Meat Versus Meat Meal in Dog Food!

Meat Versus Meat Meal in Dog Food!

If you’re looking at a list of ingredients, which sounds better: “meat” or “meat meal?”

Chances are most people would answer “meat.” Most people would be wrong.

Here’s why:

  • Ingredient lists on pet foods by law must list the various ingredients according to their weight percentage in the food before the ingredients are cooked.
  • Meat is about 70 percent moisture. That means more than two thirds of its weight is water. Most of this moisture is removed during the cooking process.
  • Meat meal has already been dehydrated before being added to the food. It has about 5 percent moisture. Further cooking reduces it very little if any.

So let’s compare “chicken” versus “chicken meal” when they appear on a label’s ingredient list. “Chicken” comes in at 70 percent water. It contains about 20 percent protein because of this high water content. “Chicken meal” has 5 percent moisture; it’s a more concentrated source of nutrients as it’s not diluted by water. It has about 70 percent protein. So the chicken is contributing about one third of the protein the chicken meal is contributing despite its higher weight.

Let’s look at it another way. “Chicken” is heavier than grains prior to cooking, which places it ahead of grain in the ingredient list. But after cooking off the moisture, the chicken’s weight is reduced by two thirds, while the grain’s weight is negligibly reduced as grains have low water content to start with. After cooking, the weight of the remaining chicken will likely be less than that of the remaining grain, so this “chicken-based” food is actually mostly grain-based rather than meat based.

In contrast, “chicken meal” changes very little in moisture content after cooking and will still weigh about the same. A food that has higher chicken meal content in relation to grain content before cooking will still have that same relationship after cooking.

Some pet food companies realize that consumers are impressed by the word “meat” or “chicken” in preference to “meal.” They actually pay extra to have meat shipped to their plants in refrigerated trucks, then add it to the foods and cook the moisture out. They are, in essence, paying to ship water. And the consumer is paying for this extra cost and ultimately receiving less meat and meat protein for their investment.

But what’s in meat or poultry meal? Some people envision a gruel made of left-overs, but that’s not the case. There are laws that determine what can be in meat meal: Meat meal is made of animal tissues and cannot include added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach or rumen contents. Similarly, chicken meal is made of clean flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone and must not contain feathers, heads, feet or and entrails.

So now which would you rather see at the head of your dog food’s ingredient list?  That’s right, meal. Whole meat sounds good, but it’s really a marketing ploy that often has you paying more and always has you and your dog getting less!

And that’s why Stay Loyal uses Chicken MEAL and Lamb MEAL as our first two ingredients! They’re at the top of the ingredient list before cooking, and more importantly, they’re at the top AFTER cooking, providing a true meat-based diet for your dog.

If your dog hasn’t already joined the 1000’s happy and healthy dogs eating Stay Loyal Grain-Free Formula then jump over to our product page and get a bag today. Remember there is no risk in trying because you are protected by our 100% Money Back Guarantee. Click here to go to Stay Loyal.

Canine Christmas Caveats

Canine Christmas Caveats

Twas the morning after Christmas, when all over the floor,

There was dog puke and dog poop, more and more!

We’d handed out scraps and all sorts of pies,

But who could deny our dog’s pleading eyes?

A ham bone here, a turkey neck there,

How about some drippings to add to the fare?

And oh, here’s some candy, and eggnog too,

No wonder this carpet is covered in goo!


Okay, we’re no poets here but we’ve cleaned up our share of carpets. Especially after we’ve shared our holiday feast with the best of intentions. Christmas tops the list when it comes to making dogs sick from eating too much of a good thing! Here’s a list of the top edibles that can ruin your dog’s Christmas–and yours too!

