It’s Time to Toss Your Dog’s Kibble

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The Pet Food industry is full of scandalous marketing tactics, their creative labeling and grip on Regulation, Veterinary Education, and Legislation is unmatched. While these offenses are disturbing none is more damaging then the Kibble Conspiracy.  The clever marketing scheme of this industry has convinced 90% of pet owners that feeding a dry cooked kibble diet is appropriate for their carnivore companions. The truth is our Dogs are essentially eating fast food everyday of their diminishing lives. Sadly, the warning signs are right in front of our eyes.  Many Dogs that appear healthy suffer from skin problems, digestive issues, allergies, diabetes, obesity, and Cancer diagnosis are on the rise.

Before we delve into the dirt let’s look at the obvious. Does anyone know the expiration date on a bag of kibble?  As far as physical appearance is concerned it’s safe to say forever. Anything that doesn’t decay should be cause for alarm. Kibble is packed with preservatives to extend its shelf life. The ingredients in Kibble are cooked at extremely high temperatures basically destroying nutrient content. These nutrients are then added in artificial forms so they can still be considered balanced.  Imagine never consuming Vitamins, Minerals, Amino Acids, and Antioxidants in their natural form. How can we expect the body to thrive and fight off disease? Kibble is packed with waste product which is basically the foods that are unfit for human consumption. The meat sources are extremely suspect. In fact, many Kibble doesn’t contain much meat at all. Just look at the first 6 to 8 ingredients.  What you find is a ton of carbohydrates in the form of Wheat, Potatoes, Beet Pulp, Pea Flour, Tapioca, Barely and Brown Rice. These might sound healthy but are more appropriate for a Goat. Many Pet owner don’t realize that Pet Food is not governed by a government agency. Pet food must only meet nutritional requirements but does not have to state where these ingredients come from.  So, this means it could be card board for all we know with supplemental nutrition added. This leaves a lot of room for secrecy. It’s mind-boggling to imagine health professionals warning against fresh food for our Dogs but advocating for mystery processed foods.

What many unsuspecting Dog lovers are unaware of, is that not only do these kibbles often contain substandard ingredients, there are many forms of toxins introduced into our pets’ bodies through these highly processed, cooked, kibble diets. These toxins include: aflatoxins, heterocyclic amines, acrylamides, and most recently discovered in dry, cooked pet foods, PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers) a chemical used as a flame retardant.

Aflatoxins

Grains such as corn, wheat, and rice, as well as nuts and legumes, are often contaminated with molds, either pre or post harvest, as a result of poor growing conditions or substandard or extended storage.

These molds can easily grow and produce a very potent carcinogen (aflatoxins). The aflatoxins are very stable and high temperature processing steps will not render them benign.

Exposure to these toxins, even at low doses, can wreak havoc on your dog’s system, causing anemia, liver or kidney failure, cancer and premature death.

Even if your kibble is grain free, it still contains a high carbohydrate content, so there is the potential for mold spores to contaminate the kibble during storage, especially if it is exposed to a moist environment. This can also happen in your home if your kibble is stored in a moist garage or an open container. Not to mention the plastic containers we use to store our Pet Food. Be honest, how often do you clean that bad boy? Imagine eating your Dinner out of the same container for days on end. Here’s some food for thought, how long has it sat on the shelf before you brought it home?

Heterocyclic amines

Many scientific studies have established the presence of mutagenic, cancer causing substances such as heterocyclic amines as a result of cooking meat and fish, and have additionally demonstrated a relationship between dietary heterocyclic amines and cancer. These Cancer causing agents develop when meats are cooked at extremely high temperatures.

A 2003 study that sampled 25 cooked, commercial, store bought pet foods showed that all but one tested positive in their mutagenic test, and a subset of 13 of these same samples were tested and confirmed the presence of heterocyclic amines.

Acrylamides

Both the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and WHO (World Health Organization) have classified acrylamide as “a probable carcinogen.”

Studies show that acrylamides are formed due to the high temperature heat applied to vegetable foods; more specifically a reaction between the amino acid asparagine and the simple sugars found in these foods. Whether that food is fried, baked, roasted or extruded, these substances have been measured at many levels, and in some studies, there are significantly high levels.

