Dog Food and Treats

New Canine Nutrition Resource

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The Pet Food Institute (PFI), whose members make 98 percent of all U.S. pet food and treat products, recently launched a new series of interactive infographics showing the ways the key nutrients found in a complete and balanced dog food recipe help our pets. The new web resource, 'Nutrition from Nose to Tail,' provides fast facts about the essential nutrition that fuels our dogs' growth and supports their body systems, as well as non-essential nutrients that can also serve important functions. 

 "PFI's new 'Nutrition from Nose to Tail' resource was designed to assist pet lovers in understanding how a carefully formulated recipe will help their dog," said Cathleen Enright, PhD, president and CEO of PFI. 'Nutrition from Nose to Tail' shows the ways that the essential nutrients support pet health, for example by providing energy or promoting vision or healthy joints, and also reviews other important non-essential but functional nutrients such as carbohydrates. 

Check out this free resource here:

Dog Food and Feeding Myths

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There is a lot of misinformation floating around when it comes to dog food and feeding your dog. As you may know, dog food is big business, so some misleading information may be coming from dog food manufacturers who are trying to convince dog owners that their product is better than a competitor's. Other misinformation is spread via undependable online resources. has put together a nifty infographic called "32 Dog Food and Feeding Myths" that debunks some of the commonly held myths. It covers such topics as human food, prescription food, hypoallergenic food, grains, raw food, and more. It should be a helpful resource for all dog owners.

Find the infographic here:

What Do You Really Know About Dog Food?

ID-100114357The number of dog food brands and options is overwhelming, and food for dogs has become big business for the pet industry. To keep ahead of the brand "pack," did extensive research into dog food to come up with a very selective list of the best dog food brands. The team invested over 1,400 hours into research, which included surveying experts and dog owners and reviewing the ingredients of more than 100 brands.

The results of this study are both troubling and informative. You will learn quite a bit about what is and isn't in dog foods, and you're also likely to discover that some of what you think about certain brands may not be correct.

The study covers what to look for and what to avoid in dog foods, pros and cons regarding types of dog food, the best dog food formulas, and the best dog food products. There is also some helpful information about dog food recalls.

Check out the complete study here:

Image: Twobee,

Posana in Asheville Creates Menu for Dogs

ID-10055327Hooray for Posana, a restaurant at 1 Biltmore Avenue in Asheville. Recognizing that plenty of dog lovers dot the Asheville streets, Posana has not only welcomed dogs to their outdoor patio, the restaurant has also created a menu especially for culinary canines, according to a recent report in Mountain Xpress.

The menu was kicked off on March 7 in a nod to "Dine to be Kind," a fundraising event in which Posana, along with over sixty other local restaurants, contributed a portion of sales to Asheville Humane Society. Martha Pollay, co-owner of Posana, "worked really hard to find things that were pretty lean and good for dogs to eat," says Peter Pollay, co-owner and executive chef.

"Homemade biscuits, grilled Carolina Bison burgers, grilled Ashely Farms chicken breast, Brasstown Beef doggie meatloaf and a dessert dish of bacon soy doggie ice cream make up the canine menu," reports Mountain Xpress. "Prices range from $3-$8. All orders are served in dog dishes."

So next time you're in downtown Asheville with your doggie, remember that you'll find both a warm welcome and a special menu at Posana.

Image: Stuart Miles,


3 Baked Doggie Treats Perfect for a Mountain Hike

Guest Post by Joe Hughes, the Village Baker

3 Baked Doggy Treats The Carolina mountains are the perfect getaway during the spring and summer months. Beautiful wildflowers grow across the mountains, the Biltmore is teeming with tourists, and the Blue Ridge Mountains are waiting to be explored.

And who better to take with you on a hike or to the top of a mountain than your dog? A walk in nature is all many dogs need to overcome their behavioral problems: digging, chewing, fear of people, etc.

If your pet is afraid of people (mine is), a treat is a good tool to reinforce your dog's good behavior.

You can even bake a few delightful treats using your handy dandy bread maker.

1. Homemade Beef Dog Biscuits

Homemade dog biscuits are a great way to know what your dog is eating. You'll be able to make the same (or better) dog treats you find in the store right in the comfort of your own home. A few necessities before we get started are:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups wholemeal
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup instant oats
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 1 tsp. yeast

If you have a bread machine, you can add all the ingredients, starting with the water, and mix until a dough is formed. Sometimes, the humidity in the room will cause the dough to be too dry, and in this case, you'll want to add more water to the mixture.

Knead the dough until smooth and tender.

