Raw diet

   I am sure that many people have heard this stuff about a raw diet for dogs but either it sounds gross to them or they do not see what the big hype is. Now in the actual B.A.R.F diet, stands for bones and raw food,  you feed a variety of bones, different meat sources and vegetables and eggs to get a varied diet for proper nutrition. In my case because my dog has allergies I do not rotate meat sources but I do rotate veggies.
   I made the decision a few years ago my dogs would eat duck since the allergies were to possible chicken and beef.  I needed availability of my food source to be readily found including to that sources eggs, internal organs and sold at least online. Duck was the right choice for my dogs not just because they love it but I can buy a whole duck in the Chinese market for $12.00 and the duck eggs along with some internal organs.  What I did not remember in choosing this for source was that duck liver is extremely expensive because they use it to make Foie Gras which is a luxury food like Caviar. I have had to learn to work around this however with the use of vitamins that would have been provided by the liver.
   In the raw diet the organs such as liver, heart, even brains are included in the meal because organs contain many vitamins and to leave this out would decrease the nutritional value of your food. The cheapest form of the raw diet would be to feed chicken or beef although with the price of meat these days it might be changing. I would start with looking where you can buy the cheapest chicken that contains the organs or at least liver and heart. Buy additional liver and hearts which many asian markets carry separate packages of. If you follow the barf diet you would cut up the chicken and feed parts of it to the dog as a meal, bones and all. My dogs are very small so this was not a good option for me so I have a grinder and I choose to grind up the bird, bones and all except for the carcass. I only grind up the wings, i remove all skin that I can and slice up the meat to get it small enough to fit in my grinder. I also steam vegetables at the same time which usually consist of Broccoli, carrots, green beans, occasionally a half a cooked sweet potato, a small amount of cooked celery for roughage, spinach and any other veggie I have on hand. I also steam apples and pears and add a few to the mix. Never use grapes and always check to make sure a dog can have certain fruits and veggies because there are a few that are dangerous to dogs. The other ingredient is Quinoa for me but you can use oatmeal as well. I will give you the proportions of what I add for my one dog Lexy who weighs 11 pounds for a per day mixture-
1oz of duck meat
.79 oz duck liver
1/2 egg
1 sardine
1/3 c veggie mix
1 oz dry quinoa
1/4 tsp flaxseed oil
1/4 tsp safflower oil
1/4 tsp cod liver oil
1 capsule vitamin e
1/4 tsp iodized salt
1/2 tsp eggshell
   This diet was approved by a Veterinarian nutritionist and I manipulate periodically decreasing the Quinoa and add some cooked fruit in proportions equal to what I am using. This whole recipe has been converted to a months supply that i grind and mix together minus the oils and vitamin e and freeze in daily portions. I then feed this every other day with the duck recipe I receive from DARWINS and I have enough food for 2-2 1/2months. Like the B.A.R.F. diet I rotate food sources using what I prepare, buy from DARWINS, and also use PRIMAL frozen raw and dehydrated raw, all in duck formula. DARWIN.comhas 4 or 5 meat sourced balanced diets in raw that come very nicely packaged. You can buy PRIMAL frozen at Krizers pet stores and other speciality pet stores as well as online however shipping raw is very expensive so if you buy online look for the dehydrated raw and you just soak it in warm water for about 10-15 minutes before feeding.
   The most important thing to remember is that just as in your human diet there must be varied amount of different foods to give a well balanced diet and just feeding rice and hamburger daily to a dog is a poor diet. If your interested in this I would suggest working up to it. There is a wealth of sources for diet for animals online these days and many cities have animal nutritionist available who can give you a diet designed just for your animal although they are pricey.

May you be happy today my friend, 


So what’s a person to do?

      After reading ingredients and beginning to see the things they are putting in animal food you may be saying to yourself “ I can not afford this animal!” But there are many ways to provide good nutrition. I will address it from the average person who today is on a tight budget but loves their animals.
   If i had to buy a cheap dog food in dry it would be TASTE OF THE WILD at $1.46 a lb. or DIAMOND has a grain free dog food whitefish and potatoes which is pretty good at 1.45 a lb however they have a lot of recalls every year which is another concern.  You are trying to find the absolute best nutrition source for the best money and getting the cheaper brands that are at $1.00 a lb or less are filling the dog with grains and other additives which could just get him to the Veterinarians office sooner than later which in the end costs more.
   So if you start out with Taste of the Wild which you can buy at KRISERS pet stores and online.and buy the largest bag because you get more for your money the larger the bag ;however you do not want so much that it is still sitting around for over a month. For discussion sake we will say your dog requires 1 cup of food twice a day so 2 times a week decrease one feed by half a cup and add some cooked veggies such as broccoli, carrots, green beans and a 1/2 can of sardines or 1 egg and mix it all with his 1/2 cup of dry food. Also you should put a little fish omega 3 oil on his food 1 or 2 times a week. Now you could go with a brand such as Pedigree which for a 46.8 lb bag for 25.00 or $.04 a lb is super cheap but look at the grains—-Ground Whole Corn, Meat and Bone Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with BHA/Citric Acid), Soybean Meal, Ground Whole Wheat, Brewer’s Rice, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Salt and this is only the first few ingredients. You could periodically during the week decrease this by a half a cup each meal and add a cup of fresh cooked veggies and say cooked chicken or hamburger but make sure your dog gets exercise and watch for allergy symptoms.
   Cats are much harder. I can add fresh chicken but only one will eat it. If I put mixed veggies in their food no cat will eat it. Cats are so much more finicky than dogs which is why it is more important to start off with good food they will eat. I only add a omega 3 oil to their food 2x a week.
   Back to the dog, There are so many levels you can go depending on your pocketbook. If you are broke then go with the cheapest food you can find and add a good canned food 1-4 times a week mixing it. Make sure to adjust the proportions and watch your dogs weight. Occasionally give some steamed veggies with a little hamburger added to his dry food. The night I am going to do this, is the night the family has burgers and veggies. You can also buy dry vitamins you can add to dogs food which I would do when I give him veggies and burger and just skip the dry food that night.
   If you can afford dry plus canned, feed canned mixed with the dry at least one meal a day. Try to get a good nutritious canned food if you are using a cheap dry food. Make sure it is grain free and not loaded with rice and other fillers. You have just increased his nutrition and helped to alleviate any vitamin deficiencies. But always remember if you are buying cheap food watch for those allergies. Allergies maintained over time create major health problems as his body will turn on itself.
   I, on the other hand decided the Veterinarian bills were killing me so I feed my cats and dogs only the best and guess what? I now only see her once a year. I had cats that vomited almost every other day which is abnormal, but after switching food to a good brand it has stopped and also they are happier. My dogs allergies have cleared up, she looks and feels healthy and they gained their weight back and have maintained it which is ideal. I spend approx75.00 a month on my dogs to keep them healthy and 60.00 for my cats which i have 5. Animals are not cheap and today Veterinarians are as expensive as you seeing a doctor. I prefer to spend the money on good nutrition and give less to the vets.
   If money is not a problem I would encourage a good dry food such as ACANA, ORIJEN, or CASTOR & POLLUX for both dog and cats. I have told you about canned but for dogs I would consider the new foods out there in the freezer sections of the better pet stores such as STELLA & CHEWY, PRIMAL and raw dog food makers such as DARWINS and others you can find online. Even FRESHET which is in the refridgerated section in Petco, Target and some grocery stores now is a good alternative.  They provide a balanced meal that can be fed daily with using the dry as a supplement. Again it depends on your budget and what you feel is needed. If your animals are in their senior years as with humans they may eat less so proper nutrition is important and many times they have issues with their teeth. Dry food may become increasingly harder for them to chew so canned food maybe a better alternative or mixed with dry and let sit with a little water added.
   Tomorrow I will talk about a raw diet which is what my dogs are on and love it.

