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(1) WHY IS THERE NO GRAIN OR WHITE POTATO IN BROTHERS COMPLETE?
Years of actual experience operating a dog food store has given us the unique vantage point of being able to observe the effect of diet on many thousands of dogs over extended periods of time and we noticed the dogs that were eating food with grain or potato in it were the dogs that seemed to have most of the problems.
Over the years we changed thousands of dogs to a grain and potato free diet and saw a remarkable improvement in their health, almost without exception. Many of the initial problems that led us to eliminate grain and potato from our customer’s dog’s diet were connected to skin and allergy type reactions, but what surprised us were the improvements in all aspects of the dogs overall health, (not just the skin issues), when they were taken off grain and potato.
Many dogs were seemingly fine eating grain or potato based dog food when we first met them but over the years, if they didn’t move to the grain and potato free foods, the majority of them eventually did develop problems. Switching them to the grain and potato free foods quickly eliminated the problems and was further confirmation that grain and potato were primarily responsible for the problems.
There are many veterinarians and nutritionists who say that dogs should not have a problem eating grain or potato; and there have even been studies designed to prove the same thing. These studies are usually funded by large dog food companies that have a vested interest in convincing Veterinarians and the general public that grain and potato is good for dogs, or at least doesn’t do them any harm. Given our experience with thousands of dogs over the years we cannot agree with that point of view.
It seems a bit foolish to our family to argue that grain and potato should be healthy for dogs, based on theories, in the face of the overwhelming empirical evidence to the opposite, gathered at our store over the years with thousands of dogs. We observed that about 95% of dogs with skin/allergy symptoms that had grain and potato removed from their diet experienced a dramatic reduction of their symptoms in the short term, and eventually returned to full health when their system was given time to heal completely. Numerous other problems, in addition to the skin related problems, that seemed insurmountable and/or not connected to diet were often resolved as well.
In addition to the compelling body of empirical evidence that we have acquired over the years with thousands of dogs, there are abundant resources available on the Internet that provide the technical and scientific reasons that support what we have learned from observation and experience. RETURN TO LIST
(2) WHAT ARE THE TECHNICAL AND SCIENTIFIC REASONS TO ELIMINATE GRAIN AND POTATO FROM A DOGS DIET
1) Dogs have no dietary need for carbohydrates at all. Dogs do not need carbohydrates in the form of grain or potato to provide glucose to the body like humans do. Their bodies are designed to convert fat into energy through a process called Gluconeogenesis.
2) The grains used in dog food (most of which is poor quality grain rejected from the human food industry) is usually stored in hot silos for many months where it is polluted by rodents. various insects, infestations of grain storage mites, their droppings, and their carcasses - not good for obvious reasons.
3) High humidity, water intrusion, and the heat buildup in the silos encourages the excessive growth of fungus and toxins - some of which can be very harmful, such as Aflatoxin which has been directly responsible for killing many dogs, a fact that can be confirmed with an Internet search
4) Grains contain Phytic acid, a nutrient blocker, which has been shown to bind to minerals essential to health and take them out of the body, thereby depriving the body of their benefit.
5) Certain grains contain Gliadin which triggers the release of Zonulin, a chemical that directly causes increased intestinal permeability to macromolecules, or “Leaky Gut”, which results in increased allergic responses among other highly negative effects.
6) Potatoes and most grains have a high glycemic rating which causes a dogs system to react as though it has eaten sugar. This causes an insulin spike that over time that stresses the pancreas, and creates increased insulin resistance requiring the body to make more and more insulin which can eventually deteriorate into diabetes.
7) Potatoes are in the nightshade family and if exposed to light or allowed to get above 65 F for too long, or are damaged, they produce a potent toxin called Solanine. This is why our ancestors kept them in cool, dark root cellars at 55 to 60 F. The question you need to ask is wether or not you believe the dog food industry is digging, peeling, and using fresh, undamaged potatoes or if they might be using old, partially spoiled or damaged whole potatoes rejected from the human food chain that are shipped in hot trucks and stored in hot silos until needed. Potatoes are bad enough for dogs even when they are fresh.