  • A few leftovers won’t hurt. But a bowl of turkey skin and ham fat is asking for trouble. Even a few strips may be too much for a small dog. If you’re lucky it will just be in the form of vomit and diarrhea. If you’re not it will be in the form of a very sick dog suffering from pancreatitis, an emergency trip to the veterinarian and a big vet bill! Hold the fat!
  • That box of chocolates you put in the stocking? Your dog does have a good nose, you know. Did you really think he’d ignore it while the rest of you went out? If your dog snarfs down a few chocolate chip cookies, don’t freak out. It’s not like it’s strychnine. But if he absconds with a bar of dark chocolate, yes, you have cause to worry. The culprit is the theobromine in chocolate. Depending on dose, it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness, fever, seizures, coma and death. The toxic dose for dogs is 100 mg/kg. Dark chocolate contains over 14 mg/gram, so a 140 gram dark chocolate bar can be life-threatening to a 20kg dog. Different types of chocolate contain different amounts of theobromine. Milk chocolate has about 1.5 mg of theobromine per gram, semisweet chocolate about 5.4 mg per gram, and baker’s chocolate about 14 mg per gram. White chocolate has very little.
  • Worse than chocolate when it comes to candy, though, is anything sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sweetener found in some gum, candy, peanut butters and even toothpaste. It can cause hypoglycemia or liver failure. The dog’s pancreas confuses xylitol with real sugar and releases insulin to store it. The insulin removes real sugar from the bloodstream and the dog can become weak, have tremors and even seizures starting within 30 minutes of eating it. Hypoglycemia can be caused by about 1 gram per kilogram of body weight. A stick of gum contains about 0.4 grams, so a 5kg dog could become sick from one stick. Liver damage requires about 5 grams per kg of body weight, so a 5kg dog could ingest a potentially lethal amount if he ate 10 sticks of gum. Guests with sugarless gum in their unattended purse can be a source of inadvertent poisoning.
  • Raisins are toxic to some, but not all, dogs. Just 20 grams of grapes or 3 grams of raisins per kg of body weight can cause kidney failure in these dogs. Your dog may be perfectly fine after eating them—or not. Just keep them out of reach! A few raisins in a plum pudding should be fine, but again, does your dog really need plum pudding? And fruit cake will kill anyone, dog or human, raisins or not, so just give it to the next person.
  • Macadamia nuts won’t kill your dog, but they can make him pretty sick, with symptoms including severe lethargy, increased body temperature, vomiting, tremors, joint stiffness, and loss of limb (especially hind limb) control for the next 48 hours. Nobody knows why, but these nuts affect the dog’s nerve functions, especially those involved in movement.
  • Nutmeg contains a toxin called myristicin and in large amounts can cause disorientation, increased heart rate, and possibly seizures. But in amounts used in recipes, it’s perfectly safe. Just don’t leave the container sitting around.
  • Alcohol can make dogs drunk and can even kill them. Dogs are far more sensitive to it than people are, and not just because they’re smaller. Dogs can be pretty good at sneaking spiked eggnog or White Russians or even rum balls!
  • Unbaked bread dough with yeast can cause problems. If the dog eats it, the yeast can rapidly expand in the warm moist environment of the dog’s stomach. It can expand so much it cuts off blood supply to the stomach wall, killing that tissue. It can press on the diaphragm, making breathing difficult. And the multiplying yeast produces alcohol that the dog absorbs into its bloodstream, resulting in intoxication—even death.

If your dog eats forbidden food, you can induce vomiting by making him swallow hydrogen peroxide. But what kind of a Christmas present is that? Just keep the food out of reach, keep an eye on your guests, and dole out the treats carefully! Or get a good carpet cleaner…

One Customer’s Regret About Trying Our Food

One Customer’s Regret About Trying Our Food

There are many factors that can contribute to your dog’s behavior, which includes his or her diet. If you dog is eating food that is filled with cheap fillers, then it will have an impact on his or her digestive system, health and even behavior.

How Food Can Impact Your Dog’s Behavior

Inexpensive dog food that is filled with cheap filler is not nutritional for your dog, and your dog could be allergic to these types of dog foods. When humans are allergic to food, it can have a drastic impact on behavior, which can lead to depression or irritability. The same is true with our furry friends. If we feed our canine companion food that has one or more ingredients he or she is allergic to, then it can lead to behavior changes. Many dogs are allergic to fillers such as corn and wheat, which are common fillers found in cheap dog foods.

A grain-free diet is the best way to ensure your dog is getting all the nutrients he or she needs to be healthy. According to PetMD, fillers are used to replace high quality ingredients and may be biologically inappropriate for your dog, which could cause health and weight problems.

