Shared Blog Post – The CDC Weighs in on Raw Food – Should You Believe Them?

This August 5th, 2017 post on the blog of veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker discusses the Center for Disease Controls latest thoughts on feeding raw pet food. She comments “I don’t know that people working for the CDC, or the FDA, or AAFCO “hate” raw pet food. I DO know that for reasons only they can explain and so far haven’t, they seem very invested in issuing ongoing warnings about the so-called dangers of raw pet food, despite ample evidence that raw diet recalls represent a laughably small percentage of total pet food recalls, year after year.” She then goes on to discuss the fact that dry and canned foods are recalled for bacterial contamination far more than commercial raw pet foods.

You can read the entire post at http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2017/08/05/cdc-weighs-in-on-raw-pet-food.aspx?utm_source=petsnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20170805Z1&et_cid=DM152978&et_rid=3824758

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)

Pet Nutrition – Should I Feed My Pet A Raw Diet?http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/09/11/pet-nutrition-should-i-feed-my-pet-a-raw-diet/

 

©05AUG17, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved
< Click for Copyright and Use Policy >

Shared Blog Post – FDA on a Witch Hunt Against Commercial Pet Food? A Little Spritz of This Makes Pet Food Far Safer

FDA on a Witch Hunt Against Commercial Pet Food? A Little Spritz of This Makes Pet Food Far Safer – Dr. Karen Becker, a veterinarian, and raw food proponent, discusses a study which demonstrates the efficacy of using bacteriophages to reduce the presence of salmonella, listeria and E. coli in raw pet food. These products have been approved by the FDA for use on human food. “Unlike other methods used to kill pathogens, for example, irradiation, pressurization or chlorine washes, bacteriophages don’t affect the color, taste, texture or odor of ingredients. It’s a 100 percent natural approach to killing bacteria in raw food.” The article also contains a very useful section entitled Things Every Pet Parent Should Know About Salmonella and Raw Feeding. If you feed raw, are thinking about feeding raw, or are afraid to feed raw, you should read this article. http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2016/11/28/raw-pet-food-salmonella.aspx

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)

 

What do you feed your dog?http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/05/31/pet-nutrition-what-do-you-feed-your-dog/

Video – The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton – A video of animal nutritionist, Dr. Richard Patton’s presentation, The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition, presented for Green Acres Kennel Shop in Bangor, ME on April 28th, 2016. – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/09/10/pet-nutrition-the-science-and-dogma-of-pet-nutrition-with-dr-richard-patton/

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Changes in Pet Food and Nutrition – part 1 – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/11/23/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-changes-in-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-1/

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Pet Food and Nutrition – part 2http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/12/15/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-2/

 

Book Review – Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – The paradox of pet nutrition by Richard Pattonhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/03/16/book-review-ruined-by-excess-perfected-by-lack-the-paradox-of-pet-nutrition-by-richard-patton/

Pet Nutrition –Vital Essentials® Pet Foodhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/14/pet-nutrition-vital-essentials-pet-food/

 

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)

 

What do you feed your pets?http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow2016-06-04-What_do_you_feed_your_pets.mp3

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Pattonhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/03/podcast-pet-nutrition-with-dr-richard-patton/

Podcast – Raw Diets and the Carnivore Meat Company-Vital Essentials-Dee Ferranti and Jodi Langellottihttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/17/podcast-raw-diets-and-the-carnivore-meat-company-vital-essentials-dee-ferranti-and-jodi-langellotti/

Podcast – Holistic and Complementary Wellness for Pets – Nutrition and Raw Food for Pets with Bette Schubert from Bravo Pet Foodshttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2016-10-01Holistic_and_Complementary_Wellness_for_Pets-Nutrition_Raw_Food_Pets-Bette_Schubert_Bravo_Pet_Foods.mp3

Podcast – The Rationale for Feeding Pets Raw Foods with Bette Schubert from Bravo Pet Foodshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/03/podcast-the-rationale-for-feeding-pets-raw-foods-with-bette-schubert-from-bravo-pet-foods/

Podcast – Bravo’s Raw Pets Food, Treats, Chewables and Bones with Bette Shuberthttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/08/10/podcast-bravos-raw-pets-food-treats-chewables-and-bones-with-bette-shubert/

Podcast – Feeding Your Pet A Raw Diet with Gary Bursell of Steve’s Real Food for Petshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/03/16/podcast-feeding-your-pet-a-raw-diet-with-gary-bursell-of-steves-real-food-for-pets/

Podcast – Feeding Your Pet A Raw Diet with Nicole Lindsley of Steve’s Real Food for Petshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/03/23/podcast-feeding-your-pet-a-raw-diet-with-nicole-lindsley-of-steves-real-food-for-pets/

Books

Beginnings – Getting Your Dog and Cat Started on a Raw Diet by Melinda Miller and Honoring Your Cat’s Natural Diet by Terri Grow <Click here for a free download>

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats – The Ultimate Diet – Kymythy Schultze

Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – Dr. Richard Patton

See Spot Live Longer – Steve Brown and Beth Taylor

The Truth About Pet Foods – Dr. Randy Wysong

Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet – Steve Brown

 

Web Sites and FaceBook Pages

Bravo Pet Foods(http://www.bravopetfoods.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/BravoPetFoods/)

Steve’s Real Food for Pets – (http://www.stevesrealfood.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/StevesRealFood/)

Vital Essentials – (http://www.vitalessentialsraw.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/VitalEssentialsRaw/)

 

©28-Nov-16, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Pet Nutrition – Should I Feed My Pet A Raw Diet?

tikken-was-fed-raw-most-of-her-life-800x800

Updated 05AUG17

Raw diets, either frozen or freeze-dried, are becoming increasingly popular with pet parents that want to feed their pet the best diet possible for optimal health and wellness. We started feeding our pets a raw diet in 2001 and started selling commercial raw diets at Green Acres Kennel Shop in 2002. Clients frequently ask me about my experience feeding and selling raw diets as well as specific questions about the raw diets we sell in the store. This post contains links to articles and podcasts that specifically address feeding pets a raw diet. I will update it as we add additional information.

