The VERY First Dog Foods

Traditionally, when we discuss the history of dog foods, we look back, oh, about 150 years or so......tops. The story typically begins with a guy named James Spratt (yes, that was actually his name). Around the year 1860, Spratt created a baked patty for dogs that contained a concoction of grains, beetroot, vegetables and beef … Continue reading The VERY First Dog Foods

Wait. You Can Eat THAT?

Poop eating.  Lots of dogs do it. Many are quite proud of it. Owners? Generally not so enthusiastic. What do they eat? The technical term for poop-eating, of any type, is coprophagy. Many dogs readily consume the feces of other animal species - rabbit, deer, horse, possum and raccoon. Additionally, dogs who share their home … Continue reading Wait. You Can Eat THAT?

Taste Tests with Your Dog’s Food Toys

The taste preferences of dogs are a big deal to pet food manufacturers. After all, a food may contain quality ingredients and be highly nutritious, but it cannot benefit dogs if they refuse to eat it. Traditional Palatability Tests All pet food companies are concerned with their food's tastiness (aka palatability) and they all measure … Continue reading Taste Tests with Your Dog’s Food Toys

Your Dog’s Microbiome – What You Should Know

The dog's gut microbiome and its impact on health and disease are of great interest to nutrition researchers. However, many dog owners are not quite sure what this term refers to, what the microbiome actually does, and how the food that they feed to their dog may influence their dogs microbiome and health. So, what … Continue reading Your Dog’s Microbiome – What You Should Know

Free Webinar and Course Preview

Recorded Webinar (Free) Human Grade Meaningful Distinction or Marketing Gimmick? Register for 6-months of full-access to this on-demand webinar Learn about labeling claims of "Human Grade" and what this term actually means (and does not mean) with regard to food quality and selection. Learn about the latest research addressing human grade pet foods. Presented by … Continue reading Free Webinar and Course Preview

Protein – Are We Feeding Too Much?

Protein levels in some commercial dog foods have increased dramatically over the last 15 years. While there are many factors that drive dog food trends, this particular change occurred, at least in part, in response to pervasive (mis)perceptions that dogs are obligate carnivores [they are not] and beliefs that their diets must contain very high … Continue reading Protein – Are We Feeding Too Much?

Considering Copper

Why Care about Copper? The mineral copper is an essential dietary nutrient for dogs. It is needed for the formation and activity of red blood cells, acts as a cofactor in numerous enzymatic reactions, and is necessary for normal skin and hair pigmentation. Copper deficiency can lead to impaired skeletal growth and anemia, but is … Continue reading Considering Copper

How the Sausage is Made

Ugh. The Box is coming out early today. UP ON MY SOAP BOX I just read yet another article extolling the virtues of animal by-products and why these common pet food ingredients are (supposedly undeservingly) getting a bad rap. These articles are common in the pet food industry domain and typically include some form of … Continue reading How the Sausage is Made

Treat Tips for Trainers

I have written previously about research examining the value that training treats have for our dogs and the importance of considering "high level vs. low level" treats when we train (see "Treat Please" and "Speaking of Treats"). A second, and equally important consideration for reward-based trainers is the quality of the treats that we select … Continue reading Treat Tips for Trainers

Nutrition for Dog People

Core Course 1: Basics of Canine Nutrition Core Course 2: Puppies to Seniors: Feeding Dogs through the Life Cycle Core Course 3: Dog Food Smarts Take ALL THREE Core Courses to Earn YourMaster's Class Certificate in Canine Nutrition https://courses.thesciencedog.com/bundles/masters-class-bundle Yes, please send me information about Science Dog Courses!

New Scoop (and Poop) on Human-Grade Dog Food

Today, we take another look at a growing category of commercial dog foods - those carrying a human-grade label claim. Remember that the inclusion of this claim on a dog food label requires that the entire food not only contain human-grade (i.e. edible) ingredients, but also that it has been produced under the same regulations … Continue reading New Scoop (and Poop) on Human-Grade Dog Food

Its Maillard, not Mallard

We are not talking about this today. THIS IS A DUCK; A MALLARD DUCK. Rather, we are discussing this. (And its relevance to your dog's food and health). What is a Maillard Reaction? In this first essay of our series, "The Maillard Papers", let's begin by defining exactly what the Maillard Reaction is (and why … Continue reading Its Maillard, not Mallard

Krill – The Other Fish Oil

There is currently quite a craze in the dog world regarding omega-3 fatty acids. I reviewed this important family of fatty acids and their role in canine health in a recent blog (see Facts about Flax). In short: As a recap, it is probably beneficial to increase the proportion of omega-3 fatty acids in our … Continue reading Krill – The Other Fish Oil

Still Be There……Once it is Safe

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

Dog Food Smarts

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