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
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?
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