Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ucky Unagi

Since researching the origin of the Shiba Inu, I've always been a believer of incorporating some of their more 'natural' homeland ingredients into their diet.
Including fish, seaweed, etc.

So when I found this (on bestbullysticks, also a product reviewed positively by WDJ):

I was super excited. Addiction's Unagi (eel) and Seaweed entree.
It is a novel protein and grain free formula which therefore caters to many dog suffering multiple allergies.

Eel, Venison, Potatoes, Carrots, Peas, Carrageenan, Cassia Gums, Dried Seaweed, Garlic, Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Zinc Sulphate, Ferrous Sulphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Sulphate, Manganese Sulphate, Niacin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid

Looks fine, right?

I open it. Date on can is good, packaging intact. Looks like a normal dog food with nice chunks, you can see the seaweed and potatoes. You can smell the meat, sort of like a sushi-type smell. I think - awesome! the dogs will LOVE it.

Not so much.

Not one single dog ate any of it (which, are three dogs in total). Not even Kitsune the food guru. Not even the ravenous puppy. Not even the picky Tsuki.

So. If your dogs liked this food, let me know!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Salmon Paws

best. training. treat. ever.

Salmon Paws Omega Stix , as described by Best Bully Sticks:
These jerky treats are made from 100% wild caught Alaskan Sockeye Salmon and contain no fillers, bones, or other salmon by-products. These treats come in a two pack of stix which are each about 6-7 inches in length.

Many of the other salmon treats out there are made from farm raised salmon, which contain lower levels of nutrients and higher levels of fat Farm raised salmon is also very oily in nature and can lead to loose stools. Many fish dog treats also contain bone and other unwanted by-products. These do not!

Besides being a great low fat protein source for pups, these treats also contain high levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. These omega acids are great for maintaining a healthy skin and coat, and help to promote cardiovascular and joint health.

And I do cut them small to use as training treats!

They last longer than a bag of pre-portioned training treats if you cut them small enough. They are stinky, but therefore incredibly enticing for most dogs.

The puppy got some and learned to sit and down!

Rabbit Feet, v 2.0

I have blogged about dehydrated rabbit feet as a treat before, but wanted to highlight a new company's dehydrated rabbit feet that we tried recently.

Aunt Jeni's Rabbit Feet.
The ingredients listed are just that simple: Rabbit Feet: rabbit feet (furry)

The feet were just right for my adult 18 & 24lb shiba inus. 
However, I chose the smallest foot in the bag for our foster puppy, and I think it was a little too much for him (he was unable to chew it/crunch it)

Friday, January 22, 2010

VPI top 5 ailments

According to a list posted, (VPI) evaluated this issue and released the following results, listed in order of frequency:
The most common health problems in dogs are:
  1. Ear Infections
  2. Skin Allergies
  3. Pyoderma/Hot Spots
  4. Gastritis/Vomiting
  5. Enteritis/Diarrhea

Its rather amazing. It seems the solution to all the above problems is a natural, unprocessed diet. And perhaps many are issues that arrise due to vaccine damage. Just sayin...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

back up foods | canned salmon

salmon seems to be a coveted protein in a canine diet. I can't get past all the potential harms of feeding raw salmon, fresh caught or farmed, so this is the route I take:

Wellness 95% Salmon, canned. Naturally preserved and ethoxyquin free protein sources.

Please note, this is a supplemental feeding item - NOT intended as a complete & balanced diet!

Monday, January 18, 2010

nature's variety | bison

Despite a little hang up in sourcing (so far, unknown) and ingredients, I did have my dogs try this new protein variety from Nature's Variety.


My main question is about the montmorillonite clay. And its function in raw dog food.

According to their website, this ingredient is defined as:
Montmorillonite is a clay that is primarily colloidal silicate, which contains over 50 ultra-trace mineral compounds including Antimony, Barium, Beryllium, Boron, Bromine, Cadmium, Carbon, Cerium, Cesium, Chloride, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Dysprosium, Fluoride, Gadolinium, Gallium, Germanium, Iodine, Lanthanum, Lithium, Manganese, Neodymium, Nickel, Phosphorus, Rhenium, Rubidium, Samarium, Scandium, Silicon, Silver, Strontium, Sulfur, Tellurium, Thallium, Thorium, Tin, Titanium, Vanadium, Ytterbium, Yttrium, Zinc, and Zirconium. Feed studies by the Veterinary Medical Diagnostics Laboratory at Texas A&M University have shown that Montmorillonite clays can sequester (bind) aflatoxins contained in grains and oilseeds.

