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Why the convenience of dog treats and dog food matter so much

convenient healthy dog treatsIf anyone were to ask me why I sell healthy dog treats (as opposed to the cheapest mass product high margin grain based treats I can find) .. it is ONLY for the HEALTH of dogs in Australia.

If you feed your dog a raw diet, there is still a chance its not meat based, or that it has the diversity of animal proteins or strength of chews that we can provide. But the truth is that the reason that the majority of dog owners in developed countries buy grain dog food at supermarkets (or online) is that it is VERY convenient (in big bulk bags), relatively cheap (if you buy more basic options).

But there is also the fear campaign that the dog food industry has been running for years.   Fear that if you use anything besides their highly processed pellets your dog won't be getting 'whole and complete' food.  Fear that if good looking vets back their highly processed products - they must be the best, right ?

So what is the driving factor behind buying dog treats? Healthy ones that is.

Read more: Why the convenience of dog treats and dog food matter so much

IF cows do better on grass (than grains) why do we keep feeding dogs grains?

Dog-V-Cow-nutritionIt used to be simple and clear. Dogs ate meat, cows ate grass.  Likewise corn wasn't found in 80% of supermarket products and people used to drink water.  These are now found to be non 'old fashioned values' but nutrition based science reasons for keeping dogs, cows and humans on their original diets.

Only when farmers started easily growing a surplus of grains did marketers need to find new markets of where to stuff that surplus to make money for themselves. While many dog owners are sceptical at there being valid reasons for dogs not eating grains or vegetables instead of meat, why would nutritionist ban cows from eating grain? Its science, really.

And here is the amazing thing, once you see why cows were forced to eat grains and why its inappropriate for herbivores to eat grains, its a short step to understanding why a carnivore dog shouldn't eat grains (plus a whole host of carnivore reasons).

COWS fed grass are happier and more nutritious (for dogs human consumption). That means that cows while alive also have more nutrients in their bodies for maintenance and growth and being healthy.

Read more: IF cows do better on grass (than grains) why do we keep feeding dogs grains?

Dog Treats - The effect of mass media advertising and cartoons on normalising the bad.

dog-with-a-boneIf you have read any of our previous blogs, you will know how easy it is for us to get fired up about nutrition facts, and the lack of meat in most dog's diets. That can all get a little bit serious, so on this occasion I would like to discuss the effect of media on society in relation to what we know about dog food and dog treats. And specifically the cartoon Dot.

Now having a young boy in our family, we get to see a lot of cartoons. And seeing an episode of Dot the other night made me think of how well ingrained it is that people think dog food is basically grains, that the media (even cartoons) keeps feeding us back that image. Its a destructive self perpetuating cycle, but so you see how pervasive it is, consider this example.

In this one show there was a moment where Dot decided that she was going to make this 3d printer, a food printer, print a 'dog bones'. In my world, dog bones are actual bones of animals that dogs and wolves might have once eaten as part of their main diet.

Bones would not have been relegated to being a 'treat', but in this show Dot decide to print a 'dog bone' treat. The only thing is that the dog bone actually turns out to be a form of biscuit in the shape of a bone.  This is similar the American concept of milky bones for dogs, that have nothing to do with actual bones.

Read more: Dog Treats - The effect of mass media advertising and cartoons on normalising the bad.

DOG FOOD: What Percentage MEAT does your dog NEED & what are they getting?

happy-dogsIf you feed your dog commercial dog food, this might be the single most important article you ever read about your options. I will briefly review what the consequence of feeding dog food between the range of 100% animal products and ZERO percent meat. And what that means for your dog and you, health wise and finance wise.

Dog food @ 100% animal product

Domestic dogs evolved from wolves about 20-30 thousand years ago. It is wildly believed that humans caused this evolution (taming and breeding more tame dogs), but of course over the last 500 years of dog life in our urban world, we have breed dogs down in size and for purpose so that this connection is almost unrecognizable from the wolf. Except their digestion essentially remains the same as the wolf, all but for a minor tolerance to eating some carbs.

This tolerance has allowed corporations to exploit domestic dogs to the fullest for unimaginable financial gain.

Read more: DOG FOOD: What Percentage MEAT does your dog NEED & what are they getting?

When is a dog treat not a treat & when is it better than dog food?

our-dogs-on-a-benchThe two most unfortunate things in the dog treat industry in Australia is the claim by dog food associations that dog food is 'whole and complete'  and that those same companies that produce substandard dog food, also produce sub-standard dog treats.

