Category Archives: Uncategorized

5C: Is Human Food an Absolute No-No for Dogs?

Have you ever fed your dog your leftovers?
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After analyzing a few commercial dog foods I remembered hearing how they lacked nutrition, and feeding dogs human food is an absolute no-no. If we can’t feed our dogs our leftovers then what have ancient domestic dogs been eating? Sure, there’s that whole argument on how some of our food aren’t digestible for dogs (and how some dog food aren’t digestible for humans) like chocolate, sugary things, pesticides, and overwhelming flavour/seasoning. But I know families from different countries who have no problem traditionally feeding their dogs their leftovers. Anyway, depending on leftover meal, they usually mix scraps of meat and bone (even some fish bones) with rice and water. Whether the dog is mature or still a puppy, these dog owners feed them accordingly. Like, they won’t feed the puppy fish bones. From what these families told me (and what the vet told them), their dogs had no problems. They lived a healthy and long life. The point is it ISN’T an absolute no-no to feed dogs with human leftovers, as long as you research what it absolutely can’t eat!

Would you trust vets when they sell you stuff?
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Sometimes, vets try to sell or “recommend you to purchase” commercial dog food in an exclusive manner. Remember they’re just giving you an option! As long as your dog doesn’t need those products to aid their ‘treatment’ (if they have any issues), you probably don’t need to spend money on them. Unless, you’re one of those people who are always on-the-go and have no time to feed your dog (which you probably shouldn’t own one ’till you think you have the time for it. Caring for a dog is a lot of work!). Usually, the relationship between vets and these “recommended brands” is a BUSINESS relationship. Vets aren’t necessarily experts in dog nutrition. They’re not stupid about it either. But if you wish to learn more about your dog’s diet and nutrition, consult a “Veterinary Nutritionist” or read The SkeptVet Blog!

Do you believe “no preservatives added,” printed on packaging?
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It seems that whenever a brand prints ‘that’ on the package, the dog food is automatically clean of preservatives. It’s true that the brand doesn’t add preservatives. But MAYBE, their sources DO add preservatives. Just, MAYBE. It’s just sometimes; I think some companies add ‘certified titles’ (think false advertising) onto their packaging. However, sometimes there are loopholes in language… Sometimes, language can be deceiving. To add, a “no preservatives” might even mask the possibility of what ingredients are actually used. Apparently, some cheaper products contain traces of dead animal, road kill, and cat/dog meat in it. It’s a possibility.
IN ANY CASE, there’s always a reason to be considerate of what you’re feeding your dog and what businesses recommend you to feed your dog.

I admit I still feed my dog commercial food. But I mix it up with fresh “human” meal every now and then. Meaning, I cook up recipes for my dog OFTEN. See if your dog likes Un-Seasoned Boiled Chicken!

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6B: I Ate This: Un-Seasoned Boiled Chicken Legs

This was by far, the best dog food I consistently had.
My mom boils a pot of chicken legs for Ozzy, my Bichon-Poo. My dog and I share this dish. Well, we don’t eat off of each other’s plate. He has his share on his bowl; I got mine on my plate–with rice. Not that my dog can’t have rice, he can… According to this guide: WikiHow: Prepare Chicken and Rice for Dogs.

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Boiling Chicken Legs as they are (NO SEASONING)

PACKAGE DESCRIPTION

My mom buys good, clean, raw (packaged) chicken legs from the market.
When you buy it make sure you do your research on the packaging company and trust its source. You wanna make sure your dog is exposed to almost NO (or absolutely no) toxins! You shouldn’t put up with toxins either.
Then, she fills a large pot with water to boil with chicken. DO NOT add any seasoning (no salt, pepper, NONE of that). After some time, probably around 30 minutes or so the chicken should be cooked and the water turns into broth.

  • Optional: You can mix/melt some broth with rice to feed your dog.

THE TASTE TEST!

“Tastes like chicken”, bland, good, boiled chicken. It’s HEALTHY for you and your dog. But it doesn’t mean your dog can strictly eat this over a long period of time. It won’t have the nutrition it needs that way. Be sure to mix his meals up. There are lots of ‘mix-n-matches’ available for this dish like carrots and peas. Before adding ingredients be sure to check if what you’re adding is good for your dog.

