(Are Not All Created Equal) Enrichment is a popular term these days in the dog training and dog care world. And for good reason. At its most basic, environmental enrichment refers to a variety of techniques and interventions that are intended to enhance the physical and emotional well being of animals who live under human … Continue reading Enrichment Activities
One of the many ways that the domestic dog (Canis familiaris) is unique is in how many different roles that dogs have in human society. Most who read this blog share their lives with dogs who are well cared for and who are deeply loved. However, around the world, some dogs lack homes altogether and … Continue reading Did Lassie Love Her Job?
Almost 4 years ago, in July of 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a public alert stating that they had reports of an apparent increase in the national incidence of Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs. At the time, it was speculated (without evidence) that the perceived increase in cases was related to the consumption … Continue reading The (Dis)connection between Grain-Free Foods and DCM
Measuring the Emotional Toll of Aversive Training Methods The tension between dog trainers who use primarily reward-based methods (positive reinforcement) and those who rely more on aversive methods (positive punishment/negative reinforcement) is not new. Many trainers (myself included) believe that not only are reward-based methods more humane than methods that rely heavily upon aversives, but … Continue reading The Eeyore Effect
New Book Announcement! "Feeding Smart with The Science Dog" by Linda P Case Description: In The Science Dog’s latest myth-busting book, Linda Case takes on canine nutrition and feeding practices. It seems that almost everyone has an opinion about how our dogs should be fed and what diet is healthiest for them. In this timely … Continue reading Feeding Smart with The Science Dog
Yeah. Apparently it's a thing. FLATULENT FREDDIE It is even enough of a thing that a group of scientists from Sao Paulo State University in Brazil decided to study it. More precisely, they studied a few dietary components that might contribute to unpleasant smells produced by members of this adorable (but sometimes stinky) breed. Is … Continue reading Farting French Bulldogs
Dog foods that are produced with human-grade ingredients have increased in number and popularity in recent years. In addition to containing food ingredients that are classified and handled differently than typical pet food ingredients, these products are usually less highly processed when compared with extruded kibble (see "Human Grade Dog Foods: Some Science" for details). … Continue reading More Human-Grade Research… and a Rant
A number of studies have shown that dogs possess the ability to learn new behaviors and even problem solve by observing the actions of other dogs or humans. Several forms of social (aka observational) learning are defined by researchers. Discussions regarding dogs' proficiency, the types of tasks that can be learned, and the relative cognitive … Continue reading Wait. Should I like that?
I have written about this health issue before; in fact, more than five years ago in the essay "Got Gullet?. Sadly, here we are again, looking at beef gullets and thyroid glands. A Bit of Review The thyroid gland is a small organ found on each side of an animal’s trachea. When a cow is … Continue reading Give Up the Gullet
Okay, technically I guess the term is "ancient grains". They are showing up everywhere these days. Even Cheerios has jumped on board. What are Ancient Grains? This term is used to describe grain species that have not been subjected to the modern breeding and selection practices that we have used for the last 200 years … Continue reading Elderly Starches
High pressure processing (HPP), also called high pressure pasteurization or cold pasteurization, is a food processing technique that has been used in the human food industry for years. Products that are routinely treated with HPP include ready-to-eat meats and meals, fruit juices, packaged dips, and jams and jellies. Another example - If you enjoy munching … Continue reading HPP and Raw Foods
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
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