When is a dog treat not a treat?

Here is the unfortunate nature of the dog treat industry. Dog treats are either known as dog "treats" or dog "chews".  Dog treats conjure up an image of an occasional non healthy product (like humans eating ice cream) that should be consumed in small amounts in frequently. A dog chew suggests the value is only in a long chewing time, not the actual quality of the nutrition, and when you buy supermarket dog treats often these things are the case. 

For supermarket treats you often either get the lowest quality meat product, a high grain dog treat, or something like raw hide that is just for chewing, not nutrition. A dog treat should actually ADD to the nutrition of your dog, not subtract.

Read more: When is a dog treat not a treat & when is it better than dog food?

Dog Calming treats - and meat jerky dog treats as a healthy alternative

two best friend dogs calmed after walks, because of walksMany people WISH that their dogs were more relaxed.  That they could click their fingers and the dog would be super obedient, stop barking or go to sleep.

The thing about this is that most dogs don't have an inherent physical mental issue that causes what many consider to be bad or inappropriate behaviour. They are barking, or digging or running around in circles for a reason.  And if you solve this issue with drugs or a dog behaviourist without addressing the underlying issue (exercise and socialisation) you are masking the issue and it is likely to come out in another undesirable behaviour.

You might be surprised but healthy meat dog treats can be far more effective and safe at calming dogs than any 'medicated' dog treats will try and claim. We go through the process of how healthy long chewing treats can assist in dog calming (see below) and when to use medicine.

Read more: Dog Calming treats - and meat jerky dog treats as a healthy alternative

Gluten Free dog treats & Diabetic dog treats on the rise.

NOT-gluten-free-dog-treatsOver the last month (sept 2018),  Gluten Free dog treats & Diabetic dog treats are listed on Google America as the BREAK OUT search trend in dog treats. 

This doesn't mean that they are by any means the most popular searches, people are still looking for Healthy dog treats and various versions of CBD oil (without referrals or vet advice)

... but I thought I would explore this curious trend for you and what our views are, from a meat based dog treat company.

Gluten Free dog treats -  why?

Regardless of the misinformation from American sitcoms, Celiac disease is a real issue for many American and Australian people. In chronic terms it can be life threatening or at least cause extreme pain and malnutrition.  Celiac disease and gluten intolerance are both caused by the gluten protein in bread/cakes or any grain sources that are high in gluten.

Read more: Gluten Free dog treats & Diabetic dog treats on the rise.

Frozen Dog Treats for summer, use ALL MEAT not vegetable to reduce obesity

frozen-dog-treatsWe have all seen the click temping headlines like " 5 Frozen Dog Treats to Make for Your Dog This Summer!"  because they all make it sound like so much fun cooking for your dog. And summer should be fun, but there is a way of doing it that actually benefits your dog too.

Many websites like to brag about the best frozen dog treats for your dog, but they almost all use fruit or veggies - a strange choice for carnivore dogs.  We are here to give you the truth about why those summer frozen dog treats are not ideal for your dog.

It is true that if a dog is allergic to a fruit or vegetable, and the plant is poisonous to your dog, fruit won't immediately harm your dog.  But there are VERY good reasons why giving frozen or regular meat dog treats to your dog are 100% better - not just from an emotive point of view (something they would always choose in the wild), but from a nutrition view. And the potential to reduce obesity.

Read more: Frozen Dog Treats for summer, use ALL MEAT not vegetable to reduce obesity

Beef jerky dog treats and Why Australian beef prices are so high

Australian Beef Prices 2010-2017Australia has been in drought for a while now (Aug 2018), but that is only a tiny part of the reason for the escalating beef prices we have witnessed over the last five years.

The reason that beef exports should be important to any dog owner is two-fold.

1              There is a push to feed dogs real food (meat) and if legislation happens to clean up the pet food industry, more meat will be consumed by dogs, and that will put further pressure on beef prices.

2              Even if no more meat is put into commercial dog food, and no one else begins raw feeding (meat) to dogs, The price of meat based dog treats will continue to increase with the increase in exports.

Australia has long been considered the lucky country.  But after we have allowed the govt to 'sell the farm' overseas,  and rejoice at increased exports of our beef, it will not remain lucky for long.