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4B: Happy Halloween 2013!

Uh Oh. You might not have Christmas this year! I was “The Grinch” for Halloween 2013.

Photo on 2013-10-30 at 01.22 #3Halloween, along with Christmas, is one of my favourite annual events/holidays ever! I’m fond of things that spook people. I watch tons of horror films. But what’s Halloween without CANDY and sweet things? I’d like to share some links that reflect some awesome Halloween treat ideas for kids to enjoy!

  • Visit Yoyomax12‘s channel! She shows you how to bake and create cupcakes and candied treats inspired from spiders, ghouls, mummies, goblins, and more!
  • Are you a gamer? Check out Rosanna Pansino and her Nerdy Nummies! She can teach you how to make Minecraft treats and Diablo 3 Skittle Vodka Potions!
  • Interested in an unconventional blog? Here’s Jolene Sugarbaker the Trailer Park Queen!
  • One Pot Chef Show has the EASIEST, QUICKEST, and MOST CONVENIENT way to whip up something magical and sweet! For example, this homemade ice cream made in a BLENDER!

I wonder which treat they showcased you’d like to try! 🙂

Have a HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

3B: I Ate This: Succulent Stuffed Turkey for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving 2013 was one of the best I had. During the long weekend, my family went to my brother’s fiancé’s home to celebrate a potluck dinner with her family and relatives. For starters we had two kinds of crunchy, golden, shanghai rolls: fish and pork with sweet chili (Asian) sauce, instead of the usual cold shrimp and dip. Creamy ‘Sopas’ (Filipino macaroni soup) was also served while waiting ten more minutes for the star of the evening, the lonesome stuffed turkey infused with bacon, still crisping in the oven… but there’s more. Trays of tender roast beef, succulent pink squid stuffed with peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and onions, and finally, fresh and thick slices of baked salmon adorned with herbs and lime, all steaming, filling the air with faint, but irresistibly sweet aroma, and burning our hungry gaze… but there’s still more.

Side dishes. Southern-style mashed sweet potato casserole topped with creamy, toasted marshmallows, a tossed house salad full of cranberry seeds, the classic mashed potatoes, RICE, and a selection of apple or cranberry sauce, banana ketchup, and vinegar. All dishes complimented with fine red wine and sangria to keep you bubbly through the night while playing the board game and DVD edition of Family Feud… but there’s still WAY more… Aside from the usual chopped pineapples and the sweet classic Filipino cassava-coconut cake, heaven sent “Crawford’s Village Bakery” (Brampton, ON), a good priced bakery that is constantly reviewed to be a 5-star experience from customers. We were rewarded with the light, creamy, and not over the top or too sweet, but extremely delicious, locally fresh, and homemade chocolate cream pie, and rhubarb pie topped with cream cheese frosting. They were gone before I could go back for a second slice. It was that good.

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Excitedly trotting around the kitchen and sniffing everyone’s slippers and fingers is Ozzy, my white bichon-poo puppy. Mom brought home cooked dinner for him. She left freshly shredded (boiled) chicken meat on his baby blue, dog bone print, bowl. Ozzy would occasionally sniff his food, but he was too distracted by the unusual and happy clamor filling his ears. Ozzy looked at everyone with his black, beady, eyes. Mom trimmed his fur earlier so he could see well. My brother’s fiancé’s cousin, Mary, lowered her hand for Ozzy. Ozzy sniffed, licked her fingers, and parted his mouth while sticking his tongue out. “Why are you smiling Ozzy?” My brother knelt beside him to pet and kissed his fury head. “Mm! You smell so good!”

Mom loves it when Ozzy smells sweet like a baby. What a spoiled dog. Finally, Mom arrives with some leftover turkey. She chose just the meat without the skin or any visible seasoning and hand fed Ozzy. Ozzy could not wait. He gobbled it up right away and left no trace but ensuring licks. I looked at them lovingly. Ozzy is a beauty! He will surely look forward to his third Thanksgiving next year.

