Monday, June 23, 2014

What else is in your Dog’s Water? Is it safe?

What else is in your Dog’s Water? Is it safe?


Our water contains many toxic elements as waste products from chemical, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries. But the issue we do not consider is the toxicity created by our municipal water systems that add fluoride to our drinking water.

Fluoride in its natural state is quite harmless, but the fluoride that is added to prevent tooth decay is synthetic. It is a by-product of fluoride gas, which is found commonly used in the aluminum and nuclear industries. It is a waste product of these industries and contains dangerous heavy metals.

Most European countries have banned the addition of fluoride to the water supply due to research that shows that fluoride ingestion causes a myriad of diseases. Here is a list of known effects:

  •  Bone cancer and osteosarcoma

  • Weakening of bones and degenerative conditions like arthritis

  • Kidney disease

  • Disruption of the endocrine system – effecting the thyroid, adrenals, pancreas, pineal gland and the pituitary gland

  • Distortion of brain cells, early dementia and decreased IQ in children

  • Increase in free radical production in the brain

Water naturally, makes its way into our food supply.  The effects of fluoride are cumulative and irreversible.  The EPA found significant levels of fluoride in 8 major brands of dog food. The major source of contamination is found in bone meal and in animal by-products.

An average 10 pound puppy eating about 1 cup of dog food a day would consume 5 times the safe levels set by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

How do you prevent both you and your dog having less exposure to fluoride? Use distilled water or a reverse osmosis system.  Apple pectin, turmeric, parsley and cilantro are some of the natural ways to detoxify and remove fluoride from the body. At Lucky Dog Cuisine, we use only filtered water to make our foods and add herbs and apples to encourage a healthy internal environment and reduce the risk of fluoride exposure.

All municipal water treatment facilities post water quality reports and levels of chemicals and additives.  Check with your local plant to see if your area participates in the addition of fluoride to your family’s water.

For more information visit The Fluoride Action Network - and
With four years of nutritional training and twenty years as a Doctor of Chiropractic for both humans and animals Dr. Janice Elenbaas is the founder and owner of Lucky Dog Cuisine, and a guest blogger for PawsGo.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Healthy Natural Dog Food - How to read a label


These are the scary little things that appear on the back of pet food bags.  Most of the time we want to avoid them since we really don’t want to know what is in most dog foods. And yes, they are written in English, but, unless you have a chemistry degree, you won’t understand half of what is written anyway.  However, be brave and realize that taking the time to figure it out,  may be the key to saving your dog’s life.

Pet food manufacturers list ingredients on the label starting with the highest concentrations first.  That means we want to see things like beef, chicken  salmon etc as the number one  ingredient.  The protein sources should be the number one listing for dog food.  Stay away from foods that are high in by-products.  These are also protein sources, but are of inferior quality to actual ’meat’.  You will see a phrase called “crude protein“.  This does not refer to the type of protein used. It refers to the method used to analyze the total protein.  The percentage of  nitrogen content is measured in a lab.  It is then multiplied by 6.5 to give the percentage of crude protein.

 The two most important factors are not measured. These are the biological value  and the digestibility.  Biological value refers to the amino acid composition.  Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and need to be in correct balance to be useful to the body.  Digestibility determines how well the GI tract can absorb the protein.  It is very hard for the gut to break down the protein in meat by-products.   By-products are things like hair, feathers, feet, tendons - I’m sure you get the picture.

Meat and bone meal are other forms of protein listed on labels.  This is ground bone, gristle, tendons and anything not fit for human consumption that has been through the rendering process.  We discussed the wonders of rendering in the last article.  Anything on a label that says any kind of meal be it lamb, chicken, beef or fish is the cheapest and least nutritious form of protein. So we can see that the source of the proteins are not readily available on most labels.

Grains are other ingredients listed.  They are not all bad for dogs.  Some vegetarian forms of dog food contain lots of grains.  But overall, we would like to see these are secondary ingredients in most dog foods.  The grains used need to also be of good quality since the availability of nutrients is dependent on the digestibility of the grain itself.  We want to see whole grains not pet grade, inferior quality products containing mold and endotoxins.  Pet food manufacturers will also use a variety of ‘spent’ grains as fillers containing very little nutritional value  Spent grains include:

Ÿ  Rice flour- the end process of the milling of rice

Ÿ  Corn gluten meal- left overs from corn processing after the removal of the nutritious layers

Ÿ  Brewer’s rice- discarded rice from the manufacturing of beer

Additives are used to make commercial dog foods to extend shelf life and to make them attractive to the human consumer.  They can be added by the supplier and then again by the manufacturer.  The law does require investigation on the direct effects of additives and preservatives, but what about the combined effects?  We know very little about the synergistic effects of all these chemicals.
With four years of nutritional training and twenty years as a Doctor of Chiropractic for both humans and animals Dr. Janice Elenbaas is the founder and owner of Lucky Dog Cuisine.