Category Archives: Supplemental Food & Treats

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Green-Lipped Mussels Freeze Dried Treats

Green-Lipped Mussels, Your Pet’s New Best Friend

The Merits of the Green-Lipped Mussel

Now, before you dismiss me as socially challenged, I’ll admit that the New Zealand Green-Lipped Mussel may not be everyone’s idea of a perfect pal. However, this amazing shellfish has so many sterling qualities that after you read this article you may be tempted to befriend him, too.

Born and Raised Sustainably

Found in only one place in the world, the beautiful Ninety Mile Beach area in New Zealand, green-lipped mussels are a powerhouse of nutritional goodness. These mussels which can grow up to 9” have distinctive green edges on their shells and are highly prized for their unique healthful qualities. They are carefully and sustainably raised and harvested under the strictest NZ aquaculture standards. GLMs are rated one of the top two ‘eco-friendly seafoods’ in the world by the International Conservation Organization Blue Ocean Institute.

Are you starting to see the attraction? This mussel lives in one of the world’s most gorgeous locations, is big and colorful, deeply appreciated by New Zealanders and good for pets and humans alike. And we’ve not even touched on the real appeal yet. Drum roll: green-lipped mussels are an amazing joint support with NO side effects (unless you are allergic to shellfish when they should not be used).

Our Mussels vs. Prescription Drugs

If your dog is getting older and feeling pain from stiff joints, conventional veterinarians will probably want to prescribe NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). These drugs can appear to alleviate symptoms, but they all have side effects such as serious liver, kidney and digestive complications that, in my opinion, negatively outweigh the benefits. And with long-term usage NSAIDs can make joint problems worse. We don’t want to do that to our pets or to ourselves!

Here is where our friend the green-lipped mussel has a distinct advantage over the NSAIDs. Not only does the GLM contain COX inhibitors (anti-inflammatory benefits) like the NSAIDs, but they have none of the drug’s side-effects, and some studies have shown GLMs help to reduce gastrointestinal irritation brought on by previous NSAID drug usage. So, if you have been giving your pets NSAID drugs, GLMs may help alleviate some of those adverse side-effects.

Green-Lipped Mussels Go Above and Beyond

GLMs have very high concentrations of Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) and also contain eicosatetraenoic acid (ETA) which is unique to green-lipped mussels. ETA appears to be a superior COX inhibitor working on dual pathways in the body for added effectiveness. Plus, GLMs are loaded with sea-rich vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to our pet’s health.

There is evidence that not only do GLMs aid in inflammatory conditions, they also help maintain young, healthy joints. Many people and their pets are taking GLMs as a preventative measure while their joints are still fully functional thus preventing eventual joint deterioration.

Your Friend is Our Friend

So, if you are interested in your joint health and your pet’s joints too, Green-Lipped Mussels are something you should consider trying. While you will probably ingest supplements your dogs and cats may enjoy Northwest Naturals Green Mussels treats. Correctly freeze-dried to retain all their beneficial components, these mussels can be given as individual treats or crumbled over food, whichever works best for your pet. They come in a 2 ounce package and are simply whole GLMs that have not been denatured by heating and whose nutrients are bioavailable to your dog or cat.

I have to admit that my true best friend will always be my dog, but if a Green-Lipped Mussel can help keep us both healthy and pain-free, well, that tasty little mussel has our gratitude and admiration, just before we eat them up. What a way to treat a friend!


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Northwest Naturals Raw Beef Bones multipacks

Tips on How to Boost Your Pet’s Health with Raw Bones

Throughout history, pet owners have been reaping the benefits of raw bones as a staple of their dog’s diet.

To Gnaw or Not to Gnaw: that is the question:
Whether ‘tis safer for the stomach to digest the bits of grit from a very big bone,
Perhaps, forsooth, to lose a tooth or tearfully eschew the chew.

Would Shakespeare Have Given His Dog Raw Bones?

Up until the last century, for as long as humans and dogs lived together, our canine’s main diet consisted of prey animals and unwanted human food scraps. In Shakespeare’s time that would have been standard fare for canines. So, if the Bard did have a pup, he most likely fed her a diet that included raw meaty bones. These bones boost your pet’s nutrition and offer many benefits.