8) Grains and potatoes are a high source of “Lectins” which are very damaging to the gut as well as the overall health of the dog for the following reasons:
A) Lectins interfere with the absorption of nutrients by damaging the fine microvilli that line the walls of the gut whose job it is to extract nutrition from the food and transport it into the blood stream. This negatively influences protein digestion and can result in anemia, and often causes diarrhea as well.
B) Lectins damage the delicate microvilli covering the mucosal lining of the gut which eventually leads to a “Leaky Gut” condition.
C) Lectins can penetrate the intestinal membranes and get into the blood stream where they can cause immune dysfunction and systemic inflammation.
D) Lectins can create food sensitivities (food intolerances) and can cause the immune system to create antibodies against them.
E) Lectins can imitate hormones like insulin and block certain digestive hormones (like cholecystokinin) which adversely affects the metabolism and contributes to weight gain.
F) Lectins stimulate polyamines in the gut which can contribute to bad breath and cause swelling of the intestines, pancreas, and liver. RETURN TO LIST
(3) WHY IS BROTHERS COMPLETE CONSIDERED THE FRESHEST KIBBLE ON THE MARKET?
There are four reasons that Brothers deserves to be considered the freshest kibble on the market:
1) Brothers is unique in it’s policy of storing it’s dog food in a facility that is kept dark and cold (air conditioned at 62 F) to maintain optimum freshness until the day your bag of Brothers is shipped to you. The natural preservatives that are now being used in dog food are degraded by heat, oxygen, and light. Within 24 hours of being made, the small batches of Brothers are delivered to it’s warehouse where it is kept cool and fresh for the short period of time we have it before shipping it directly to our customers.
2) Brothers uses a combination of 4 natural preservatives instead of the industry standard which is just one or two.
3) Brothers is produced in very small batches that are run individually when needed. Brothers does not need to produce large amounts of product at one time because we do not need to have 3 to 6 months of product stockpiled to supply distributors. These large production runs end up being stored in hot warehouses, usually for 3 to 6 months before being delivered to stores. Producing Brothers more frequently in small batches costs more and is less convenient than running large batches and stockpiling them as other companies do; but because Brothers supplies it’s customers as they order on the Internet we do not need to stockpile the food for many months in hot warehouses to supply a nationwide network of retail stores (where the food will often sit for an additional month or two to make matters even worse). Since our method of production and delivery puts Brothers in our customers hands about 3 to 6 months sooner than the retail outlets can we feel the substantial increase in Brothers freshness is well worth the additional cost and inconvenience.
4) Brothers is packed in a high tech metalized bag that prevents light and oxygen from passing through it. Light and oxygen contribute to the process of oxidation that turns the fat rancid.
We have operated a retail dog food store for years and are speaking from experience when we say that dog food sold in retail stores usually sits in hot warehouses for 3 to 6 months before being delivered to stores. We can tell because the bags are date stamped and we see them the day our orders from the wholesalers are delivered. All too often the fat is already oxidized to some degree and partially rancid by the time the food gets to the stores. Brothers is the freshest kibble on the market by at least 3 months at high temperatures and usually more than that. It’s one of the reasons that dogs overwhelmingly love the taste of Brothers Complete dog food - it’s uniquely and deliciously fresh. RETURN TO LIST
(4) WILL BROTHERS HELP RESOLVE THE PROBLEMS MY DOG HAS WITH ALLERGIES AND SKIN CONDITIONS?
Brothers will absolutely help your dog with these problems even if some of your dog’s problems are caused by something other than diet. Brothers is so nutritionally sound and balanced that once the allergy/skin conditions are resolved, the overall health of your dog will be strengthened to the point that it will often help mitigate any other problems as well. For instance if a dog has a “Leaky Gut”, Systemic Candida, or a compromised immune system then something as small as a flea bite could cause an exaggerated negative reaction. Once the body’s immune system is strong and the colon and the beneficial bacterial colony is healthy then a flea bite might not even be noticed.
