Monday, May 31, 2010

Dog Food Month--Contest Winners

I've had a lot of fun during Dog Food Month. I've met many caring, dog loving people. I've learned a lot. And I hope you have too. Thank you especially to Sharon Azar, Anthony Holloway, Jim McBean, and Michael Massie for their thoughtful guest blogs, and to Leslie Waldsmith and Bill Kelly for donating their book. I appreciate everyone who contributed, shared your thoughts, and commented.

And now, the WINNERS!
All these prizes were kindly donated. The winners were chosen from a random drawing of names of commenters (using the random number generator at random.org). And the winners are:

10 lb bag of Young Again dog food: Karen Friesecke

$50 gift certificate to k9cuisine: Mary Haight

2.5 lb bag customizable Red Moon pet food: "Rescue"

Please send your contact information to me at peggyfrezon (at) gmail (dot) com and I'll tell you what you need to know to claim your prize! If I do not hear from you within a week, a new winner will be drawn.

Congratulations!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Dog Food Month- Contest

Okay now we've learned all about dog food this month. Now it's time for the contests! The following have kindly donated prizes to be given away on this blog. Contest winners will be drawn from a random drawing of anyone who has left a comment on any of the dog food posts on this blog this month. But don't worry, there's still time! Leave a comment on this post, and you will be eligible! You may win some great dog food or a $50 gift certificate! So please enter today. Thank you!

*Leave a comment to be entered into the contest.
*Contest open until Sunday, May 30 at 11:59pm.
*Winners will be announced on this blog on Monday May 31. Winners should email me with contact information to claim your prize.

We have some great prizes:

10 lb bag of Young Again dog food.
All natural, protein rich and gluten free dog food with Rejuvene, a special, naturally-derived compound found in all Young Again dog food. Choose from puppy, large breed, adult dog, working dog, and active dog varieties.






$50 gift certificate to K9cuisine
Check out this web site featuring premium and organic dog food and treats. Hundreds of quality products to choose from, including dry, canned, raw, B.A.R.F., dehydrated, holistic, hypo allergenic, organic and vegetarian.



2.5 lb Trial size bag of custom-made Red Moon Custom Dog Food
Create food for your pet's individual needs. Choose a base formula starting with lamb or chicken, and add supplements that aid digestion, skin and coat, oral health or joints. You can even name your own food.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dog Food Month-- Reading about Eating

What's better than a dog and a book? I love snuggling up with Kelly on one side, and a good book in my hand (and perhaps a nice cold drink in the other hand?) And in this case, what better than a book about kibble and canines to complete our month-long look at dog food?

A few of my favorites are:
The Dog Diet, A Memoir: What My Dog Taught Me About Shedding Pounds, Licking Stress, and Getting a New Leash on Life by Patti Lawson (2006)

Fitness Unleashed: A Dog and Owner's Guide to Losing Weight and Gaining Health Together by Marty Becker, DVM and Robert Kushner, MD. (2006)

And a new one I haven't had a chance to check out yet:
Chow Hounds: Why Our Dogs are Getting Fatter. A Vet's Plan to Save Their Lives by Ernest Ward, DVM.

Also, hopefully my book on dieting with my dog will soon find a publisher. My agent has been diligently submitting and searching for just the right match-up!

Here's another dog food book. Lesley from Rmd Advertising kindly sent me a review copy of a new book Feeding Champions, by Holly Strawbridge, about "the life and passion" of Bill Kelly, founder of Bil-Jac dog food. The book was released this spring.
One of the most interesting facts I read about Bill Kelly was his experience in World War II, when he worked for a time in the kennels of bomb sniffing dogs. Right away he noticed these German Shepherds were weak and sickly. He revolutionized their diet, incorporating the same quality ingredients fed to his family's dogs back home. Bill's dogs always ate a meat based food, and that was back at a time when most commercial pet food was made mostly of grains. With the new diet, the health of the Shepherds improved quickly.

Later, Bill and his brother Jack (aha! Bil-Jac!) used their knowledge of animal nutrition and passion for dogs to develop a formula of "super premium" dog food. The food started off as frozen. Starting in the 1970's Bil-Jac used a process of vacuum drying that doesn't damage the product and helps preserve the nutrition. The company has been family-owned and operated for more than 60 years. You can find the book on amazon.com.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dog Food Month-- Is Your Dog too Fat?

My dog Kelly had a big butt. Seriously. Most of her body looked in proportion but, like a lot of gals, she carried her weight in her hips, thighs and derriere. When I noticed her rear view seemed a bit wide, I also realized it was time to pay more attention to how much she was eating.

