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 would 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 today's "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 weather 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 intolerance) 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, distributors, 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 pres