I imagine Shakespeare’s dog would be a small, scruffy Terrier-type, bouncing along by her master’s side to the local ale house or sitting alertly at his side during rehearsals. Will probably wouldn’t have known the scientific benefits of feeding bones to his dog. Veterinary science was rather rudimentary in the 16th Century. But what was nutritionally appropriate for a dog’s digestive system in Shakespeare’s day is still appropriate for our dogs today. No matter the date, bones are a worthy addition to a canine diet.

How and Why to Give Your Dog Bones:

Raw is Safer

First in order of importance is to only feed your dog raw bones, not cooked or smoked, which can cause dangerous splinters. Not only do raw bones offer the best health benefits (raw enzymes), but they do not fragment into slivers as smoked or cooked ones may.

Size Matters

Second, chose the correct size of raw bone for your dog.  An easy rule about size is to match the size bone to your dog’s head. Chewing on a larger bone does not usually present a problem, but bones that are too small can create a choking hazard or be swallowed and cause problems. If Shakespeare had a twenty-pound Terrier, a femur would be an excellent choice. If he owned an English Mastiff, a large knuckle bone would be perfect. If the bard preferred a Pug, he might toss her a lamb breastbone or rib to chew.

Always Supervise Your Dog with a Bone

Third, always monitor your dog when she is eating a bone. Aggressive chewers can break off chunks of even a raw bone. Those pieces should be removed before they can be swallowed and cause esophageal trauma or a bowel obstruction. These determined pets can also fracture or chip teeth through the pressure they exert on these raw bones. If you are considering adding raw bones to your dog’s diet, careful supervision is the best policy when feeding bones whether yours is bone-driven or a nibbler.

The Added Benefits of Raw Bones

A fourth consideration when feeding raw bones, are the substances accompanying the actual bone: marrow and cartilage. Marrow is highly nutritious, and most dogs crave the taste.  However, it is quite rich and can cause digestive upsets and loose stools if consumed in excess. Obviously, a Saint Barnard can tolerate more marrow than a Pekingese. For smaller dogs scoop out and freeze some of the marrow and divide for later feedings or limit the amount of time she can spend with her bone, remove it, refrigerate or re-freeze it and feed again at a future time. Cartilage is a natural source of collagen which helps keep a pet’s joints and ligaments healthy. It is a nutritious bonus when feeding raw bones.

Raw Bones are Messy

The fifth point involves cleanliness.  Raw bones are messy.  Your dog’s face and paws might be too, after enjoying her bone. They are best fed outside, in a crate or on a cleanable surface. Personal note, I feed raw bones in the backyard when weather permits, but on inclement days my dogs get freeze-dried poultry necks which they totally consume, leaving no debris. Again, chose an appropriate size from chicken, duck or turkey necks.

Finally, remember that a raw bone is one of a dog’s greatest pleasures. Not only will it satisfy her innate desire for raw meat, marrow, cartilage and the small particles of bone itself, but it is a naturally interesting activity for her. Shakespeare’s dog may have jogged all over London with Will and been entranced by his plays, but too often modern dogs lead a rather boring life without much mental stimulation.

Bones provide both mental and physical challenges. Have you ever watched you dog eat a bone? There is a lot of physical exercise going on: mouth, jaws, forelegs, paws, head and neck all get a good workout as the mechanical process of ripping, grinding, holding, positioning, pulling and gnawing contribute to a dog’s well-being. Mood elevating endorphins are released through this pleasurable activity, creating a happy, relaxed dog.

In answer to the question, would Shakespeare have given his dog a bone? Yes, he most certainly would, and probably many bones over her lifetime. While some people will choose to forgo bones for a variety of personal reasons, as a healthful, mentally and physically stimulating addition to your dog’s life, a nutritious raw bone can’t be beaten.


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Light Brown Puppy being petted by woman with a hat

National Best Friends Day

When the Rest of the World Celebrates What We Pet Parents Already Know

June 8th is National Best Friends Day. Pet owners live “best friends day” every day. Our furry, feathered, fishy (scaly, etc.) friends hold a special place in our lives, and our hearts. In early June, the rest of the world joins us in celebrating best friends, though theirs might be of the two-legged variety. While we might not need another reason to love or spoil our pets, we’ll gladly take it!

What is National Best Friends Day?

While no one can really track down the origins of this holiday, we hazard to guess it was a pretty paw-some person who had some great pet to celebrate. In all fairness, it was this national holiday got its start right here in the USA. It was created by congress in 1935 to celebrate our best friends, but they never said these friends had to be human. June 8th was picked because most of the country experiences good weather at this time of year which makes it possible for almost all of us to get outside and have some fun with our friends.

