What are the nutritional requirements for dogs?

What exactly do dogs need, and how much of it do they need?  Well that is a broad question and will greatly depend on your dogs health and genetic makeup. For the most part however dogs nutritional requirements from http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/nutrition-general-feeding-guidelines-for-dogs/6491 are as follows: 

Crude protein    22%    
Crude fat    8%    
Linoleic acid    1.0%    
Calcium    1%    0.6%    
Phosphorus    0.8%    
Potassium    0.6%    
Sodium        0.3%    
Copper        7.3 mg/kg    
Zinc        120 mg/kg    
Vitamin A    5,000 IU/kg    
Vitamin D    500 IU/kg    
Vitamin E    50 IU/kg    
Thiamine    1.0 mg/kg    
Now as you may or may not be able to tell, plants produce all of these nutrients, there is nothing on here that is exclusively found in meat. Which means that if anyone trys to tell you that dogs need meat, you can show them this blog and say "Ha!" Well maybe not that because that would be rude, but you can gently remind them that these are all a dog is "required" to eat. Now these nutrients do change depending on the dogs genetic makeup, for example if your dog is 1/2 or even 1/4 wolf, they diet may require some meat intake. Or if your don't have kidney problems they have to avoid meat all together and stick to low low protein diets. So there is some exceptions to these general guidelines, but make no mistake dogs and even wolves can and 100% should have plants in there diet, if not have a 100% plant based diet. 


Obesity rates in dogs

I was taking my dog to the vet, the other day for a routine checkup. When I arrived, they had a new poster on one of the walls explaining the epidemic in dog obesity. Over 50% of dogs in the United States are obese. That is a shocking figure, not only because that is a massive amount of chubby puppies, but also because only 36% of Humans in the United States are obese. So why is it that so many dog are overweight? Is it because people love fatting up their dogs? Or maybe its because dogs are always hungry? Well, no and yes. I believe it is a combination of poor diet, an lack of exercise.

For one, dogs love walks and we all need a good walk everyday. But we are busy and its hard to find time. So our dogs stay inside a lot, we feel bad and give them extra treats or extra food or who knows what else. Its a bad cycle because the dog feels pent up with energy, then we give them calorically dense foods, which gives them even more energy, this can result in them damaging the house or some other destructive behavior, just because they want to release some of that energy. 

Feeding your dogs plant based treats is the best form of energy you can give them, its not as calorically dense as meat based treats, they love it and it will help with weight loss. So anything from carrots to Vegan Dog Delights would be a great way to go!




Can Dogs Be Vegan?

In short....yes 100%. But Its more complicated than that, the main 3 argument for dogs being carnivores is "Short intestine" "Carnivore teeth" "Dogs are descended from wolves". So lets break this into small parts so we can digest it properly (no pun intended). 

First the short intestine argument, is the fact that dogs like many carnivores (such as lions, Cats, wolves and ferrets) have shorted intestines. It is theorized that a short intestinal track helps carnivores digest meat more easily and quickly pushed out bad Bactria that may have been on the flesh. 
Now this has a couple problems, first, this short digestional track isn't exclusive of carnivores it is shared by omnivores. Secondly having a short digestional track does not automatically mean "meat eater" it is not about the length of the digestion track but rather the enzymes used to digest the foods that are passing thru the body. Which as you know if you have read my previous blogs, dogs produce an enzyme that is almost identical to that of a cow or rabbit for breaking down starches. 

Point Number 2. Carnivore teeth, this one is just silly. Everyone knows that dogs have canines and so do lions and wolves....but hippos also have canines, so do gorillas and Camels have fangs....The "assumption" is that fangs automatically indicate predator or meat eater. But that just isn't true, Canines have a dual purpose as self defense. Lets look at the dog, the only real attacking mechanization on a dog is the mouth, so it is reasonable to assume that the mouth also acts as their main defense. Dogs don't have claws like a cat or lion, they don't have lighting reflexes like you would see in most predators, my dog can't seem to get her coordination together enough to catch a treat in the air. 

And to the last point, Dogs are descended from wolves. This is 100% correct, but the key term here is they are "descended" as in, they are not wolves. Chickens are descended from a T-rex, doesn't mean a chicken is going to star in the next Jurassic park. A study conducted by evolutionary geneticists from Uppsala University in Sweden found that dogs have immensely more genes for digesting starches and those genes expressed themselves 28 times more than the wolves. This is a huge difference between dogs and wolves.

