Archives for January, 2009

Dog food history

 Have you ever wondered how things were invented? Things that you are familiar with in your life? TV, Internet, Computer,Video, Microwave etc etc?

 Every products you are familiar with has its own history. I would think that if caveman heard about the Internet, it would have been jaw-dropping news for them. The period that left their stories on the cave for others about their lives would not believe that words can be sent with one click button “Send” in your computer.

 Sometimes, people can get used to convenience and, forget about importance of the detail.

 For many dog owners here in the states, dry dog food is very familiar items in their lives. You go buy a bag of “Ready to eat” dog food. Then, when feeding time comes, you will open up the bag and,with not much thinking what you really are feeding to your dogs, you will scoop up the portion recommended and pour it into your dog’s bowl and serve.

 Back home in Japan, people we know who had dogs such as my cousins, friends, all fed homemade food made with fresh ingredients, and it was what I thought as “food” for dogs.

 Therefore, I had to ask what it was when Palette’s breeder gave us a bag of kibble. She made frown face as if I was asking a strange question, but I did not understand/think it was food for dogs. To me, it was weird stuff.

 Feeding kibble is convenient but, have you looked at it really close?

 In this entry, I rewind our time way back to 1800’s, and look closer how the dry food was born.

 Interestingly, according to, person who came up with original idea of  “dog food” is an American named James Spratt.

 To make it more interesting, he was an electronitian from Ohio state. He visited London once, and saw the dogs there were fed table scraps or leftover meal from ship, and he wanted to make the meal better.

 After he experimented with his guess work to make his “better food”, his dog cake was born.

 The products sold very good over in England. Therefore, in other words,the first dog food was born in England, not in USA.

 The Spratt’s dog food arrived in USA in 1890. That is when dogs in America first tasted convenient dog food.

 By 1900’s, using the base of Spratt’s idea, dog biscuits were born. Later, dry dog food appeared. Then, company started studying more on how to preserve their products with stable shelf-life.

 They studied on additives,which makes food palatable and keep the food longer.Then, to make the fat in the dry food not goes rancid, they started using BHT (preservatives) etc.

To read full stories on history of dog food at web-rover website, please click here.

To learn more on BHT, please click here.

 As you can see, the history of dry food is not long.

 Modern people today are in busy life-style. Therefore, many may not think about taking a time to read the label of the products, but I personally think that knowing what you really are giving to your dogs is very important.

 I take a time to read label of human food as well.

 You would think that you are getting frozen shrimp if you buy a bag of frozen shrimp. Look closely, it is with sodium even if it is raw shrimp!!

 A lot of food you are familiar with contains BHT, too. Cereals, hot dog etc etc

 After switching Palette’s diet to raw diet, I find myself more conscious about what we eat as well. I cook meal everyday, and I use EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Cold press is better.EVOO is good to prevent your artery from clogging up), and I do not fry foods much. I try to bake food when I can.

 Here is one good tip for kids’ favorite Fried Potato. 
 When you make nice crunchy fried potatoes, you would want to fry twice.

 The very first fry time is done until it gets a little bendy and then, you will put the potatoes back into oil as second fry time at much higher temperature to make it crisp up.

 Using this concept, you can make nice fried potato using oven. Here is how.

<Crispy Oven bake potatoes sticks>

1. Preheat oven 425F

2. Line up the baking sheet with non stick foil, and place cut-up potato into sticks, and drizzle EVOO, sprinkle a little bit of “Steak seasoning”(recommends McCormick brand)

3. Mix the potato with EVOO and steak seasoning very good on the foil, and line them single layer on the cookie sheet

4. Bake them until fork-tender

** I usually lift the potato- sticks and shake the cookie sheet a little to make sure potatoes are not stuck with foil

5. Turn off the oven. Put the oven with “Broil” with setting HIGH

6. Broil them until edge gets brown and crisp to touch.

 I made this fries the other day, and me and my husband liked it a lot. You can make sweet potato fries this way too.

 It is very interesting that having a dog effected my life this way..

 Since I have Palette, I go for walk daily now.

 Now and then,when we come closer to our house, we jog the last distance to home and race with Palette who arrives home faster.

 She speeds up when I try to pass her, and it is tiring,but fun.

 I would think that if I did not have her, I maybe not going for walk. If I did not have Palette, I probably frying foods a lot (I did not think I used to fry foods a lot, but my husband says when I first came over to the states, I fried foods a lot, and he told me I was like next Paula Deen, lol. I probably cooked more Chinese food than Japanese food back then, but it seems,I fried a lot.)

 I am now more conscious about what we eat, and what she eats. She provides us comfort, laugh, joy and everything else and, I am very grateful having her in our life….

Jan 10, 2009 | Comments are off | Dog Diet

How old is your dog in human years??

   Dogs get older much faster than human. Dog grows to adulthood in the first 2 years while it take much more years for us human to be considered as adult.

