Enhanced – DogNog

April 12, 2016

This past March, at the Global Pet Expo in Florida,  we announced our new product line,enhance, a set of products designed to help pet parents easily add raw nutrition to any diet. We have started with three freeze-dried raw goat milk products that are supercharged with Mother Nature’s most powerful foods. In this blog article, we talk about DogNog, a delicious “smoothie” for pets. It is packed with fantastic health-boosting ingredients, specifically formulated to benefit pets with inflammatory diseases such as IBD, Allergies, and Arthritis. You will also see that its high level of nutrients and fatty acids make it great for growing puppies!

INGREDIENTS: Raw Goat Milk, Whole Egg, Coconut Flour, Cranberry, Turmeric, Yucca, and Bromelain

Raw Goat Milk

Raw Goat MilkRaw goat milk has 25% more Vitamin B6, 47% more Vitamin A, and 134% more potassium than cow’s milk. It also is packed with probiotics, enzymes, electrolytes, and other micronutrients that have many health-boosting properties.  It soothes inflammation and relieves symptoms of IBS, IBD, and other digestive issues. It can be digested in as little as 30 minutes – cow’s milk takes 6 hours. This means energy  is saved during the digestive process, giving your pet more energy to focus on healing. It is a perfect daily treat for dogs that are lactose intolerant, due to the lower levels of the Alpha-s1 casein, which makes the curd much smaller.

 

 

 

Whole, Raw Egg

Eggs are one of the most complete foods available and contain 8 Raw Eggessential amino acids.  It also has Vitamin A, Riboflavin, Folate, Vitamin B12, Iron, Selenium, biotin, and Fatty Acids. The high levels of Vitamin D help calcium from the egg shell absorb better into the body. It is a common misconception that you should not give your pets raw eggs because the egg whites contain a biotin inhibitor, but since the egg yolks are high in biotin, this is not an issue as long as you feed the yoke in addition to the white.  The fatty acids improve skin and coat health, and, of course, the egg is a great source of protein.  So all around, you can’t go wrong with feeding your dog a raw egg!

pile of coconut flower on a wooden cutting board

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is at least 60% pure fiber and is used as a detoxification booster. It contains about 14% coconut oil, making it a good source of medium chain fatty acids.  It is also high in naturally occuring trace minerals. The low levels of carbohydrates reduces it’s glycemic index and balances blood sugar levels.  It increases metabolism, supports digestive health and is grain- and gluten-free.

 

Raw Organic Red Cranberries in a Bowl

Cranberry

In DogNog we are not using the very sugary, dried kind you get in your bag of Craisins®. Our cranberries are tart and packed with Vitamin C, (immune boosting) fiber (improves digestion) and incredible flavonoids and polyphenols.

The flavonoids in cranberry are comprised as a complex profile of anthocyanins and proanthocyanidins, which gives this ingredient the urinary tract-supporting elements and helps prevent UTIs. They also lower the pH in the bloodstream, creating a hostile environment for bad bacteria and preventing bacteria from adhering to the wall of the urinary bladder.

Polyphenols are powerful antioxidants that have been proven to play a role in preventing degenerative diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.  Additionally, cranberries prevent plaque buildup on teeth, are good for brain health, balance, and improved eye health. They also dilate blood vessels and help lower blood pressure.

turmeric powder in ceramic bowl on wooden background

Turmeric

The bioactive compound in turmeric is curcumin, which gives it a bright orange color. It can detoxify the body, stimulate bile production in the liver (which helps the body process and use fat), and disinfect wounds.  It is anti-inflammatory, which helps reduce arthritis pain, and it reduces allergies and other inflammatory diseases. It also can help rid the body of infections because its anti-bacterial components. In the UK is is being studied for its anticarcinogenic properties and has been proven to be effective at high doses when combined with black pepper. The black pepper helps to increase the absorption. In DogNog we have added bromelain to achieve better absorption.

yucca root as sample display at market place

Yucca

Yucca is a desert plant, and the highest amount of nutrition is found in the roots. It has high amounts of vitamin c, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, niacin, phosphorous, protein, and b-vitamins.  Saponin compounds aid digestion and increases the bioavailability of the rest of the food the dog or cat is ingesting.  It even reduces odor in urine and feces, by inhibiting production of anhydrous ammonia.