Wikipedia has this:
Other uses include as an anti-caking agent in animal feed

 And complete mineral data for montmorillonite here.

The dogs did enjoy these medallions, though.

what does 'organic' mean?

From The Honest Kitchen:
The term ‘organic’ refers to ingredients that have been grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms (GMO’s), or radiation. Animals that produce meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products do not take antibiotics or growth hormones and must be fed only organic feed, and raised in an environment that meets organic standards.

Click to read more!

Friday, January 15, 2010

RECALL - Merrick Beef Filet Dog Treats

The FDA issued a warning about Merrick Beef Filet Squares. If you still have the resealable package, check for a "Best By 11/19/11" date — those batches may be contaminated with Salmonella. To be on the safe side, if you're not sure when you bought the treats, discard!

Luckily no illnesses have been reported yet — the bacteria was caught in a routine inspection in December — but be careful when handling the treats (to discard them), remove anything else they could have contaminated, and thoroughly clean any containers, too.

Ark Naturals

I first discovered Ark Naturals when I was helping a certain beloved shiba inu compensate for any joint problems he may have had due to a missing leg.

We began using Sea Mobility treats for him:

Because of their active ingredients (and being wheat/corn/soy free!):

After contacting them, and being sent multiple 'test' packets, I found they had two more very useful dog products (that I have not yet tried):
1. Gentle Digest Probiotic:


Why use a probiotic?
All mammals have numerous beneficial bacteria living in their digestive tracts (gut), including dogs, cats and humans.
Periodic use of antibiotics, as well as natural aging tends to decrease the amount of beneficial bacteria in your pet’s digestive system.  Beneficial bacterium helps to digest food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate toxic substances. [Gentle Digest Probiotic] alleviates occasional gas, diarrhea, and intestinal upset.

2. Happy Traveler

Active Ingredients:

An all-natural herbal calming formula for stressed, nervous, or anxious pets.
Happy Traveler® helps to control stress-related behavior in your pets. Great for those difficult times for your pet: Car Rides, Visits to Vets, Bath-Time, House Guests, Thunderstorms and Fireworks.

feeding philosophy

- aka - why I do not feed (much) vegetables/fruits or grains:


Dogs do not have an essential requirement for carbohydrates. In their natural habitat, dogs consume prey that is high in protein with moderate amounts of fat and minimal amounts of carbohydrate (1-2%) are utilized in the diet (soluble or insoluble fiber). Although dogs can use carbohydrates as a source of energy, the limitations of substituting animal-origin nutrients with plant-origin nutrients in dog foods are being increasingly realized. Recent research has shown that high-carbohydrate diets are responsible for many cases of canine diabetes. In fact, not only diabetes but many serious health problems in dogs have a dietary factor. Some are caused by diet, and all are affected by it. Diet-related diseases include: obesity, chronic vomiting, pancreatitis, arthritis, heart disease, allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, urinary tract disease, hyperthyroidism, skin and coat problems and cancer.

Dogs lack salivary amylase, the enzyme responsible for initiating carbohydrate digestion. Many pet owners and pet food manufacturers insist on adding vegetables or grains to a dog's diet claiming that they would eat them along with the stomach and intestines of their prey. However, this does not take into account that the amount of vegetable matter in small prey is small and more often than not, the stomach and the intestines are not eaten from large herbivorous prey.

Dogs do have a metabolic requirement for glucose. This requirement can be supplied either through endogenous synthesis (endogenous synthesis refers to the synthesis of a compound by the body) of glucose or from carbohydrate food sources. Metabolic pathways in the liver and kidney use other nutrients to produce glucose through a process called gluconeogenesis. This glucose is then released into the bloodstream to be carried to the body’s tissues. The dog can maintain normal blood glucose levels and health even when fed a carbohydrate-free diet.

- Dr. Corinne Chapman,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

treats | cow ears

redbarn cow ears are 100% natural with no added chemicals or preservatives! They are 100% digestible, are low in fat and sodium, and rich in protein. A great odorless, non-perishable treat, that is USDA and FDA approved from Free Range Cattle. This is a natural product so thickness and shape may vary.