Roll the dough out, cut into shapes and allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes. You'll want to bake the biscuits for one hour at 325F. Do not give to your pup immediately. Allow the biscuits to cool overnight.

2. Peanut Butter and Parsley Treats

You've planned a trip to the dog park, and now your dog is getting all excited. You'll want to pack some water with you along with dog treats before heading out for the day. Peanut butter and parsley treats are a great option for your pup.

And they smell super good, too.

You'll want to make sure you understand how to bake at higher elevations before proceeding. Water boils faster at higher elevations because of the pressure.

Now, you'll need to grab a few essentials to get the ball rolling:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup quick rolled oats
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. dried parsley

Preheat your oven to 300F and grease a few baking sheets or cover them in parchment paper before beginning.

In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, dried milk, salt, oats and parsley. Add in the eggs and peanut butter, mixing to combine the mixture. You'll have a crumbly consistency at this point. Now, add in the water, adding enough for the dough to come together.

Roll the dough to 1/4" thickness and cut into desired shapes.

Bake for 40 – 60 minutes, or until done.

Allow to cool for an hour before giving to your pet.

3. Chicken Dog Biscuits or Cookies

Dogs love chicken. One of the things I was told was to have a lot of treats available when my mother adopted a dog. A lot of seniors forget how energetic dogs can be, and this leads to dogs barking, chewing and crying.

A treat, or two, can help correct these issues pronto.

Chicken treats are my dog's favorite, and the treat I make is so simple. Place the following ingredients, in this order, into a bread machine:

  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 cup dry milk powder (nonfat)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup instant oatmeal
  • 1 cup flour (all-purpose works well)
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 3 tbsp. Fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheese

Select the dough option and hit start to begin mixing the dough. Allow to knead for 5 minutes before removing the dough. Dust your countertop with flour and allow the dough to sit for 15 minutes.

Roll the dough to 1/2" thickness and cut into the desired shape.

Bake for 45 minutes at 250F on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.

Let cool before serving.

You can also rip off clumps of dough and shape them into balls, bones or any other shape. I promise, your dog won't care what shape the treat is.

Joe Hughes, known by most as the Village Baker, is an expert in homestyle cooking techniques, with a primary interest in baking. He runs the very popular website,, which provides the latest homestyle cooking news, techniques, tricks, and recipes. He can be reached at

Image: Pixabay

ReTail Scene: How to "Shop Green" for Your Dog

ID-100229372Not surprisingly, the same people who own dogs often care about the environment. Loving and caring for an animal demonstrates a certain respect for living things and a sensitivity to our earth and its precious resources. Dog owners who share nature with their pets are especially aware of their environment.

So how can you, as a dog owner, "shop green" and do your part to protect the environment? The website RetailMeNot has a helpful, detailed article called "The Ultimate Guide to Shopping Green for Your Pet" that shows you how to do just that. The article discusses the things that make a pet product green, how to find "green" pet food (with some great advice about food ingredients and additives), shopping for green playthings, choosing the right kind of pet beds, and more. It even has a handy green checklist for buying pet products.

Read this great article here.

Image: Aopsan,

Does Your Dog's Food Contain Dangerous Ingredients?

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You may have noticed the recent movement toward "healthier" dog food. For example, there seem to be many more dog foods available today that are "natural" or highlight "grain-free" ingredients.

In addition, the number of choices can be overwhelming. Dog owners can now choose foods designed for their dogs' size, age, and specific medical condition. There are even companies that will custom design a dog food for you.

As you evaluate different foods for your dog, you should be aware of dog food ingredients that can potentially be dangerous to your dog. A handy infographic, "The 10 Most Dangerous Ingredients in Pet Food," from offers you some good tips on what to look out for on a dog food label.

You can view and download a copy of the infographic below, or link to it here: 


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"Feed the Good" Campaign from Pedigree

Pedigree, the world's largest dog food brand, launched a brand campaign earlier this year in Brazil and Australia. Now the brand is taking the campaign global via YouTube.

The first ad to appear is called "The Walk." As you'll see when you watch it (below), the ad has a lofty goal: to demonstrate that dogs bring out the good in people.

What do you think of the campaign? Feel free to comment.


Why Pumpkin is Good for Your Dog

ID-10060091This is pumpkin season -- but pumpkins are good for more than just Fall decorations. In fact, fresh cooked or canned pumpkin (the kind that is 100 percent pumpkin, not the canned variety that has additives for pumpkin pie) is a healthy food for both humans and dogs.

According to a recent article on, pumpkin has at least nine benefits for dogs, including:

  • Improving digestion and preventing dehydration
  • easing both constipation and diarrhea
  • Augmenting weight loss
  • Providing antioxidants that are good for a dog's coat
  • Controlling parasites.

