Thursday, March 30, 2017

Talking Prices: Save Money, Shop Small and Local!

I see a great many social media posts asking people to shop small and support local businesses. I am suggesting you shop small to save money as well. We are competitively priced with other small businesses, the big box stores and the online retailers! Surprised? The commercials for the big box stores and online retailers always say they are the most economical, but let me show you how that isn't true. I compared prices at two of the online retailers, Chewys and Petflow. Their prices are pretty much identical, as are their so called "list prices". I am not sure where these list prices come from, but they are not the manufacturer's suggested retail price.

Let's start with the Champion Co. They make Orijen and Acana, two very high quality dry foods. I selected Orijen Original and Acana Pork & Squash to compare prices.
Orijen Original 25 lb., our price 76.99, online price 78.99
 Acana Pork & Squash 25 lb. our price 68.99, online price 68.99

The Champion Co also gives independent retailers a bonus: we can offer the frequent buyer program. After you buy 12 bags your 13th bag is free. So while 13 bags of Orijen from the online retailer would cost you $1026.87, buying from us would cost you $923.88. 13 bags of Acana from the online retailer would cost $896.87, buying from us would be $827.88. As you can see that is a significant savings!

When you look at Fromm on the online retailers they show a list price that makes their price look pretty good. I chose Fromm Gold Adult 33 lb. to compare prices. The "list price" is 68.99, the online price is 46.66. Our price is 47.99. Not a huge difference, but here comes a big savings when you shop local. Fromm also has a frequent buyers program. Buy 12, get your 13th bag for free. So the price comparison for 13 bags is 606.58 from the online retailer, 575.88 when you shop with us.

When you look at freeze dried foods the difference is even bigger. I compared online prices and two of the local big box stores, and was very pleased to see our prices are lower. I selected Primal Freeze dried Duck Formula 14 oz and Sojo's Freeze Dried Beef 8 lb. For the Primal 14 oz Duck Formula our price is 26.99, online price was 30.99 and the big box store was 28.99. Primal also gives us a frequent buyer program, buy 12 and your 13th bag is free.
So let's compare; 13 bags from us is 323.88. Online
is 402.87 and the big box store 376.87.

For the Sojo's Beef Formula 8 lb. our price is 76.99, online
price is 83.14. Again we are able to offer a buy 12 get your 13th free so you are saving even more when you shop with us!

The price comparisons on canned foods were similar as were dry, canned and freeze dried foods for cats. When it comes right down to it, the online retailers and chain stores aren't saving you any money. The online retailers do offer convenience, but certainly not savings.

One of the things we promise our customers is high quality products. We do a lot of research before we bring a product in, and we will never carry a product just because we can make money on it. If I wouldn't give it to my dog or cat I won't sell it to you for yours. That is our pledge to you. My online and big box competitors can't say the same thing, as I saw looking at their websites. The Whole Dog Journal and TheDogDigest.com recently put out a list of the worst dry dog foods and I was appalled to see all of these foods were available online and in the stores. What that says to me is they don't care what you feed your pets as long as they make money selling it to you.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Is Dry Food Enough To Keep Your Pet Healthy And Happy?

For many people, pet food comes in a dry form in a big bag that they scoop into their pet's bowl according to the directions. The bag clearly states it is a complete diet, leading the pet owner to believe that's all there is to pet nutrition. If you watch television the pet food commercials certainly want you to believe it is. I am encouraging you to "think outside the bag" and look at other food options for your dog or cat. While dry food (kibble) is very convenient it is a processed food. The heat used in processing destroys some of the enzymes, amino acids and vitamins and minerals. Some companies add vitamins and minerals back in at the end of the process, but they aren't as easily absorbed as those that occur naturally in food.

Dogs and cats benefit from having a raw component added to their diets. Even having one or two raw meals a week is beneficial. The enzymes found in raw meats help keep teeth clean and breath fresh, the amino acids are present in their natural form and are easily absorbed during digestion. Dogs and cats that get even a couple raw meals a week have healthier skin and coats, less itching and dandruff and healthier teeth. Most commercial raw diets are very low in carbohydrates, helping to maintain a healthy weight.

Although many people find the thought of giving their pets raw meats or fish unappealing, there are commercial raw diets available that take the "ick" out of feeding raw. Freeze dried and dehydrated diets are processed at a very low temperature, leaving the nutrients in the food intact. Frozen formulas are not heat processed at all.

Freeze dried diets are processed at very low heat. They are available in either nuggets or in a loose oatmeal consistency. Both types are meant to be rehydrated with warm water, the nuggets need to be crumbled so they absorb water faster. Honest Kitchen, Primal, Northwest Naturals, Grandma Lucy's and Sojo's are all excellent companies that make food for both dogs and cats.