Dogs have evolved along side humans, as such they have adapted to eating fruits and vegetables and can fully process them and thrive on them. Our dogs do not need to consume animals to live a long and healthy life. In case your wondering if a dog could live on just meat alone, the answer is no, they would die, most likely of heart failure. But they can live just fine without it.



Awesome Gift Baskets

Hello there Alpha Dogs! 

We wanted to share with you our amazing gift baskets - brought to us by Joan Fordham, professional gift basket designer! She has made three wonderful gift baskets for us! 

The first is the largest which comes with premium doggy shampoo, an adorable small prison costume and some other awesome goodies (including our treats)!    $90

The second basket is the medium sized basket and it has all three flavors of our treats, a fun ball, some Halloween decorations, and some other cool goodies!    $40

Last but not least, this gift basket comes with a doggy bed, two adorable (small) costumes, some great Halloween decorations, and a  ball.    $55

If you are interested in these, or any other dog centered custom gift basket, feel free to email us! 


Is Veganism sustainable?

This is a question that I get more than I would think. Many people seem to be under the idea that if everyone switched to vegetables and grains the price would go through the roof. The other false notion is that if we all went vegan we would run out of water, from watering all these plants. Now  for the first portion of this argument I point to a study done by David Pimentel, professor of ecology in Cornell University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences said that "If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million." Such a boost in supply wouldn't increase the price of our vegan food, it would lower it drastically. The main consumer of grains in the U.S is currently livestock, if we stopped eating them that would free up vast amounts of resources that are currently tied up with our addiction to meat. Part 2 of this argument is this idea that plants take up more water than animals. Lets look at one of the most water intensive crops, Almonds come in at a shocking 1 gallon of water per 1 almond. Now that is a lot of water no question, but lets compare that to a few other animal products. An Egg takes 53 gallons of water, a gallon of milk takes 144 gallons of water (A Funny side note with milk, according to U.S. Dairy report around 95% of the water that is used to produce milk is used to grow cow feed). A pound of chicken flesh? 468 Gallons, a pound of pig flesh? 576 gallons. Now how much do you think a pound of Cow meat would cost us in water? 2,500 gallons, which meats a 15 average steers could float an Aircraft Carrier. Which is an insane amount of water, we really need to look at this and ask our-selves which eating practice is really unsustainable. 

The Rise of Veganism

In 2009, less than one percent of the US population reported eating vegan. Now, 3% of the United States population is vegan. That is a up over 300% in about 7 years! That's not the best part either, because Veganism is still skyrocketing. If you go to "Google Trends" it allows you to see what people are googling and by how much year over year and month over month. Well the word "Vegan" is being searched in 2016 more than any other year by far and growing fast. This means more and more people are researching what it mean's to be vegan, which means more and more people will be making the best choice of their lives and all the animals lives they will be saving. Google Trends also shows you where people are who are googling these terms. It turns out that the top country for researching veganism is.....Actually Australia, and then the US! So The US vegan market is growing fast and isn't going to slow down any time soon, much like the revelation that smoking is terrible for you, people are slowly waking up to the facts about meat, the connection to for animal lovers and the food on their plate and the effects on the environment. Soon people will realize just how much they have to gain by giving up meat. 


The Ethical Reasons for Being a Vegan Dog!

We've gone over some of the scientific reasons for being a vegan dog. Lets go over some of the ethical reasons. 

1) Forced Cannibalism: Yes, it sounds worse then you think. Dog food processing plants can use all manner of meat in their dog food, doesn't matter if its unfit for human consumption or not. But what is shocking is some of these plants could be using euthanized dogs and cats...I know, that;s horrible. In 2004 the FDA (being concerned about the possibility that some of these plants could do something so horrible.) conducted a study on dog food, they purchased many samples and found that some of those samples contained pentobarbital. Pentobarbital is the drug that is used to euthanize dogs and cats, that means if you are using a dog food with meat in it, it could be "real dog food" as in its made from dogs!! "But it doesn't say that in the labeling?" I hear you saying very loudly, well look for "meat-by product" that work encompasses everything you don't want your dog to eat. 

2) Good for the planet: As you may or may not be aware eating animals consume a great deal of resources compared to just eating the grains that we already feed them and drinking the water they are drinking. requires on the order of 4,000 lb of water to produce 1 lb of meat. That is a TON of water or to be more accurate that is 2 tons of water. This type of consumption is unsustainable and is chipping away at our finite resources, all for the sake of a burger. 