To learn more about the wonders of pumpkin, read the entire article here.

Image: Zirconicusso,

ReTail Scene: Hill's Science Diet Fruity Snacks

ScreenHunter_02 Jan. 08 10.17Dog owners are always looking for all natural, made in the U.S.A. healthy snacks to use as treats for their pups. Here's a great product that fits the bill: Hill's Science Diet Fruity Snacks.

Created by Hill's, the leading maker of high quality dog food, Fruity Snacks are naturally preserved, with no corn, artificial colors or flavors. Fruity Snacks are available in two flavors: Apples & Oatmeal and Cranberries & Oatmeal. Both flavors offer natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. The snacks are just the right size for medium and large dogs. Chester, the Carolina Mountain Dog mascot, thinks the Apples & Oatmeal snacks are just yummy!

You can get Hill's Science Diet Fruity Snacks from, on sale now for $4.79 per bag. is an online store for pet lovers with over 200 brands of dog food, treats and other great stuff. Everything you purchase from is conveniently delivered to your door, with 1 or 2 day delivery, and free shipping on orders of $49 or more. offers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, and's customer service is open 24/7 and aims to please. 

ReTail Scene: Natural Balance Gift Pack is Perfect for Holiday Giving!

NaturalbalanceThe holidays are here and it's time to celebrate! We found a great low-cost, high-value gift that's sure to please any doggie on your gift list.

It's the Natural Balance Holiday Pack for Dogs and it lets your four-legged friend test all the best Natural Balance has to offer at a very reasonable price. The sample pack includes a bag of limited ingredient treats, a can of ultra premium chicken formula food, and a delicious turkey food roll - a great mix for the holiday season, all packaged in a nifty carry box. (Chester, the Carolina Mountain Dog mascot, is very fond of the food roll!) Natural Balance is a brand known for the highest quality ingredients.

You can get the Natural Balance Gift Pack from, on sale now for $5.99. is an online store for pet lovers with over 200 brands of dog food, treats and other great stuff. Everything you purchase from is conveniently delivered to your door, with 1 or 2 day delivery, and free shipping on orders of $49 or more. offers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, and's customer service is open 24/7 and aims to please. 

Free Pet Food for Those in Need in Buncombe County

Dog-food-imageAsheville Humane Society is expanding its service to the Buncombe County community through the pet food assistance program.

Through Asheville Humane Society's union with Animal Compassion Network, they are now able to offer pet food assistance through thirteen local food pantries, making it more accessible to citizens in need. According to Asheville Humane Society, "We often hear stories of people who are struggling financially who either go without eating themselves in order to feed their pets or relinquish them to the shelter. Our hope is that by providing free pet food, we can help to ease some of their burden and keep pets in their homes."

If you or anyone you know needs this service, you can come to the Buncombe County Animal Shelter, where they can offer you an initial one week supply of pet food and then they will direct you to the partnering food pantry in your area.

For more information about the program and a list of partner food pantries, visit:

Image: Asheville Humane Society

ReTail Scene: True Chews from

ScreenHunter_03 Jul. 06 14.19If you're looking for a line of healthy, tasty chews for your dog, give "True Chews" a try. These products are 100% natural, rawhide-free, and made with no fillers. They're also produced in the U.S.A. -- so you can be confident of product quality.

True Chews features treats your dog will love to chew on, including chicken jerky fillets, beef bully sticks, beef bully spirals, swirls, twists and braids, and pig ears. True Chews includes "Lils," designed especially for dogs up to 20 lbs. Our very own tastes testers tried "Lils Beef Bully Swirls" and they were a big hit.

You can get True Chews from, an online store with over 200 brands of dog food, treats and more, conveniently delivered to your door, with 1 ro 2 day delivery and free shipping on orders of $49 or more. offers a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee, and's customer service is open 24/7 and aims to please. ScreenHunter_02 Jul. 06 14.18

ReTail Scene: New YaffBar is for You and Your Dog

YaffBarCarolina Mountain Dog recently learned about a unique new product -- an energy bar designed for you to share with your dog. "YaffBar" is produced by a Vermont company called Mudd + Wyeth (named after two dogs). And in case you're wondering, "yaff" is an old English word meaning "to bark," according to the company.

Says Mudd + Wyeth, "Now you can snack and stay on the go with the world's first 'people food' bar designed to be shared with your best friend! This is pure puppy love in a bar: wholesome, hand-baked, and seriously delicious. And it's full of healthy ingredients for both of you." 