In our experience a poor diet is primarily responsible for 95% of the allergy and skin conditions. Over the years we've known thousands of dogs, through our dog food store, that have had their skin conditions and allergies resolved simply by switching their diet to Brothers. I think it’s accurate to say that Brothers Complete can resolve about 95% of most Allergy/skin problems in time.
Even if you don’t totally believe that diet can be the cause of your dogs allergy/skin problems, I certainly hope it would be apparent that providing optimal nutrition certainly can’t hurt and should produce a positive state of health from which the dog can better deal with any other problems it might have. From this perspective thousands of our customers changed their dogs diet to Brothers Complete and after a few months discovered that their dog’s problems were resolved by diet alone. Dogs that took more than a few months to completely heal usually had Systemic Candida which was resolved successfully after a total of 6 to 8 months on Brothers. RETURN TO LIST
(5) WHAT MAKES BROTHERS SO EFFECTIVE IN RESOLVING ALLERGY AND SKIN ISSUES WHILE CREATING A SUPER HEALTHY ANIMAL?
Many individual components contribute in their own way to making Brothers a better kibble; but it is the combination of each and every one of them working together that creates a synergistic whole - an end result greater than the sum of the parts - that makes Brothers, what we believe to be, the absolute healthiest, nourishing, and healing kibble available.
1) Brothers does NOT use any grain, white potato, or sugar in any form in any of it’s formulas.
2) Brothers uses human grade ingredients and sources all ingredients from the USA.
3) We make our food in small batches on a more frequent basis so our food is always fresh and recently made and does not spend 3 to 6 months sitting in hot warehouses waiting to be delivered to retail stores, which is normal operating procedure for dog foods that are marketed through retail stores.
4) Our food is kept incredibly fresh by storing it in our dark, air conditioned storage facility at 62 F until it is shipped directly to you. It is the freshest kibble you can purchase.
5) Our food has high levels of the best quality Protein derived from human grade sources and is low in fat. Over 90% of the protein in Brothers is derived from animal protein.
6) We have high levels of Omega 3’s compared to the amount of Omega 6. Our Omega 3’s include the highly useable and more biologically available DHA from fish sources.
7) Our nutrients not only meet AAFCO standards of minimums and maximums, but 8 pairs of nutrients are uniquely balanced to each other, which is more important than the absolute amount of each one individually.
8) Brothers is cooked at very low temperatures to minimize possible damage to some of the more fragile amino acids.
We replace the amino acids that could be damaged in our gentle processing to re-establish a perfectly balanced profile of amino acids so our protein source is tuned for optimal health and functioning.
9) Brothers adds digestive enzymes to ensure complete and thorough digestion of the food for maximum nutrient uptake and to save the pancreas the energy intensive work of making additional enzymes. The energy conserved can then be used by the immune system to maintain a healthy, vibrant system.
10) We add special extremely selective and advanced prebiotics and, in addition to those, one half of the Tapioca in the formula survives digestion and serves as an additional prebiotic. The prebiotic feeds the beneficial bacteria in the gut to facilitate and maintain a healthy, fully balanced and effective bacterial colony which keeps the gut healthy and functioning at maximum efficiency.
11) Brothers adds a special “encapsulated” probiotic to the food that produces 1,000 times more CFU (colony forming units) in the colon than the probiotics normally applied to dog food.
12) Brothers focuses on intestinal health and the overall health of the beneficial bacteria in the colon which has many positive and important effects that are explained in more detail in another FAQ.
13) Brothers is the result of years of experience in our retail store feeding thousands and thousands of actual dogs and observing the results. Our food is NOT the result of etherial nutritional concepts based on evaluating isolated ingredients, or narrowly focused research designed to facilitate increased profit for some large corporation.
14) Brothers ultimately works better than other foods because it is based on knowledge accumulated through years of unofficial feeding trials on thousands and thousands of dogs. Our only goal was to understand what did and didn’t contribute to the ultimate health and welfare of our customers dogs, and ours as well.
15) Brothers treats the whole dog from the inside out and is designed to establish optimal health by supporting the dogs biological system AS A WHOLE. It is our belief that optimum health, and the millions and millions of complex chemical reactions and interrelationships that take place every second that produce it, is best regulated by the wisdom of the inherent biological system as long as that system is provided with balanced, appropriate nutrition, while avoiding harmful ingredients like grain and potato. RETURN TO LIST
(6) HOW IS BROTHERS COMPLETE PRESERVED?
