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Disappointed Blue Customers….Welcome Here! 15% Off

by May 9, 2015

You may have heard the news that Blue admitted in court that there was at least one ingredient in their pet food that was not on the label.   Blue had been vigorously defending the integrity of their pet food labeling ever since it was challenged by Purina last year.   Now they have admitted that in fact there were ingredients found in their food that was not on the label.    One can only speculate as to how or why this happened but it may be that a co-packer is responsible for the issue.     In the case of a co-packer the brand holder does not have direct control over the ingredient purchasing or quality control process in manufacturing.      That is why we at Wholesome Pet Essentials make every attempt to avoid product produced by a co-packer.   (Please see blog post dated April 14….)   Fromm, Merrick. Holistic Select, Earthborn, Nutrilife (Fromm produced), Whole Earth Farms (a Merrick label), Natural Planet and of course Orijen are all produced by their own production facility.   They are responsible for their own ingredient purchasing and quality control.     All of these present excellent alternatives to the Blue line!    Bring in your blue bag or label and receive 15% off any of our quality alternatives.     Offer not valid with other discounts.    Expires June 30th.    

My Dog’s “Coat” is not very Shiny

by May 4, 2015

Are you feeding one of the grocery store or big box brands of dog food?   Or one of the “chow” products?    Disappointed in your dog coat’s appearance and feel?     Did you realize that dogs and cats use 30-35% of their dietary protein to maintain healthy skin and coat?     That’s why they need high quality biologically available protein in their diets.     A dog or cat on high quality protein will feature a healthy shiny coat and skin.    That will not come from a product high in corn, soy, corn gluten meal, distillers grains, corn germ meal, soybean meal, etc.       A high quality meat based protein provides the necessary amino acid profile needed to provide the skin and hair coat you and your pet wants.    More on that later……

Whole Earth Farm Grain Free Recipe with Turkey & DuckSmall & Mini Breed Adult Anchovy & Sardine and Chicken Meals Dry Dog Food  Adult Dog Sojos Grain-Free Recipe Freeze-Dried Dog Food MixAll Gold Dog Food

Alternative Chew(s) and a Recall

by April 27, 2015

Synthetic chew bones have either been praised or cussed by veterinarians. The recent recall by the FDA of the Nylabone Puppy Starter Kitdog chews due to the risk of salmonella infection to both the dog and the owners punctuates the latter. No current health issues have been reported but the company identified the presence of
salmonella in one lot during some recent testing. Nylon bones were introduced as a practical replacement for rawhide chews which had their own share of issues including potential obstruction in the digestive tract. They are designed to slowly granulate and pass through the dog’s digestive tract. However, there have been reports of dogs able to break off chunks of the synthetic bones and these pieces accumulating in the digestive system and ultimate require surgical removal. Porkchews have been an attractive alternative as they are more highly digestible than rawhide but unfortunately a large number of them come from China. Antlers, although a bit pricey, have been the gold standard for chews because of their long lasting characteristics and few if any side effects. However, there have been limited reports of dogs with less than perfect teeth experience some tooth breakage with antlers.

Ruff Roots are 100% natural dog toys that serve as an alternative to rubber or plastic toys. Ruff Roots originate from the roots of shrubs or trees in the Mediterranean Heathlands. All Ruff Roots are hand-harvested and eco-sustainably sourced from Spain. Only the tuber of the root is harvested which then sprouts again. Ruff Roots are great chew toys for furniture chewers like Rufus or any dogs that love to play with sticks. Unlike sticks or furniture wood, Ruff Roots do not splinter. They serve as a natural toothbrush and help decrease plaque on teeth as well. Ruff Roots are also great teething toys for growing puppies! Ruff Roots are best for keen and powerful chewers. They are extremely long-lasting.

And we have them at Wholesome Pet Essentials!


Celebrate Earthweek….Plant Trees with Earthborn Holistic

by April 21, 2015

UPCs for Trees

You can build forests around the world and help reduce harmful greenhouse gases when you participate in the Earthborn Holistic®UPCs for Trees program.

While most greenhouse gases are essential for maintaining our earth’s temperature, too much greenhouse gas can damage our climate. Planting a tree is a simple way to help remove excesses of the most common greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide (CO2 ), from the environment. That’s because in its lifetime, a typical tree can absorb nearly a ton of CO2.

Send in your Earthborn Holistic® UPCs and we’ll have a tree planted. It takes only 1 UPC from a 28 lb. dog bag, 2 UPCs from 14 lb. dog bags, 3 UPCs from 5 lb. dog bags or 4 UPCs – 7.5 oz. EarthBites Treats = 1 Tree or 1 UPC from a 14 lb. cat bag or 2 UPCs from 5 lb. cat bags to plant a tree.