I also realized that my own unhealthy eating habits were contributing to Kelly's weight gain. When I ate pizza, she got the pizza crusts. Why not? But my habit of sharing treats wasn't a kindness to my dog. Not only was I putting on weight, but she was too. I finally got both of our weight in control (and wrote the hopefully-available-in-the-near-future book, Losing it with My Dog, in the process!)

Obesity in dogs is a major problem. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimated that about 40% of our pet dogs are overweight. Although it's not too difficult to spot if Spot is chubby, Purina also has a Body Condition chart to help determine if your dog is overweight. Certain breeds tend to be more likely to put on extra weight than others; two of these breeds are cocker spaniels and dachshunds. Guess what? Kelly is a mix of cocker spaniel and dachshund!

The good news: just like with us, the solution to pet obesity is less food, more nutritious food, and exercise. I've worked hard to change my diet, and Kelly's.

Here are some healthy munchies that Kelly now eats for treats:

Baby carrots or carrot coins
Green beans
Rice Cakes
Low fat cottage cheese
Quality weight management dog biscuits

Is your dog overweight? Do you have any tips?

*Win dog food, treats and gift certificates! Just leave a comment and be entered into a drawing at the end of the month!

*Join us Wednesday for more Dog Food Month.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Dog Food Month- Ultimate Pet Food Guide

Where do you turn to get information about feeding your pet? The breeder or shelter? Your veterinarian? Television ads?

I'm learning a lot from pet lovers, dog trainers and pet business owners. In addition, a friend recently sent me a copy of this book, The Ultimate Pet Food Guide by Liz Palika. The author is a veteran dog trainer and behaviorist, and has written more than 65 books about dogs and other pets, including The Ultimate Dog Treat Cookbook.

6 Things I Learned From This Book:

1. Dogs have taste buds on their tongues like humans, and can get addicted to the taste of sugar just as people can. If we feed our dogs lots of sweets, not only is it fattening and unhealthy, but the dog may reject healthier food. Hey, I'd prefer to eat chocolate sundaes all day if given the chance!

2. Lots of diets today focus on the Glycemic Index. This is not just for people--it's important for our pets too. Food with a low GI (apple, barley, kidney beans, oatmeal) help provide more balanced sugar levels and help keep behavior stable too. If your pet has a behavior problem, it's important to review their diet, in addition to other factors.

3. If you choose to go for the convenience of commercial dog food, it's really, really important to choose a premium quality food, made with superior ingredients in the best processing conditions possible. This still may not be satisfactory for some people, but for others it is an acceptable choice.

4. Another option is to add quality home prepared foods to quality commercial food. Decrease the amount of commercial food and add some fresh turkey, carrots, pumpkin or cottage cheese.

5. When considering raw diet, the author raised some concerns but also praised Dr. Billinghursts BARF Combo fresh frozen patties as an excellent option in this area.

6. Make any changes to your dog's diet gradually. Watch for signs of upset stomach. Keep a food journal with the date, your dog's weight, health, skin and coat condition, and mental condition.

What are your thoughts? What do you feed your dog?

*Win dog food, treats and gift certificates! Just leave a comment and be entered into a drawing at the end of the month!!

*Join us Monday for more Dog Food Month and a look at canine obesity.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dog Food Month- Vegetarian Diet

We're about half way through dog food month, and I've already learned a lot about what to feed my dog. I've discovered how certain ingredients, or lack of ingredients, can affect health, skin and coat. How some food may be over-processed in order to preserve it on the shelf. I've met some caring, concerned pet food manufacturers and some devoted raw food and home prepared food advocates.

Still, there is no clear cut answer that is right for everyone. Here is another feeding option.

Some say dogs are carnivores. Some say omnivores. But can dogs be vegetarians? Advocates say yes, dogs can thrive on a meat free diet. People who prefer feeding their pets vegetarian dog food often object to the meat industry and are concerned about hormones, pesticides and antibiotics found in some commercial meat products.

This does not seem a very popular option right now, but seems to be growing in recognition. Certain supplements are suggested for canine vegetarian diets. You should be sure the dog is receiving enough protein, calcium and other nutrients and vitamins. Before trying this at home, study and follow a reputable book on the subject.

Peta offers more information about meatless diets for pets. You can also learn more at Vegepet.com. Some commercial vegetarian dog food is available. One option is V-dog.

