Friday, July 31, 2009


Tsuki and I have something in common : we both love Best Bully Sticks! Beyond bully sticks, they also sell an array of safe (fully digestible!), sound (even for power chewers!) and unique chews and treats. They have great customer service (answer emails FAST!), great prices and ship super fast!

We have tried bully sticks, cow ears, Salmon Paws Omega Stix (great to cut up as training treats!), Himalayan dog chews (which last about as long as a bully stick), Antlerz (seen above, last longer than bully sticks), fish stix (outlasted both bully stick and antler!), ostrich tendons, Nature Nosh treats (great ingredients, natural repellents), and beef tracheas (gone in 10mins tops). They also carry some great products like Dr. Harvey's (though not power patties, yet!), Oma's Pride and Zukes.

So go on, check them out (follow their blog) - Best Bully Sticks is Inu approved!

(They also have a referral insentive, say sent you!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Picture a beautiful little mutt-type dog, with big sad eyes peering up at you from behind shelter metal bars...

This image could make even Michael Vick cry, (ok, maybe not him, but you get the picture).

Enter Pedigree Dog Food. They have been around long enough (1957) that everyone knows the packaging and has been privy to their marketing tactics. Including 2007's Adoption Campaign and the Pedigree Foundation. Pedigree is owned by Mars, Inc. which also makes Nutro and Royal Canin dog food, Twix, Snickers, M&Ms...

I am a firm supporter in adoption and rescue, as well as reputable breeding. I am also a firm supporter in total lifetime health and how it directly coincides with wholesome nutrition. Which is why I don't eat a Twix bar as a daily meal.

Does this list look like wholesome nutrition that lends itself to total, lifetime canine health?
Ground yellow corn, meat and bone meal, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, animal fat (preserved with bha/bht), wheat mill run, natural poultry flavor, rice, salt, potassium chloride, caramel color, wheat flour, wheat gluten, vegetable oil, vitamins (choline chloride, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate [source of vitamin e], l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate [source of vitamin c*], vitamin a supplement, thiamine mononitrate [vitamin b1], biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement [vitamin b2], vitamin d3 supplement, vitamin b12 supplement), trace minerals (zinc sulfate, copper sulfate, potassium iodide).

According to
This food receives a 1 star rating simply because there is nothing lower. Ouch!
(full review here)

Remember the 2007 Pet Food Recalls? Pedigree, Nutro and Royal Canine continue to be top contenders in recalls.

Tear jerking advertisements? Check.
Increase in sales? Check.
Creating a 'good will' image after pets died due to recalls? Check.
Convincing dog owners that Pedigree is wholesome nutrition? ...

I am truly all for shelter animals finding a place to call Forever Home, but I'd rather Mars/Pedigree spend their money making better dog food, making sure they have quality ingredients, and inspecting suppliers. Maybe even contributing money to independent dog food research. That would make them a truly great company.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Update on 'Easy Summer Treat'

Last week I posted about an Easy Summer Treat, freezing baby food and letting your dog lick it out of the jar.

I tried this over the weekend, previous to this I emptied the contents of the jar into a kong and let my dogs go to town, but this time I just froze the glass container:

The dogs were doing GREAT with them, no attempts at chewing the glass, no tongue-to-pole situations... and yet still my husband freaked out because of how dangerous it could be.

While I'm not seeing the danger here, I've agreed to post a semi-retraction of the claim that you should remove lid, freeze in jar then serve. As a precaution, stick to pouring baby food in a Kong then freezing, or do what I did after my husband's tantrum - pour the baby food into an ice cube tray for fun after-humid-summer-walks-treats!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Four Types of Dog Vomit

The Four Types of Dog Vomit
It’s an oldie but a goodie. I don’t know the original source of this but it’s pretty wellknown to dog lovers.


Dog runs around the house and hides under furniture while making a prolonged ‘uuuuurka-guuuuurka, uuurka-guurka’ noise. (This noise is the only thing guaranteed to wake up a true dog lover who is hung over from a post dog-show celebration at 3:30 a.m.) After mad scrambling to capture the dog and drag him outside, the episode ends with an inaudible ten yard slimy yellow froth from the living room rug to the back door.


Dog exercises hard and (a) eats large mouthfuls of snow (winter Blap Disease) or (b) drinks a bucket of water (Summer Blap Disease). Within two minutes of returning inside, the dog spews out large amounts of clear slimy liquid while making a distinctive ‘blap’ sound and a sharp percussive noise as it hits the linoleum.