If you prefer to discuss this in person, please stop by the store. We enjoy talking about nutrition and helping people find food that will benefit their pet and budget.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)

 

What do you feed your dog?http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/05/31/pet-nutrition-what-do-you-feed-your-dog/

Video – The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton – A video of animal nutritionist, Dr. Richard Patton’s presentation, The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition, presented for Green Acres Kennel Shop in Bangor, ME on April 28th, 2016. – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/09/10/pet-nutrition-the-science-and-dogma-of-pet-nutrition-with-dr-richard-patton/

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Changes in Pet Food and Nutrition – part 1http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/11/23/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-changes-in-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-1/

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Pet Food and Nutrition – part 2http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/12/15/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-2/

Book Review – Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – The paradox of pet nutrition by Richard Pattonhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/03/16/book-review-ruined-by-excess-perfected-by-lack-the-paradox-of-pet-nutrition-by-richard-patton/

Book Review – Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Health by Kymythy Schultzehttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/07/31/book-review-natural-nutrition-for-cats-the-path-to-purrfect-health-by-kymythy-schultze/

Pet Nutrition –Vital Essentials® Pet Foodhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/14/pet-nutrition-vital-essentials-pet-food/

Shared Blog Post – FDA on a Witch Hunt Against Commercial Pet Food? A Little Spritz of This Makes Pet Food Far Saferhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/11/28/shared-blog-post-fda-on-a-witch-hunt-against-commercial-pet-food-a-little-spritz-of-this-makes-pet-food-far-safer/

Shared Blog Post – The CDC Weighs in on Raw Food – Should You Believe Them?http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/08/05/shared-blog-post-the-cdc-weighs-in-on-raw-food-should-you-believe-them/

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)

 What do you feed your pets?http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow2016-06-04-What_do_you_feed_your_pets.mp3

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Pattonhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/03/podcast-pet-nutrition-with-dr-richard-patton/

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Kymythy Schultze Author of Natural Nutrition for Cats: The Path to Purrfect Healthhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2017/07/31/podcast-pet-nutrition-with-kymythy-schultze-author-of-natural-nutrition-for-cats-the-path-to-purrfect-health/

Podcast – Raw Diets and the Carnivore Meat Company-Vital Essentials-Dee Ferranti and Jodi Langellottihttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/17/podcast-raw-diets-and-the-carnivore-meat-company-vital-essentials-dee-ferranti-and-jodi-langellotti/

Podcast – Holistic and Complementary Wellness for Pets – Nutrition and Raw Food for Pets with Bette Schubert from Bravo Pet Foodshttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow-2016-10-01Holistic_and_Complementary_Wellness_for_Pets-Nutrition_Raw_Food_Pets-Bette_Schubert_Bravo_Pet_Foods.mp3

Podcast – The Rationale for Feeding Pets Raw Foods with Bette Schubert from Bravo Pet Foodshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/03/podcast-the-rationale-for-feeding-pets-raw-foods-with-bette-schubert-from-bravo-pet-foods/

Podcast – Bravo’s Raw Pets Food, Treats, Chewables and Bones with Bette Shuberthttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/08/10/podcast-bravos-raw-pets-food-treats-chewables-and-bones-with-bette-shubert/

Podcast – Feeding Your Pet A Raw Diet with Gary Bursell of Steve’s Real Food for Petshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/03/16/podcast-feeding-your-pet-a-raw-diet-with-gary-bursell-of-steves-real-food-for-pets/

Podcast – Feeding Your Pet A Raw Diet with Nicole Lindsley of Steve’s Real Food for Petshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/03/23/podcast-feeding-your-pet-a-raw-diet-with-nicole-lindsley-of-steves-real-food-for-pets/

Books

Beginnings – Getting Your Dog and Cat Started on a Raw Diet by Melinda Miller and Honoring Your Cat’s Natural Diet by Terri Grow <Click here for a free download>

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats – The Ultimate Diet – Kymythy Schultze

Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – Dr. Richard Patton

See Spot Live Longer – Steve Brown and Beth Taylor

The Truth About Pet Foods – Dr. Randy Wysong

Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet – Steve Brown

 

Web Sites and FaceBook Pages

Bravo Pet Foods(http://www.bravopetfoods.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/BravoPetFoods/)

Steve’s Real Food for Pets – (http://www.stevesrealfood.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/StevesRealFood/)

Vital Essentials – (http://www.vitalessentialsraw.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/VitalEssentialsRaw/)

 

©28NOV16, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Pet Nutrition – The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton

dr-patton

On April 28th of 2016, Green Acres Kennel Shop hosted animal nutritionist Dr. Richard Patton for an educational seminar entitled The Science and Dogma of Pet Nutrition. This presentation is now available as a video.

<Click to watch video>

You will want to watch this video if your pet:

  • Has food allergies and intolerances
  • Has digestive difficulties
  • Is overweight or obese
  • Suffers from chronic diseases such as kidney disease or diabetes
  • If you want to be sure you are doing the best for your pet nutritionally

Dr. Patton has over forty years of experience as a consultant on animal nutrition working in 22 different countries with everything from livestock and zoo animals to companion pets. He was an adjunct professor at Pennsylvania State University for 15 years and is the author of Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack, the Paradox of Pet Nutrition, a book which discusses pet nutrition and the pet obesity crisis. Not beholden to any one company, Dr. Patton is an independent nutritional consultant; his main concern is the health of our pets.