How Will You Celebrate?

Will you go for a nice long walk? Maybe go for a romp in a creek or a pond? Will your best friend or friends get a few extra special treats?

There are so many fun ways you can spoil your pets on national best friends day. Whatever way you choose to celebrate, share some photos of your pet and your fun with the hashtag #bestfriendsday

Our Favorite Way to Spoil Your Pet

We care about our friends. They’re there for us every day, whenever we need them. Our pets get us through tough times. They make us laugh. We love them so much that we wish they could be with us forever. One of the easiest and healthiest ways to celebrate your pet is to feed them a fresh, tasty, and nutritious diet.

Have you ever dished out your dog or cat’s dry, smelly food and wished you could feed them something better? Have you thought that there has got to be something more exciting out there? With Northwest Naturals, there is!

We make feeding your pets fun. We make it delicious. And above all, we make it nutritious because that’s what you want for your best friend: a healthy happy dog and cat that lives a vibrant long life.

From flavorful treats to perfectly portioned dinner bars, from frozen raw food to freeze-dried diets and treats, you can be confident that you are giving your pets the very best when you give them Northwest Naturals. Check out what independent sources like Dog Food Advisor are saying about our foods and treats. And why not surprise your pet on Best Friends Day with a tasty treat from Northwest Naturals wide selection of nutrition rich foods?

 


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Dogs Whac-a-Mole

Boredom Setting In?

Are You So Bored Your Pets Are Too?

Life is a bit different these days. While we hope it will revert to normal soon, for now we can enjoy the extra time at home with our pets. You might feel “stuck at home” verses “safe at home”, or that you have “nothing to do” versus “time to do new things.” It turns out you’re not alone, your pet might be feeling the exact same way!

Many people and their pets are starting to feel the boredom setting in. By now, there’s a good chance that walks aren’t as exciting, you’ve run out of things to binge watch on your TV and the wet spring weather might be keeping you indoors. We’re here to help with creative ways to entertain your pets indoors.

Fun and Affordable Activities Keep the Boredom From Setting In

Whack a Mole:

This fun game is taking the internet by storm and it’s not hard to see why.  This Whack a Mole can be played with cats and dogs alike. Just like the addicting arcade game, you will have loads of fun playing this game with your fur babies. Grab a cardboard box and either a treat or toy for your pet. Cut a series of holes in the top of the box and a large hole in the side for your arm. Then you’re ready to play! Challenge your pet’s mental and physical reflexes for hours!

Link to article: https://www.rover.com/blog/dogs-whac-a-mole/

Hide and Go Seek

There are two different versions. Option 1 requires your pet’s favorite toy or treat. Hide this item in different locations around the house and watch them seek it out.  Or if your pet prefers to seek you out you have all you need to play! For option two, get your pet to sit and stay while you hide somewhere in the house. Watching them run around and try to find you is a great laugh and they’ll love the challenge!

Learn a New Trick

Why not use this extra time to learn a new trick. This will challenge both you and your pet as you try to learn from each other. Teaching your fur-baby a new trick will bring you closer together as you bond with positive reinforcement and rewards. There are loads of ideas for tricks from rolling over to fetching a new item, playing dead to giving hugs! Our treats have proven to be a very motivating reward for training.

Scavenger Hunt or Obstacle Course

Transform your living room into an exciting place that will both exercise your pet physically and mentally. Using household items, toys, and some healthy treats, you can create a series of courses to train and stimulate your pet.

Freeze Their Assets

If you have an outdoor space or garage that’s shielded from the rain, this one could be a great option for you. Take your pet’s favorite treat or toy and place it in a s sturdy bowl or Tupperware™ container.  Fill the bowl or container with water, or water and soup stock, and then place it in the freezer overnight. When the water has fully frozen, give it to your pet for hours of entertainment.

Do it Yourself!

Try making a new toy for your pet out of items you have in your house. Find a bit of rope (or upcycle some from a destroyed toy), use a t-shirt or towel, etc. Get creative and your pet will love having a new toy that smells like you!  Just be sure to supervise your pet whenever they play with this toy in case pieces break off.

We’d love to hear some of your ideas. Go to our Facebook page and send us a message. Maybe we’ll add your idea into another article in the future!