Brothers is preserved with 4 natural preservatives (instead of the common practice of using just one or two) and combined together they are extremely effective at keeping the food it’s absolute freshest. Doubling the natural preservatives is more costly but the added effectiveness and increased freshness in Brothers Complete is well worth it. No BHA, BHT, or Ethoxyquin is ever used. RETURN TO LIST
(7) WHAT IS THE SHELF LIFE OF BROTHERS COMPLETE?
Because Brothers takes such care to make frequent, small batches and keep the food in dark, cool storage, as well as using a very effective combination of four natural preservatives and a high tech metalized bag, you will find that Brothers will stay tasty fresh for a very long time if you keep it in air conditioning and minimize it’s exposure to air. It can stay very fresh under those conditions for at least a year or more. RETURN TO LIST
(8) DOES BROTHERS MAKE A DIFFERENT FORMULA FOR PUPPIES AND SENIOR DOGS?
Brothers does not make a specific formula for puppies or seniors because we do not feel it is necessary.
Senior dogs have a tendency to loose some efficiency in their ability to metabolize proteins as they age, so it is recommended that they get a bit more protein than normal as they age (not less as is the common misconception). However, if a dogs diet is optimally balanced and extremely nutritious, with a large percentage of human grade animal proteins, as Brothers is, I doubt you will notice much, if any difference, in your senior dog’s need for protein - although the extra protein is certainly there if it is needed. We have had two dogs live to be over 21 years (one is still going strong) and their eating habits were, and are, quite stable on Brothers. There’s plenty of high grade animal protein in Brothers if your senior dog needs it.
Puppies simply require more food while they are growing and highly active. They don’t need a different, or “special” food. just more of a balanced, healthy food. Most commercial “Puppy” formulas simply add extra fat to the food. Brothers provides your puppy with more of a balanced, highly nutritious food, not just extra calories from fat. Simply feed your puppy a bit more Brothers until their growth spurt slows and their energy output begins to calm down. Brothers is formulated for optimal health in all life stages. RETURN TO LIST
(9) IS BROTHERS OK TO FEED A LARGE BREED PUPPY?
Large breed puppies (dogs that will mature at about 65 pounds or more) should be fed a diet that is balanced and not too high in Calcium and Phosphorus. Certain feeding trials in the past have correlated too much Calcium and overfeeding to a bone growth pattern that has caused a problem in a small percentage of large breed puppies. Since there are many dietary factors that influence Calcium absorption (level of Vitamin D for instance) we do not feel that isolating a certain ingredient, without taking into account the entire diet, is relevant, or an accurate representation of the whole picture.
Mother wolves in the wild do not feed their pups a different or ultra low calcium diet until they’re about a year old, and these are very robust and healthy large breed animals that are not plagued by this bone growth anomaly, or many of the other problems our domesticated animals have developed; which I believe is primarily from eating the grain and potato and the low quality and low levels of animal protein that is characteristically in the average commercial dog foods.
If you want to be on the safe side, take care to not overfeed your large breed puppy since it has also been postulated that it is overfeeding that has caused this bone growth problem in the few animals that acquired it. Our opinion is that the foods that were fed in the tests had excessive amounts of grain and potato and high glycemic ingredients (and probably other dietary imbalances as well) that were primarily responsible for a growth rate in the bones that was out of balance with the rest of the body. It seems an overly simplistic view to conclude that it was “too much calcium” without looking at the entire picture - especially given that this problem does not occur in the wild population.
The levels of Calcium in Brothers formulas (The Allergy and White Meat formulas) are fairly low and very close to the low levels recommended (meaning the low range that is recommended) for large breed puppies as a result of those tests (the range recommended is 0.8-1.4% Calcium, and the two Brothers formulas are at 1.5% and 1.66% respectively which is fairly close to that range). But most importantly the calcium in Brothers is balanced to the nutritional profile of the overall food with higher levels of protein and lower levels of carbohydrates (and NO grain or white potato). If I were to own a large breed puppy I would not hesitate for a moment to put them on Brothers, in fact it’s the only kibble I would feed it.
