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Dog food evolution, once upon a time - the history

the skull of the oldest domestic dog ancestor Prohesperocyon-wilsoni.Anyone with a passing interest in the history of the domestic dog familiaris canis, will find our extraordinary companions past, absolutely amazing.  But this is often because of how much history the average dog owner doesn't know, as much as how much DNA studies are currently revealing.

To make it more digestable, I will retell the REAL story of dogs and dog food evolution, as dog food corporate manufacturers might like you to see it, a fairy tale.

Once upon a time there were dinosaurs, a cataclysmic event wiped them out around 66 million years ago and allowed many other smaller diverse species to flourish including many members of the order Carnivora.

Around 50 million years ago the carnivorans  split into their dog and cat families.

" the first clearly identifiable member of the dog family itself, the Canidae, had arisen in what is now southwestern Texas. Named Prohesperocyon wilsoni," Ref 2  The image here is of its skull.

Over millions of years natural climate change occurred that caused these animals to adapt, evolve and thrive. " To a large extent, the history of the dog family is a story of how a group of cursorial predators evolved, through speed and intelligence, to catch changing prey in a changing landscape."  Ref  2

Read more: Dog food evolution, once upon a time - the history

Can dogs eat cooked octopus? Yes! Healthy Dog Treats OCTOPUS !

octopus-dog-treats-jerkyOctopus dog treats are 100% safe for all dogs to eat.

NO MEAT appears on any list by reputable companies as being bad for dogs.  The only toxic organic (animals or plant) materials for dogs are from the Plant kingdom. Many people suggest that overloading dogs with unnatural food like grains puts an excessive load in their bodies, but billion dollar dog food companies disagree.

Octopus jerky is also obviously ORGANIC and natural for a dog to eat - ours are just 100% octopus dried.  NO ADDITIVES OF ANY KIND.

The nutritiondata site puts all of these sea animals together "Mollusks, octopus, common, cooked, moist heat Nutrition Facts & Calories"  It has very low fat (below 4% and less than 1% being saturated. Omega 3 is high as is the protein 50%.

The great thing about our Octopus jerky dog treat is that it is in pliable thin sheets that makes it ideal for cutting into any size strip or shape you want. 

Most dogs  love it, and it is easy for any dog to eat. It is much softer than beef or roo jerky and is a great way of getting quality protein into your dog, especially those feed regular commercial dog food diets.

Read more: Can dogs eat cooked octopus? Yes! Healthy Dog Treats OCTOPUS !

Organic Dog Treats Australia - Get what you need and pay for !

roo-jerky-organic-dog-treatsOrganic dog treats and dog food are on the rise, but its worthwhile knowing what organic really means and what you are getting for your money and your dog.

BTW upfront, you should know that our 100% meat based dog treat range of Kangaroo and Fish are inherently ORGANIC dog treats.  While some dog food and dog treats that are even certified as organic might not be.

Firstly the definition by the bbcgoodfood site: "Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or products produced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited by organic legislation." 

So the two main concepts here that you need to know are about 1 - how food is produced as organic and  2. That some people claim that food or treats can't be organic unless they are certified by some organisation.

Read more: Organic Dog Treats Australia - Get what you need and pay for !

Did you know healthy dog treats SHOULD be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner!?

Dogs-waiting-for-meat-based-dog-treatsRecently we received a great testimonial from a very satisfied customer who told us "We Love them so much, we don’t understand why we aren’t allowed them for breakfast, lunch and dinner?"

Ironically its only because of the big "dog food" company marketing and poor nutritional value of supermarket treats that people actually don't know this MAJOR secret. That Healthy Dog Treats can and should be used with all meals.

In fact one of the nutrition bibles on 'dog food' co-written by major company insiders, even confirmed that you can feed your dog up to 25% dry weight meat as a substitute to dog food (that is mostly grain anyway) - without upsetting their Affco 'bosses'.

The reason that you would want to do this, besides seeing genuine satisfaction on your dog's face, is to give them the meat essential amino acids that they are missing out on in dog food. And the reason that they are missing is because dog food is so highly loaded with grain or vegetables NOT meat. 

Read more: Did you know healthy dog treats SHOULD be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner!?

Frozen dog treats - dangers and much healthier summer options

beef jerky dog treat on iceSummer in Australia and people are spending more times at home on holidays or trying their best to keep their dogs cool.

These are all commendable things, however there is a dangerous trend of owners taking the advice of junk websites and feeding dogs 'human food'.  Mostly fruit inside of large clumps of ice.