Factors that contribute to acrylamide formation are the lack of remaining moisture in the product and the surface area. These two attributes are found in every type of kibble, which are all low in moisture.

PBDEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers)

Although further studies are needed to determine if there is a direct toxicological effect from PBDEs, it is still alarming to learn of the presence of these chemicals, most commonly used as flame retardants in many household products, in our commercial pet foods.

A recently published study in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology revealed that the average blood concentration of these PBDEs was as much as ten times higher in tested dogs than in humans. The researchers also found the presence of PBDEs in dog food samples and at higher levels than in meats sold for human consumption.

The authors suggest these PBDEs found in the dog food may be a result of processing rather than contributed by the food source itself.

Kibble is Lifeless Food

Commercial kibbles not only harbor harmful toxins, they are also stripped of much of their nutrient value, becoming a “dead” food product.

Unfortunately, many Dog Parents who want to give their pet a high quality commercial diet choose to buy expensive, “grain free” kibbles, with claims of all natural – or even organic – ingredients, believing they are purchasing a more nutritious pet food.

But the fact is, even if these kibbles contain high quality ingredients with no preservatives, fillers or additives, they are still going through a cooking process which ultimately nullifies much of the nutritional value these quality ingredients would have contributed.

The kibble is left with proteins that have been denatured, enzymes that are rendered inactive, and any natural, beneficial microflora (good bacteria) are no longer viable.

These components are all extremely important and provide a synergistic effect for the complete digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients from the food.  The fact of the matter is you can’t replace real food.

We know changing your pet’s food can be intimidating, we felt the same way when we learned how horrible commercial Dog foods can be. We didn’t know where to start. Luckily, we came across Rodney Habib and Dr. Karen Becker. Rodney is a pet blogger who specializes in making pet nutrition education available. Dr. Karen Becker is a licenses veterinarian who supports species appropriate diets for our pets.  Her recommendations are as follows from best to worst.

  1. Raw Foods
  2. Freeze Dried Commercial Raw Foods
  3. Homemade Cooked Meals
  4. High quality canned food diets with human grade ingredients
  5. High quality kibble with large Meat content and human grade ingredients

We suggest you provide the highest quality food you can afford. You can start off small by incorporating these foods as treats ( Check out PittysBakery.com) or providing 1 high quality meal a day, with the goal of providing the best you can.

 

Here is a link to a Video by Rodney Habib and Dr. Karen Becker that we found extremely helpful. This is an easy to follow recipe that allows a lot of room to get creative once you feel comfortable. As always we encourage you to do your own research, that’s a huge part of being a proactive Dog owner.

Homemade Dog Food Recipe

 

Recently we tried Freeze-Dried Raw Foods. These are very convenient, especially if you are always on the go like we are. Many formulas just require adding water. They also allow you to get creative with supplements such as Eggs, Hemp Seed Oil, Turmeric, Milk Thistle, and even Sardines. Some foods are solely vegetable blends which allows you to add your meat of choice.

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Here’s some Brands you should look into

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Treat your Dog the Natural Way

 

            

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      The Gourmet Pet Treat industry has no shortage of style. You can buy everything from intricately decorated Donuts to elaborate Cakes, all sold under the shield of the word Natural.   Unfortunately, many of these beautiful creations come at a cost to your Dogs Health.  Many popular companies are full of artificial ingredients, colors, flavors, and sugar. Many of us turn a blind eye because it’s a Treat. We see them as an indulgence reserved for special occasions to show our Dogs how loved and appreciated they are. What we don’t realize is the Pet Food Industry is full of companies that are selling artificial colors, flavors, and fillers as balanced diets. Many Dogs consume this junk food daily and it’s harming their insides more than any of us could have ever imagined. Today’s Dog is plagued by allergies, inflammation, digestive issues, and obesity.

