Due to their unfortunate popularity these days, we do quite frequently talk about allergies on this blog. Food allergies to be more specific, i.e. about pets with sensitivities to certain proteins or pet food ingredients. Just the other day I addressed one way of helping to overcome these allergies, which was the feeding of novel proteins.
We recently added to our on-line store assortment the Australian pet food brand Addiction. This company offers quite a few of such novel feeds falling into this category. They include New Zealand venison, unagi, kangaroo and a protein meat source most of us have not heard of before: The New Zealand Brushtail. With this article it is not my goal to advertise yet another healthy pet food but to introduce and create awareness of a truly novel protein source to pet owners confronted with the problem of food allergies. I call it a “truly” novel protein source since it is almost guaranteed that neither you nor your pet have heard of it.
The Brushtail is a native of Australia where it is protected in all states except Tasmania. It was introduced into New Zealand in the 1860's to establish the fur industry.
Unfortunately, New Zealand has no predatory animals and the number of brushtails grew out of control. Early last century, the brushtail was declared an agricultural pest in New Zealand. The estimated 60 to 70 million brushtails in New Zealand consumed an estimated 21 to 25 tons of native forest per night. Brushtails in New Zealand kill native birds and eat birds' eggs and so are a targeted species for control.
In 1999, Addiction's Founder, who is a Holistic Veterinarian and Clinical Nutritionist discovered that the New Zealand Brushtail was an ideal high quality protein rich in Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. He believed that the brushtail could be used as the main protein source for an ultra-premium quality pet food formula especially suited for pets with allergies to common protein sources like chicken, beef and lamb. After extensive testing and research, he developed the world's first New Zealand Brushtail pet food formula. The formulas are available in various formulations either as dehydrated raw food or as canned food. Abroad in New Zealand and Australia, this one of a kind pet food has since amassed a cult following amongst discerning pet owners who recognize the following benefits of the Brushtail:
New Zealand Brushtail and the American Opossum: Despite the likeness in their Latin names and physical appearance, the New Zealand Brushtail should not be confused with the North American Opossum, which belongs to a different marsupial family, from a very different part of the world.
Saving New Zealand's Native Flora and Fauna: Activities to harvest the Brushtail are fully supported by the New Zealand Ministry of Agriculture and Forests. Addiction Pet Food Company’s operation is conservation based and approved by the New Zealand Government. By feeding New Zealand Brushtail pet owners are helping to conserve New Zealand's plant and animal life by reducing the destruction of native habitat and giving native plant and animal life a greater chance of survival.
New Zealand Brushtail is an unmatched source of Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids. Brushtails eat only the finest food, including a variety of leaves, fresh shoots, berries and grasses. Brushtail meat contains higher levels of Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids than other red meats. Omega 3 & 6 have important anti-inflammatory effects and are extremely beneficial in the management of allergies and inflammatory skin conditions.
Hypoallergenic character is assured due to the fact that the brushtail is almost unknown in the US and at this point is just being introduced into the American pet food market. Due to the difficulties of marketing a foreign product in the States, pet owners can be assured that the manufacturer is taking every possible care in formulating and producing this to the American market new food to ensure minimum instance of allergic reactions.
With it’s naturally irresistible taste, brushtail on its own is highly palatable and unlike most pet foods which use artificial flavorings to enhance the taste of their foods. It is an all natural and delicious solution with an irresistible taste that appeals to even the fussiest eater.
As I mentioned, we just added this to our store offerings and our experiences are kind of limited due to the time restrictions. However, the product has been well received by the many customers who gave it a try already. Both, cat and dog owners are reporting positive developments and equally important that their companion animals seem to like and enjoy this new and novel food formulated to comply with the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles for Maintenance.