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Is Applaws Dog Food really all about Premiumisation & humanisation

healthy-50percent-meat-dogfoodA recent Euro Monitor report stated that Premiumisation & humanisation were all the latest trends in dog food, and that leading the vanguard was a brand called Applaws.

They are quoted as saying that "“It’s All Good” was promoted as cereal- and grain-free, with free-range chickens providing a high-quality source of protein."

So I thought it would be good to see what the gold standard in premium dog food has in it. 

Their PR says that Applaws "It’s All Good 50 Large Adult"  is .. made with natural ingredients, 50% of which is high quality protein from animal ingredients. This means that the protein comes from poultry with "free run" chicken rather than from cereals or grains. Free Run chicken is chicken that isn’t caged.

However it seems that there is very little difference between free range and free run chickens, and there are almost no nutrition differences.

Read more: Is Applaws Dog Food really all about Premiumisation & humanisation

Dog Food - Why 'premium'& 'free range' chickens arent worth it

dogfood-lastest-trendsEuro monitor  gives the latest trend in dog food as " Premiumisation, humanisation and a focus on health and wellness will be the key trends driving dog food sales throughout the forecast period."  The questions you need to ask is:

Is Premiumisation'  just in branding and packaging, or actually more meat and better quality meat in the dog food. Generally the answer is no.

Humanisation is a big red flag. Mostly because humans are omnivores and tend to enjoy processed  food whereas your dog is a carnivore and better off with meat based foods. NOT "human".

In fact its said to be the feeding of dogs table scraps high in fat content that have lead to an outbreak of  pancreatitis and other such 'human' ailments.

Read more: Dog Food - Why 'premium'& 'free range' chickens arent worth it

Two dog food companies control 50% of the market in Australia.

Dogfood-Brand-marketshare Australia 2016Let me start by saying that ALL of the dog food companies making dry and wet dog food in Australia are complicit in feeding ALL dogs a HIGH GRAIN diet. We are only talking about the first two companies here because they own over 50% of the market, and both of these companies own MANY  brands, that happen to all have similar grain levels !

But before we consider dog food, does anyone remember the big clothes label scandal last year in Australia after Bangladesh was found to be making many of the clothes our best labels were selling at ridiculous mark ups and how besides the poor working conditions that child labour was also 'allegedly used'.

Are you surprised that a similar scandal has turned up in the confectionary companies too?

The only difference is that these confectionary companies also happen to control 50% of the dog food market in Australia, so there is a strong chance you have tried one of their brands at some stage in your dogs life.

Read more: Two dog food companies control 50% of the market in Australia.

What dog treats are best for dogs with pancreatitis ?

A happy dog without dog pancreatitisIn a recent post I looked at the known causes of dog pancreatitis and the possible concealed causes that dog food manufacturers don't want you to know. It turns out that eating fatty food is a major cause of dog pancreatitis but what if you religiously feed your dog grain dog food. That is low in fat right? How did your dog get it?

IBIS says that in Australia the pet food industry is worth about $2 billion dollars with MARS and Nestle by far the major owners of the major brands you all buy. Both of these are massive global confectionary companies that expanded into 'human food' and 'dog food' industries.  To do this they must tell you that grain is good for your dog, and sell you packets of dog food that is mostly grain.  You must buy it and your dog must eat it.  The grain has enough meat in it to meet the minimum protein requirements (aafco law) and it is cooked, covered in oil and sugar and salt to make it taste like it is food that a dog will eat. Mission accomplished.

If you want to know more about the dog food 'conspiracy theory'  then here is an article I based on commonly known theories on the internet. How dog pancreatitis is known to be caused but also hidden causes. Note that now days a conspiracy theory usually refers to something that a large corporation or corrupt government doesn't want you to know, and often its just the simple truth people just dont want to believe.

Read more: What dog treats are best for dogs with pancreatitis ?

DOG TREATS - Choose only 1 benefit. Which one?