University of New England Husky Study

Racing huskies are a special group, few other dog breeds are have a energy demanding job. Racing huskies require a great deal of energy and proper nutrition in order to be successful at running. According to a 2009 study published in the British Journal of Nutrition compared the health and red blood cell counts of six vegan dogs with six others maintained on a commercial meat-based diet for 16 weeks, including 10 weeks of competitive racing. In the race, the Vegan 6 dog team came in 4th place out of 29 packs, not to shabby but it shows that meat is not a neccasary part of a dogs diet, they get all the energy they will even need from plants. The study also Haematology results for all dogs were within the normal range throughout the study and the consulting veterinarian assessed all dogs to be in excellent physical condition. No dogs developed anaemia. On the contrary, red blood cell counts and haemoglobin values increased significantly over time in both groups. Now how can that be? That can only be if dogs where meant to burn plants as fuel, which they do very very well. 




5 Superfoods for your dog, Thanks to Lazhar Ichir!

Guest Blogger Lazhar Ichir was kind enough to write a guest blog! He is the founder of Breeding Buisness and breedingbusiness.com. You should check him out!

Superfoods are natural edibles offering an unrivalled quality and quantity of nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants. Super foods for humans aren’t necessarily good for dogs and vice-versa, so let’s see what works for our four-legged companions’ health and well-being.

Before we get into it, just have these ingredients in mind and add them to your dog’s diet. This could mean as a healthier snack, little occasional treat or if you can, part of your dog’s daily meals.

1 — Apples (without seeds)

Crunchy, sweet, and high in fiber. Apples once you remove the seeds are the perfect little treat that will give your dog a good punch of energy thanks to its carbohydrate content, but also keep the teeth clean thanks to the fiber. Apples are also known to freshen your dog’s breath when they are part of your dog’s daily diet.

A little tip for the summer: http://www.sheknows.com/pets-and-animals/articles/962774/frozen-treats-your-pets-will-love dice an apple or two and put it all in the freezer for an hour or so before going on a walk. Your dog will love gnawing on them!

2 — Carrots

Low in calories, carrots are a superfood for dogs that offers an endless list of nutrients.

Carotenoids are natural antioxidants boosting your dog’s immune system but also amazing to support the whelping bitch. Indeed, we now know that http://www.royalcanin.com.au/health-nutrition/nutrients/other-nutrients/carotenoid-pigments beta-carotene helps the growth of the embryo.

Beyond carotenoids, carrots contains a great quantity of B, C and K vitamins which helps, along with potassium, manganese and phosphorus, the production of sustainable energy. Blood clotting is also helped thanks to these nutrients so carrots is a must-have daily ingredient whenever possible.

3 — Kale

For too long, kale was ignored but since we discovered its http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/270435.php">anti-inflammatory properties</a>, kale has become available everywhere at a very affordable price.

Beyond the vitamins A and K, kale also packs an enormous amount of antioxidants to help purify your dog’s digestive system and body. Antioxidants shield the dog’s body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals.

As a deliciously crunchy leafy vegetable, it can also be added to your dog’s daily diet along with the carrots. Both provide different but complementary vitamins!

4 — Raw Chicken Necks

First a warning: http://rawfed.com/myths/bones.html never give your dog cooked bones</a> because they may splinter and cause internal damage.

Also, if you give a dog a bone, favor meaty bones like chicken necks. The meat around the bone will make them chew more resulting in a perfect gum massage and dental exercise. Gnawing on raw bones is the best toothbrush available on the market. It just works like magic and aids to the removal of plaque for a healthier breath and hygiene.

The dog and its ancestor, the wolf, have been doing this forever so don’t stress too much. Just supervise your pooch the first few times to be on the safe side. You may smash the chicken neck a little to facilitate your dog’s task if they struggle.

Another benefit with raw bones for dogs is the big intake of calcium pairing with it. It helps with your dog’s structure while preventing arthritis and joint problems.

5 — Seaweed and Kelp

Both being amazing sources of trace elements, organic fibres and minerals, http://pets.thenest.com/benefits-kelp-dogs-5321.html Seaweed and Kelp are available as health supplements for both dogs and humans.

Usually sold in powder form, they come from sustainable deep sea plantations and are then processed using gentle mechanisms to make sure the final powder retains all its goodness! It may look pricey at purchase, but you only need very little every day for it to take action.

Results you can expect are a shinier coat, healthier teeth and also removes toxic elements such as heavy metals from your dog’s body. Kelp is one of the best sources of iodine which promotes thyroid function.

Just sprinkle a tablespoon a day, over your dog’s meal, and adjust accordingly after few days.


