Dog Protein

The subject of protein in dog food is often misunderstood. Because dogs don’t actually need lots of protein.

Most animal behaviourists and dog trainers say that high protein levels in the diet has a massive impact on dogs.

Reducing protein levels in the diet can help turn a hyperactive, uncontrollable dog into a well behaved and easily trained dog.

One of the reasons why we created Luath Holistic Nutrition for Dogs was to address the need of having a healthy, low-protein, chemical free food to give to our dogs.

The aim was to create a satisfying kibble food for the dog to enjoy that would also strengthen the immune system, thus supporting long term health.

Have you tried your dog on Burns healthy dog food yet? You may well be happily surprised by how quickly good health can be returned.

Whatever ways you choose to help your pet are surely better than not dealing with the issue. The famous Indian pandit Chanaka said that, ‘fire, debt and disease should be dealth with immediately’. No-one knows your pet better than you so you’ll be the first to notice if they are not well or not quite themselves.

Natural Dog Food is Real Dog Food

Food is natural. What a simple thought.


Robbie's Meat Free Mixer

Nature is with us day and night and with some cultivation and care, she provides us with almost unlimited natural resources.

We and our beloved pet dogs are also part and parcel of the natural system of beings.
As such there are particular natural foods which are best suited to feeding, energising and sustaining all of us. Humans, dogs, cats and all.

In the west, in Europe and America we have become used to feeding our pets processed foods a lot of the time.

These foods are well packaged and marketed by large, experienced companies who know how to mass-produce and mass-market their products effectively.

The matter of health is not prioritised by large corporate entities. By definition these entities exist to make profits from customers buying their products.

It is us, the individual, and the individual pet owners and care givers who must make health a priority.

Health is a natural state of being.

Animal physiognomy is such that the body and immune system is working to maintain health all the time. It is up to us to understand what is healthy for our pets and to make sure we give them healthy, natural dog food and supplements as required to support their natural system. Dogs love exercise and communication too, so we shouldn’t neglect these either.

And of course healthy food needs to be tasty and palatable otherwise it wont be eaten. Or at least wont be enjoyed.

When we are giving our pets natural food we know that what they are eating and therefore can have a much deeper, clearer understanding when health issues arise as to what might be the cause of the problem.

Often a minor adjustment in diet can quickly alleviate a health issue before it becomes acute.

Keep fluid intake up.

Just as we know when to take water our pets are guided by their nature to drink when needed and sleep when needed. We should try to always keep a bowl of fresh water available for the dogs that they can access anytime. Common sense but not everyone realises these things straight away.

At Land of Holistic Pets online shop we only use natural ingredients in our foods. We love our pets just like you do and it’s an important principle for us that health is number one.

Being healthy means an animal can enjoy life and can be a willing and happy companion to us and our family and friends. What more could we ask for?

Dogs Shedding Hair

Dogs Shedding Hair

Dog shedding occurs in nearly all dogs and is a natural process of eliminating (shedding) dead hair. There are a few natural reasons for this – It is a bit like a human sweating,  to allow a new coat to come in and for seasonal changes in temperature. There is no such thing as a non-shedding dog,  excepting of course the hairless varieties. That said,  shedding varies greatly between the breeds because of dogs differences in genetics, environment and of course , the dog food it is being fed.

As a point of interest the difference between dog breeds and how dogs shed hair  rests with  the growth rate of the dogs hair (3 cycles: anagen, catagen and telogen),

Dog shedding is influenced by these three dog coat characteristics:

  • Different types of dog coats: hairless, presence of undercoat.
  • Different degrees of curl & wave in dog coats: wavy, wirehaired, and straight.
  • Different dog coat lengths: short, medium, and long.

Dog shedding can be problem  for two major reasons for dog owners: allergies and the time it takes to clean up hair that has shed.

“Very light shedders” are  breeds which  usually need to be clipped, stripped and/or cut with scissor’s.  Of course as mentioned earlier diet has also a major influence and those fed a very healthy natural dog food tend to shed very lightly except in the spring when dogs naturally shed all their hair so a new coat can grow. The phenomenon of seasonal shedding for some breeds occurs because the  dogs shed their winter coats in the spring and if you are the owner of one such breed, you will have to be prepared for large-scale shedding at these times of the year.

