Bad Things in Dog Food, #4

IMG_7114Today I thought I would pass on some interesting facts that I have learned about labels on bags of food for us dogs and cats.

1. Some companies label their dog and cat food with the terms premium, ultra premium,or holistic. If you see this it is a red flag to look deeper. These terms are simply marketing terms because they are not official definitions from AAFCO, FDA, or USDA.

2. If you see the terms natural or organic that is a green flag. These terms have definitions in that the food must meet the same regulations that apply to organic human food.

3. Food that has been formulated to meet the nutrient levels recommended by AAFCO will include that statement and this is a green flag. Just remember AFFCO has two separate nutrient profiles, one for growth and reproduction and one for adult maintenance. The label should indicate what life stage the product has produced to meet.

4. If the label indicates the dog or cat food is complete and balanced this is a yellow flag. The food must have passed a 26 week feeding test where 6 out of 8 animals did not show any clinical or pathological signs of nutritional deficiency or excess. I say this is a yellow flag because there are many who say a 25% failure rate is too high.

5. The ingredient list on the label is your major key to what is in the bag. Ingredients must be listed in descending order by weight. If you are looking for a food with beef and see beef flavor on the label run the other way. The official rules say that the food needs to simply taste like beef and it may have zero beef in the food.

6. Also run the other way if you see chicken or beef byproducts on the label. You just cannot imagine what those byproducts might be.

7. The label must list the crude protein, fat, fiber, and total moisture on the label. This analysis must be guaranteed by a government agency; in Ohio it is The Ohio Department of Agriculture. If the analysis is not on the label look elsewhere.

8. If you see a label that says 100% chicken and other ingredients are listed on the label this is a red flag. The rules state that if the product contains more than one ingredient, not including the water necessary for processing and trace amounts of preservatives it cannot be labeled 100%.

9. There is a 95% rule and this applies when 95% of the ingredients by weight come from animals, poultry, or fish.

10.Our opinion on preservatives on the label is this is a red flag because many of these chemicals are responsible for health problems for dogs and cats.

When you buy all natural dog treats at our gourmet dog bakery it is like eating at your Mothers table where you knew she was adamant about putting things on your dinner table that were nutritional good for you. Just check our labels, everything on them has a health benefit.

Bad Things in Dog Food, #3

IMG_7114I decided to run a series of articles about a topic that is near and dear to all us dogs, food. The USA pet food industry, which includes my favorite food, gluten free dog treats from One Lucky Dog Bakery, totals over $15 billion per year in sales. Many dog owners know that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food industry. Just look at the label of the pet food you are currently buying and you will probably find that the parent company is also a major supplier of human foods. Many of the waste products that are considered unfit for human consumption find their way into pet foods and produce additional profit for the human/pet food industries. How would you like to have waste products like intestines, udders, hooves, and other animal body parts in your bowl each day?

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) sets the standards in the USA for the quality and safety of pet food and animal feed. AAFCO does not enforce these standards; that is up to the State you reside in and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). You should check your State to see if they have adopted the standards set by AAFCO and then ask them how they enforce them.

In my next article I’ll give you some tips on reading labels but just to make you feel better about the natural dog biscuits you buy from One Lucky Dog Bakery you can rest assured that all our ingredients are human level (no waste products) and all our gourmet dog treats have been tested and approved by the State of Ohio.

Bad Things in Dog Food, #2

IMG_7114Sugar can comprise as much as 25% of semi moist dog food packets and can also be very high in commercial dog biscuits. Please make sure you read all dog food ingredient labels. You will not find sugar in the list of ingredients for the gourmet dog treats at One Lucky Dog Bakery because we know that sugar is not good for your dog’s teeth and overall health. To stay away from large bills at your Vet for dental and other issues for your dog keep sugar out of the diet of your dog.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