What about you? Have you tried a vegetarian diet? Or do you think all dogs need meat?

** Leave a comment and be entered into a drawing for free dog food or gift certificate!

*Join us Wednesday for more dog food month!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Dog Food Month- Canine Food Allergies

Please welcome Michael Massie, founder of Young Again Pet Food. Today he presents his views on canine food allergies.

Canine Food Allergies
by Michael Massie

What is a food allergy?
Like in humans, a food allergy in dogs is their body’s over-reaction to a certain ingredient called an allergen. Wheat (or plant proteins), beef and dairy have been associated with 68% of allergies in dogs. Other common allergens for dogs include glutens (like barley) and corn. It may take 2-3 months or longer for a dog to become sensitized to an allergen, and up to 24 months for symptoms to appear after initial exposure to an offending ingredient.

The most common symptoms are:
• Itchy skin or ears
• Hair loss or unpleasant coat
• Persistent vomiting
• Loose stools (usually 2 to 3 per day)
• Tear staining (the discoloration around the eyes)
• Irritable or inconsistent behavior

If your dog has one or more of these symptoms then a food allergy is likely the cause.

How can I help my dog with allergies, or prevent allergies from happening to my healthy dog?
The first and best rule is never feed a dog any food that contains any kind of plant protein or dairy product. In most cases, when you eliminate the plant protein you eliminate the allergy. Strange as it sounds, most people will avoid grains like wheat and corn that have a protein level of 12% and 8%, respectively, but will feed their dog a food that contains rice and/or potatoes, which have a protein level of 7% and 8%, respectively. If a dog has an allergy to wheat he is very likely to become allergic to potato. The culprit is the protein part of the potato not the carbohydrate.
At Young Again, we solve this problem by using only animal-based proteins and carbohydrate sources that do not contain plant proteins. After 2 to 4 weeks of feeding your dog Young Again or a similar premium, non-plant protein dog food, you will notice a difference in that most allergic conditions are eliminated or eradicated.

What else can I do to help my dog?
If after one month on a diet free of plant proteins and dairy, including treats and table scraps, your dog still displays symptoms, we recommend that you see your Veterinarian. In addition, as the owner of Young Again, I would love to personally discuss your dog's food allergies with you. Conversations with dog owners just like you help us develop the next generation of pet foods creating happier, healthier dogs all around the world. I will be monitoring the post throughout the day should you have any questions or comments.

-Michael Massie

* Leave a comment or question and be entered into a drawing for free dog food, gift certificate, or treats!

*About the Author: The Founder of Young Again Pet Food, Michael Massie has over twenty years experience developing pet foods. Today, Young Again has taken all that experience and knowledge and created lines of nutritionally complete, all-natural, gluten-free pet food for fish, birds, cats, dogs, reptiles and small animals. Please feel free to contact Michael at Michael@youngagainpetfood.com.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dog Food Month- Raw Meaty Bones

Please welcome guest blogger Jim McBean. He is a dog lover and blogger at Doggy Bytes. The purpose of Doggy Bytes is "to provide useful dog/puppy related information, product information and entertainment. We tend to favour “environment friendly” dog products." Here he shares his views on Raw Meaty Bones.

Raw Meaty Bones

by Jim McBean

As much as some people might like to argue or confuse the point, dogs ARE carnivores designed to eat raw meat and bone.

Canine digestive physiology;

  • dentition, (sharp teeth obviously designed to grip, rip, tear and crunch raw flesh and bone)

  • lack of amylase an enzyme in saliva that starts the digestion of carbohydrate (possessed in the saliva of omnivores and herbivores but not carnivores)

  • stomach acid of pH of 1-2 (capable of digesting whole pieces of bone), four times more acidic than human stomach acid

  • short digestive tract designed to move food quickly from Point A to Point B

Notice I didn't include "chewing" when I talked about a dog's teeth. A dog doesn't chew, its jaws moves straight up and down with no side to side motion, a characteristic of omnivores (humans) and herbivores (cows), who's jaws are capable of lateral movement needed to chew and grind their food into smaller pieces in order to swallow and digest them. A dog's jaws were designed for ripping, tearing and cutting their food into chunks just big enough to swallow, their stomach's handle all the heavy digestion work, their saliva serves only to lubricate the esophagus to help move food through it to the stomach.

A dog's digestive tract is about one third to one half the length of of an omnivore, and is designed for quick digestion of raw meat and bone. Strong stomach acids combined with quick transit of food through its digestive system protects the carnivore from dangerous bacteria and other pathogens. This is why a healthy dog can drink pond water and rotting meat and not become ill.