In addition to dog coat characteristics, many other factors influence dog shedding:

  • Sunlight and temperature: The length of day may influence growth  of a new coat on the dog  and shedding of the old coat. Outdoor dogs usually shed their thick undercoat in the spring to prepare for warmer weather. Many indoor living dogs experience increased continuous dog shedding and decreased annual dog shedding.
  • Health: deworm your dog regularly and treat skin infections properly to maintain healthy skin and coat and decrease shedding.
  • Allergies: allergic dogs ( flea and tick infestation) shed more although a compromised immune system goes hand in hand with dogs allergies.
  • Dog Nutrition: a high quality natural dog food should provide the conditions for  healthy skin and coat on your dog.
  • Cleanliness; brush your dog regularly and use adapted shampoo (not for humans !).
  • Hormones affect skin and coat health:  A healthy thyroid, adrenal glands etc are essential to a healthy dog coat
  • Pregnancy and lactation: deplete calcium, minerals and energy stores so that many dogs shed heavily after the pups are born and are being nursed.

Excessive dog  shedding, should trigger questions about : skin diseases (Staphylococcus infection, ringworm, dog allergies (flea, tick and lice)), pyoderma), Cushing’s disease and autoimmune diseases as pemphigus complex, pemphigus vegetans, pemphigus foliaceous, pemphigus erythematosis and Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada-like syndrome and of course the dogs diet – is it a premium dog food or a natural premium dog food.

What can you do to reduce shedding?

Grooming helps! Brushing your dog once a day will greatly reduce the unwanted hair all over your clothes, carpet and furniture, especially during shedding season. Feed a high quality dog food diet which should not require the use of supplements as a natural dog food will contain all essential nutrients for optimal skin and coat health (vitamins, minerals, amino acids and omega 6/3 fatty acids).


Skin and coat health can be helped with natural premium dog food  of a complete formulation containing all essential vitamins, minerals, amino-acids and fatty acids.

Non or Low Shedding Dog Breeds – Hypoallergenic Dogs

Airedale Terrier
American Hairless Terrier
Australian Terrier
Bedlington Terrier
Bichon Frise
Black Russian Terrier
Border Terrier
Boston Terrier
Bouvier des Flandres
Brussels Griffon
Cairn Terrier
Cesky Terrier
Chacy Ranior
Chinese Crested
Coton De Tulear
Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Giant Schnauzer
Glen of Imaal Terrier
Hairless Khala
Irish Terrier
Irish Water Spaniel
Italian Greyhound
Kerry Blue Terrier
Lagotto Romagnolo
Lakeland Terrier
Lhasa Apso
Manchester Terrier
Miniature Schnauzer
Norfolk Terrier
Norwich Terrier
Peruvian Inca Orchid
Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen
Poodle (all types)
Portuguese Water Dog
Scottish Terrier
Sealyham Terrier
Shih Tzu
Silky Terrier
Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier
Spanish Water Dog
Standard Schnauzer
Tibetan Terrier
Welsh Terrier
West Highland White Terrier
Wire Haired Fox Terrier
Wire Haired Pointing Griffon
Yorkshire Terrier

Heavy Shedding Dog Breeds

Alaskan Malamute
Australian Shepherd
Belgian Sheepdog
English Toy Spaniel
German Shepherd
Great Pyrenees

Norwegian Elkhound
Saint Bernard
Siberian Husky
Shetland Sheepdog

Natural Dog Food Tainted in the USA

Salmonella, in what is claimed to be natural dog food, has resulted in 14 people in nine states taking ill in the USA. The natural dog food from a plant in South Carolina is not averse to controversy having had a number of their products recalled in the past.

At least five people were hospitalized because of the dog food, which was made by Diamond Pet Foods at its plant in Gaston, S.C., the Federal Centres for Disease Control and Prevention said. “People who became ill, the thing that was common among them was that they had fed their pets Diamond Pet Foods,” said CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell.  The company have recalled not only their own natural dog food but a number of other brands they produce which claim to be natural dog food. People can get salmonella by handling infected dog food, then not washing their hands before eating or handling their own food, health officials said. The recall covers a number of pet food brands made at the Gaston plant, including Canidae, Natural Balance, Apex, Kirkland, Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Diamond Naturals, Premium Edge, Professional, 4Health and Taste of the Wild. Land Of Holistic Pets sister company in the United States, Burns Pet Health  which also has a range of natural dog foods is unaffected by this problem. Burns Pet Health and Land Of Holistic Pets have very strict health and safety protocols in place for their natural dog food ranges.

The South Carolina plant temporarily was shut down April 8. Diamond Pet Foods has issued four rounds of recalls for food made at the plant, located outside of Columbia, S.C., between Dec. 9 and April 7. The latest recalls were announced Friday April 27th. The same company had to recall their natural dog food ranges in 2005 when a toxic mould called aflatoxin ended up in food made at the same  plant in South Carolina and dozens of dogs died. The company offered a $3.1 million settlement. The Food and Drug Administration determined the deadly fungus likely got into the plant when it failed to test 12 shipments of corn which the company claim is an ingredient fit for natural dog food. Land Of Holistic Pets and Burns Pet Health in the USA do not use corn in any manner or form and would not advocate its use in natural dog food.