Dog suddenly clears his throat with loud and dramatic ‘gggaark, gggark’ noises generally followed by prolonged ‘iiiksss’ and then loud satisfied smacking noises. There is nothing on the rug. Don’t investigate, you don’t want to know.


Apropos of nothing, the dog strolls into the dining room and waits till the innocent dinner guests are all watching him. Then, with a single deep gut wrenching ‘raaaalff’ dislodges the entire weeks’ contents of his stomach on the dining room rug.
Variation: Then he eats it.

The Miracle of Meat

Reminder to raw feeders : variety doesn't come from one animal. Also a reminder that Stephen Colbert is awesome.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Nutrition for future dog owners!

With childhood obesity rates continuing to soar, parents are taking a good, hard look at the foods their children are being offered during the school day. Although Tobey Maguire’s two children aren’t yet school-aged, he’s also taken that look, and is expressing a concern about what he sees.

In a letter sent this week to U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Tobey urged lawmakers to reexamine the standards set by the Child Nutrition Act (CNA). The legislation — initially passed in 1966 – is poised for Congressional re-authorization this fall, presenting a “golden opportunity” for change according to the 34-year-old Spider Man star.

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

More fruits, vegetables and low-fat vegetarian meals are needed, Tobey writes, noting that “school is tough enough already — students shouldn’t have to put up with lunches swimming in fat and cholesterol.”

Tobey goes on to cite a recent article by the Chicago Tribune, which revealed that Chicago public schools serve beef nachos everyday because the federal government’s commodity foods program “dumps surplus beef on schools across the country.”

Not only would a vegetarian meal be more healthy, it might actually cost less than a higher-fat alternative, according to Tobey.

“Being overweight can be a miserable experience for children. It affects their grades and sets them up to be unhealthy adults.”

Urban school districts stand the most to lose for students in low income families are at a greater risk for hunger, qualifying them for the National School Lunch Program which feeds 30 million children each day.

It is particularly worrisome, then, that these same children are facing skyrocketing rates of obesity and related diseases like Type 2 diabetes according to medical experts.

Even if you live in an affluent district, however, you can still feel the effects. Tobey writes,

“Higher rates of obesity, heart disease and diabetes mean greater healthcare costs for everyone. Healthy foods can help prevent those problems, so federal dollars spent on better school meals are a smart investment.”

Ruby and Otis are Tobey’s children with wife Jennifer Meyer Maguire. To contact your legislators about this issue, click here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Super Easy Summer Treat!

This is so simple you are going to slap yourself for not thinking of it first.
I know I did!

Ok, ready?

1. Go to the market, and pick up some organic baby foods with simple ingredients like Sweet Potato, Apple, Peas, Banana...

2. Remove lid and empty into Kong (or if you trust your dog, just freeze in the glass jar)

3. Freeze for 8-12 hours

4. Give to your dog

Monday, July 20, 2009


99.9% of my dogs' diet is wholesome food. 0.1% is supplemented. I am a firm believer that the minerals and nutrients a dog needs should come from the actual food the dog is eating.
As the diet preparer, I know what I'm feeding and know what nutrients are in those foods. I try to feed all nutrients naturally before resorting to artificial supplements.

Websites like USDA and NutritionData make calculating nutrient intake amounts really simple and easy to utilize in your dog's diet (and your own!).

Deficiencies and nutrient excesses are also concerns. A full blood panel once or twice a year will provide excellent insight into your feeding and/or supplementation regimen.

Many supplements made for pet dogs and cats contain chemical preservatives and may not even have the listed amount of ingredients in the actual product. Here is a list of the recommended nutrient doses that should be in a supplement.

So what do I give my dogs? Shibas have a double coat, shed heavily twice a year and need support for skin and coat health. When they aren't eating whole prey, I give my dogs one fish oil capsule every other day. Intensive livestock practices find the farm animals that we eat being fed grain-based diets. As such, the meat that is produced is naturally low in omega-3. There is plenty of omega-6 in raw meat, but the balance of omega-3 to -6 is thrown out of whack. As a result, it may be necessary to supplement a raw diet with omega-3. Again, attempt to provide it naturally first. This can be done by feeding oily fish or grass-fed red meat. If you are unable to provide grass fed meat or fish in adequate amounts, then a supplement like fish oil capsules (human grade!) will suffice.
The absorption and utilization of omegas depends on the availability of vitamin E. It is possible to get omega supplements that have vitamin E included, if you can find something like that then it will be much more convenient.