Yucca is also frequently used for pets as a holistic alternative to corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are most often used for inflammation issues but are very generally prescribed at the vet, and the long-term adverse health effects can result in kidney disease. Yucca, on the other hand, can provide the same benefits, alleviating  pain, arthritis, joint and bone problems, swelling, skin problems/hot spots, digestive/bowel problems, and colic. It also cleanses the liver and kidneys and promotes blood flow and tissue repair, along with relieving allergies. It can even possibly help reduce the inflammation in the brain that can lead to seizures. The saponins block the release of toxins in the intestines that cause breakdown of cartilage, and help in cartilage formation, providing relief for symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. It can also be used as a treatment for hip dysplasia, arthritis, and other degenerative joint and bone diseases. Yucca can regulate glucose levels in the blood, easing the symptoms of diabetes. In one study, yucca was found to be effective in fighting melanoma cells. It can also help protect against cardiovascular diseases because yucca extracts reduce platelet adhesion.

Bromelain

Bromelain is a super enzyme that comes from the stems of pineapple and has been used to treat everything from allergies to tendonitis. It also provides digestive support and can help alleviate symptoms associated with IBS and UITs. We have paired it with yucca and turmeric, as they work together well, boosting their anti-inflammatory properties.

How To Use DogNog

As with all our “enhance” products, DogNog comes in a reusable glass milk bottle and an 8-ounce refill carton. On the reusable milk bottle, there is a fill line with indicates how much liquid to add. Simply fill it up, shake to re-hydrate and store in your fridge. Each day pour the recommended feeding amount onto your dog’s kibble, canned or raw food. When you have used all the product, wash the bottle and refill with any of the enhance freeze-dried milk products. The 8-ounce refill containers are designed to give your pet a full month of raw, super nutrition.

Group with Bottle

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Enhance

April 12, 2016

It’s Time to Enhance Your Pet’s Diet!

Eighteen years ago, Steve Brown started the journey of educating retailers and consumers about the benefits of a raw diet. The early adopters were excited and jumped on the bandwagon, reaping the benefits of what a raw diet could do for their pets. Over the past decade more and more pet parents have switched to a raw and/or holistic diet; however, there are still a vast majority of pet parents who are unwilling to make the move due to the belief that it is expensive, time-consuming, or unsafe.

As passionate raw feeders, we have to ask ourselves “how to we help kibble and canned feeders see the benefits of raw?”
As a retailer, you have to ask “How do we take an existing customer, one who walks past the freezers every time they shop, without ever really considering them an option, and get them to think differently about nutrition?”
As a pet parent, you have to ask “How can I add raw nutrition without having to change the way I feed?”

How do we start the conversation about improving our pets diets?

We have decided to start where pet parents are.  Our new product line is designed to “enhance” the pet’s current diet. We have focused on creating products that are simple solutions to adding raw nutrition. We aren’t asking pet parents to switch off their kibble – we are offering a product to add to it. Group with Bottle

We start with a base of freeze-dried raw goat’s milk and raw goat’s milk yogurt with added superfoods such as hemp oil, spirulina, turmeric, and milk thistle. Each formula is designed to provide advanced nutrition, and to fill the nutritional gaps that are in a kibble-only diet, or provide additional support for those already feeding raw. We have upped the convenience factor by packaging it in a reusable glass bottle, with product inside. The customer fills the bottle with water, shakes to re-hydrated and feeds daily. Fill, shake and refrigerate. It is as easy as that! Eight-ounce refill packs will be available starting in late May.

The Lineup

CannaGurt starts with freeze-dried goat milk yogurt. The added hemp oil addresses some issues including seizures, anxiety and inflammation.

CarnaForage is a super green smoothie. Spirulina enhances the immune system and provides powerful antioxidants. Milk thistle and dandelion leaf support healthy liver function, and cilantro helps detox metals.

DogNog is a combination of freeze dried milk and freeze-dried egg, which provides an easily digestible form of protein. We have added turmeric as an anti-inflammatory, dried cranberries as an anti-oxidant, and yucca to aid digestion.

Once you start enhancing your pet’s diet, you will reap the benefits of a healthy, happy animal – and who doesn’t want that?

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How to Spread the Word

March 23, 2016

FBhariRecently Vani Hari, the Food Babe, published a fantastic blog post about what the big kibble companies are putting into dog food.  Her article had a great list of things to avoid, and a great list of brands that are out there doing it right.  We were amazed that such an advocate for clean living did not mention a single raw brand on the market – the fact is she probably hasn’t learned about raw yet.