Here is a story of how Stay Loyal changed a dog’s behavior. Read this testimonial from Liz Jarvis to see how Stay Loyal helped her dog:

“I had been feeding another product to my 9 ½-month-old Smithfield Cattledog Kelpie her entire life. After further research I thought Stay Loyal would fit mine and my dog’s requirements the best. I don’t mind paying more for better quality, etc, but I don’t just blindly get the most expensive believing that is the be-all and end-all. I am also very passionate about supporting Australian companies where possible.

My only regret now is that I didn’t find your company first and feed her your Grain-Free product from the moment I got her. In the 10-12 days I’ve been bringing her onto your food she is glowing, and the changes in her behaviour have been incredible. The best way to describe it for me is, she used to be like a child with ADD, all run and energy, but with a limited attention span. Now she still has endless energy but she’s using that incredible brain of hers, waiting and responding, not just go go go. It’s like before she was on a sugar rush whereas now she’s getting a more sustainable energy flow, and boy is she blossoming.

We had a break from obedience training over Christmas, starting up again yesterday. When I walked in with Matilda the instructor’s face just dropped. She said before she was a happy gorgeous little lady, trying so hard to please the world, but now she’s a stunning healthy machine just waiting for the chance to take on the world!! Bit dramatic, I know, but she’s passionate about dogs and their well-being so you can’t fault her for that!! Anyway I just wanted to let you know I’m very happy with your product and have been recommending it to anyone who asks, and if Matilda could talk she’d say the same. You’ve given me the chance to get the best out of my dog and that’s all I ever want, so a massive thank you.”

 -Liz Jarvis

What a difference Stay Loyal grain-free dog food made on Matilda’s behavior. By changing her dog food to Stay Loyal, which is a high quality grain-free dog food, Matilda is once again a happy pup.

Ready to make the switch to keep your dog in optimal health? Click here to give our bestselling grain-free food a try. Already a Loyal fan? Share the benefits of our food with a friend!

The Hunger Genes Is your dog always hungry? Maybe it’s in his genes—at least, if he’s a Labrador Retriever.

The Hunger Genes Is your dog always hungry? Maybe it’s in his genes—at least, if he’s a Labrador Retriever.

Let’s face it: Most dogs love to eat, and they’d eat themselves into obesity if we let them. It’s part of their feast or famine evolutionary history. Wolves evolved to stuff themselves when their pack brought down large prey, and then starve themselves until the next kill. To some extent, domestic dogs still have this “eat it while you can” mentality. But we do feed our dogs every day, so they really aren’t starving (well, maybe in their mind!) by the time mealtime rolls around.

As with humans, obesity in dogs is on the rise. In developed countries, from 34 to 59 percent of all dogs are obese.  The rate is higher in some breeds than in others. The Labrador Retriever leads the list with about 60 percent of the breed reported as obese. Lab owners are used to swapping stories about the incredible eating feats of their dogs. It turns out, some Labs appear to have a hunger gene.

When eating a meal, several mechanisms normally work to make a dog (and human) feel full and quit eating.  Researchers at the University of Cambridge in the U.K. knew of gene mutations that reduced the amount of hunger-suppressing chemicals in obese mice and humans; could hungry Labs share the same mutation? They looked at 310 Labrador Retrievers and found many had a mutation in one of the suspect genes called the POMC gene, which is believed to be responsible for producing two chemicals that tell the dog when he’s had enough to eat.

  • The mutant gene was found in 23 percent of the Labs they studied.
  • Labs with the mutation weighed on average 2.3 kilograms more than Labs without the mutation.
  • Labs with the mutation were more food-motivated than Labs without the mutation.
  • The presence of the mutation was markedly higher (about three times as high) in a population of Labs used as assistance dogs compared to those in the general population, consistent with the idea that greater food motivation resulted in greater trainability.

Of the 33 other breeds examined, only the Flat-Coated Retriever was found to share the same mutation. That doesn’t mean the mutation isn’t present in any other breeds; it may be that more breeds need to be examined, or more individuals within a breed. Beagles are another breed famous for their appetite but it was not found in the 17 Beagles examined.  Nor was the mutation found in the 55 Golden Retrievers studied. Other breeds in which at least 10 dogs were studied (and no mutation found) were the Bearded Collie, Bernese Mountain Dog, Border Collie, Boxer, Giant Schnauzer, Great Dane, Hovawart, Irish Wolfhound, Newfoundland, Poodle, Rottweiler, Chinese Shar Pei, Swedish Elkhound, and Welsh Springer Spaniel.

