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Pet Happenings July 2010

How Much Does that Bag of Dog Food Really cost?
by Jessica Turquette

The most often reason we hear people say they don’t feed their dogs a premium dog food is because the bag is so expensive! But is it really? Here’s a comparison-- $40 bag vs. $20 bag (hint they cost the same!!) – HOW?

A 30 lb. bag of value brands like Pedigree, Purina or Gravy Train will cost around $25, and recommend to feed a 50lb. dog 5 cups of food. A 30 lb. bag of premium foods like Canidae, Taste of the Wild or Solid Gold costs $50 and says to feed a 50 lb. dog 2 1/2 cups a day cups of food a day.

What? Well it means that most premium brands recommends you to feed a much smaller amount of food to your dog, sometimes up to half of what a value brand recommends. So your dog has to digest much less fillers and that means less gas and smaller poops! Plus there are very few preservatives and artificial flavors in premium foods.

They use higher quality meats and grains which naturally drive to eat them.

We have even found that brands like Iams, and Eukanuba have smaller feed ratios than value brands, but can cost only 10-20% less than a premium brand and often cheap grains are listed first or multiple times in the top 6 ingredients which means its full of cheap filler and your paying a much higher price.

So how can you tell if a brand is good or not? Here is a list of ingredients provided by the Whole Dog Journal to look for and more importantly ingredients TO AVOID!

Ingredients to LOOK FOR when purchasing dog food and the reasons why they are important…

• Specifically named meat protein sources, such as chicken, turkey, lamb, beef, etc. There is a debate over whether whole meat, such as ‘chicken,’ is better than meal, and vice versa. The difference is that meal has had all the moisture removed before being processed into kibble and whole meat is left intact. This means that a pound of ‘chicken meal,’ for example, is made of more meat than a pound of ‘chicken,’ because up to 70% of the weight of the ‘chicken’ can be water weight.

• Good carbohydrates, such as brown rice, oatmeal, millet, amaranth, and potatoes (not potato product) or sweet potatoes. These are considered good carbohydrates, because they do not have unwanted side effects. However, carbohydrates are really not needed by the dog, because dogs get more of their energy from meat protein & fat.

• Specifically named fat sources, preferably animal fats such as ‘chicken fat.’ Dogs are able to utilize animal fats better than vegetable oils, but sunflower, canola, and flaxseed oils (as long as your dog is not sensitive to them) are okay, too. Try to avoid foods that contain beef tallow, generic vegetable oil, poultry fat and mineral oil.

Ingredients to AVOID when purchasing dog food and the reasons why…

• By-products are what are left over after the processing plants remove what meat is fit for human consumption. By-products can contain anything from chicken heads and feet, to cow hooves and horns, fur, feathers, blood, skin, bone, feces, and even dirt and sawdust from the floors of the meat processing plant.

• Corn in any form (ground yellow corn, corn meal and corn gluten meal) is what is known as filler (soy and sorghum fall under this category as well) and it serves one primary purpose in dog food – to make the animal feel full. Dogs cannot digest corn and utilize the protein it contains, so it basically just passes right through the digestive system and you get the privilege of cleaning it up when it comes out the other end. Some dogs are also allergic to corn, so if you simply avoid any foods that contain any form of corn in their ingredients listing you’ll be doing your dog and yourself a big favor.

• Wheat is really only an issue if your dog is allergic to it, but wheat also played a big part in the recent pet food recalls, so avoiding it altogether is a good idea.

• Chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT and propylene glycol make the food last longer than natural preservatives, but every single one of them has been proven to cause liver and kidney failure, cancer, or other life-threatening diseases in test animals.


Moab Hitchhikers
By Lisa Lawrence @ Holistic Pet Grooming Studio

Living in Moab means a longer summer season and great hiking, biking and river destinations. It is also a wonderful place to take your dog hiking however the desert makes sure you take a piece of her home every time in the form of cheat grass, cockleburs and other hazardous hitchhikers.

This season already I have removed more cheat grass not only from the coats of dogs but also their skin. Cheat grass is a barbed grass that attaches to a dogs coat and quickly works down to the skin penetrating the skin. If not removed quickly it can cause an abscess that is not only painful to your dog but can get quite costly when you have to have the veterinarian do a small surgery to remove the offender from your dog. Every time you take your dog out make sure you run a brush through the coat when you get home. Pay special attention to the feet (in-between the pads), the belly, underarms, tail and back side under the tail. If you get to the cheat grass quickly you will find there should be no problems.

Cockleburs (found especially in the Kens Lake area) are also quite bothersome. No, they don’t penetrate the skin like cheat grass but they become very entangled in the dogs coat so much so the only way to remove them is by cutting them out from your dogs coat. They also will embed themselves tightly against your dogs skin and cause serious skin irritations and can also be quite painful.

The other hitchhikers of concern are cactus barbs. Try to keep your dog clear of cactus on your hikes but I find carrying a small “kit” that includes tweezers, alcohol pads and antibacterial ointment can be very beneficial at keeping your dog safe and comfortable.

As a groomer I do a thorough examination of each dog that comes in for these desert hitchhikers. As I see them I remove them and treat each area but oftentimes it’s too late by the time I see the animals and several have had to go to the vet for more invasive treatment.

It takes just a few minutes so please keep your dog comfortable by doing a quick exam and both of you should enjoy your Moab hikes with little problems.

This page sponsored by:

Moab Barkery logo

Holistic Pet Grooming

and offering the services of the
Holistic Pet Grooming Studio

25 Years Grooming Experience
Animal Reiki Offered (Certified in levels 1 and 2)
Dog Training
B.S. in Biology in Animal Behavior
Specializing in special needs animals and large breeds

Located inside the Moab BARKery (82 N. Main)
Monday thru Saturday - Call for an appointment (435) 690-9214

Desert Doggie DaycareDesert Doggie Daycare

Dog Daycare or Boarding and also Cat Boarding
Daily and Nightly Care
4890 Sunny Acres Lane
Moab, Utah

A getaway for your pet and peace of mind for you

My Pet's FriendMy Pet’s Friend
Playtime is here!
Let me check in on your furry family members while you’re away.
My Pet’s Friend provides care for any domesticated animals.
Fully customized to meet your individual needs.

Call Melissa at 435-210-4306 or pick up one of my cards
at The Barkery on Main Street.

To see past articles about animals, pets and their care check our archives.

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