Why we don’t have Taste of the Wild….and some other brands….

From time to time we get inquiries from customers looking for a brand we don’t carry.   One of these is Taste of the Wild.    Why do we not sell Taste of the Wild?   It’s a nutritionally sound product, in a very attractive bag, very effective marketing….there’s every incentive for us to carry it.    Except, TOW is manufactured by Diamond Milling.    A co-packer that has an extensive recall history.

This from Dog Food Insider:

The Taste of the Wild site gives no indication that the food is made by Diamond and many people who feed this food are unaware of the connection. Diamond has had a history of recalls due to aflatoxins, concerns about Salmonella, and production issues at least since around 1999-2000, including a large recall in 2005, and many consumers have lost confidence in the company and the products they produce. Nevertheless, Diamond manufactures or co-packs food for many other brands including CanidaeSolid GoldCostco’s KirklandDick Van Patten’s Natural BalanceTractor Supply’s 4Health, and NutraGold.  Since their earlier recalls, Diamond says today they use 151 quality checks to ensure the quality of their products. However, the company issued a recall in May 2012 for many of their products, including Taste of the Wild, after a Salmonella outbreak linked to their South Carolina plant.

Most consumers have no reason to closely check for this kind of information so we have taken it upon ourselves to offer only products we have the highest confidence level in.    Wholesome Pet Essentials owners have an extensive background in the animal nutrition industry (including dog and cat) including years of involvement in ingredient purchasing and quality control at multiple feed operations.     We understand the difference in ingredient quality and will not knowingly sell you an inferior or unsafe product.       We carry brands that will meet or beat any of the nutritional specifications on the brands we don’t carry and will provide you with peace of mind that they are made with wholesome safe ingredients.   Your pets health and well being is our focus!

Digestive Tidbits on Dogs and Cats

In the future we’ll be presenting more specific nutritional information on dogs and cats.   But first here is a short primer and interesting tidbits on their respective digestive systems:

Dogs are classified as carnivores and are well adapted to eating meat.   However, they can consume and manage on a diet of an omnivore.   Still, the more meat the better.    There sense of smell is estimated at 10,000 times more sensitive than humans.   Therefore an appetizing aroma on their meals is important and why small amounts of hot water on kibble will tease their appetite.    They have 42 teeth designed for cutting and tearing.   They have fewer taste buds than humans.    They have very little salivary amylase (an enzyme) so therefore very little pre-digestion of carbohydrates occurs unlike humans.    They have a very expandable stomach adaptable to eating large meals.   Their stomach ph is more acidic than humans to assist in digestion of small bonelike substances and to protect against harmful bacteria.   The time food spends in the digestive tract is 12-30 hours compared to humans which is usually considered 30 hours to 5 days!

 

Cats are classified as obligate carnivores.  They absolutely have to have meat in their diet.   They have 30 teeth designed for cutting and tearing and have no sideways movement of the jaw at all.   They have even fewer taste buds than dogs and cannot taste sweets.   They have NO salivary amylase.   Their stomach is relatively small and designed for several small meals per day.   Which is why you can leave food out for the cat….unless your dog can get at it!    Like the dog the stomach is a more acid environment than humans.   Transit time through their system is 12-24 hours.   Their small intestine is well suited to digesting proteins and fats.   They need a protein rich diet.  Thus protein levels in cat food exceed the protein level in  dog food recipes.

 

The most essential nutrient for both is of course WATER!   Water can be obtained through drinking of course but also through their food.    Feeding a cat canned food will result in a very noticeable reduction in the amount of water they drink.   Canned foods are about 80% water.

Lotus Brand Dog Food

If you have a fussy or picky eater in your furry friend we’d invite you to try our Lotus Brand dog food.   The holistic formula is BAKED rather than extruded and I can personally testify that our very picky Teddy Bear “Murphy”  loves this food!!!  In the near term we will be expanding our varieties.

Another idea for a fussy eater is to moisten the kibble with HOT water.   It probably only takes a teaspoon per 1/2 cup of kibble to really release the tantalizing aroma of the food.

Is Your Pet “chipped”?

