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I was given one free Nutritional Blueprint Testing Kit from ParsleyPet.com in exchange for my honest thoughts on the experience.  I chose to purchase three more kits so that I could test all of my dogs.

ParsleyPet Nutritional Blueprint Test Review by Keep the Tail Wagging®

What is Nutritional Blueprint Testing?

“This is a simple and non-invasive way to discover if your pet is deficient in essential nutrients or has an overabundance of heavy metals in her body.  A hair mineral analysis test reveals your dog's minerals deficiencies and heavy metal toxicity. You will receive a full analysis from a veterinarian explaining the test results and action steps.” ~ ParsleyPet.com

Why I Decided to Test My Dogs

I had planned to have my dogs tested last year, but I got distracted by life and it didn’t happen.  When I learned about the ParsleyPet test, I was excited that one test would give me a heads up on both nutritional deficiencies and heavy metal toxicity.  Last year, I was challenged by fellow raw feeders to take the time to educate myself about my dogs’ daily macro and micro nutrient requirements.  I took one look at the NRC and said, “Nope!”  Tons of people feed raw without digging into this 600 pound book filled with gobblygook.  But they were persistent and I became curious.

Around the same time, I saw a recipe online that included canned oysters as a source of zinc and I thought “are my dogs getting enough zinc in their diet?”  Ummm, I’m not sure but I started adding canned oysters just in case because a zinc deficiency can be deadly (add link to podcast).

A friend of mine (shout out to Destiny White!) created a nutrient spreadsheet for each of my dogs and I turned those spreadsheets into a monster workbook (yeah, I’m a spreadsheet junkie) that compared what my dogs need on a daily basis with what I was adding to the dish.  It’s not a super fancy spreadsheet, but it does the job of highlighting nutritional gaps that need to be filled.  After completing the spreadsheet, I felt more confident in DIY raw feeding because my dogs’ nutritional needs were being met, but my spreadsheet isn’t full proof so I decided to test the dogs to confirm that all is well.  

  • At this time, Parsley pet offers the most comprehensive nutritional test for pets.  The test covers 48 of the most common “nutritional elements, heavy metals, ionic minerals, and trace minerals.”
  • The test is pain-free; I simply snipped the hair close to the skin (but not on the skin) in the same place on each of my dogs, completed the paperwork, and sent it off to ParsleyPet.

A couple of weeks later, I received the results in the form of a downloadable PDF report that explained everything in detail.  And I scheduled a call when I received the answers to a list of burning questions – the chief of which was “are you sure my dogs are doing okay?  Because, spoiler alert, my dogs are doing great and I am KICKING ASS at DIY raw feeding.

Easy Raw Dog Food Recipe - Rabbit, Salmon, and Organ Blend

What My Dogs Eat

I feed my dogs a raw food diet based on the BARF Model that I like to call FrankenBARF, but I want to add a different name.  The base of their raw diet is:

  • 80% muscle meat
  • 10% bone
  • 10% organ meat (which is chiefly an organ blend by GreenTripe.com)

I also add the following to their meal:

  • Fish (sardines, carp)
  • Oysters
  • Fermented foods (vegetables, kefir)
  • Organic kelp
  • Supplements (link to supplements page)

I choose to balance over time and the only numbers that I deal with are the ones on the food scale because I measure every meal.

ParsleyPet Nutritional Blueprint Test for Pets - Review by Keep the Tail Wagging®

Results of the Nutritional Blueprint Testing

ParsleyPet works with holistic veterinarians to analyze the results of the hair tests and together they create a 10 page report with tons of great information.  I’ll share the highlights below.

Nutritional Blueprint Test

“Great Job! It looks like you are doing a great job feeding your dog! A few tweaks might be needed but overall you are doing a great job! The Current Reference Ranges are based upon a general population study consisting of a database of 50 dogs. These dogs might have been fed a kibble diet. Your dogs are on a raw diet which would explain the higher levels of Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Sulfur.

We think it needs to be emphasized that nutritional deficiencies or excesses are slowly progressive problems. HTMA gives us a multi-month snapshot of body function and nutrition. Values can be elevated prior to clinical signs of deficiency or excess. And levels of these minerals are probably more indicative of dietary intake than a problem.” ~ From the first page of the nutritional test results.”

  • My dogs didn’t have a heavy metal toxicity.
  • My dogs could benefit from adding Vitamin B-complex.
  • Rodrigo had a higher level of Boron that needed to be investigated.

Heavy Metal Toxicity

Yayyy! No extra action required.

Vitamin B-Complex

The test goes into detail, giving examples based on the nutritional testing results, when explaining why additional Vitamin B-complex would benefit my dogs and the holistic veterinarian recommended a supplement.  What I loved about this experience is that ParsleyPet didn’t send me a list of their supplements to buy.  I ordered what I needed on Amazon the next day and my dogs have been on the supplement for a couple of weeks.

I’ve noticed increased energy in all the dogs (especially Sydney) and decreased digestive issues in Rodrigo.  I didn’t expect the later, but I’ll take it!

Boron in Rodrigo’s System

The boron in Rodrigo’s system is from borax, a common ingredient in cleansers, especially DIY cleansers.  I Googled the ingredients in our dish detergent and dishwasher detergent and found that the Dawn we use has borax as the second ingredient.  At some point in the past, I didn’t rinse Rodrigo’s dish enough after washing, which is why he’s the only one who tested higher for boron.  I now wash their dishes in the dishwasher (no borax there).

Important Notes about Nutritional Testing

The results are a snapshot of how my dogs are doing.  We’re supposed to send hair closest to the skin to get the most recent results.  Sending in shedded hair or hair close to the tip (or end) is old and not a good sample from which to pull information.

I’m glad that I tested all of my dogs despite the fact that are eating the same diet and exposed to the same environment.  I made this choice because of Rodrigo’s history of health/digestive issues.  I didn’t want to only test Rodrigo because, in the past, he’s had trouble absorbing nutrients so if anything turned up as a red flag on this test, I couldn’t apply it to all of my dogs.  I felt more comfortable having a baseline for each dog.

A holistic veterinarian recommended that nutrient testing be done every 6-9 months on my dogs. These tests aren’t cheap, so I’ll be watching for specials and pre-ordering the tests and sending them in on a regular schedule.  ParsleyPet currently has a BOGO (buy one, get one 50% off) deal if you use PARTY50 at check out.  I plan to take advantage now and send tests in for my dogs in September (we have a year to use the tests).

ParsleyPet BOGO Sale…

If you want to have your dog's nutrient and heavy metal levels tested, take advantage of the BOGO deal at ParsleyPet.com. Use PARTY50 at check out and save 50% off your second test.

This deal ends Thursday, January 31, 2019.

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