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2C: I Ate This: AUTHORITY. Experts in Nutrition: Crunchy Dog Treats

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AUTHORITY PACKAGE DESCRIPTION

“AUTHORITY”
Experts in Nutrition
Crunchy Dog Treats
Made with Real Turkey & Pumpkin

The package claims its ingredients exclude artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. It is apparently

  • “Rich in Beta carotene to support healthy vision
  • Natural source of protein for strong muscles and a healthy heart
  • Natural ingredients with added vitamins and minerals
  • Great for training
  • Cleans teeth and freshens breath
  • Helps reduce plaque and tartar buildup”.

Supposedly, Ozzy (my bichon-poo dog) was “sure to wag his tail” for these treats. After several attempts throughout the year of using the product to train and/or reward him, my dog would just sniff the biscuit and leave it alone. 

APPEARANCE & SMELL

As I opened the package to peek inside a waft of gingerbread and pumpkin scent filled my nose. Each biscuit was shaped like a miniature brick-like doggie bone. It was a grainy tan brown in colour, with slightly browned edges, indicating these are baked treats. The package was about a third filled with biscuits. I bet the rest were thrown in the garbage bag after spending its lifespan being kicked around on the floor and never in my dog’s belly or waste. I took one. It looked like an ordinary biscuit. I bit into it.

THE TASTE TEST!

It tastes nothing like how it smelled (which is probably good for dogs as seasoning is bad for them apparently). It has a grainy texture. It actually tastes similar to SkyFlakes crackers with a very faint gingerbread taste. This also reminds me of eating cinnamon graham crackers, except an extremely bland version of it (no sugar, etc.). The more I chew and keep it in my mouth, the more my saliva works with it, creating a fine paste that is similar to baby food “Heinz” bland oatmeal cereal. It did not take long for the biscuit to turn into a pasty and creamy consistency with hints of tiny grainy texture either.

OTHER FUNCTIONS: CAN CLEAN TEETH?

I looked at the ingredients and recognized wheat flour, ground wheat, turkey meal, turkey, pumpkin, oatmeal, dried carrot, rice starch, dried cane molasses, salt, dried egg product, cinnamon, preserved poultry fat, nutmeg, and the rest are all scientific sounding. Looking back at the prided bullet points the package promotes, I am interested in how these biscuits can clean teeth, freshen, breath, and reduce plaque/tartar build up. Would this function work on me too? It seems any dog food/treat that has this ability reminds me of human chewing gum products that can “strengthen teeth/gums” and “freshen breath”.

I Googled “how can dog biscuits clean teeth?” The first link that popped up was from DogFoodAdvisor.com. The same link that showed for my very first blog post. I found myself returning to this site as it answers my questions quite fully so I checked it again. The title of the article by Mike Sagman was “Dry Dog Food and the Myth of Cleaner Teeth”.

In a nutshell, “Dry Dog Food Could Contribute to Dental Problems”! Food particles are easy to remove but plaque and tartar requires physical scrubbing to remove. Plaque is what you must remove with toothbrush while dentists scrape away tartar. An alternative to clean your dog’s teeth is to let them chew on raw meaty bones as it has the ability to flex around the teeth. Keep caution on harmful bacteria and never used cooked bones due to splinters. A surefire way to prevent dental disease in dogs is… get them a toothbrush.

OUTSIDE REVIEW(S)

I finally surfed the Internet for some reviews on this product. There was not much. I found most reviews from PetSmart Reviews: Authority Crunchy Dog Treats. Most or all customer reviews on the page gave the product 5 stars upon reviewing different flavors, and said their pets loved them. Still not so convinced, I tried to snoop around DogFoodAdvisor.com and found Sagman’s review for “Authority Dog Food (Dry)”. He gave them 3 stars. I guess it’s not so bad. Either way, I guess my dog’s pretty picky since he was not interested in them.

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1D: I Ate This: BENEFUL Dog Food: Incredibites For Small Dogs by Purina

BENEFUL PACKAGE DESCRIPTION

Beneful Dog Food claims they are

“Protein-Rich Nutrition in a Small-Sized Kibble… they are small-sized, fun-to-eat… (They have) real beef, for strong muscles; Calcium-rich ingredients including yogurt to help support strong bones and a healthy smile.