Stay safe and well!

~The Staff at Northwest Naturals


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dirt speckled white dog

Avoiding the Dander Without Skipping the Bath

How to Keep Your Dog’s Coat Healthy and Clean During the Chilly Months

Fall, Winter, and in some places, even Spring can be downright cold. But just because it’s cold doesn’t mean there isn’t mud, or that dogs don’t sweat. But many soaps can be dehydrating, especially in cold weather. What’s a dog owner to do? Wait for summer?

You can pamper your pooch, help condition their fur and skin, while bathing in the colder months. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the things you can do to clean and pamper your pet.

Nutrition:

Making sure your dog is getting proper nutrition through their food and treats is the foundation for a healthy coat and skin. Without the right nutrition, your dog might develop dander or worse. Make sure to consult with your vet to make sure your dog is receiving all of the nutrients they need year-round. Treats are a great way to add a boost of the good stuff. Dehydrated fish skins and jerky are just one example of treats that can really pack a punch for healthy fur and skin.

All Northwest Naturals dog foods and treats are designed to provide optimal nutrition with a taste your pet will absolutely love.

Dry Baths:

In between your full-on baths, you can spot clean your dog’s problem areas with easy to use disposable towelettes. These are available both online and at many major retailers. Many are made with specific ingredients for specific uses. You’ll find oatmeal and honey for example to help soothe itchy skin, or mint based towelettes to combat odors. These cleansing cloths are great for everything from wiping away mud, to removing discoloration around the eyes and mouths of lighter colored dogs.

Using the Proper Dog Shampoo and Conditioner:

Based on your individual dog’s needs, select either a moisturizing shampoo, or a combination of shampoo and conditioner that will hydrate their coat while moisturizing and soothing their skin. If your dog has particularly dry or irritated skin, oatmeal-based products can be especially soothing.

Give Your Dog a Blowout:

Okay, you don’t have to actually use a hair dryer on your dog…that would drive some of them absolutely bonkers. But do make sure to towel dry their fur as much as you can post bath. If you can, wait until they are dry to go back outside. If you get your dog groomed or go to a do-it-yourself dog grooming place, they’ll often have one or both of these solutions on hand. This will help to prevent further damage.

Brush Your Dog Frequently:

Brushing your dog eliminates or reduces allergens, dust and dirt, and dander, which goes a long way to keeping them clean. It also stimulates the production of natural oils in their coat, and distributes them for healthier looking skin and fur.


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Blue eyed cat

What is Catnip?

And why do our feline friends fancy it?

Nepita cataria has gone by many names including the popular catnip, but also catsword and catmint.  It has become so common for cats and their humans that it’s just about everywhere.  And with good reason, cats love it, their antics provide us with amusement, plus it’s both natural and safe!  But have you stopped to wonder what it is or where it came from?  If you did, you might be surprised.

What is Catnip?

Catnip actually comes from the mint family of plants.  That’s right!  And it contains what’s called nepetalacatone, which is what makes cats love it so much.  Cats detect this volatile through a scent organ in the roof of their mouth rather than in their noses.  In fact, domestic and wild cats are both attracted certain plants within this genus, including leopards, cougars, servals, and lynxes.  The plant is native to southern and eastern parts of Europe, as well as the Middle East, Central Asia, China, New Zealand, and even North America.  Some believe however that it was the ancient Egyptians that were the first to cultivate the plant our felines love so much today.

When the leaves or stems of this plant are bruised, cats can sense the nepetalacatone.  What follows next is usually a cat like ballet of pawing, scratching, rolling, licking and a myriad of other moves.

Consuming the plant can cause cats to drool, become drowsy or sleepy, induce anxiety, cause bouts of frenetic activity such as leaping about, or purring.  If you or another human is holding the catnip, cats have been known to growl or meow, scratch and/or bite that hand.

If you’ve wondered why these ballets commonly last between five and 15 minutes, this is due to olfactory fatigue, also known as nose blindness.  After a certain length of time, cats lose their ability to detect the nepetalacatone and will generally lose interest until the next time.

Is your cat not affected by or interested in catnip? He or she isn’t alone.  It’s estimated that one out of three cats does not react to this popular family of plants.  Scientists have shown this to be due to genetics.

