I have been kookoo for coconuts for over 3 years now and use it for everything, I mean EVERYTHING! I brush my teeth with it, remove makeup with it, eat it, drink it, slather it on my body, use on my kids and of course feed it to my dogs.Read More
At The Bone House, we love a good multi-use product. Especially one we can confidently use on ourselves, around the house, and on the dog! Which is why we are so excited to now carry Diatomaceous Earth.
What is Diatomaceous Earth?
DE is a 100% food grade, natural, non-toxic water sediment from freshwater sources. It's made from shells of prehistoric diatoms that have been crushed into a fine powder. While some industrial versions are harmful to humans and pets, food grade Diatomaceous Earth is safe and holds many benefits.
How do I use it on my dog?
DE can be used both internally and externally with your dog. It's especially helpful in the warmer months, when fleas and swims in the lake are so common. Sprinkle and rub DE into your dog's coat at the beginning of the season (refreshing after each swim or bath) to protect against fleas and ticks. It also has strong deodorizing properties to naturally keep them smelling fresh. DE can be mixed into dry, raw and wet foods or sprinkled into water easily. With daily use you'll see an improvement in their skin, coat, nails and teeth. DE also promotes healthy digestion, immunity and metabolism while eliminating worms and other digestive mites.
And I can use it around my home? Definitely! As previously stated, Diatomaceous Earth is a natural deodorizer. Sprinkle it on litter, compost, or any smelly space that needs to be neutralized. DE is highly porous and able to bind to even oils and other substances, making it an ideal cleaning solution. It absorbs moisture which eliminates mold and mildew inside or outside of your home. DE can also be used to get rid of bed bugs and as a natural pesticide in your garden.
What about human consumption?
Food grade Diatomaceous Earth has similar benefits for humans as for dogs. It can improve our teeth, nails and make our coat - er, hair - shinier. It can be used topically as a facial exfoliator, a coagulator on open wounds and to treat rashes.
This spring, beat the bugs and odours with Diatomaceous Earth! Pop by The Bone House to grab a bag today or visit the DE website for some more information on the product.
I was watching the news last night which is usually just background while I make dinner but the mention of an emaciated dog caught my attention. A Beagle was found under a tree in Aurora, chemically branded with the number 191 on both sides, blind in one eye and with large head wounds. He has been named Lucky 191 because he is very lucky to be alive.
The authorities are looking into this "un"lucky boys past, speculating that he may have been used in fox hunting, used in fighting rings or abused in a home. I am relieved they are investigating these options but what about the option that he may have been used in research facilities here in Ontario? Beagles are usually the breed of choice in food testing laboratories. I contacted CTV and The Sun bringing this to their attention to no avail. This doesn't surprise me, major corporations bring in big advertising dollars for news networks even if they do test on animals so this would be a bit risky to bring to light. However, what does surprise me is that the possibility of Lucky 191 being a lab dog doesn't even seem to be on the police investigator's radar!
I contacted the OSPCA in Aurora to see if they were looking into this possibility. The woman I spoke to said she was aware of Beagles being used in laboratories and put me in touch with the lead investigator on this case. I am still waiting to hear back from him.
Waiting is not something I do well but research is. I started digging around and found some rather disturbing information. Ontario has in place "Animals for Research Act" which basically states; The Human society, Animal Services and the OSPCA have no jurisdiction over animals used in research facilities. They can not charge the company or anyone working in or for the labs with animal cruelty...WHAT??!!
I know a lot of people think Peta is a bunch of over the top activists however they have been shedding light on the subject of animal testing for decades. I am including a link not to gross you out or make you cry but simply to bring awareness to what is happening to companion animals and animals in general, right under our noses.
So while I "wait" to here back from anyone regarding Lucky 191 I will continue to dig into P&G testing on animals (IAMS and most household chemicals/beauty products) to figure out how this is legal and why nobody knows. I am not delusional in thinking I can stop this but if animal loving people are aware this is happening maybe, just maybe we can make a difference...