 

     This inspired us to create treats that Dog owners can incorporate daily to energize, repair and revive your Dog’s health. We wanted to offer a treat equivalent to a nutrient boost. Our treats serve as an easy way to introduce your Dog to a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Our Ingredients provide nutrients in their natural form through colorful fruits, vibrant Vegetables, quality meats, spices and herbs. Our cookies are an introduction to healthier lifestyle choices for your Dog. In that sense, they are a truly a real Treat. 

That’s how Beets came into the picture.  Inspired by a vegetarian classic we created a Beet Burger fit for a carnivore. This recipe is truly strategic in that each ingredient serves a purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

Beet Burgers

 

Beets

 

·       High in nutrients, low in calories

 

·       Excellent source of Vitamin C

 

·       Contains the antioxidant Manganese-  Manganese is an actual component of manganese super oxide dismutase enzyme. It is a powerful antioxidant that seeks out the free radicals in the body. It can be found in the Liver, Pancreas, Kidneys, and bones. It aids in vitamin absorption, helps to maintain blood sugar levels, and supports the immune system.

 

·       Red Beets contain a substance that is known to suppress certain inflammatory signals that are involved in arthritis and atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) during the aging process.  This substance can help alleviate arthritis symptoms, protect the arteries of your senior dog as well as alleviate allergy symptoms.

 

·       Fiber – aids digestion

 

·       Iron – aids formation of healthy blood cells

 

·       Potassium – which is essential for healthy nerve and muscle function

 

·       Magnesium – aids in bone health and nerve function

 

 

 

These are just some of the amazing benefits of adding Beets to your Dog’s diet. When added together with Organic Grass-Fed Ground Beef this cookie packs a major punch. The beef adds a high-quality protein source packed with essential amino acids. Proteins serve as building blocks for muscles, Bones, Skin, and Blood.

 

We also are obsessed with flavor, so we had to add a little spice to create a savory biscuit worth drooling over.  Our Beet Burgers are infused with Ginger, Turmeric, and Parsley. These bad boys are known for their Cancer fighting properties along with a healthy dose of antioxidants. Lastly, we add Vitamin E Oil as a natural preservative known for its powerful antioxidants as well.  From the moment you open the bag you can smell the aroma of a freshly made meal. We are positive your dog won’t be able to resist.

 

 

Our Beet Burgers are available now at PittysBakery.com

 

Ear Cropping. Is it necessary?

Ear Cropping has been a hot topic on our social media post this past week.  With the ease of uploading information and posting a quick meme it can be difficult to determine fact from fiction. In debates like these we feel it is important to highlight the science and bring our followers reputable information from trusted sources. Although we all would like to consider ourselves masters on a particular subject it never hurts to do your research.  Before subjecting any of our pets to a procedure we must weigh out the risk and the benefits. As Pitbull Advocates we are especially sensitive to how the breed is depicted in the media. Unfortunately a common depiction is one of an aggressive muscular dog accompanied by the famous cropped ears.  This, along with the lack of evidence supporting the need for ear cropping we elected to spare our dogs.  While we encourage such debates we also understand that the best way to deliver knowledge is to do it with respect. It is important to note that a Dog owners decision to go through with this procedure is not an indication of a Bad owner.  We would never want to discredit the love someone has for their dog. We hope this discussion will encourage pet owners to ask questions concerning the welfare of their dogs and seek the facts.

Here’s what you need to know about Ear Cropping…

The American Veterinary Medical Association  opposes ear cropping and tail docking of dogs when done solely for cosmetic purposes. The American Veterinary Medical Association encourages the elimination of ear cropping and tail docking from breed standards.

THE ISSUE

Some breeds of dogs in the United States customarily have their ears reduced with a blade or scissors to modify their shape and, in some cases, allow a naturally drooping ear to stand upright. Cropping is performed when dogs are between 6 and 12 weeks old depending on breed and body condition. In larger breeds, after surgery the ears are positioned with tape, bandages or other devices to encourage an upright position.

Well-controlled studies addressing the animal welfare implications of cropping dogs’ ears do not exist. However case studies support certain risks associated with the procedure.

WELFARE CONCERNS—RISKS

General anesthesia—Cropping should always be carried out under full anesthesia, which itself has associated risks.

