The saliva test

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Last year when melamine-spiked wheat gluten killed thousands of pets in the U.S.A., a list of pet food manufacturers was released by the F.D.A. What was interesting about that list was the fact that one or two manufacturers were producing multiple brands of pet food. Producing two or even three brands could be explained by a manufacturer wanting to produce an expensive specialty brand for vets to sell, a brand which in all likelihood contains little of the unhealthy content found in their other retail brands. But there can only be one reason for a manufacturer to sell more than two or three brands, and that is to dilute the brand awareness of competing manufacturers. (download the list and count the number of brands that Menu Foods manufactures)

I noticed that the brands we were giving our kids to eat were made by one of these multi-brand manufacturers, and I immediately began looking for smaller and hopefully more trust-worthy pet food manufacturers. I found a few. Unfortunately, they were all located in the U.S.A. without suppliers in Hong Kong.

Last week while we were in Vancouver (before the big snow hit), we had two days free to roam around. Between the snow and my wife's disinterest in heights and sports, there wasn't much to do except shop and drink coffee, which fortunately is what I had hoped to do anyway. The night before our second free day, I surfed the web and searched for coffee roasters in Vancouver. I found and was impressed by 49th Parallel Coffee Roasters on 4th Avenue.

The next day on our way to 49th Parallel, I spotted a Three Dog Bakery store. It must have been serendipity, because Three Dog Bakery is one of the manufacturers I was interested in last year. We went into the store and talked to the franchisee Corby who was extremely helpful and eager to help other Three Dog Bakery franchisees. Imagine our surprise when he told us that there was now a Three Dog Bakery in Hong Kong!!! We bought a small bag of Three Dog Bakery Chicken dog food, a packet of "oreo" biscuits and continued on to the 49th Parallel coffee shop (whose Epic Espresso coffee is great by the way).

Back home in Hong Kong, I found the Three Dog Bakery stores. I'm now feeding our kids both the normal Chicken pet food and the Reduced Calorie pet food (because three of our kids have unlimited appetites and need to lose weight).

With the brands we'd tried previously, one or two of the kids refused to eat except when they were starving. Another three of the kids waited a long time before beginning to eat. With the Three Dog Bakery pet food though, all of the kids like it. The biggest clue that this is good pet food though is the saliva left in the dishes; there's lots of it!

Dogs can smell so well that they can even detect flakes of skin hence their tracking abilities. It should come as no surprise that they can identify most of the ingredients that make up their food, and if that food is made up of slaughterhouse remains, sawdust, road-kill, and euthanised pets, then it should not surprise us if they balk at eating the food we give them. According to Corby and the Three Dog Bakery web site, the Three Dog Bakery pet food is completely healthy. Even the preservative is natural; it's rosemary.

There are currently two Three Dog Bakery stores in Hong Kong; one in EMAX in Kowloon Bay, and one in Happy Valley at the tram terminal stop. If your pets are not interested in their food, or if they're getting old and need food that doesn't tax their kidneys and livers, then give Three Dog Bakery a try.

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9 Responses to “The saliva test”
  1. ahhmui says:

    It's nice to know there are all these little hidden gems in HK. I can't believe what can go into pet food - it's a bit scary... I have to say it's very sad to see what is going on in China today with so many products being falsified and harming people and animals... but that's a longer comment for another day! :)

  2. 河國榮 says:

    true. it's scary.

    SCMP reported that businesses previously spiking their products with Melamine are now using Cyanuric acid instead. what's scary about this is that many of the cats that died in the U.S.A. last year died because they had ingested both Melamine and Cyanuric acid, the combination of which caused the development of crystals in their urinary systems that shut their kidneys down.

    I don't believe we've heard the last of dangerous artificially 'protein'-enhanced food from China yet.

  3. Fiona says:

    I'm so glad to find someone else who is so concern about their dogs' diet. I am a trained biologist so have been reading alot into dog nutrition! And hate the pet food manufacturing world. I wish more people read between the lines, buying proper dog food. Coz what you feed your dogs is very important.
    I found several great North American brands of food no-grains food. I think a good dog food means higher meat content and less plant proteins as these cannot be digested by the dogs (e.g wheat, soy, corn is the worst, big allergens, while better grains are barley, rice (brown/white), oats. Though preferably less or no grains.

  4. Clement Lo says:

    Thanks for your loyal support and this article is greatly appreciated. There is a book you should read if you have the time: Food Pets Die For shocking fact about pet food by Ann N. Martin. You might not be able to find it in Hong Kong. I have bought her books in the United States. See you soon again at the Happy Valley shop. Next time bring pictures of your pets, so we can post them on our bulletin board. Your article is up on our board for customers to read as of this morning.

    Have a Yappy Day.

  5. 河國榮 says:

    hello Clement.

    coincidence? "Food Pets Die For" is precisely the book I linked to from "slaughterhouse remains, sawdust, road-kill, and euthanised pets" in the article ;-)

    cheers,
    Ho Kwok Wing

  6. Julie says:

    HI Greg, be careful, my vet told me that those "natural/organic" dog food have a high chance of giving dogs kidney stones because there's something in them that dogs are supposed to be unable to digest.....

  7. Sandy says:

    Hi,

    I so happy to find your blog. I am loved watching on TVB since I was little. It is so sad that you are not on them anymore. I actually live in Vancouver. Too bad, I missed the chance to meet you. You did awesome as a host for the pageant, by the way.

    Did you get the chance to buy a bag of coffee to bring home from 49th Parellel, their croissants are super good, did you get a chance to try them? I'm glad you got a chance to enjoy Vancouver. The snow is finally starting to let up, although there are still patches everywhere. I grew up in Vancouver, so I use to the rain, but I didn't know how much I loved it till it snowed. Best of luck with everything!

  8. Use it or lose it says:

    You seem like a nice person, but I think it's a bit creepy that you call your dogs your "kids".

  9. Joyce says:

    Just come acrossed your blog today...google spits out some strange results sometimes but anyway, was pleasantly surprised... I think you got an amazing story.. I only wish my boyfriend can learn some Chinese =) but he is not as talented! Anyway, about Three Dogs Bakery.. I found a shop that sells "parallel imports" it's on aberdeen street in Central, one block down from Gough Street, if you want to check that out too. Keep up the good work by the way!