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Nutrition 101


Bones for dental care and nutrition

February 14, 2016

If you’ve ever watched a dog (or a wolf or lion, for that matter) tear the meat from a bone, you’ll see every muscle in the body working as the animal braces his prize with his paws while pulling the meat away with his teeth. Cats will tackle smaller bones such as chicken necks, whole quail, or game hen pieces with gusto. For cats… try giving a whole neck in the bathtub to watch your cat stalk it before eating. Our little carnivores instinctively know how to crush, rip, and chew bones!

WARNING:  A raw bone left laying around the yard with meat on it will decay and make your pet ill. Be sure to rinse and refridgerate the abandoned bone until another day.

Raw Bones Are Not Dangerous

We have been told so often that bones can splinter and cause internal damage that it is hard to embrace the fact that bones are safe when given raw making them softer than cooked bones. Cooking a bone can cause it to become brittle and splinter, but raw bones are pliable and resilient, breaking off without sharp edges. Hard leg bones, such as beef, buffalo are considered recreational bones and are mainly for chewing, not eating. They have marrow, gristle, and connective tissue that contribute valuable nutrients and roughage.

The softer knuckle or rib are recommend.

Raw Bones Are Nature’s Toothbrushes

Dogs raised on raw bones have clean, white teeth that never need scaling, while those raised on commercial food alone frequently develop tartar, gum disease, infected mouths, and bad breath. Despite food companies’ claim to the contrary, dry kibble does not completely clean teeth. Raw bones act like floss in the mouth, polishing and scraping away tartar as the animal crunches and gnaws. In addition, raw meat creates a somewhat acidic oral environment to retard plaque formation and freshen your pet’s breath.

Raw Bones Provide the Perfect Mineral Balance

A prey animal’s bones contain minerals in the proper balance for a carnivore’s growth and development. For eons, nature’s plan was that wild canines and felines obtain needed calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and other minerals from consuming the bones of their prey, and that is still the preferred source. Bones contain the proper mineral balance, eliminating concern about over-supplementing any single mineral. If your dog consumes more bones than he needs, the excess is excreted in the stool. Don’t be surprised by some chalky, crumbly stools — this is normal.

The Nutritional Value of Raw Bones

Besides contributing calcium and other minerals, raw bony parts provide essential fatty acids, fat-soluble vitamins, blood-forming factors found in the marrow, including iron and copper, cartilage and collagen (arthritis preventing), proteins and valuable amino acids, especially lysine. For adult dogs, Poultry necks and wings also contain natural glucosamine. Meaty bones can constitute an entire meal, keeping in mind that vegetables and other foods should be consumed at other times. 

Poisonous to Pets

March 15, 2016

Some foods that are considered good for people can be very dangerous for pets. The list below highlights some of the most common foods that can be dangerous to animals.

This is not an exhaustive list, and any decision to provide your pet with food not specifically intended for animals should be discussed with your veterinarian or pet nutritionist.

The following foods may be dangerous to your pet

• Alcoholic beverages

• Apple seeds

• Apricot pits

• Avocados

• Cherry pits

• Candy (particularly chocolate—which is toxic to dogs, cats, and ferrets—and any candy containing the toxic sweetener Xylitol)

• Coffee (grounds, beans, and chocolate-covered espresso beans)

• Garlic

• Grapes

• Gum (can cause blockages and sugar free gums may contain the toxic sweetener Xylitol)

• Hops (used in home beer brewing)

• Macadamia nuts

• Spoiled foods including mold

• Mushroom plants

• Mustard seeds

• Onions and onion powder

• Peach pits

• Potato leaves and stems (green parts)

• Raisins

• Rhubarb leaves

• Salt

• Tea (because it contains caffeine)

• Tomato leaves and stems (green parts)

• Walnuts

• Xylitol (artificial sweetener that is toxic to pets)

• Yeast dough

Poisonous Plants & Flowers

Plants and flowers often add life and color to our home. However, these same plants can cause serious harm to our beloved pets. Being familiar with the plants in and around your home is key in preventing your pet from consuming any plants that may be poisonous or cause stomach upset.

The following is a list of the 17 most common poisonous plants.

1. Lilies

2. Marijuana

3. Sago Palm

4. Tulip/Narcissus bulbs

5. Azalea/Rhododendron

6. Oleander

7. Castor Bean

8. Cyclamen

9. Kalanchoe

10. Yew

11. Amaryllis

12. Autumn Crocus

13. Chrysanthemum

14. English Ivy

15. Peace Lily (AKA Mauna Loa Peace Lily)

16. Pothos

17. Schefflera

In addition to plants, certain flowers are downright dangerous to our animal companions. Many varieties of lilies are highly poisonous to cats, for example, and while rose flowers may be fine, their thorns could prove injurious to our curious friends.