4 Postoperative Care—Dogs will experience some discomfort during healing, stretching, retaping and bandaging, and other manipulations after surgery. Some will need their ears bandaged or taped upright for days to months, and they may be isolated from other dogs during this period. Potential Complications—As for any incision, cropped ears may become infected. Cropped ears may also fail to stand or have a distorted shape or position potentially leading to subsequent operations.

REASONS GIVEN FOR THE PRACTICE

Animal Benefits—It has been suggested that dogs with cropped ears are less likely to suffer from infections of the ear canal. Although the development of some serious infections has been linked to the presence of a heavy hanging ears , there is no evidence that cropping prevents or successfully treats these infections. It has also been suggested that cropping avoids later ear injury or improves hearing, but no evidence is available to substantiate these claims either. Human Benefits—Ear cropping produces an alert expression in dogs used for security or guard work and may contribute to the distinctive appearance of a pedigree breed.

SUMMARY Ear cropping is a cosmetic procedure with potential negative outcomes for the animal.

Read more at The American Veterinary Medical Association Website

Why Organic?

Certified_Organic_Non-GMO_and_so_Much_More_0            These days it seems like you can’t escape the phrase.  It’s being blasted by groceries stores and praised by your friends and family. In the midst of the craze how do you know its right for you, your family, and your Dog? 

One of our goals at Pitty’s Bakery is to keep our consumers informed with research based facts so they can make educated decisions when purchasing food for their families. It is also important for use to serve as a constant reminder to our customer to remember to consider what they are feeding their dogs. Unfortunately Pet Food is not well-regulated and it is easy to blindly trust the claims of a label. If you’ve been shocked by the ingredients in some of your foods you’d be blown away to discover what is allowed in our Pet Food. It is our job as responsible owners to not only provide a safe loving home, but to also provide the best for their bodies.  Organic produce, meats, and products go above and beyond this requirement. They are flawless because they are unaltered.

Here are the Top 10 Reasons to Buy Organic

1. Avoid chemicals

Eating organically grown foods is the only way to avoid the cocktail of chemical poisons present in commercially grown food. More than 600 active chemicals are registered for agricultural use in America, to the tune of billions of pounds annually. The average application equates to about 16 pounds of chemical pesticides per person every year. Many of these chemicals were approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) before extensive diet testing.

The National Academy of Sciences reports that 90% of the chemicals applied to foods have not been tested for long-term health effects before being deemed “safe.” Further, the FDA tests only 1% of foods for pesticide residue. The most dangerous and toxic pesticides require special testing methods, which are rarely if ever employed by the FDA.

2. Benefit from more nutrients

Organically grown foods have more nutrients—vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and micronutrients—than commercially grown foods because the soil is managed and nourished with sustainable practices by responsible standards. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine conducted a review of 41 published studies comparing the nutritional value of organically grown and conventionally grown fruits, vegetables, and grains and concluded that there are significantly more of several nutrients in organic foods crops.

Further, the study verifies that five servings of organically grown vegetables (such as lettuce, spinach, carrots, potatoes, and cabbage) provide an adequate allowance of vitamin C, whereas the same number of servings of conventionally grown vegetables do not.

On average, organically grown foods provide: 21.1% more iron (than their conventional counterparts); 27% more vitamin C;  29.3% more magnesium; 13.6% more phosphorus

3. Enjoy better taste

Try it! Organically grown foods generally taste better because nourished, well balanced soil produces healthy, strong plants. This is especially true with heirloom varieties, which are cultivated for taste over appearance.

4. Avoid GMO

Genetically engineered (GE) food and genetically modified organisms (GMO) are contaminating our food supply at an alarming rate, with repercussions beyond understanding. GMO foods do not have to be labeled in America. Because organically grown food cannot be genetically modified in any way, choosing organic is the only way to be sure that foods that have been genetically engineered stay out of your diet. (Here’s what you need to know about GMO foods.)

5. Avoid hormones, antibiotics and drugs in animal products

Conventional meat and dairy are the highest risk foods for contamination by harmful substances. More than 90% of the pesticides Americans consume are found in the fat and tissue of meat and dairy products.

