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
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
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
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
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 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?
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
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
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
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
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
I have written previously about the potential risks associated with feeding raw food diets. To date, the science that is available reports that: The prevalence of potentially serious microbial pathogens is substantially higher in raw pet foods than in heat-treated foods (see The Raw Deal).The belief that freezing raw food kills food pathogens or reduces … Continue reading Is Freeze-Dried Raw Safer to Feed?
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?