Happy Canada Day! William Shatner Sings Oh Canada

In celebration of Canada Day, here’s William Shatner ‘singing’ Oh Canada (yes, that’s our National Anthem).

I’d write a longer post, but I have to hitch up the dog sled so I can harvest some Maple Syrup.

Raw Green Tripe for Dogs – Stinky Magic!

Raw Green Tripe for Dogs

Raw Green Tripe, Whole & Ground. Image from Bold Raw – Available at Pet Outfitters

Of all the raw food diet ingredients I can suggest for dogs, few things compare to raw green tripe. Tripe is so beneficial, and for so many different conditions, that I usually refer to it simply as “stinky magic”.

Tripe is the stomach of any ruminant animal – sheep, cattle, bison, deer, camels, alpacas, llamas, etcetera. Tripe for human consumption has been washed, cleaned, trimmed, boiled and bleached. It is devoid of the nutritional benefits contained by green tripe, but safe for human consumption. For dogs, we’re looking for “green” tripe – that is, tripe that has not been boiled or bleached, although it usually has received a rudimentary hosing down. It generally retains at least some of the stomach contents, which in grass fed animals will naturally be green, hence the term “green tripe”.

Tripe from corn finished beef is sometimes substituted, especially when used in commercially prepared tripe products. The stomach’s digestive actions will generally have broken down the corn’s amino acids to the point that they will not cause issues for most dogs, but for dogs with confirmed corn or gluten sensitivity owners would do better to stay with tripe taken exclusively from grass fed animals. Doing so is increasingly difficult, however, since more farmers are finishing even lamb on grain mixtures. It’s best to inquire if the raw green tripe you are purchasing comes from exclusively grass fed animals.

Laboratory analysis of green tripe shows that it has an almost perfect ratio of calcium to phosphorus, at 1:1. Balancing calcium and phosphorus levels at an approximate ratio of 1.5:1 is essential for a balanced raw dog food diet  (although tripe alone does not provide sufficient quantities of calcium or phosphorus for complete canine nutrition). Tripe also contains linoleic and linolenic acids, the essential fatty acids beneficial to skin, coat and cellular function and regeneration. Sufficient quantities of EFAs have been shown aid in blocking tumor formation in animals, and to regenerate damaged tissue. For dogs with leaky gut syndrome, tissue regeneration is crucial.

Since tripe essentially the stomach of animal that digest fibrous matter, it makes complete sense that tripe is loaded with beneficial digestive enzymes and lactic acid bacteria. Lactobacillus Acidophilus, as it is also known, is the beneficial bacteria found in most probiotics. Tripe is also slightly acidic, which is beneficial for animals who have digestive difficulties.

Raw green tripe from grass fed animals comes with an added bonus – some of the partially digested stomach contents from its last meal. It’s not uncommon to see bits of grassy matter in your raw tripe, and it this grass is what gives us the “Green” in raw green tripe. The semi digested stomach contents are a source of natural prebiotics, defined as:

“a selectively fermented ingredient that allows specific changes, both in the composition and/or activity in the gastrointestinal microflora that confers benefits upon host well-being and health”

Grazing animals such as sheep routinely tear plants up by the roots, digesting the rich plant based inulin essential to prebiotic function. The grassy stomach contents in raw green tripe are then partially fermented by the actions of the stomach, and bathed in a rich gastric soup of digestive enzymes and Lactobacillus Acidophilus. Few commercial probiotics can emulate the effectiveness of a serving of fresh, grass fed raw green tripe.

Raw green tripe is beneficial to dogs suffering from digestive problems, sensitive stomachs, food intolerance and even leaky gut syndrome. In non clinical trials, a regimen of six days of using raw green tripe as 25% of a raw fed dog’s diet have shown marked decreases in acid reflux and irritable bowel symptoms.

Another raw green tripe convert has been feeding her Great Dane a 25% raw green tripe diet for six months. Her dog, initially diagnosed with leaky gut syndrome, has shown an improvement in food tolerance, a decrease in vomiting and regurgitation, and a cessation of flare ups of periodic diarrhea. Additionally, she reports her dog no longer eats grass – or poop!

Lessened poop eating is one of the most interesting anecdotally reported benefits of feeding raw green tripe. Raw green tripe, when fed on a regular basis, seems to lessen the insatiable craving for poop eating (or coprophagia) that even the most ardent pet lovers find difficult to forgive . Groundbreaking research suggests that dogs who eat their own feces do so because their bodies lack the necessary amounts of digestive enzymes required to fully digest their food. Raw green tripe, with its abundance of natural digestive enzymes and lactic acid bacteria, allows dogs to utilize all of the food they eat, taking away their biological imperative to eat feces.

The rich taste and even richer smell of raw green tripe makes it a potent topper for picky dogs who turn down most foods, and it’s a concentrated source of nutrition for pregnant and nursing dogs, and dogs recovering from illness. Some cats enjoy the taste of green tripe, and tripe rich in stomach contents can satisfy the craving of both dogs and cats to eat grass.

These nutritious stomach contents are also the cause of one of green tripe’s most noticeable features – its smell. It’s an odor that can only be compared to the reek of an overflowing sewer on a hot summer day (only perhaps not quite as pleasant). Feeding raw green tripe is what separates the hardcore raw feeder from the dilettante, giving you added ‘street cred’ on any discussion groups you belong to. It’s one thing to say, “Oh, last night I ground up some turkey necks”, and another altogether to say, “Last night I hauled home six buckets of sheep stomachs, and chopped them up by hand in the driveway using a block and tackle and a sushi knife”.