Alternatively, there are some pet-friendly flower selections. These include dendrobium orchids, violets and gerbera daisies.

It’s also important to keep in mind that even “safe” plants can produce minor stomach upset if ingested.

If you think that your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or your 24-hour emergency poison hotline.

To view a more detailed list of toxic and nontoxic plants, please consult the ASPCA Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants fact sheet.

Health worries??

Could it be a Food allergy?

June 2016

Signs To Look Out For Showing an Allergy

Many indicators of allergies in dogs are non-specific; you won’t know just by looking if there’s an allergy present or not. But if enough signs are present, you should start investigating.


Of course scratching is the most obvious sign of an allergy. Dogs scratch for many reasons, but vigorous scratching at the same area repeatedly may indicate there’s a problem.

If the area your Golden is scratching at appears red, or scabbed, that’s another sign there’s a problem.

Common Allergy Indicators

Other signs include:

• Itchy, runny eyes

• Itchy back or base of tail (most commonly flea allergy)

• Itchy ears and ear infections

• Sneezing

• Vomiting

• Diarrhea

• gastrointestinal issues

• Snoring caused by an inflamed throat

• Paw chewing/swollen paws

• Constant licking

You may also notice secondary infections caused by bacteria or yeast resulting in scabs or hair loss.

What Are Dogs Allergic To?

By and large, dogs may be allergic to many of the same things humans are. Dust and mold are common household allergies for dogs and their owners alike. Cigarette smoke can also be a trigger.

Many of the products we bring into our homes may trigger reactions in dogs. Examples include perfumes, cleaning products, and some fabrics.

Naturally occurring allergens like feathers, dander, and pollen may also be at the root of allergic reactions. Even the products we buy to help our pooches stay healthy, such as shampoo and flea products can be triggers.

And of course there’s food. Many dogs are allergic to either the protein, wheat or grains commonly found in many dog foods.

How Do I Know If It’s An Allergy?

As with all perplexing medical issues your Golden may develop, if you suspect an allergy, you should have a visit with your vet.

Talk To Your Vet

By going over the details of your dog’s environment and diet, and after reviewing all the symptoms, your vet might be able to make an educated guess about the cause. Rules out bacteria’s, parasites or viruses.

If an allergy is suspected, but the trigger isn’t readily apparent, testing is the only way to be certain.

Allergy Tests

A blood test or a skin test can be performed, with the latter being more reliable. For a skin test, a portion of your Golden’s coat will be shaved and a variety of allergens are injected under the skin. Anything that reacts is something the dog is allergic to.

Unless your dog is incredibly tolerant, this procedure will require sedation.

While conclusive, allergy tests can be very expensive. Expect to pay $300 or more for the entire procedure. If your vet concocts a vaccine for your dog that price rise significantly. Pet insurance is a must.

Alternative Tests

While we all want to do everything we can to keep our beloved dogs healthy and happy, you’re not a bad owner just because you balk at the cost of a procedure! Before you rush right in and hand over your credit card, you might try looking at other ways of determining the source.

Start Simple

By removing possible triggers from your Golden’s environment, you may be able to figure out what the problem is by process of elimination. Go after one possibility at a time to make your findings more conclusive.

Keep It Clean

Perhaps you suspect that environmental allergies are the problem?

If you live somewhere where winter is significantly colder than the rest of the year, you may have noticed allergic reactions are lessened or not present at all during those months?

Try to eliminate triggers like dust, mold and pollen by doing a thorough cleaning of your home, paying particular attention to places your dog likes to play and sleep. Wash dog beds and any blankets and rugs they might favor. Keep it up for a few weeks and see if you notice a difference in your dog’s condition.

Switch Grooming Products

You might also try switching up any shampoos, sprays, or other cleaning products you use on your dog. Changing your household cleaners might also make the difference.

It might be a long process of trial and error before you find the cause or causes of your dog’s reactions, but it will be worth it in the end.

Dealing With Food Allergies

Food is a very common source of allergies in dogs. And between your dog’s regular food, treats, flavored medications, and table scraps (either accidental or intentional!), it can be very hard to find the cause.

Take It Away

Again, following the process-of-elimination method, if you’re not certain what’s triggering the reaction, you can remove the contenders one by one until you’re certain.