Omnivores possess a much longer GI tract than carnivores giving them more time to digest complex carbohydrates, which in the dog, often times pass through undigested, evident by the big sloppy stools of kibble fed dogs that are forced to eat commercial pet foods containing grains and starches. In fact, dogs have no known requirement for carbohydrates.

"There is no known minimum dietary carbohydrate requirement for either the dog or the cat. Based on investigations in the dog and with other species it is likely that dogs and cats can be maintained without carbohydrates if the diet supplies enough fat or protein from which the metabolic requirement for glucose is derived." - Waltham Book of Dog and Cat Nutrition (2nd edition, 1988)

So What Should a Carnivore Eat?

Now that we've determined that dogs are carnivores what should they eat? The following three raw feeding principles are taken from Dr. Tom Lonsdale's book, Work Wonders: Feed Your Dog Raw Meaty Bones.


  1. Feed meaty bones raw.

  2. Feed meaty bones in large pieces to ensure maximum cleaning of teeth and gums.

  3. Feed meaty bones from a variety of animals - for instance chicken, lamb and rabbit - thus ensuring good balance of nutrients.

Here are a few low cost foods that you can start feeding your carnivore right away.


  • Turkey backs

  • Turkey necks

  • Lamb necks

  • Chicken Backs

  • Pork Hocks

  • Green Buffalo Tripe

  • Fresh Pacific Herring

  • Fresh beef heart

  • Fresh beef liver

  • Fresh beef kidney

**All of the above are always given raw, never cooked, and I always supervise my dogs when they eat.

Benefits of Feeding Raw Meaty Bones


  1. Healthy teeth and gums which means a healthier pet needing fewer vet visits saving you money.

  2. Cleaner teeth means no doggy breath.

  3. Mental stimulation and exercise by having to work at eating their raw meaty bones.

  4. Smaller firmer stool (about 1/3 the size of a kibble fed dog) that naturally expresses anal glands.

  5. A shinier, healthier coat.

  6. Fewer or no skin problems.

  7. Fewer or no ear problems.

  8. Lower chance of arthritic problems.

  9. More energy.

  10. Dogs love it!

  11. Longer life!

For a healthier, longer lived pet, feed them raw meaty bones. Challenge the status quo and do your own research into feeding your pet carnivore a species appropriate raw meaty bones diet.

Leave your drugs in the chemist's pot if you can heal your patients with food. - Hippocrates

Recommended Reading

Work Wonders: Feed Your Dog Raw Meaty Bones
- Tom Lonsdale


Yahoo Groups

Raw Meaty Bones

Raw Feeding

Do you use raw meaty bones? How does your dog like them? Leave us a comment here.

*Check in Monday for more Dog Food Month about canine food allergies.
* Leave a comment or question and be entered into a drawing for free dog food, gift certificate, or treats at the end of the month!

*Jim McBean is a blogger, dog lover and guardian to a Border Collie named Sweety and an American Pit Bull Terrier named Zeus. Jim blogs at http://doggybytes.ca on canine health and nutrition with emphasis on feeding dogs a diet of raw meaty bones.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Dog Food Month-- How Daisy the Dog Inspired a Business

Please welcome our guest, Anthony Holloway, CEO of K9Cuisine, online source for premium dog food, organic dog food and treats. Here he tells us how an adopted dog helped inspire a whole new business.

Q- Hi Anthony! I hear that your dog played an instrumental role in influencing your business. Tell us a little bit about Daisy.

A.-We adopted an 11-month-old pup that had been returned by her family due to behavioral problems. Her name was Trouble. She appeared to have some nervous issues. In her final antic, she had completely demolished her family’s leather couch. Upon adoption, we changed her name to Daisy and set out to determine what triggered the negative behavior.

It was quickly apparent that Daisy was an ultra-sensitive dog. She would chew her feet, quiver and shake, throw up, and hide and the cycle would repeat. While we were not admonishing her, she clearly was stressed out. We believed that she really did want to please, and if we could stop the cycle, she could be a wonderful pet.

Q. I'm glad you changed her name! How did you help Daisy?

A.- Finally one day at the Vet with yet another ear infection, we began to piece together her symptoms. (Chronic ear infections, chewing of the feet, chronic nausea) The vet suggested we begin a battery of allergy tests. Not wanting to add to Daisy’s stress, we set out to research and obtain information on pet allergies. Due to the nausea, we were especially concerned with food related allergies.