Joint supplements typically include glucosamine and chondroitin. Before resorting to a bottled supplement, attempt to provide it naturally. Glucosamine is found naturally in raw joint tissue. So if you are able to feed edible bone "joints", then you are already providing natural glucosamine. Chicken feet are great, as are other joint items such as chicken or turkey legs, backs, necks, etc.

I also give my dogs (again, and myself) pre- and pro-biotics.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Verve with Sardines and Chicken Feet

I am a huge advocate of a dog's (and cats!) diet consisting of zero to very minimal grains. Mainly, dog's just don't seem to have what it takes (like a herbivore) to successfully mash and fully digest grains, especially in a non-cooked form. You will see evidence of this in their stool. Overly large, voluminous stool indicates a low digestion rate, and whole grains or vegetation visible in stool indicates the same thing.

Also, dogs tend to have sensitivities and outright allergies to certain grains and grasses. My Tsuki has a very profound reaction to any food containing corn. Many dogs cannot tolerate wheat (gluten) or soy. Some have issues with oats or barley, etc.

For good measure, we decided to try The Honest Kitchen's VERVE.
Organic rye, organic barley, hormone-free beef, organic flaxseed, organic oats, carrots, alfalfa, potatoes, eggs, red and green bell peppers, spinach, apples, cranberries, chicory, parsley, peppermint and rosemary.
Nutrient Analysis (as served, without additives):
Protein - 10.835%
Fat - 4%
Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio - 1.6 : 1
Moisture - 75%

To this, for my dog's meal, we added 3 canned (in water, no salt) sardines each, and 2 chicken feet (raw) each.

They ate it with enthusiasm! However, as suspected with the grain intake, it was evident not a lot of digestion took place with the grains (large, detailed stool!). However, my Tsuki who has several grain sensitivities, did NOT have any reaction to this meal.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Chicken Feet

Sexy, right?

Chicken feet are said to be a natural, unprocessed source of glucosamine and chondroitin.
Chicken feet are normally considered a by-product, thus making this source of natural raw cartilage to your dog beneficial to his health (natural pain/inflammation reduction) and the environment (ecologically sound versus feeding shark cartilage).

Nutrient Values (per foot):
Protein - 19.41%
Moisture - 65.79%
Fat - 14.59%

Calcium to Phosphorus
30mg : 28mg

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I order chicken feet in a frozen 2lb heap from

Monday, July 13, 2009

Changes to Orijen formulas

It seems Orijen has recently changed their formulas.

I had stopped feeding Orijen 6-Fish because my dog (who has an allergy to corn) started to have trouble on Orijen 6-Fish after 24 full hours on the food. Within a week she was super gassy, had loose stools and had her hot spots back. This was when we switched to Wellness Core Ocean.

I highly respect the Champion Foods company and their full disclosure of their foods.

Compare the list of ingredients I had saved as a tool for determining my dog's sensitivity to the food (saved in January 09):

Fresh salmon (includes chinook. coho and sockeye species), salmon meal, russet potato, herring meal, fresh lake whitefish, sweet potato, fresh lake trout, fresh Northern walleye, freshwater cod, fresh herring, sunflower oil, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherals, a natural source of vitamin E), sun-cured alfalfa, dried sea vegetables (brown kelp, Irish moss, dulse and bladder wrack), leeks, psyllium, crab shell, rosemary, lecithin, apples, black currants..
TONIC HERBS AND BOTANICALS: Chicory root (FOS), licorice root, fennel seed, zea mays, peppermint leaf, marigold flowers, chamomile flowers, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, rosehips.
ORGANIC MINERALS: Iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate.
PROBIOTIC MICROORGANISMS: Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Enterococcus faecium fermentation product..
PREMIUM VITAMINS: Mixed tocopherols (source of vitamin E), choline chloride, vitamin A, vitamin D3, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin B12, folic acid, biotin, pyridoxine (source of vitamin B6).
To the ingredients now listed on Orijen's website:
Fresh deboned salmon, salmon meal, herring meal, russet potato, fresh deboned lake whitefish, sweet potato, peas, salmon oil (preserved with vitamin E), fresh deboned walleye, fresh deboned herring, sun-cured alfalfa, fresh deboned flounder, fresh deboned lake trout, dehydrated organic kelp, pumpkin, carrots, spinach, turnip greens, apples, cranberries, saskatoon berries, black currants, choline chloride, psyllium, licorice root, angelica root, fenugreek, marigold flowers, sweet fennel, peppermint leaf, chamomile flowers, dandelion, summer savory, rosemary, sea salt, vitamin supplements (vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, niacin, vitamin C, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12), mineral supplements (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, selenium), dried Lactobacillus acidophilus product, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.
Most notably is the subtraction of zea mays and leeks, and the addition of pumpkin.
Analysis wise, old (saved 01/09):
Guaranteed Analysis %:
Calcium (min)
Phosphorus (min)

