Sunday, April 3, 2011

Dog Food: What's really in it?

We all see the beautiful pictures on the outside of the bag that show fresh whole meats and whole grains, along with healthy beautiful dogs romping happily on the beach. They advertise that they are complete and balanced foods healthy for your beloved pets. And they are balanced and complete according the basic minimum standards. But do they provide ingredients for optimum health? All dog food manufacturers are required to meet basic AAFCO standards. These are basically what is needed to keep the dog alive. These standards have written definitions of what the food companies are allowed put in the food and list on bag. What they allow would probably shock most people. Unfortunately, you have to practically be a scientist to figure some of it out. But we can all learn to read a label. We can all take the time to read the actual list of ingredients, rather than the clever marketing on the outside of the bag. The bad thing is that if certain preservatives are put in the ingredients before they are bought to make the kibble, they don't have to disclose it to you. For example: most fish meals, contain the human outlawed preservative called Ethoxyquin. Yet that dog food can still be sold as all natural, without disclosing this.  Keeping reading and I will provide some basic information of what to look for and what to avoid.

First of all, the first ingredient should be an identified meat source and if it is a meal, such as chicken meal that is even better. I will explain this a little later. Avoid a food that has a grain as the first ingredient. There are even some vet recommended foods that have corn as the #1 ingredient in the food. Dogs like people need to get their protein from animals. We need all the essential amino acids to be present so our bodies can use the protein. Dogs are the same and animal sources are the very best way to ensure this. Chicken Meal is a concentrated form of chicken. Since most of the water and fat have been removed, it contains much more protein per pound then fresh chicken. Chicken is about 80% water, while chicken meal is only about 10%. When the ingredients for dog foods are calculated, it is before the kibble is cooked. If the number one ingredient is chicken and the second is rice or corn, then when it is cooked, rice or corn actually become the first ingredient. So an identified meat meal (chicken, beef, lamb, etc) source is always the best first ingredient. Avoid any foods that use meat by products or meat by product meal. Meat by products are the parts the dogs would not normally eat alone. If they ate those parts in the wild, it would be along with the good more nutritious parts. Chicken by products can contain, chicken heads, feet and intestines. Some dog food companies will buy this ground up into a meal and that will be the main protein source in the food. Even thought it is a source of protein, it's not the best quality and most digestible for our dogs. If it's an unidentified meat meal or meat by products meal, that food could contain any animal. Avoid any food that has those ingredients.

 I do not like to see corn, wheat or soy in the food I buy. Dogs can develop food sensitivities from these ingredients. I quit giving my Russells food with wheat in it and I have not had an ear infection in years. When I fed a food with it, they had them frequently. I like to see only 1 or 2 whole grain sources in the list.

The fat source should also be identified. Chicken fat is a good source. It has nutrients the dogs need in it and it very digestible for them.

I like to see natural vitamins and chelated (or proteinated) minerals. These are more usable by the dog's system. Whole food sources are the best.

I also like to see probiotics in the foods. Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines. They help regulate digestive upsets. They can help manufacture vitamins and boost the immune system, among the many other things they do. To keep them from being destroyed when kibble is cooked, they should be sprayed on at the end. Prebiotics are a beneficial ingredient also. It is a particular fiber source that feeds the probiotics.

There is so much more to know about dog foods. This is a very basic overview. There are different grades of chicken meal but the dog food companies are not allowed to put on the label what grade they use, so you have to contact them and find out. You have to find a company that you trust really cares about your animals. After doing allot of research, I have been using Life's Abundance Dog food and I am very pleased with the company and the results I am getting from feeding this food. So far, so good!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Terrier Group

I am so excited. It's coming soon. We don't know exactly when, but we will be moving up soon. The American Russell Terrier Club members have worked for this for over 16 years. Everything is ready to go. The breed standard is written and has been well received by the AKC judges and majority of the fanciers. The way it's written will help preserve the breed's hunting qualities and size. Thank you England for creating this breed. And thank you Australia for taking it seriously and getting the breed recognized in the kennel club world. Hopefully, we'll know soon when the day will be that the once rejected Russell Terrier in America will have its place in the pure bred AKC dog world. I wonder what number breed we will be in AKC? Such exciting times for the breed.

Skin and Coat

I have been learning more and more about dog nutrition. It is so interesting. I have a dog who doesn't have the greatest coat. He is lacking undercoat and he loses hair during certain times of the year. I think some lines genetically need more nutrients than others. For various reasons they cannot absorb as much from their food as other dogs do. Along with this new food, I am trying one of the supplements. He's been on it for about 2 weeks now and it looks like he is growing more undercoat. I guess time will tell but it's definitely not falling out anymore. This is a whole food supplement, not chemically produced vitamins and minerals. They are all natural. He loves them, but this little guys loves everything. He's definitely not a picky eater. Here's a link Life's Abundance Skin and Coat formula:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My New Dog Food

I just started using a new dog food that I am excited about. It has great fresh ingredients. Over the years I have learned what good ingredients are in dog food. This one is outstanding. I am impressed with the level of knowledge that has gone into the formulation of this food. It is shipped via the internet and with the current price of gas, even having to pay a shipping fee is cheaper than picking it up in the store. Plus if you order on autoship, you never have to worry about running out! And the best part of all is that my dogs are loving it. The food is called Life's Abundance.

