QUESTIONS + ANSWERS
(1) WHY IS THERE NO GRAIN OR 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 eliminate grain and potato from their diet, 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 are good for dogs, or at least doesn’t do them any harm. Given our experience with thousands of dogs over the years we do not agree with that point of view.
It woiuld be foolish for us to agree with the argument that grain and potato are, or should be, healthy for dogs given overwhelming empirical evidence to the opposite that we gathered at our store over the years with thousands of dogs. We observed that over 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 were not believed to be connected to diet were often resolved as well.
Addendum: Presently in 2015 there are now resources available on the Internet that provide technical and scientific information that supports what we learned years ago from observation and experience. RETURN TO LIST
(2) WHY ARE GRAIN AND POTATO BAD FOR DOGS?
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 Glucose and 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 can be contaminated 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 essential minerals and eliminate them from the body. Our ancestors knew to soak grain in water for 24 hours to remove the Phytic acid, a process eliminated from todays "efficient" production methods.
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 , skin conditions, and over-reactive immune dysfunction.
6) Potatoes and processed 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 stresses the pancreas, and creates increased insulin resistance requiring the body to make more and more insulin which eventually leads to 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 to ask is wether or not you believe the dog food industry is using fresh, undamaged potatoes and storing them in a cool place until used 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) by causing 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) HOW DOES BROTHERS MAINTAIN OPTIMUM FRESHNESS?
1) Brothers Complete is kept cool in our warehouse at 55-60 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 48 hours of being made, the small batches of Brothers are delivered to our warehouse where they are kept cool and fresh until we ship 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 6 to 8 months of product stockpiled to supply distributors. These large production runs end up being stored in hot warehouses, usually for 4 to 8 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 additional months 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, we feel the substantial increase in Brothers freshness is well worth the additional cost and inconvenience on our part.
4) Brothers is packed in a high tech, 3 ply, metalized bags that protect from insects, moisture, light, and oxygen, and these high tech bags are stored at 55 to 60 F in our air conditioned warehouse.
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 4 to 8 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 4 to 8 months. 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 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 in the colon 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 is the cause of your dogs allergy/skin problems, I 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) WHY IS BROTHERS SO EFFECTIVE AT RESOLVING ALLERGY AND SKIN ISSUES?
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, potato, or sugar in any form in any of it’s formulas.
2) Brothers uses human grade ingredients and sources 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 handled through wholesalers, distributers, and marketed through retail stores.
4) Our food is kept incredibly fresh by storing it in our dark, air conditioned storage facility at 60 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 pure algae.
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 far more important than how much of each one there is. Their relationship to each other is crucial but is rarely, if ever, addressed in dog food.
8) Brothers is cooked at 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, up to one half of the Cassava 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. Brothers creates more beneficial bacteria in the gut in one week than the normal probiotics on dog food can produce in 20 years, because 99% of those probiotics are no longer active by the time your dog eats that 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. The number of bacteria in a healthy gut is massive (10 times the number of cells that make up the entire body) and is the core of overall systemic health. Almost 80% of the immune system is generated in the mucosal lining of the intestines. A healthy gut equals a healthy animal.
13) Brothers is the result of years of day to day experience in our retail store feeding thousands of dogs and observing the actual, real world results in real dogs in real life living situations.. Our food is NOT the result of convenient nutritional theories that suggest grain and potatoes are OK for dogs to eat. , recommendations of a government agency, or research designed to facilitate increased profits for a 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 of dogs. Our only goal was to understand what did and didn’t contribute to the ultimate health and welfare of our customers dogs.
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 PRESERVED?
Brothers is preserved with 4 natural preservatives (instead of the common practice of using just one or two) and the synergy of combining them is more effective at keeping the food it’s absolute freshest than using higher quantities of the least expensive preservative. We use more than the minimum recomended amount of the natural preservatives, which is more costly, but the added effectiveness and increased natural freshness in Brothers Complete is well worth it. No BHA, BHT, or Ethoxyquin is EVER used. RETURN TO LIST
(7) HOW LONG WILL BROTHERS STAY FRESH?
Because Brothers takes such care to make frequent, small batches and keep the food in dark, cool storage at 55-60 F, 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 cool and dry and minimize it’s exposure to air. It can stay fresh under those conditions for up to 2 years. 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 when the food you are feeding is low in carbohydrates, high in animal sourced protein, and the nutrients are painstakingly balanced in relation to their primary symbiotic nutrient and then balanced to the whole - as only Brothers Complete is.