Extra Information:

Glucosamine 700 mg/kg
Chondroitin 250 mg/kg
Microorganisms 80M cfu/kg
pH 5.0

Crude Protein (min.)
Crude Fat (min.)
Crude Fiber (max.)
Moisture (max.)
Calcium (min.)
Calcium (max.)
Phosphorus (min.)
Phosphorus (max.)
*Omega-6 (min.)
*Omega-3 (min.)
*Carbohydrate (max.)

*Glucosamine (min.)
1200 mg/kg
*Chondroitin (min.)
900 mg/kg
Microorganisms (min.)
120M cfu/kg
And in other Orijen news - they just released a new formula called Regional Red

Sunday, July 12, 2009

RawFit Survey

A few weeks ago I participated in a survey of raw feeders via The results are now available.

Check them out here!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Even MORE Tripe!

Just in case raw green tripe or Dr. Harvey's Power Patties aren't enough to convince you that your dog WANTS green tripe, check out Solid Gold's GREEN COW!

Per their website:
Tripe is the stomach lining of the cow’s “fourth” stomach, or abomassum. The abomassum is where the actual digestion of the grasses and grains the cow has ingested takes place. Green tripe contains the partially digested plant matter the cow had eaten as well as the naturally occurring gastric juices and digestive enzymes.

Green Tripe is excellent as the sole diet or as an accompaniment to dry kibble with a great taste dogs love!

*Note - when purchasing a tripe product such as this, geared towards dogs, it is IMPERATIVE to make sure the ingredients list GREEN tripe! If not, honeycomb tripe (bleached, partially cooked) may have been used, and that is useless in its nutritional value to a dog!

Ingredients of Solid Gold GREEN COW:

Green Beef Tripe | Beef Broth | Potatoes | Potassium Chloride | Dicalcium Phosphate | Garlic | Choline Chloride | dl-methionine | A-Tocopherol | Vitamin E Supplement | Zinc Amino Acid Complex | Iron Amino Acid Complex | Copper Amino Acid Complex | Manganese Amino Acid Complex | Calcium Panthothenate | Vitamin A Acetate | Niacin | Vitamin D Supplement | Riboflavin | Folic Acid | Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide | Selenomethionine | Vitamin B12 Supplement | Pyridoxine Hydrochloride | Biotin | Thiamine Mononitrate |

Protein, Min 8%
Fat, Min 6%
Fiber, Max 1%
Moisture, Max 82%

485 kcal / 13.2 oz can

And, this is for you Kristin :)
On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is gag worthy and 0 is spring breeze fresh -
10 - raw green tripe, thawed
8 - raw green tripe, frozen
5 - Solid Gold Green Cow
2 - Dr. Harvey's Power Patties
0 - Your pup's twosies after a good meal of green tripe

So what are you waiting for?? Go out there and [let your dog] try some [green] tripe!

Zukes Z-Ridge

This chew bone is a GREAT alternative to Greenies!

Zukes Z-Ridge, according to the website:
Naturally cleans teeth and freshens breath without wheat, corn, or artificial fresheners.
All three flavors are packed with alfalfa concentrate, clove, nutmeg, parsley and fennel to naturally freshen breath... made with real potatoes for increased digestibility

Friday, July 10, 2009

Food Review: Ziwi Peak Venison & Fish Cuisine

Ziwi Peak

After requesting a free sample of Ziwi Peak Venison treats, we decided to find a place to purchase a small bag of their daily cuisine (which happened to be Planet Dog).

We tried the Venison & Fish Cuisine.
Venison & Fish (meat min 50%, venison organs min 19.5%, Hoki fish min 15%)
Per their website:
INGREDIENTS: Venison - Meat (min. 50%), Liver, Tripe, Heart and Kidney (min. 19.5%), Fish (min. 15%), Chicory Syrup, Green-lipped and Blue Mussel (min. 4%), Fish Oil, Lecithin, Kelp, Vitamins and Minerals, Parsley, Naturally preserved with mixed tocopherols
Additives: Vit. D3 592 IU/kg, Vit. E 7.4mg/kg, Copper (copper proteinate) 9.8mg/kg.
Calories 1778 KJ/100g.
Protein (min.) 34% Ash (max.) 8%
Fat (min.) 26% Fibre (max.) 1.8%
Moisture (max.) 15% Calcium 2%

Phosphorus P 1.1%

Based on the information on their website, we are to assume "fish" means "Hoki Fish", though in the ingredients it does NOT specify.

