Q & As

What is the difference between palm oil and coconut oil?

Coconut oil is a vastly more sustainable product than palm oil, primarily because palm oil production entails razing entire fields and forests of trees—sadly, it is akin to slash-and-burn deforesting tactics used to clear-cut land to graze animals. This process obviously destroys entire ecosystems, but it seems to have a particularly devastating effect on endangered orangutans.

Coconut oil production, on the other hand, entails harvesting the fruits of the tree and letting the tree live so it can continue to produce more coconuts. Coconut oil is  more expensive than palm oil but it’s a price worth paying..

Nutrition:

Interest in coconut oil has increased in recent years. The beneficial effects attributed to the medium chain fats contained within it include an increase in energy production, fat burning and immune system support.

References:

Weston A Price Foundation: Latest Studies on Coconut Oil
“The Coconut Oil Miracle”; Dr Bruce Fife; 2004

Are your products suitable for human consumption?

Our products are not intended for human consumption even though all the ingredients we use are suitable for human consumption and are of ‘human’ grade. It was important for us to make something that could be consumed by humans just in case for example, someone mistakenly takes a Billy + Margot iced treat from the freezer and eats it! Also, it means that you can safely put it in your freezer without worrying about cross-contamination.  Our iced treats are also manufactured alongside ‘human’ ice creams.

I only want to give my dog a small amount of Billy + Margot iced treat at a time. Can I put the partially consumed tub back in my freezer?

Absolutely.  Our tubs are quite large and it may be too much for some small breeds. In this case, we recommend you reseal the tub and place it in a plastic bag before putting it back in your freezer to avoid any cross-contamination.

Can I defrost the tub and pour the content into my dog’s bowl instead of holding the tub?

No, we wouldn’t recommend this as your dog may eat the whole ice cream in one go and it could possibly cause bloating. I could not find any research or documentation to confirm or deny this statement but it is always better to be safe than sorry.  Sadly, Billy died of intestinal occlusion after ingesting some corn on the cob so you can imagine how cautious I am with anything like that.

Saying all that, you can give your dog small spoonfuls of iced treats in his/her bowl.

What is mono – and diglycerides of fatty acids?

Vegetable oils and animal fats are broken down into mono- and diglycerides.
Mono- and diglycerides are usually added to food as an emulsifier (to help ingredients blend together).

An emulsifier binds with both fat and water, so it produces a smooth mixture of the two. If you add oil to water, you’ll see the oil floating in little puddles-if it were a fat, it would be sitting in clumps. But when you add an emulsifier and stir, you get a smooth, consistent mixture of the two.

Because our iced treats use both water and oil based ingredients an emulsifier is an essential ingredient.

Do your iced treats contain any additives?

Our iced treats contain natural emulsifiers called sodium alginate and guar gum. They are both extracted from natural sources.

We tried to manufacture the iced treats without them but it was impossible to achieve the right consistency. Because they are from natural sources and in such small quantities, we didn’t feel we were compromising our values.

These are additives that do not need to be declared on the label (and there isn’t a lot of space on the label!).

Brown SeaweedSodium alginate : Alginates are extracted from brown seaweed and are available in sodium, ammonium and potassium derivatives. They are soluble in both hot and cold water, and can thicken and bind.  Sodium alginate is the sodium salt of alginic acid. When extracted from the cell walls of brown seaweed (particularly kelp grown in the cold water regions of Ireland, Scotland, North and South America, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa) it  is used by the food industry in gum form to increase viscosity and as an emulsifier. Sodium alginate has no discernable flavour.

Guar BeadsGuar gum is also called guaran and  is extracted from guar beans. The guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum. It is typically produced as a free-flowing, pale, off-white-coloured, coarse to fine ground powder.

Why did you use fructose and what is the difference between fructose and the usual sucrose we are more familiar with?

From plant sources, fructose is found in honey, tree and vine fruits, flowers, berries and most root vegetables. Fructose has the lowest glycemic index (GI = 19) of all natural sugars. Because fructose is nearly twice as sweet as sucrose, we could use less in our ice creams (Hanover 1993)

Reference:

Hanover, LM; White, JS (1993). “Manufacturing, composition, and application of fructose”. Journal of Clinical Nutrition 58: 724s-732.

What is Aloe Vera good for?

Aloe Vera has been shown to have many health benefits.  It helps to maintain a healthy skin, boost energy levels and reduce certain inflammations.  It can even help reduce sensitivity to external irritants in those dogs prone to allergic reactions.  There are a number of other benefits to Aloe Vera that are still being researched.

Reference:

Urch D (1999) Aloe Vera Nature’s Gift – Aloe Vera in veterinary practice. Blacdown publications

What is Flaxseed oil good for?

The essential fatty acids contained in flaxseed oil ensure basic cellular health in all animals. Research shows that essential fatty acids (EFA) such as Omega 3 are as important to the health of our pets as vitamins and minerals. Without EFAs, the cells will not form or function correctly. These essential acids are responsible for helping the body perform biological functions and they are the building blocks for prostaglandins. These are the things that regulate the hormones and the nervous and immune systems. They also play a part in cardiovascular functioning.

Veterinarians have been recommending flaxseed oil for dogs for quite some time. The fatty acids offer a host of health benefits. One of the primary benefits of giving your dog flaxseed oil is the shine that the skin and coat develop.

Should I only feed my dog Billy + Margot nutritious iced treat on a hot day?

No, you can feed them Billy + Margot any time of the year or any time they get hot, which could be on a hot day but also after exercising.

Contrary to what most people believe, dogs overheat more quickly than humans do. They wear their fur coat all year long and they do not sweat. They cool their bodies by panting, or blowing out heat, which is much less effective than sweating. Even if you are comfortable, your dog may be too hot!

In fact when dogs are unable to reduce their body temperature, they could develop heatstroke.

What happens in heat stroke?

Heat stroke happens when heat gain exceeds the body’s ability to dissipate heat. High temperatures cause chemical reactions that break down body cells which lead to dehydration and blood thickening. This puts extreme strain on the heart and causes blood clotting and subsequent death to tissue. Liver, brain and intestinal cells are usually the first to be affected and this can occur quickly. Normal body temperature for a dog is about 38.3c to 38.9c. If his temperature reaches 41c, he is in danger of brain damage, vital organ failure and death. Reducing body temp quickly is imperative. A dog who recovers can still have organ damage and lifelong health problems. Temperatures above 41c are extremely dangerous.

There are some signs to look for:

  • heavy panting
  • profuse salivation
  • a rapid pulse
  • very red gums/tongue
  • lethargy – lack of coordination
  • reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing
  • vomiting – diarrhoea
  • loss of consciousness in extreme

You can read more about Dogs and Heat Stroke: Understanding the Risks of Overheating | Suite101.com 

We support the ‘Don’t cook your dog’ campaign.

dogs cook in hot cars

Why have we swapped to Venison Liver Bites for Beef Liver Bites?

Due to the short supply of sourcing Venison Livers (as Deers only have one Liver you can understand why) we have moved over to Beef Liver bites to ensure our customers are still receiving the great properties that Liver treats give to our dogs.

  • Rich in B Vitamins for digestion, skin & nervous system
  • Packed with natural enzymes for hormone regulation
  • Contains Omega 3 Fats for skin, joints & cellular health
  • Highly nutritious form of protein for building strength