Bison for Dogs
Updated: Sep 14, 2020
Buffalo, also known as Bison ( American ) is the premier source of bones and treats for dogs. Bison meat is a primal source of fat and protein that gives dogs a food that is considered hypo-allergenic and down right the best and most natural animal source to give your dog.
Learn about the unique history of American Bison and the relevant role they play in your dog's health. We must give these magnificent animals a moment in respect to what they have provided the people and predators of North America for so many centuries. There is a unique history to this animal as we look back even for the past 600 years. Going from an estimated 20-40 million roaming these lands down to near extinction by the late 1800's. In the past 120 years, with conservation and conscious ranching, we have nurtured the herd size back to around 500,000. We only process about 60,000 head a year to insure future growth and prosperity for the beautiful and giving animal we call Bison.
Carvings often sketched by Native Americans, showing there respect and appreciation for the animal that fueled their growth and nourished their bodies.
The correlation between your dog's health and American Bison can be understood by first learning about the history between the two species and the nature of Bison (what they eat, how they roam and their overall biology). Whether you get whole muscle meat, organs or just Bison bones and chews for your dog, you will be adding a protein source that benefits your dog, greatly.
Bison for Dogs ( Pre-1900 )
The unique history of Bison and our modern dogs can be correlated back to hundreds and even thousands of years ago when Bison roamed freely from northern Canada all the way into Mexico. In their hay day, Bison were a main resource to the predators of the lands. These predators included our modern dog's ancestors, C. Lupis (Wolves). Over thousands of years, these wolf packs relied heavily on the Bison. There is clear evidence that with the decline in the Bison population ( as described, below) it directly effected the wolf population and many other predator population in North America.
Below shows records of North American Bison Herds roaming at certain times dating back to 1720 up to 1889 (Before their near extinction from the lands). The dark brown indicates a visual of the size of the herd in the few years preceding 1889.
The rapid decline in the Bison herd size was due to the rapid population increase of Humans and our agricultural. Bison were seen as 'wild and uncontrolled' animals so ranchers, early on, did not consider domesticating them as success in doing so was unheard of.
Before humans dictated the role Bison would play in North America, predators like wolves learned to thrive from their nutritional wealth and abundant resource of protein and fat to feed a pack. With tens of millions of Bison freely roaming, they were bound to be a substantial portion of the C. Lupis diet. Over thousands of years, in North America, Europe and Asia, Buffalo of all variation were being utilized by wolves and other predators.
It is safe to say, our modern dogs evolution was fueled by Buffalo among other major factors, but can be identified as a fat and protein source that was apart of our pets' ancient past time.
Bison for Dogs ( Modern day )
The American Bison comeback is unveiling before our eyes with ranching techniques that have proven success. Much of the Bison herd, today, is found on private land and only about 20,000 roam freely in North America. So, they will most likely never reach the same point as they once did a few hundred years ago, but with conscious efforts being made, we can once again incorporate Bison back into our lives.
Modern dogs come in all shapes and sizes, but their digestive tracts and the way they metabolize their food is nearly identical in all breeds. We look at this as evidence that the ancestral diets of dogs shouldn't change much either. The over abundance of refined carbohydrates in our pets' commercial diets poses treats to our dogs' digestive tracts and overall health.
Although, ancestral diets were mainly raw, one way we can get back to feeding our pets ancestral appropriate diets is by feeding buffalo meat, or even as little as introducing Bison Bones and Bison treats for our dogs. There is this automatic recognition our pets have for Bison fat and proteins. This can help the digestive process in our dogs and also be seen as hypo-allergenic source of food for dogs that have been eating bad protein sources with chemical and hormone injections.
A potential cause as to why so many of our 'main' protein sources in the U.S. are becoming problematic to our pets, is because of the commercial techniques used to raise them. This paired with operations that forget that these are living beings that need natural microbes and bio-accessible diets reduces the quality of the product. Not all ranchers care only about 'yield' on there animals but the fact is, better yield = better profit. At this point, Bison are not subjects to the same ranching and farming techniques. This keeps them in a more natural habitat where they can graze on plenty of land the way it was intended.
With the American Bison comeback happening before our eyes, we hope that people and their pets can follow their lead and bring our American roots back to the forefront and once again respect the Bison for what it graced this land for so many centuries.
Advice for the Pet Parent (Seeking Bison Products)
The influence of 'exotic' proteins for your dog stems from the general public. The people are fed up with foods giving their dogs rashes and allergic reactions. This has led to introduction of animal protein sources from other countries and continents. With the steady rebuild and of the Bison population manufacturers are noticing the demand for our 'home-grown, exotic' Bison meat. But are you really getting the American Bison, you are hoping for?
Marketing techniques have led many people to believe they are getting buffalo for their dogs that comes from this continent. Buffalo also means 'water-buffalo' coming from India. Whether or not India has the same standards of health codes as the U.S. when processing animals is left to your discretion. Water-Buffalo from India and surrounding areas do not have the same nutritional statistics as Buffalo raised in the U.S. (i.e. different food, different climate, different habits)
We, as pet parents, are also concerned about the integrity of the products we provide our dogs and their manufacturing process. It is our duty to be transparent about our products and to help you understand what you are buying. When we know the limited amounts of American Bison available as compared to Beef products, it is not unlikely that your Buffalo products you buy for your dog may very well be Water-Buffalo from India. Question the company on what kind of Buffalo they are talking about.
When you shop our BarknBig Bison Products, although limited at times, is 100% American Bison.