B happy and B well my friends.

The problem with cats

   The pet food industry seems to be less concerned about cats than dogs. Cats are meat eaters and require even higher protein than dogs. Just as with dogs the pet food industry loves to dump corn and other grains into their food that they do not need. Rather than go through everything I did with dogs I will give you a list of foods I think are great for cats and if you have questions you can email me.
   If your cat or cats are like mine, it is sometimes difficult to find food they like to eat. Unlike a dog whom you can let go for several days and they will probably eat, cats have about a 3-4 day window which then they will get into kidney problems if they are not eating and drinking. Cats are not big water drinkers so they get a good portion of their fluids from the food they eat. It is important to not only supply a fresh source of water but canned food as well. I will give good sources of dry and wet because this makes a ideal diet ratio.
   Also let me point something out. We are seeing diet food out there for both cats and dogs. There is no such thing as dieting for animals. If your animal is fat either there is a poor source of food or they are not getting enough exercise or both. If your animal is overweight make sure they have a good  nutritious source of food first and decrease the amount given by 10% and increase their exercise. The diet foods for animals contain a lot of fillers but provide less nutrition. So I give you dry sources first with expensive and cheaper brands first. I looked at  IAMS. PRO PLAN and other cheap brands but they have too much corn and filler and additives to recommend. 

ORIJEN-ALL DRY FOODS-vary in price but approx 15lb bag-$63.00 or 4.20 a lb.
Can be used for all stages in cats life.

Boneless chicken,* chicken meal, chicken liver,* whole herring,* boneless turkey,* turkey meal, turkey liver,* whole eggs,* boneless walleye,* whole salmon,* chicken heart,* chicken cartilage,* herring meal, salmon meal, chicken liver oil, chicken fat, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, sun-cured alfalfa, kelp, pumpkin,* butternut squash,* spinach greens,* carrots,* apples,* pears,* cranberries,

For a cheaper source-TASTE OF THE WILD ROCKY MOUNTAIN DRY-15lb bag 28.00 or $1.86 a lb.

Chicken meal, peas, sweet potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), pea protein, potato protein, roasted venison, smoked salmon, natural flavor, ocean fish meal, DL-methionine, potassium chloride, taurine, choline chloride, dried chicory root, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, yucca schidigera extract,

EVO turkey & chicken cat and kitten formula-$15.4lb bag 37.00 or 2.40 a lb

Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Tapioca Starch, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols a Source of Vitamin E), Herring, Pea Fiber, Salmon Meal, Natural Flavors, Potassium Chloride, Apples, Eggs, Carrots, Menhaden Oil, Peas, Cranberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Pumpkin, Tomatoes, Cottage Cheese, Dried Chicory

FROMM-all brands-pricey 15lb-$42.00 or$ 2.80 a lb.

Duck, duck meal, pea protein, turkey, whole dried eggs, peas, chicken meal, pea flour, dried tomato pomace, potatoes, chicken broth, turkey liver, quail, sweet potatoes, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), chicken, pea fiber, pheasant, cheese, flaxseed, carrots

ACANA wild prairie regional formula grain free-cat and kitten-this is what i feed my cats-15b bag $ 50.00 or $3.33 a lb

Boneless chicken*, chicken meal, turkey meal, boneless turkey*, chicken fat, chickpeas, red lentils, chicken liver*, boneless yellow perch*, green peas, green lentils, whole egg*, yellow peas, herring oil, alfalfa, dried kelp, pumpkin*, butternut squash*, spinach greens*, carrots*, apples*, pears*, cranberries, mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, dandelion root, chamomile, peppermint leaf, ginger root, caraway seeds, turmeric, rose hips, freeze-dried chicken liver,

Wellness Core grain free original formula dry-12lb bag $37.00 or $3.08 a lb.

New formulation: Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Herring Meal, Peas, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Cranberries, Salmon Oil, Chicory Root Extract,

Blue Buffalo multi -cat health chicken&turkey recipe-15b bag-$36.00 or $2.40 a lb

Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Whole Ground Brown Rice, Whole Ground Barley,Oatmeal, Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Chicken Flavor,Potatoes, Dried Egg, Fish Oil (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Dried Cellulose, Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes,Cranberries, Blueberries, Barley Grass

For a cheap grocery store brand I can only recommend-but would rotate with a better dry because of the rice.
PURINA- Beyond White Meat Chicken and Whole Oat meal recipe- 13lb bag $28.50 or 2.19 a lb.

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Dried Egg Product, Whole Barley, Whole Brown Rice, Whole Oat Meal, Dried Yeast, Beef Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Liver Flavor, Phosphoric Acid, Salt, Sodium Bisulfate, Dried Carrots, Dried Sweet Potatoes, Dried Apples,

BLUE BUFFALO Basics Limited ingredients grain free formulas-11b bag-$37.00 or $3.36 a lb-for this price there are better choices

Catswell NUTRISCA Grain-free chicken recipe dry-13lb bag for $25.00 or $1.92 a lb.