Today is not much of a reading for you.It is just a thing to play around to find out how old is your dog in human years.

Or,how old are you in the dog years. It maybe a fun talk with your kids.

In my case, Palette is currently 25 years old if she were human.

 If I were a dog, I am currently 5 years old!!

To find out how old is your dog in human years at onlineconversion website, please click here.

Jan 06, 2009 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (dogs)

Why do dogs roll on disgusting smelly thing?

  Have you ever wondered why your dogs love to roll on smelly stinky thing, and roll with biggest grin on their face with tongue hanging out?

Our dog, Palette, loves to roll on something she found on our yard such as snake skin or frog pancake we found on walk.

 In the past, she tried to roll on the piece of fish I tried to feed her as part of her menu (catfish). She really went dynamic to slide herself from one side of her shoulder and tried to drop on the floor to roll on her back, and shaky dance on whatever she thought she needed to roll on it.

 When she rolls on things, I can see her face lighten up,tongue hanging out, and she looked very happy.

 I do not understand why smelly things bring such a big grin on her, as if she has found really big treasure.

According to petplace website,there are some theories as to why they do the roll on stuff. You may have heard some of it,but theories go…

1. Instinct: Try to mask their scent.

** It is an instinct left from wolves, and they mask their scent so that they can sneak up to prey without being noticed.

2. A way of communication: Dog roll on things just to let you know that they have found interesting stuff outside.

** Wolves/Dogs bring back the scent to their pack to tell their discovery.

3.Other way to communicate with the smelly stuff: Dogs/wolves roll on things trying to put THEIR SCENT to whatever they have found it necessary to roll on.

I always read in the dog-related books that dog roll on things just because they want to mask their scent.Therefore,I always thought that was the reason but,it turned out to be something more..

 To read the full article at petplace website on why dogs roll on things, please click here.

Stinkiest food ever I found for Palette’s menu is raw ground tripe.

 Tripe is from animal’s stomach tissue. It is stinky, and I wondered if she found it interesting to roll on it since she seems to roll on stinky things.

 However, Palette was more interested in eating them rather than rolling on the tripe. I do not think I would like to pet her if she ever roll on the stinky tripe!!

On the talk of the stinky things, if you ever got skunked dog,here is a recipe to get rid of the smell.

Remedy solution for Skunked dogs to get rid of the smell..

Take 1 quart of 3% hydrogen peroxide,1/4c baking soda,and 1 tea spoon of liquid dish-washing soap(Ivory etc).Mix these and apply to your skunked dog. Rinse off the soap with tap water.

DO NOT mix these remedies beforehand and store it.

 It gets pressure, and it would burst in your closet!!

 What theories above do you think is most “make sense” theory to you??

 Do you have any other thoughts on this?

 Let us know what you think.



Jan 05, 2009 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (dogs)

Poorole,Poorole,Poorole.. DNA test for dog poop??

   When you take your dog out for walk,enjoying the nice weather with familiar view,suddenly your dogs find other dogs poop on the walk. What would you do?

 Palette used to eat other dogs’ poop occasionally, and eww!! the smell was awful!!

 You do not want the doggy kiss after that,I am sure.

 I used to blush her teeth with CET toothpaste every time she munched on poop treasure on the walk.

 She still cannot stop her craving for cats’ poop, but she now grew out from doggy poop eating after the diet switch to raw feeding.

 What she does when she find other dogs’ poo now is that,she stop, freeze, pointing at the huuge poop pile, and sniff at it.Then, she makes face as if she too is disgusted.

 Then, she walks around it as far away as she can go and then,runs back to me and we walk on.

 I pick up after Palette all the time. I do not leave my dog’s poo-mail on walk, while somebody does leave poo-mail for her on our drive ways or other person’s driveway though. The poo-mail came to Palette’s inbox now is sent back as “SPAM”

 Anyway, some people seems to careless about picking up after their dogs. On and off, I find myself picking up somebody else’s dog poops that are smelly,mushy,cold and huge volume of poop. It is not really a good way to start a day.

 Recently, I read about the one country trying to do something about it.

 Israeli city came up with DNA Analysis for poo-mail dropper. The vet in the city Dr Tika build up the DNA database,then for owners who put the poop in special dog poop bins get rewarded with coupon for toys or food. And, in the future,it would lead the owner of poop-dropper will get big fine by this DNA analysis. 

 You can read the full article on this here.

 When I came across this article,I was talking to my husband, but maybe the people who does pick up poop would register voluntarily with welcome mind,but people who does not pick up the poop would not register dogs DNA knowing the DNA can lead to him/her.

 Trying to making the clean city is good thing,but would this be practical to encourage the people to pick up the poo??

 Let me hear what you think on this DNA Analysis for dog poop to encourage more people to pick up after their dogs.
 Are you “FOR” or “AGAINST”?