Last fall Paula and I had the opportunity to attend one of Dr. Patton’s seminars. We were not only impressed by his passion and breadth of knowledge on pet nutrition but were equally impressed by Dr. Patton’s ability to take technical concepts about nutrition and explain them from a common sense perspective. Dr. Patton discusses the following topics; the essential ingredients for optimal nutrition, wet food versus dry food, the drawback, and benefits of raw and natural diets, the role of behavior in nutrition; both the pets and the owners, an insider’s view of the pet food industry, and the pet obesity epidemic. He also answers several questions from the audience.

I want to thank Vital Essentials (http://www.vitalessentialsraw.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/VitalEssentialsRaw/) for helping to make this seminar and video possible.

<Click to watch video>

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)

What do you feed your dog?http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/05/31/pet-nutrition-what-do-you-feed-your-dog/

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Changes in Pet Food and Nutrition – part 1http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/11/23/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-changes-in-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-1/

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Pet Food and Nutrition – part 2http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/12/15/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-2/

Book Review – Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – The paradox of pet nutrition by Richard Pattonhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/03/16/book-review-ruined-by-excess-perfected-by-lack-the-paradox-of-pet-nutrition-by-richard-patton/

Pet Nutrition –Vital Essentials® Pet Foodhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/14/pet-nutrition-vital-essentials-pet-food/

 

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)

What do you feed your pets?http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow2016-06-04-What_do_you_feed_your_pets.mp3

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Pattonhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/03/podcast-pet-nutrition-with-dr-richard-patton/

Podcast – Raw Diets and the Carnivore Meat Company-Vital Essentials-Dee Ferranti and Jodi Langellottihttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/17/podcast-raw-diets-and-the-carnivore-meat-company-vital-essentials-dee-ferranti-and-jodi-langellotti/

Podcast – The Rationale for Feeding Pets Raw Foods with Bette Schubert from Bravo Pet Foodshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/03/podcast-the-rationale-for-feeding-pets-raw-foods-with-bette-schubert-from-bravo-pet-foods/

Podcast – Bravo’s Raw Pets Food, Treats, Chewables and Bones with Bette Shuberthttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/08/10/podcast-bravos-raw-pets-food-treats-chewables-and-bones-with-bette-shubert/

Podcast – Feeding Your Pet A Raw Diet with Gary Bursell of Steve’s Real Food for Petshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/03/16/podcast-feeding-your-pet-a-raw-diet-with-gary-bursell-of-steves-real-food-for-pets/

Podcast – Feeding Your Pet A Raw Diet with Nicole Lindsley of Steve’s Real Food for Petshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/03/23/podcast-feeding-your-pet-a-raw-diet-with-nicole-lindsley-of-steves-real-food-for-pets/

Books

Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – Dr. Richard Patton

 

©10-Sep-16, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Pet Nutrition –Vital Essentials® Pet Food

Green Acres Kennel Shop is very excited to be offering the Carnivore Meat Companies Vital Essentials® line of frozen and freeze-dried pet foods, snacks, and treats.

As you probably know, Green Acres is pretty persnickety when it comes to adding a new food line. Just because a manufacturer or distributor wants us to sell their VE_Logo_Primary_webproduct does not mean we automatically say “Yes” and allow their products on our shelves. Even if we know a pet food is a big seller in other stores, if we are not comfortable with feeding that food to our pets, we will not sell it at Green Acres Kennel Shop.

We first started looking at Vital Essentials in the fall of 2015, requesting information on the company and the products. After carefully reviewing the information provided, we were very impressed and took the next step; to try the product with our pets. We were extremely pleased with our pet’s reaction to the food and decided to add Vital Essentials to our offerings at the end of April of 2016. This is the same time Vital Essentials helped us bring Dr. Richard Patten to town to present two free seminars on pet nutrition.

At the end of July, Paula and I went to visit the Vital Essentials plant in Green Bay,

Vital Essentials VP Kevin Malnor, Paula Hanson & Don Hanson
Vital Essentials VP Kevin Malnor, Paula Hanson & Don Hanson

WI. After meeting with the company President and marketing, quality and production team, we are even more pleased to have Vital Essentials as part of our product line-up. Thank you for your hospitality and openness Lanny, Kevin, Erica and others!

 

What We Like About the Vital Essentials® Company

  • PIONEERS – Raw food for pets is a relatively new market segment, but Vital Essentials roots in the raw food for pets business goes back to 1968 and they have been involved in the meat industry for even longer. They are a pioneer in the raw pet food industry and know what they are doing.
  • FAMILY OWNED & OPERATED – Vital Essentials is family owned and operated, and is a complete pet food company; they create the formulations, purchase the raw ingredients, produce, package and sell the food. From our twenty years of experience in this industry, we have observed that smaller companies like Vital Essentials produce a better product and are more committed to their retailers and end-users, you and your pets. We prefer working with companies that have control over the entire manufacturing process. Many companies without a manufacturing facility turn the production of their food over to another company, maybe even the lowest bidder. That is kind of like grandma having some big conglomerate try to make her famous yeast rolls. I know that would disappoint me. My point is, this, if the owner of the company does not actively supervise the selection of raw materials and the preparation of the food, how much control do they have over the quality of the food? I like that the owners of Vital Essentials monitor the quality of their food every day.
  • PET FOCUSED – Vital Essentials only provides meat products for pets; they are not in the business of making candy, baby formula or jam like the conglomerates in the pet food industry; Mars, Nestle, and Smucker’s. During our visit, company President Lanny Viegut indicated that he views Vital Essentials more as a meat shop for pets, rather than as a pet food company. We like that description and its focus on pets.
  • THEY KNOW MEAT & NUTRITION – Vital Essentials® understands that dogs and
    Freshly Ground Beef Patties Being Flash Frozen
    Freshly ground beef patties being flash frozen

    cats are carnivores that need meat in their diet and do not need soluble carbohydrates in the amounts found in most pet foods. With their extensive experience in the meat processing industry, they know and understand that the manner in which livestock is raised and handled is critical to their foods nutritional value, and choose only the best raw materials for their product.