Dog treat main benefits posterOK, this is not really a thought experiment because this is what every dog owner does even subconsciously each time they buy dog treats.

Here is a list of possible major 'benefits'

  • Cheap
  • Tasty
  • Healthy
  • Easy/ convenient

Of course there are other 'attributes' if you were taking a full blown market research survey, but for t the most part, these are the dimensions that most people buy on. And very often the benefits don't intersect.

The supermarket dog treat matrix.

The main dog treats by volume in Australia are cheap and easy access, because you buy them from the supermarket.  You put it in the trolley almost without thinking.  You may actually find that if you dont buy when the brand names treats are on special they are quite expensive by gram. So perhaps supermarket treats are mainly easy to buy.

Read more: DOG TREATS - Choose only 1 benefit. Which one?

Why feed your dog anything but the cheapest dog food pellets?

dog food memeMany billion dollar corporations will bang on about why you need to feed your dog THEIR own special proprietary blend of grain with a little meat and no one else's, so why are there so many dog foods on the market even within one company?

If you check the ownership of dog food brands, you will find that most of the ones on the market are owned by 3 or 4 companies Globally.  Mostly these are from acquisitions. Why build something when you can buy our your competitor and keep prices high?

So why are there so many dog food brands and what does it mean for you?

The differences between manufactured dog food can be subtle to the untrained eye. In theory the brands that you pay up to 5 times per kg more for have more 'whole' grains and perhaps slightly better quality meat and maybe 30% meat rather than 20%.  

Read more: Why feed your dog anything but the cheapest dog food pellets?

What dog treats can you use for dog food?

dog treats as dog foodIt was only a few centuries ago that the majority of 'tame' dogs were still allowed to catch their own food in the wild or around the farm. In the early days of dog domestication, most dogs in the terrier class were used to find and kill and eat vermin.  The only reason that they would be stopped from eating the vermin were if the vermin / rodents were sick.  Except for infections these dogs were far healthier than the average non exercised modern day dog, because of diet and exercise.

Flash forward to the 21st century and most owners prefer to place a few handfuls of grain, with a side order of average to below average meat into a bowl for their dogs (its called kibble or pellets).

Even the best branded, most expensive dog food is still grain or vegetable based which is taking a dog to the far limits of the nutrition they need to perform basic bodily tasks like body maintenance, let alone dog body repair tasks and removal of oxidants.

Read more: What dog treats can you use for dog food?

Why not feed dogs more meat, even people are eating road kill !

happy dog running free - groodleI find it absolutely amazing how brain washed dog food companies have the general public when it comes to believing that ONLY food made in a factory with hardly any meat is the safest option for a dog !

If you tell a lie for long enough it becomes a public fact.

There is a massive divide between proper raw feeders (mainly animal products) and the 'sanitised' world of dry grain dog food.

I have met many people and even pet sit clients who have bought the whole convenience and 'optimum' nutrition story from the large corporations.  They also typically leave open big sacks of the grain based food in extreme heat and sunlight. 

I always advise my customers to keep dog treats in a pantry in the same safe conditions they store their own food.

Read more: Why not feed dogs more meat, even people are eating road kill !

Vital dental hygiene news for your dog !

Big dogs with big teethPeople are sometimes a little surprised that their vets tell them to get their dogs teeth cleaned annually. Or that they need to regularly buy artificial green compressed vegetable matter  as some kind of reward and teeth cleaning invention.

Do you know why 97% of people have to do this?

Its no coincidence that 97% of people feed their dogs manufactured dog food - kibble and wet food.

Its no coincidence that the other 3% have healthier dogs and that they don't need their teeth artificially cleaned.

Why is kibble and wet food so bad for your dogs ... teeth

Let's pretend that your carnivore dog, evolved only a short time ago from the carnivore wolf,  NEEDS 70% grains in their diet.

Read more: Vital dental hygiene news for your dog !

Beef Jerky Homemade treats or our Healthy dried Beef Jerky?

homemade beef jerky dog treat sizzle steakI bet this is a question that very few dog owners have asked themselves, but one that probably lies at the heart of why people don't buy that many dog treats.