Top THREE reasons NOT to feed your dog fruit frozen dog treats

1      Fruit is full of carbs, ie mostly fructose (simple sugars).  While dogs like almost every animal on earth likes sugar, it can increase their weight without any nutritional benefit, raise blood sugar levels leading towards diabetes and lead to obesity (as the sugar is easily converted to fat in their body).

2   Ice can break your dog's teeth.  While people are sometimes concerned about feeding their dogs bones, Ice presents just as much of a tooth danger. Ice is hard and can easily fracture teeth, leading to pain and expensive vet visits.

3      If you feed low fructose fruit treats to your dog, all you are doing is adding more water and fibre, stuff that they can get in regular dog food plus water. If the fruit has any sugar you are feeding your dog fructose at the expense of bio available MEAT protein.

Read more: Frozen dog treats - dangers and much healthier summer options

Australian Dog and cat numbers June 2018 - pets are on the rise!

Getting accurate dog population statistics in Australia is hard, really hard and there are good reasons for that.

However with enough previous data we have made some good estimates for JUNE 2018 values!

In June 2018 the domestic dog and cat populations in Australia are estimated to be:

  • Dogs = 9 Million
  • Cats = 6 Million
  • Pets = 34 Million
  • Humans (potential owners) = 25 Million  Ref  1

Good news for dogs. 

 

Read more: Australian Dog and cat numbers June 2018 - pets are on the rise!

This Article shows the annual spend on dog food, dog treats and cat foods in Australia

Happy dogsWith the massive commercialisation of data, it seems that nobody wants the average person to know what's going on. If you own a dog you will know the general costs that you incur each year, but I personally found it surprisingly hard to find actual costs on such simple things as annual cost of:

Dog Food, Dog Treats, Cat Food & Cat treats

And then when I found snippets of information, and values that varied considerably.

What we know is that dog ownership is decreasing, the dog food market is getting more competitive with more 'premium' options around, and the dog treat sector and dog ancillary services are increasing in sales well above many industry averages. 

That is the fewer dogs we have, are getting treated better each year. A great thing ! But are people getting what they pay for?

Read more: This Article shows the annual spend on dog food, dog treats and cat foods in Australia

Dog Treats and how we buy them online throughout the week in Australia

dog treat australia search trends 2017Do you know how people buy dog treats online throughout the week in Australia, let alone the reason they buy them at a given hour? Google might have some of the answers.

The attached graph is from Google trends data Australia. It is for the week 16-22 Dec 2017 because they give hourly data only for the most recent week. You will see that there is a big variance between days for a given hour (x axis) which means standard deviation information is of little use.

And the data is so cluttered that picking a trend between the days is of little use too. But that is what happens when you take any one week in isolation and look at its average search values.

Dog Treats online sales hourly trend Australia

While there is little point comparing days with each other, the thick black line (average of the week) shows the weekly trend which does have some value to it. We then averaged the working week hours (monday to Friday) to see if the weekend search habits changed the data much (thick RED line)

Read more: Dog Treats and how we buy them online throughout the week in Australia

Why Christmas dog treats can be bad for dogs

merry-dog-xmasFirstly apologies for Dressing Archie up.  We do not usually condone this foolhardy behaviour and I only trialled it on his head for this photo (it was a gift from a client). It is clearly too small and I thought it was ok for 30seconds as a quick xmas promo. Apology done !

While most dogs are still going to be chowing down on grains this Christmas as a regular part of their diet, they will also often be fed a lot of table scraps.

The issue with xmas food scraps for dog:

At least the kibble (grains) have had a lot of vitamins and minerals added to make them semi nutritious (but not as nutritious as a meat based diet)

Quick change of diets can lead to diarrhoea and malnutrition.

If you don't decrease your dogs regular food diet substantially when adding table scraps, then they can become obese.

Many people may each think of feeding your dog a little scrap but it all adds up to a lot of extra food.

Read more: Why Christmas dog treats can be bad for dogs

LIST of the BAD summer dog treats.

bad-dog-treatsHere are a list of what you should consider to be genuine HEALTHY summer dog treats. before we get to the train wreck of pop social media column suggestions.

As promised here are some of the ideas that general blogs through up for 'fun' completely ignoring the nutrition that dogs truly crave and need. Here are some of the low lights.

BAD Summer dog treat ideas

Peanut butter anything dog treat.

Yes some dogs like the smell, some enjoy that it sticks their mouth together, but this is 100% carb, often with added sugar or salt. There is very little less natural than PB anything for your dog.

Read more: LIST of the BAD summer dog treats.