THEIR MISSION – We love the Vital Essentials® mission: “We believe that every dog and cat in the world; regardless of financial means, urban or rural, deserves the opportunity to have access to the finest food available. We also believe that, other than natural prey, we provide the most healthy, delicious, innovative and biologically appropriate, commercially available pet food in the world. Therefore, we will leverage our God-given talents, passion and resources to do whatever is necessary to ensure that every dog parent or cat parent who wants us or needs us will have a convenient and effective mechanism to access and procure our “World Class” pet food and treats, in the United States and around the world.”

  • QUALITY INGREDIENTS – The ingredients that go into Vital Essentials products are all sourced from America’s heartland. They use only USDA certified and inspected animal protein. No foreign ingredients go into any Vital Essentials products. Nor do Vital Essential products contain; added hormones or antibiotics, added fillers or flavorings, artificial preservatives or coloring, synthetic vitamins or minerals, or rendered by-products. Vital Essential products do contain whole meat, organs, and bones and are free of gluten and grain.
  • NUTRITIONAL STANDARDS – Vital Essentials diets are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Dog and Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.
  • INNOVATIVE PROCESSING – Vital Essentials exclusive VE Freeze-Drying process retains all the active nutritional elements and allows the food to be safely and conveniently stored without refrigeration. Their 48 hour “slow” VE Freeze-Drying process locks in vital nutrients without cooking the RAW meat. The fresh, life-sustaining nutrients are NEVER lost during the VE Freeze-Drying process.
  • INNOVATIVE PACKAGING – Vital Essentials freeze-dried foods and treats are packaged in bags impervious to oxygen, once sealed, and are flushed with nitrogen before the bag is sealed to remove all oxygen from the package. This keeps the food fresher.
  • QUALITY STANDARDS – Vital Essentials products are made in a USDA Certified facility which means that they are packed under the continuous inspection of the USDA. Additionally, they are FDA registered and inspected, EU Certified and are also compliant with FSSC 22000 and the GFSI (Global Food Safety Initiative). Paula and I had to read and sign-off on quality procedures before we could take the plant tour. We have visited other plants where that was not required. The quality standards at Vital Essentials are obviously very high, as they should be.
  • 60 DAY GUARANTEE – The Vital Essentials 60 day consumer satisfaction guarantee gives you the freedom to try their products risk-free. If your pet has a hard time switching to Vital Essentials or just doesn’t like a certain protein you can return the product to the store where purchased for a full refund.

 

What We Like About Vital Essentials Food

  • SINGLE PROTEINS – The Vital Essential entrées are made with a single animal protein. This is critical if your dog has food insensitivities or intolerances. Because these foods are so simple and natural, they are an ideal choice for a pet that is intolerant or “allergic” to certain food ingredients.
  • MULTIPLE PROTEIN CHOICES – Green Acres has been an advocate of rotating your pet’s diet for many years. The multiple protein options available from Vital Essentials make that very easy.
    • DOGS – Flash frozen options are available in the following proteins; beef, chicken, duck, fish, rabbit, turkey and wild boar. Freeze-Dried options include; beef, chicken, duck, fish, rabbit, and turkey.
    • CATS – Freeze-dried options include; beef, chicken, duck, fish, and turkey. Watch for flash frozen options for cats coming soon!
  • MULTIPLE FORMATS IN FROZEN AND FREEZE-DRIED PRODUCT – Depending on the size of your pet and the number of pets in your home, it is helpful to have various formats of food in different sizes available. If you have several large dogs, the Vital Essential chubs will be your most economical choice. If you have a smaller dog, you might find the mini-patties or nibblets to be the most convenient. You might prefer to feed frozen at home because it is less expensive, but choose to use freeze-dried when you travel because it needs no refrigeration, but is still as nutritious as the frozen food. We feed mostly frozen but always keep freeze-dried on hand for those times where we have not prepped frozen food ahead of time. Muppy loves either.
    • DOGS – Vital Essentials frozen entrées are available as; nibblets 2oz mini patties, 8oz patties or 5lbs chubs. Freeze-dried entrées are available as toppers, mini-nibs, nibblets, mini-patties, and patties.
    • CATS – Freeze-dried entrées are available as toppers and nibblets. Watch for flash frozen options coming soon!
  • EASY TRANSITIONS – It is often beneficial to switch a pet to a new food slowly, Vital Essentials offers many different options for transitioning to their product. One of the easiest ways to do so is with their freeze-dried toppers. All you need to do is sprinkle some of the topper on your pets existing food, either at every meal or at a frequency that is within your budget. Even if you do not feed a raw diet on a regular basis, your pet will benefit and enjoy you the addition of toppers on an intermittent basis.

 

What We Like About Vital Essentials Treats & Snacks

Vital Essentials takes the same approach to their treat and snack products as they

Don Learning to roll a cod skin so it can be freeze dried for the VE Raw Bar
Don Learning to roll a cod skin so it can be freeze dried for the VE Raw Bar

do their food. Their freeze-dried training treats make an excellent choice for a high-value training treat. The snacks and frozen raw bones are an excellent alternative to less healthy choices like rawhides and plasticized dental treats.

  • DOG TREATS – Freeze-Dried options include; beef nibs, beef tripe, chicken breast, chicken hearts, duck nibs, minnows, rabbit bites, turkey giblets, and wild Alaskan salmon.
  • CAT TREATS – Freeze-dried cat treats include; ahi tuna, chicken breast, chicken giblets, duck liver, minnows, rabbit bites, wild Alaskan salmon.
  • FREEZE-DRIED DOG SNACKS – Bully Sticks, Beef Tendons, Turkey Necks, and Salmon Skins are available as nutritious, snack options for your dog.
  • FROZEN BEEF BONES – If you like including fresh frozen bones in your pets diet, you can rest assured that Vital Essentials prepares their spare ribs, center cut arm bones, and knee caps so that they are both safe and nutritious.
  • TRIPE – Green Tripe is a great source of probiotics, calcium, digestive enzymes, and much more. Tripe promotes a healthy digestive system and boosts a pets’ immune systems. It is a super food for dogs and is available as frozen nibblets and patties or as freeze-dried I add a few nibblets to Muppy’s dish at almost every meal.

