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Newsletter - August 2009

The News At Home

Toronto weather has been hot and humid. Our spoiled city dog isn’t amused. I was working at the computer when Tori began panting and pawing at my knee. She rarely pants, so I checked her water bowl. It was full. The offer of a green bean treat was accepted but not appreciated. My offer to let her outside was refused.

Seemingly exasperated by my lack of understanding, Tori bolted down to the basement where she lay down and gave me a glance that spelled misery. The obvious became apparent. It hadn’t occurred to me because the house didn’t feel particularly warm to me, but then, I’m not wearing a fur coat. I turned the air conditioner on while Tori lay on the cool floor in the vestibule until the house felt better to her. At that point, she went into the bedroom and lay on the bed in the exact spot that the blowing air makes the fine hairs of her coat move gently. I heard a deep, contented sigh and watched her stretch like a cat before falling asleep.

So, if Tori ever vacations in your area during hot weather, keep in mind that the princess likes the house to be kelp at approximately 70 degrees. Oh! - and just in case she forgets to mention it; she prefers her salmon baked rather than poached. She’ll skip the wine, but you might want a glass once Tori’s finishes with you.

What’s New at

K9Kitchen, Your Dogs’ Diet: The Truth Behind The Hype SECOND EDITION

While this book covers some of the same ground the first edition did, much of the information is new. In this second edition, you’ll find analyses for raw green tripe and whole duck along with analyses of chicken necks, wings, backs, turkey necks and whole rabbit (headless). We offer 60 diets (20 raw, 20 cooked, and 20 combination diets), the NRC 2006 numbers along with a step-by-step guideline to help you formulate a diet, how to introduce a raw diet, the good, bad and ugly about treats and supplements, how to assess those recipes on the internet at a glance, and some shopping tips for readers starting on a new feeding venture (the skinny on foods and costs). There’s also a more thorough chapter on blood values that can help you to decipher blood test results from your veterinarian.

We are accepting orders for this book now and should be able to start shipping books in about three weeks. Place your order before August 15th 2009, and you’ll receive an autographed copy. Please be sure to let us know the name you would like it to be made out to by notating it in the comments section of the order.

Book Reviews:

Once again, Monica Segal has taken on the many questions and controversies surrounding homemade and raw diets and beaten them. Her approach is well investigated, fair, and comprehensive. This is a must read for pet owners who need responsible information about homemade diets. - Susan G. Wynn, DVM

This book is full of practical information, educational stories, and personal experience, written in a pleasant and easy to read format. It provides the devoted dog enthusiast with balanced recipes and well-researched information, combined with wisdom and sparkling humor. A nutrition-focused tribute to the human/animal bond and what makes having a dog so special! - Ana S. Hill, DVM, PhD

This clear, concise, fact filled book guides the reader to understand how to feed the dogs in our lives. Packed full of insight, information and recipes, it's one stop reading for the savvy dog parent of today. - CJ Landry All About Dogs

Fact of the Month

Not All Green Tripe Is Created Equal

An interesting thing happened while I was writing the second edition of K9 Kitchen. I had collected several samples of raw green tripe, so receiving the analyses results was something I looked forward to. Finding this information on the internet has been a rarity, not to mention that it is incomplete, and that analyzing less than several samples is an almost useless practice. The analyses came back showing such a high level of iron that one might wonder how dogs could survive this kind of intake. In fact, I was so shocked that I sent the analyses results to a friend who asked if the cows had eaten iron fencing. However, the veterinary nutritionist I contacted for feedback was not surprised, and in speaking with the University of Guelph, I discovered that this kind of result had been seen many times. In fact, they considered it quite normal.

This simply didn’t sound right to me because dogs eating some green tripe daily would be gravely ill, yet I know of none who suffered iron toxicity due to this feeding practice. Where on earth could this iron have come from? We know that iron from heme is highly absorbed, so maybe the green tripe contained a lot of non-absorbable iron from fencing or the green matter in the stomach - but this didn’t sound right. Could one sample have skewed the results? No, because each sample is analyzed independently rather than in a mass. Could the lab have made the same error on each of the eight samples? It seemed highly unlikely. I contacted the lab and they generously offered to run the test for iron again. We now had the results of 16 samples, but the iron content remained the same - dangerously high. I was left with two choices: do more analyses on new samples of green tripe (and go broke) or ignore the exercise and not publish the results since I found them questionable at best. The lab came to my rescue. They were so intrigued that they offered to reduce their price dramatically just so we could get to the bottom of this mystery. The published results in K9 Kitchen, Second Edition reflect the result of this second batch of samples. They have been verified more than once. What is interesting is that the first samples (unpublished results) were contaminated with blood from the butchering process. Although it wasn’t obvious, it does leave us to consider that what we see with the naked eye isn’t necessarily the reality. If your raw green tripe shows any trace of blood, chances are that the iron content is even higher than was found in the tainted samples.


“If you are a dog and your owner suggests that you wear a sweater. . . suggest that he wear a tail.’ -- Fran Lebowitz



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