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Turkey Meal, Chickpeas, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Pea Protein, Tomato Pomace, Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, DL Methionine, Cranberries, Blueberries, Apples, Taurine, Carrots,

   I find in most cases that all brands are fairly consistent so if for example I say chicken formula in BLUE BUFFALO you can most likely also do the turkey as well but make sure it is grain free.
Now for canned food-which I will say is much harder to find good food for a good price which is why I recommend you buy a really good dry to supplement. Stay away from canned food with Carrageenan in it. This is a kitty puker almost all the time.  The industry puts it in almost all cat food as a binder or creates a gel like substance. Because of this the majority of brands out there I can not recommend. I have a cat who is so sensitive to it now she will instantly vomit as soon as she eats it which is why my cats only get TIKI CAT.

TIKI CAT-all brands I will give you by the case for this-6oz case of 8 is approx 23.00 or $2.93 a can or you can buy 2.8oz case of 12 for  $17.00 which is $1.41 a can-I feed my cats Tiki

Chicken 62%, Chicken Consommé 34%, Sunflower Seed Oil 2%, Contains less than 1% of the following: Tricalcium phosphate, Tuna Fish Oil, Choline chloride, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc sulfate heptahydrate, Ferrous sulfate monohydrate, Nicotinic acid (Vitamin B3), Calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, Potassium iodide, Manganese sulfate monohydrate

NATURES VARIETY INSTINCT grain free chicken formula- 5.5oz case of 12 is $22.00 which is $1.83 a can. I have some problems with the clay as well as salt but for a cheap food its better than some.

Chicken, Turkey, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Ground Flaxseeds, Montmorillonite Clay, Eggs, Peas, Carrots, Lecithin, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Kelp, Potassium Chloride, Tricalcium Phosphate, Salt, Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Artichokes, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Tomato, Blueberries, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Parsley.

NATURAL BALANCE ORIGINAL ultra premium whole body health chicken, salmon and duck formula-6oz case of 24 cans $ 24.00 which is $1.00 a can

Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Salmon, Duck, Brewers Yeast, Brown Rice, Canola Oil, Natural Flavor, Menhaden Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Salmon Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins

TASTE OF THE WILD rocky mountain cat food and other flavors- 5.5oz case of 24 for $27.50 or $1.14 a can- the sodium selenite is a little high on the list for me.

Salmon, fish broth, chicken broth, chicken liver, chicken, dried egg white, ocean fish, peas, potato starch, natural flavor, smoked salmon, roasted venison, guar gum, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, yucca schidigera extract, dried chicory root, choline chloride, taurine, tomatoes, blueberries, raspberries, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), niacin supplement (vitamin B3), vitamin E supplement, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), biotin (vitamin B7), vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D2 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, folic acid (vitamin B9)

NUTRO NATURAL CHOICE VARIETIES-3OZ CASE OF 24-$25.50 or 1.06 a can but the sodium selenite is high on the list

Chicken Broth, Chicken, Chicken Liver, Egg Product, Pork Broth, Natural Flavors, Minerals (Calcium Carbonate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Guar Gum, Tetrapotassium Pyrophosphate, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Xanthan Gum, Taurine

RED BARN naturals tricky chicken stew grain free-5.5oz case of 24-$ 20.00 or $.83 cents a can.

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Vegetable Broth, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Whites, Natural Flavors, Potato Starch, Calcium Carbonate, Flaxseed, Dicalcium Carbonate, Carrots, Guar Gum, Lecithin, Cranberries, Parsley, Salt, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D2 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)

FROMM FOUR STAR NUTRTINALS duck & chicken pate-5.5oz case of 12 $24.00 or $2.00 a can- pricey but good food

Duck Broth, Duck, Chicken, Ocean Fish, Chicken Liver, Pea Fiber, Tomato Paste, Potato Starch, Vitamin Mix: Calcium Sulfate, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Chelate, Zinc Chelate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Potassium Iodate, Riboflavin Supplement, Manganese Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Chelate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin.

   I looked at many brands and compared price as well as ingredients and these are basically the best and there may be a few more. If you have any questions just email me and let me look at the food you have in question. Again, look at ingredients, stay away from all grain, limit rice, stay away from carrageenan and watch for the vitamin k.


A closer look

   We will look at a fairly expensive brand of dog food and break it down to see what you are actually getting and your dog is eating.  I believe when you can understand the basics it becomes so much easier to quickly look at a food and determine if it is a good value and good nutrition. So lets start with this food-

ROYAL CANIN X-SMALL adult dry dog food-34.00 for a 14 lb bag-$2.42 a pound

1)Brewers rice, 2)chicken meal, 3)corn, 4)chicken fat, 5)corn gluten meal, 6)wheat gluten, 7)natural flavors,8) dried chicory root, 9)vegetable oil, 10)psyllium seed husk, 11)brewers dried yeast, 12)fish oil, potassium chloride, calcium sulfate, salt, 13)fructooligosaccharides, 14)sodium tripolyphosphate, 15)L-tyrosine, 16)DL-methionine, L-arginine, L-lysine, monosodium phosphate, magnesium oxide, choline chloride, taurine,18) vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), biotin, D-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin A acetate, niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement], trace minerals (zinc oxide, ferrous sulfate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), L-carnitine, rosemary extract, preserved with natural mixed tocopherols and citric acid

  The very first ingredient is rice. Rice on its own has a small amount of nutritional value but my concern these days is the arsenic in rice. Humans have been warned to decrease their intake of rice due to high arsenic contained in the grain itself, picked up from the soil it was grown in.  Since this does not tell us where they got their rice and American grown rice is the highest in arsenic it becomes a big concern and especially if this is your dogs main diet.
   The 2nd is chicken meal. This is the description from WIKIPEDIA-Chicken meal, according to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), is the dry rendered product from a combination of clean chicken flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from whole carcasses of chicken, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet and entrails.[1] A meal in general is “an ingredient which has been ground or otherwise reduced in particle size.”[2]