What We Like About Vital Essentials Raw Bar

Muppy enjoys a freeze-dried duck neck from the VE Raw Bar for her 5th birthday
Muppy enjoys a freeze-dried duck neck from the VE Raw Bar for her 5th birthday

The VE Raw Bar™ is an exciting new concept and Green Acres Kennel Shop is proud to be one of the first retailers to offer these healthy snacks for our pets. At the Raw Bar, you will find eleven exotic freeze-dried snack selections (chicken necks, duck necks, duck feet, turkey necks, turkey wings, turkey tails, pig ears, cod skins, salmon skins, bully sticks, and braided bully sticks.)  VE snacks give your pet an added boost of vitamins, protein, and stimulation while helpings keep dogs’ teeth strong and healthy. From our perspective, this is a far better option than a plasticized dog treat. Muppy gives the VE Raw Bar 5 Woofs, her highest rating.

 

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)

Pet Nutrition – What Do You Feed Your Dog?http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/05/31/pet-nutrition-what-do-you-feed-your-dog/

Nutrition – Why Rotating Diets Makes Sense –http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2012/05/04/nutrition-why-rotating-diets-makes-sense/

Book Review – Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – The paradox of pet nutrition by Richard Patton – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/03/16/book-review-ruined-by-excess-perfected-by-lack-the-paradox-of-pet-nutrition-by-richard-patton/

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)

What do you feed your pets? –http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow2016-06-04-What_do_you_feed_your_pets.mp3

Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton –http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow2016-04-02-Pet_Nutrition_with_Dr_Richard_Patton.mp3

Podcast – Raw Diets and the Carnivore Meat Company-Vital Essentials-Dee Ferranti and Jodi Langellottihttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/17/podcast-raw-diets-and-the-carnivore-meat-company-vital-essentials-dee-ferranti-and-jodi-langellotti/

Web Sites

Vital Essentials Website – http://www.vitalessentialsraw.com/

 

©14AUG16, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Podcast – The Rationale for Feeding Pets Raw Foods with Bette Schubert from Bravo Pet Foods

< Click to Listen to Podcast>

3aug13-bravo-rationale-for-feeding-raw-400x400In this episode of The Woof Meow Show on August 3rd, 2013, Kate and Don interview Bette Schubert one of the founders of Bravo Pet Foods. We discuss how and why Bette became one of the pioneers of the raw pet food industry. We will talk about the rationale for feeding our pets a diet of raw food and recent changes in regulations affecting the pet food industry.

< Click to Listen to Podcast>

 

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)

What do you feed your dog?http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/05/31/pet-nutrition-what-do-you-feed-your-dog/

Book Review – Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – The paradox of pet nutrition by Richard Pattonhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/03/16/book-review-ruined-by-excess-perfected-by-lack-the-paradox-of-pet-nutrition-by-richard-patton/

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)

What do you feed your pets?http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow2016-06-04-What_do_you_feed_your_pets.mp3

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Pattonhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/03/podcast-pet-nutrition-with-dr-richard-patton/

Podcast – Bravo’s Raw Pets Food, Treats, Chewables and Bones with Bette Shuberthttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/08/10/podcast-bravos-raw-pets-food-treats-chewables-and-bones-with-bette-shubert/

Books

Beginnings – Getting Your Dog and Cat Started on a Raw Diet by Melinda Miller and Honoring Your Cat’s Natural Diet by Terri Grow <Click here for a free download>

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats – The Ultimate Diet – Kymythy Schultze

Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – Dr. Richard Patton

See Spot Live Longer – Steve Brown and Beth Taylor

The Truth About Pet Foods – Dr. Randy Wysong

Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet – Steve Brown

Web Sites

Bravo Pet Foods – http://www.bravopetfoods.com/index.html

 

©03AUG13, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Pet Nutrition – What Do You Feed Your Dog?

<Updated 11SEP16>

< A version of this article was published in the June 2016 issue of Downeast Dog News>

<This topic was also discussed on The Woof Meow Show on 4JUN16 – click to listen>

Don and Muppy-Fall 2015-1Most of you know that I own Green Acres Kennel Shop and that we sell pet food. As such, it is not uncommon for someone to walk into the store and ask me, “Don, what food do you feed your dog?” Based on experience, I find that many people expect me to say “I feed my dog brand X because it is the best food for all dogs!” Sadly, when asked the same question, this is often the answer they hear from pet stores, breeders, shelters, and even veterinarians. Since that is not what they will here from me, and since my response will not be that simple, I thought I would answer it here.

If someone sells or even gives away pet food, he or she has a financial interest in which food they recommend. Green Acres’ sells pet food, and we gain financially when you purchase pet food from us. However, one of the things that I believe makes us different from many purveyors of pet food, is that once people get to know us they understand that all of us in the store care greatly about nutrition and want to help you find the food that will be the best for your dog and your budget. In fact, because we all have different dogs, with different needs, if you ask each staff member what they feed their dog you will discover you will get different answers. There is no single food that is the best choice for all dogs and all situations.

So when I am asked this question I typically respond with; “I feed Muppy, a variety of foods from a variety of manufacturers with a goal of rotating the primary protein source every time I purchase food.”

Twenty years ago I predominantly fed my dog’s kibble. Additionally, I have fed; canned food (wet food), homemade diets, frozen raw diets and freeze-dried raw diets. In 2002, we started selling Steve’s Real Food for Pets, a commercially prepared, frozen, raw food in the store. At the time, we had five dogs, so economics dictated that we fed a raw meal once a day and kibble once a day. When we were down to two dogs, we switched to feeding 100% raw. I made this choice after a great deal of research.