…The carnivore asks, "what’s really in that bag?" As you may recall in part one of this blog we posed the question “if nutrition is the foundation of good health then why is only one week of study dedicated to this subject in the eight years it takes to become a vet”?
Our discovery left us with an even larger onslaught of questions or rather really frustrating observations such as:
- How confusing the label is on a bag of a commercial pet food
- How cleverly misleading the pet food ads are on television
- The lack of regulations surrounding pet food manufacturing
- The appalling reality of animal cruelty involved with factory farming, not to mention the intense environmental impact it has on our planet
- The exorbitant amount of money the commercial pet food industry brings in each year in relation to how little they spend on the most important element, the ingredients
I mean, holy smokes – we’re talking about a real machine here, responsible for driving a grand divide between how the information of commercial dog foods are portrayed to us, versus what the actual ingredients are that go into commercial dog food…and then there is the topic of who is responsible for the grand divide…
So in order to keep this a straightforward blog post as opposed to a book of small essays, let us break this down into a “Who, how, what” of Commercial Dog Food.
Who are the main producers of commercial dog food?
The top five commercial dog food companies are:
- Mars Pet Care – Royal Canin, Pedigree, Whiskas, Cesar
- Nestle Purina Pet Care – Proplan, Beneful, Alpo, Dog Chow
- Proctor and Gamble Pet Care – Iams, Eukanuba
- Hills Pet Care – Science Diet, Hills, Prescription Diet
- Del Monte Pet Products – Milk Bone, Kibbles ‘n Bits, Pup-peroni, Meaty Bone, Milo’s Kitchen, Gravy Train, Jerky Treats, Snausages
How the media portrays commercial dog foods to us:
Whole roasted chicken, prime cuts of beef, fresh fruit and vegetables all wrapped up in a shiny package. Pulling in an estimated $19 billon in sales in 2011, the commercial pet food industry has got it in the bag! Advertising works, even when it’s misleading.
What is actually in that bag?
As we concluded in part I of our nutrition quest, our aim is to help you make informed decisions by providing you with the facts. During my research to find these facts it became very apparent that what is in the bag is not at all what is advertised.
And before I begin, it is worth stressing; the following is shocking and not necessarily appropriate if you have a weak stomach. Here we go…
Rendering companies in the US pick up 100 million pounds of “waste material” everyday to be turned into pet food. This “waste” includes: heads, feet, stomachs, intestines, spinal cords, tails, bones, contaminated blood, feathers and restaurant grease rejected by slaughterhouses. Okay, so far, besides the contaminated blood, feathers and restaurant grease, some of these ingredients sound somewhat edible by carnivore standards.
Then, 4D animals are thrown into the mix: What the heck are 4D animals you ask? Disturbingly the 4 D’s stand for Dead, Dying, Diseased and Disabled animals. We are talking cancerous cow, contaminated swine, decaying lamb nothing is off limits. They throw it all in there.
Then add a little road kill, dead zoo animals and expired grocery store meat (including the styrofoam packaging).
But here is the kicker: 6 to 7 million dogs and cats are euthanized each year and brought to these rendering plants. Besides introducing qusai cannibalism, trace amounts of the drugs used in the procedure- pentobarbital and phenytoin have been found in kibble. The drugs have proven to be resilient to the cooking process. Because the amount of companion animals in each rendering vat varies, so does the amount of these toxins.
Although pet food companies claim they do not buy from rendering plants that accept dog and cat, the rendering industry acknowledges it would be impossible for the purchaser to know what exact raw material they are buying. After processing dog, cat and chicken are almost identical.
Another ‘how’ question: How is this possible?