If you are still undecided regarding appropriate “calcium levels” for large breed puppies, I recommend that you add some canned meat to the Brothers kibble for the first 6 to 12 months, which will effectively dilute the calcium levels in Brothers to the very low levels these “experts” recommend.
I personally feel very strongly that providing the absolute best in nutrition during the formative years is crucial to the long term health of your puppy; and I honestly think that Brothers is the healthiest, most nutritionally complete kibble made. It is designed to optimize the overall health of the ENTIRE BIOLOGICAL SYSTEM of your dog like no other food I’m aware of.
If you add a raw meaty bone, or an occasional raw turkey neck to your dogs diet to help ensure good dental health, or add a small amount of raw meat to the diet, (perhaps alternating by feeding one meal raw and one meal Brothers) I do not think you can possibly do more for your dog to ensure a long and healthy life. RETURN TO LIST
(10) IS BROTHERS AVAILABLE IN STORES OR ONLY ONLINE?
Brothers Complete is only available Online, or in our single store in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The only way to guarantee Brothers unique freshness is to sell it directly to our customers through our Online store so we can control the various aspects that we know are essential to freshness. Our commitment to providing the freshest dog food possible has ruled out using the normal distribution channels which require making the food in large batches, storing it in hot warehouses for months on end, and exposing the food to various conditions that are not conducive to providing you with an optimally fresh product. RETURN TO LIST
(11) IS BROTHERS MADE WITH PRODUCTS FROM THE USA?
Brothers is made in the USA with products that are sourced in the USA. Cheaper foreign products are often available and are frequently used by other manufacturers; but we feel very strongly that for increased quality control and, more importantly the ultimate safety of our dogs, it is important to source all our materials in the USA. In addition to the safety considerations we think it is important to source our ingredients and manufacture Brothers in the USA to help employ more Americans. RETURN TO LIST
(12) HOW SHOULD I TRANSITION MY DOG TO BROTHERS?
It’s usually a good idea to slowly transition to a new food over a week or two. The more different the ingredients in the old food are when compared to Brothers, the longer you should take. For instance if you are switching to Brothers from a food that has grain or potato in it then the transition should be slower than it would be if you were transitioning from a dog food that was grain free. A good way to transition is as follows: Feed 3/4 the old food mixed with 1/4 Brothers until the stool is normal and not too loose. This usually only takes a few days at most but in extreme circumstances it can take longer. Once the stool is normal then mix 1/2 of the old food and 1/2 Brothers and feed until the stool is again normal. Then use 1/4 old food with 3/4 Brothers until the stool is normal. Finally go to 100% Brothers and watch your dog get healthier with each passing month. RETURN TO LIST
(13) WILL SWITCHING TO BROTHERS AFFECT MY DOGS STOOL?
After you have slowly transitioned your dog to Brothers and the consistency of the stool has stabilized your dog will probably experience steady growth and a smaller stool than you were used to on other food that had grain or potato in it. As your dog becomes healthier and healthier it may experience the occasional “healing crisis” along the way as it’s body detoxes to get rid of toxins and move toward a healthier more balanced system. A "healing crisis" is usually a couple days where your dog may have a loose stool or even occasional diarrhea but it will pass and the journey toward better health will continue. If your dog has “systemic Candida” then it can take as long as 6 to 8 months to get it completely back into balance, but you will see steady progress along the way. As the Candida dies, it dies back in stages rather than evenly and when it does die it can trigger a temporary return of some of the symptoms, or a loose stool. RETURN TO LIST
(14) CAN FEEDING TOO MUCH BE A PROBLEM?
Yes, Feeding too much can often cause a loose stool and unwanted weight gain. Brothers is a highly digestible, nutrient rich, uniquely balanced food that is very efficient at nourishig your dog. With Brothers you can be certain that if your dog is maintaining weight then it is getting sufficient nutrition. If your dog is acting like it wants more food it's only because Brothers is extremely nourishing, fresh, and tasty. Your dog will usually require less Brothers to maintain optimal health for the following reasons:
1) Brothers is more nutritionally dense with a higher percentage of calories coming from species apprpriate animal proteins than most dog foods.