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Jan 03, 2009 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (dogs)

A Happy New Year!!: Part I

Hi,everyone! A Happy New Year!!

You would wish you were cerebrating the new year in Japan,if you read this entry. Especially kids may envy Japanese kids

 Why?? Because you get to have lots of food,and New Year’s Day is the day kids will be getting “O-to-shi-da-ma” from relatives.

What is “O-TO-SHI-DA-MA”??

It is a little envelope with money in it.

 Little kids up to high school kids get O-TO-SHI-DA-MA. Usually start with 1 year grade gets $5 coin and then,as you get older,you get more money from relatives such as aunt,grandparents and so on.

 Then, some kids put the money into their checking account at their bank after spending some money on toys or something else that they wished for.

 Usually,Jan 1st through 3rd are really big sale time over in Japan,and toy stores get so crowded.

 However,the main event on the New Years Day is to visit the shrines/temples.

 Those places get so crowded as well. After that,maybe shopping around and eat traditional dishes “O-SE-CHI”.

 O-SE-CHI is the traditional dishes;there are more than 14 kinds of side dishes. Sweet rolled egg,sweet black beans,seaweed,shrimp,fish sticks etc etc list goes on.

 Each individual dish has its own meaning why it is prepared for the new year.

 For example,shrimp dish. Shrimp has long whiskers,and shrimp is curled up. Therefore,people prepare the shrimp dish wishing to live long until they gets their back curled up.

 How about herring roes? It is prepared wishing to have kids.Teriyaki flavored tiny fish dish is prepared to wish for good harvest in the new year.

 Sweet chestnut dish is prepared wishing for the wealthy new year because chestnut is color of gold.

 You can take a look at the O-SE-CHI dish picture here.

 Other than O-SE-CHI dish,we eat ZO-U-NI.

 Zo-U-Ni is like a soy based soup with green and MO-CHI (Rice cake) in it.

 MO-CHI is made from rice. Rice used to make them is special rice,and they are not the same kind of  Su-Shi rice.

 You can cook Mo-chi in the skillet, and dip them into the sauce made from the mixture of soy sauce and sugar, or you can cook them in the soup.

 When MO-CHI is cooked,it gets puffed up,and it gets chewy a little and sticky,and it really good.

 Unfortunately,when you buy them at the Asian market,the MO-CHI bag is ridiculously expensive. My grandfather used to make MO-CHI from scratch, and I used to help him making them. Freshly made MO-CHI is really good.

 On the New Year’s day,many kids wear kimono. Some adults wear kimono as well. New year in Japan is just like Thanksgiving day in US, and very very busy day filled with lots of tradition.


Jan 01, 2009 | Comments are off | Japan

Why we find vigorous grassy grass around dogs’ pee area in our lawn??

 Have you ever wondered why you have dotted spots in your yard,and particularly around the dots have very bright green, nice-looking lawn growing??

 Or wondered why dogs’ potty area gets yellow lawn??

 Here are some of the tips to prevent your lawn to turn from green to yellow as well as some of the reasons why dog’s potty spot turns yellow with very bright green grass around them.

Why we find vigourous grassy grass around dogs’ pee area in our lawn??

 Dogs’ pee contains “Nitrogen”.

 Nitrogen is actually good for your lawn.However, nitrogen in the pee is very concentrated,and when dogs repeatedly pee on the same spot,the potty area’s lawn  gets burned,resulting turning the spot to yellow dots.

 Some people say that the female dogs squat to pee,and they tend to pee on one spot more concentrated than male dogs that spray their pee around.

 Iowa state University turf grass expert “Nick” suggest that you should spray the water right after dogs pee on the lawn to dilute the nitrogen in the dogs’ pee to prevent the pee burning the grass.

 He also suggests to let your dog pee on the different spots rather than one particular spot.

 Dr Llana from University of Pennsylvania’s school of  veterinary medicine adds that you can let your dog pee on the designated area where people cannot notice from the front.

 Nick and Dr Llana agree that what damaging the lawn is too much nitrogen in the urine of the dogs.

 They also think that if dogs drink more water,it may dilute the nitrogen in the urine.

 I feed raw food diet for our dog “Palette”, which has lots of water in the meal compare to the dry kibble food.

 I have not paying attention to its degree of the damage for lawn by switching of the diet,and I cannot say if the change of the diet changed the degree of the damage on the lawn or not. It maybe interesting if somebody noticed any changes in the lawn when they switch their dog’s diet.

 To read the full article on the dog’s pee vs lawn care,please click here.

 The reason why you see the vigorous grass growth around the yellow spots is due to nitrogen level that stimulate the growth around the edges.

 It is also good idea to think about what grass you would plant.

 Most urine-resistant grass seem to be rye grass or Fescues.

 To read the full article on the tips on the urine-resistant grass for the lawn at allabout lawn website,please click here .

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Jan 01, 2009 | Comments are off | Miscellaneous (dogs)