Catnip and Humans

Cats aren’t the only ones to have found a love for this family of plants.  Cat Nip has been used by humans throughout history.  Commonly it was used to make teas or tinctures to treat ailments.  Catnip is also great for getting rid of unwanted bugs, so much so that many use it today in the form of its essential oil.  And many find it a great ornamental plant to include in their gardens.  And why not? It’s drought tolerant, deer resistant, and can ward off destructive bugs like aphids.  Rumor has it that some have even smoked the plant.


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Person feeding a small dog a treat

What Amount of Dog Treats Do I Feed My Dog?

Too Much of a Good Thing

Dogs and humans aren’t much different in some respects.  Think of the last time you popped open a bag of potato chips. Did you eat just one? How can we expect our dogs to be content with just one treat?  Especially when they’re delicious, soft and chewy, grain and gluten free, freeze dried dog and cat single ingredient treats…like Northwest Naturals?

We can’t, and we shouldn’t.  Treats are just one more way that we can show our pets how much we love them.  So, the first part of our answer to this important question is to buy nutritionally healthy treats that taste as good as they sound.  When the treats are healthy, it’s easier to give them more frequently.

Nutrition

The second answer is a bit more situation dependent, as it’s based on the daily nutritional requirements of your pet.  The food you give to your pet, the amount of that food your pet receives at each meal, and how many times you feed your pet per day are the big factors.  If you are over-feeding or meeting the total nutritional requirements with your dog’s daily meals, it leaves less room for tasty treats and rewards throughout the day.

When feeding your pet, a raw based food diet, free from fillers like grains and gluten’s, your pet is getting optimal nutrition.  Imagine if every meal you ate was specifically designed to promote your health and well-being.  You’d have more room in your diet for a sweet treat now and again.  Just like you might work with a nutritionist or medical expert to develop that diet, we work with vets and pet health experts to develop our dog and cat foods and treats.

Pet food and treats should have recommended daily portions and serving sizes on the packaging.  But, you still need to know the specific nutritional needs of your pet.  And some companies are focused on selling more product vs. the health of your pet.  When shopping for your pet, read the ingredient labels.  Try to pick out the main ingredients.  In healthy pet food and treats, this is easy to do.  Aim for a single ingredient treat, or chicken, rather than chicken by product or chicken meal.  Avoid grains and gluten’s as these are fillers, which aren’t good for your pet, or your wallet.

Resources

Our dietary feeding suggestions are based on your pet’s weight and caloric needs, but we cannot know things like your pet’s activity levels, dietary restrictions, and/or allergies.  You can use the Feeding Calculator on our website or find another one online. You can also take the information on our packaging to your vet to develop a recommendation for daily meals and treats that will spoil your pet while maintaining good health.  Pair this nutritional information with healthy exercise levels and your fur baby will be set to live a happier, healthier, and longer life.


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Raw Meaty Bones from Northwest Naturals

Raw Bone Benefits

Proper dental maintenance is essential to prevent periodontal disease and promote healthy teeth and gums in pets. Though a daily brushing is an excellent way to keep up on dental health, the most effective way to get rid of plaque build-up is offering your pet a raw meaty bone. The reason why plaque is so hard to remove from teeth is that the dental bacteria create a protective barrier, or biofilm, which cannot be permeated by water, toothpaste, or chemicals. Traditional brushing moves the plaque around the teeth, and while some is removed, much of the plaque and bacteria remain behind. Raw bones have naturally occurring enzymes which break down the biofilm. Then, when pets chew on the bone, the plaque is gently scraped off the teeth.

In addition to great dental health benefits, raw meaty bones provide recreational activity for adult dogs and an appropriate chewing outlet for puppies. Young and teething dogs have a psychological and physical need to chew. Besides providing a fun and engaging (and tasty!) activity, young dogs can properly develop jaw, skull, neck, and shoulder muscling. (It also keeps them away from your favorite shoes!)

The last important aspect of feeding raw bones is a nutritional benefit. Raw bones, and the marrow within, are both natural nutritional sources of protein, fat, minerals, calcium, and phosphorous. However, since raw marrow bones are meant to be chewed only–not eaten—there are only small amounts of these nutrients and the bones should be fed more as a “treat” than as a replacement for your dog’s usual food.