2) Brothers is formulated with advanced prebiotics and special probiotics to help heal and create optimal intestinal health and generate the beneficial bacteria that increase the extraction of nutrients from the food.
3) Brothers unique focus on balancing nutrients to each other as well as keeping them within the normally suggested minimums and maximums means that less food is required to provide optimal nutrition for your dog. RETURN TO LIST
(15) WHY DO BROTHERS BISCUIT TREATS BREAK INTO PIECES SO EASILY?
Brothers biscuit treats are grain and potato free and have a named meat meal as the first ingredient. We don’t have the starches in our biscuits to make them hard, but we do have biscuits that have more meat in them than anything else and none of the stuff that causes problems like grain and potato. So while the treats may break up easily your dog will not mind that at all because we made them to be healthy and taste great. RETURN TO LIST
(16) SHOULD I ADD VITAMINS OR MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS TO BROTHERS?
Brothers does not require any supplements be added to it - it is perfectly balanced. In fact it is recommended that you do not add any vitamins or minerals because it will throw off the perfect balance of nutrients that Brothers has designed into their food. Brothers far exceeds the basic AAFCO recommendations and is like no other food in it’s complete and uniquely balanced nutritional profile.
Brothers puts a great deal of effort into balancing the nutrients TO EACH OTHER and not just adjusting them to fit between some very basic minimum and maximum values that are suggested by AAFCO. AAFCO guidelines are helpful as a starting point, but they do not provide a comprehensive and total guide for optimal nutrition. For instance, as of now, there is no AAFCO requirement for the extremely important Omega 3, or a recommendation for an optimal proportion of Omega 3 to Omega 6, or how much of the Omega 3 should be in it’s highly usable form for dogs, which is DHA. Additionally, AAFCO does not recognize that there are certain nutrients (at least 7 pairs) that need to be balanced TO EACH OTHER for optimal health. For instance the ratio of Calcium to Magnesium is important. If there is too much Calcium compared to Magnesium it can actually block the absorption of the Magnesium. RETURN TO LIST
(17) WILL SHIPPING BROTHERS IN A HOT UPS TRUCK AFFECT IT’S FRESHNESS?
Brothers is absolutely the freshest dog food you can possibly buy. Within a day of being made it is placed in our storage facility, which we keep dark and cool at a constant 62 F, so Brothers stays as fresh as possible until the day we ship it to you. Even if you live on the opposite side of the country from Brothers, it usually only takes 5 days to get to you.
I’ve been in UPS trucks and their depot’s and I’ve also been in a lot of manufacturers and distributor's warehouses where dog food is stored, sometimes for up to 6 months - and the warehouses that store dog food are a lot hotter than UPS trucks. However, it's really not an issue because Brothers is only in the delivery truck for 1 to 5 days. When you compare this to normal dog food that is usually in hot warehouses for an average of 3 to 6 months it quickly becomes apparent that 1 to 5 days in a delivery truck is insignificant in it's effect on the unique freshness of Brothers Complete. RETURN TO LIST
(18) WHY ARE SOME BAGS OF BROTHERS HARD FROM HAVING MOST OF THE AIR SUCKED OUT OF THEM WHILE OTHERS HAVE A LITTLE AIR IN THEM?
Brothers uses a Hi-Tec metalized bag that is impermeable to air and light for optimum freshness. We install a special valve on the bag which is designed to let air escape from the bag as it is filled with food. As the dog food cools in the bag the valve allows the remaining air in the bag to escape so the metalized bag now is now shrunk tight to the dog food. It gives the appearance that all the air in the bag was vacuumed out. This ensures optimum freshness and creates a firm bag that can be more securely stacked and wrapped on a skid to facilitate the 2 day trip to our air conditioned warehouse. As time goes by and the temperature of the food stabilizes, the valve is designed to allow a small amount of air back into the bag to create a state of equilibrium while preserving optimal freshness. RETURN TO LIST
(19) IF MY DOG IS ALLERGIC TO CHICKEN WILL HE REACT TO THE CHICKEN FAT THAT’S IN ALL THE BROTHERS FORMULAS?
