Ezine Head
April 20, 2012     Volume 3, Issue 16 Follow Us   Facebook Twitter Youtube
 Editor's Notes
 Pet Alert!
4/30/2012 –Diamond Puppy Formula Dry Dog Food (Diamond Pet Foods)
4/26/2012 – Chicken Soup For the Pet Lover’s Soul (Diamond Pet Foods)
4/6/2012 – Diamond Naturals Lamb Meal & Rice (Diamond Pet Foods)
3/9/2012 – FDA continues to caution consumers about feeding dogs chicken jerky products.

**For a list of current pet food recalls, click HERE.

Dear ~Contact.FirstName~,

We all know that dogs are able to handle some level of bacteria. After all, they seem to rather enjoy germy foods like dirt, grass, dug up bones… even (pardon me) another animal’s feces.

The normal bacteria levels in raw meat diets are not a problem for our hearty canines. They have the short, acidic digestive tract that nature provided them to be able to digest (and rather efficiently) a BARF diet. If fact, they THRIVE on this type of food!

Many pet parents who make the sensible choice to feed their pooch a raw dog food diet will often have questions when first starting out. It’s normal to ask questions and be a bit uncertain about what types of meats are okay to feed for dog, how to properly balance a raw diet, and what the best handling practices are to keep both your pup and your family healthy and happy.

Today’s article goes into depth about how one should safely prepare and handle raw food for the family…Fido included. Whether you have a German shepherd or a Shih Tzu, these safe-handling practices will ensure that you and your pets will stay healthy and gain the maximum benefits that a raw meat diet will provide your pet.

Stay cool,

Amber Keiper & the rest of the BARF World team

P.S. Rob and I are SUPER EXCITED to announce that we’ve finally scheduled a date for our webinar, “Dogs With Allergies: Common Causes & Natural Cures”. This is part of our webinar series, Natural Remedies For Pet Wellness. Spots are *very limited* - click here to sign up.

Important Dates to Remember

May is National Arthritis Month

  • May 3 – World Press Freedom Day: A day declared by the United Nations to raise awareness to the importance of freedom of the press. Today is meant to remind world governments of their duty to respect and uphold the rights of freedom of expression (under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Article 19).

  • May 5 – Cinco de Mayo: A Mexican national holiday celebrating their victory over France during the Battle of Puebla. Lots of fiestas going on today full of music, food, and fun!

  • May 6, 1961 – George Clooney’s birthday: George, looking fabulous at 51, is pictured here with his dog, Einstein. George adopted Einstein from Camp Cocker – a rescue organization dedicated to rescuing cocker spaniels from high-kill shelters in the Los Angeles region. Worried that Einstein wouldn’t be impressed by a Hollywood star, George won this pooch’s heart by rubbing turkey meatballs on his shoes before their first encounter.

  • May 13 – Mother’s Day: All lady dog owners are considered “moms” in our book so Happy Mother’s Day to all you dog moms out there!!!

  • May 28 – Memorial Day: A special day dedicated to honoring and remembering our fallen soldiers.)


 If Dogs Could Talk

How Long Is Too Long To Leave Raw Dog Diet Out?

By Robert Mueller

The preservation of meat and fish is a science that has evolved for centuries. The purpose of preservation is to allow food to be stored for longer periods of time without risk of spoiling. Preserving food is a critical step to ensure abundance during certain times of the year when food is scarce.

Man and animals are dependent on foods of plant and animal origin. As nature has taught us, food obtained in a fresh, raw state will spoil quickly. Thus methods to properly preserve foods and extend their shelf life have been developed and improved on over time.

Freshness Factor Affecting Nutrient Density

Some people are concerned about the fact that preserved food is not as healthy as fresh food. Preservation techniques such as freezing and dehydrating decrease the nutritional value of the food. It’s true that fresh food is always preferable and contains the maximum nutrient levels – however preserved food is always a better choice than processed and heat-treated food.

At What Temperature Do Nutrients Become Damaged?

Foods that are heated to a temperature exceeding 118° Fahrenheit will be subjected to a destruction of the vital enzymes and “good bacteria” needed for proper digestion and utilization of nutrients by the body. For this reason, the preferred methods to preserve food (especially raw meat and fish) are through the procedures freezing and freeze-drying. 

How Long Can Meat And Fish Be Kept From Spoiling?

Fish spoils quickly and in climates with above normal heat temperatures, it will often spoil in less than 12 hours. A popular method for extending the storage life of fresh caught fish is to cool it with ice or freeze it.

The speed that meat spoils depends on several factors such as: storage temperature, acidity of the meat, structure of the muscle tissue, and the overall hygienic conditions used to process the meat. For example, a firmer muscular tissue, such as beef, spoils less quickly than organ meats. Proper hygiene and clean handling of the carcass has a positive effect on storage life. A good rule of thumb is to preserve the meat as soon as possible after slaughter.

Signs of Spoilage

Spoilage is the deterioration of food, which changes the taste and smell and makes it a carrier of disease and germs. A typical sign of spoilage is when the meat smell is similar to that of rotten eggs.

