HOMEMADE DOG FOOD

Canine Health and Nutrition Information from Dr Ken Tudor.

Why Hearthstone Homemade Doesn’t Use Food Products in Our Vitamin and Mineral Supplement

Ken Tudor - Monday, November 28, 2016

Hearthstone Homemade Vitamin & Mineral SupplementWe are often asked what is in our vitamin/mineral formula for our homemade dog food program. It is a good and important question. Dog parents are concerned about possible foods their dog may exposed to. That is precisely why our homemade dog food vitamin and mineral supplement does not contain any food products. We want to eliminate the risks possible with food sources of vitamins and minerals.


What Are the Risks of Food in Supplements?

 

1. ARF. ARF means “adverse reaction to food.” These dogs may experience vomiting or diarrhea when exposed to certain foods. This response is different than allergies because it can occur without any previous exposure to any particular food.

2. Allergic reactions. Some dogs can be allergic to food products that are used to provide vital vitamins and minerals. Although these food allergies are not common, they do occur.

3. Taste aversion. Some dogs have very sensitive palates and are put off by food tastes.

 

What is in the Hearthstone Homemade Vitamin/Mineral Supplement?

 

We want to avoid all possible reactions a dog may have to our vitamin/mineral supplement. Our supplement contains purified vitamins and minerals in their simple form. This eliminates any ARF, allergic or taste problems. Additionally, the minerals are “chelated salts.” This means that they are readily available for absorption from the intestine in a “ready to use by the body” form.

 

The other problem with food products is that the digestion system of dogs is not good at extracting vitamins and minerals from food products. Using food in supplements can result in a diet that is deficient in vitamins and minerals. We don’t want that risk for dogs on our homemade dog food program.

 

We do not want to take any risks with your dog’s health. Our products may not be as “sexy” as the supplements touting kale or kelp, but we can sleep at night knowing our dog consumers’ nutritional needs are being met.

 

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Should I Avoid Salt in My Dog’s Diet?

Ken Tudor - Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Salt isn't a Problem for Healthy DogsDo you make sure the canned green beans you give your dog for treats are low in sodium? Do you check the sodium levels in her dog treats or the human treats you feed him?  Why? Read more...

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Affordable GMO-Free Corn, Canola and Soybean Oils for Homemade Dog Food

Ken Tudor - Monday, October 24, 2016

Where to Get GMO-Free Vegetable OilOur Hearthstone Homemade for Dogs community members understand that the oils used in homemade dog food is important. They know that only corn, canola or soybean oil offer essential omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids in a form ready to use by the body. All other oils contain fatty acids in a form that needs to be converted by the body. Unfortunately, dogs convert fatty acids very poorly so they cannot take advantage of the essential fats in flaxseed, walnut, olive, sesame or other oils. Read more...

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My Dog Has Diarrhea. What Should I Feed Her?

Ken Tudor - Monday, October 17, 2016

What to feed a dog with diarrhea?Recently, I have seen a dramatic increase in dogs experiencing a sudden onset of explosive, bloody, mucoid diarrhea. The dogs do not act like they are seriously ill but they eat less and have less energy. Some of the dogs require veterinary care. Many just need a change in diet. So what is the best diet for any dog with diarrhea, hospitalized or not?
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3 Reasons Why Dogs Don’t Benefit from Eating Fruits and Vegetables

Ken Tudor - Monday, October 10, 2016

A blender can improve the benefits of feeding your dog veggiesMany people like to add fruits and vegetables to their dog’s food. It isn’t a bad idea, but it is important to understand a few things first. Dogs cannot extract the goodness from fruits and vegetables like we do. There are 3 genetic reasons for this. Read more...

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Why Adding Meat to Your Dog’s Food is Unhealthy

Ken Tudor - Friday, May 13, 2016

Feeding Dog Unhealthy CaloriesEvery day owners assure me that they are making sure their dogs get extra protein by adding meat to their dog’s diet. We at Hearthstone are all about homemade and extra protein, so why would we say adding meat to your dog’s diet is unhealthy?  Read more...

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Homemade Dog Food: 4 Reasons Why It Is a Better Choice

Ken Tudor - Saturday, April 23, 2016

Control Your Dog's BowlJust recently the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) admitted they will continue to allow pet food makers to use meat sources other than slaughterhouse scraps. In two separate statements the FDA has said:

 
“We’re going to allow animals that have died other than by slaughter that are further processed; we will allow those ingredients in pet food.”
 
“Processed pet food, including pet food consisting of material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, goes through a kill step, such as heat processing, which is designed to kill harmful bacteria.”
 
This means they are allowing any animal, diseased, euthanized or collected deceased from the road or farm, can be used for pet food. This is hardly quality protein. The price of your commercial dog food will not guarantee it is free of these protein products. Full article here.

 

Only homemade dog food gives you control over your dog’s nutrition. You “Control the Bowl!”

 

1) You control the quality. You can choose organic, GMO-free, antibiotic-free, pasture grazed alternative meats.
 
2) You control the cost. You can shop for the same quality butcher cuts you choose for yourself when they are on sale and your market or discount super stores.
 
3) You control the freedom from dog food recalls. Your kitchen will not likely be a source of salmonella contamination. There are nearly 5 recalls per month due to salmonella or other bacterial contamination of commercial dog foods.
 