Q.- How did you discover what food would help Daisy?

A.- Research suggested we isolate ingredients to determine her tolerance. We switched to a food with a single carbohydrate and a single source protein. We started with Burns Health Chicken and Brown Rice. She improved for a while and then the nausea began again. We tried the Burns Ocean Fish and Brown Rice. Again, she improved for a while. Ear infections and chewing of the feet were better, but the nausea started again. So we finally eliminated all grains and began feeding Orijen. We immediately noticed a difference. Daisy no longer suffered from nausea or the anxiety she had from messes created by her vomiting. She became a different dog. Always aiming to please, she was finally comfortable in her own skin and able to relax.

Q.- So how did all this start K9Cuisine?

A.- Our experience identifying Daisy’s dietary needs coupled with our frustration in sourcing the higher quality foods which we knew she so desperately needed, led to our launching K9Cuisine.com. We started our web based pet food store with only a few of the highest quality all natural dog foods.

Our business immediately took off. After three years and substantial growth, we now offer over 4,000 different products. We specialize in premium all natural pet nutrition – no corn, no wheat, no soy, no glutens. Our dog and cat foods, treats, and chews must pass rigorous scrutiny before we offer them to our customers. But what truly sets us apart from our competition is our level of customer service. 98% of our orders ship the same day and we offer free shipping on orders over $50. And we welcome opportunities to assist our customers in their buying decisions by offering live chat and answering our own phones.

We know firsthand what a difference an all-natural, healthy diet can make on our pet’s life and our own lives. We feel fortunate to be able to work with others to find a solution that works for them.

Do you have any questions for Anthony? Ask them here, or leave a comment. Thanks!

*Check in Friday for Jim McBean from Doggy Bytes on Raw Meaty Bones.
* Leave a comment or question and be entered into a drawing for free dog food, gift certificate, or treats at the end of the month!

*Anthony was born and raised on a farm in rural Kentucky where he learned to love and care for animals of all kinds. He graduated with a business degree and lives in Illinois. Dogs in his life have been a mutt Jetta, cocker spaniels Sport and Tiff, and English pointer Murphy, and a rescue lab Daisy. He and his wife have three children. Be sure to stop by and visit his pet blog.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dog Food Month- Home Prepared Food

Please welcome guest blogger, Sharon Azar. She's an animal rescuer, accomplished artist, and dog blogger. Today she shares with you her views on Home Prepared Foods.

Cooking for Our Best Friends
by Sharon Azar

I’m an advocate for home prepared meals. Processed food has chemicals and fillers that have no nutritional value. Food as Mother Nature intended it is best.

I’ve heard people say, “it’s difficult and time consuming to buy and prepare fresh food”, but really, it only seems that way. I prepare a large pot of meat, green veggies, carrots, potatoes (all organic), filtered water--with some nice herbs (Jamaican curry, dill and kosher salt; garlic; you can be creative here). I serve some of it fresh and freeze the rest in small freezer containers; and voila! Plenty of food for the next few days!

Because dogs need bone meal, I add it to their food; or if they’ve been really good boys and girls, they get a real beef marrow bone. (no chicken, turkey or lamb bones!). For small dogs who cannot chew a large beef bone, bone meal is fine.

Doggies are omnivores. Some crave more meat than others, but there’s very little that dogs cannot eat. Some of those forbidden foods are onions, chocolate (the worst offender), cat food, small animal bones, grapes and raisins.

Carrots are good for dogs to eat, great for their teeth, and help a dog’s digestive system. Just remember to keep carrots to less than 10 percent of the total diet. Too many carrots, like too much of any one ingredient, could unbalance the diet.

Here is a recipe your dog might enjoy:
Doggie Carrot Cake

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon soy flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4-1/2cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)

1 egg

¼ cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup honey

1 cup baby carrots, grated or ground
Directions:

Combine flours, baking soda and peanut butter.

Mix in egg, oil, vanilla, honey and carrots until well combined.

Pour mixture into a 9x9-inch cake pan.

Bake at 325°F for 15 to 20 minutes.

Cool completely

What about you? Do you use home prepared foods? Do you have any questions for Sharon? A recipe of your own to share?

*Check in Wednesday for more Dog Food Month as we learn about Daisy, the dog who inspired a pet food business.
* Leave a comment or question and be entered into a drawing for free dog food, gift certificate, or treats at the end of the month!

