It is very confusing these days determining just what dog food and
treats we should be buying for our beloved furkids. Between all
natural, human-grade, premium, and organic labels, there are sadly
many ways that manufacturers and various small businesses can
mislead us about the makeup of their products. And, their
explanations as to why their product is really just fine should be
making us buyers beware. So, take the time to read the information
below, and to explore the referenced articles and resources.
We do not harp on too many things here at the Land of PureGold. But,
one thing that is important to us is the quality of what we put into
our bodies. That is why organic is so critical in our beliefs, as
you can see at our pages on Organic Foods or Bust.
WHAT WE FEED OUR FURRY FAMILY MEMBERS We do not believe in dog food or people food. It
is just food, and whole foods are best. We utilize an organic pre-mix from
Canine Life and then add organic ingredients to provide wonderful,
low-temperature baked meals. We also like to be proactive so we provide a
cancer-version of the diet.
Read more about it here.
Dr. David A. Dzanis, in his article, Interpreting Pet Food Labels, indicates that
"Many foods are
labeled as 'premium,' and some now are 'super premium' and even 'ultra
premium.' Other products are touted as 'gourmet' items. Products labeled as
premium or gourmet are not required to contain any different or higher
quality ingredients, nor are they held up to any higher nutritional
standards than are any other complete and balanced products. The term
'natural' is often used on pet food labels, although that term does not have
an official definition either. For the most part, 'natural' can be construed
as equivalent to a lack of artificial flavors, artificial colors, or
artificial preservatives in the product. As mentioned above, artificial
flavors are rarely employed anyway. Artificial colors are not really
necessary, except to please the pet owner's eye. If used, they must be from
approved sources, the same as for human foods. 'Natural' is not the same as
'organic.' The latter term refers to the conditions under which the plants
were grown or animals were raised. There are no official rules governing the
labeling of organic foods for pets."
In the Natural Foods Merchandiser Volume XXVI/Number 3 (March 2005), Marty
Traynor Spencer penned the following interesting article: "Old Dogs, New
Tricks." Older dogs fed a diet rich in antioxidants, exercised twice a
week, and given toys and other dogs to play with performed better on
cognitive tests and were more likely to learn new tricks than inactive dogs
fed regular chow. The study, published in the journal, Neurobiology of
Aging, divided 42 beagles, ages 7 to 11, into four groups. One group got
standard care and diet; a second ate dog food fortified with vitamins E and
C, vegetables and citrus; a third got exercise and social play but a
standard diet; and the fourth got the fortified diet and the exercise and
play routine. After two years, the dogs were required to learn a new trick.
The results: 100 percent of the dogs in the diet and exercise group, 80
percent in the exercise group and 66 percent in the diet group were able to
perform the new task—but only 25 percent in the control group did. And the
news may be just as good for the pets’ guardians as it is for the animals
themselves. Dogs’ brains mature much like humans’ and are susceptible to
age-related declines in learning and memory. The researchers speculate that
an enriched diet and a stimulating environment could stave off aging for
dogs and their people.
8 lbs. 10
to 11 lbs. 15 to 16 lbs. 25 to 26 lbs. 32
to 43 lbs. 40 to 50 lbs. 65 to 70 lbs. 55
to 60 lbs.
The Positives to Weight Control
fat Besides not understanding food labels and information, many people have
difficulty knowing how much to feed to their dogs and how to tell if their dogs
are too heavy? Well, try this method which
comes from Martin Zucker's book,
Veterinarians' Guide to Natural Remedies for Dogs: Safe and Effective Alternative
Treatments and Healing Techniques. Stand above your dog. Look down and see if the dog has a waist that is, a visible
indentation behind the ribs. You want to see an hourglass figure, with the rib cage wider
than the abdomen. The stomach should be tucked up, not loose and flabby. Gently place the
palms of both hands against the animal's ribs. You want to be able to feel the ribs. If
you can't feel the ribs, your dog is probably too heavy. Many obese animals have fatty
pouches in the groin area.
What To Know Desired foods SHOULD contain . .
