Podcast – Pet Stuff with Don Hanson & Dr. Mark Hanks

< Click to Listen to Podcast>

10sep16-pet_stuff_w-don_mark-400x400In this episode of The Woof Meow Show from September 10th, 2016 Don and Mark address several timely topics about pets and Maine, including; dog bites, the canine flu, and the criteria they use to select and recommend flea and tick products and pet foods.

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©17SEP16, 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>

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.

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