What Food is Dangerous for your Dog and Why?

Brought to you in honor of Pet Safety Month: DANGER FOODS

We’ve all heard it before:

“This food is bad for your dog…”

“Don’t feed them that…”

Do we know exactly what foods to steer clear of, and better yet, what harm they could cause to our precious puppies?

The photo brought to you by www.caninejournal.com shows what foods to place up high on your shelves away from your dog to keep them safe.

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An extended list of foods that are dangerous for your dog include:

  • Alcohol
  • Apple Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Baby food
  • Cooked Bones
  • Candy and chewing gum
  • Cat food
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus oil extracts
  • Coffee
  • Corn on the cob
  • Fat trimmings
  • Fish
  • Grapes and raisins
  • Hops
  • Human vitamins
  • Liver
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Marijuana
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions and chives
  • Persimmons, peaches, and plums
  • Rhubarb, and tomato leaves
  • Raw fish
  • Salt
  • String
  • Sugar
  • Tobacco
  • Xylitol
  • Yeast (on its own or in dough)

For a fun printout to hang on your fridge check out our previous blog post!

Some healthy dog foods to stock up on at the supermarket are:

  1. Peanut butter. Protein, heart healthy fats, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E. Choose raw, unsalted peanut butter.
  2. Cooked chicken. Add it to your pup’s dog food for extra protein.
  3. Cheese. If your dog isn’t lactose intolerant (check before feeding) cheese is a great snack that is high in protein.
  4. Baby carrots. Great for your canine’s teeth, carrots are low calorie and high in fiber and beta carotene/vitamin A.
  5. Yogurt. High in calcium and protein and good for your dog’s digestive system.
  6. Salmon. The omega 3 fatty acids found in salmon keep your dogs coat nice and shiny while also boosting their immune system.
  7. Pumpkin. Fiber as well as beta-carotene/vitamin A. Helps with digestion.
  8. Eggs. An extra boost of protein in the morning. Like chicken, this can be added to dog food to up the protein level so when your scrambling up yourself an egg, make one for your furry friend as well.
  9. Green beans. Beans are good for the heart, and very low in calories.
  10. Apple slices. Freshens dog breath as it cleans your pups teeth as he chews. High in fiber, vitamins A and C, an apple a day will most certainly keep the doctor vet away.
  11. Oatmeal. When cooked, this breakfast food can be a great grain alternative that is super high in fiber and great for your dog’s digestive system.

In case of emergency:

If your dog eats something you aren’t sure about or starts to show symptoms of being sick after eating something Call your local vet or call the ASPCA animal poison control center at 1-888-426-4435.

If you know of anything that needs to be added to this list, leave us a comment:

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8 DIY Summer Snacks Your Dog Will Love

We love sharing with our dogs, but when it comes to iced cream, we don’t like to share with anyone:

Make your dog their own refreshing summer snack with our top summer recipe picks:

1. Your pup will love these healthy and refreshing Blueberry Dog Cookies.

Blueberry-Dog-Cookies-lolathepitty2. Were also going bananas for this Canine Cookie with bananas and blueberries.

3. Let your pup experience the delicious and healthy mix that is fruit and nuts with these easy-to-make Apple and Peanut Butter Dog Treats
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4. Pupsicles: Frozen dog treats are great for keeping pups occupied and cool in the summertime, better yet they can be used to soothe teething pain in puppies.

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  1. Berries and cream, berries and cream, I’m a little pup who likes berries and cream.

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6. Add in some veggies with these Spinach, Carrot, and Zucchini Dog Treats.

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7. Your dog have a summer birthday? Celebrate with these creative and festive pupcakes.

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8. No time for cooking? Pop it in a blender and in the freezer like these easy to make frozen Dog Smoothies.

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Comment with any fun family recipes you want to share!

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Waiting for spring: Ultimate Winter Doggy Survival Kit

Winter

For us March should be spring. It just makes sense.

But the snow outside clearly states that is it not. So we are planning a sit it and staying at home until the weather warms up. This means we need to stock up on supplies. Flannel PJs, a super soft blanket, and Netflix is all we need.

Our dogs however are spoiled and have put together  their “If we have to put up with winter we want these goodies survival kit”:

  1. Keeping warm in style with a Max-Bone cable knit jumper. These adorable sweaters are designed and crafted in LA, and no we checked they don’t come in human sizes.
  2. This Jax & Bones bed is colorful enough to bring some spring feeling into the house, while at the same time being perfect for lazy snoozing. Jax & Bones also designs and manufactures in sunny California (maybe we’ll get some sunshine from them too?)
  3. We will be getting our exercise in the form of tug-o-war. These rope toys from Neroko are made in Finland using traditional sailor knots.
  4. Now this one we are very excited about, since we can now easily play fetch from the couch with this sleek bamboo ball launcher from Bambeco. Extra points for using mainly reclaimed materials.
  5. Winter also calls for comfort food. We will rely on seamless, our pooches will get delicious soup which we have (semi) made ourselves by adding some ingredients to this organic natural base of Mutt Soup.
  6. And for those extra snugly moments, we will snuggle in the our soon to be new favorite blanket (which also should keep our pooches hair from going everywhere). But we can’t decide between the Big Sky Blanket in Blue or Red?