LIST of the best summer dog treats for your dog!

good-summer-dog-treatsAs we head to Christmas, It literally becomes the 'silly season' for owners buying things for their dogs. And General entertainment blogs decide to showcase as many crazy ideas about what great novel dog treats should be for dogs in summer. Aimed at the human brain, and images, not what dogs need.

When you realise your dog is mostly a carnivore and hardly gets any meat in most commercial dog food, you might realise the ONLY dog treats they should have should be MEAT.  Once you are over that hurdle, if you want to stick to the true diet of dogs in the wild you would give them a seasonal variation.

As bad as that might sound, in summer, dogs in the wild (and wolves) would have a chance to pick up a lot of juvenile animals (spring born prey) from much larger prey that they might have difficulty catching.

In your Australian suburb you might consider mixing their diet up with fresh fish (salmon mate in spring), or small rabbits, or any kind of meat that you may not easily get access to in winter.

Read more: LIST of the best summer dog treats for your dog!

Why dog lovers all over Australia should be very worried about NY schools meatless Fridays

lab-grown-fake-meatRecently I came across something that should shock every dog owner in Australia to the core. Mayor Bill de Blasio (NY city, New York) declared on 24 OCT 2017 that they are " ..Creating habits for a healthy planet and healthy bodies should start early. We're introducing Meatless Mondays in Brooklyn schools! For our own health and health of the planet,"

If history teaches us anything, it would be that trends and laws that occur in California and NY in America tend to blossom around the world within a few years. Most of these thinking capitals do things for the sake of human and earth health, but in this case there is a very sinister downside you would be aware of.

The logic they have in place is that it takes a lot of resources to produce cows and cattle for human meat consumption, these cattle also create a lot of methane that has a high impact on global warming. As undeveloped countries around the world begin to prosper, their populations will also demand more meat causing more deforestation, and more global warming issues.

So rather than convince other countries to go vegetarian, or control their own meat export, they are punishing their own citizens, for a "good cause".  This will have shockwaves around the world, and dogs will suffer more than any other species.

Read more: Why dog lovers all over Australia should be very worried about NY schools meatless Fridays

Dog treat recipes for Christmas - the honest truth

dog-treat-recipes-not-requiredIf you stumble across and glossy magazine equivalent about dogs or 'suzie homemaker' online, you are going to be hit by a plethora of stories about the best and healthiest dog treat recipes to make for the upcoming holiday season.

The truth is, most of these articles will be written by writers who don't own a dog, let alone know or care about dog nutrition.

While many articles are trying to diffuse the fact that dogs are 90% carnivores by saying that only cats are obligate carnivores, they also begrudgingly mention that dogs evolved to catch and eat meat, and do MUCH, MUCH better on meat.

Dog treat recipes for Christmas - where they go wrong

Many of the clueless writers thinks dogs are so much of the family they should share our human omnivore food. YES you can teach a dog to eat carrots and broccoli, and they will like the sugar, BUT they don't need carbs in their diet at all.  And if they eat commercial dog food, they are being starved of their true appropriate dog food - MEAT. So for Christmas give YOUR DOGS more meat, not less!

Read more: Dog treat recipes for Christmas - the honest truth

Buy the best Christmas dog treats online? Step inside

Best Christmas dog treats online, waiting ...When we began selling dog treats, we realised that very few companies sold mainly 100% meat dog treats like us - the source cost is just too high for many - hence the proliferation of grain filled dross, in pretty packaging.

We also found that most companies will mark their grain products up massively, then do you a favour by discounting temporarily around a major holiday period. Of course the discounting still allows for plenty of profit and gets you dog hooked to more grain.

Every day of the year we have a bundled selection of treats in our SPECIALS category that is presently discounted below their individual discounted sample and bulk pack prices.

Best Christmas dog treats online

How can we possibly claim this?

1              The best Christmas dog treats are those that make an amazing Christmas present for your dog, provide the best nutrition your dog will ever know, and don't break the bank. That's us, Bruce's Healthy Dog Treats.

2              These dog treats are mid heat dried.  Freeze drying and high temp drying (like dog food) massively reduces the nutrition value of dog treats or dog food - ours are dried at the right level to keep nutrition and keep the treats safe.

Read more: Buy the best Christmas dog treats online? Step inside

LIST of the most enjoyed food and non food dog treats in the dog park

Our happy Arya cavoodle chewing a stickAs a professional dog walker, I take the dogs in my care very seriously. It also means that we get to trial a few treats with our clients if we wish, and they often get a windfall around Christmas time.

