Category Archives: ingredients

Still A Use For Home Remedies!

Sometimes the easiest solution is the best. It’s not always right to spend money needlessly on Supplements as this recent conversation with one of our customers shows.

From: Maria

Message: Hello, following a check up with our vet yesterday where I pointed out that my almost 9 yr old flatcoated retriever has developed dry flaky skin, my vet advised that maybe I would like to supplement her diet with Lintbells Yumega Dog Salmon Oil. I was wondering if your Trimega Omega 3 Granules would be a better option but one thought did occur to me – will she have Omega 3 overload.  I feed Nutriment raw and feed all the flavours so she gets lots of variety including the fish variety with sprats once a week. Nutriment food is supplemented with both Salmon Oil and Coconut Oil.  I also use your Plaque Away product daily and am about to use your Flexsprinkles. Would adding an Omega 3 supplement have the potential to be too high a level for my dog but if it is what should I be using to treat her dry flaky skin?

Your advice would be gratefully received.  Many thanks. Maria.

flatcoat

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Spirulina – is it safe?

spirulina

Dangers of Spirulina are doing the rounds – So here’s what we have to say…….

There have been health scares about blue-green algae (Spirulina is one type of blue-green algae) recently in the press and social media. This first happened about 15 years ago and tends to get refreshed every few years. So do you need to worry about the Spirulina in our products?…

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Can I feed my dog too much fish oil?

fish

We are hearing this question more frequently as the possible dangers of overfeeding fish oil are propagated on the net and in social media. It is of particular concern to us because we manufacture supplements containing fish oil fatty acids.

So what’s the answer? Well the answer is to understand why we may need to feed fish oil to our dogs in the first place and what kinds and quantities of fish oil are to be avoided

fish-can

Omega 3 fatty acids (particularly DHA and EPA) are essential in the diets of our dogs because our dogs can’t make them. Omega 6 fatty acids that come from nuts and grains are also essential.

A dog’s natural diet of raw meat, fish and some vegetable content will tend to provide both Omega 3 and Omega 6 in a reasonable balance. However as soon as we feed convenient prepared modern pet food we move away from this ideal. The vast majority of pet foods contain too much Omega 6 as a result of the high carbohydrate content caused by the addition of grains (cereal and rice). Because Omega 6 is then excessive, our dog’s nutrition is damaged and we feel the real need to compensate with additional Omega 3 supplements.

So far so good; but which Omega 3 and how much?

Some vegetable oils are Omega 3 (flax for example) but they contain no DHA or EPA fatty acids and our dogs can only convert a tiny percentage (1-2%) to the required DHA/EPA. So they are pretty useless in this context.

Marine derived oils (from fish, crustaceans and molluscs) therefore form the most common source of Omega 3 supplementation. These different sources yield very different forms of Omega 3 and this is where dangers of over feeding may arise.

Fish Oils

Oils pressed from fish, often salmon, are a common source and they are rich in DHA/EPA. They can be sold in their relatively natural state or they can be refined and processed to increase the DHA/EPA content. They are absorbed best in their natural state, refining reduces absorption.

The dangers of overfeeding (feeding more than the manufacturers recommended dose or feeding combined products from more than one manufacturer) can be caused by:

a) Toxins:  Heavy metals and man made contaminants such as Mercury and PCB’s are present in fish oils. Natural unrefined oils from the larger fish contain the most. Refined fish oils of good quality may contain less of them however.

b) Oxidation:  Fish oils oxidise on storage, and taken to the extreme this is what we call “rancid”. Some oxidation is always present and the chemical bi-products are harmful. Refined fish oils oxidise more than the natural ones.

c) Vitamin E depletion:  Fatty acids react with Vitamin E in the livers of our dogs. The higher the level of Omega 3 the lower the level of vitamin E in the bloodstream and organs leading to vitamin E deficiency.

Fish oils in summary:

Excellent supplements but the downsides are that exceeding recommended doses can cause complications in high contaminant and toxin intake and vitamin E deficiency. Raw oily fish, even a small amount, may be better than fish oil supplements. Not as convenient though.

Krill Oil

Krill, a crustacean, is the source of an Omega 3 oil in a much more absorbable form than fish oil. It is a phospholipid and gives as much as 50 times better assimilation than say pressed salmon oil. It is expensive but far less intake is needed. Also krill oils are practically devoid of contaminants and toxins.

Green Lipped Mussel

Many supplements contain Green Lipped Mussel and this also contains Omega3 fatty acids. Like Krill oil they are in a phospholipid form and so carry none of the contaminants and toxins of fish oil.

So what’s the verdict?

Feeding  a small amount of raw oily fish a couple of times a week is the best way of ensuring your dog obtains enough Omega3 to balance the excessive Omega 6 that they are probably getting from their “modern” pet food diet.

If you don’t want the inconvenience of this then by all means use a supplement. The more expensive Krill oil and other phospholipid products (now also available from salmon) are the best because there are no dangers from contaminants and toxins. However a good quality pressed salmon oil is still good – just stick to the recommended dose.

Don’t feed whole fish and supplement as well – that is not necessary. With supplements don’t exceed recommended amounts or use more than one product at a time. The exception to this is Green Lipped Mussel supplements, they do not contribute to the risk of overfeeding Omega 3.

New Zealand Green Lipped Mussel – Farmed or Wild?

Our Customers sometimes ask us whether the Green Lipped Mussel we use in our Flex joint supplements are farmed or wild.

While they originally and still do grow wild any attempt to supply world demand for this tasty and health giving food source from the wild sources would quickly lead to its demise

green-lipped-mussels

Therefore it’s safe to say that all Green Lipped Mussel products on the market are farmed. Local restaurants in New Zealand probably still use fishermen to supply wild stock for the gourmet trade.

Mussel farming avoids depleting natural resources, because the mussels are cultivated on marine farms instead of being taken from their natural beds.

Marine farms in New Zealand are strictly controlled by the Authorities. In fact regulations are such that every kilo of our Green Lipped Mussel can be traced back to the time of day and specific farm from which the mussels that made it were harvested. It’s not a cheap commodity and a significant amount of the cost of raising mussels is related to the control and testing measures demanded by the New Zealand government.

mussels-rope

Mussels are grown on ropes suspended in shallow coastal waters on the Coromandel Coast, but also Marlborough Sound and the Hauraki Gulf. They require no feeding, fertilisers or herbicides and so to all intents and purposes they are organic. With virtually no heavy industry or dense population in New Zealand the water quality is outstanding.

Christmas delicacies to avoid

 

The festive season is upon us and, apparently, a quarter of us dog parents are going to give our beloved animals a taste of Christmas – human style! Chocolate, nuts, grapes, raisins – all in abundance at this special time of year & most of us know the dangers for dogs    ……..but what about ONIONS?

onions

Some human foods are dangerous for our pets and they are worth knowing about………one such food that is often left out of the “dangerous” list is ONIONS!

Continue reading Christmas delicacies to avoid