As you can see, these ingredients are easily found in any supermarket and they pack a great amount of vitamins, nutrients and also are very low in calories. Whether you only have one dog or you are  href="https://breedingbusiness.com/how-to-breed-dogs/, these are must-eat superfoods for all dogs around you!

As it is always the case with dogs, offer small quantities of any new food and increase amounts gradually. The last thing you want is your dog to get an upset stomach on yummy healthy superfoods!

Veganism is in dogs DNA?

Dogs Natural Magazine and Science Mag have a wonderful article about dogs and starch, I will post them down below. The summery for the article is that in order for wolves to become dogs they had to adapt to what humans ate. Since humans primary ate a starch rich diet, our dogs must have too! This adaptation in their food also genetic mutated the dogs, allowing for better starch digestion! 

The study which both articles refer too, was conducted by a group of evolutionary geneticist from Uppsala University of Sweeden. In comparing the DNA of 12 wolves from around the world and 60 dogs with diverse genes they found that dog had between 4 to 30 copies of the digestive enzyme amylase, which is used to break down starch. Wolves where only found to have 2 copies. They then compared the expression of that gene in dogs and found a 28 fold increase in the dogs. Not only that but the gene MGAM which codes for maltase which is another important factor in the digestion of enzymes, is longer in dogs which is what is found in herbivores such as cows and rabbits. This is shocking and wonderful, this puts dogs firmly in the omnivore category meaning they can thrive on just plants or both plants and meat. 

So that tells us a few things, but truth is overwhelming dogs like humans are meant to eat starches, they digest them better and seem to be made for it. Now this article ends on a strange note, because after point out all this research it says that this study fails to prove anything?! Which is the authors way of saying that this empirical research does not conform to his/her personal belief on how dogs should be feed and therefore "fails". This is nonsense we now know that dogs are far better at the genetic level of digesting starches than their wolf counterparts. 

The Science mag article concludes with Robert Wayne, an evolutionary biologist at UCLA, who studies dogs. He is often contacted by dog owners who want to know how they feed their dogs and if they should primarily be feed a meat based diet. To which he says, "This (study) suggest no, dogs are different from wolves and don't need a wolflike diet," "They have co evolved with humans and their diet." This is how you draw a proper conclusion to such a comprehensive study, if dogs where meant to eat like wolves then they would still be wolves. 


Veganism for dogs?

"Aren't dogs Carnivores? Don't dogs need meat?" Well the short answer is no! Dogs are pure omnivores (leaning more toward herbivores.), even their close cousins "wolves" which are classified as carnivores, eat roots and certain vegetables in the wild. There is even a species of wolf named "The Maned Wolf" (Chrysocyon brachyurus) who's diet is mostly fruit. However showing these facts on TV are not as interesting to the average viewer, as a wolf pack bring down a large animal. Veganism for dogs is not only the right thing to do ethically but the healthiest option as well. In 2002 the worlds oldest dog was a border collie named Bramble who lived to the amazing age of 27. Bramble was a Vegan Dog, his diet consisted mostly of lentils and organic vegetables. Now the dog to beat Bramble was a Australian Cattle Dog named Bluey who lived to 29. Bluey's diet was primarily meat based, but it was fresh meat, very fresh and local to the dogs region (kangaroo and emu meats). Now Bluey of course ate Vegetables too, but his diet was mostly meat based. Now you might be thinking "Well the meat eater beat the Vegan dog" Yes he did in age, but the dog that ate primarily "fresh meat" also had his veggies, not to mention that Brambles diet proves that their is no shortage of nutrition in a Vegan diet for dogs. While the "Carnivore" dog still need to eat his vegetables despite the high quality nature of the meat he was receiving. Now dogs do have some Carnivore characteristics but you must remember this is a species in transition. Being with humans for so long (Humans have primarily been plant eaters for the last 10,000 years) has shifted dogs diets toward plants, and plant based diets. I have no doubt however that dogs where used to kill rats, rabbits gophers and many other small animals in order to protect farms, grains and live stock, but outside of that uncommon source of food, dog where eating plants. Think about it, is a medieval farmer going to kill one his cows (a precious source of work, milk and cheese) to feed his dog? Of course not, and is his dog going to catch wild animals every single day? Most likely not, especially in the winter time. 

In today's world of horrific factory farming, over fishing and the gerneral depletion of natural resources and water in order to continue with a meat based diet that DOES NOT have to include you or your furry companion. Your pooch can not only survive, but thrive on a plant based diet. So make the switch for a happy healthy pup!