Read more: Beef jerky dog treats and Why Australian beef prices are so high

Low fat dog treats, pancreatitis and what to feed your dog, to keep them healthy

low-fat-dog-treatsWe assist a lot of dog owners in their quest for the healthiest, most appropriate dog treats for their dogs, and this article is based on one such interaction. I have pulled out the most salient parts of our regular communications on this so if you are interested in low fat treats or feedings dogs with pancreatitis, you may understand what is and isn't good for your dog.

PANCREATITIS and dog treats/ Dog food

When a dog is pre-pancreatitis or has fully been diagnosed with pancreatitis, they are generally put on a low fat diet. It should be noted that there are a few sources around that suggest that over-loading dogs with carbohydrates (grains and the sugars they contain) can be a large contributory factor to the acquiring of such serious organ diseases.

So the diagnosis can sometimes be seen as a wake-up call to increase meat intake in a dog (low fat meat) and reduce carbs.

Read more: Low fat dog treats, pancreatitis and what to feed your dog, to keep them healthy

Why healthy Dog Treats are Good, Organic Dog Food is bad.

New dog food marketingI was horrified at hearing about a 2018 NEW world beating Ethical/ organic DOG FOOD . 'New and improved' NEVER replaces 'original and natural dog diets' (animal source ONLY).

In many new ultra premium PRICE dog foods they talk about using "raw freeze dried" ingredients.  Usually Free range products including chicken and beef and maybe Organic fruit and vegetables.  However just because a pellet is 'ethically sourced and have a 10 YEAR shelf life means little to the actual nutrition required by dogs. Cardboard also has a 10 year shelf life.

The dog food industry facts

1              97% of people buy commercial dog food.  That means 3% prepare their own dog food, regularly, and less than 3% that prepare mainly raw meat dog food diets that are balanced with appropriate offal and bone sources and amounts. 

Read more: Why healthy Dog Treats are Good, Organic Dog Food is bad.

Why CBD oil and cannabidiol dog treats should be illegal or highly regulated

CBD oil source and vialIf you haven't read about this concerning trend already, its because its very 'hip' to sell cannabis in the form of CBD dog treats to dog owners in America and now Australia.  With the relaxation of marihuana drug laws in the USA, the signal has been sent that its a harmless recreation drug - that clearly impairs rational thinking, work performance and driving ability ... but now its considered a new wonder drug able to cure almost all - but dont believe the hype

In the dog world we at Healthy Dog Treats strive to provide our loyal clients with the best advice and products, and CBD oil is definitely NOT on the agenda.  For every reason that another blog or snake oil salesmen will give you, we can give you many more real reason why not.

Whether OR NOT all of the appropriate testing and clinical trials have been done for humans, dog physiology is often quite different and requires just as rigorous testing before it is used for dogs.  And one of our major issues with this opiod replacement is that if it does have less side effects for extreme pain relief, and less addiction, then in extreme cases it might be useful prescribing it.

Read more: Why CBD oil and cannabidiol dog treats should be illegal or highly regulated

Dog Treat history - the origin story & bad Jack Spratt

I didn't know this until last week, so its gratifying to learn something new, that puts into perspective why our dogs are loaded with so many grains and we don't bat an eyelid.

We know that dogs were fed inferior vegetables with their meat by farmers when times got tough centuries ago, and likewise, industrialised England didn't always provide good wages or cheap meat for families either. But here is the actual reason why people accept that dog treats should be some kind of inferior confectionary for their dog.

The sad tale of woe for dogs the world over began with American inventor Jack Spratt in the 1850's with a visit to mother England.

Down at the docks, Jack Spratt saw sailors throwing old biscuits called “hardtacks” or “molar breakers,” at stray dogs thinking that they were doing the dogs a favour. Yes it kept them alive, but like feeding white bread to birds causes the hideous and obvious debilitating disease called 'angel wing' (a horrible malformation of the wing) ... dogs also are harmed by too much grain and vegetables. In dogs unfortunately the health effects (and diseases) take many more years to appear so owners arent even aware damage is being done.  And even when diseases occur in older age, it will never be attributed to commercial dog food - because the who dog industry (and commercial interests) are geared to make a profit from cheap grain food.

Read more: Dog Treat history - the origin story & bad Jack Spratt

Natural teeth cleaning via meat based treats, not artificial 'dental' veggie gum.

dog-teethThe value of the WHOLE meat dog treats? Natural teeth cleaning!

Big dog food companies don't like adding meat to their dog food or dog treats, it takes away from their bottom line and advertising dollar. This is how you end up with the ridiculous situation of dog owners being sold 'artificial tools' (dental sticks) at vets and supermarkets.  These tools are compressed green vegetable rubbish called 'dog teeth cleaning' tools.

