I recently came across another ad for a pet food company that was proudly announcing a new line of dog foods that encouraged people to “Try feeding your dog all of our nutritious recipes in rotation without the worry of an upset stomach. … you can choose to feed just one recipe or any combination of recipes on the menu. These recipes were specifically formulated for the option of rotational feeding, so you can feel confident about giving your dog “variety.” “All our formulas provide healthy balanced nutrition for your dog. High quality ingredients ensure that you are providing the optimum nutrition your dog needs.”

 

It is very telling that even the advertiser decided it was wise to put the word ‘Variety’ in quotes. The fact of the matter is what they’ve done is taken the almost identical formula and just changed the type of meat. This opens so many aspects of dog food formulation, feeding and advertising that I could fill a book.


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It looks like it’s supposed to be a cute little white dog, but the wet, drippy eyes, stinky goopy ears, itchy darkened skin, orange feet, nails and face, allergic to everything… and what’s that smell? Is someone eating Fritos, or is that dirty laundry under there? If any or even some of this sounds familiar, you may be living with yeast- in your dog.

After moving our store location from Sammamish to The Issaquah Highlands this last August, we noticed a significant increase in the amount of products we were selling to combat yeast in dogs. Eleven times the amount! It was staring us in the face, begging to be noticed. We wondered what could be so different in Issaquah compared to Sammamish? The first thing we thought was ‘What are they feeding those dogs in Issaquah?’


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Recently we had a visitor to our store who expressed a very strong belief that the prong collar training tools we carry are inhumane. Her experience was in the rescue field of pet care. Those experiences included witnessing the damage prong collars had done to dogs’ necks in the form of punctures and life changing injuries. Her experiences had affected her so greatly that she was unable to stay in the store knowing the prong collars were sold here.

That is a reaction I can say we have never experienced before regarding prong collars, but I had personally experienced when I got my Great Dane puppy who’d had his ears cropped. I had one customer who refused to even look at him, let alone greet or pet him because of her belief that ear cropping was inhumane and wrong.

 

With so many people making so many choices for their animals, and so many opinions and givers of “expert” advice out there, each person has to rely on their own experience tempered with some common sense and clear thinking to believe she is doing the best she can by her animals.


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Today I read a little informative article noting some of the myths about feeding cats and dogs. It was by respected veterinarian Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM. I’ve read Dr. Hofve’s articles with great respect many times. This article however, had a portion that I think panders to those who just don’t want to commit to scientific classifications when it comes to dogs and cats.  Dr. Hofve wrote, “Dogs are considered omnivores of sorts – they can eat and digest grains and vegetables IF they have been somewhat pre-digested as they would be in an herbivore’s stomach or intestines.”

Now, the scientific classification of carnivores, omnivores and herbivores does not include a subcategory labeled “of sorts”.  In these classifications there are Classes, Orders, Species, Families and many other categories, but no “of sorts”. I believe that category falls a bit outside science.


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The search for “new” meats.

So the latest novelty meat I’m seeing in the pet food industry is alligator. Since I’m all about caution when it comes to jumping on any wagons pulled along by pet food and treat manufacturers, I realize I can sometimes miss a good “sell”. Well, better to err on the side of caution.

I decided I needed to look into the alligator meat make-up before I decided this was a good thing for dogs to be consuming. I get that it’s meat- that’s a point in favor. I get that it’s an alternative to chicken- point two. However, when I asked a person who presented the possibility of making it into a food, what the actual analysis is….he didn’t know.


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A few years ago it came to my attention that there was something out there that I could get for myself as well as my animals that would not only help keep our digestion healthy, but actually heal our bodies. Well, didn’t I feel stupid. It’s been around for centuries- in fact as long as goats have been around.

Raw goat milk has been a major food source around the world for more time than we’ve even considered keeping track of time. Called ‘the most complete food known…’ according to the Journal of American Medicine, over 70 percent of the milk consumed in the world is from goats. With fat molecules one-fifth the size of cows’ milk, goat milk is easier and faster to digest, enabling everyone to enjoy the benefits of its quickly assimilated higher amounts of vitamin A, B-6, Calcium, Potassium, Niacin and Selenium. All the live enzymes (including lactase which digests Lactose) work with the body to help it direct those nutrients to where they are needed.

Think about it… natural, raw milk is designed to not only sustain life, but to fortify and promote the growth of life in mammals. It is the natural, life giving substance for development of neurological and biological function from birth.

So why isn’t everyone still using it?


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Having been a follower of the inside and outside of the pet food industry for many years now, it amazes me how little the general public really knows about the foods available for our dogs and cats. I suppose it’s a lot like anything else we buy to feed ourselves- unless there’s news of a recall on the T.V. most people don’t  even question what they’re buying to put in their bodies. Most assume the FDA and USDA and all the other regulating departments are looking out for them. After all- what are we paying taxes for?!? I wish it was so. Unfortunately, we have to look out for ourselves and our pets when it comes to food safety.


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