Chicken meal is ground up chicken meat that has been carefully dried to a moisture level of 10%. The protein content is 65%and the fat level is 12%. Regular chicken contains about 70% water with 18% protein and 5% fat. To create chicken meal, ingredients are placed into large vats and cooked.[3] This rendering process not only separates fat and removes water to create a concentrated protein product, it also kills bacteria, viruses, parasites and other organisms. Because meat can be rid of infectious agents through the rendering process, “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased or disabled) are allowable chicken meal ingredients. While not always present, the possible inclusion of these ingredients makes chicken meal always considered unfit for human consumption.
Did you read the part about dead, dying, diseased chickens? Yes, anything of any quality could be in this meal. So your second ingredient is a concentrated  meat source and it is basically the only meat source we will see again.
   #3 and #5 both corn, the other majority of what this bag is made up of. Along with the wheat gluten in this bag , its a hefty dose of allergy possibilities. Corn again has a high glycemic index which means it converts to sugar quickly which just as in humans means a bigger waistline. So in addition to providing very little protein source this will also make a dog fat because of the majority of make up in starches.
   Next #13, frutoolligosaccharides- what are they you ask? Well my favorite online source WIKIPEDIA says-
Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) also sometimes called oligofructose or oligofructan, are oligosaccharide fructans, used as an alternative sweetener. FOS exhibits sweetness levels between 30 and 50 percent of sugar in commercially prepared syrups.[unreliable source?][1] It occurs naturally, and its commercial use emerged in the 1980s in response to consumer demand for healthier and calorie-reduced foods.
Now that you see what they are do you think your dog needs sweeter in his food?
   Chicory root is placed there for INULIN which is a soluble fiber but also used as a prebiotic to promote healthy bacteria in the gut.
   Sodium tripolyphosphate, is a preservative, and fairly high on the list.
   #4-chicken fat is actually supposedly nutritious and a good addition to food and helps to add to the flavor which they also did in #7.
The remainder of ingredients are vitamins and minerals because there are no vegetables or many ingredients that would add vitamins or minerals to this kibble.
   My feeling about this food is if you like a fat dog with the possibilities for allergies for almost $2.50 a pound and questionable nutrition this is the food for you.
   I think for the money this alternative food is a better value all around as well as much more nutritious-

CASTOR & POLLUX natural ultra mix grain free duck, sweet potatoes & peas entree adult dog food-30b bag for $49.99 which is $1.66 a pound


Again, Be well and may your pets live well!

More dry food

  Yesterday I posted some dry dog foods I think are good quality and good price per pound for what you get. Today I am going to post some of the brands I did not include, many you can buy in your grocery store. If you are on a limited budget at least weigh the pros and cons and if one product costs 2.00 more but has a better source of meat then buy that.
   Remember to look at the first 4 ingredients because that is what you are really paying for. If the 3rd ingredient is corn be leery about your dog having allergies now or down the road. I hope by reading ingredients you will become familiar with what you need to see and be able to make a good consumer choice that benefits you wallet and your pet.
   Please compare some of these products with yesterdays and you will see that many of the well known brands are expensive compared to what I gave you yesterday. So here we go again!
The list:

EVOLVE lamb and rice maintenance formula – 28lb bag 43.99

Lamb, Ground Rice, Rice Flour, Chicken Meal, Dried Egg Product,  Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Ground Oats, Rice Bran, Natural Flavor, Brewer’s Yeast, Dried Beet Pulp, Fish Meal, Potassium Chloride, Dried Peas, Salt, Powdered Cellulose, Sorbic Acid (to maintain freshness), Choline Chloride, Flax Seed Meal, Canola Oil, Dried Cheese Product, Dried Carrots, Dried Celery, Parsley, Spinach, Dried Kelp

Evolve maintenance formula chicken dry food-30b bag 42.99

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Rice Flour, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Dried Beet Pulp, Rice Bran, Oatmeal, Natural Flavors, Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Fish Meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Canola Oil, Potassium Chloride, Dried Cheese Product, Dried Skim Milk, Garlic Powder, Yucca Schidegera, Dried Kelp, Peas, Carrots, Celery, Beets, Parsley, Lettuce, Spinach

IAMS proactive health adult mini chunks dry dog food-30b bag 32.99

Chicken, Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken By-Product Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Flavor, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Potassium Chloride, Dried Egg Product, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Caramel, Flax Meal, Choline Chloride, Fructooligosaccharides, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacin, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, DL-Methionine, Rosemary Extract

Canidae life stages chicken meal and rice formula-30b bag 38.47

Chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, rice bran, cracked pearled barley, peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), millet, tomato pomace, natural flavor, flaxseed meal, potassium chloride, choline chloride, suncured alfalfa meal, inulin (from chicory root), lecithin, sage extract, cranberries, beta-carotene, rosemary extract, sunflower oil, yucca schidigera extract, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, vitamins

Purina beyond simply 9 white meat chicken and whole barley recipe-24b bag 36.00-remember what i said about wheat -look and see if you find 2 other things.

Chicken, Brewers Rice, Whole Barley, Canola Meal, Chicken Meal (Natural Source of Glucosamine), Beef Fat Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols, Natural Liver Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dried Carrots, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Sodium Selenite

Eukanuba breed specific dachshund adult dry-12b bag 26.00

Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Flavor, Brewers Rice, Fish Meal, Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Salt, Flax Meal, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Fructooligosaccharides, Minerals

Royal Canin mini adult formula-14b bag 36.00

Chicken meal, brewers rice, brown rice, corn, corn gluten meal, chicken fat, natural flavors, wheat gluten, dried beet pulp, vegetable oil, brewers dried yeast, fish oil, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, salt, fructooligosaccharides, sodium tripolyphosphate, DL-methionine, choline chloride, L-lysine, magnesium oxide, vitamins

Natures recipe senior lamb meal and rice recipe-30lb bag 40.00

Lamb Meal, Ground Rice, Pearled Barley, Oatmeal, Beet Pulp, Potato Fiber, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Lamb Digest, Potassium Chloride, Tomato Pomace, Flax Seed, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Inositol, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Beta-Carotene, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Iron Proteinate,

Royal Canin mini puppy dry dog food-13lb bag 30.87- i would not feed my puppy this ever!