I personally started selling dog treats when I looked around and found that I couldn't afford decent ones for my own dog all those years ago. I have my dog on a raw meat diet (plus bones and offal) but I wanted something to supplement that, something different, something just as healthy.

The reason I am looking at homemade dog treats today, such as beef  jerky, was recently in my local dog park I was walking with an owner who makes their own. They also have access occasionally to fresh rabbit which is great for dogs (as long as it is mixi or other virus free) .. but they swore by their homemade treat method. And this is it: 

They simply buy 'sizzle steak' from the local supermarket and dry it themselves.  They choose sizzle steak (something that I have never heard of until they told me and my wife bought some home) because it is nicely thin cut steak, fairly ideal for drying.

Read more: Beef Jerky Homemade treats or our Healthy dried Beef Jerky?

Homemade dog treats recipes reviewed for your pleasure

dog-treatsThis is part two of our review of a home-made dog treats top ten treats that it sourced from around the world.

1              Tuna dog treat = tuna, eggs and flour.

tuna and eggs are fine (though you should only give a dog a few eggs per week. And they get plenty of flour in their regular dog food.

Why do people insist on giving dogs quickly eaten, no chewing human food ?  We sell 100% tuna meat jerky for dogs. It is hard and organic and takes a while for most dogs to eat.

It helps clean the dogs teeth and is organic and is a perfect meat protein for the dog, much less manufactured than the tinned tuna in this recipe.  Again modifying meat like this for a dog should be a crime.

Read more: Homemade dog treats recipes reviewed for your pleasure

Homemade dog treats clearly aren't fun or healthy for dogs

dog-treatsFrom time to time I like to see what Google thinks a result for a certain dog treat kind of term should be.  I know the system is supposed to be neutral or amoral, but when it pulls up things like Healthy dog treats or Fun dog treats, its either taking the websites word for it or making a moral judgement.

Of course in theory it is doing neither, it is supposedly displaying the closest match that it can find based on a whole bunch of parameters not the least of which is the number of quality links to the site and social media mentions. 

And if everyone is feeding a ton of grain to their dog every year, then of course why should google go into bat for carnivore dogs ?

Read more: Homemade dog treats clearly aren't fun or healthy for dogs

What your dog eats when you are not looking - dog treats ?

dog in dog parkWhat happens in the park stays in the park

Assuming a dog knows what's best for its health can be dangerous.

Dogs are not a lot different from humans and many other animals when it comes to eating things like salt and sugar. And this means that if you add oil, sugar and salt to a block of wood a dog will usually lick it, some will eat it.

While these are some of the most natural "additives" they are often used by dog food manufacturers to fool dogs into eating grains as a food source, with a little meat to reach the bare minimum protein requirements.

Read more: What your dog eats when you are not looking - dog treats ?

The use of dog treats other than for food in Australia

Dogs eating healthy dog treatsA dogs relationship with food is almost unique in the animal kingdom.

There ancestors the wolf were apex hunters (the prime chaser in the forest) and as such they worked at being very good at it all day long.  This was their purpose, to hunt, to eat, to reproduce. In between times they had fun, but often as adults the adult wolves dont play, because it is usually seen as a grab for rank in the pack order and so has to be taken seriously and ends up with major injuries.

I mention all of this, as much of what we know about companion dog behaviour comes from what their immediate ancestors did.

You will know from all the other articles on this site that I am a strong advocate of a dog mainly eating a meat diet. Being the most natural and bio available to their body, but there are many other reasons to get meat into a dog besides just nutrition.

Read more: The use of dog treats other than for food in Australia

Home made dog treats - Why people feed veggies to dogs

home-made-dog-treatsThe aafco standards (American dog food standards) that your dog food must reach before being labelled as dog food only has MINIMUM levels of amino acids (protein), vitamins and minerals, Plus Omega 6.  It PURPOSELY does not tell you how to reach those standards.