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein:        90% Min
Crude Fat:            1.1% Min
Crude Fiber:            1% Max
Crude Ash:              2% Max
Moisture:              10% Max
Calcium:                .8% Min
Phosphorous:        .4% Min

Shelf Life: 36 months

Sunday, January 10, 2010


prey model raw is dependent on the inclusion of secreting organs (liver, et al) for a balanced diet.
Prey Model Guidelines: Feed 2 to 3 percent of your dog's ideal body weight each day, with 80 percent of the diet being muscle meat, 10 percent bone and 10 percent organs. Of the 10 percent organs, 5 percent, half, can be liver.

what are [some] secreting organs?
Liver (in rabbits, pancreas is also [sometimes] included in their liver), Brain, Testicles, Kidney, Spleen, Thymus

Commonly confused as organs, but still in the 'offal' catagory - heart, skin, eyes, stomach (lining), tongue and lungs are considered muscle meat.

sunday-fast day

Our dogs go through a fast once a week, on Sundays unless something is planned (like a hike).
Sundays are also my fasting & meditation days. Basically, we all look forward to Sundays because:

all day long :)

Technicalities on fasting, from Kymythy Schultze:
- Fasting enables the energy used to digest food to be used for other things in the body (healing, cleansing, maintenance). Many dogs and cats instinctively fast when ill.
- Fasting is a normal occurrence for carnivores.
-  Water aids in flushing out toxins from the body, and therefore should be available on fast days.

- What is good for one dog/family may not be good for another. Know your dog (and know yourself) before you decide to regularly fast your dog
- It’s important to remember to make sure your pet has plenty of fresh water on fast day. 
- Do not do fast puppies, lactating bitches or pregnant bitches.

Friday, January 8, 2010

GOAT, v 2.0

So I inadvertantly 'got smart' by storing the left over goat in a bag with defrosting, juicy cuts of beef.

Either this was enough to entice consumption, or accidental trickery - but the goat was eaten alongside the beef.

Success. Sort of.


aka - why shibas are ridiculous.

I was SO excited to find a bag of chunk, raw, bone in goat meat at a market. So excited. I took pictures because the dogs seemed excited, too:

Slightly freezer burnt, but still lookin' good.
- - - - - -

A little bit about goat:
Some interesting facts about goat meat:
Goats are the No. 1 red meat in the world. It is low in fat and cholesterol. According to nutritional facts supplied by the USDA, one 3-ounce serving of goat meat contains 122 calories, 2.58 grams of fat, 23 grams of protein and 3.3 milligrams of iron. The same amount of chicken has 120 calories, 3.5 grams of fat and 0.5 milligrams of iron. The same serving of beef has 245 calories, 16 grams of fat, 23 grams of protein and 2.9 milligrams of iron, while pork has 310 calories, 24 grams of fat, 21 grams of protein and 2.7 milligrams of iron, and lamb provides 235 calories, 16 grams of fat, 22 grams of protein and 1.4 milligrams of iron.

Some pics from other raw feeders
- - - - - - - - - -

After packaging up most into freezer bags (portioning) I gave a smidgen to each dog, for a taste:

Which did seem to go over quite well, besides Tsuki trying to bury it, but did eat it (she got the marrow):

- - - - - - - - - -

Then comes the real test - the actual meal of goat.


More consideration:


Needless to say, he got a bath, and the goat was put away until their morning meal.
Which, again, was not successful. They just stared at it.

Tsuki chose her turkey neck over the goat:

So, perhaps goat stew for the dogs tonight? Or I can suck it up and buy a meat grinder, mix the goat with tripe or something irresistible...

the easy way out

For every topic in this world, there is always one who argues it... or doubts it... or has tried it and found it to be a negative experience and is advocating that everyone avoid it.

The internet is FULL of this stuff. Take, for instance, a place called Second Chance Ranch and their negative views on the raw diet 'fad'. Now read the rebuttal (long, but full of good stuff - promise!)

Picking the truth from the lies is the hard part. Unfortunately, most people would rather not take the time to find the truth--they just want the info, now.