Based on the feeding instructions, our dogs would get 2 scoops a day (in the 22lb range). The Ziwi Peak advantage claims to help mirror a more natural hunting diet than dry commercial kibble by being free of fillers, grains or preservatives and promoting the original nutritional values of their ingredients.
It is true, even the most picky of eaters cannot resist Ziwi Peak:

I would suggest trying this food. Ziwi Peak is very open with their Quality of Animal Protein and Certification of Proteins sourced and used. Though they may be a little pricey, you end up feeding less because the food is so thoroughly digestible.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Steer Pizzles

- aka The Bully Stick - is a great alternative to rawhide for a dog chew.

So, what is it?
Bully Sticks are a great way to give your pet something to chew on that they'll love and is great for them too. All of our bull sticks for dogs promote healthy teeth and gums, and are made from free-ranging Brazilian cattle, so you don't have to worry about how safe they are. Available in sizes from 6" to 36", all of our bully sticks are 100% beef, meaning your dog will actually digest them, unlike their old rawhide chews.

And it is, in fact, a steer pizzle, that your dog is chewing on, which can be defined in three ways, one of which I will save for your conclusion:
1. the undercarriage tendon of a bull
2. the part of the bull a cow doesn't have

Let your pup try one today! Order from Best Bully Sticks
(my email for your refer a friend is

Sardines, and why you and your dog should eat them!

Canned sardines are one of those things I thought was something my grandpa ate to gross me out as a kid. Now, I find they still irk me, but both my dogs and I still eat them because they are chock full of the good stuff!

Sardines, a tiny, sleek and silvery canned fish, are one of the few foods that contain Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a nutrient found the body's cells. In a nutshell, it's believed to have antioxidant properties and is said to enhance physical energy. Studies have also found that CoQ10 benefits those with cardiovascular diseases, particularly hypertension and congestive heart failure. In addition to CoQ10, these little nutritional powerhouses are also ample sources of vitamin B12, selenium, omega-3 oils, protein, phosphorus and vitamin D.

Some folks have long been aware of the health benefits of eating sardines. In a 1984 issue of the Town & Country magazine, James Villas wrote an article entitled "The Unsung Sardine" in which he said that "ounce for ounce, sardines provide more calcium and phosphorus than milk, more protein than steak, more potassium than bananas, and more iron than cooked spinach."

Today, a growing number of health care providers and nutritional experts are consistently touting the benefits of CoQ10, omega-3 oils, selenium, and vitamins B12 and D when it comes to cardiovascular health, memory, joints, skin and energy levels.

A "true" sardine, named after the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, will come from clean Moroccan, Portuguese or Mediterranean waters. When sardines from these clean waters are canned within hours of the catch, they're fresh and will not smell "fishy" like most canned sardines that have been frozen prior to processing. Most health food grocery markets will carry "true" sardines, or they can be ordered online from select companies.

The World's Healthiest Foods (WHF) website, a not-for-profit foundation independent of the influences of commercial interests, offers some compelling scientific information about the health benefits of eating sardines. In addition to the nutrients already mentioned, WHF says sardines are also an excellent source of tryptophan, an essential amino acid.

How to feed to dogs?
Fresh, raw. Or find packaging (like above) which says the sardines are canned in water with no added salt. Add as a topper to dry food, as a snack, mixed in with their favorite Honest Kitchen... however you want to feed them - just feed them!

How much do I love tripe?

This much!

I just can't seem to stop buying it for my dogs...

Our latest "find" is Dr. Harvey's Power Patties

Trust me on this - if you haven't fed raw green tripe yet, this is the way to start. They do not smell nearly as bad - and I'm not afraid to touch these without gloves!

Per their website:

Why Tripe is So Beneficial

  • Easily digestible, so fewer stomach upsets
  • Beautiful, shiny, cleaning smelling coat
  • Adds needed Vitamins and Minerals
  • Adds beneficial digestive enzymes
  • Adds good usable protein-consisting of balanced amino acids
  • Adds essential fatty acids
  • Has proper calcium/phosphorus balance


Dogs love Power Patties so much that they are apt to steal the whole bag. Power Patties should be placed in a carefully chosen and concealed place. Dr. Harvey’s will not be responsible for stolen or captured Power Patties. Also, please be aware that giving Power Patties may result in overwhelming amounts of joy and kisses. Now you can’t say we didn’t warn you!