Meet The New Meat

The easiest thing to do is simply change your Golden’s food. Try switching to an alternate source of protein; trade poultry for beef, or lamb for fish, for example. Also, look for formulations that contain as few ingredients as possible. Try cooking just rice carrots and one meat.

Stick with the new diet for up to 12 weeks, and eliminate any treats or human food during that time. If things improve, well you still haven’t necessarily identified exactly what the allergen was, but at least you’ve removed it from the equation. Next - introduce meats one kind at a time, watching for any new reactions as you do.

Doctor’s Diet

A more thorough version of this process involves putting your dog on a very strict prescription diet using hydrolyzed proteins. This diet eliminates nearly every possible allergen. After 12 weeks of this, your Golden should be symptom free, and you can begin to reintroduce foods one at a time, always monitoring for allergic reactions.

You Ate What???

Exotic protein foods are often turned to when food allergies are suspected. The idea is that a dog is less likely to be allergic to something they have never been exposed to.

Examples of exotic (or novel) proteins are quail, ostrich, bison, and even kangaroo. Try switching protein families, too – if your dog ate chicken before, don’t switch to another type of fowl, for example.

Keep Your Dog Comfortable

As I said, this will not be a quick and easy process, and while you’re trying your best to figure out what’s causing your dog’s distress, your Golden is still suffering to some degree. Excessive scratching can lead, as previously mentioned, to secondary issues like infection. As if the allergy wasn’t enough to contend with!

There are things you can do to alleviate the symptoms and make your friend as comfortable as possible.

Medications are available to help, including allergy shots, hydrocortisone creams, and antihistamines. Benadryl can be quite effective in relieving itch (and helping an itchy dog sleep!), but shouldn’t be administered without first consulting your vet.

Washing your dog with a gentle shampoo and conditioner might help alleviate itchy skin (look for natural products where possible.), as can cool baths. Avoid hair dryers, however, as the heat will aggravate the skin further.

Can Allergies Be Prevented?

There is little or nothing you, as an owner can do to prevent allergies. Some argue that a raw food diet, or increased intake of beneficial intestinal bacteria can prevent allergies, but the jury is still out. Golden’s usually find raw diet too rich.

And that won’t help prevent the development of allergies to environmental or chemical substances.

So take heart in knowing you’ve done nothing wrong, even if your Golden suddenly develops an allergy later in life. It just happens. It’s not anyone’s fault. With patience and time, you can find the solution and stop the problem.

What kind of Dog Food do we require you feed?

June 2016

We have done a ton of research on what to feed as the best nutritionally balanced food to our dogs. Golden retriever and Labrador retriever breeds DO NOT TOLERATE WHEAT, CORN, FILLERS, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOURS OR COLOURS.

Goldens can have minor to major allergic reactions to an improper diet that could cause - Poor Temperament, improper physiological  development; aggression and physical growth retardation. 

 We have found this fantastic food that is holistic and improves health. We can feed ANY brand of food we wish- but to create healthy puppies we need healthy parents.  We see very little hot spots; yeast infections; allergic reactions when feeding this food.  

 The other bonus is that you can order online or by phone and it is delivered to your home FREE anywhere in North America.  We chose the auto-delivery option so we don't have to remember when to order. The food content is awesome!

Why TLC Whole Life as your holistic food choice…

• Meat First – Ancestral Diet

• Fresh, Whole Natural Ingredients

• Ingredients and Food Naturally Preserved

• Highest Levels of Chondroitin & Glucosamine

• Probiotics (Beneficial Bacteria) and Prebiotics

• Protection Against Diabetes & Obesity

• Healthier, Shinier Coat

• Protection Against Allergies

• No By-Products, Corn, Wheat, Fillers

• No Artificial Flavors or Colors

Why we insist on TLC?

• Healthier, shinier 

coat from Omega 3 & 6

• Strong muscles

• Antioxidants to protect against disease

• Optimal digestion

• Less stool volume

• Clear, bright eyes

• Happier, healthier pet

• Natural protection against allergic reactions and inflammation

• Low glycemic formula helps prevent obesity

How to order?

Online Web:

About the food…

Phone order – 877 328-8400



If you decide to change to a different food without discussing it with us..... it voids our contract; including our health guarantee as it stresses the dogs immune system when feeding an inappropriate diet.  


Pumpkin Supplement

June 2016

Pumpkin is a superfood.  It soothes the bowel in a stressed puppy or dog.  Add Diatomaceous earth to pumpkin puree and flavour with raw meat, fish, or honey.

Freeze in ice cube trays.  Give one each day to a new puppy for the first few weeks.  After that once or twice a week.  The DE will help with your dog parasites