Healthy and Natural Food and Treats

Food...for Thought (articles, ideas and considerations in food and supplements)*

Items we carry...
FOODS That Are Naturally Better for Your Dog and Cat
TREATS That Are Naturally Better for Your Dog and Cat
SUPPLEMENTS That Are Naturally Better for Your Dog and Cat

Canines Unlimited - 907-790-DOGS

What are you feeding your pet?

The following information comes from Petsumer Report. Sometimes a picture is really worth a thousand words.


Misleading Advertising.

Pet food labels or television commercials can show images of fresh meat and fresh vegetables. But, because of numerous FDA Compliance Policies (675.100, 675.200, 675.400, 690.300)...


The label shows this...

Human Grade

The pet food really contains this...

Pet Grade

Fresh meat Rotting meat
Fresh vegetables moldy carrots

Do you know if your pet's food is made from human grade or pet grade ingredients?



Ice Cube Trays-easy, handy, cost saving, useful food storage

Freezing dog/cat food in ice cube tray compartments is a great way to portion prepare and save your pet's food.

Whether it's fresh homemade food (as in photos below), canned food or hydrated (from freeze dried, air dried or dehydrated), freezing the food in "cubes" allows you to create individual portion "cubes", that can be thawed and used, on an "as needed" basis.

Many pet owners like to add a little fresh food, wet/canned food to their pet's regular food (such as kibble), to add variety, taste and moisture to the meal. It's easier and more cost effective to prepare larger batches of food, or use larger cans of canned food, but then you have to deal with using it up before it goes bad, especially if its a small dog or cat, because they don't eat much.

By portioning in cubes and freezing, you can:

  • have the convenience of grabbing and thawing only what you need
  • use the more cost effective large, rather than small, cans of food (because you freeze the unused food in portions to be used later)
  • have more variety available to choose from since you can have several different kinds/flavors of food all portioned cubed and frozen (don't have to keep using the same thing because you have to finish up the can before it goes bad)
  • make it easy for dog sitters or others who will do feeding, to prepare the meal (just need to thaw it)
  • have less waste (save $), particularly for pets who are being really selective (if they don't eat it, you only have to dispose of a small amount, rather than a whole can or batch)
  • save time by making/using larger batches of food, rather than having to put together the whole meal each time
  • makes it more practical to try different foods, since what might be unappealing one day to your pet, could be just right another day (so if you have bags of small portions/cubes of different foods, you can keep trying different ones on different days/times)

For one of our boarding dogs, with special meal needs, I portioned the cooked rice into the cube compartments, added a little chicken broth to make it more appealing and to help hold the packed rice together in a cube. After freezing, the cubes are easy to pop out.

Remember you can make whatever size portion suits your needs, you don't have to fill the compartment, or only fill to the edge.

The cooked ground turkey I prepared in the same manner. Larger portions of turkey were desired, so I packed and heaped each cube more than I did with the rice. The broth from cooking the turkey or chicken broth could be added to help keep it together in cube form. (Commercial chicken broth I often dilute with water to cut the sodium intake.) The added broth also helps limit any drying out of the food.
This is what the cubes of turkey look like, after removing from the ice cube tray. Canned food or rehydrated food could be prepared in the same way.

After freezing in cubes, I package the cubes in zip lock bags, and label the bags with food name ("rice" or "turkey" or whatever it is) and date.

I can now grab whatever I need, of whatever kinds/flavors I have bagged, and put in a dish, to thaw, for the next meal. Microwave thawing is also possible, but I prefer other means, because microwaving changes the structure of the food so much.


Leda--Have Nose, Will Travel (and find things)
Does your dog have a special talent?

Attached are the photos of Leda and the hats she found this winter.

Leda in Logger Hat Leda in Blue Hat Leda in knit hat
Leda in gray hat Leda in blue scarf Leda in black hat
Leda in Feisty fairy hat Leda in shriner's hat Leda in greeh hat

"Leda delights in finding things to bring home when we are out on walks. Besides all the sticks and logs she hauls home, last winter she found many gloves and hats! She is so proud and happy when she finds something to bring home. Here are photos of her wearing the various hats she found. She is such a fun dog. She keeps us up and moving and makes us laugh EVERY day.

