In recent years, dog owners have started to demand more transparency from pet food manufacturers (a needed change, in my opinion). Many are interested in selecting new types of foods for their dogs and prefer products that are less highly processed. In direct response to these trends, nutrition researchers have been studying the ingredients that… Continue reading Tastes Like Chicken
The source and quality of a food's protein sources are important features to consider when selecting a dog food. Dog folks who care about these things often agonize over how to differentiate among foods in terms of both protein level and quality. These concerns are justified because the protein ingredients found in pet foods vary dramatically.… Continue reading Mind Your Peas and Potatoes
In "Dog Food Logic" and "Only Have Eyes for You", I have emphasized (okay, some might say "harped upon") the need for pet food companies to provide digestibility information to consumers. It is not a difficult value to determine and most pet food companies already conduct feeding trials that measure this (yet keep the results to themselves). As… Continue reading Digestibility Matters
The Kindle edition of "Only Have Eyes for You: Exploring Canine Research with The Science Dog" is now available! Click on the image below for more information and to order. Book description: In her second Science Dog book, Linda Case tackles commonly held beliefs about canine nutrition, pet foods, behavior, social cognition and training. Each of the book’s 32… Continue reading “Only Have Eyes for You: Exploring Canine Research with The Science Dog” – Kindle Edition Now Available!
Here we go again. It appears that there may be more than what dog owners expect to find in vegetarian dog food. Hold the Spam, Please: Before all of the "Dogs are Carnivores (and a pox on your mother if you think differently)" devotees begin posting comments (in all caps ) that dogs should NOT be fed a vegetarian diet in the first… Continue reading What’s in Your (Vegetarian) Food?
I imagine that the word "reactive" caused most readers to think of this: However, what we will actually be talking about is this: Yeah, not quite so dramatic, I admit. However, the reality is that the amount of reactive lysine present in your dog's food is much more likely to have an impact on his health… Continue reading How Reactive is Your…….Lysine?
Marketing researchers know a lot about advertising strategies that successfully increase sales. This is no less true for pet foods than it is for any other consumer goods. Some of the more obvious approaches to attracting dog owners to a particular brand are advertisements that appeal to our emotional attachment to dogs, capitalize on our desire for expert… Continue reading Dog Food Marketing – Science Weighs In
The Pet Food Wars: In May 2014, Nestlé-Purina, the largest producer of pet foods sold in the U.S., filed a lawsuit against Blue Buffalo, a competitor. Among other things, the lawsuit alleged that Blue Buffalo’s marketing claims—that their foods contained no by-product meals—were false and disparaging to other companies’ products.… Continue reading What’s the Deal with Meals?
In an earlier blog essay, "What's in Your Food?" I reviewed the results of four published studies that compared the animal protein ingredients listed on various pet food labels with the actual ingredients found in the foods. Multiple instances of mislabeling occurred in which undeclared animal species were included as ingredients and/or protein ingredients declared on the label were completely absent. This month, another study was… Continue reading What’s in YOUR Food? (Revisited)
Every once in a while, I read a paper that makes me scratch my head. Last week was just such a moment. The paper really needs no introduction. The title says it all: "Increasing volume of food by incorporating air reduces energy intake" [in dogs]. Let's talk about obesity (again): If you read "Do you think I look… Continue reading Air, It’s What’s for Dinner
I was at the gym recently, swimming laps. After my work-out, I was sitting by the side of the pool and a fellow swimmer and friend stopped to chat about dogs. He has never owned a dog, but his daughter has been pressuring him and he thinks she is finally old enough to take on the… Continue reading Scoopin’ for Science
What I mean of course, is "What's in your dog's food?" When asked this question, most owners read the list of ingredients found on their food's label. By law, pet food ingredients must be reported in descending order of preponderance by weight at the time of processing. This means that ingredients that are found first in the list are present in greatest abundance… Continue reading What’s in YOUR Food?