What happens if your family pet suddenly turns up lost?    You may have a tag on them and the finder may decide to do the decent thing and contact you.    But what if that tag has been lost  (they frequently are)?   There’s a good chance there is no tag.    Regardless, a microchip provides permanent identification that cannot fall off, be removed or become difficult or impossible to read.    A microchip may just serve as the conduit to reunite you and your pet.   Dog or cat.       A microchip is not a GPS.   It’s not a tracking device.   They are instead a radio-frequency identification implant that does not require a power source.   There is no battery in it.   The microchip gets power from the external scanner and then transmits the number to the scanner.    Veterinarians and rescue centers all have scanners that can read the chips.    The microchip is inserted under the loose skin between the shoulder blades with a sterile applicator.   It only takes a few seconds as though it was a simple vaccination.    The chip has been compared to a grape seed.    Once microchipped the number needs to be registered with a pet recovery service.   If your pet is recovered by any of the multitude of rescues, etc. out there they will scan for a chip and report the number to the recovery services which will then contact you.

Bonus benefits of microchipping your pet

Some microchip registries offer additional services for your pet’s care:

  • Specialists available 24/7 to assist with advice and support if your pet is lost
  • Travel assistance for pets found far from home
  • 24/7 Emergency Medical Hotline
  • Lost Pet Alerts sent to a network of animal shelters, veterinarians, and concerned citizens around where your pet was lost.

Remember as long as there are pets, even those belonging to the most responsible parents, they will go missing.   That is why we are happy to sponsor a microchip clinic at the store on June 6 from 1-5 pm.    The cost is just $25 for the chipping and all proceeds will go to the Animal Protection and Education Charity.  

Grain Free…No corn or wheat!

 

Probably 75% of the product we have in dog and cat food kibble is totally grain free.    Now let’s discuss what grain free means.    Or perhaps more importantly what it does not mean.    In the case of dog and cat food kibble some starch is needed to make the extrusion process work.    That is the process that very quickly heats under steam and pressure and expands the product which then is cooled and contracts to form a hard kibble.    That’s a very simple description but generally accurate.    That starch has traditionally come from rice,  pearled barley and occasionally oat groats in the best quality foods.    These are ingredients that rarely cause any issues for your pets.    And they provide a source of carbohydrate (energy) as well.   Good recipes limit their inclusion rate and rely on meat for protein (amino acids).   They do NOT have corn or wheat!    Grocery store and big box store brands will frequently utilize corn or corn by-products and frequently wheat as well.   Not good stuff in that their inclusion at high levels in these brands creates all kinds of issues with potential allergens as well as amino acid balancing challenges which can provide your pet sub-par nutrition.    Remember that article on skin issues and rough hair?    True grain-free foods still (in most cases) utilize starch in the process.    But they turn to potatoes, sweet potatoes, lentils and/or tapioca as starch sources.   Hence they are labeled “grain free” as they do not even utilize rice or barley.      Their protein level is typically higher.   And the dog will in most cases leave you with less poop to deal with.   And much more limited chance of an allergic reaction.    They are the “best” of the best.

We also carry a large selection of totally grain free treats for dogs and cats.    There is absolutely NO WHEAT in any of our treats.    Not what your dog or cat needs!

The Orijen Story….From Whole Dog Journal

Champion Petfoods: This Canadian company makes high-quality dry foods with lots of fresh meat.

 

Orijen is Champion Petfood’s flagship line, with high meat inclusions and high protein levels. All seven of the Orijen foods are grain-free.

 

 

 

 

Champion Petfoods is a privately held company that makes high-protein dry dog foods with a high inclusion of meat, much of it fresh. The company calls its guiding principle “BAFRINO,” an acronym that stands for “biologically appropriate, fresh regional ingredients, never outsourced.” As of this writing, all of Champion’s dry foods are made in its own manufacturing plant in Morinville, Alberta, though the company is currently building a second dry food manufacturing plant in Auburn, Kentucky. Champion also manufactures freeze-dried foods at its own plant in Oakville, Ontario.

 

For the rest of the story please copy and paste this link:

http://www.whole-dog-journal.com/issues/18_5/features/Pet-Food-Profile-May-2015_21212-1.html