  1. Purchase any Earthborn Holistic® product.
  2. Collect the UPC codes from the Earthborn Holistic® product package.
  3. Mail in the UPC codes.
    Earthborn Holistic® Natural Food for Dogs
    P.O. Box 972958
    Dept. 100
    El Paso, TX 79997

Then sit back and we’ll do the rest! We’ll have trees planted in areas that have been affected by deforestation. Check out the Tree Locatorto see where trees are being planted now. Imagine the impact we can make by working together through UPCs for Trees.

Love Your Dog. Love Your Planet.

What’s With this “Holistic” thing?

by April 20, 2015

The “holistic” word gets batted around a lot these days in the pet care world.    There is no “scientific” or “legal” definition of the term particularly as it relates to pet nutrition.   Several of the brands we carry do indeed use it in their names.    Holistic of course generally means “of the whole” or focused on the whole.    To us it means a few things of importance and in our opinion includes at the very least the following:    1.  The use of natural ingredients and no chemicals or artificial ingredients.   No antibiotics, hormones, pesticides, dyes, etc.     2.   Grain-free does not necessarily constitute a holistic diet and a holistic diet does not have to be grain-free.  3.  Fruits and vegetables contribute the lions share of non-protein supplementation and there are no  processed “parts” or by-products of the meat/rendering industry.   4.  The ingredients chosen are there to benefit the dog or cat….not to make for a least cost recipe to benefit the manufacturer’s profits…..(common among big box and grocery store brands.)    5.  Fruits and vegetables provide a wide range of natural antioxidant protection and vitamins and minerals.    6. Zero potentially harmful ingredients.     I would encourage you to visit the various websites of the brands we carry to learn about the natural/holistic ingredients that are used.    Their websites are all linked on our nutrition page.


Does “holistic” mean “organic”?   No.    We do carry several foods produced with 100% certified organic raised meat protein and fruits and vegetables.      Per the USDA Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.  Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering may not be used.

Categories of USDA-Certified Organic Foods 
Label statement and USDA requirements for organic certification of human foods*

100% Organic
Can be labeled “100% organic” and display a Certified Organic seal on the front of the package.

Must be 95% to 99% organic ingredients; can display the Certified Organic seal on the front of the package.

Made with Organic Ingredients
Must be 70% to 94% organic, can say “made with organic ingredients” and can list up to three such ingredients on the front, but cannot display the organic seal anywhere on the package.

Less than 70% Organic
Can list organic ingredients on the information panel, but cannot use the word “organic” on the front of the package or display the organic seal.
Source: USDA National Organic Program



Who Makes Your Dog Food?

by April 14, 2015

Some of you that have been in our store may wonder why we have signs up identifying who makes the dog and cat food we are offering to you.    That is important to us and we think it is important to you.    We are concerned about the integrity of the manufacturing process and quality control which stems back to multiple recalls by several brands all manufactured by one contract (co-packer) producer.    Here is a story from The Whole Dog Journal about that very subject:

Who Makes Your Dog Food?

While today many pet professionals are aware that the company that owns and sells the brand they feed may not actually be manufacturing the food, many dog owners do not. A substantial number of companies “co-pack” their foods, which means that the pet food company gives their formulation (recipe) to a manufacturing company that produces, bags, labels and ships their food. The manufacturer mixes ingredients according to the specified formulations and produces a wide variety of pet foods that are sold under different brand names. So while you may think that P&G or Nestle Purina make the food you feed your dog, in some cases the company that actually puts together the final product is a business you have never heard of such as Ohio Pet Food, CJ Foods and Simmons – none of which would qualify as household names.

This process becomes even more convoluted when one considers that, like many consumer goods today, the supply chain of ingredients may be outsourced to several different middleman companies (consider the sequence from the 2007 disaster – Chinese supplier to ChemNautra to Menu to Pet Food Brands). In addition, pet food companies also may contract food production to several different factories, some of which are located in the US, while others are not. One of the reasons that the Menu Foods recall was so extensive was that Menu Foods specialized in producing wet (canned) products. While many of the large pet food companies own and operate their own dry food factories, there are only a handful of factories that operate as canneries and produce wet pet food. As a result, many companies, including the large corporations, contract the manufacture of their wet foods to another company, typically referred to as a co-packer. Another example is chicken treats, many of which, until the 2012 recall anyway, were completely sourced and produced in China.


Excerpted from “Dog Food Logic” by Linda P. Case, MS

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