Chicken meal, brewers rice, chicken fat, corn, corn gluten meal, wheat gluten, dried beet pulp, natural flavors, sodium silico aluminate, vegetable oil, fish oil, calcium carbonate, fructooligosaccharides, potassium phosphate, salt, potassium chloride, L-lysine, hydrolyzed yeast, sodium tripolyphosphate, choline chloride, DL-methionine, taurine, vitamins [DL-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C)

Hiils Science diet mature adult small & toy breed-15.5b bag 28.00

Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Whole Grain Wheat, Brewers Rice, Whole Grain Sorghum, Soybean Mill Run, Pork Fat, Soybean Meal, Flaxseed, Soybean Oil, Chicken Liver Flavor, Lactic Acid, Dried Carrots, Dried Spinach, Dried Grape Pomace, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dried Citrus Pulp, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Oat Fiber, Lipoic Acid,

IAMS premium protection adult dry-24.5b bag 27.00-nothing premium about this

Chicken By-Product Meal (Natural source of Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine), Corn Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Barley, Fish Meal (source of fish oil), Chicken, Dried Beet Pulp, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Brewers Dried Yeast, Salt, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Fructooligosaccharides, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Calcium Carbonate, Flax Meal, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Chicken Cartilage

Rachel Ray Nutrish chicken and veggies-28b bag 42.00

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Ground Rice, Soybean Meal, Whole Grain Corn, Poultry Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Brown Rice, Natural Chicken Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Dicalcium Phosphate, Dehydrated Alfalfa, Corn Gluten Meal, Dried Peas, Dried Carrots, Olive Oil, Iron Oxide (color), Zinc Sulfate, Choline Chloride

Alpo -I won’t waste your time!

For many people they will say, “but my veterinarian sells it at their office!” I tell them vets are not educated on diets for the most part and most have never read the labels on these foods.  The labels that say approved by the national veterinary association and blah blah I would not pay attention to completely because the standards have not been improved. The entire industry needs a overhaul. Again just use good judgment as you should be with your own diet.

Always with you! 

Dry dog food

   I will address dry food today giving a list of dog foods, approximate cost and the first half of ingredient list.
   How I make my determination of quality food and whether worth buying is the following

1. value per pound with quality ingredients

2. selenite low on list or absent

3. other questionable additives with very low on list or absent

4. starches of good quality or down farther on the list-meaning your not paying for potatoes.

5. At least first ingredient is meat and hopefully 2nd.

6. good quality veggies not just potatoe and peas

7. no protein isolate which is soy

   I did look at many grocery store brands but I just can not recommend due to the additives, low quality protein source and grains. Many products I do put down are pricey but it just depends on your budget, how big a dog and how many. If I have 3 large breed dogs I am probably going to get the cheapest dry food I can and supplement with real meat like hamburger or chicken. I also do not like many of the so called “good brands” you can buy at Petco and Petsmart.
So here is the list:

Avoderm natural grain free revolving menu duck recipe adult dry dog food-22lb bag-$38.74

Duck, Duck Meal, Garbanzo Beans, Peas, Pea Flour, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Avocado, Natural Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Dried Beet Pulp, Flax Seed (Source of Omega-3 Fatty Acid), Alfalfa Meal, Dried Chicory Root, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Kelp Meal, Vitamins

Evangers Grain Free chicken with sweet potato and pumpkin dry dog food-33b bag $63.79 16.5lb bag-$34.63

De-boned Chicken, Sweet Potato, Chicken Meal (a natural source of Glucosamine), Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Natural Vitamin E), Fish Meal, Ground Flax Seed, Pumpkin, Yeast Culture, Alfalfa Meal, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Natural Chicken Flavor, Fruits and Vegetables (Carrots, Peas, Tomato, Celery, Beet, Parsley, Lettuce, Watercress, Spinach, Cranberries, Blueberries), Canola Oil, Potassium Chloride, Dried Egg, Kelp Meal (Ascophyllum Nodosum), New Zealand Green Mussel, Sea Cucumber, Eggshell Meal, Chicken Cartilage (source of Glucosamine), Vitamins and Minerals

Taste of the wild-all dog foods-30b bag $43.99

Salmon, ocean fish meal, sweet potatoes, potatoes, canola oil, salmon meal, smoked salmon, potato fiber, natural flavo

Buffalo, lamb meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, canola oil, egg product, bison, roasted venison, beef, natural flavor, tomato pomace,

Duck, duck meal, chicken meal, sweet potatoes, peas, potatoes, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), egg product, natural flavor, ocean fish meal, potato protein, roasted quail, roasted duck, smoked turkey, tomato pomace

Castor & Pollux dog foods in grain free- 30lb bag $47.99 and varies with meat source

Salmon, Salmon Meal, Herring Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Dried Peas, Dried Potato, Tapioca Starch, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Pea Protein Concentrate, Tomato Pomace, Dried Bananas, Natural Salmon Flavor, Ground Whole Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Carrots,


Fromm four-star nutritional grain free-beef frigate veg dry dog food-36b bag 66.00 and varies by bag size

Beef, Peas, Dried Whole Egg, Potatoes, Pea Protein, Pork Meat Meal, Beef Liver,Sweet Potatoes,Dried Tomato Pomace, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Cheese, Carrots, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Apples, Green Beans,

All fromm four star nutritional are good but pricey

Health Extension grain free dry dog food by health extension-23.5b bag $49.98 but it does have DL methionine in it (supplement that comes from meat )

Organic Chicken, Chicken Meal, Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Chickpeas, Chicken Fat (Naturally Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Fresh Whole Sweet Potatoes, Alfalfa Sprouts, Pumpkin, Pea Fiber, Fresh Whole Carrots, Dulse, Sea Salt, Whole Blueberries, Whole Cranberries, Potassium Chloride, Spinach, Tomato, Beets, Parsley, Chicory Root Extract, Sage, Basil, Apple Cider Vinegar

Halo Vigor Turkey, chicken and salmon recipe grain free dry dog food-14b bag 39.99 pricey

Turkey ,Chicken, Ground Peas, Pea Protein, Egg, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), Pea Starch, Salmon, Calcium Carbonate, Ground Flax Seed, Sweet Potato, Coconut Oil, Lentils, Salt, Spinach, Vegetable Broth, Blueberry, Cranberry,  Inulin, Vitamins

EVO turkey& chicken dry dog food-28.6b bag $46.89

Turkey, Chicken, Chicken Meal, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols a Source of Vitamin E), Peas, Tapioca Starch, Natural Flavors, Apples, Eggs, Tomatoes, Carrots, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Cottage Cheese, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate), Alfalfa Sprouts,