Many American dog food manufacturers use loopholes in feeding trial rules to get their product over the finishing line with a bare minimum of meat in the product. This is usually below 30% and as low as 15%.

The problem for dogs is that while on paper they reach the minimum levels for the essential amino acids (those parts of protein that can't be made in the dogs body) - they don't address the bio availability of the amino acids (how easily the dog can use the nutrients.

Read more: Home made dog treats - Why people feed veggies to dogs

Why we now have an aafco dog food standard & the Australian standard

dog_food_standards.Recently I had a query from someone how was interested in getting access to AS5812 (Australian Standard AS 5812-2011 - The Pet Food Industry). The reason that they were interested in this document is that it is an Australian Standard on what you should be feeding your dog.  The shame for the Australian Government is that they charge you $220 via the saiglobal organisation to get this information !

 The Abstract for this document says "Specifies requirements for the production and supply of manufactured food for domesticated dogs and cats. Applies to both domestic and imported products."

"The Standard covers production of pet food from sourcing and receipt of ingredients to storage, processing (including heat treatment), packing, labelling and storage of products in order to assure its safety for pets. It also includes instructions for the uniform application of information provided on labels."

Read more: Why we now have an aafco dog food standard & the Australian standard

What do healthy dog treats look like and smell like?

natural dogs playingRecently we had an email from a customer who didn't like how our healthy and natural dog treats smelt, they claimed various things about the odour but here is the shocking truth.

Most dogs fed on a grain diet (ie 97% of domestic dogs) can have trouble recognising their primary food (meat) as an actual food source. No longer allowed to hunt, no longer given meat on a regular basis, many dogs can even suffer digestion problems when eating real meat for the first time. EVEN THOUGH its is more bio available to the dog than any other food source.

While we sell many blackdog products and many of them are the same size, shape and colour each time, the main difference between them and many dog treats on the market are that they are 80% plus meat composed.  This is the kind of treat that most dog owners seem to prefer, because they live in a MacDonald's world where every parcel of 'food' must look the same and match that in the advert exactly (well most burgers don't but that is another point).

Read more: What do healthy dog treats look like and smell like?

NOT gourmet dog treats, there are plenty on sale on OTHER sites

not gourmet dog treatsUsually a company doesn't like comparing products on other people's sites to real food, but sometimes you have to take exception to the wisdom of Google. (now a money maker, no longer the finder of truth). On the first page of Google Gourmet dog treat searches we find FOUR pictures of DOG TREATS that they claim to be Gourmet.

Gourmet might mean fancy, expensive or even colourful, but the one thing it does not mean is natural or healthy for a dog.

It is true that I sell bulk biscuits on this site, and some people love them for their dogs every day. But our biscuits tend to have real nautral ingredients added to make their flavour. However calling a product GOURMET that is essentially grain based (other than regular dog food) is a massive stretch of the truth.

Maybe its only people who dress their dogs up in doll clothing and never take them for a walk. Make them only socialise with people within four walls of their own house that buy these treats? But I suspect the lure of Google putting these treats up as GOURMET  gives them some remarkable power to fool the average person.

Read more: NOT gourmet dog treats, there are plenty on sale on OTHER sites

What's all the buzz about Fish & shark based dog treats?

Why arent you buying more fish dog treats?

Fish Dog TreatsFor some reason corporations have got everyone who owns a cat hooked on buying fish for them. While some cats might have lived on boats or with fishermen, the majority in the wild, or their ancestors would not have caught and eaten fish because they don't really like water usually.

Fast forward to what dogs eat. If you think the same thing about dogs (and wolves) you might also be right. BUT then again, if you feed your dog regular dog food, full of grain, that is the last thing on earth a dog or wolf would have ever eaten naturally. And most dogs still don't eat grain unless its backed, pulverised, given sugar and salt and sprayed with oil !  So why not feed your dog something very special and animal based?

So why would people bother feeding fish to a dog?