My fundamental reason for feeding a raw diet is that it is primarily composed of muscle meat, organ meat, and bone. Depending on the brand there is very little or no soluble carbohydrates in these foods. A diet with little or no carbohydrates is the natural diet of a carnivore like a dog or a cat. Even the best kibble is going to be high in carbohydrates which are not a necessary nutrient for dogs or cats. Our Golden Retriever Tikken lived to be 16, and I attribute that was partially due to the nutritional choices that we made for her.

When Tikken passed, we decided that we would down-size for our next dog. Our target was a dog weighing between 20 and 30 pounds. We did that for two reasons. One, both my wife and I have some back problems and carrying a 50lb dog (Tikken) up and down the stairs the last year of her life was not always easy. However, even more importantly to me, I wanted to make sure that we would always be able to afford to feed our next dog the best diet possible throughout her life. That is easier with a small dog who eats less.

Since the day Muppy joined us, just over three years ago, she has been fed a commercially prepared, frozen raw diet, which we occasionally supplement with canned food or freeze-dried food.  She is fed a variety of frozen raw foods made by Bravo, Steve’s Real Food for Pets, and Vital Essentials. We rotate the primary protein source every time we purchase food and also rotate between brands because each has advantages. Vital Essentials and Steve’s both offer their formulas in small nuggets which make portion control easier. We also keep freeze dried diets from Bravo and Vital Essentials on hand for those occasions when we fail to defrost Muppy’s frozen ration in advance of meal time. We vary protein sources at every purchase, rotating between beef, chicken, pork, turkey, and turducken. Additionally, we supplement her meals with freeze-dried green tripe, coconut oil, a probiotic and Wysong Dentatreat.

So that is how I answer the question; “Don, what food do you feed your dog?” Is that what I would suggest you feed your dog? What I recommend will depend on your dog’s nutritional needs and what you are looking for in a dog food because there is and never will be a single brand of food that will be the best food for every dog.

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog (http://www.words-woofs-meows.com)

Pet Nutrition – Should I Feed My Pet A Raw Diet?http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/09/11/pet-nutrition-should-i-feed-my-pet-a-raw-diet/

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Changes in Pet Food and Nutrition – part 1http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/11/23/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-changes-in-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-1/

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Pet Food and Nutrition – part 2http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/12/15/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-2/

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 1http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/06/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-1/

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 2http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/07/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-2/

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 3http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/08/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-3/

Nutrition – Why Rotating Diets Makes Sense – http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2012/05/04/nutrition-why-rotating-diets-makes-sense/

Nutrition – Determining True Pet Food Costshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2008/11/08/nutrition-determining-true-pet-food-costs/

Book Review – Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – The paradox of pet nutrition by Richard Pattonhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/03/16/book-review-ruined-by-excess-perfected-by-lack-the-paradox-of-pet-nutrition-by-richard-patton/

Pet Nutrition –Vital Essentials® Pet Foodhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/14/pet-nutrition-vital-essentials-pet-food/

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)

 

What do you feed your pets?http://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow2016-06-04-What_do_you_feed_your_pets.mp3

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Pattonhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/03/podcast-pet-nutrition-with-dr-richard-patton/

Podcast – Raw Diets and the Carnivore Meat Company-Vital Essentials-Dee Ferranti and Jodi Langellottihttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/04/17/podcast-raw-diets-and-the-carnivore-meat-company-vital-essentials-dee-ferranti-and-jodi-langellotti/

Podcast – The Rationale for Feeding Pets Raw Foods with Bette Schubert from Bravo Pet Foodshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/08/03/podcast-the-rationale-for-feeding-pets-raw-foods-with-bette-schubert-from-bravo-pet-foods/

Podcast – Bravo’s Raw Pets Food, Treats, Chewables and Bones with Bette Shuberthttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/08/10/podcast-bravos-raw-pets-food-treats-chewables-and-bones-with-bette-shubert/

Podcast – Feeding Your Pet A Raw Diet with Gary Bursell of Steve’s Real Food for Petshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/03/16/podcast-feeding-your-pet-a-raw-diet-with-gary-bursell-of-steves-real-food-for-pets/

Podcast – Feeding Your Pet A Raw Diet with Nicole Lindsley of Steve’s Real Food for Petshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2013/03/23/podcast-feeding-your-pet-a-raw-diet-with-nicole-lindsley-of-steves-real-food-for-pets/

Books

Beginnings – Getting Your Dog and Cat Started on a Raw Diet by Melinda Miller and Honoring Your Cat’s Natural Diet by Terri Grow <Click here for a free download>

Natural Nutrition for Dogs and Cats – The Ultimate Diet – Kymythy Schultze

Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – Dr. Richard Patton

See Spot Live Longer – Steve Brown and Beth Taylor

The Truth About Pet Foods – Dr. Randy Wysong

Unlocking the Canine Ancestral Diet – Steve Brown

______________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop (greenacreskennel.com) in Bangor. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). He produces and co- hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show heard on The Pulse AM620 WZON and streamed at http://www.wzonradio.com/ every Saturday at 9 AM. A list of upcoming shows and podcasts of past shows can be found at www.woofmeowshow.com. Don also writes about pets at his blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.

©10SEP16, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Podcast – Raw Diets and the Carnivore Meat Company-Vital Essentials-Dee Ferranti and Jodi Langellotti

< Click to listen>

Kate discusses raw pet food diets; frozen and freeze-dried, with Dee Ferranti of the Carnivore Meat Company, maker of Vital Essentials Pet Food, and Jodi Langellotti, from pet food distributor, Pet Food Experts.

16APR16-Raw Diets and Vital Essentials 400x400If your pet has health issues that may be related to nutrition (food allergies, digestive difficulties, obesity, chronically underweight, diabetes, kidney disease) or if you just want to learn more about pet nutrition and how you can do the best for your pets nutrition and your wallet, you will not want to miss this show.

