in saturated fats and since it is a vegetable source it helps to reduce heart disease.
- Chicken – All white meat chicken.
- Sweet Potato – Contains high amounts of vitamins B6 (prevent heart disease), C (good bones), D(boosts immune system), Iron (energy), and magnesium (anti-stress vitamin).
- Flax Seed – Reduces risk of heart disease and cancer because it contains Omega-3 fatty acids which are the good fats, lignans which is an excellent anti-oxidant, and fiber.
With all the health benefits of the dog treats from One Lucky Dog Bakery plus the fact they smell great (we dogs love great smells) you now know why I am counter surfing for these dog treats all the time.
Oh, I almost forgot; since the One Lucky Dog Bakery dog treats do not contain those nasty chemical preservatives simply put them in the refrigerator in a closed container and they will last for 8 weeks, if your dog lets them last that long. I’m willing to bet that every time you go to the refrigerator your dog will be right behind you asking for a dog treat.
Since I know you are busy I have a short story today that illustrates how obedient I am. You might think being obedient is being submissive but I rather think being obedient is conforming to a higher authority. I can tell you that I live with someone that requires conforming.
I was playing outside one day on one of the many walks I have with Mom (Stacey) and as usual she checked on me to see if I was getting into any mischief. I can’t really understand how she could think that I could get into any mischief because if you have seen me at the Bakery you already know how well behaved I am. When she called my name I must have really looked guilty because she told me to drop it. Since I am a very obedient dog I stopped, opened my mouth and to my surprise a bird flew out of my mouth. I tried to tell Mom that I was just keeping the bird warm since it was such a cold day but somehow I don’t think she believed me. Yes, the bird lived and I did also to see what I could get into on our next walk.
In keeping with the dog obedience theme of this post I think it is time for me to do my job and taste the new banana and apple chips that Mom has dreamed up. If they are not up to my high standards I will make sure that these dog treats are not distributed to our Dog Customers even if I have to eat them all. I know the other wheat free dog biscuits we have are up to my high standards.
Since this week is a special week for me I thought I would take a minute to talk about myself. Male Scottish Deerhounds have an average lifespan of 8 years. If you have met me at the store or racing or coursing or conformation you already know that I am far above average. My sister Faith (who I love dearly) lives in southern Ohio and we will both be 8 years old on April 20, 2011. I plan on being at our Medina Bakery all day on Wednesday enjoying as many treats as Mom gives me or that I can sneak off the counter without her knowledge.
In honor of Faith and my birthday Mom is baking a big bone treat for me to share with all the dogs who stop in at the store on Wednesday. She will also have a prize drawing for any of you that can make it to the store. I hope to see you all so we all can enjoy the healthy wheat free treats.
PS: Happy Birthday Faith, miss you!.
Love and Licks,
It is a problem that we dogs do not like to talk about but the facts are fleas can occur on all dogs and cats. Here are some very important tips for you and your owner to remember about the best flea control for dogs:
- Research has shown that only 10% of the fleas are on the dog or cat, the rest are in the carpet, drapes, and upholstery.
- Your owner must bathe you (I know some of us just hate taking a bath), wash the bedding, and vacuum the house and furniture thoroughly.
- Keep the grass cut low to reduce chance of fleas breeding and easily moving from the grass to us animals.
- Heavy chemical baths are not necessary.
- A simple bath in dishwashing liquid will kill the fleas and if you leave the suds on 10 minutes before rinsing you can be certain that the killing job is complete.
- Never use dog flea products on cats.
One Lucky Dog Bakery has some great all natural spa products which include shampoos and flea treatments. Just call or stop in, we’ll be glad to answer any questions.
The most important thing to remind your owner is that because you endured the bath you absolutely must be given a wheat free dog biscuit from One Lucky Dog Bakery. The problem may not be fleas but an allergy to wheat in the dog food.
To avoid ear infections after bathing clean ears with cotton balls soaked in witch hazel or hydrogen peroxide half diluted with water. For flop eared dogs you can use a clothespin to hold the earflaps to allow air to dry the inside of the ears. Pin to the hair not the skin. Another trick is prior to the bath put a cotton ball soaked in olive oil inside the ear. Remove the ball after the bath and thoroughly dry the ears.
The following are formulas from Dr. Richard Pitcair to resolve ear mites in dogs or cats. Use formula one for the first three days, do nothing for three days and then use formula two for three days. Wait ten days and repeat the sequence.
Formula 1 – Place the following in a one once eye dropper bottle, days 1,2,3:
·¾ ounce of almond oil
·¼ ounce of olive oil.
·400 IU vitamin E (puncture a capsule)
·Refrigerate the mixture for storing.
·Warm before using by placing the bottle in a bowl of warm water.
Formula 2 – Place the following in an eyedropper, days 7,8,9.
·2 teaspoons ground dried Rue.
·5 teaspoons witch hazel extract.
·1 cup boiling water.
·Steep the Rue in boiling water for 15 minutes, then strain and add the witch hazel.
·Refrigerate the mixture for storing.
·Warm before using by placing the bottle in a bowl of warm water.