How to introduce a raw marrow bone into your dog’s diet:

For a dog that has never had a raw bone before, introduce it slowly. Let the dog have the bone in a confined space (maybe the kitchen, a towel on the floor, or even the bathtub) or outside of the house, for about 10-15 minutes for the first couple of feedings. Since the marrow inside of a raw bone is very rich and is somewhat fatty, it can cause loose stools in dogs with sensitive stomachs if consumed in large amounts. The amount of marrow the dog consumes can be reduced by scooping the marrow out of the center of a femur bone and stored in the freezer to add to the bone again later. Once the dog is used to having raw bones in their allowed space, raw marrow bones can be fed around three times a week.

Tips for Feeding Raw Bones:

Choose an appropriate size bone for your dog. Be sure to remove bones that start to crack or chip due to aggressive chewing. Small bones are not appropriate for aggressive chewers.

Always supervise a dog when it is chewing on a raw bone. Dogs should be kept in a confined and monitored space and the bone should be removed if large chunks are bitten off or the dog appears in distress in any way.

Feed raw bones in an area that can be easily cleaned. Remember that these are raw meat products and they should be handled with the same procedures as meat for human consumption. Always wash hands and surfaces with hot soapy water.

Dogs should never be fed a cooked marrow bone. Cooking a bone completely changes the chemical structure of the bone and it becomes very hard and can splinter easily into very sharp, dangerous pieces.

Separate dogs when you feed raw bones. Many dogs can get very territorial about their delicious bones!


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Overweight dog next to healthy dog

Fruit and Veggie Nuggets

Ingredients and Their Benefits

Broccoli – A plant in the cabbage family. It is high in vitamin C, calcium, soluble fiber, and also contains multiple nutrients, making broccoli a “super food” to support health and wellness.

Sweet Potato –

  • Superior fiber content — Sweet potatoes contain almost twice as much fiber as other types of potatoes. Contributing close to 7 grams of fiber per serving, they make an excellent starchy addition to any meal. The high fiber content gives them a “slow burning” quality, meaning their caloric energy is used more slowly and efficiently than a low-fiber carbohydrate.
  • Vitamin B 6 – Sweet Potatoes contain a large amount of Vitamin B6. This vitamin is crucial in breaking down a substance called homocysteine, which contributes to hardening of the arteries and blood vessels. Vitamin B6 helps keep the walls of these important blood passageways flexible and healthy which allows blood to flow freely. Vitamin B6 promotes a happy, healthy heart!
    Potassium -Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of potassium. Potassium plays an important role by ridding the body of excess sodium and regulating fluid balance. It is also an important electrolyte that helps regulate the natural rhythm of the heart, and maintains normal function of the brain and central nervous system
  • Beta-carotene or Vitamin A – is an important antioxidant. One medium sweet potato provides your body with the complete recommended daily allowance of vitamin A and then some. Vitamin A is useful in the prevention of several different types of cancer as it is one of the most potent antioxidants out there.
    It also is an excellent nutrient for eye health and has been linked to prevention of vision loss and macular degeneration.
  • Manganese – is a little-discussed trace mineral that has some great health benefits. It is a pivotal component in the metabolism of carbohydrates which helps support healthy blood sugar levels. This can help stabilize the appetite for hours as opposed to the temporary satisfaction that comes with most other carbohydrates.

Carrots – A source of important vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids to help support the immune system and digestive system. They may also help support proper skin and eye health.

Romaine Lettuce –

  • Vitamin C and beta-carotene content provides many heart health benefits of romaine lettuce, including preventing the oxidation of cholesterol.
  • Folic Acid found in romaine lettuce helps keep blood vessels healthy and clear.
  • Potassium helps lower high blood pressure, which can contribute to heart disease. Improves muscle strength .
  • Fiber also contributes to the heart health benefits of romaine lettuce, by removing bile salts, which requires cholesterol, thereby lowering high cholesterol as well. Stimulates fat burning since the body has to work harder to digest fiber. Romaine is a low-calorie, zero-fat food that can stimulate weight loss by burning more calories than it contains.

Apple – Rich in Vitamin C as well as a host of other unique antioxidant and botanical compounds such as flavenoids. Apples provide soluble and insoluble fiber, some Vitamin C, beta carotene, potassium and boron.

Blueberries – A source of powerful antioxidants that may help support health and vitality. High in Fiber.

Cranberries – High in vitamin C, and have antioxidant and antibacterial effects in the body. High in Fiber.