Key discussion points include: the benefits and objections to feeding pets a raw diet, food safety issues and why feeding a commercial raw diet for your pet may be safer than feeding yourself or your pet from what you buy from the meat department at the supermarket, the economics of feeding raw and how combining raw food with kibble can benefit your budget and your pets health, why raw food is a healthier and more nutritious choice, the differences between VE_Logo_Primary_webfrozen raw and freeze-dried raw diets, how to transition a pet to a raw diet, the history of the Carnivore Meat Company, how Vital Essentials sources its ingredients to ensure quality, and the numerous products in the Vital Essentials line.

 

< Click to listen>

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on The Pulse AM620, WZON, and WKIT HD3 at 12 Noon on Saturday. If you’re not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://www.wzonthepulse.com or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show, and can be downloaded at www.woofmeowshow.com and the Apple iTunes store.

Recommended Resources

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)

Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Pattonhttp://traffic.libsyn.com/woofmeowshow/WoofMeowShow2016-04-02-Pet_Nutrition_with_Dr_Richard_Patton.mp3

 

Web Sites

Vital Essentials Websitehttp://www.vitalessentialsraw.com/

 

©2016, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Podcast – Pet Nutrition with Dr. Richard Patton

< Click to listen to the podcast>

02APR16-Pet Nutrition w-Dr Richard Patton 400x400If you want to learn how you can improve your pet’s health and extend their life just by changing what and how you feed them, you do not want to miss this show.

Kate and Don Interview animal nutritionist Dr. Richard Patton, author of Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack, the Paradox of Pet Nutrition and discuss the best way to feed our pets for optimal health. Don first heard Dr. Patton speak in the fall of 2015 and was not only impressed by Dr. Patton’s passion and breadth of knowledge on pet nutrition, a subject we are passionate about as well, but was equally impressed by Dr. Patton’s ability to take technical concepts about nutrition and explain them from a common sense perspective.

We start our discussion from these three points; 1) nutrition is never a crisis, but poor nutrition often impacts health and then can cause a medical crisis, 2) we need to accept that we can either have optimal nutrition or convenience and economy, but not both, and 3) we should never be afraid to feed less. From there we move to what Dr. Patton calls the 900lb gorilla in the room; the presence of excess soluble carbohydrates in pet food. As Dr. Patton states “The majority of our nutrition problems can be traced back to the feeding of excess soluble carbohydrates. So until we fix that, it’s kind of esoteric to get into an involved discussion about whether salmon is better than trout or kangaroo is better than alligator. My mantra is to reduce the caloric intake, particularly from soluble carbohydrates and starch and sugar.”

You can hear The Woof Meow Show on The Pulse AM620, WZON, and WKIT HD3 at 12 Noon on Saturday. If you’re not near a radio, listen on your computer at http://www.wzonthepulse.com or your smartphone or tablet with the free WZON 620 AM app. A podcast of the show is typically posted immediately after the show, and can be downloaded at www.woofmeowshow.com and the Apple iTunes store.

< Click to listen to the podcast>

Recommended Resources

Articles on Don’s Blog

Book Review – Ruined by Excess, Perfected by Lack – The paradox of pet nutrition by Richard Pattonhttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2016/03/16/book-review-ruined-by-excess-perfected-by-lack-the-paradox-of-pet-nutrition-by-richard-patton/

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Changes in Pet Food and Nutrition – part 1http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/11/23/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-changes-in-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-1/

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Pet Food and Nutrition – part 2http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2015/12/15/reflections-on-20-years-as-a-pet-care-professional-pet-food-and-nutrition-part-2/

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 1http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/06/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-1/

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 2http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/07/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-2/

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 3http://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2014/08/01/nutrition-which-brand-of-pet-food-is-the-best-part-3/

Nutrition – Why Rotating Diets Makes Sensehttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2012/05/04/nutrition-why-rotating-diets-makes-sense/

Nutrition – Determining True Pet Food Costshttp://www.greenacreskennel.com/blog/2008/11/08/nutrition-determining-true-pet-food-costs/

 

Podcasts from The Woof Meow Show (http://www.woofmeowshow.com)

Pet Food Myths – part 1 (Click to listen) – In part one of this two part series, Don and Kate discuss several myths and conceptions pet guardians have about pet food. The fact is that not all pet foods are the same and the quality varies greatly. Kate and Don reveal these myths and guide the listeners on how to evaluate their pet’s food so that they can provide their pet with optimal nutrition that fits their budget. First Air Date: 6JUN11

Pet Food Myths – part 2 (Click to listen) – In part two of this two part series, Don and Kate discuss several myths and conceptions pet guardians have about pet food. The fact is that not all pet foods are the same and the quality varies greatly. Kate and Don reveal these myths and guide the listeners on how to evaluate their pet’s food so that they can provide their pet with optimal nutrition that fits their budget. First Air Date: 13JUN11

©2016, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>

Reflections on 20 Years as a Pet Care Professional – Pet Food and Nutrition – part 2

Don and Muppy - July 2015
Don and Muppy – July 2015

< A version of this article was published in the December 2015 issue of Down East Dog News>

My wife Paula and I have been part of the pet care services industry for over 20 years and in that time we have seen many changes. Last month I started writing about the changes we have seen in pet food and pet nutrition. I discussed how brands have changed, the need for consumers to be knowledgeable, the verbiage used by pet food companies, protein choices, and industry consolidation. Pet food is a big topic, and there have been many more changes that I address below.

Gus’ Story – Last month I started a story about how our Cairn Terrier Gus’ issues with UTI’s and crystals initiated our journey with learning about pet nutrition. It was not until after I sent my column off to the editor that I realized that I had not finished the story.