Natural Dog Food

Robbie's Holistic Cuisine For DogsYou would think it common sense to give our beloved pets ‘natural dog food’ all the time. It is nothing more than a natural instinct.

Here at Land of Holistic Pets we consider ourselves a ‘natural dog food company’, through and through.

Ever since we started making our own ‘natural dog food brands’ – Robbie’s and Luath’s – we’ve concentrated on making them natural and healthy. As a consequence we strive to maintain the highest standards and seek to always improve.

As a dog owner you are aware of all sorts of dog food brands and via the Internet there are unlimited ‘dog food reviews’ you can read through and consider. Not to mention all the expensive adverts aimed at getting you to buy mass-produced and mass-marketed products.

We are confident that our dog food (and our cat food for that matter) is among the best you can get, anywhere in the world. In the USA our dog food is rated number 1 in the ‘best dry dog food’ category of Whole Dog Journal.

But what practically can you do?

Should you choose frozen dog food, dried dog food, grain free dog food or what? What is the best dog food? And perhaps more importantly, what is the best dog food for your dog?

As mentioned already, Land of Holistic Pets are a natural dog food company. You only need to look at our food to see that none of it is artificial or chemical based. We only use fine quality ingredients in our quest to find the best natural balance dog food possible.

We have experience with our own pets along with lots of testimony from customers that our dog food is good for all dogs.

Young or old, healthy or not. Our natural dog foods, combined with carefully selected natural herbal supplements, have successfully helped countless animals.

Have you tried Robbie’s or Luath’s yet? It’s as natural a dog food as you’ll find anywhere.

Luath The Prophet

Luath was the chosen and beloved one, a collie dog of dubious breeding but very loyal and clever . He loved to laugh, run and discuss the ways of the world. His years of experience and learning had given him an insight , respected by all who knew him.

Luath climbed upon the wall overlooking the city and the pack and shouted -

“Rejoice that we are not men but dogs”
And loud cheers went up from the Pack!

Luath started to speak and said “Say not, I have found the truth, rather I have found A truth”
There was murmurings from the pack but Luath raised his voice “ many of you have suffered many small irritating health problems and others more serious ones. The time is upon us my friends to take control and educate our owners”

A boxer dog in the pack shouted “Speak to us of teaching.”

And Luath said:
“No man can reveal that which already lies asleep in the dawning of his own knowledge.
The Vet may speak to you of His understanding of health but he cannot give you his understanding. If he is indeed wise he does not bid you enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind. – This is why we have the Land of Holistic Pets.

A Collie bitch said, “Speak to us of Self Knowledge”.

And Luath said:
Your heart knows in silence the secrets of the days and nights
You would know in words that which you have always know in thought.
Your body tells you that which is good and that which is bad – let your body tell you right from wrong.

A Young Labrador spoke, saying, Tell us about Pain.

And Luath said:

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Much of your pain has been chosen by your diet.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Trust the physician and drink his remedy in silence and tranquility.

Then an old dog, bred not for looks but work, said, speak to us of Eating & Drinking.

And Luath said

Since we have to kill to eat, wither it be plant or animal, let it be an act of worship.
When you kill – say to it in your heart;
By the same power that slays you, I too am slain: and I too shall be consumed.
For that which delivered you unto my hand shall also deliver me into a mightier hand.

Make sure that what you deliver into a mightier hand is nourished well and able to nourish the soil – Eat the Land Of Holistic Dog Foods.

My Dog Is A Fussy Eater

Let me start with a few facts about dogs  -

It defies the laws of nature for a dog to starve itself to death.

If left to their own devices dog would scavenge to satisfy not only their appetite but their nutritional requirements.

Dog training is remarkably easy and if your dog is a fussy eater you have probably inadvertently trained it that way.

Just think about this situation -  We sit a 4 year old child down at the table with a choice between a plate of vegetable broth or Ice cream and Jelly and left the child to make its own decision.  You know the answer and you also know which one  is the healthy option.  As responsible parents we do not allow the 4 year old child to make that kind of decision -  we naturally insist on the healthy choice first.

The Pink Floyd Album  - Another Brick in Wall – “If you can’t eat your meat, you cannot have any pudding” – it has been drummed into us down through the generations – responsible eating or no treats!  So why do so many dog owners ignore these basic rules of parenting with their dogs? Why do dog owners constantly try one food after another looking for something the dog will like? All the while , what owners do NOT realise is that they are encouraging,  training their dog  turn up their nose at food.  The dog learns that this behaviour results is some other form of food, hopefully tastier than the last.  . Often as not, and I  hear about them every other day – the dog  finishes up getting  fed nothing but chicken or turkey or mince.