YaffBar comes in three flavors, Blueberry Carob, Banana Peanut Butter, and Honey Almond Cranberry. Mudd + Wyeth includes an endorsement from a veterinarian on its website. YaffBars are not yet available in North Carolina, but they can be ordered online from the company. A sampler pack of 6 bars, 2 of each flavor, is available for $18. The company also sells some pretty cool-looking reflective gear (an absolute necessity during hunting season in the mountains) and dog toys.

In a Carolina Mountain Dog taste test, my two dogs went bananas over the YaffBars; in fact, they were particularly fond of the Banana Peanut Butter YaffBar. I thought they were tasty, moist and chewy, but the bars were just a bit too dense and fat-laden for my liking. Still, YaffBars could certainly compete with much better-known energy bars, and they were a big hit with my dogs -- and it is nice to know there's a product that's truly safe to share with your dog.

What to Do if Your Dog Won't Eat

By the Editors of Exceptional Canine for Exceptional Canine

Dog Won’t Eat? Manage His Feeding Issues

Super-skinny models might have food issues. So do the majority of children under the age of 4. Then, there’s your brother who hasn’t tasted a carbohydrate since 2001. He definitely has issues. But what if your dog won’t eat?

Your dog might be finicky. Or perhaps he possesses the appetite of a lumberjack. Wherever the problems lie, take heart. You can help your dog eat a nutritionally sound diet -- without the aid of a high-priced doggie psychologist or canine chef.

What Your Dog Needs
Before we tackle idiosyncrasies, let’s step back and look at good dog nutrition. All dogs need a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates like those found in high-quality pet foods. Feed your dog according to its size, breed and stage of life.

Feeding the Dog That Won’t Eat
If your dog sniffs its bowl then rejects all but a few bites, analyze your dog’s behavior. Like kids, dogs will eat when they’re hungry. A few things could be happening:

  • Too many snacks Is your dog fed people food or extra dog treats that suppress his appetite? Feeding table scraps is a no-no, and too many treats can dull your dog’s appetite for the nutritious food he needs.

  • Illness Neither people nor canines eat if they’re ill. Make note of whether or not your dog is pooping regularly and playing normally. Recording such information in a notebook could help you and your vet determine a pattern and thus lead to a diagnosis. “Some dogs actually have a dental problem, and it’s painful to eat,” says Dr. Bruce Silverman of Village West Veterinary in Chicago. “These dogs need this problem addressed at the vet’s office before they can go back to their food dish and eat without discomfort.”

  • Overfeeding Your dog might be eating all it needs and leaving the rest alone. Check to make sure your portions are on target.
  • Yucky food Cheaper dog food brands might be made with low-quality ingredients that may not suit your dog’s palate -- or his body. Your dog might not like the taste or likely has difficulty digesting it. “Some dogs are just picky eaters because they don’t love the food in front of them,” says Silverman. “If you haven’t experimented with different-quality diets, perhaps it’s a good time to do so.”

Feeding the Dog With a Big Appetite
We know Irish Wolfhounds that can pack it away -- and Miniature Schnauzers that can keep up with them. If your dog seems truly hungry (you’ll know if he inhales supper in five minutes flat then begs you for more) there could be a reason:

  • Food quality Is your dog getting the right kind of nutrition to feel satiated?

  • Adequate portions Are you feeding your dog enough? If you’ve recently taken up cross-country skiing and your dog joins you in the adventure, he is burning more calories. Take a look at the feeding guidelines on the package or consult with your veterinarian.
  • Water Like people, dogs often eat when they’re actually thirsty. Make sure your dog’s water bowl is clean and contains fresh water at all times.

Silverman recommends training exercises with treats before mealtime (you can use the same kibble you use for food), both for dogs that won’t eat and dogs that overeat. “It gets dogs in the mood for eating, they respond better to the training exercises, and some of their appetite is satiated before they dive into the food dish,” he explains.


Custom Dog Food - 15% Off and Free Shipping

ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 07 12.20If you're looking for a way to give your dog exactly the nutrition he or she needs (and food that your dog will love too), then consider trying RedMoon. RedMoon offers you an easy online process so you can actually create your own custom dog food. All of the food is grain and gluten-free, so it's an especially good choice for dogs with allergies or digestive problems.

Until December 25, RedMoon is offering Carolina Mountain Dog readers 15% off your order, plus free shipping. Just click on the RedMoon square ad in the right hand column on this page and enter the coupon code Holiday15 when you order.