Farmina Natural & Felicious Wild Herring grain free mini breed formula-5.5b bag $17.99

Herring (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), dehydrated herring (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), potato, herring & salmon oil blend (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dehydrated egg product, dried carrots, sun-cured alfalfa meal, chicory root extract, fructooligosaccharide, yeast extract (source of mannan-oligosaccharides), dehydrated sweet orange, dehydrated pomegranate, dehydrated apple, dehydrated spinach, psyllium seed husk, dehydrated blackcurrant berry, dehydrated blueberry, salt, brewers dried yeast, turmeric, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, ascorbic acid, niacin, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, choline chloride, beta-carotene, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, iron proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium yeast, DL-methionine, taurine, L-carnitine, aloe vera gel concentrate, green tea extract, rosemary extract

Farming Natural & Delicious Chicken grain free mini breed-5.5b bag $17.99

Deboned chicken, dehydrated chicken (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), potato, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dehydrated egg product, herring (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), dehydrated herring (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), herring & salmon oil blend (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried carrots, sun-cured alfalfa meal, chicory root extract, fructooligosaccharide, yeast extract (source of mannan-oligosaccharides), dehydrated pomegranate, dehydrated apple, dehydrated spinach, psyllium seed husk, dehydrated blackcurrant berry, dehydrated sweet orange, dehydrated blueberry, salt, brewers dried yeast, turmeric, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement,

Farming Natural & Delicious Lamb Grain free dry dog food-26.4lb-$66.99 pricey but has a nice ingredient list

Lamb meat, dehydrated lamb meat (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), potato, dehydrated egg product, herring (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), dehydrated herring (source of glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate), chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), herring & salmon oil blend (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried carrots, sun-cured alfalfa meal, chicory root extract, fructooligosaccharide, yeast extract (source of mannan-oligosaccharides), dehydrated blueberry, dehydrated apple, dehydrated pomegranate, dehydrated sweet orange, dehydrated spinach,

ACANA-all dog foods-I really like this company out of Canada. They also make Orijen grain free which is a bit pricier but even better quality.It is pricey but good quality food-25b bag $68.99
these ingredients are from their Lamb and Okanagan apple single formula-good for allergies

Lamb meal, deboned lamb, green lentils, red lentils, lamb liver, apples, lamb fat, green peas, yellow peas, canola oil, algae, garbanzo beans, pumpkin, carrots, lamb tripe, lamb kidney, freeze-dried lamb liver, kelp, chicory root, ginger root, peppermint leaf, lemon balm, mixed tocopherols (preservative), dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, zinc proteinate

from their prairie regional formula-

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, green peas, turkey meal, chicken liver oil, field beans, red lentils, deboned turkey, whole egg, deboned walleye, sun-cured alfalfa, pea fibre, chicken liver, herring oil, apples, pears, pumpkin, butternut squash, parsnips, carrots, spinach greens, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, chicory root, juniper berries, angelica root, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, lavender, rosemary. Supplements: Vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product

Horizon Amicus small and mini breed puppy grain free by Horizon-11lb bag $28.29

Turkey, Chicken Meal, Red Lentils, Peas, Pea Starch, Salmon, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols, Form Of Vitamin E), Salmon Oil, (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols, Form Of Vitamin E), Turkey Meal, Salmon Meal, Flax, Alfalfa Meal, Pea Fibre, Egg Product, Carrots, Apples, Broccoli, Bok Choy, Cabbage, Blueberries, Dried Saccharomyces Cerevisiae Fermentation Extract, Fructooligosaccharides, Yucca Schdigera Extract,

Great Life grain-free dry dog food-25b $64.99-because so much is freeze dried it retains the foods properties better.

Chicken, Tapioca, Jicama, Freeze Dried Chicken, Freeze Dried Chicken Liver, Freeze Dried Pumpkin, Freeze Dried Squash, Freeze Dried Parsley, Freeze Dried Papaya, Freeze Dried Chia Seed, Freeze Dried Kale Sprouts, Freeze Dried Broccoli Sprouts, Freeze Dried Barely Sprouts, Inulin, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Yams, Blueberries, Cranberries, Parsley, Artichoke, Rosemary, Enzymes:(Amylase, Protease, Cellulase, Pectinase, Lipase, Phytase, Xylanese, Hemicellulase, Alpha-galactosidase, Invertase), Probiotics:(Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product Dehydrated, Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product Dehydrated, Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product Dehydrated, Bifidobacterium Thermophilum Fermentation Product Dehydrated, Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product Dehydrated, Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product Dehydrated, Bacillus Subtillus Fermentation Product Dehydrated), Wild Salmon Oi

Ziwipeak is also very good but very pricey-from new zealand- air dried dog food- 11b bag $131.00-i will give you a sample of one of the ingredient lists

Lamb – Meat (includes up to 3% finely ground bone), Lamb – Liver, Lung, Tripe, Heart and Kidney, New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussel, Lecithin, Chicory Inulin, Dried Kelp, Parsley, Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols (Vitamin E), Vitamins: Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Chelated Minerals: Iron amino acid complex, Copper amino acid complex, Manganese amino acid complex, Zinc amino acid complex, Selenium Yeast, Potassium Bicarbonate, Calcium Carbonate

Primal freeze dried food-a large bag feeds both of my small dogs for a week-all formulas good-14oz bag-$26.77

sample list of ingredients
Beef Hearts, Beef Livers, Ground Beef Bones, Organic Kale, Organic Carrots, Organic Yams, Organic Broccoli, Organic Apples, Cranberries, Blueberries, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Copper Carbonate, Sodium Selenite), Organic Parsley, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Salmon Oil, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Quinoa Sprout Powder, Dried Organic Kelp, Alfalfa, Natural Vitamin E, Mixed Tocopherols (natural preservative)

Stella & chewy-all good as well-freeze dried-5.5oz bag $15.78

Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef Heart, Beef Tripe, Beef Bone, Calcium Carbonate, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride, Organic Cranberries, Organic Spinach, Organic Broccoli, Organic Beets, Sodium Phosphate Monobasic, Organic Carrots, Organic Squash, Organic Apples, Organic Blueberries, Choline Chloride, Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Taurine, Tocopherols (Preservative), Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Monohydrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

   If you have any questions about your dog food you can email me and I will look at it.

