The Question: Are dogs less stressed when their owners are present during routine veterinary examinations or do they fare better when examined in the owners' absence? I have written about this issue before (see "Be There"). The study reviewed in that piece reported that having a dog's owner speak softly to and pet their dog… Continue reading Still Be There……Once it is Safe
New Science Dog Course! About "Dog Food Smarts" The Making, Marketing, and Safety of Today's Foods for Dogs This is the third core course of the The Science Dog Core Courses (Basics of Canine Nutrition, Puppies to Seniors, and Dog Food Smarts). Take all three to earn your Masters Class Certificate in Canine Nutrition!EIght chapters… Continue reading Dog Food Smarts
The omega-3 family of fatty acids receives quite a bit of attention these days, and with good reason. We have known for some time that increasing omega-3 fatty acids and improving the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in our dogs' diets is associated with certain health benefits. Although the effects of adding these fats… Continue reading New Facts about Flax
A recent study provides some needed insight regarding the question of whether freeze-drying protects raw dog foods from microbial contamination.
Homemade diets for dogs are increasingly popular. In a recent survey, 60 percent of pet owners reported that they fed their dog or cat homemade food for either part or all of his/her daily ration. While there are a number of arguments both for and against feeding homemade diets, a commonly held belief is that feeding homemade is much more costly than feeding a commercial product. So, is this actually true?
Today, let's talk about fish and fish oil, and the types of fat that these pet food ingredients can contribute to your dog's food. Some Background: Dietary fat, more specifically, fatty acids, are classified into families. Two of the most important are the omega-6 fatty acids and the omega-3 fatty acids. Both types are important… Continue reading Does this Seem (not…) Fishy to You?
No, this is not about a Disney Movie. But it IS about freezing. The freezing of dog food, actually. Raw dog food. The number of brands and forms of commercial raw dog foods available to owners has increased dramatically in recent years. A common type of raw diet is in the form of frozen rolls… Continue reading Frozen – Let it Go.
In the world of commercial dog foods, the term "human-grade" is an odd duck. The oddness occurs because the term "human-grade," while in use on labels and in marketing materials, actually has no legal definition. Rather, the regulated terms that are used to delineate between foods that are processed, marketed and sold for human consumption… Continue reading Human-Grade Dog Foods: Some Science
This blog is about science. Not to put too fine a point on this, but the name is, after all "The Science Dog", not "The Anecdotes Dog." Early in this blog's history, I wrote a series of essays that examined the principal underlying constructs of science (see The Steve Series). In a nutshell, the scientific… Continue reading It’s Not Rocket Science….But, it IS Science
Perhaps one who is wearing a top hat and carrying an umbrella? For Disney fans, Jiminy was the ever-present, somewhat annoying, arthropod who acts as Pinocchio's conscience. For our purposes, he is just another (edible) cricket. Insect Protein - All the Rage: Insect protein as an alternate and renewable protein source for dog foods is… Continue reading Hearing Crickets?
Not the Bruce Willis movie. Rather, mercury levels in pet foods. Are they too high? Unlike the movie, these worries are not fiction. However, neither is there reason for widespread panic. Let's look at what we currently know about mercury in pet foods and whether or not these levels should be of concern to dog… Continue reading Mercury Rising?
The Labs have a problem. Actually, some Labs have a problem. It's in their genes: In 2016, a group of researchers at the University of Cambridge discovered a genetic anomaly in a small group of overweight Labrador Retrievers (1). Specifically, the modification is a short deletion sequence in a gene called POMC. The presence of… Continue reading Do These Genes Make Me Look Fat?
Most people have heard the admonition "Stop playing with your food!" at some point during their childhood. It is rare to hear the dog version of this rebuke, however, especially if you live with Golden Retrievers (or Labs......). When the food is only in the bowl for 30 seconds, there is little time for playing… Continue reading Does Your Dog Play with His Food?
Trainers who use reward-based training methods (aka positive reinforcement training) often expound about its benefits to dogs and likewise caution about potential risks associated with punishment-based training. Although not extensive, there are a few studies that support the behavioral and emotional benefits of reward-based training and several others showing that the use of aversive stimuli… Continue reading Reward-Based Training and Relationship
I have avoided writing this essay. The reason is that, contrary to how it may on occasion appear, I generally do not seek out conflict. Considered debate about scientific evidence and civilized discussions? Yep, enjoy those. However, the acrimony and polarization that frequently accompanies internet discussions about how best to feed dogs? Avoid those like… Continue reading The Raw Deal