Well from the 'skin allergy' dog foods out there you will find salmon is a very popular ingredient, because it seems to have very low allergen potential with most dogs.

Read more: What's all the buzz about Fish & shark based dog treats?

What is the best long chewing dog treat in Australia?

long Dog Treat ChewsBones are a great chewing tool for many dogs, but not every dog will chew them for a long time, and some dogs don't eat them carefully enough to eat them unsupervised.  Recently there has been a lot of press about raw hide choking dogs and blocking their intestine.

What can you do for a long dog treat chew in Australia?

You firstly need to figure out if you want natural dog chews or fake vegetable compressed sticks.  If you choose natural animal based dog treats then you need to work out if you are buying them just for long chewing or to provide some nutrition.

Read more: What is the best long chewing dog treat in Australia?

Home-made dog treats V the best man made dog food

man made dog foodIf you look at the two tables at the end of this article you will see a stark contrast in the number of ingredients and quality of ingredients.

The main raw ingredients I use are human grade, not left overs, or things that need to be disguised in a biscuit with oil and salt to make it attractive to a dog.

If you feed your dog on a dry or wet man made dog food this is what you should know, and why you need quality MEAT or Meat based dog treats WITH your pellets.

1              Firstly you won't see any PERCENTAGES on a dog food label. This is because they use splitting of terms to make it look like you are getting more meat. 

Read more: Home-made dog treats V the best man made dog food

Know the tricks (splitting) on dog food labels & how you are being ripped off

dog food label splitting contentsOK, let's assume that you are not a raw feeder, or if you are a raw feeder you use lots of carbs for your dog.  These are personal choices.

However since dogs are still documented as carnivores by many scientific dog journals (not the ones quoted by dog food companies) you should know that the primary ingredient your dog should always get is MEAT. For the meat protein and meat associated fats.

SPLITTING in dog food has been the wide spread industry trick of making consumers think taht they are feeding their dogs a lot of meat in their dog food, but the dog food maker putting very little meat in it. HOW CAN HIS BE TRUE?

The mathematics of Ingredient Splitting & why it is bad for your dog. 

Manufacturers have cleverly found that spitting the primary ingredient such as Corn (30%) into Corn meal (15%) and Corn Flour (15%) can magically make the corn ingredient go from primary ingredient to ingredients 2 and 3. And meat APPEARS to be the most plentiful (even if it is only 18%) of the total can !!

Read more: Know the tricks (splitting) on dog food labels & how you are being ripped off

Why most people prefer our beef pizzle / bully sticks

dogIn truth there is little you can do to damage bully sticks besides over drying or adding other ingredients to it.  And rarely does anyone add ingredients unless its easy or going to make them more money - so Bully sticks are usually 100% natural and sometimes from Australia. However size, hardness and price are important.

Why our Bully sticks/ Beef Pizzle are better

For a long time we were putting up with low weight bully sticks and random supply. Most retailers sell you sticks by number and because they are light, you get very little beef bully stick for your dollar.

This meant that even though our customers loved the sticks we sold, we didn't always have them in stock.  Then the other issue was the relatively high price. When your supplier sells you something much higher than all the other natural products you buy in, then the option is either for you to make no money or to not stock the product. 

We knew there was as better way and we found it.

Read more: Why most people prefer our beef pizzle / bully sticks

If you buy dog food, you need to buy healthy dog treats

a healthy happy dogI just saw an ad on TV for hiring people to do gardening and mow their lawns. This used to be something that people in Australia proudly did themselves.

There is the old adage that why do something yourself if you can pay someone less (money is time) than it would take you to do it.

Like house cleaning, mowing lawns and pulling weeds isn't exactly a glamorous or fun task. And when people finish work they really enjoy their down time.

But the problem for dog treats is not people putting their money into more distasteful tasks, its because people are very unaware of how much meat is actually in their dog food.  People inherently feel their dogs should have meat but here are the reasons they don't do anything about what they feed their dogs

Read more: If you buy dog food, you need to buy healthy dog treats

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