There are many dog food and dog treat companies run by people who don't particularly like dogs, or don't even own a dog themselves. I find that kind of hypocritical if the company is putting out a lot of marketing to pretend how deeply they care or are connected with dogs. But then again I dont make animated dog ads either .. OH - and thats the reason I can write these articles FIRST HAND rather than 're posting'.

We openly acknowledge as often as possible in posts and on dog treat description pages for owners to observe their dogs after they have taken them for a big run, chomping into a new treat. We do this particularly with bones, where some over-zealous dogs can get into trouble.

It only makes sense that owners would have this 'duty of care', rather than pushing back on a manufacturer of natural dog treats that their dog doesn't 'do well' on a particular treat,. But I digress, only slightly. You will see what I mean when I reveal the top non food dog treats after the brief REAL dog treats segment below.

Read more: LIST of the most enjoyed food and non food dog treats in the dog park

The best dog treats review of review.com article 2017

beef jerky-100% dog treat
beef jerky-100% dog treat

If you have read our blogs before you would realise that we are very strict  on what we believe makes for a good dog treat - worthy of being called a dog food supplement (as good or better than premium dog food).

The say "the best dog treats should pack plenty of protein. They should also be free of unnecessary additives like artificial flavours or extra salt and sugar. To find the best we consulted vets and dog trainers, scrutinised ingredient labels, and tried out our favourites ...  because dogs have individual tastes .. our top picks offer a variety of textures and flavours to appeal to even the pickiest  pooch." Ref 1

This is pretty much our selection criteria for selling dog treats.  Strangely they mention "plenty of protein" and skirt around the fact that vegetable and meat proteins are utilised very differently by a dog's body (carnivore dogs use meat protein much easier, so its typically easier to digest and for the body to use). And the only reason to include grain and vegetables is cost, not health !

Read more: The best dog treats review of review.com article 2017

The highest demand dog treat states and cities for 2017 in Australia are ..

map-of-australia-dog-treat-interestWelcome to the murky state of dog treat interest on Google Australia.  Having around 80-90% market share of searches in Australia, Google is a good barometer of the interest in any particular industry. 

In the case of my interest "dog treats"  the attached map gives you a good graphical representation of how concentrated (by state) the interest in dog treats are (number of searchers per state population) between sep 2016 and Sep 2017.

We will look at the numbers behind that below,

.. but of particular interest is the difference in state interest and Metro area interest in Australia..

If you were wondering what the whole of Australia interest over the last year looked like, then that is shown in the graphic below:

Read more: The highest demand dog treat states and cities for 2017 in Australia are ..

Hot Trends in the DOG Industry that should NOT be real, 2017

happy healthy dogThis is a critique of an American pet industry report from April 2017.  I am reviewing an American version, as knowing Australia, if it sells in America we will eventually have it here.

Before I review some of the most ridiculous trends that you can spend your money on I would like to state that this is how you make your dog happy.

1              Meat based diet

2              Off lead dog walks

Just like most dog food being full of grain filler, everything else in the dog trent category tends to be filler.  Unnecessary ways to spend money, which is fine if you have covered off the first two points.  The problem is that most people don't.  Most owners by grain based 'dog food'  and then spend on grooming, totally neglecting the two main things that ensure a dog is actually happy AND healthy.

Dog trends 2017 you are better off forgetting

In no particular order:

Read more: Hot Trends in the DOG Industry that should NOT be real, 2017

Top 5 best-selling dog treats (better than on) Amazon's list

great social dogs
great social dogs

Its always nice to have a sanity check to see how you are doing with the 'competition'.  And as the Amazons goliath is expected to rip through the Australian retail scene any moment now (2017), this article ties two needs into one.

Calling Amazon a competitor is a little rich, considering their massive size, they are a category killer. However since like eBay most of their sellers are often 'drop shippers' or warehouse affiliates, often without any actual product knowledge of handling, buying dog treats or dog food through a cut price directory is the last thing that we would do or recommend. 

We guarantee quality and service and know all about dog treats (and real dog nutrition) that is why we live in the dog service industry, its not just about the money.

What we have decided to do is the fun experiment of seeing what were amazons 2016 best sellers, and what ingredients they contained, and offering you a MUCH BETTER NATURAL alternative.

Read more: Top 5 best-selling dog treats (better than on) Amazon's list

Aafco - An 'independent' Govt Committee full of private company 'advisors'

aafcoIn the previous article we looked at the massive market power that the top 2 dog food companies exert in the world . They make up 90% of the revenues of the top ten global dog food companies. We also looked at why they prefer using inappropriate cheap grains, to genuine dog food like meat. 