Grandma Lucy's  has a complete line of freeze dried foods, with a variety of proteins. Their new
Grandma Lucy's Macanna
Macanna line is made with hemp hearts and kale, a great formula for dogs with allergies.These foods are rehydrated with water and have an oatmeal like consistency. I have used their products for my dogs and I can tell you the food even smells good. The Baker dogs gave it a very enthusiastic 4 paws up, even our picky dog, Beau.


Cats love a raw diet.

While pet food companies treat dogs and cats the same when it comes to making dry food, cats are obligate carnivores. They need a meat based diet to really thrive. They also have a poor thirst drive, as cats evolved in the desert. They are meant to get their moisture from prey animals. This is why cats fed solely a dry diet have frequent problems with urinary tract infections and bladder crystals and stones. Adding a wet raw food to their diet helps keep them hydrated and cuts down on dietary carbohydrates, a leading cause of obesity in pets. Because raw food digests so efficiently hair balls are rarely a problem. Jasmine the Baker cat loves her wet food, and we have had no urinary problems or hair ball issues.

The last type of commercially available raw diet is the frozen variety. These are available in nuggets, patties, bars or "chubs", a 2 or 5 pound tube shaped package. The frozen formulas do require freezer space and preplanning, because you have to remember to thaw tomorrow's food today.

Northwest Naturals Frozen Nuggets
Northwest Naturals has a variety of proteins available and is made in an FDA approved facility. They use HPP (high pressure processing) to eliminate pathogens without heat. The Baker dogs and cat have tried all the varieties and enjoyed them all. Primal also makes frozen varieties for both cats and dogs.

Hundars' Crunch is great for dogs & cats
Another way to add raw food to your pet's diet is by using freeze dried treats. These high flavor treats are a great training treat and add amino acids and proteins not found in processed foods. These treats also have only a single ingredient, which is very helpful for pets with allergies.  They also allow you to introduce different proteins into your pet's diet, lowering the risk of food allergies.


One of the biggest fears about feeding a raw diet is food safety. These are raw meat products, and people are concerned. Using the same food safety practices you would use for any raw meat handling works very well. Wash your hands after handling pet food. Wash pet dishes and storage containers in hot soapy water every time you use them. Use food safe germicidal wipes on your counter tops. Keep children away from any pet food, raw or kibble. These same practices should also be used for handling kibble as there have been incidences with bacterial contamination of those as well.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Keep Your Pets Safe This Holiday Season

The holidays are a busy time, and can be filled with celebrations with family and friends. For your dog or cat, these celebrations can be a source of stress and even danger. With a little planning, you can make your fur kid's holiday a happy one.

Some traditional seasonal decorations can be toxic to dogs and cats. Holly, poinsettia, ivy and mistletoe are all toxic to pets. If you want these traditional favorites in your home look for artificial versions. The silk versions look great and can be used year after year, saving you some money, too. Tinsel and ribbons can cause a bowel obstruction if your dog or cat eats it, so keep those well out of reach. Wrapped presents look wonderful under the tree, but to avoid your dog opening packages early storing them out of reach is a good idea.

For many families celebrations include a holiday meal. Make sure your dog or cat isn't self serving when you aren't paying attention. Sometimes well meaning relatives are slipping your pup treats when you aren't looking. All of this can cause upset tummies, so plan ahead to avoid the problem. For the family members that really want to give treats, have some healthy dog safe goodies available. Have a long lasting chew or puzzle toy ready to keep your dog busy. Giving your dog some exercise before the guests arrive helps keep excitement levels under control.

Foods to Avoid: Chocolate, onions, avocados, grapes, raisins. Cooked bones of any kind. Turkey skin and gravy are high fat and could cause pancreatitis, a painful inflammation of the pancreas. Raw yeast doughs can cause stomach bloating. The salt dough recipe used for hand made ornaments is very toxic to dogs. Keep these well out of reach.

Foods to Share: white meat turkey, sweet potatoes, green veggies. (Save some out before seasoning or adding butter, cheese or brown sugar).


If a family picture is one of your traditions, don't forget to include your furry family members! It can be challenging to get your cat or dog to cooperate at home, so bring them to our Pet Pictures with Santa! We will be happy to do a family group picture that you will be proud to have on your Holiday cards. All proceeds from this event go to Fido's Companion Rescue so you know you are supporting a good cause, too.

There are some pet friendly holiday events in our area, so follow us on Facebook to see what's going on. www.facebook.com/TheGratefulDogBakery/

The information in this blog came from articles in Dogster Magazine and DogsNaturally.com. If you are looking for well researched and interesting articles, either publication would be a good place to start.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

It's never too early to think about flea and tick prevention



Fleas? Ticks?  Wait....it's still winter!
Looking out the window, it seems premature to be discussing flea and tick prevention.
Fleas are not cute...Not even this one.



One of the few good things about this winter is that the deep cold killed off a lot of pests and parasites. But they will rebound when it warms up and you need to think ahead for effective prevention.