Rendering persists because it provides an essential service: disposing of millions of pounds of dead animals. Advocates of rendering claim that there is no other way to dispose of these dead animals. Dr. William Heuston, formerly associate Dean of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, argues that disposing of animals via landfills would create a “Colossal public health problem, because dead animals are the ideal medium for bacteria. Cost and potential air pollution problems preclude burning the animal carcasses”.
Oh, I get it; instead we feed it to our companion animals…What? Is anyone else alarmed by this?
Pet food manufacturers have become masters at inducing our companion animals to eat “food” and I use that word lightly, they would normally turn their nose up at. Pet food scientists have learned that it is possible to take a mixture of inedible scraps, fortify it with artificial vitamins and minerals, spray it with “tallow” (left over yellow fat after rendering), preserve it with chemicals so that it can sit on the shelf for more than a year, add dyes to make it attractive, and then extrude it into whimsical shapes, wrap it up in a pretty package to appeal to the human consumer then finally it’s passed to Don Draper to work his magic and Ta Da!
For this, pet food companies can expect to earn $20.3 billion in sales in 2012.
And finally: What can we as animal loving, environmentally conscious, pet owning consumers do about this?
If you feed kibble to your pet, do some research and ask questions. Look into the company that manufactures the product. It is within your rights to contact the company to ask if they use HUMAN GRADE ingredients. This is the most important question. The wonderful world of marketing and advertising is really excited about using the words “organic”, “whole”, “AAFCO Inspected” or “FDA Approved”. These words mean very different things when talking about pet food but there is no getting around whether or not it is fit for human consumption.
We here at The Bone House have done some of the legwork for you. On our shelves you will find food and I can confidently use that word here, produced by manufacturers that use human grade ingredients such as:
Champion Pet Foods- Acana and Orijen
Fromm Family Foods- Classic, Gold, Four Star
Petcurean- GO, NOW, Summit
Bottom line, no matter where you shop do your canine and consumer research, equip yourself with the basic knowledge of a dog (remember, that’s a wolf in pet’s clothing…) and don’t let your pet become of victim of advertising. Your dog or cat could not care less about the colour of their bag of kibble.
Companion animals rely on us for everything. It is our responsibility to provide the best we can for them. If money is tight these days for you as it is for me, rather than spending your hard earned dollars on chew toys to occupy your dog, go for a walk, then spend that money on proper nutrition. You’ll end up saving money in vet bills, you dog’s behavior will improve, you’ll build an amazing bond and you’ll add years to yours and your pet’s life. Sounds worth it to me!
..."a vet, a professor and Don Draper walk into a bar" As our Bone House manifesto suggests, being “Committed to the Health and Happiness of Dogs and our Planet” means we are very passionate about nutrition. So fervent in fact, it’s worth stating for the record that we view nutrition as the foundation of good health. And although we are not veterinarians, nor have we ever claimed to be, we are constantly researching, learning and sharing information on how to raise a happy, healthy pup so we can continue to be one more official and trusted house of knowledge when it comes to canine nutrition!
So let’s talk about nutrition, shall we? Well yes, but first I would like to ask you one quick question: When it comes to your dogs diet, from whom do you obtain your information? If your answer was “My veterinarian.” Of course! Their love of animals and passion for the sciences inspired such individuals to seek out an education and a career caring for the many needs of all creatures great and small…And we are very fortunate for our neighborhood vets – they devote years to study and practice animal medicine to help us discover when Max has a skin infection, Ruby has heartworm, or when Charlie has dreaded giardia - again…But what about diet? Have you ever wondered about your vet’s knowledge of canine nutrition? Recent backlash from vets regarding feeding a bioavailable, raw diet prompted me to research how much of a vets course load in university focuses on nutrition. The answer unanimously was, “not much”…. Seriously?? What I discovered is the majority of basic pet nutrition is taught from course material written by researchers at Hills (makers of Science Diet, Prescription Diet, etc). When students graduate, Hills offers them incentives and free food to feed their patients. Unfortunately, one could view such an education and feeding regime as very one-sided – promoting foods that are not the healthiest option. Mainly because such commercial brands are largely made up of corn and grain which, as I will talk about in a bit, do not suit a carnivores diet. As I mentioned a little earlier, I have no doubt that the majority of vet’s go into this practice because of their love for animals. Then quite naturally, they practice what they were taught. And when looking at veterinary medicine curriculums, it became clear to me that the focus of study is on treatment of disease and not prevention. To some extent this makes sense, there wouldn’t be much need for vets without sick animals. I guess the main thing worth pointing out is maybe it’s time we started to put more of an emphasis on prevention of illness through a greater understanding of that other species we invited into our house and who sleeps on our couch or in our bed. And once we understand the species we quickly learn that nutrition unlocks the key to a dog living a happy, healthy life.
