Have you eaten bison? I had a bison burger and found it to be very yummy and since then have made spaghetti meat sauce with it a number of times. This meat has become very popular with people because of its rich taste and health benefits  in the red meat category.

Dogs love it too! In fact, the bison/chicken formula of dry kibble, named “Heartland Select”, made by NutriSource Pet Foods, had been stocked by many of our family owned and independent dealers and it used to fly off the shelves and into the eager mouths and tummy’s of dogs nationwide. Then, due to the high demand of bison for human consumption, the supply to the pet food industry rather dried up.  No matter how hard the Nelson family (who manufactures NutriSource/Pure Vita pet foods) looked, they could not get enough bison to make that particular bag of dog food. Perhaps, you were disappointed when you couldn’t find it anymore in the stores, and we’re sorry for that.

But, I’m happy to tell you, IT IS BACK. There are now more ranchers in the United States raising Bison and the company has a plentiful supply. It is being manufactured again in the family’s own plant so that you can once again find “Heartland Select” in the Ma and Pa, stores with which we partner. See the dealer locator here on our website, to find the stores near you where you can buy it.

Why is Bison a desirable protein?

Before we get to that, first, who is this animal?

American Bison.

Bison are a species of humpbacked, shaggy-haired wild ox that are native to North America and Europe.

Are bison and buffalo the same animals?

No, buffalo and bison are NOT the same animal. Early European settlers to the western United States referred to the large beasts as “bison” and “buffalo” interchangeably, and the name “buffalo,” though scientifically wrong,  stuck. Typically, the big shaggy animals that people call buffalo are actually bison, while true buffalo look more like large bulls. They are related – both are bovines, large, cattle-like animals,  but bison are in a different genus from buffalo and they have striking physical differences that tell them apart.

The American bison, is our continent’s largest land animal which can weigh up to 2,000 lbs. and is found only in North America.

It has an unusually massive head and a considerable shoulder hump, both of which are covered with thick, woolly fur. By comparison, the buffalo of Africa and Asia have no hump whatsoever, and their skulls are smaller than those of bison.

Bison is becoming recognized as a healthy alternative to beef as it is a leaner meat with similar taste and texture although bison tends to be somewhat richer, and sweeter.

The benefits of Bison as a source of protein are:

It has one of the highest protein contents of all meats. 

But it is still considered to be “lean” since it’s relatively low in saturated fat. That’s a result of the body structure of bison themselves as well as the practice of having them roam freely outdoors. It’s a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid — known as the “good fats.”

Bison is high in B vitamins (vitamin B2 and niacin.) 

These vitamins help convert the nutrients from foods dogs eat into the useable energy needed for their bodies as well as supporting multiple metabolic functions and overall brain health. 

It fights inflammation. 

Selenium is a necessary mineral that acts as an antioxidant and eating bison is another great way to boost your dogs intake. Selenium, a necessary mineral, acts as an antioxidant that fights inflammation, and helps prevent the oxidative stress that causes cellular damage and the aging process. 

It supports a strong immune system through zinc.

Bison meat is a great way to naturally acquire zinc. Zinc is critical for proper immune system and cellular functioning.

It helps prevent iron deficiency.

Bison meat is high in iron. It’s what gives the meat its bright red color that makes it noticeably different from beef or poultry. The iron in animal products is more absorbable than the kind found in plant foods and more effective for preventing low energy and other anemia symptoms.

A herd of Western Bison.

Finally, If you care about how meat is raised, you’ll be please to learn that bison are grass-fed, allowed to roam –  spending the majority of their lives grazing at home on the range, and are not given growth hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals. (It is illegal to use them).

The Bison used in Heartland Select is from Colorado, United States and some of it comes from Native American producers. Heartland Select also has humanely raised chicken as the second ingredient after bison.

The chicken we use is humanely certified  –  which means the food comes from farms where Humane Farm Animal Care’s precise, objective standards for the humane treatment of farm animals are implemented. This encompasses how the chickens are treated from birth to death which includes their safety and their food source. These standards include; space, no antibiotics, no animal by-products, no hormones, the ability for the animals to engage in natural behaviors and to go to their ends peacefully.

Would you like to try a free sample of Heartland Select ?

Write me at susan@raisingyourpaws.com, let me know what you think of the podcast and we’ll get those samples out to you.

Full show notes for Raising Your Paws Podcast Episode 38.

Title: Signs Your Older Dog May Have Alzheimer’s & 4 Poisonous Foods for Cats.

It’s well known that certain human foods are poisonous for dogs – but what about cats? Are there human foods that are dangerous for them? Here are the top 4 foods cats should not consume.

Do you have an older dog? Do you know what healthy, normal aging is supposed to look like? World renowned veterinary behaviorist, Dr. Nicolas Dodman, and editor of Good Old Dog, Expert Advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy and Comfortable, talks about what you can expect and what to do to help keep dogs healthy in their old age.

In a “Why Does My Dog do that” feature, I’ll share a common behavior that lets you know your dog is trying to work off stress.

Resources for the Episode.

Amazon link to: Good Old Dog: Expert advice for Keeping Your Aging Dog Happy, Healthy and Comfortable, Book by the Faculty of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University. Edited by Dr. Nickolas Dodman with Lawrence Lindner.

The website Dr. Dodman mentioned: Center for Canine Behavior Studies – www.drdodman.org