The EPA reports that a majority of pesticide intake comes from meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products because these foods are all high on the food chain. For instance, a large fish that eats a smaller fish that eats even smaller fish accumulates all of the toxins of the chain, especially in fatty tissue. Cows, chickens, and pigs are fed animal parts, by-products, fish meal, and grains that are heavily and collectively laden with toxins and chemicals. Lower-fat animal products are less dangerous, as toxins and chemicals are accumulated and concentrated in fatty tissue.

Antibiotics, drugs, and growth hormones are also directly passed into meat and dairy products. Tens of millions of pounds of antibiotics are used in animal feed every year. The union of concerned scientists estimates that roughly 70% of antibiotics produced in the United States are fed to animals for nontherapeutic purposes.[pagebreak]US farmers have been giving sex hormones and growth hormones to cattle to artificially increase the amount of meat and milk the cattle produce without requiring extra feed. The hormones fed to cows cannot be broken down, even at high temperatures. Therefore they remain in complete form and pass directly into the consumer’s diet when meat is eaten.

Hormone supplementation is the biggest concern with beef, dairy products, and farmed fish. In the United States, the jury is still out. However, Europe’s scientific community agrees that there is no acceptably safe level for daily intake of any of the hormones currently used in the United States and has subsequently banned all growth hormones.

The major concerns for US consumers include the early onset of puberty, growth of tumors, heightened cancer risks, and genetic problems. Growth hormones in milk (rBGH or rBST) are genetically modified and have been directly linked to cancer, especially in women.

Many scientists and experts warn that rampant use of antibiotics in animal feed, like penicillin and tetracycline, will breed an epidemic that medicine has no defense against. Karim Ahmed, PhD, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) states that it “is perhaps one of the most serious public health problems the country faces. We’re talking about rendering many of the most important antibiotics ineffective.”

6. Preserve our ecosystems

Organic farming supports eco-sustenance, or farming in harmony with nature.

Preservation of soil and crop rotation keep farmland healthy, and chemical abstinence preserves the ecosystem. Wildlife, insects, frogs, birds, and soil organisms are able to play their roles in the tapestry of ecology, and we are able to play ours, without interference or compromise.

7. Reduce pollution and protect water and soil

Agricultural chemicals, pesticides, and fertilizers are contaminating our environment, poisoning our precious water supplies, and destroying the value of fertile farmland. Certified organic standards do not permit the use of toxic chemicals in farming and require responsible management of healthy soil and biodiversity.

According to Cornell entomologist David Pimentel, it is estimated that only 0.1% of applied pesticides reach the target pests. The bulk of pesticides (99.%) is left to impact the environment.

8. Preserve agricultural diversity

The rampant loss of species occurring today is a major environmental concern. It is estimated that 75% of the genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost in the last century. Leaning heavily on one or two varieties of a given food is a formula for devastation. For instance, consider that only a handful of varieties of potatoes dominate the current marketplace, whereas thousands of varieties were once available.

Now, dig back to recent history’s potato famine in Ireland, where a blight knocked out the whole crop, which consisted of just a few varieties, and millions of people died of starvation. Today, most industrial farms also grow just one crop rather than an array of crops on one piece of land. Ignorance is bliss? Or amnesia is disastrous? Crop rotation is a simple and effective technique used in organic agriculture to reduce the need for pesticides and improve soil fertility.

Most conventional food is also extremely hybridized to produce large, attractive specimens, rather than a variety of indigenous strains that are tolerant to regional conditions such as droughts and pests. Many organic farms grow an assorted range of food, taking natural elements and time-tested tradition into account. Diversity is critical to survival.

9. Support farming directly

Buying organic food is an investment in a cost-effective future. Commercial and conventional farming is heavily subsidized with tax dollars in America. A study at Cornell University determined the cost of a head of commercial iceberg lettuce, typically purchased at 49 cents a head, to be more than $3.00 a head when hidden costs were revealed. The study factored in the hidden costs of federal subsidies, pesticide regulation and testing, and hazardous waste and cleanup.