Vitamins, minerals, and herbs that are excellent to resolve ear problems are:
·Vitamin E (open the capsule) makes a soothing and healing ear medication. Use it after cleaning the ears with vinegar or peroxide or witch hazel.
·Mullein and garlic ear oil is available at most health food stores and it works on pets ears. Make sure you clean the ear canals of discharge and wax before using.
·Garlic oil is especially useful when the infection is due to fungus or yeast. The fungus or yeast in the ears is usually caused by chronic wetness in the ears.
That’s enough playing doctor for the day. It is time for me to get back to my more important job, tasting our great tasting and smelling grain free dog biscuits.
The obvious signs of ear infections are head shaking, pawing or scratching the ears, odor, brown discharge, redness or swelling inside the ear flap. Ear infections can be caused by injury, a foreign body (ticks or plant material), bacterial infection, and fungal infection or by mites. Fungus infections inside the ear may be caused by leaving water in the ear after a bath or by too many antibiotic treatments.
If your dog has chronic ear infections that are bacterial or fungal related this is probably a sign of a reduced immune system and may have been caused by food allergies. We have eliminated wheat, corn, and soy in our gourmet dog biscuits to eliminate dog treats as a cause of food allergies since most dogs are allergic to wheat, corn, and soy.
Ear mites are tiny parasites that cause a crumbly dark brown discharge from the ear and cause intense itching. If both ears are infected it is very possible mites are the problem. This is especially true for cats. Mites are contagious to other pets in the house and mites can travel to the body of the pet. See your Vet to treat the ears and bathe the pet with an anti flea preparation. Natural preparations contain citrus oils or aromatherapy oils and these do work. Bathe the pet once a week for three weeks even after the mites have been treated.
Since this is a long subject I’ll finish this next time and include a couple of home formulas. In the meantime keep eating our all-natural dog treats.
Here are some easy tips for some common allergies:
- Fleas – A daily dose of garlic in the diet or apple cider vinegar in the water bowl will make us dogs resistant to fleas. If you check the ingredient list of our gourmet dog biscuits you will find garlic and this is one of the health reasons why we use garlic in our dog treats.
Instead of using chemical flea collars try an herbal collar scented with aromatheraphy oils of Pennyroyal, Citronella, cedar or eucalyptus.
- Skin Allergies -Kelp in the diet is important to relieve any skin and scratching allergies.Anitra Frazier offers a lemon rinse for itchy skin. Massage in lemon rinse, an herb tea made by pouring a pint of boiling water over thinly sliced lemons, skin and all. Let stand 24 hours.
The above tips come from a book I had recommended to you in a previous blog. The book is ” The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs and Cats” by Diane Stein.
Stacey uses this book and many others to come up with the best healthy dog treats that she can make for Jane, Knight, Cookie, and me. After we test them you receive the benefits from our gourmet dog bakery.
The message today is so important that I want to keep it short so that you will remember what causes problems for us dogs and cats.
Top pet allergy researcher Alfred Plechner states that the following are primary allergens for dogs and cats:
Dogs: Wheat, Corn, Beef, Pork, Turkey, Fish, Yeast.
Cats: Tuna, Beef, Pork, Turkey, Yeast
Just check out the ingredient list of the gluten free dog biscuits you buy from One Lucky Dog Bakery and you will not find any of the above ingredients. There is an 80% chance that the #1 allergen (wheat) for dogs is in both your dog food and the dog treats you currently buy and it is causing problems for your pet. Bottom line is we care about the health of your favorite companion and we keep all of the above out of our gourmet dog treats.
Some dogs have them, I don’t. Either I am lucky or it’s my diet (more about that later in this article) but since many dogs have allergies I thought I would give you some things to think about.
Holistic physician James F. Balch defines allergy as the inappropriate response by the body’s immune system to a substance that is not normally harmful. Dr. Balch tells us that allergens are found in foods, inhaled as pollens, molds, dust, feathers and transmitted by insect stings or fleabites. An allergy to flea saliva can result in a persistent itching rash. Allergens can also occur by skin contact with irritants such as detergents, flea collars, insecticides, and petroleum products. If your dog is always scratching, has skin rashes, runny eyes, sinusitis, cough, a recurrent urinary track infection, vomits frequently, has diarrhea, or a lot of gas the culprit may be an allergy. Dogs with inhalant allergies will often chew their feet. An allergic emergency is anaphylactic shock and since this is life threatening getting us to the vet immediately is a must.
Over 33% of all pet allergies can be traced to foods. The chemicals, dyes, flavoring and preservatives in most commercial pet foods are the causes. We dogs have a very low tolerance for chemical toxins and petroleum products. Did you know flea collars are made from the same chemical as nerve gas?
If your dog has allergies switching to a preservative free dog food or a natural homemade diet with supplements could be the solution to the problem.
Our organic dog treats contain zero preservatives plus we have added natural ingredients that supply additional vitamins for your gourmet dog biscuits.
Portions of the above came from “The Natural Remedy Book for Dogs and Cats” by Diane Stein. This is a great book to have.
I 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.