Before I get into the WHOLE meat dog treat version of 'teeth cleaning' more, you should consider why a dog teeth cleaning tool is necessary for dogs at all. Because if in fact the description that a few dog food makers provide that dog pellets 'scrape the teeth clean', then surely you wouldn't need another one of their products to follow that up.

The truth is, that dog food is full of carbs, and carbs are sugar, and the little artificial food grains from dog food pellets or wet food get stuck to the dog's teeth.  That is what causes dog teeth issues and cavities, let alone providing NO exercise to your dog's jaw. 

Read more: Natural teeth cleaning via meat based treats, not artificial 'dental' veggie gum.

Our NEW dog treat Functional categories for your dog's pleasure

Happy-healthy-dogOur last article looks at how we ranked our range into dog chewing ability from small to medium to large.

While that solves many owners problems, we decided to go MANY steps further and re categories our already very extensive range into other functional categories.

We have done this because of the last seven years of emails have often asked us about specific specialty treats and rather than just answer emails individually, we now provide these categories permanently on the left hand side of our site.

These are the niche functional areas that our healthy dog treat range can be categorized into:

Other specialty Dogs Treat Categories

Read more: Our NEW dog treat Functional categories for your dog's pleasure

Why we added three dog treat chewing power categories for you

Different-dog-breeds-need-different-chewing-optionsWe get enough email requests on on information about what small, medium, old, big powerful dogs etc NEED for their chewing, that most people by-pass the question about what are the nutrition requirements of your dog all together. But briefly first, we will address dog age and size and suitability or chew-ability of treats.

What's dog age or size got to do with it

Its not a second hand emotion, to paraphrase Tina Turner.

In dog food, the industry typically provide small pellets for small dogs, and slightly larger pellets for larger dogs, mostly to ensure that the dogs can wolf down the maximum amount of food in the shortest time, without choking. 

But for most people buying dog treats, they want the longest chewing treat for their dog, that their dog can manage.

This is why we have added the following specialist categories to our website: SMALL, MEDIUM and LONG CHEWING !

Read more: Why we added three dog treat chewing power categories for you

Dog treat news. The war between natural meat and dog food owned vets.

-happy-dog-running-freeUntil very recently it seemed that there were only small pockets of dog treat companies interested in exposing the bad effects of mainly non meat diets for dogs. NOTE, we are one of them.  If you are one of the 97% of dog owners in Australia feeding their dog's commercial dog food diets, you are likely not to be aware of this battle at all. But it is very real, as you will read. It even includes a new vet ownership model ...

You see, marketing dollars for heavily processed grain filled dog food and dog treats mean that they own most of the online searches, and off line advertising. They own society's opinion. Vegetable based dog foods are spruiked by bought vets, and vet schools, and universities alike.  They rely to an extent on commercial dog food money.  But what is the dog food/treat war really about?

What caused the dog food/ dog treat war of 2018?

There are many dog food advisor types of sites around. If they are sponsored by gain dog food companies, you will read only what they want to sell you.  However many of these while, not bad mouthing all grain-based dog food will actually give a poor ranking for those grain 'foods' that are in the bottom half of the nutrition rankings. And that is a start.

Read more: Dog treat news. The war between natural meat and dog food owned vets.

Shark Skin dog treats - Organic, dental chew, low fat, the full story!

shark-skin-dog-treat and archie spoodle dogWith dog obesity and pancreatitis on the rise, owners are after a low fat, low KJ chewing treat that any dog can have. If you cant use shark cartilage, shark skin is the next best option in this category for long chewing clean natural treats.

The skins are from Gummy sharks that are caught under license in Australian waters for the restaurant trade and the pieces that are not for human consumption would be discarded if it wasn't for these novel kinds of applications.

But shark skin is far from waste products for dogs. Unlike pork products, the fat is much lower, less saturated and higher in the good fats:  Omega 3 and Omega 6.

Some companies will provide shark cartilage along with a chunk of meat attached, but that is more like a meal, and much higher in KJ and lower in chewing function. If you want meat, we sell flake, clean and well sliced without skin.  But Shark skin is about providing a very healthy chewing option to preoccupy your dog without the big calories.

Read more: Shark Skin dog treats - Organic, dental chew, low fat, the full story!

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 !

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 bioavailable MEAT protein.

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

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!?

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!

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