Leda is 2 1/2 years old. Mother was yellow lab and father unknown. In the litter there was one which looked mostly like a Malemute Husky, two others who looked mostly like black labs and one that looked like Leda. So, anyone's guess. She likes "Solid Gold -- Wolf King" and does have a wolfish look to her. So many people say she is beautiful, and soft, and sweet, which she is --- all of those things.....

Barb Kreher/Juneau

Martha's Note:
Does your dog have a special talent? We'd love to hear your stories and get your pictures.

(If you happen to be the owner of one of the hats that Leda found, and wish to claim it, please contact us.)

Keep Your Vitamins & Supplements Fresher, and Easy to Use

Do you find the "zip-lock" on your vitamin pouch quit "zipping" after a while, and before you have finished using up all the vitamins? Do you keep opening the same jar of vitamins/supplements every day, every time you add them to your dog's food?

Get a hold of an empty (people) supplement bottle, with a flip top, (often found in a supplement section of a health food store/section) and reuse it, filling it with something like Missing Link, or Fundamental Vitality (supplements that come in 1# containers). I put about a week's worth in the reused bottle, so that I am not opening my main source as often, not exposing it to new air nearly as often, keeping it fresher longer. The flip top cap makes it easy to flip up and ether sprinkle the supplement on the food, or use a measuring spoon.

So you are recycling, reusing, saving time, keeping supplements fresher longer, and making it easier to administer them. Works great!

More dog activity classes?

We have a variety of classes to offer, and would appreciate your input regarding interest areas, months, days and times preferred. If you would like to have more classes offered, please let us know. We are happy to offer them, if there is sufficient interest. Below is a list of some suggested class ideas.

Intermediate/Advanced Obedience
Dog Tricks and Games
Square Dancing (with dogs)
Canine Freestyle (routines to music, with dog and handler)
Tracking (outdoor class)
Homemade dog meals
Weight pulling

Other suggestions

Please let us know by emailing us at Please include what class(es) you would take and best months, days and times for you, and any other pertinent information you think would be helpful.


Read Labels on Foods and Treats

Recently, I was shopping at a local wholesale store. I like to check out the pet section occasionally, to see what's out there. While it is sometimes hard to read the fine type, or in between folds and seams, it is worth doing so to get the complete information about what you are feeding your dog. You need this information in order to make observations and decisions regarding their health and care. Use your common sense to ask questions and draw your own conclusions. Do some research to find out more about ingredients and sources.

Here are a few examples of product information that raised further questions in my mind:

Kingdom's Premium Chicken Jerky:
On the side of the package, not part of the "manufactured" information, it says "Made in China".

Note: Subsequent to writing this article, the FDA came out with a second warning/caution, regarding the many complaints they have had regarding chicken jerky imported from China.

Kasel Pig Ears:
On the front of the package, in large type, it says "Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling".


Self-Test for Food Sensitivities

(Note: You can use this method to surrogately test for your dog, or cat, or other person, by simply touching them while testing, and intending the test for them. This was forwarded to me via email, so I have no further information on the author. This is only one of many self-testing methods using energy. Try it. You might be surprised!)

Reproduced from an email sent to us, of unknown origin.

By Gene

Hey, Chet, here's some interesting information. It works.

After undergoing detox last year, I suffered from various discomforts -- dizziness, stomach cramps, nausea, etc. I followed a strict vegetarian diet and yet some foods affected me.

On inquiring at our health food store here as to how I could know which food items agreed with me and which did not, the nutritionist, Bill Taylor, gave me this good information.

He said to know whether any food agrees with you or not, try this simple test. This is how the American Indians tested the food they gathered from the wild, because in the wild there would be poisonous plants which were not suitable for humans: Hold the food (say potato or soy milk carton) close to your heart, close your eyes, and think "Blank."