The short answer is NO.
Allergies are formed when proteins, or partially digested proteins, pass through a compromised gut wall (the mucosal lining of the gut) that has become somewhat porous (known as “leaky gut”). The immune system identifies the PROTEIN part of what got through the porous mucosal lining and into the blood stream and it is that PROTEIN part that it forms an allergic response to because it thinks it to be an invading pathogen.
The chicken fat we use is of high quality and processed to be very pure, which means it is ALL fat and NO protein. Since there is no protein there can be no allergic reaction because the immune system is looking for proteins. RETURN TO LIST
(20) IF MY DOG IS ALLERGIC TO CHICKEN WILL THE TURKEY IN THE ALLERGY FORMULA CAUSE HIM TO HAVE A REACTION?
The short answer is NO.
The immune system reacts to proteins, or partially digested proteins, that are VERY specific. The blueprint for Turkey protein is different than the one for Chicken protein; and the immune system must be exact in recognizing an antigen (a pathogen it is programmed to destroy) or the immune system would be attacking all sorts of things it shouldn’t.
It is possible that your dog might also be allergic to turkey IN ADDITION to chicken but it’s unlikely. Chicken is often connected to an allergic response in dogs because it has been widely used in the pet food industry for many years. Turkey, on the other hand, has not been often used as an ingredient in dog foods so there is a much smaller chance your dog has ever developed an allergic response to turkey. RETURN TO LIST
(21) WHAT KIND OF TREATS DO YOU RECOMMEND I FEED WITH BROTHERS COMPLETE?
You do not want to feed treats that have any grain, white potato, or sugar in any form in them. It is important to get in the habit of reading the ingredients thoroughly because it is very common for either grain, potato, or sugar in some form to be in most of the treats on the market.
The best treats are either dried meat like beef jerky, dried chicken, or dried liver treats or, if you prefer a biscuit type treat, a grain and potato free biscuit with a meat meal as the first ingredient - like the biscuit treats that Brothers makes.
(22) ARE HIGH PROTEIN DIETS BAD FOR A DOG?
There have been times in the past where some thought that too much protein was bad for certain conditions like kidney disease or older dogs but recent research has found this was not really the case.
Dogs are descendants of the Gray Wolf and their Mitochondrial DNA today is 99.8% identical to a 5,000 year old Gray Wolf. Regardless of which side of the argument, about whether dogs are carnivores or omnivores, that you come down on it seems logical and apparent that, given their jaw and body structure, they are primarily designed to eat meat.
Brothers believes, and our considerable experience with thousands of dogs over many years confirms the fact, that dogs will flourish on a diet that contains a large degree of high quality animal protein and fat and a low percentage of carbohydrates as long as the nutrient profile is optimized through meticulous balancing and the protein is predominantly animal protein of high quality as it is in Brothers.
(23) DOES THE KIBBLE NEED TO BE DIFFERENT SIZES FOR DIFFERENT SIZE DOGS?
Brothers kibble is a small size as kibbles go. Experience has shown that as long as the kibble is small enough for the smallest dog to eat then it will work fine for large dogs as well. Dogs aren’t really designed for chewing and crushing food up like we are with our flat surfaced teeth. Their teeth are designed to tear, rip, chew a bit then swallow. While they may chew the Brothers kibble a little bit it is actually quite normal for a dog to simply grab, give a cursory chew, and swallow as they would in the wild. So the small kibble really works for all sizes.
(24) HOW DOES BROTHERS COMPARE TO FEEDING A RAW DIET?
Brothers was designed to be as close to an optimal raw diet as is possible in a kibble. We wanted as highly nutritious and perfectly balanced a diet as our present manufacturing processes, nutritional awareness, and innovations could make it, while providing the convenience and consistency of a kibble.