4) You control the variety. You can choose foods for recipes that are generally not available in commercial dog food to offer more variety in your dog’ diet.
 
But be careful. According to a study done at UC Davis 95% of online and published homemade dog food recipes are nutritionally deficient. A nutritionally deficient diet is as harmful to your dog’s health as commercial dog food with questionable ingredients. Choose a homemade source that can show you that their recipes are 100% complete and balanced.

 

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Are Homemade Dog Treats Better for Dogs?

Ken Tudor - Thursday, April 07, 2016

Homemade, not necessarily betterWith all of the recalls and warnings about dog treats, many dog parents are making their own. Finding a delicious sounding homemade dog treat recipe online and then using quality ingredients you can trust certainly should produce a quality dog treat. But homemade dog treats may not be healthier for your dog.  Read more...

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3 Reasons Why Older Dogs Don’t Need a Low Protein Diet

Ken Tudor - Friday, April 01, 2016

Why Older Dogs Need ProteinA common belief among dog owners, and believe it or not many veterinarians, is that older dogs should be on low protein diets to protect their kidneys. The logic, or illogic, is that as dogs age they suffer from kidney disease and need lower protein diets to manage the condition. Dietary protein does not promote kidney disease and aging dogs actually need more protein. Here are 3 reasons your older dog should be on a higher protein diet.

 
1) Kidney disease is not common in dogs. Only 10% of geriatric dogs suffer from chronic kidney disease and failure. The cause of chronic kidney disease is unknown and there is no evidence that a moderate or high protein diet causes kidney disease. Low protein is only necessary if a dog has proven kidney failure.
 
2) Older dogs have decreased intestinal absorption of dietary protein. Studies show that dogs, like humans, have decreased ability to absorb protein and amino acids from their intestines into their blood stream as they age. The studies also show that this aging process can be overcome by significantly increasing protein in the diet.
 
3) Aging muscle loss. After the 30’s in humans and 6-8 years of age in dogs, the body begins to lose muscle. This natural aging process is called sarcopenia, or literally “small muscles.” Decreased muscle mass and tone limits mobility, exercise and the quality of life. Research shows that increased dietary protein and exercise slow, and even reverses, sarcopenia.
 
Protein is the most expensive ingredient in dog food, so commercial manufacturers use as little as AAFCO requirements will allow. That is why the majority of commercial dog food brands, regardless of price, contain only the minimum 22-24% protein. Aging dogs should have protein levels greater than 30% and ideally, 35-38%. Unfortunately, all protein in commercial dog food is meat scraps and is only 80-85% digestible. Increasing the quantity of protein, does not always increase the quality of its digestibility and promote muscle health.
 
Better is homemade dog food that includes human cuts of meat in recipe quantities that provide 25% or more dietary protein. Human cuts of meat are 90-95% digestible so your dog is capturing a far greater amount of protein from its diet.

 

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How to Choose the Best Dry Dog Food: 4 Things You Need to Know

Ken Tudor - Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Best Dry Dog FoodAt Hearthstone Homemade we are all about homemade dog food. For optimum health, we feel that it is the best alternative. But making homemade dog food doesn’t fit everybody’s lifestyle and we get that. So if you need to buy regular, dry dog food, we want to help you make the best decision for the health of your dog. Here are 4 tests you should put your dog food through.

 
The Best Dog Food
 
The guaranteed analysis on the dog food package is the only information you have for judging dog food. Unfortunately in doesn’t give you any way to judge the quality of the ingredients. But we have a formula that helps you pick the “best house in the worst neighborhood.” By using this method you are maximizing ingredient choices that make the best of the slaughterhouse meat scraps used for making regular dry dog food
 
1) Protein- Look for dry dog food brands that have at least 31% protein in the guaranteed analysis. 35-45% is better, but these foods tend to be a bit more expensive. Protein does not cause kidney disease, so don’t worry about the higher protein level. Only 10% of old dogs have chronic kidney disease. In fact, as dogs age they lose muscle just like us and a higher protein diet slows that process so they enjoy a longer, active life.
 
Plant protein should not be a major source in the ingredient list. Dogs do not digest and absorb plant proteins as well as animal based protein. Many of the “grain–free” dog foods are heavy in plant protein and needlessly expensive for their nutritional value to your dog. Any legume, like pea, soybean, beans or nuts listed in the first 5 ingredients is a tip that the food has high plant protein content.
 
2) Fat- Fat should be at least 17-20%. Fat is extremely important for skin and fur health. But it is even more important for the immune system that protects your dog from infection every day. Fat in the diet does not cause weight gain, calories cause weight gain. Don’t sacrifice your dog’s health by choosing a low fat diet as they age. Just feed them appropriately. Low calorie, low fat diets are a marketing ploy for you to spend more for an inferior food.
 
3) Fiber- Pick a food that has no more than 5% fiber in the guaranteed analysis. Dogs do not need as much daily fiber as we do and excess fiber actually interferes with the digestion and absorption of vitamins, minerals and fats from the intestines. Grain-free diets tend to be very high in fiber due to their legume, beet and other plant content.
 
4) Water- A dry, kibbled food should contain no more than 10% water. Any more than that, you are wasting good money buying water.
 
Few regular dry dog foods meet these standards, especially grocery and discount store brands. If you have trouble finding a food that passes these tests, contact us for our picks for the best regular dry dog food.

 

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