Holiday Pet Food Drive in North Asheville

ScreenHunter_01 Nov. 25 16.26Animal Hospital of North Asheville is accepting donations of canned or dry pet food, blankets, pet toys, and cash donations for the holiday season on behalf of three local animal welfare organizations -- Asheville Humane Society, Animal Compassion Network, and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. Donations will be evenly distributed among the three organizations.

Donations can be dropped off by the public at the veterinary hospital's location at 1 Beaverdam Road, Asheville during normal business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 8:30 PM and Saturday, 8 AM - Noon). Donations will be accepted until December 24.

For further information, call Animal Hospital of North Asheville at (828) 253-3393.

3 Reasons to Feed Your Pet a Raw Diet

Guest Post by Kristi King, Owner, Green Earth Pet Food

Green Earth Pet Food JPG (2)When asked to write a guest blog on three reasons to feed a raw diet, I realized I had a huge problem:  how do I narrow it down to just three?  So I decided to “cheat” a little by including a few reasons within each of the three reasons.  Here goes:

1.  Health!  We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.”  This is also true for dogs.  Dogs are scavenger carnivores, meaning they are meant to eat meat (they have sharp teeth for tearing meat and no flat molars meant for grinding grains/grasses).  Dogs can also eat some fruits, veggies and the occasional pesky fly.  Raw food’s main ingredient is meat, usually over 50%.  On the other hand, even the best kibble must contain 40%-50% starchy carbs just to form the kibble shape.  Raw food also boosts the health of your pet’s digestive tract with lots of naturally-occurring digestive enzymes and “good” bacteria, which in turn boosts your pet’s immune system so your pet’s body can naturally fight off illness, allergies and disease.  Plus, the high meat content and low carb content means raw food helps your dog easily maintain a healthy weight.

2.  Save Money!  A healthy dog only needs to see the vet occasionally for a checkup.  With a strong and healthy immune system, there is no need for vaccinations after initial core vaccines, no need for internal or external parasite medications, and no need for skin allergy medications.  With a strong and lean body, there is no need for prescription “diet” foods and no need for medications for obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, etc.  With chewing on raw meaty bones, there is no tartar build-up so no need for expensive teeth cleaning.

3.  Happiness!  Eating a species-appropriate diet of real meat means your dog will not feel hungry all the time.  Plus, chewing on raw bones releases endorphins for dogs, exercises their jaw muscles and keeps them from becoming bored.  And isn’t that what we all want?  A happy, healthy dog!

Green Earth Pet Food

Where to buy Green Earth Pet Food:

ReTail Scene: "Bone Appetit" Food and Water Mats

Food matHere's a cool idea from Better Buddies, an online pet supplies company with a heart.

The company has taken discarded donated yoga mats, run them through a sanitation process, and cut each one into a handy doggie food and water mat. The new "upcycled" pet food mat cuts down on landfills, wipes off clean with a sponge, is dishwasher safe and is totally one-of-a-kind! No two mats are alike as each one is cut out from different pre-existing yoga mats.

10 percent of profits from each product are donated directly to the Guardian Angel Program at the Best Friends Animal Society, helping the most severe-needs pets find a wonderful home.

Better Buddies is also giving a special 15 percent discount off all of its products to Carolina Mountain Dog readers. Just use the coupon code ADPT15 when you place your order. For more information about the mats, visit the Better Buddies website.

ReTail Scene: Ready to Bake Cookies for Dogs

Rsz_2dog_joy_cookie_renderingImagine baking up a batch of warm, delicious and nutritious cookies for your family. Nothing is better than freshly baked cookies, right?

Now you can do the same for your four-legged friend. It's easy with new Ready to Bake Cookies for dogs from Freshpet. Freshpet sent this blogger two packages of the new product for me to test on my own pack of four dogs. I just opened the box, took out the pre-formed cookies, and baked them for about 14 minutes.

I must admit, the aroma of the peanut butter and oatmeal cookies coming out of the oven was scrumptious enough for me to want to take a bite! But I restrained myself and let the doggies sample them instead. It was unanimous -- they all loved the cookies and were ready for more. I also discovered that the cookies could be easily crumbled onto a meal for an extra added treat. I was pleased to see that the ingredients were 100% all natural with no artificial additives.

Freshpet Ready to Bake Cookies are new additions to the company's line of fresh, refrigerated meals and treats for cats and dogs. You'll find them in the pet food aisle refrigerator at many stores. Dog Joy Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Recipe is available in select grocery and mass-market stores, and Dog Nation Oatmeal & Cranberry Recipe is available in select pet specialty stores. For more information, including store locations, visit

If you're looking for a unique treat that goes beyond the standard biscuit, try a package of Freshpet Ready to Bake Cookies. My dogs heartily endorse them!