Consumption of spoiled foods can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pains and nausea. Serious cases can even lead to death.
Bacteria’s Role in Spoilage
Bacteria can only cause spoilage if it is allowed to grow within the fish or meat. Several factors contribute to bacterial contamination:

  1. Damage to the skin of fish or meat allows the bacteria easy access to the flesh, causing it to grow.

  2. Fish and meat contain high levels of internal water content  (around 60 to 80% water). Ingredients with this level of moisture allow bacteria to grow rapidly.

  3. Oxygen content is important when processing minced meat. The flesh will spoil very quickly because a lot of air has been mixed into it. Aerobic microorganisms need oxygen for their growth.

  4. Acidity (the normal pH range) of meat and fish is neutral, i.e. 7 Bacteria grow between a minimum pH of 4.5 to a maximum of 8-9. Optimum growth is at 6.5 to 7.5. As a result, fish and meat are very susceptible to spoilage.

  5. One of the most critical factors is the processing temperature. Equally important is the time between contamination and processing or consumption. The best temperature to grow bacteria is between 14°-158° degrees Fahrenheit. Freezing will inactivate microorganisms while long-term heating will destroy all microorganisms, both good and bad. At temperatures above 176° degrees Fahrenheit, they usually die.

The actual rate at which bacteria grow depends on a combination of all the factors listed above. A high moisture product will spoil much quicker than a dry, acidic product.

The Effects of Preservation To Food

Preservation practices can have two important effects on food:

  1. Retention of the original qualities and properties of the food (such as freezing raw dog food).

    Or

  2. Creation of a radical change in the composition of the food, which results in a product with completely new properties and quality (such as through the extrusion and heat processing of kibble dry dog food diets).

While there are other preservation techniques such as smoking, drying, corning, canning, and extrusion processing, nothing compares to the quality and integrity that freezing has to food. That is why at BARF World, we don’t employ these other techniques in making our natural raw meat diets for dogs.

Freezing Raw Meat For Optimum Results

The ideal method of preservation meat and fish is to store it at a low temperature of -4° degrees Fahrenheit. This method is one of the best preservation techniques used today.

Special care should be given to fish because it does have a tendency to dry out quicker than other meats. Glazing fish with ice or cold water prior to freezing are both good methods of freezing fish. Freezing reduces enzyme activity in meat and poultry and stops the growth of bacteria and molds. Another great bonus is that it does not tenderize or sterilize your meat guaranteeing it to be as close to it’s fresh state as possible.

Freezing Raw Bones

Fish and meat bones for canine consumption should also be frozen. This offers one of the safest ways to reduce the bacterial contamination levels and extends their shelf life considerably.

What About Freeze-Drying?

Another very popular method of preservation is freeze-drying. This method combines the advantage of minimal heat and vacuum that in combination lowers the moisture content of the food to approximately 2%. Bacteria have a much harder time growing in a low moisture environment. The only disadvantage that I can see with this method is the cost to preserve. Because the freeze-drying process takes quite a bit of time to do, it can significantly increase the ultimate cost of the product.

Proper Handling of Raw Meat - The Best Prevention Method

While manufacturers can do everything right from slaughter to end product, it is also important for the consumer to practice safe handling procedures for raw meat for both their family and pets. Paying attention to the details of handling meat and fish will ultimately render a safe, superior quality product.

We regularly educate consumers to not leave raw meat diets unrefrigerated for long periods of time.  If the meat is not going to be consumed right away, it should be stored in a container with a lid and placed in the refrigerator for no more than 24-48 hours. Food left out for long periods of time, especially during the hot summer months or in warmer temperature climates can result in spoiled food and bacteria growth.

When feeding a BARF diet to your pet, it is best to not leave the food left out for too long. If your dog does not eat the food right away, cover their serving dish and put the food back in the refrigerator to be served later in the day. At the end of the day, you should dispose of any uneaten food. This helps to keep food at its peak freshness and avoid any digestive upset.

For more information about safe handling procedures for raw dog diets, visit our website at www.barfworld.com.

Amber Keiper is the Marketing Assistant and Raw Diet Educator for BARF World Inc.. She and her husband have two former rescue animals that are now healthy and proud “BARF brats” – a terrier mix named Chewbacca (“Chewy”) and a tabby mix named Chiquita (“Chiqui”). For more articles like these and to learn more about the benefits of raw food for your pets, sign up for The Intelligent Pet monthly e-zine at www.barfworld.com.
 Bark Out Loud

A $5,000 Doggie Wedding Leaves Guests In Awe

Scruffy Rubin and Snickers Carter getting married. (Wade Byars/The Desert Sun)

“In this canine love story, ring around the collar was the intended effect. Scruffy Rubin and Snickers Carter had a wedding many couples dream of, featuring 100 guests, a wedding cake, open bar, receptionist and even security. But while the newlyweds are reportedly happy together, that are not actually human.”
(Read full article here)

Wags of Wisdom:

“We give them the love we can spare, the time we can spare. In return dogs have given us their absolute all. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.”

-Robert Caras, author and president emeritus of the ASPCA

And forever, now, he just thinks of me as the guy with meatball feet. He loves me. I can do no wrong. He follows me everywhere.”

-George Clooney, actor, director, producer, screenwriter and political activist


The Foot
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