Premium sources of protein — These should be whole meats
and if meal is used, it should be from a single source (chicken meal rather than poultry
meal) Whole-meat or meal should be one of the first two
ingredients — For canines, meat is the most important natural source of protein. Whole
meat is always better than meal. And, chicken is always better than poultry, as this is a
general term which could indicate any type of bird, such as turkey, duck, geese, or
chicken. Grains that are whole and unprocessed and also vegetables
— Nutrients and enzymes have a greater likelihood of remaining intact when they come from
But, Desired foods Should NOT
contain . . . Meat byproducts
— Meat byproducts are not handled as
carefully as whole meat, and are very poor in quality. They include such questionable
parts as lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low
temperature fatty tissue, stomachs and intestines. Digest is particularly bad to see in an
ingredient list as this byproduct has been treated with heat and had water added to it to
then create a slurry. Generic fats or proteins
— Generic fats or proteins are a
mixed bag as they can come from a number of combined sources. Therefore, beef or chicken
fat is better than animal or poultry fat. And, lamb meal is better than meat meal.
— These include ingredients such as
corn gluten, and brewer's rice. Anything with the word corn (corn meal, corn gluten, corn
syrup) affixed to it is dangerous as many dogs have allergies to corn. Artificial colors Sweeteners
— To make unappealing kibbles more enticing,
sweeteners such as glycyrrhizin, sucrose and corn syrup are added. Propylene glycol
— This is a toxic ingredient when it is
consumed in large amounts. It is sometimes seen in the ingredients of chewy foods as it
helps them to keep moist. Added salt
— Salt can be added to foods to function as a
preservative. Just like added salt is not healthy for humans, it can upset your dog's
calcium potassium balance. Artificial preservatives (including BHA, BHT, or
ethoxyquin) — This ingredient is not easily detected as companies do not have to mention
that BHA & BHT have been utilized. This is due to the fact that they are needed to
stabilize the fat in foods to keep them from spoiling. If you have a kibble with >12%
fat, and animal fat is listed as an ingredient, then it must have BHA & BHT as
stabilizers. However, there is an exception when the label indicates that the fat was
preserved with "mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid" which happens to be Vitamins
E & C. These are the the desired stabilizers.
BHA is actually butylated hydroxyanisole & BHT is butyhlated hydroxytoluene. In the
literature, these preservatives have been associated with liver damage, fetal
abnormalities, and metabolic stress. And, there may be a relationship to cancer. The
chemical preserative, Ethoxyquin, also has alleged associations to liver, kidney &
thyroid dysfunctions, reproductive failure, and cancer.
Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Pure Sockeye Salmon Oil
Our Golden Alfie has gotten 6000 units daily since 2007, before that
getting 3000-4000 units a day. Boy, what a difference it
has made. His coat is incredible, and at his now senior age of 9 (2008),
the extra softgels keep down joint inflammation associated with
increasing age and arthritis. It is a must-have
Derived exclusively from wild sockeye salmon
caught in the cold, pristine waters off Alaska, this 100% PURE oil is not
blended with any inferior salmon or other fish oils. Here's why this is unique:
To achieve high ratios of EPA to DHA, commercially available salmon oil capsules
are fortified with other fish oils. One benefit of Vital Choice Wild Alaskan Sockeye
Salmon Oil is that it has the lowest cholesterol levels, in contrast to the
higher levels found in farmed salmon oil.
The freshest and purest oils available, Sockeye contains the highest amount
of omega-3 fatty acids of any salmon.
It's orange color is due to the high levels of the carotenoid and astaxanthin
(occurring naturally in sockeye) that helps the eyes and cardiovascular system.
Alaskan sockeye salmon are the richest salmon species in the powerful biological
antioxidant astaxanthin, a natural caroteniod that imparts a rich orange glow to
the oil and eliminates the need for added tocopherols present in other brands.
Astaxanthin is a natural carotenoid that gives our oil its rich orange color—and
is up to 100 times more potent than Vitamin E at quenching singlet oxygen ‘free
There are NO artificial preservatives, color or sweeteners; corn, dairy,
starch, wheat, or yeast.