We eventually found a brand of food, Wysong, and some Wysong supplements

Playing Tennis Ball with Gus
Playing Tennis Ball with Gus

that cured Gus’ UTI and crystal issues. It was our first experience with what at the time was classified as an ultra-premium pet food. We learned a great deal from Dr. Wysong and his distributor here in Maine, the late David Hinson. Their commitment to quality nutrition should be an inspiration to all pet food companies.

Formula Proliferation – Twenty years ago the most common form of pet food was dry kibble, still the number one choice for food. Pet food companies offered kibble formulas for puppies, adult dogs, and overweight dogs. Then came senior and a few years after that we started seeing the large breed puppy formulas and in some cases, food for specific breeds of dogs. Many experts in pet nutrition, like Dr. Wysong, argue that the proliferation of formulas is more about SKUs, marketing and shelf space than nutrition. I believe their position is quite sound if we look at what and how canines eat in the wild. The nutritional rationale for all of these formulas is not necessarily based in science or good nutrition and often makes it harder for the consumer to make a good decision.

Recalls – We have seen numerous pet food recalls in the past twenty years just as we have with human food. As long as good quality food remains perishable, which I suspect will be forever, there are going to be recalls. A recall in itself as not a bad thing, but a lot depends on how the company handles the recall. The companies the handle recalls the best are the ones that offer full disclosure early in the process, and that keep their distributors and retailers informed. It is always our goal to contact our clients to let them know about a recall before they hear about it on the internet.

Misleading Advertising – Pet food advertising is made to appeal to people because let’s face it, your dog or cat is not making the decision of what food you will buy. Unfortunately, advertising can make any food look and sound wonderful. What makes it even worse is when the claims made in those ads are false; as has been the case with the ads by a pet food company that many would argue currently have some of the most appealing ads on television. Those ads claim this company never uses low-grade ingredients like poultry by-product meal and insinuates that food made by other companies do use low-quality ingredients. This company was first sued in the spring of 2014 and has now admitted in Federal court that they are indeed guilty of using the low quality ingredients they claimed not to use. What makes this even more incredulous is that the company is not accepting responsibility for their actions but instead is blaming the companies that make their food and their suppliers.  Yes, you read that correctly. There are companies out there that only market pet food and subcontract the development and manufacture of their food to other companies. In my mind, that is not a real pet food company but instead is an accident waiting to happen. That is why we prefer dealing with small, family-owned companies that buy raw ingredients from suppliers that they know, manufacture their food in their own plant, and then market it to independent stores like ours.

Dietary Rotation – For years, the standard recommendation from pet food companies and many veterinarians has been to find a food that your pet does well on and then NEVER change it, as any change could upset your pets digestive system. It is easy to understand why a pet food company would like this approach; it keeps profits going into their coffers.

One of the first things we learned from Dr. Wysong was his belief in the benefits of dietary rotation. Wysong produces a puppy and senior formula, as well as a couple of adult formulas; however, rather than feeding them strictly by age Dr. Wysong recommends you rotate among the diets. We would feed our dogs growth in the summer, when they were more active, and senior in the winter when they were less active, and standard adult formulas in the spring and fall. If one studies how wild canines eat, the concept of dietary rotation also makes perfect sense as what they eat varies widely, day to day. We are glad to see that in the past few years some of the pet food companies that we deal with now offer multiple adult diets and now also recommend dietary rotation.

Raw Diets & Homemade Diets – In 1998 Paula and I attended a seminar to hear Dr. Ian Bilinghurst talk about raw diets for dogs. The Australian veterinarian and author of Give Your Dog A Bone was one of the first veterinarians to discuss the benefits of feeding what he called BARF; Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. What Dr. Bilinghurst was saying is essentially what experts on human nutrition have been emphasizing; eat fresh whole food (meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables) and avoid highly processed food. Dry pet food, no matter who makes it, is one of the most highly processed foods on the planet.

Don and Tikken-1with text 600x903Paula and I sought more knowledge about raw pet food, and eventually started feeding our pets a raw diet in 2001. Green Acres began selling commercial, raw frozen diets at the beginning of 2002. At first, we fed one raw meal per day and a meal of kibble for the second meal of the day. When we started to see the changes in our dogs we switched to 100% raw, which is what we continue to do today. We practice dietary rotation, switching proteins every time we purchase food and readily switch between brands. I cannot prove it, but I do believe that a raw diet played a significant role in our Golden Retriever Tikken living past her 16th birthday.

What Does the Future Hold?

The only thing I can predict with any certainty is that the pet food world will continue to change and that we as consumers will need to remain diligent. More and more people are considering feeding raw diets or at least fresh whole food. I expect that trend to continue to grow. The pet food world is threatened by the same thing as the world of human-food; industrialization and consolidation. Hopefully as we become more aware of the importance of fresh, whole, locally-sourced food for ourselves that will change for pet food as well.

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Other Posts You May Find Interesting

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 1 – <Click Here>

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 2 – <Click Here>

Nutrition – Which Brand of Pet Food is the Best? – Part 3 – <Click Here>

Nutrition – Why Rotating Diets Makes Sense – <Click Here>

Nutrition – Determining True Pet Food Costs – <Click Here>

Pet Nutrition – How Much Fat Is In Your Pet’s Food? <Click Here>

______________________________________________________________________________
Don Hanson is the co-owner of the Green Acres Kennel Shop (greenacreskennel.com) in Bangor. He is a Bach Foundation Registered Animal Practitioner (BFRAP), Certified Dog Behavior Consultant (CDBC), Associate Certified Cat Behavior Consultant (ACCBC) and a Certified Professional Dog Trainer (CPDT-KA). He produces and co- hosts a weekly radio show and podcast, The Woof Meow Show heard on The Pulse AM620 WZON and streamed at http://www.wzonradio.com/ every Saturday at 9 AM. A list of upcoming shows and podcasts of past shows can be found at www.woofmeowshow.com. Don also writes about pets at his blog: www.words-woofs-meows.com.

©2015, Donald J. Hanson, All Rights Reserved <Click for Copyright and Use Policy>