Check it out:

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

AKC Russell Terrier In AKC Misc. Class

We have been able to show our breed in AKC Miscellaneous class since January 1, 2010. I think we have had a descent turnout for the breed all over the country. I am very excited to see our breed move forward in this way. Before we know it, we'll be in the Terrier Group!

The Russell Terrier was at the Great Western Terrier Show in Long Beach this year. The Russell Terrier got Best in Miscellaneous both on Saturday and Sunday. The show is held on beautiful grounds right at the famous Queen Mary. It was a fun and beautiful event.

The Russell Terrier will be at Eukanuba this year too. There are several Russell Terriers already qualified to enter the event. There will also be a Russell Terrier Breed booth there to show off our wonderful breed. The breed booth will be hosted by the American Russell Terrier Club, the AKC Parent Club for the breed.

These are truly exciting times for the breed.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Great Product for Reducing Doggy Smells

If you have a problem with your pooch making your house smell like a wet dog at times, if that litter in your kitchen is driving your friends away, I have a product that not only will clean your air but will also remove any unpleasant odors in your home. And it is also great for removing the particles in the air that cause allergies. I have been using one in my home for almost a year and it has made a huge difference in my health. I have been able to get completely off my allergy medicine and am no longer getting ear infections, sinus infections and all the headaches. This air purifier has really been a great help to me. And my mother is delighted when she comes over because she says that my house no longer smells like dogs! They live in the house with me, so you can't help but tell they are there. Now aside from the barking when someone is at the door and them taking up all the seating areas, you can't even tell they are there. Well, there's a few spots on my light green carpet that don't seem to come out and a bit of hair on my clothes constantly... but that comes with the territory of owning a set of furry friends, right? I haven't found a product that makes hair or dog poop dissolve but when I do, I'll be sure and write about it!! In the meantime these air purifiers work wonderfully and help many different problems. Email me if you interested in trying one out. You can check them out online at:

What is the FCI Jack Russell Terrier?

The first part of the question: what is the FCI? FCI stands for Federation Cynologique International, based in Thuin, Belgium. The FCI is a world wide canine organization with members from each country throughout the world. The FCI is not a registry. Each country's member organization is responsible for their country's registry activities and judge's education. The FCI insure that the pedigrees and judges are mutually recognized by all the FCI members.

The FCI has 80 member countries. The recognise 335 dog breeds. Each breed is owned by one member country, the owner country writes the standards of the breed in co-operation with the Standards and Scientific Commissions of the FCI. The FCI is responsible for translation and updates. Each member country conducts international shows and working trials. The results are sent to the FCI office where they are tabulated. When a dog has been awarded a certain number of awards, it can receive the title of International Beauty or Working Champion. The FCI also publishes a magazine, three times yearly, in four languages (French, English, German and Spanish). Information about the publication is available from STRATEGO, Muhlenweg 4, 7221 Marz, Austria.

To further research the FCI, click on this link:

To answer the second part of the question:

Since our breed originated in England, what does AKC list the Australia as the Country of Development for our breed? England is still the country of origin, but Australia developed the breed into a purebred. Australia was the first country to write a breed standard exclusively for the 10 to inch JRT. Their original club, the Jack Russell Terrier Club of Australia founded in 1972, was the first club to organize and register our shorter dogs. They were the first Country in the world to to breed them according to purebred practices. The JRTC of Australia has done an excellent job in their record keeping. They have documentation with pictures, dates of birth, dates of death and causes of death on many of their very early dogs. They were the first club to gain kennel club recognition for the JRT. This was in 1990. Without the work Australia did in getting our breed recognized by the Australian National Kennel Council (ANKC), our breed would not have been accepted into AKC FSS. While all of our dogs don't share direct Australian blood, they all share English blood. The Australian dogs can be directly linked back to specific hunts in England. Some of our American dogs can be traced back to those same hunts, The Australian records date back to approximately 1961. Australia has the oldest and largest legitimate registry for this breed. This can all be easily verified through ANKC.

Did you know that it was Irish Kennel that presented the breed to the FCI, while closely working with Australia? ANKC is not a full FCI member. Australia worked with the Ireland (a full FCI member) to get the JRT recognized by the FCI, making them able to be recognized by the other FCI countries. It was Ireland that the presented the Australian written standard to the FCI for acceptance. The FCI accepted the Jack Russell Terrier on October 25, 2000. It is the same standard and the same breed in the Irish Kennel as it is in Australia and the rest of the world. There is great benefit to for the US to match the rest of the world in this breed.
The American Kennel Club is not a member of the FCI, but it is an acceptable registry for the FCI. Because of this, we are able to import Jack Russell Terriers from FCI countries and record them with AKC FSS. Soon we will be able to export also.

In conclusion, this is how the ANKC/FCI JRT, a breed that has existed as a Kennel Club breed for over 15 years, was accepted into AKC FSS on the American Russell Terrier Club's first application.