*Sharon Azar is an assistant to the editorial staff at GUIDEPOSTS magazine, a strong animal advocate and dog and cat rescuer. She also creates portraits of furry, feathered and scaled companion animals. She lives with two dogs Chili (Chihuahua mix) and PoohBear (Husky/ChowChow) and one cat. Check out her dog blog, WOOF! (Wagging On and On Forever!)-- advice, information, resources and true stories about our animal friends.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dog Food Month- Natural and Organic

Natural. Organic. Holistic. These words are used a lot today, but when it comes to dog food, what do they mean?

Some of the claims I discovered from manufacturers of natural dog foods are:

1. Produced in USDA, FDA and AAFCO approved facilities

2. USDA inspected meats of human grade.

3. Naturally preserved

4. High quality ingredients

5. Experts to ensure quality and safety of the food

6. In-depth cleaning and sanitation of manufacturing facilities

7. Testing grain shipments for mycrotoxins

8. Developed by pet-health doctorate professionals

9. Naturally colored foods

10. "Nature-identical" ingredient profiles

Premium dog foods are generally not found in your supermarket. So, feeding your dog a natural or organic food may require a special trip to the pet store. They also are likely to be more expensive than your supermarket brands.

However, each one boasts quality ingredients, quality manufacturing and product safety. Here are some brands of natural or organic dog food. This is not a complete list. If you use a natural or organic dog food, or are a natural or organic dog food producer, please leave a comment and tell us about your brand.

Natura

Nutro Natural Choice

Canidae

Blue Buffalo


Wysong

Wellness

Holistic Select

Young Again


What do you think of natural and organic foods? What are the pros and cons? Does your dog like them?

* Join us MONDAY as we learn about Home Prepared dog foods.
* Leave a comment or question and be entered into a drawing for free dog food, gift certificate, or treats at the end of the month!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dog Food Month--What's In that Bag?

I want to feed my dog the healthiest diet possible. But knowing what is best for Kelly isn't always easy. I mean, perhaps homemade food, or other options, are healthiest (we'll explore this in later posts) but is commercial kibble really BAD? And what exactly is in that food?

Most commercial dog foods include a form of animal protein (such as meat or chicken), vegetable protein (such as corn), cereal and grains, and fat. Among the labels I read, I found Chicken, Lamb, Beef, Liver, Potatoes, Carrots, Brown Rice, Dehydrated Eggs, Corn, Corn Syrup, Wheat Flour, Wheat Bran, and Whey. But...there are some other ingredients that don't sound quite as familiar.

Here, from the (AAFCO) Association of American Feed Control Officials are definitions of some other common dog food ingredients:

* Animal Digest-- material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue.

* Chicken Meal –chicken which has been ground or otherwise reduced in particle size.

* Corn Gluten - that part of the commercial shelled corn that remains after the extraction of the larger portion of the starch, gluten, and term by the processes employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup.

* Meat By-Products - the non rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hooves.

* Lamb Bone Meal - (steamed) dried and ground product sterilized by undecomposed bones with steam under pressure. Grease, gelatin and meat fiber may or may not be removed.

* Soybean Hulls- consist primarily of the outer covering of the soybean.

So, what did I learn by investigating dog food labels?

1. To select a higher quality dog food, look for whole chicken or other lean protein source listed first in the ingredients. (The first product is the largest amount.)

2. Choose food that is low in fat.

3. Make sure the food is certified by the AAFCO.

4. Know what your dog is allergic to and read the labels to make sure that product isn't included.

What about you? Do you feed your dog commercial kibble? Is convenience the main factor in choosing this type of food? Tell us what you think.

* Join us FRIDAY as we explore Natural and organic dog food.
* Free dog food and treats contest at the end of the month. To enter contest, just leave a comment or tweet about these posts.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Welcome to Dog Food Month

I am a person who sometimes struggles with believing something is positive... and acting upon that belief. For example, I believe in saving the environment, yet I still sometimes use paper towels and drink out of disposable plastic water bottles.

I realize the same is true when it comes to my pet's food. I believe in feeding the healthiest, wholesome ingredients. And yet, sometimes I buy what I have a coupon for or what is handy. And then I also realized, I don't fully understand what is healthy and what I should feed my dog.

So, I decided to devote this entire month to dog food, and learning all I can about it. I welcome your insight, comments and personal experiences. Please leave a comment or DM me if you'd like to contribute a post. Upcoming posts will feature guest blogs, product reviews, book reviews, and reports on natural and holistic food, obesity, vegetarian food, raw food and more. Please join us right here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in May for dog food week.

How about you? What do you feed your dog, and why?

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