Senior dogs have a tendency to become less efficient in their ability to metabolize protein as they age, so it is recommended that they get a bit more protein than normal (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, the extra protein is certainly there to be used as needed. We have had two dogs live to be over 21 years old and they were very healthy on Brothers up to the very end. There’s more than enough high grade animal sourced protein in Brothers to keep your senior dog healthy.
Puppies simply require a little extra 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 60 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 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 grain and potato as well as the low quality and low levels of animal protein that are 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 been suggested that it was overfeeding that was the biggest cause of bone growth problems in the small percentage of 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 2 of the Brothers formulas (Turkey & Egg and Chicken & Egg) are within the recommended levels for large breed puppies. The range recommended is not to exceed 4.5 gms Calcium per 1000 Calories, and the two Brothers formulas are at 4.0 and 4.5.
But most importantly the calcium in Brothers is a nutrient that is balanced in proper proportion to all the other nutrients. This ideal balance of the nutrients to each ther along with higher levels of protein and lower levels of carbohydrates (and NO grain or white potato) provides the perfect nutrition for large breed puppies. 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 feel comfortable feeding my puppy because a great deal of effort has gone into balancing the nutrients in Brothers and "Balance" is everything when looking at nutrition.
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 that have been recommended.
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 available Online through CHEWY.com, and BrothersComplete.com. It's also available in a few stores including our Brothers Pet Nutrition Store in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. See the list under the "Where To Buy" link in the footer at the bottom of the page on BrothersComplete.com. 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. We choose high quality ingredients that are produced in the US whenever possible. We do source some products that are produced in other countries - but always though a trusted US Company that we work with who are tasked with inspecting and testing the product when it arrives before it can be used.
We source our Venison and Lamb from Australia and New Zealand because they are free range fed which is their appropriate ancestral diet and they are not shot up with any antibiotics or hormones. We also import Cassava Root which is not grown in this country. It’s a very healthy, low glycemic starch that is feeding a large portion of the worlds population. After serving to bind our high meat content kibble together it has the added benefit of being a prebiotic. Once it enters the body a substantial portion of it feeds the beneficial gut bacteria instead of entering the blood stream as a complex carbohydrate.
The following is an excerpt from LiveStrong.com on Cassava.
"Glycemic Index - The glycemic index is a rating system that can help diabetics predict how different foods will affect their blood sugar levels. Cassava has a low glycemic index of 46, which means that it is less likely than some foods to cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. If you are diabetic, cassava could be a healthier choice than white potatoes, which have a high glycemic index of 85, according to DietAndFitnessToday.
In one study published in the December 2006 issue of "Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology," none of the 1,381 subjects had diabetes, even though cassava accounted for a full 84 percent of their caloric intake." RETURN TO LIST
(12) HOW SHOULD I TRANSITION MY DOG TO BROTHERS?
It’s usually a good idea to transition to a new food over a few days to a week or two. The more different the ingredients are when comparing the old food to Brothers, the slower the transition should be. 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) WHAT IS A "HEALING CRISIS"?
As your dog becomes healthier and healthier it may experience an occasional "Detox Period" or “Healing Crisis” along the way as it’s body dumps accumulated toxins in stages and moves toward a healthier more balanced system. This is usually a couple days where your dog may throw up or have loose stools/diarrhea or a return of some of the old symptoms like a rash or increased itching, 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 back it dies in stages rather than evenly, and it releases toxins (up to 60 different ones) that can trigger a temporary return of some of the symptoms, or a loose stool, as the body detoxes and gets rid of the toxins. RETURN TO LIST
(14) CAN OVERFEEDING CAUSE LOOSE STOOLS?
Yes, Feeding too much can often be the cause of loose stools and unwanted weight gain. Brothers is a highly digestible, nutrient rich, uniquely balanced food that is very efficient at nourishing your dog. With Brothers you can be certain that if your dog is maintaining weight then it is getting the proper amount of exceptionally balanced 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 nutritionally dense with over 90% of its calories coming from species appropriate animal sources, rather than higly processed carbs, and it is normal for the amount of food you need to feed to be less with Brothers than with your old food.
2) 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) SHOULD I ADD VITAMINS OR MINERAL SUPPLEMENTS TO BROTHERS?