What is in your winter survival kit?

Dog Food Made in the USA

MADEIN THEU.S.A

Here at Hachiko we love local, independent and small batch producers. It’s about living greener, supporting our communities and making sure our pets get the same love and care we put into our food.

There are a few companies out there that have amazing products- and just in case you are not yet familiar with them, here are a few of our favorites USA made Dog Food companies (please tell us yours in the comments!)

  1. Small Batch– Grown and made in California, Washington and Oregon they are a small family owned business using only organic, free range and raw ingredients. They have a great line for puppies on their website
  2. Froom Family Pet Food– A 5th generation family owned business based in Wisconsin. Follow their guide to find the perfect food for your dog
  3. The Honest Kitchen– Prepared in the USA, with ingredients carefully sourced from around the world Honest Kitchen prepared FDA approved Human Grade Pet Food. The have a large line (including grain free, whole grain and base mix)
  4. Abby’s Choice– If you are in the NY and fans of a raw food diet it’s worthwhile to take a look at Abby’s Choice. The frozen meals are made weekly in small batches, and usually are made to order
  5. Munster Milling Co– A family owned company based out of Munster Texas, who aim to source their ingredients locally from farms only 20-30 miles from their plant
  6. Nulo– An Austin, TX based company which makes and distributes in small batches of domestically grown pet food and promises to always be grain free, high meat protein, Glycemacare, probiotic and without any artificial preservatives, colorings or flavoring

To get more tips on great local and small vendors follow the blog or sign up on Hachiko’s website to get stay up to date

Hachiko Debate: Supplements- when are they necessary and when are they a waste of money?

SUPPLEMENTS

Dog’s that are in good health and eat balances diets should not need supplements. In fact sometime supplements can also do harm- so before you decide that your dog needs them take a moment to look at the real need.

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association from 2006 the most common supplements given are multivitamins, fatty acids (to improve coat shine), Probiotics (for gastrointestinal problems), supplements to support arthritic joins and antioxidants (to counter aging effects such as cognitive dysfunction).

Now it’s estimated that one third of every dog in the US receives some kind of supplement, and we are talking about a 1 Billion dollar market, that has little scientific evidence behind it. The FDA and many vets believe that pets receive a balanced diet when they are feed commercially processed dog food, while others think they are a good way to improve health.

There are a few general rules of thumb when considering  adding supplements to your dog’s diet:

You may consider adding supplements (after consulting with your vet!) if:

  • You feed your pet a homemade diet
  • You dog as particular health needs

You probably don’t need supplements if:

  • When you dog is in good health
  • If you feed them a store bought pet food diet (they usually contain the ingredients you are looking to supplements and adding more may have adverse effects)

Why is this such a big issue? Well overdoes of vitamins can be very bad. According to vets excess calcium can cause bone problems, too much Vitamin A or D can lead to vitamin toxicity with effects such as dehydration, joint pain, muscular atrophy and loss of appetite.

If, after consulting with your vet, you do decide to add supplements then here too you need to do your research and choose carefully! The National Animal Supplement Council checked joint support products on the market, and found that 25% didn’t really contain what they claimed on the label. When ConsumerLab.com tested thee probiotic supplements they only found one with enough dosage to be effective.

What to look for when looking at pet supplements:

  • Know exactly what ingredient you are looking for and check the label
  • Look for brands that have commissioned clinical studies
  • Gauge their expertise- look for brands that specialize in one area, or contact them directly to understand how the product was formulated and how long they have been in business
  • Look for certifications from third parties (such as the National Animal Supplement Council)
  • Do not give your pets human supplements. There are ingredients that are harmful to dogs!
  • Don’t fall to false promises- if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Supplements promising to alleviate cancer, parvovirus or hip dysplasia? Move along…

What do you think? Do you give your pets supplements? Why? Tell us in the comments!

Additional Reading:

Pets WebMD supplement guide

Pet MD Supplement guide

Top 10 supplements and do they work

Life with Beagle- are supplements worth it?