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Chicken and Turkey Necks

Chicken and Turkey Necks

Before we delve into the many benefits of raw poultry bones, it is important to first make the distinction between feeding raw poultry bones and cooked poultry bones. Many of us are familiar with the fact that we should never, ever feed cooked poultry bones to dogs, but do you know the reason behind this warning? First off, let’s take a look at some of the characteristics of raw poultry bones:

  • They are soft and flexible
  • They can be easily crushed, without splintering
  • They do not splinter when broken
  • They contain naturally occurring moisture and cartilage

When a poultry bone has been exposed to heat through the cooking process, many things change. First of all, the chemical structure of the bone is altered. Water, cartilage, and blood vessel structures are removed and the bone becomes dry and brittle. It is no longer flexible, and without the connective tissues and moisture intact, it will easy snap into small, sharp pieces. It is the dangerously sharp pieces that pose the highest threat to our pets. Not only can the sharp edges puncture the trachea, intestines, and bowels, but they are no longer digestible and will stay intact through the digestion process, increasing the risk of damage to the pet. It is very important to monitor our pets (especially those scavenging dogs!) to make sure they do not have access to cooked poultry bones.

Raw poultry bones are not only safe for our pets to eat, but they offer many additional nutritional benefits to a pet’s diet, such as:

  • Glucosamine and Chondroitin
  • Enzymes and amino acids
  • Calcium, phosphorous, and other trace minerals
  • Low-fat meat source

The Glucosamine and chondroitin found in raw poultry bones are in a “bio-available” form, which means that they are already in the most digestible and ready-to-use, natural form. For example, this differs from a dry glucosamine supplement because a pet would have to first re-hydrate the dry supplement and then try to pull something useful from what is available, which is often not the complete amount of what is fed. A natural bio-available form is absorbed by the intestines in the regular digestion process and nearly every bit of the glucosamine is usable. In fact, it is encouraged to replace the use of glucosamine and Chondroitin supplements with three weekly feedings of raw poultry bones in a size appropriate for your pet.

Enzymes and amino acids not only aid in digestion and the formation of proteins in the pet’s body, they are also an excellent way to clean the pet’s teeth. Through the chewing process, the enzymes are actually more effective in breaking down tough layers of plaque than daily brushings!

Maintaining proper calcium and phosphorous levels in your pet’s diet is essential. Again, the calcium and phosphorous found in raw poultry bones are in a bio-available form and can easy be used by your pet.

Poultry bones offer a low-fat source of meat and nutrients that can be used to replace up to three of your pet’s regular meals per week. Choose poultry bones that are appropriate for the size of your pet and simply feed only the poultry bone for that meal. Always supervise your pet when feeding raw meaty bones.

In addition to all of the nutritional benefits, raw poultry bones are fun for your pet! Adding variety into your pet’s diet allows you both a break from the monotony of feeding the same meal every day and allows for varied sources for nutrition. It is very natural for dogs in the wild to seek out and chew on the bones of their prey and they enjoy the process.

Chicken and turkey necks are similar in makeup in that they have a nearly identical amino acid chain, but they do have a couple of nutritional differences. Turkey is higher is selenium, iron, and zinc, and is a slightly leaner meat. The Chicken Necks include more flesh on the bone and have the skin attached, which is a great source of those natural omega 3’s and 6’s.

Some things to keep in mind when feeding raw poultry bones:

Some dogs can “gulp” the whole bone. This means that they will swallow the whole bone without chewing it. This is actually a very natural way for a dog to eat in the wild, since they do not have the ability to move their jaw from side to side to grind and chew their food. A raw bone is considerably easy for a dog to digest and so it shouldn’t cause any digestive issues, as long as your dog is in good health and the bone passes down their esophagus without problem. However, we always suggest that when you feed a raw poultry bone to a “gulper”, you hold half of the bone in your hand and let them chew off a small piece first.

Always feed raw poultry bones in a supervised environment. The backyard is a great place to offer one to your pet, but you can also try the bathtub (for smaller pets) or on a sheet in the kitchen. Just remember that this is a raw poultry product and any surfaces or materials that have come in contact with the poultry should be cleaned and disinfected.

Poultry bones can be given to dogs of all ages, but when feeding to a senior pet, or one who has compromised tooth health, be especially diligent in making sure they can handle the raw bone well.

Poultry bones can be used as meal replacements for your pet for up to three meals a week. There is no exact formula for how much raw bone your dog should have instead of their regular meal, but you can estimate based on the size of your dog and the amount of food they usually receive.