IMG_5623Knight, Jane, Stacey, and me were at the Scottish Deerhound Nationals, that is where Scottish Deerhounds from all over the USA get together to do Conformation, Rally, Coursing, Racing, Obedience, and Agility events for an entire week. It is stiff competition among the best dogs in our breed but it is also a lot of fun. We were at the Coursing event and Stacey took Knight, my brother, out for a walk since he doesn’t lure course and he needed some exercise. He was walking and romping with some of our relatives and I was getting a little envious. I decided to figure out a way to let Stacey know that she should have taken me on this fun walk when it hit me. I found the stash of Dove chocolate and peanut butter cups that Stacey uses on long drives to stay awake and I made fast work of them. Stacey and Knight returned and Stacey immediately let out a yell. I wasn’t sure if it was a yell of joy to see me but then I quickly understood it was a yell of being both upset and concerned about me. Little did I know that chocolate is not good for us dogs. The Vet at the show told Stacey that although chocolate is not good for dogs I would have had to eat a lot more than I did for the chocolate to cause me real problems. I can tell you that during the night and the next day my stomach was rumbling and grumbling.
The result of this episode was the birth of the dog treat,Finns Chocolate Dream, in honor of me. It doesn’t contain chocolate, only carob and it is in such a small amount it causes zero problems for dogs. I’ll have to figure out something new to get into so we can come up with another new treat for all you dogs out there to enjoy.

Why should you buy only grain free dog treats?

IMG_5623We dogs like humans need a balanced diet that is rich in vegetables, fruits, chicken (not chicken by-products) and grains that do not cause problems for us. Today the world grows massive amounts of starch rich grains that are high in fat and feed it to the human population as well as we dogs in every manner possible. Grains are in the dog food that we eat at mealtime and in our dog treats. Does your dog have allergy problems or bowel problems? If so, the main culprits are probably wheat, barley, oats, and beef. Try eliminating these from the daily meals you prepare for your dog plus remove them from your dog treats and you will probably see a real improvement in the health and activity level of your dog.

At One Lucky Dog Bakery all of our treats except our biscotti treats are made with brown rice flour, which is naturally gluten free. We believe the treats actually look better and taste much better than dog treats made from wheat, barley, rye, or oat flour. A few of our competitors make dog treats using buckwheat flour which is acceptable as gluten free if they are using 100% buckwheat flour. The problem is most commercially available buckwheat flours are actually a mix of buckwheat and wheat flours, which means it is not gluten free.

The only problem with using brown rice flour is the cost. The cost of this flour is at least three times wheat flour but we believe the good health of your dog is worth the extra cost. This is why our motto is “At One Lucky Dog Bakery it’s all about the Dogs.” We believe we have priced our gourmet dog treats competitively with other gourmet dog treat bakeries that use wheat flour by purchasing high quality ingredients at high volume discounts.

The bottom line is if you want to control the weight of your dog and have as few problems as possible with allergies and bowels your best solution is to use only One Lucky Dog Bakery gourmet dog treats along with the healthy diet you normally prepare for your dog’s meals. Just look at me I am lean, healthy and really fast if I am running against other Deerhounds or just playing with Jane, Knight, and Cookie. Play time is the best if you are healthy.

Coconut Macaroons

IMG_5623I am well known for my ability to know exactly when food is left on the kitchen counter. I am sure you know that no counter is safe from a Scottish Deerhound since we can easily see what is on the counter and remove it without even having to jump. Every Christmas Mom makes many different kinds of cookies for her many friends. One year she was making coconut macaroons and the smell coming from the kitchen was just heaven to me. I really thought I was going to be taste testing (my official job) a new kind of natural dog treat for One Lucky Dog Bakery. I enlisted my good buddy Knight (our dog treat Chicken MacKnight is named after him because he loves chicken) to cause a distraction in the bedroom (Knight is extremely good at causing distractions; we blame everything bad that happens on Knight). As soon as she took off for the bedroom I ran to the kitchen and squeezed my way past the blockade that Mom puts up to keep us dogs away from the counters (she was in such a hurry to check on Knight that the blockade wasn’t as tight as usual). Before you could say new dog treat I had eaten a dozen coconut macaroons. They were so good but not good for me since people treats are loaded with sugar. As I am sure you know the gourmet dog treats from One Lucky Dog Bakery do not contain sugar since it isn’t good for us dogs. I really did not sleep too well that night because my tummy was doing flip flops all night long. Of course you must know that this experience will not stop me from future removal of good things to eat from the kitchen counters.

