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?
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
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?
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
Raw feeding has increased in popularity in recent years. While still a small portion of the pet food market, raw foods are definitely here to stay. Perhaps more so than any other type of feeding regimen, dog owners who feed raw are highly dedicated to this form of feeding. To test this premise, try separating… Continue reading A Few Raw Facts
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
The Article: "The Heart of the Matter" plus a webinar entitled "Diet and Dilated Cardiomyopathy" are now available as a Science Dog Nutrition Topics Course. Visit The Science Dog Courses to Learn More!
The Article: "Dogs and Carbs - It's Complicated" is now available as part of the Science Dog Nutrition Topics Course, Carbohydrates and Your Dog. Visit The Science Dog Courses to Learn More!
The issue of how to classify the dog and how to best feed dogs continues to be a highly controversial topic among dog people. If you doubt this, just try posting this statement in a dog feeding chat group: "Dogs are omnivores and can thrive on a wide range of diet types." Good luck surviving the night. I discuss the current science regarding the… Continue reading A Taste for Meat?
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
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 Article: "Dogs are Carnivores, Right?" plus a webinar on this topic are now available as a Science Dog Nutrition Topics Course. Visit The Science Dog Courses to Learn More!
Innovative dog chews and treats are all the rage these days. Despite the claims of their sellers, most of these products are new twists on an old theme - taking the parts of food animals that we typically discard as inedible waste and turning them into expensive and often highly sought after dog treats. A few examples are bully sticks,… Continue reading Got Gullet?