One of the questions I ask in the Pet health questionnaire – “Does your dog eat all its food at one go?” Or ” Leave some for later? ” -  The later answer comes through time and time again and it is the first big indication that the dog is getting too much food and someday  will probably stop eating for a number of day and the owner starts to worry! The dog is not eating! An owner gets comfort from seeing the family pet eating and if it’s not eating, it’s a worry.

So how do we deal with the Fussy dog? How do we retrain the dog to eat naturally and to eat the healthy option and make both the owners life and the dog, much healthier and happy. Let us take a lesson from normal parenting  – What do we do with children?  - We exercise discipline!

Firstly, to prevent the problem developing we should be feeding enough that the dog eats all that is presented and is going round the bowl looking for more. So if your dog walks away leaving food then that needs to stop. Measure out the amount of food presented and if any is left measure that and deduct from the next meal plus a little more. Use this approach at every meal until all that is presented is eaten – At every meal!

With the fussy eater – put food down – if it does not eat- remove all food after 5 minutes – and do not give any food until the next meal .  At the next and subsequent meals follow the same procedure until the dog eats the food. Do not worry if it takes 1 , 2 or even 8 days – the dog is simply not hungry enough. By taking this approach you are exercising discipline and at the same time training your dog that there are no alternatives!

Yin and Yang of food for pets

In Traditional Chinese Medicine and other Eastern medicinal practices, diet is used in the prevention as well as treatment of disease.

The philosophies used are very different than the approaches used by Westerner practitioners who by and large view the symptoms as the problems and suppression of them, the cure.

The Eastern approach sees the symptoms as a result of another underlying problem. A bit like a Tsunami being a symptom but the earthquake the underlying cause.

In  Traditional Chinese Medicine, medicinal herbs are regarded as part of the diet when symptoms become apparent.

Food is not simply a source of calories and chemical compounds like protein, fat, and minerals for dogs and cats. Foods are looked at in how  they influence the pets  body as a whole: blood, fluid, individual organs and a body’s Qi (energy/life force).

One of the basics of  Traditional Chinese Medicine  is balance.

Each food has yin or yang properties to consider, and each food has a yin (cool, damp) and a yang ( hot, dry) constitution.

A diet should be designed to minimize imbalance in your dog or cat, not create further imbalance.

Balance is determined by Yin and Yang although both contain elements of each other. The white area is Yin with a Yang pair (black circle within the white area) The black area is Yang with a Yin pair (white circle within the black area).

It is not necessary to fully understand the principles of Yin and Yang to understand their influence in terms of diet.

Basically foods have a variety of effects on the body dependant on their Yin or Yang nature. Foods which heat the body are Yang, foods which cool are Yin. Thus we need to watch for balance in terms of not only Hot and Cold (Yang and Yin) but Dry and Damp (Yang and Yin).

In normal health the relationship between Yin and Yang is harmonious and dependent on each other.

Foods are broken down into many categories. Those being:

Direction – does the food influence Qi (energy), blood, or fluid upward, downward, inward, or outward. Skin problems for example are usually considered to be outward problems associated with excess body conditions. In simple terms, the body is pushing out the excesses through the skin.

Flavours – sweet (help digestion), sour (astringent/ drying) , pungent (spicy/ stimulate circulation, ie Garlic), salty (soften) and bitter- (aid digestion).

Meridians – how the food affects specific organs: spleen/ pancreas/ stomach (warming foods), lung/ large intestine (moistening foods), kidney/ urinary bladder (sweet), liver/ gall bladder (cooling foods).

Temperature which has to do with the way you feel after you have eaten – cooling as with salads,  warming as with oats, hot as with spices and neutral where there is no appreciative change.

And in addition, Traditional Chinese medicine attempts to achieve balance with the seasons
 – spring/summer (cleansing – why many skin problems only occur in these seasons)
 – and fall/ winter (warming/ nourishing).

Examples of cooling (Yin) foods:

  • Cooling Meats/Fish: Duck, Pork, Salmon
  • Cooling Grains: Millet, Barley, Wheat
Cooling Vegetables: Celery, Broccoli, Spinach, Cucumbers

Examples of warming  (Yang) foods:

  • Warming Meats:  Lamb, Red Meat, Shrimp
Warming Grains: Oats, Quinoa, Safflower
Warming Vegetables: Squash, Peppers, Sweet Potatoes, Green Beans

Thus a proper holistic dog food or holistic cat food will pull together many of the facets above in order to produce a product which avoids excesses and seeks to balance the impact that the combined ingredients have on your pets body.