In this article we look at the final piece of the puzzle, AAFCO. If you had a government body setting the Gold dog food standard wouldn't you want it to be completely independent and science based, not be driven by profit based companies?

You might think that, but here are some cold hard facts on how the major companies that are supposed to adhere to dog food standards are able to set those dog food standards to suit themselves, and their shareholders.

There is nowhere near as much money in dog food as oil and drugs, so this whole industry of collusion is usually allowed to self monitor, and in fact set standards that benefit setting up a monopoly.

In America "The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) is responsible for regulating pet foods. The FDA monitors food branding to make certain that labels are not misleading and that the manufacturer is recorded on the label." REF 1

Read more: Aafco - An 'independent' Govt Committee full of private company 'advisors'

The Dog Food Company Monopoly and why your dogs eat grain.

globalfoodbrand-oligopolyThis is a story of market dominance and how a carnivore began to get fed so much grain, that people actually believed that it was good for them !

For any regulatory organisation (aafco) to be controlled by profit companies, they would have to have a lot of money at their disposal for lobbying. And yes they do. 

The dog food companies would have to spend many BILLIONS each year on advertising to make their subversive intentions mainstream. And they do. They would have to use a lot of images of puppies and dogs having happy times with their owners on all their advertising.

People would have to get too busy working or looking at their smart phone to look up and just wonder what happened.

We are well past that point.

We have told this news many times before but we once again would like to remind owners of the impact that global behemoth companies have on your dog's health.  The pervasive nature of these massive companies are the very reason that most owners don't know that their dogs need a meat based diet, so they don't bother with buying meat based dog treats as a supplement either.

Read more: The Dog Food Company Monopoly and why your dogs eat grain.

Dog obesity and the real issue with dog food and dog treats

off-lead-dogs-being-fed-meat-based-treats.I recently viewed an article discussing dog and cat obesity and it funnily enough said that dogs and cats are both getting bigger, as are their human counterparts. It stated that in the US that " half the nation’s dogs and cats are overweight or obese". Ref 1

The reason would probably be the increasing sedentary life of owners, the increase of sedentary past-times (ie smart phones) and the lack of walking in off lead dog parks.

Just like humans,  dogs weight is a balance between exercise and food intake, as well as age/ genes etc.

Their specific advice is " feed a low-calorie diet and “exercise more."  And just like the owners its wise to use methods where  " weight loss is one that promotes fat loss while preserving lean muscle mass. They say " I typically favor a therapeutic higher-protein, low-calorie food as a starting weight loss diet." REF 1

"Don’t trust the bag; pet food feeding guides are formulated for adult, un-spayed or un-neutered active dogs and cats. That means if you have an older, spayed or neutered indoor lap potato you’ll probably be feeding 20% to 30% too much if you follow the food’s instructions" Ref 1

Read more: Dog obesity and the real issue with dog food and dog treats

Why your dog food has so many ingredients and dog treats mostly have one

dog-in-the-dog-parkI was reading a dog food review by canstarblue called 'Dog Food Reviews'   the other day, and surprisingly they had only nice things to say about the products they were reviewing.

It might be true that 97% of dog owners in Australia feed their dogs a commercial dog food diet. And many of these owners proudly say how their product is ultra premium, they buy only the best. And the advertising on each of these massive public companies also tells you that.

And curiously when it comes to treats, I hear people say time and again how they demand Australian only treats, with no additives etc. And that is fine ..

However while owners are so apparently picky over their treats (even though Most of the leading supermarket treats are grain based), it is informative for us to remember several facts about dog food and why meat based dog treats are often superior, nutritionally.

Read more: Why your dog food has so many ingredients and dog treats mostly have one

The toxic amount of onions and garlic for dogs is surprisingly small

dogs-without-onionsRecently I had a client tell me that her naturopath recommended garlic to use with her dog, and she also fed her dog foods containing onion.

Here are some real reasons why you should avoid all vegetables belonging to the allium family of plants

  • onions
  • garlic.
  • leeks
  • shallots
  • chives

"Onions, garlic and other members of the allium family are toxic to dogs. This is called allium species toxicosis, or onion toxicity.   The dangerous chemical is N-propyl disulfide.

Plants in this family contain organo-sulfur compounds that are metabolized into highly reactive oxidants which can damage the red blood cells (erythrocytes) of dogs.  As the oxidant level within erythrocytes become higher than the cells’ antioxidant metabolism capacity, a condition called oxidative hemolysis results which affects oxygen transport and causes red blood cells to rupture and be destroyed." REF 1

Read more: The toxic amount of onions and garlic for dogs is surprisingly small

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