New Dog Bakery in Medina, OH 11/19/2010

Usually this blog is written from the perspective of my Scottish Deerhound Finn or Fergus but today I thought I would give you a few of my thoughts about our new store in Medina Ohio. Before I started this process I had heard all sorts of war stories about bad landlords, bad contractors, bad suppliers, and nightmares dealing with local governments gaining the necessary approvals. I am very pleased to say that I do not have any of those war stories to tell you. My landlord, Mike Rose of Washington Properties, has been fair in his negotiations and he has an excellent staff that goes out of their way to make sure any issues are resolved. We had to do a fair amount of modification to the existing space and with a century old building you would expect major problems with plumbing,electrical, and construction. My carpenter, Rich Dalman, ran into these major issues but he solved them all in a timely manner and did his usual excellent job. Al Beranek of Arrow Plumbing did an excellent job solving some unusual plumbing issues and he did everything within our project schedule. Keith Rush of Rush Industrial Electric fixed all the incorrect wiring installed by the previous tenant, did an excellent job, and also completed all the work within our schedule.

All of our suppliers were superb. Our cabinets were made by Woodworks Design of Middlefield Ohio. Todd Armfelt did a super job on the cabinets and actually was ready to ship them before the scheduled date. Lisa Kornuc of Acme Arsena supplied us with a beautiful granite top for our check out counter and she also made sure that the top was completed before the due date. Greg Hafeman of Dubick Fixture and Supply in Cleveland went out of his way to supply us excellent high quality equipment that exceeds standards for commercial kitchens and topped this off with super service on the installation. Harry Irvine of River Floors supplied us with a beautiful tile floor and his installation crew exceeded our expectations. The City of Medina was responsible for issuing all building permits and approving the construction. We could not have been more pleased with their performance. They were very helpful in the permit process, approved the architectural drawings in a timely manner, and went out of their way to show up to inspect and approve the construction.

If you are thinking about locating a retail store in the Historic District of Medina you will be lucky to work with some great people during construction and even more lucky to work with the excellent people of the Medina area as Customers.

Please stop in to see us at 45 Public Square and please bring your dog. Thanks for your support.

Stacey

The Fawn & the Deerhound

IMG_7114We Deerhounds were bred to hunt the Red Deer in Scotland. Even as puppies when we see a deer our breeding takes over and we will give chase. We know our job is to bring the deer down for the Master and as a puppy we are too small to do this but instinct takes over and away we go. When we are full-grown you will be amazed at our speed and strength in chasing and taking down deer.

On one occasion one Deerhound did a very remarkable thing. Our first Mom, Kate, who whelped us and took care of us before I came to live with Stacey, was missing one of her deerhounds. Kate has a lot of land for her deerhounds and she goes on daily walks with them. They usually stay by her side but this deerhound could not be found. Kate kept searching for her and finally found her in the bush with a small fawn. Coyotes had attacked the fawn and the deerhound was licking her wounds and guarding her to keep her safe. Kate carried the Fawn to her barn and nursed her back to health. As soon as she had healed Kate released her into the wild.

I guess this just proves that no matter what breeding we have the bigger instinct that we all, dogs and humans, have is to care for others when they are in trouble. Right now I must help Stacey by sampling the Apple dog treats.

Can you get dog treats shipped for free?

Have you checked the total cost when purchasing gourmet dog treats on the Web? We know that you realize the cost of homemade, gourmet dog treats should be higher than the price put on mass-produced items you can buy at the pet store. The quality of what we bake into our healthy, gourmet dog treats and the lack of chemicals and preservatives means real IMG_7114health benefits for us dogs.

My owner thinks it’s so important for us dogs to have healthy dog biscuits that she tries to limit the price passed on to your owners. Our shipping costs are lower than others because she doesn’t charge handling fees. We are able to do this because I paw our gourmet dog treats into the bag at no charge to you!   We also will ship free to all states but Alaska and Hawaii if you buy 3 bags of treats.  Please don’t let my owner know that for every three dog cookies I send to you, I hide one for me!
Our baker also controls the shipping price to you by only charging what the post office charges her to ship to your ZIP code. Other Web sites charge up to $9.95 for shipping and handling.

Who says being one lucky dog has to cost a fortune!