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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)

A quick change of diets can lead to diarrhoea and malnutrition.

If you don't decrease your dog's 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 treats.

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 think 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 to 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 reduce 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 treats 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 don't make animated dog ads either .. OH - and that's the reason I can write these articles FIRST HAND rather than 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 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 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.

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

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 it's 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

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 affect 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

Did you know that Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) might be linked with grain dog food?

large-dogIn this article, we consider a controversial, however very plausible hidden cause of chronic Autoimmune pancreatitis - the use of high carbohydrate dog food.  The reason this is controversial is not because it is not possible, but because grain diets are so wide spread and so many people make money off feeding dogs inappropriate diets.

But first a few definitions: Pancreatitis - when dogs have severe adnominal pain, vomiting, weakness, depression  (when poison has been ruled out) these are often symptoms of (acute or chronic) pancreatitis. 

Pancreatitis means the inflammation of the pancreas in dogs, and that it has stopped functioning normally - producing enzymes to help with the digestion of food.  Usually it is the early release of the enzymes that begin to digest the pancreas itself that causes the pain and inflammation in the dog.

There are acute (sudden) and chronic (long term inflammation) of the pancreas. The immediate acute form is life threatening and should have a vet treating the dog immediately.

Read more: Did you know that Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) might be linked with grain dog food?

Functional Dog Treats Health Benefits for: digestion, joint care, skin & coat health

dogs-in-a-carThe previous article we published on functional dog treats took care of dental care, bad breath and obesity, so today we tackle the often more serious issues of digestion, joint care, skin and coat health.

Functional treats are just a fancy name for dressing up healthy meat based dog treats.  If we didn't mess with a dogs natural and original diet, many of the issues they have would go away. 

That is particular true of many digestion issues, however joint care and skin and health often need a lot of extra help because our dogs are living longer and breeding techniques often breed skin allergies into dogs.

In this article we look at how Functional dog treats, or healthy dog treats as we call them, can assist you in your specific dog health areas:

Read more: Functional Dog Treats Health Benefits for: digestion, joint care, skin & coat health

Functional Dog Treats for Health Benefits: Dental care, bad breath & managing obesity

dogs-loving-play bullarab and vizslaTo make new media, many people think you need to come up with new buzz words.  The concept of functional dog treats has been around for a while, but what does it really mean?

Functional treats claim to solve the following issues :  dental health, weight loss, allergies &  immune health, joint function but what else do they have in them?  Is functional dog treats really a thing and are they different from healthy dog treats?

The theory is that Functional dog treats are ones with much more substance than just a junk food treat or 'empty calories'.  Each functional treat is supposed to support a specific health purpose in your dog.

Some say that they need to contain a high level of these treats contain vitamins, essential oils, probiotics and amino acids (protein) that benefit your dogs specific well-being.

From the get go, you should know if you have read any of the other articles on this site, this is exactly why we always recommend MEAT based dog treats. They are species (dog) specific. with the minerals and vitamins not just in some chemists wish list, but in actual natural correct amounts, and ratios.  They are also bioavailable so that your dog will actually be able to use them, not pass them straight through or struggle to convert them to something useful.

Read more: Functional Dog Treats for Health Benefits: Dental care, bad breath & managing obesity

Why 'regular' dogs benefit profoundly from meat based dog treats

Happy Healthy Dog Treat fed dogsTypically I am told NOT to advertise my treats as "meat" based, because its not sexy and people don't get that dogs need meat.

In some kind of bizzaro universe, people are now convinced that dogs evolved on grain, and meat should only be given in moderation. Every bit of real science shows that the opposite is true, but really how much benefit can one dog get?

Why feed a dog expensive treats when they aren't a show dog?

I am regularly amazed at how much money people spend on going out, or buying their dogs a regular grooming session or a $400 dog bed made of $10 stuffing.

The thing is, that if a person isn't religiously looking after their own nutrition health, if we have too many treats ourselves, we often think we are doing the best for our dogs by restricting their treat intake. AND If its garden variety supermarket treats full of grain or fat, or anything but quality meat, then that makes sense.

Read more: Why 'regular' dogs benefit profoundly from meat based dog treats

Why REAL healthy, natural dog treats are mostly generic and meat. Not frosted biscuits!

Happy schnauzer and cavoodleI was looking at a high ranking article on healthy dog treats and came across one by aunty (abc) and if this kind of misinformation wasn't so common, I would be shocked.

It was a puff piece on couple that makes good by baking dog biscuits (with high margins). The Irony of the uneducated reviewer was to brag about how these treats were 'good enough for humans to eat'.

Irony in that humans are omnivores, and very often humans like a savoury cake, made mostly of grain. ignoring completely the fact that dogs are 90% carnivores (have a tolerance to grain and vegetables) they go on to explain this remarkable innovation of a couple as an "up-market dog biscuit".

Grain is still grain - sans any extra actual healthy additives like minerals and vitamins included in our basic range.

Don't get me wrong, we sell dog biscuits on our site, but they are by far and away NOT the focus of our site. They are included because of demand (relatively low) and providing a complete range of treats. You should also understand that our dog biscuits are not disguised as cupcakes for the owner's benefit. They are usually also vastly less expensive.

Read more: Why REAL healthy, natural dog treats are mostly generic and meat. Not frosted biscuits!

Healthy dog treats, organic dog treats, natural dog treats - who buys these in America & Australia and why - 2017.

dog-treats-main-American-metro-searches-2017In this article we look at what people might perceive as the difference between healthy dog treats, natural dog treats, organic dog treats and more generic offerings when searching on Google in America. 

And we then extrapolate that to the reasons dog treat shoppers have in Australia.

As you will see from the first map,  the whole of the American map is lit up for METRO regions looking for generic "Dog Treats" but when it comes to healthy or natural version, people are much pickier.

We use American Google trend data because Google Australia doesn't provide this data down to this level for us to see.

We are using Google metro trends to see WHERE people in America are searching for their SPECIFIC NICHE dog treats and what conclusions can be drawn.

Firstly we look at the three main niche dog treat searches people make online:

Read more: Healthy dog treats, organic dog treats, natural dog treats - who buys these in America & Australia...