Which I suppose is, in a way, a blessing in disguise when it comes to the raw diet. If you're not willing to do a lot of truth-seeking and research before feeding it, then you shouldn't feed it. Period. Better to feed kibble than a poorly balanced raw diet.

Admit it - kibble is the easy way out. Whether the issue is time (not enough), availability (hard to find), research (haven't done it) or personal (can't touch it) - kibble is the easiest way to feed a dog. I'll admit it. I go back to kibble when I have foster dogs - its easier. But is it better? I can't make that claim, I can only tell you what I have learned - via this blog.

Just to put the SCR's argument into perspective... the 'extensive' research mentioned can only have taken place in the last 60-70 years, as kibble had not existed before then and it was widely practiced to feed raw scraps to dogs. Therefore, it is not a fad. It is (was, and should be) a way of life for the domestic dog.

Reading accounts like this put it into more perspective for me. This is a breeder who has seen many generations THRIVE (not just live, or survive) on a total raw diet. For me, 'nuff said.

I have seen the benefits in my own dogs, its not just a digestive revolution - but a total wellness one. The results I have seen MYSELF, after the due research going into the diet, is enough to convince me forever - the raw diet works.

and now admitting my dorkiest side.. Hell, even Hagrid is shown feeding his pets/creatures raw meat/prey! Like hippogriff Buckbeak, who gets whole prey ferrets in Prisoner of Azkaban; and dog, Fang, gets a big red steak in Half Blood Prince. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010


Lamb is a protein I generally give in medallion form, unless it is post-holiday and on sale in whole form.

Luckily, our little local grocer had a fantastic sale on cuts of lamb shoulder and the shibas enjoyed it.

Lamb is very fatty, one of the highest according to Dr. Pitcairn's calculation, but also quite nutritious [including high levels of zinc for stamina, skin, and heart health while containing all essential amino acids] when part of a variety-rich raw foods diet.

Also, the shibas (24 & 18lbs) had no trouble getting through the bones in the meat cuts:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Bland diet on raw?

Not that I've had a serious problem with it yet...

But lets say you are feeding raw - have tons of variety in the diet and for some reason, your dog has an upset stomach (the runs!)
1. I would fast the dog for a full day (or half a day if you can't handle it) then up the bone content in the next meal (like, a chicken back).

Lets say your dog is vomiting, and/or has 'the runs' (after you consider a vet visit..)
2. Chicken, plain old raw chicken is the blandest thing I can think of on a raw diet. It is what is recommended as the very first protein to try when switching your dog to a raw diet from kibble.

^this^ I have had to do. When I first began raw, we spent about a week and a half introducing different parts of the chicken (including liver). Then we introduced beef in combination with chicken. Then we added turkey. Then fish. Then pork - ACK! The pork was a disaster... we had to A. FAST him a day, and B. backtrack all the way to week one (chicken) to get Kitsune's digestion back to normal.

As a last resort
3. Nature's Variety Raw Medallions are SO bone heavy, they firm up even the runniest of stool!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I say this because I recently got an email about a Wheaten terrier who has been on raw for about a month, and had a digestive set back when trying to be introduced to veal. The owner wanted to give him a bland diet (of cooked chicken & rice, maybe some pumpkin).
Once your dog has adjusted to the digestion of raw foods, it will make his digestive track work even harder to digest cooked foods (topped with carbohydrates - rice, and vegetation - pumpkin). The owner was even considering going back to kibble until the issue resolved. NO NO NO! Just backtrack, keep your head, fast, and go back to chicken.

I certainly have more research to do on the topic, these are just observations tested on and approved by my dogs!

Friday, January 1, 2010

where the magic happens

aka the kitchen (prep room)

Generally I allow my dogs to intermingle with me as I prepare their meals, it is encouraging to me to see the non-competitive comradeship my dogs have when I am the center of their world, because the food always comes from my hands. It is also smart on their behalf, as I appear "clumsy" and often drop smidgens of liver or kidney onto the floor that they cheerfully gobble up (something that doesn't often happen when their meal is before them in its entirety).

My husband, on the other hand, finds their 'mingling' a dangerous distraction and keeps them separated from him by a gate. I understand why, he is nervous to be using a cleaver to begin with and the chicken was still a tad frozen to be cutting into quarters.
This, however, led to a very cute photo opportunity... 'waiting'

heavens, i love her sweet little face.