Protein and Dog Food

The term ‘Human Grade’ ingredients of which Robbie’s and Luath Products are made is taking on a literal meaning with consequences. Simply because we use the human edible part of the chicken we are facing a world demand from companies who are producing foods for human consumption.

In effect, where before the chicken we used for our pet foods was only used for that, the Asian human food companies are not only eyeing up raw material in America – they are buying them for inclusion in human consumption goods for their own markets.

At Land of Holistic Pets, we see this as an ongoing and increasing problematic area in terms of maintaining the quality of our products and keeping costs to a minimum.

Also, this development is putting severe pressure on other protein sources driving up demand and thus price. Coupled with this is a shortage of chicken fat and the domino effects spill over to turkey and other poultry fats.

Combined with the above has been the severe storms and tornado’s almost wiping out the poultry industry in Arizona. Most of the producers there do not own the livestock – they simply rear it on behalf of bigger players. In effect, they are sub-contractors rearing the chicks to a suitable age.

The effect of the storms destroyed the rearing houses and left them with many young birds with nowhere to live. They will probably find that their short life is curtailed even further simple because of the lack of habitat

The other interesting facet of quality protein, and this showed up during the big pet food recalls, is that in order to limit prices increases, pet food manufacturers were turning to cheap protein sources and supplementing the diets with synthetic essential amino acids. In Europe, they have become quite skilled and making a low quality ingredient look impressive.

In many diets you see the term ‘ vegetable protein isolate’ which is a fancy name for vegetable protein rather than the real deal . The giveaway is always further down the list in the form of L-lysine or DL-methionine or even taurine – amino acids – the later which dogs normally make themselves but need other amino acids which normally are in the protein.

We are keeping a close eye on developments but envisage that over time, quality protein will become more and more expensive.

Corn and Coyotes

During June I attended a number of dog shows.

At one of the shows in Blackpool a lady approach the booth and pointed out that she fed raw food to her dog and did not and would not, feed grains of any kind.

My first thought was why should this lady even bother to approach the stand as it would be clear to all attending the show that brown rice was a major ingredient in all my products.

I asked her outright why? “Because dogs would not eat grains in the wild” she responded. This prompted my next question to establish whether or not this lady knew much about nutrition. I stated. “Like humans, dogs required glucose in their diet – could she explain to me how her dogs acquired glucose if she did not feed grains.” The lady was quick and said. “From carrots, turnips and peas and other vegetables” which was of course the correct answer.

By now it was clear that this woman knew something about dogs diet and had obviously did a good deal of work in attempting to establish what a good diet was but the reason she was at my booth still eluded me!

I decided it better not to question the reasons but started to explain that I also had a pet food business in the United States and that I even had a wife and house there.

I also enlightened her to the fact that we regularly have coyote’s in the garden and had  seen them chase the deer on many occasions but that they had as much chance as me of catching them. They did get the odd fawn or injured deer and would regularly catch a rabbit but the biggest danger the coyote’s posed was to the neighbours dogs. The coyote’s hunt in packs and when dogs are let out in the yard at night the coyote will cut off the dogs escape route back to the house while the other will hunt it direct.

It is not the first time owners have had to rescue their pets facing off to the coyote. I also explained that I had visited a coyote rescue centre in Indiana and was shocked to see grass cuttings being thrown into the compound and coyote’s eating it like cows.

By this time, the woman was clearly enjoying listening to the adventures from afar. I was enjoying telling them and thankful for being able to. I explained that the landscape in Indiana was such that for miles all you could see in the summer were soya beans and corn fields. To an English or Scottish person who has never seen this is belies belief that you can drive for hundreds of miles in the USA and all you see is corn and soya beans. The UK countryside is an interesting mixture of wheat, barley, fields of milking cows and wild terrain with sheep all interspersed with dry stake dykes (fences built with rocks and no cement) and plentiful hedgerows.

The corn, which all ripened around August, September and the coyote’s, like ourselves are prone to eating their share of the sweet harvest of fresh ripe corn. A ’seasonal’ variation in their diet! It also put to bed the myth that wild dogs do not eat grains. Wild dogs will eat almost anything to satisfy their need and know an easy meal when they see it. It might not be their first choice but as Paul Newman once said “why eat hamburger when you can have fillet steal at home?”

The lady purchased 6 small packs of my meat free mixer for her dogs made up from Brown Rice, oats, vegetable and herbs. She simply wanted to add to her knowledge. (No corn included in any of my formulations)