It can be easy to forget that not everyone knows as much as you might about the philosophy and science of raw food for pets, because it is the type of thing that seems so obvious you feel like you have always known it.  Just over a year ago I was interviewing with Steve’s Real Food, and hearing about raw food and its health benefits for the first time.  My dog was on a kibble, and one of the main draws of the company was that I could bring my dog to work; I loved the idea because I thought Baxter was getting on in years and I wanted to be with him in his old age.

IMG_0758In these and so many other ways, my life was completely different a year ago.  Now I can’t believe I thought of Baxter as an old man at 8 years old. At 9 he is the picture of doggie health – his digestion is fantastic now, he has lost about 8 pounds (he was a fatty before) his energy is better, his smell has improved, and he is just a happy, energetic dog.  My 2-year-old husky, Asa, is lithe and slender, and every other husky I see in my neighborhood is overweight – I want to chase them down with a bag of Steve’s and yell nutritional information at their owners.

Vani, along with all the other healthy living advocates out there, need to know about raw food for pets!  How do you, as a raw food advocate, help spread the message about how much benefit can come from a species appropriate diet?

facebookThe Power of Social Media

I genuinely believe that the majority of advocacy in the future will come from behind a computer screen.  We share our opinions and our knowledge through social media, and it has the ability to shape our world.  It is especially powerful because the corporations that have exerted so much control in the past are losing their grip on the world of information – they do not have the ability to stop the spread of knowledge via social media – though they try.  This is the only truly safe area for grassroots movements to swell, for voices to be heard, and for change to happen.  With only 2% of the pet food industry’s sales coming from raw food, there is a ton of work to be done.  Here is what you can do:

  • Facebook coverFollow raw food advocates, holistic health figures, and companies you believe in (like Steve’s Real Food) on social media.
  • Share the information they post with your friends and family, via social media and also through conversation.
  • Like, comment, and click on the links they share, too. Facebook and other social media outlets have algorithms to try and force communities to pay for advertising, so if you aren’t active, you will slowly see less and less from your favorite people.  That also brings down how many people the algorithms spread the word to.
  • Sign petitions to call on government action and other changes in the pet food industry. Susan Thixton with Truth About Pet Food is a great person to follow for these opportunities.
  • Comment on blogs like The Food Babe’s article on pet food.  Others are reading the comments to see other people’s opinions and journeys.  Telling them what you feed, your pet’s journey to health etc. can bring the target demographic of interested consumers towards raw food.
  • Join local pet community pages. This will give you another audience to share your knowledge with or to re-post interesting blogs.Cute blonde in sunglasses and a bright blue denim shirt emotionally talking on a cell phone. Bichon Frise white dog sitting on the lap of the girl.
  • Get active in your real community, too! Going to the dog park you will get to meet other pet owners and conversations just naturally happen.  Join a hiking group or a pet-swimming group, whatever your interest is with your dog, find other people in your area to socialize with.  You can be a Raw Advocate wherever you are.
  • Don’t be too pushy. People don’t take kindly to being told they are caring for their fur-babies wrong.  Just tell them what YOU do, and the healthy results they will see in your pet will be enough to make them open to the idea of change.  Don’t try to force them, be accepting of their choices, while offering them a chance to learn about a better way.

By being an active member of your pet community, whether in person or online, you will go far in spreading the word about the benefits of a raw diet.  But in the end, your dog (or cat) will be the best evidence you can have as they live longer, have fewer health problems, and enjoy a better quality of life on a raw diet.

 

 

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Retailer Success Story

March 16, 2016

BARK

Our retailers are on the front line of spreading the message of Raw, and we appreciate their efforts so much!  Their stories give a face to our product, and it helps us keep us motivated to bring good health to more pets. Check out this story shared by Kaitlin Freerks, from Bark! In Annapolis, about her journey to raw:

“I started transitioning my Newfoundland puppy to raw at about six months old, she was suffering from chronic UTIs caused by a recessed vulva, and I was looking for a more moisture-dense diet that might help prevent the infections from occurring. Not only did her UTIs completely Kaitlin Freerks - Bark Annapolis - Admiraldisappear, but so did her chronic ear infections, gas, and anal gland problems. Her skin and coat are very healthy, we get compliments everywhere we go, and she doesn’t have the yeasty/musty smell I have experienced with other Newfies. Of course, her stools are more compact and have less odor, people are amazed that such little stool comes from such a big dog! One incident that really emphasized the importance of her raw diet occurred when she was around two years old. One night, after some heavy activity, she started limping and would not put any weight on her leg. I was really concerned and rushed her to her orthopedic specialist the next day. It turns out she experienced a problem with one of her cruciate ligaments, a common issue in some Newfie lines, but luckily the ligament did not tear. After a couple of days she actually fully recovered! Her vet told me her lean and muscular body condition from the raw diet, and the natural anti-inflammatory nature of raw played a big role in preventing her from rupturing it like most other dogs do. To this day, she still has some moments of soreness after vigorous activity, but this soreness is easily managed by some helpful anti-inflammatory supplements and physical therapy exercises. So from the disappearance of her chronic UTIs, ear infections, and other health issues I can see first hand how a raw diet has really benefitted my dog. And after the experience with her cruciate injury I am convinced that if I hadn’t made the switch, I would have most likely spent thousands more in vet bills, and likely would have needed to pay for a TPLO surgery, had she been kept on kibble. This has been the single most important health decision I have ever made for my dog, and I am glad she lives a happier, healthier life for it.”

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My Experience with the New Freeze-Dry Diets

March 9, 2016

freeze dry promo photo

By Aspen Anderson, Director of Retailer and Consumer Relations

When I was a kid, I remember forcefully when the Space Program came to my school and talked about what it was like to be an astronaut.  Mostly I remember this because my awesome big brother, who was in 6th grade when I was in Kindergarten, was picked to participate, and they gave him a bag of freeze-dry ice cream to take home.

It tasted weird and awful, and I don’t think anyone explained to us kids that you were supposed to add water. That was my one experience with a freeze dry product in my childhood and thinking back I believe that it left me with a (literal) bad taste in my mouth over the whole process.  This kindergarten understanding of what freeze-dry is apparently informed my biases up until just recently.

See, I wasn’t too hot on the idea of the new Freeze Dry products we here at Steve’s.  I could see the benefit for traveling, and I was looking forward to that, but other than that I didn’t think it was going to be something that I would recommend over our frozen diets.  Now, three months after the launch, I have a whole list of things that our freeze-dry can do, and I am thoroughly enjoying feeding it to my pets.

First off, my cats love it.  You can see a whole lot more in other blogs about the troubles I have had transitioning my cats, but I have learned that the convenience and room-temperature of the freeze dry makes it easy to mix in with their canned. Now 2 of the 3 will now eat the turkey and the beef by themselves, so I am pretty much done with them, only 1 left!  I have been adding milk (sometimes raw when I can afford it) and things like tuna juice and chicken stock, and they just go wild for it!  It is such a great feeling, still fairly new to me, to see my cats so enthusiastic about something I know is good for them!

Secondly, my dogs love it!  I ran out of the frozen stuff one day, so I fed them the freeze dry.  It is so great to be able to have a couple of extra bags sitting around in case of an emergency, without having to worry about shelf-life or it taking up room in my freezer!  The dogs get excited to eat it, and for some reason, my particular dogs like some of the freeze dry flavors better than the frozen! My dogs are big fans of the chicken, but they don’t like the frozen turkey that much.  But with the freeze-dry, they must love the rehydrated texture or something because they nom it right up without complaints.

Third, it is so convenient!  I haven’t travelled with it yet, but the last time we took the dogs to Idaho half the car was filled with what we needed to pack them in with their frozen food. It turned out the people we were staying with didn’t have room in their freezer for it, so we had to keep it in the cooler on their porch.  That meant making more than one run to the rural town market for ice to keep our food frozen.  Now I know the next time I go anywhere, I will actually be able to use my cooler space for my own food, and not my dog!  I’ve used it as a training treat, which worked well because I could crumble it into little pieces or feed a whole piece, depending on which dog I was working with.  Finally, I can have those few extra backup bags in case I run out of the frozen. I am loving feeding all my animals the same food, and seeing their excitement as they gather around me morning and night for their healthy meals I can feel good about.  Now if only I could get my husband to feel the same way about good food!

If your local retailer hasn’t started carrying Steve’s Freeze Dry yet, be sure to tell them you want it!  Visit our product page for more information. 

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