The Brothers family is in favor of feeding raw, however many people find the task of sourcing, preparing and balancing the raw diet intimidating. Our experience encouraging a raw diet to our thousands of customers at The Doggy Store over the years has taught us that most people are not able or inclined to do what is necessary to feed a balanced raw diet. Even those using the commercial brands of raw often eventually chose to return to kibble or a combination of kibble and raw.
We found that the best compromise, for those who were not going to feed a raw diet, was to feed Brothers Complete kibble as the primary diet and supplement it to some degree with raw additions. Brothers provides a nutritionally balanced foundation along with the added benefit of digestive enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics. The added raw provides some additional benefits - especially for dental health.
Brothers uses human grade meats, and cooks them in such a way that the result is very close nutritionally to dehydrated meat - except that it’s mixed with a binder (Tapioca) and is in a kibble form. Not all kibble dog foods are the same, nor are they sourced and prepared the same. The amount of binders used and the type of binder can vary substantially, and this can make a huge difference in the performance of the food.
Brothers uses a low temperature manufacturing process to maintain the maximum integrity of the amino acids in the animal proteins and adds amino acids to restore the balance.
The enzymes, prebiotics, and substantial amounts of viable probiotics added to Brothers can offer some advantages over raw diets that do not have these included because they provide the following advantages:
1) Help heal the gut wall (resolving a possible “leaky Gut” situation that likely exists to some degree in dogs over 1 year old that have been on commercial kibbles).
2) Strengthen the immune system (as much as 80% of the immune system is generated in the mucosal lining of the gut)
3) Nourish the beneficial bacterial colony in the gut that keeps the pathogenic bacteria like Candida in balance, enables the efficient extraction of nutrients from the food, and maintains a healthy mucosal lining.
4) Reduce the stress and energy demands normally required to generate digestive enzymes as well as contribute to ensuring that the food is fully digested and available to nourish the system.
Brothers is full of animal protein and so gently made that, in my opinion, it is very close nutritionally to a dehydrated meat diet.
However, when you consider the consistency of the finely balanced nutrients in Brothers (not just balanced within minimum and maximum values per AAFCO specifications) but balanced TO EACH OTHER where it’s important (as it is for 7 pairs of nutrients, like Calcium to Phosphorus and 6 other pairs), and factor in adding enzymes, prebiotics, and probiotics then it can actually perform better than a raw diet that’s not well balanced.
Finally, it is impossible to overstate the critical importance of overall gut/intestinal health and balance where the total health of the dog is concerned. Every one of Brothers formulas has the restoration and long term maintenance of gut health as an essential component at the heart of it’s nutritional philosophy and formulation.
So, knowing what I know about Brothers, I would say that, nutritionally, it is the closest thing to raw, biologically appropriate food for your dog that you can possibly get in a kibble; and there will be times, in a dog with a compromised or damaged system for instance, when Brothers may actually restore your dog to a state of health and wellbeing as well as or better than a basic raw diet can, and possibly do it faster.
(25) WHAT IS "LEAKY GUT" AND WHAT CAUSES IT?
Leaky Gut refers to a situation where the lining on the inside surface of the gut wall, or the intestines, becomes porous to some degree and allows fecal matter, or Candida Albicans (a yeast), to pass through the gut wall and get into the blood stream.
Leaky Gut can be caused by grain, white potato, or toxins in the food that damage the connections between the single layer of cells on the inside of the gut (called Enterocytes) which is the only thing separating the inside of the intestines and the fecal matter from the blood supply. Additional info on Leaky Gut can be found at:
It's bad enough that Leaky Gut will allow fecal matter to seep into the body and over tax the immune system as it tries to clean up the mess but, it also provides an opportunity for the Candida Albicans fungus, that is in the Colon, to get into the blood stream. This leads to "Systemic Candida" which over time will cause a long list of problems like ear infections, excess scratching, skin rashes, "scooting", weepy/itchy eyes, feet licking, gnawing, and a lot of things which mimmic an "Allergic" reaction to food.
When the health of the gut is compromised the entire system is going to be affected adversly. This is why Brothers places such a high emphasis on formulating a food that does not contain grains, white potato, or sugar in any form because each of them can, and do, contribute to Leaky Gut.