It’s also likely the POMC mutation may not be the only hunger-related mutation found in dogs. It’s possible different breeds may have different mutations. But for now, the POMC is the only one to be identified.

It’s not yet possible to have your Lab tested for the mutation. But even if your dog does have it, it doesn’t doom him to a life of obesity. But it does mean YOU have to be extra vigilant and learn to control his food intake, probably from an early age. As the saying goes: There may be reasons, but there are no excuses!

Future research will seek to understand how the mutation affects the chemical pathways and hopefully, develop therapeutic protocols to combat the effects. Meanwhile, hide the food bag!

Holistic Ways To Calm A Nervous Dog

Holistic Ways To Calm A Nervous Dog

Living with a nervous, stressed dog can be difficult. It can keep you from doing everyday things, like having a party, because your dog can’t handle it. Maybe you’ve given up on trying to vacuum or cringe every time the neighbor brings out his lawn mower, knowing it’s going to send your poor dog over the edge.

Even the well-adjusted dog can get nervous sometimes. Fireworks can cause dogs that are otherwise pretty laid back to run for cover. Whether you are dealing with anxiety every day, or just once in a while, the best way to combat it is holistically. Combining the following treatments will give you the best result, as each one treats stress in different parts of your dog.

Soothing Sounds – Science has proven that music affects our canines much in the same way it does us. With that in mind, several people have created music specifically for calming dogs. These are great to play all the time, in the background, for the dog whose always nervous, or during times of stress such as fireworks or in the car. By doing this you can drown out noises that may have normally scared your dog. Remember the point is to soothe your dog, so don’t play it too loud – their ears are much better than yours!

Get a Doggy Den – dogs are den animals. Giving your dog a “hiding place” can really make them feel more comfortable because they know they can retreat there when needed. A den can be a crate, but it should be completely covered (think cave) and the door should be left open or even removed so your dog can go in and out as she pleases.

Location is important too. Put it somewhere that is semi-secluded. Your dog should still feel part of the family, but not be in the main thoroughfare. If you are having people over, you may want to move it to a more secluded part of the house. Pay attention to where your dog normally goes to “escape” and put her den there. Some people put speakers near their dog’s den so they can play the soothing dog music nearby.

Aromatherapy – Dogs noses are about 10,000 times better than ours, so if scents affect us, you can bet they affect your dog. There are many companies that make aromatherapy products just for dogs and all of them have calming lines. Scents of lavender, chamomile, sweet marjoram, and others can help calm your dog (and you!). You can buy sprays for the air or to mist your dog’s bed or den and oils for skin application. Be sure you don’t overdo the scent, however, since your dog’s sense of smell is so strong, a little goes a long way.

Massage & TTouch – these help your dog relax just like massage does in humans! Tellington TTouch is a mix of touches, lifts and slides on your dog’s body that is used to change your dog’s behavior, mood and improve body health. It is a practiced art, so you should find a certified TTouch practioner to help you get started.  Not only does it help your dog relax at that moment, but over time, most owners find that TTouch creates a more relaxed dog over all.

Anxiety Wraps – anxiety wraps are used as a short-term solution for a dog that is suffering an “anxiety attack” of sorts or for dogs that get nervous in situations like car rides. They lose their effectiveness if you leave them on the dog for too long, so they are best for times when your dog is temporarily anxious. In addition, anxiety wraps have a high success rate in helping cure car-sickness due to stress/anxiety.

Supplements – finally, your dog’s food can help them with overall calmness if you have a dog that is just stressed in general. B-complex is known as “anti-stress” which may help some dogs. Hops (found in many over-the-counter pet stress relieving medications), and a host of other herbs like, chamomile, lemon balm, valerian, skullcap and rosemary, have been known to have a calming effect.

Using a combination of these remedies will help your dog relax from the inside out, creating a happier, more laid-back dog.