Last summer we switched our dogs from topical flea and tick prevention to the all natural alternatives. We wanted to see how effective they were before recommending them to our customers. We used the Healthy Dogma Flee Flea Flee oral and the Ark Naturals Flea Flicker, Tick Kicker spray. Despite all the reports of heavy flea and tick populations from the wet spring last year, I am happy to say we never had a flea or tick. The spray also repels mosquitoes, I'm sure your remember how those were last year! In fact I used the spray for myself when I was out with the dogs, and it was much more pleasant and every bit as effective as the sprays made for people!


If you read the warning labels on the topical flea preventatives it's pretty scary. Do you really want to put that on your dog or cat? Not to mention having it rub off your pet onto your kids, furniture or yourself? There are safe alternatives, humans have been fighting fleas and ticks for centuries. Before chemicals there were plants that worked. Herbs and flowers that repel pests. Without all the neuro toxic effects of the chemical alternatives. These are things you can feel good about using, instead of watching your dog or cat for the long list of side effects listed on the chemical preventatives.



Come and talk to us, we are happy to help you plan an all natural prevention program this year.  We also have products you can read more about on our website:
Grateful Dog Bakery's Flea and Tick Prevention Products 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Bone Broth is new in store!



Bone Broth has been around for centuries.

People would simmer bones for days, making a thick, jelly like broth that tasted great. This broth was used for arthritis, digestive problems and dry skin and rashes. I am not sure how people figured it out back then, but science backs up the claims for joint and digestive health as well as healthy skin and hair. Bone broth is not just for people, your dog or cat can also benefit. Here is how it works.

Healthy joints depend on healthy collagen in ligaments, tendons and bone ends. Collagens are a large family of bio molecules including the glucosaminoglycans, one of which is glucosamine. Most people are familiar with joint supplements containing glucosamine, chondroiten and hyaluronic acid. Bone Broth is a "whole food" source of these compounds, which results in better absorption and utilization. Why is "whole food" important? It's the difference between taking a Vitamin C tablet and eating an orange. You get the Vitamin C either way, but your body gets nutrition from the orange as well.

We live in a toxic world, with chemicals in the air and water that have to be detoxified by the liver. The liver's ability to detoxify is dependent on the supply of the amino acid glycine. Bone broth is loaded with glycine, enabling your pet's liver to deal with the toxins that are part of daily life.

The immune and digestive system are dependent on a healthy gut. In a normal intestine, millions of tiny holes allow the passage of digested nutrients. Stress, poor diet or an overgrowth of bacteria can cause these openings to get larger. This allows the passage of undigested food, toxins and yeast. This stimulates the immune system to treat these substances as foreign invaders. This is how allergies and food sensitivities develop. Bone Broth contains large amounts of gelatin that help plug these holes, promoting an intact intestinal lining.

Bone Broth is great for a sick dog or cat, too. 
Anytime your vet suggests a boiled chicken and rice
diet, Bone Broth would be a great addition. It tastes good, tempting your pet to eat more. It has a high moisture content, helping hydrate your dog or cat. It is a great source of minerals, and the gelatin can help reduce the body's need for protein from meat sources. Bone Broth is also a great source of glycine, this aides digestion by helping regulate the synthesis of bile salts and the secretion of gastric acid.

I have been making Bone Broth in small batches for the Baker dogs for years, and I think that's why our senior dogs have very few problems with arthritis. I am proud to announce I am now making Bone Broth for the Bakery. Our Good to the Bone Broth is available in beef, chicken and turkey; in half pint and pint jars. 

We are using green packaging, glass jars that are returned for deposit, sterilized and reused. Please come in and talk to us, we are happy to talk to you about how your dog or cat can benefit from Bone Broth.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

New!

We are always looking for new items for the Bakery, and we have added some good ones.
We are proud to carry Fargo Fleece coats again this year! These coats are made by hand so you know they are going to last. Double fleece, the print reverses to a solid color.

Machine wash and dry, you will love these coats. We have coats in the store for your pup to try on so you get the right fit. If you have a dog that needs a custom coat, from pugs to greyhounds to mastiffs, we can measure your dog for a custom made coat!
We are always on the lookout for great new products for your dog or cat. We spend a lot of time researching to make sure you are getting the best for your fur kids.  

 
We have a great new treat from Plato Pet Treats,  Hundur's Crunch Fish Treats for dogs are made from 100% fish sustainably sourced from Icelandic waters. These high protein, low fat treats are available in 3 sizes, Jerky Rolls, Jerky Fingers and Jerky Minis. Your dog will love the taste and you can feel good knowing you are giving them a healthy treat!

We are proud to announce we have Lotus canned foods for your dog or cat! Lotus Pet Foods are made in the USA, grain, carrageenan and BPA free and contain no GMO ingredients.

These foods are made from USDA inspected meats and poultry and have received a 5 star rating from the Dog Food Advisor. With these high quality ingredients, even the pickiest dogs and cats will love them!