So what, I can’t trust my vet now? Are you saying they know bubcas when it comes to my dogs diet? Well, no…but maybe a little. But don’t fret, here are four basic questions to help you get started on making informed decisions.
What is a dog? Canis lupus familiaris, a subspecies of the grey wolf, domesticated over 15,000 years ago. Through selective breeding we have changed the outward appearance and some behaviors of our canine companions but their physiology and anatomy remains the same as their ancestors the wolf.
Are dogs’ carnivores? YES! Even cute, little Fou Fou has large nasal passageways to pick up scents and track pray, equipped with teeth and a jaw designed to rip and tear meat from bone. Their stomach is highly acidic allowing for the ingestion and break down of bone. This extraordinary acidity also enables a canine to ingest what to us would be harmful bacteria. Their pancreas is small and contains only a fraction of the enzymes that ours are able to produce. This means that the food a dog eats must have active, live enzymes to bind with stomach acid to break down food for absorption. Carnivores do not have the enzymes needed to break down grains and gain very little nutritional value from “dead” or processed food.
Has the health of canines decreased since the introduction of highly processed kibble? Sadly, yes greatly. Diabetes and obesity are at an all time high and cancer is on the rise. Coincidence..?
If nutrition is the foundation of good health, why isn’t nutrition a priority for vets? The following quote by a vet, Dr. Ian Billinghurst sums up the answer: “The sad truth is that prepared pet foods help provide patients for vets."
Hungry for more knowledge about your dog – a wolf in pet clothing? Next week be sure to read NUTRITION, THE FOUNDATION OF GOOD HEALTH: Part 2. “A carnivore joins them and pulls up a stool (unintentional pun).”
First of all, we at theBoneHouse would like to say a big thank you for your continued support and unwavering loyalty. With the change of the season (ahem, we are a tad tardy on writing this post) we have introduced 2 new lines of food (yay!), however as you know, the store is rather cozy as it is and so we must make room for the newbies by retiring some of the oldies. That is to say, if you or rather your pup, LOVE love love Wellness, we would be happy to special order this for you weekly, or bi-monthly, or monthly or however you need it. BUT! before you throw your hands up in frustration, please take a moment to understand why we have taken on NOW! and GO! Natural.
Number 1 - they are a CANADIAN company! Yes, we love Canada and believe wholeheartedly in supporting our community, our city, our country and thus our environment.
Number 2 - with government certified "fit for human consumption" ingredients why wouldn't you feed this to your friend? The food contains no rendered meats or rendered oils, BHA or BHT and NOW! has no grains.
Number 3 - both lines have moderate protein levels making them easy to digest and excellent sources of fruits and veggies. NOW! comes in puppy, adult and small breed formulas, while GO! has different flavours that are suitable for all breeds and all life-stages, from puppy to adult.
Come by and have a chat with us and you'll see why we think these new additions are so awesome. We'll even give you a free 1lb bag to take home and make sure your furry guy loves it.
Large bags of Wellness will disappear from the store in about a week. In the mean time we are offering 15% off of the remaining stock as a last hurrah.
Again, we can't thank you enough for making our daily grind all the happier and slobbery-er!