Be safe and Be well.


   Just as in humans, the body’s immune system can turn a everyday substance into a allergen. Suddenly something in their environment such as dust, perfume, mold and even pollens can begin to trigger events. Food can suddenly become the enemy which usually consists of beef, chicken, pork, corn wheat or soy. Fleas can cause allergies in addition to the itching from their biting. Certain breeds are at a much higher risk for allergies such as terriers, setters, retrievers and flat faced dogs like pugs.
   Common things seen with food allergies are skin itching, paw chewing and licking, chronic ear infections and GI problems such as diarrhea and vomiting. A dog itching once in a while is a dog but a dog itching every 10 minutes it is more likely fleas which tend to be around the base of the tail or allergies.
   So you think your dog has allergies. What is next? Look at the ingredients in your dogs food. Is there corn, wheat, soy or chicken in it or possibly pork or beef. If there is one of these culprits in it stop that food immediately and find a dog food that has no grain and change the meat source such as you were feeding chicken, switch to beef. However one caveat to this is if a allergy has started it is likely they will develop a allergy to the beef as well. Today there is such a variety of meat sources available that changing should not be a big problem. Just switching food, changing meat sources and eliminating grains most dogs will begin to clear up in a week of so.  Then there are those 1 or 2 dogs that do not respond such as my dog. Then you have to get drastic.
   Initially my dogs were switched to Royal Canin Hypoallergenic food both can and dry at almost 150.00 for both. They would barely eat it and most times sit down and stare at it. I threw out more cans of food than they ate. After a few months of this, they were losing weight and very unhappy I said enough. I finally looked at the ingredients in their cans of food and thought “I wouldn’t eat that,” and I should not be paying 90.00 a case of food for that! I decided right then and there that if I was going to fork out that kind of money it was going to be for nutritious food.
   Besides grain, my vet and I decided she was allergic to poultry so chicken and turkey were removed completely from her diet. That means no treats with chicken in it! Have you ever looked at ingredients in treats? There is chicken in everything. I means foods that say they use duck and potatoes but they put chicken liver in it! If your pooch has a allergy to chicken get ready to read everything because almost everything has chicken in it!
   I had to learn to prepare my dogs food as well as do further research on brands that had a odd meat source and a certain way they prepared the meals. My dogs were changed to a raw diet and absolutely love it. When I prepare their food I do it all at once, it takes me approx 2 hours once a month and makes a months worth and I immediately freeze it. I also buy their raw food from a company in Seattle called Darwins. It is reasonable, costs me 110.00 for 6 weeks worth of meals (for 2 small dogs)which actually lasts me longer, comes frozen and they have a excellent customer service. Darwin’s food is meat and vegetables with vitamins period. 
   People have asked me how I travel with my dogs on a raw diet. Easy! Sometimes we take a cooler with dry ice other times I buy them freeze dried duck from PRIMAL.
   Now that I prepare their food and Darwins does the other meals I no longer worry about what my dogs are getting. I know their nutrition is as good as mine and more important they are now healthy and very happy.
   Next I will address meal preparation basics as well as low, moderate and expensive pet foods to choose from.

Be well, Be happy


The very first book I read on the subject of petfood  was Buyer Beware-the crimes, lies and truth about petfood by Susan Thixton, copyright 2011. Why this book you may ask? Because I already had started to read labels and had many questions about the chemical names I was finding. This is a wonderful book to tell you about the petfood  industry, the very few regulations and all of the other stuff we have never given a thought about. I recommend it highly if you truly want to understand. If we are going to change the pet food industry we must understand what needs changed.

   The first additive I want to address is what many companies are adding to cat food, MEnadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex. I am not going to argue for or against, but what I am going to ask of you is to use common sense. This is a man made version of Vitamin K, which for lay purposes I will say it is a blood clotting vitamin. Yes it is essential but in minute amounts. We get it in our diet and mainly through dark green leafy vegetables. A small amount keeps our clotting factors healthy. But anything in excess is usually not a good thing. For instance, a pet food brand called Sheeba uses it in every product. If you only feed this brand to your cat you are potentially building too much of this vitamin up in your cats system. I have seen posts by people telling of feeding their cat only one food that contained the MEnadione and their cat died. Is it true? I have no idea but the key is moderation for both you and your pets. It is better to have 2 brands of food,making sure one does not have it in it and rotate the food. 

   The additives of dyes, particularly blue2, red40, and yellow 5&6.  These dyes have much controversy linked with them which I leave you to look up. Basically the companies use dyes and flavor to cover up what is actually disgusting to humans. I do not use foods with dye in them and you should not appreciate them for putting it in your pets food either.

   More people are increasingly becoming concerned with GMOs or genetically modified organisms. I believe there is enough common sense worry to these to limit your diet containing these which is mainly corn, corn oil,canola oil and soy.  By limiting or avoiding these sources in your diet and theirs you have just decreased theirs and your exposure.

   Ethoxyquin- a chemical preservative which was developed by Monsanto, is linked to some serious diseases.  It is not allowed in human food but used in animal feed is another story. This is used mainly as a preservative for fish meal and used in some pet treats. Worse, they are not required to put it on a label when used in small amounts. Again, I say moderation with diet and pet treats. Do not give the same treats or pet food brand over and over.

   Wheat gluten in any form is just a risk for allergies. Manufacturers like to use it as glue so they can “glue” together garbage and make it look like meat so the consumer believes they are feeding a healthy meaty treat to their animal. As Susan points out, a meaty treat would cost at least 3.75 a can but you pain 1.25. I doubt there is very little meat in that can. You get what you pay for. The company wants profit. 

   Sodium Selenite is added as a mineral additive which is only needed in trace amounts however it is in every dog and cat food out there.in animals and I high doses can be toxic to blood, liver and muscles. Did I mention moderation I diet?

   I Am also going to address this for cat people. We humans are being told to limit our exposure to Tuna so limit theirs please. They are so much smaller than you so their exposure risk is greater.

   There is a ton of other stuff they have found in pet food including arsenic but I will instead encourage you, if interested, to read the book. I am not a fanatic about my pets food but I do take it seriously enough just as I do with my families food. Try to limit their exposure and everything in moderation and we all should be good.