Brothers does not require any supplements to 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
(16) WILL SHIPPING BROTHERS UPS AFFECT IT’S FRESHNESS?
Brothers is absolutely the freshest dog food you can possibly buy. Within a few days of being made it is placed in our storage facility, which we keep dark and cool at a constant 60 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 - 7 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 UPS delivery truck for a couple 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 a couple days in a delivery truck is insignificant in it's effect on the freshness of Brothers Complete. RETURN TO LIST
(17) How do the Special PREbiotics and Encapsulated PRObiotics in Brothers help my dog?
Brothers is formulated with special Selective PREbiotics (that feed the Beneficial Bacteria without feeding the harmful bacteria) and patented Encapsulated PRObiotics (that are protected from the premature activation that kills 99.9% of the regular Probiotics used in dog food). This important combination generates substantially more beneficial bacteria in the gut (up to 1,000 times more than the PRObiotics that are normally used in the few dog foods that do add probiotics).
PREbiotics feed the PRObiotics.
PRObiotics are the beneficial Bacteria that live in the dogs gut (intestines).
The Beneficial Bacteria in the gut, when healthy and in sufficient quantities, perform the following essential functions::
- They clean and maintain the Cilia which are extremely fine hairlike structures that line the inside walls of the colon and are essential for proper functioning of the gut.
- They increase the guts ability to extract nutrients from the food.
- They maintain the integrity of the Gut Wall (and help prevent Leaky Gut).
- They strengthen the immune system (up to 80% of which originates in the mucosal lining of the gut).
- They extract excess water from the fecal matter and return it to the body which helps to maintain a balance of fluids in the body and create a firm stool. RETURN TO LIST
(18) WILL A CHICKEN ALLERGY IN MY DOG BE TRIGGERED BY CHICKEN FAT?
The short answer is NO. Most allergies, or food intollerances, in dogs are caused by a "Leaky Gut" and are created when pieces of partially digested protein pass through the gut wall (through gaps in the cells that line the inside of the gut wall). This porous condition of the intestines is known as Leaky Gut. The immune system maps the exact amino acid sequence of the partial protein that got into the blood stream and makes antibodies to fight it the next time it appears. It is ONLY THE PROTEIN part that it builds antibodies against so fat will not cause an allergic reaction. 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
(19) WILL A CHICKEN ALLERGY BE TRIGGERED BY TURKEY?
The short answer is NO. The immune system only reacts to very specific amino acid sequences of proteins, or partially proteins. The amino acid sequence for the Turkey protein is different than the 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 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
(20) WHAT KIND OF TREATS DO YOU RECOMMEND I FEED WITH BROTHERS COMPLETE?
The Brothers High Protein (30% to 40% protein) grain and potato free biscuits are an excellent treat that will support and work with their Brothers Dog Food and usually prevent loose stool or disruption of the digestive system. Other good treats are dried meat like beef jerky, dried chicken, or dried liver treats.
You do not want to feed treats that have any grain, 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. RETURN TO LIST
(21) ARE HIGH PROTEIN DIETS BAD FOR A DOG?
There have been times in the past when it was thought that too much protein was bad for older dogs but recent research has found this is not the case. Older dogs actually require more protein as their ability to metabolize it diminishs somewhat as they get into their senior years. The Mitochondrial DNA of dogs today is 99.8% identical to a 5,000 year old Gray Wolf. Regardless of which side of the argument that you come down on, about whether dogs are omnivores or carnivores, it seems logical and apparent that, given their jaw and tooth 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 over 90% of the protein in Brothers is animal protein of high quality as it is in Brothers. RETURN TO LIST
(22) DOES 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. RETURN TO LIST
(23) 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. RETURN TO LIST
(24) WHAT IS "LEAKY GUT" AND WHAT CAUSES IT?
Leaky Gut is a situation where the layer of cells (Enterocytes) that line the inside surface of the gut (the intestines) becomes porous and allow fecal matter to pass through the gut wall and get into the blood stream.
Leaky Gut can be caused by a diet of grain or potatoes, toxins in the food, anti-biotics, or the overgrowth of Candida Albicans. 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 creating healthy dog food that does not contain grain, potato, or sugar in any form because each of them can, and do, contribute to Leaky Gut. RETURN TO LIST http:// http://www.brotherscomplete.com/FAQs.html