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Sustainable Shark Cartilage Dog Treats, what are the facts you need to know.

Firstly, a small recap into the WHY about shark cartilage use for dogs.

Natural joint support is most effectively controlled by the two major alkaloids in shark cartilage, glucosamine and chondroitin.  The best source of this is shark cartilage fins.

While the rest of the shark is cartilage and could be ground up, the sticks are the perfect size for dogs to chew, which means that they also clean their teeth, satisfy their primal urge, and encourage them to eat the treat.

It might sound funny to call something that has such an important medicinal value a ‘treat’, but it would only be called a medicine if you allowed pharmaceutical companies to control the market refine the shark cartilage into powdered form and remove the other active ingredients.  That is great for monopolies, but would make the price sky rocket for the dog owner.

In may developed countries, besides AMERICA, shark cartilage is responsibly removed from non-endangered shark, and provided at an economical price for dog’s owners and dogs alike. However, the environmentalist lobby, is misguided on this one, and have lobbied state Governments enough to have one of the most effective treatments of joint pain not available to dog owner’s dogs.

Shark Cartilage Sustainably details

Overfishing:

The overfishing of sharks have made a dramatic decrease in shark populations for decades, Just by raw amount of each part of the shark, the main reason for catches used to be the meat.  Shark meat is often called flake, and sold on ‘fish menus’ at restaurants.  We don’t have stats for the total amount of shark meat consumed, but with the education of heavy metals pollution being found in many large marine animals like sharks, sting rays and sword fish, we would expect that except for being a slightly lower price, shark meat would typically not be the most sort after human ‘fish’ food.

The part that is hard to fathom is the catching and killing of sharks for their fins specifically. Because Shark fin is said NOT to have any taste. You might wonder why it is so prized.

Sometimes sharks are just caught for their fins – because their resale value to the food market is so high, and as some specific breeds of sharks become rarer, or the practice becomes illegal, the prices increase and lure more disreputable fisher companies to continue their practices.

Curiously while shark fin imports are banned in America, many states do not ban it from being made into soups.  The reason it apparently is so prized is that originally the Chinese believed it to be a delicacy something of prestige value, that also had undefined medicinal value.

Unlike shark cartilage, the shark fin mystique is close to black magic properties. Shark fin is said to have very vague properties such as helping with keeping people young, appetite assistance, and blood nourishment.

The practice of shark ‘Habit preservation’ is one of the best methods to retaining healthy shark populations. That is probably just as important as better policing of catches on big boats.    That, is what is likely to be the most successful factor in bringing back sustainable shark populations – not a blanket banning.

The banning has largely been driven by environmentalist campaigns and people realizing that pollution is also running their beaches and real estate prices, has tightened up some of the loop holes in destroying the quality of sea water and habits of sharks.

Bycatch, has also been a contributing factor in endangerment. This is the indiscriminate catching of all sea creatures by such things as large drift nets had put a serious dent in shark populations.

As fishing companies created new practices to either better target the fish species they really wanted to catch (because fines became very large) or companies created new large nets to get around the drift net bans … the regulation tightening has been slowly improving shark populations.

How or why does these issues and counter enforcement tie into shark cartilage as used in dog treats?

Shark cartilage has major benefits for dogs suffering from joint issues. It can help rebuild the joints, increase the viscosity of the liquid between the joints, and provide natural pain relief.  Glucosamine and chondroitin are two of the eight major active ingredients in shark cartilage that provide all of that in substantial amounts.

The reason that banning shark cartilage because of illegal practices by a minority of fishing companies is a massive over-reach by law making and law enforcement agencies. It massively negatively impacts the health outcomes of dogs. And forces owners into buying similar chemicals from pharmaceutical companies or via the vet, at massively inflated prices.

Shark cartilage is relatively low in price (considering the effort involved in fishing for it, extracting it and drying it). It actually takes a substantial amount of energy (i.e. cost) to properly dry it for storage before selling.  But if dogs don’t use it, It can often end up as waste, as landfill or similar.  That is the true shame of it.

CONCLUSIONS

Sharks don’t have a traditional skeleton, and are composed of cartilages as their major support structure. It is unfortunate that the shark cartilage sticks used for dog treats, and medicinal treatment, are almost exclusively from the shark fin.  But if sharks are caught for human consumption, and they are from plentiful species of the shark, then using the cartilage for dogs actually prevents waste.

If the right sharks are caught, in the right numbers, then eating shark meat, and using the very valuable shark cartilage for dog joint issues can be very sustainable.

The reason the sticks (fine cartilage cut up) are used is that these shark cartilage pieces are straight and small enough to be able to be chewed by most dogs without causing a choking hazard. They also happen to be completely natural and are a great teeth cleaning treat at the same time.

Shark cartilage only becomes economical enough to use for dogs, if the wholesale dog treats company’s acquiring the raw material, and dry it economically. This is where sustainable energy solutions will really be of value to assisting dog pain in the future.

 If America and other countries in the world can fix the sustainability issue, and enforce it with the catching stage and processing stage, then shark populations wont unduly suffer and dogs with joint pain wont either.

We stock and use sustainably caught sharks and the resulting shark cartilage and see a great real-world benefit to reducing dog pain and enabling them to walk well again. But then again, we are based in Australia.

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