Every year, American tax dollars subsidize billions of dollars for a farm bill that heavily favors commercial agribusiness. Peeling back another layer of the modern farming onion reveals a price tag that cannot be accurately measured but certainly includes other detrimental associated costs such as health problems, environmental damage, and the loss and extinction of wildlife and ecology.

10. Keep our children and future safe

Putting our money where our mouths are is a powerful position to take in the $1 trillion food industry market in America. Spending dollars in the organic sector is a direct vote for a sustainable future for the many generations to come.

For more information visit https://www.organic-center.org/

How Pitty’s Bakery is changing your Dog’s Holiday Nutrition

 

The Holidays are notorious for being a time when we allow ourselves to cheat. We give ourselves a pass to drink one too many champagnes and never turn down dessert. Although we swear to get our acts together with New Year’s resolutions and the hopes of turning a new leaf, it seems like a pretty reckless way to start fresh. Unfortunately these habits trickle down to our cuddly children. We all are guilty of treating our dogs with a little extra gravy in their bowls and one too many licks of whip cream.

This is why we’ve decided to come up with a very special Holiday Menu for our pups this year. Here at Pitty’s we wanted to create something special that still feels celebratory and most importantly like an indulgence.  We decided to bring our favorite Holiday dishes to life for our dogs in a healthy, organic, homemade, nutritious dog treat.

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2017 Here we come! By Breana

It is hard to believe that a year and a half has gone by since Gina and I decided to build a dog bakery. We were up late one night chatting away over the phone, as we often do. We were discussing politics, the economy, the environment, and the struggles of working to help someone else achieve their goals. We’ve always been free spirits so our predictable schedules and loads of obligations were really starting to take a toll. We were both hungry to do something profound.  The structured paths we both explored in the past had fallen short of giving us that breath of purpose. It was hard to except that we were placed on this planet to work and die. My sincerest apologies for the heavy subject matter but that’s just how Gina and I rant. Finally, we started to consider the idea of owning our own business. Not just any business but one that would benefit something we both loved, Dogs.

 

Gina and I have both spent our childhoods along side animals and they have become a focal point in both our lives. Our weakness has become Pitbulls.  Thirteen years ago my family was blessed with an adorable Blue Pitty we named Jazzie. She was a sweetheart. Her gentle personality and positive energy drew people into her “pitty smile”. She was my first Pitbull so I wasn’t aware of the negative stereotypes that haunted the breed. Many relatives refused to bring their kids over to our house. Most visitors were hesitant when she greeted them and sweet Jazzie couldn’t understand why. Jazzie inspired me to educate myself on the breed and opened my eyes to painful reality they face.  Two years ago we had to put Jazzie down due to a tumor in her abdomen. It was one of the most painful days for myself, my mom, and my sister. Although we were heartbroken we knew that we would love to share our home with another Pitty in the future.

A few months after Jazzie’s passing we were starting to crave the warmth a dog brings to a home so we began to seriously consider getting another dog. We ended up with Lana. A shy white Pitty with the signature black spot on her right eye like Petey. She became our precious little girl.  The only thing missing was a companion for her. Two years later we ended up getting her a little brother, a Pitty mix we named Diego.

Gina also has a Pitbull baby by the name of Buddy, but I’ll let her share her story about him.  All I can say about Buddy is he is a true mamma’s boy.

With our love for Pitbulls in both our backgrounds Gina blurted out “we should start a dog bakery!” I calmly replied “we can do that.” In hindsight I should have showed a little more excitment because it was truly a life changing moment. That night Pitty’s Bakery was born. In this short time we have conducted product research, sent out samples, had a logo designed, baked up a storm, created an online presence, formed a LLC, hired an accountant, built a website, and sold our Cookies at the 11th Annual Paws n’ Claws Pet Fair in Apple Valley,Ca.  Now we have our eyes on a major Pet Expo in April of 2017. We would like to use this blog to share our journey as well as provide information on Dog Nutrition, Organic Products, and everything Bully.

Thanks for reading,  Breana

 

 

14724626_1768812910056626_1293786540961712860_n    diego

 

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