Our top 10: Tastiest USA Made Organic Dog Treats

Organic Dog Treats

It’s cold and it seems like it’s only going to get colder. So we are going to spend this upcoming weekend spoiling ourselves with good food and good company. And of course we provide treats for all our guests… four legged ones included! We have trouble choosing between all these delicious looking, organic and natural treats! Our top ten list:

  1. Plato organic Salmon Strips– Single source protein treats. Salmon Real Strips have NO added sugars, artificial preservatives, by-products, artificial colors, protein-meals, soy, wheat, corn, fillers, or freeze-drying. All Plato treats are made in the USA.
  2. Wet noses Peanut Butter & Molasses Treats– Rich in calcium and Vitamin B this is Wet noses’ original recipe. Contains no wheat, soy or corn. All their products are made in Washington State.
  3. Max and Ruffy’s Strawberry and Carob flavor– Made from scratch in Maryland, this treat is full of antioxidants and superfoods, with an extra dose of coconut oil for a shiner coats and healthy skin. Did we mention it’s also low fat and delicious!
  4. Meyer Country Farms Beef bites– These yummy bites are made in the USA and contain no preservatives, additives or dyes.
  5. Grandma Lucy’s Organic Blueberry Treats– Looking for dog treats baked in a bakery? Look no further. Grandma Lucy’s treats are made fresh in Irvine California and are all natural, human grade and of course 100% organic.
  6. Only natural American made twisted Bully– Made with USA sourced, free range, grass-fed cattle. They are gently cooked with only one ingredient. No chemicals or preservatives to be found!
  7. Greenies Dental Chew Dog Treats– These chews are not only delicious, but also proven to clean dog’s teeth and will fight plaque and tartar buildup while improving your dog’s breath and gum health. Sounds amazing to us! Greenies are made in Kansas City, Missouri.
  8. Sam’s Yam’s Sweet Potato Dog Chew– Looking for a veterinarian raw-hide chew? This treat should fit the bill. Made in a special drying process these human grade yam’s get extra chewy. All the yam’s are sourced from the USA and made and shipped from Wisconsin.
  9. Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Liver Treats– These treats are 100% freeze dried liver made in Portland Oregon, and are naturally rich in protein, vitamins A, D, C and B- complex, iron, calcium, copper and phosphorus.
  10. Evanger’s Nothing But Natural Chicken Jerky Dog Treats– Using organic fed and raised Chickens and combining them with farm fresh veggies, this is a low-calorie guilt-free and grain-free treat that should get you extra tail wags. Made in the USA.

We love finding and sharing great products, made in the USA from small and local vendors. Be sure to follow our blog or signing up on our website to get all of our latest finds!

Also check out our list of our favorite USA made Dog Food!

Which treats are your favorites?

Dog Food Guide: The Basics

A dog’s gotta eat. But what should you feed them?

There are so many options and possibilities, and after writing about raw diets (in case you missed it check it out here) which require a lot of time and effort, we also wanted to look at other options.

Whole Dog journal has a great starting point.They recommend why starting by assessing your dog’s health. Start a list with write out health problems (such as bad breath, dental issues, itchy paws, gas, thinning coats, etc.) and health assets (clean ears, good breath, high energy etc.).

If the health assets are greater than the problems you may already be feeding your dog a great diet. If however there are more a lot of problems then it may be time to change your pooches diet.

Once you understand the dietary and health benefits you are looking for it’s time to dig into the different options out there. (Should you want to address specific problems l this is also a great time to have a conversation with your vet.)

Here are a few helpful guidelines to consider when looking at dog food options:

  • First ingredient: Look for quality sources of protein
    • Avoid any generic descriptions such as “meat”, “poultry” or “animal” and look for “turkey” “lamb” “beef” etc.
    • General rules to remember: if it says Beef dog food, it’s a minimum of 95% beef. If it says dinner then it’s 25% (Beef dinner for dogs). If it says with (Doof food with Beef) it’s 3%. And it if says flavor it’s it has minimum to no amount of beef. (more info on this can be found on Pawcurious)
  • The second ingredient after protein should be a meat source with the word meal (i.e. Turkey meal, beef meal etc.)
  • Next two ingredients should be vegetables, ideally whole grain or while fruits.

Try and avoid:

  • Anything containing corn, cornmeal or soy.
  • Ideally avoid wheat and look for barley, rolled oats millet quinoa or brown rice
  • Anything with by products (especially when the source is not specified)
  • Anything with artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and sweeteners. Namely avoid: BHT, BHA ethoxyquin and propyl gallate. (In stead look for foods preserved with Vitamin E or C)
  • Avoid labels with “splitting”- in these cases the main ingredient such as rice may be spilt into white rice, brown rice, rice bran etc. so it can be written lower on the ingredients list (more info on that here)

What food do you buy, and how did you choose it? Tell us in the comments below!

And don’t forget you can always make you own food and treats

Additional sources:

Check out Dog Food Analysis to compare different kinds of food

Dogster guide on how to choose healthy dog food

Good overview on The Bark

Check out other yummy blogs

Part of Tastey Tuesday Blog Hop