Ok? I didn’t know that. I guess I should teach Ozzy how to ‘smile’ aside from holding up his paw for a treat.

“Wholesome grains packed with carbs (and so on) for energy; antioxidant-rich nutriti…”

Ok! I get it. This feels like it’s the same package ad for humans except there’s a picture of a dog on it, and the word “dog”. Either way it looks like a bag of rice or some kind of really organic cereal.

APPEARANCE & SMELL

There’s a bowl of some sort of dry, Earth coloured, grainy, and organic, looking cereal in dog associated shapes like bone marrow-oh they even have a heart shape, carrot shapes, and peas too. I’ve always wondered about their colours. I know dogs were somewhat colour-blind. I’m not sure if these displays would actually be attractive to them. However, opening the bag… it really, reeks, of dog food. It smells Earthy and almost like fermented meat. It almost reminded me of strong curry with lots of sodium.

However, the more I examined its aroma I felt there were strong hints of how some human cuisine smelled like. I guess, to your possible discomfort, I managed to kind of (just kind of) find it a little more appetizing. Besides, I haven’t eaten all morning and it’s now noon.

THE TASTE TEST!

I spread some of the cereal onto my dog’s bowl. I noticed he consistently chose green pea shaped ones over the others.

Here I go!

Hmmm.

I’m like, hovering on top of my kitchen sink while doing this. To be honest, they didn’t taste like how they smell at all. It’s actually, quite bland­­–really bland. I guess they taste good to dogs? Or they are healthy for them at least? No wonder they love human food there’s a ton of flavor there. So there were six shapes and colours:

  • The Green Pea Shape: There’s a pea pod on the packaging so I assumed this was, in fact, a pea infused granule. It was slightly chewy. A little salty at first then it got very bland. This was probably the only one with a distinct flavor compared to the rest, unless my tongue got accustomed to the taste. But I kept gargling with water and spitting out residue before tasting the next. Earlier it seemed my dog really recommended this to me and I actually agree with him. The Green Pea really tasted better than the rest. At least for my first dog food experience.
  • The Orange Carrot Shape: There was also a carrot image on the package. This one was kinda crunchy but bland.
  • The Brown Bone Marrow Shape: No picture of animal with bone marrow besides happy puppy photo. This one was slightly chewy and tasted the same as The Orange Carrot.
  • The Darker Brown Chicken Leg Shape: No photo of poultry, slightly chewy, and tasted the same… bland.
  • The Darkest Brown Heart Shape: Nothing like it on the package, though it could have symbolized or resembled things other than meat-heart such as love and health. It was kinda crunchy and again, bland.
  • The ONE Red Dreaded “Moist Chewy Chunk”: The package had three photos of raw meat cubes. I expected the texture to be quite pasty, but it wasn’t. It was just as chewy as The Darker Brown Chicken Leg. Also, I found no difference in taste. It was bland. The Green Pea wins!

Well that was not so bad. I guess eating wet dog food would be a different story, and a different blog. So far, ‘Beneful Dog Food Incredibites for Small Dogs by Purina’ tasted mostly like stale, bland, thick, slightly chewy and crumbly, and slight to moderately salted cardboard. Learn more!

OUTSIDE REVIEW(S)

I wanted to know what other people thought of this product so I searched Google for reviews. Included in the top links was www.dogfoodadvisor.com. Cool!

Rated 1 star.

Written by Mike Sagman from ‘the Advisor’, Beneful Incredibites’ dry dog food’s estimated nutrient content was not up to par to their standards. The page highlighted in red some of the ingredients that proved to be controversial or an issue with them. For example, this package includes ‘chicken by-product meal’ that is inexpensive and a low quality ingredient. There was also ‘meat and bone meal’ that can have a lower digestibility, and ‘artificial coloring’, which I found very obvious.

Overall, this once source does not recommend this for dogs as it is “plant-based kibble using a below-average amount of chicken by-product meal” deserving only 1 star.

WHAT AM I FEEDING MY DOG?

Moreover, apparently I tried crappy dog food. Darn.

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