Luckily for most of us, there are commercial sources of ground raw green tripe available in many areas. Stinky and slimy it may be, but raw green tripe can pay off with added health and vitality for your dogs.



No Merle French Bulldogs

We’ve created a new webpage to make potential French Bulldog owners aware of the potential health risks associated with merle French Bulldogs, and to warn them to avoid merle French Bulldog puppies for sale.

No ethical French Bulldog breeder would breed or sell merle French Bulldogs. The gene for the merle pattern is not found in French Bulldogs. The only way to ‘create’ a merle French Bulldog is by breeding to a dog of a breed that carries merle – generally Chihuahuas. The resulting puppies are then crossed back to each other, allowing the ‘breeder’ to claim that their dogs are purebred Merle French Bulldogs.

Breeding merle to merle results in an average 25% of the puppies produced being ‘double merle’  – more accurately called a homozygous merle, and sometimes referred to as a ‘lethal white’ dog. Double merles have been documented to be as high as 86% blind, deaf or deformed. Double merle has also been linked to allergies, autoimmune disorders, organ defects, neurological defects and even death.

Learn more at our website –  http://www.nomerlefrenchbulldogs.com

You can share our web banner – please link it to http://www.nomerlefrenchbulldogs.com

No Merle French Bulldogs

Feathers being processed into feather meal for the pet food industry

Trash to Cash – Feather Meal and Pet Food Ingredients

The poultry industry in the USA is a high volume business. Annually, an estimated 8 billion broiler chickens are produced, resulting in almost 3 billion pounds of feathers. The resulting feathers could only be disposed of in two ways – sold cheaply to the large animal food industry or to fertilizer companies, or by paid disposal to landfills. A decrease in demand for animal by products as a large animal feed additive, and a rise in the cost of landfill usage fees combined to make lightweight feathers a heavy expense for the poultry industry. Lucky for them, there seems to be almost nothing that the pet food industry isn’t game to try as an ingredient.

Feather Meal, or “FM” as it is referred to in the industry, has long been used as a fertilizer. It has a high nitrogen content, and is also high in protein, but it is indigestible unless it is highly processed. There have been numerous attempts to use feather meal as a food additive for animals, but  published studies as long ago as the 1980’s determined Feather Meal to be of “Low Nutritional Value” as a feed ingredient.

Beginning as early as 2000, there were rumblings within the pet food industry about a great new ingredient that was lowering costs for pet food manufacturers who used chicken and poultry meals as the basis for their foods. A German manufacturer, Goldmehl, had patented a revolutionary new method of Feather Meal processing for the pet food industry. They promised that it increase “feces scoring” in feeding trials. Feces scoring refers to the stool quality of dogs fed a diet based on a specific feed ingredient. In the case of feather meal, inclusion of more than 9% FM by dry weight resulted in dogs with a feces score of “1” – industry shorthand for explosive, watery diarrhea. Goldmehl’s patented Feather Meal would allow manufacturers to include up to 14% Feather Meal, with ‘acceptable’ feces scores.

The use of feathers as a pet food ingredient remained an underground rumbling until 2013, when Keith Levy, the President of Royal Canin USA, admitted in an interview with Forbes Magazine that Royal Canin had spent ten years developing a food that used feather meal as its primary protein source.

We have a team in France that is traveling the world to find ingredients. In this case it’s feather meal. It’s not only nutritious but can also be made very palatable to dogs. Feathers are broken down to an amino acid level and don’t have much of a taste. Then we add palatizers for taste. In this case, we have to be very careful not to provoke an allergic reaction.

Levy later in the interview mentioned that Royal Canin also uses hydrolized soy protein as a pet food ingredient, and that Royal Canin is “currently researching worm meal as a potential protein source for some of our foods in China”. Levy illustrated the best example of the Pet Food industry’s theory of ‘garbage in, pet food out’ when he said –

By using alternative sources of protein, we’re using something that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

Some ingredients, however, end up in landfills (or in your garden, as fertilizer) because they simply shouldn’t be used as a food ingredient, no matter how ‘cost effective’ they are. Feather Meal is primarily composed of  insoluble keratin with high cystine content. Dogs suffering from a genetic condition called Cystinuria lack the ability to process cystine via the kidneys. Over time, cystine becomes concentrated in the urine, which leads to the formation of crystals – commonly referred to as kidney stones.

Owners of dogs afflicted with cystinuria, or of breeds prone to this condition or any other kidney related diseases, are advised to avoid foods containing feather meal. This means you’ll need to watch the labels for ingredients such as feather meal, poultry or chicken digest, and perhaps even poultry or chicken by products (I’m still awaiting confirmation from AAFCO on whether or not FM is now an allowable component in these last two ingredients).

French Bulldog Event in Toronto

This weekend at Pawsway in Toronto is “Meet a Frenchie Puppy” weekend! We’ll be there, representing Eastern Canada French Bulldog Club. Come out, ask questions about French Bulldogs, get referrals to reputable French Bulldog breeders, learn about adopting from rescue or becoming a volunteer, meet a French Bulldog specific trainer (and her trick trained Frenchie!), talk to breeders and (yay!) get to pet some puppies!! I heard a rumor Phoebe might be there – and one other special surprise guest (or two!).

Your friendly, on leash pets are welcome to attend with you.

June 15th and 16th, noon to 5 pm,
Pawsway at Harborfront
245 Queens Quay West, North Building
Toronto, ON M5J 2K9

Admission is free – donations to Eastern Canada French Bulldog Rescue Rescue are appreciated!

Pawsway – http://www.pawsway.ca/