Love to you all


Pet food ingredients

   Just as in human food, basically the first 4-5 ingredients, which is the largest makeup in that food, are your concerns. I will address later the other things you need to look for when you look at the label as well down the road.
   There are now over 93 dog food brands and 87 cat food brands. Most of them are owned by one company with just multiple brand labels under that company. Why you ask? Because consumers believe that one brand is better than another. They believe they are buying a better quality over another brand in spite of the fact the 2 brands are owned by the same company.  And the really big piss me off is you are paying up to $3.00 for a can of food with the first 4 ingredients that look like this-
      Corn starch, hydrolyzed poultry by-products(feathers and all) coconut oil, soybean oil!

   I can not even tell you when I found this label, rage coursed through my body! I had to take a deep breath and move on. This was from a very expensive company with the initials R.C.  We are being duped to believe that we are feeding good nutrition to our animals and paying a fair price for that nutrition. I want to change all of that! I want pet food companies to change their practices. There must be good money in it because there are tons of pet stores now with tons of different brands of food to choose from. I am going to give you a label from another common cat food you can buy in almost every store-again giving the first 4 ingredients.

      meat by products, water sufficient for processing, turkey, poultry by products.

   Lets first start with “by-products” and what that can be. That means everything left not for human consumption! Beaks, feet, feathers, intestines and so on. So if we translate this label it really reads-
beaks,feet and feathers, water to mix all that stuff up and get it liquid, a little bit of turkey and more beaks and feet! Oh yum! And you wonder why your cat is so fussy. If this was ever discovered in human food we would absolutly scream. Yes, a feral cat if given the choice of starve or eat chicken feet will eat the feet, is this actually good for the cat? Maybe once in a while but their entire diet made up of chicken feet and beaks! Let us now look at a label from a dry cat food I think is actually pretty good and no more expensive than some of the best brands out there-

  Boneless chicken (fresh), chicken meal, turkey meal, boneless turkey, chicken fat

   Much better ingredients especially since cats require a higher protein diet even more so to dogs. This food is from Acana which is in Canada. While I am not thrilled with the chicken and turkey meal which I will explain later, this certainly is a much better quality product for the money. More importantly the taste will be much more pleasant for the cats! The better the quality of the  ingredients, the better the health of your animal. The better the health, the less you need to see a vet which makes more expensive food worth it.
   I can not even stress enough, just as with humans, the body is a machine, if you put poor quality fuel in the machine the machine runs poorly. Over time the machine will begin to break down. Period. This is a fact. At the cost of taking a sick animal to the vet it is so much cheaper to spend a little time in making sure you are providing the best nutrition you can. Let us look at another label from a bag of dry dog food from Eukanuba large breed dog food at 37.00 a bag-

     chicken, corn meal, ground whole grain sorghum, chicken by product meal, ground whole grain barley, chicken flavor.

    While it is good that the first ingredient is chicken we then move on to my next piss me off, look at all the grain. The 2nd largest ingredient is corn. A cheap filler with little nutritional value. And sorghum? And we are back to the by-product meal. In fact they must add chicken flavor because there is no meat flavor after it is cooked and dried at high temperatures. Why are grains a problem you ask. 
Besides for the most part they are just used as fillers to keep the food made as cheaply as possible to increase the profits of the company it is also one of the problems with developing allergies. It also contributes to weight gain. Corn has a high glycemic index which is why I dislike it the most when used in food. It is not horrible for you but it really has low nutritional value compared to its glycemic value which in other words-how it converts to sugar and goes to belly fat. Your animals are no different. Try to look for the grain free products which is a good start. Think of those foods they tell you to stay away from for weight loss such as potatoes, corn and other starchy foods. look for meat to be listed in at least the first 2 ingredients ESPECIALLY if it is dry food because the process of drying the food destroys so much of the nutritional value alone.
    Okay now that I have you running to fido’s cupboard to check the ingredients I will stop for today and prepare you for my next blog-ingredients to stay away from and why!

Peace and love to you


Switching up-your animals and the pet food industry

Several years ago, I had a dog die at age 10 of liver cancer. I thought this was odd and began a half hearted research on the food I had been feeding her. When I actually looked at the ingredients I was shocked to see multiple chemicals and dyes in it. No wonder her 10th birthday was her last.
   Well, many years later I was forced to revisit this subject when I recieved a call from my vet. She reported that my dog, who had recently had normal yearly bloods drawn and a health check-up was now sick. Her liver enzymes were elevated. The vet was convinced my dog Lexy (a 10lb Shitzu) had allergies. This helped to finally explain what had been going on for months with occasional vomiting, chewing of the paws, dry fur, itching ears and constant licking. Many days she just acted like she did not feel well.
   It was decided Lexy had to go on a hypoallergenic dog food. The difference with this food and other food besides major cost is they process this food separately so there is no cross contamination with other foods. There are only a few companies who actually do this. We started both of my Shitzus on Royal Canin.  I had to try several different varieties of their canned food because they would not even taste it. That should have been my first clue! I finally found a can of venison and potato they would sort of taste. So I bought a case of it along with a bag of the same food but in dry. It cost me around 150.00! This is what I would be spending every 5 weeks.
   What happened next is what lead me to begin months of searching and investigating. When I would open a can of this food, the majority of the time my 2 little dogs would walk over, sit down and just look at the food. Every few days they would eat approxamately half and walk away almost sad. They were losing weight and visibly getting depressed. What was so horrible about this food? It smelled okay , as dog food goes. I began looking at the ingredients. I no longer have a can to read you the ingredients but the first 3 ingredients were potatoes, soybean and oil I believe. The first ingredient was potato. I was paying 150.00 to feed my dogs the majority of their diet in potatoes! No wonder they would not eat it. My dogs are not vegan.
   I quickly did research and found there was no company with hypoallergenic food who did any better so I began cooking for my dogs! I later put them on a raw diet but that is many blogs down the road.
   Just as I tell people about their own food, you must read labels. The pet food companies are regulated much more loosely than our own food industry and look what they are doing to us! I am going to address the chemicals they put in the dog and cat foods, the ingredients they use such as by-products and what that actually means. We will look at many of the popular brands out there and review their labels and be prepared to become disturbed.
   We are the stewards for these animals. Just like being parents of children, these animals rely on us to feed them, bath them and care for them. I take the responcibility seriously not just because I love them but because they love me.

till tomorrow, read labels