If the food is agreeable for your constitution, you will tilt forward.

If not, you will tilt backward.

This hardly takes 1-2 minutes.

I tried this with bananas and potatoes, thinking that they have potassium and would be good for blood pressure problems. But mistakenly I tilted backwards.

An analysis was done of my body fluids, and it was found that I had low blood sugar, and bananas and potatoes were the very items I should avoid for a while.

I tried this with raw almonds and soaked ones. The former made me tilt backward, while with the latter the tilt was definitely forward, though it was the same food.

This test sure works for me.


Do you ever say...Odie "scanning" his dinner
My dog is a picky eater!

Many people tell me that their dog is a picky eater. The dog doesn't seem terribly interested let alone excited about meal time. Sometimes it is clear the dog doesn't like the food. They would rather have table scraps, or sometimes even nothing at all, in extreme cases.

Certainly first you need to rule out a serious medical condition like a bowel obstruction, poisoning, or other condition that would require immediate veterinary attention. Absent that, rather than considering the dog a picky eater, I think many of them are really being what I call "selective", that is, they are giving you important information about what they think they need (or don't need). Since most dogs don't listen to advertising hype, they usually are not being swayed by it. Photo shows Odie "scanning" his dinner, before eating it. I am now convinced many pets are scanning and checking their food energetically to see if it is good for them (strengthens their energy fields) or not (weakens their energy fields.) Odie would not eat it if he "felt" it would weaken him. The animals feel the energy differences. Humans can too, but most of us have tuned out those more subtle energies. We can, however, relearn them, or do various types of muscle testing or kinesiology, to get the same type of information.

Rather I think they are listening to their body about what it says it needs, and often times, I think it is greater nutrition that they want. Certainly "real food" like meat and veggies has more nutritional value than processed food, like kibble, or even canned dog food. My dogs would "scan" their food, carefully sniffing and checking it out. Given choices, like different kinds of dog food, or even "people food", they will eat that which they need/want most, first. Every dog is different, and certainly there are many variables to be considered. But in my opinion, it's not so different from people and "people food." We know fresh food has more food value (nutrition) than processed food, and some people are more aware and sensitive to their body's needs than others. Some of us eat things that are not healthy for us, even though we know better. But we humans don't usually give our dogs the choices that we give ourselves, so we don't get their side of the story, their opinion about what their body needs.

Think about it. Would you like to eat dry corn flakes for most/all of your life? Don't you think your body would eventually want something else? Aren't our bodies changing, on a daily basis, and therefore our nutritional needs change along with that? Don't we take supplements to help balance our bodies and nutritional needs? Maybe our dogs need the same consideration, for maximum health.

If you would like to find out your dog's opinion, try some food taste tests. Do them three or four times, mixing up the order of the foods. Include what you are now feeding, as one of the choices. We have lots of samples available, if you want to make it interesting, in trying a variety of foods. Video it, if you can. I always gave my dogs credit for at least 50% knowledge of what they need. Listening to my dogs' opinions about what they could and couldn't eat was one of the reasons my dogs lived many years beyond expected lifespans. You might be surprised at what they tell you. Food is one of the easiest factors to change in their lives, and frequently shows results in a relatively short amount of time (days, hours, even minutes). And you can always go back to feeding their current diet, if you don't see beneficial and positive results.

It's a fun and interesting way to get to know your dog better, and may lead to a longer, and higher quality of life, and doesn't cost anything to find out.



*Always consult with your veterinarian before engaging in any new course of action with your dog. The opinions and ideas expressed here are for informational and education purposes only. They are not intended to diagnose or treat any condition.

Copyright 1998-present Canines Unlimited, All Rights Reserved
Canines Unlimited
Martha Fischbach, Owner
P.O. Box 34496, Juneau, Alaska 99803

Shop: 4191 Taku Blvd., Juneau, AK 99801
Phone/fax: 907-790-3647