Science

Are We Over-vaccinating our Pets?

Are We Over-vaccinating our Pets?

During Maggie’s consultation with Dr. Mahaney, he suggested that we administer a titer test that measures vaccination failures to prevent over vaccination. The test is called VacciCheck. (Full disclosure, Dr. Mahaney is a spokesperson for the company).   I’ve always worried about Ja... »

Holistic Medicine’s Place in Cancer Treatment

Holistic Medicine’s Place in Cancer Treatment

A few weeks ago, we took Maggie to see Dr. Patrick Mahaney, a veterinarian who specializes in holistic medicine treatment options. He is also an active blogger, so you may have come across his blog or writings in other places. We are fortunate that he practices within the same group as Maggie’... »

Are Show Dogs Fat?

Are Show Dogs Fat?

Last year, following the Westminster Dog Show, we wrote a series of articles expressing our concern over the overweight appearance of the Labradors in the show. The first was No Wonder a Lab has Never Won at Westminster. We followed that up with an article looking into the changes in Labrador’... »

SlimDoggy Health Check: Skeletal Disorders Part 2

SlimDoggy Health Check: Skeletal Disorders Part 2

Today we continue our SlimDoggy Health Check series by taking a closer look at some additional skeletal issues that may befall our pets. We already covered some of the most common, Osteoarthritis and Dysplasia in Part 1.   Let’s take a look at: Luxating patella Osteochondritis dissecans P... »

How Do Dogs Make Decisions?

How Do Dogs Make Decisions?

Last week we wrote about about the different strategies our dogs Jack & Maggie use when playing a game. It got me thinking more and more about how dogs think and how they make decisions. You may not realize it, but just like you, your dog makes hundreds of decisions each day… Do I go get ... »

SlimDoggy Health Check: Skeletal Disorders Part 1

SlimDoggy Health Check: Skeletal Disorders Part 1

We move on to Skeletal Disorders and Diseases in dogs in our SlimDoggy Health Check Series. Wikipedia provides a long list of potential issues, we will take a look at the most common. Osteoarthritis: Just as in humans, arthritis is a degenerative disease caused by the deterioration of the cartilage ... »

Is Your Dog a Strategic Thinker?

Is Your Dog a Strategic Thinker?

We frequently play a simple game with Jack and Maggie we call ‘find the food’. It’s pretty basic, we just hide little Zuke treats around the front yard – on the car bumper, the watering can, on top of the rocks in the flower beds, on the porch railing, etc. We hide probably 2... »

SlimDoggy Mythbuster: Can Dogs See Television?

SlimDoggy Mythbuster: Can Dogs See Television?

Does your dog watch TV? Neither Jack or Maggie pay any attention to the TV. As a matter of fact, none of my dogs have even acknowledged it’s existence. And yet, you see Youtube videos and Facebook posts all the time of dogs raptly watching another dog on TV or barking at a cat commercial. I wo... »

SlimDoggy Health Check: Muscular & Skeletal Systems

SlimDoggy Health Check: Muscular & Skeletal Systems

A dog’s muscular system, like humans, is designed to support movement. A basic understanding of the major muscles and how they work together is important to help you diagnose any potential issues and determine whether it is a muscular, skeletal or a nerve disorder. We will look at all three, b... »

Are Dogs Typically Right-pawed or Left-pawed?

Are Dogs Typically Right-pawed or Left-pawed?

Most humans have a dominant side – the hand they use to write with typically displays that dominance. Stating the percentage of humans that are right-handed over left-handed is tough as there isn’t much empirical data on it. The best I could find was a quote from Scientific American stat... »

Can a High Lysine Diet Change a Dog’s Genes and Reduce Obesity?

Can a High Lysine Diet Change a Dog’s Genes and Reduce Obesity?

In our last post, we described some of the research performed by Hill’s Pet Nutrition that concluded that a diet with a high lysine to calorie ratio could change a dog’s gene expression from fat storing to fat burning. These results are certainly encouraging because they could potentially provide gu... »

Would Your Doctor Prescribe a Pet to Improve Your Health?

Would Your Doctor Prescribe a Pet to Improve Your Health?

Last spring we wrote about HABRI, the organization dedicated to studying the health benefits of the human-animal bond. “The Human Animal Bond Research Initiative funds research on the evidence-based health benefits on human-animal interaction” says HABRI Executive Director Steven Feldman.   HAB... »

Can my Senior Dog get Alzheimer’s?

Can my Senior Dog get Alzheimer’s?

Unfortunately, the answer is yes, they can. The disorder, called Canine Cognitive Dysfunction (CCD) in dogs is very similar to the human Alzheimer’s disease. A recent study at the University of Sydney showed that by age 15, over 40% of dogs display at least some of these symptoms.   Sympt... »

Running with your Dog.  Keeping your Mind Sharp

Running with your Dog. Keeping your Mind Sharp

Hello. My name is Steve and my dog’s name is Jack. We are run-a-holics.   Pardon the humor, although there is a lot of truth to the above. The fact is that my dogs (all of them that I have ever had) and I love to run and for that matter, exercise intensely. The feeling that I get, and that I be... »

The Human-Animal Bond | HABRI

The Human-Animal Bond | HABRI

Last week at BlogPaws, I was fortunate to meet the folks from HABRI, a research foundation whose mission is to study the benefits of the human-animal bond for pet and human health. HABRI stands for Human Animal Bond Research Initiative and their vision is to “demonstrate that pets and animals ... »

Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA)

Orthopedic Foundation of America (OFA)

Chances are if you have pets, you have heard of the OFA, the Orthopedic Foundation of America. I know ever since I had my first Lab back in 1980’s, I knew of the OFA and their certification process and I made sure that Maxine had her xrays and was cleared for hip dysplasia before we bred her. ... »

Will the Crufts Lab be as Heavy as the Westminster Lab?

Will the Crufts Lab be as Heavy as the Westminster Lab?

A few weeks ago, we created a bit of a furor in the Labrador Retriever world when we wrote a post about the overweight Labradors who won Best of Breed and Best of Opposite Sex in the 2014 Westminster show. Our concern about the overweight appearance of these dogs is due to the health related problem... »

Dognition Part 2

Dognition Part 2

We finished up Jack’s Dognition exercises this past week and wanted to report on our results. Since it’s not really called a ‘test’ he didn’t really graduate, but he wanted to wear the cap, so what the heck. And I know this is not Wordless, but figured we’d join t... »

What are the nutritional needs of your dog with cancer?

We are joining the Give Cancer the Paw Blog Hop today. In our post for the Hop last November, we provided a list of general resources for pet owners on the initial diagnosis and treatment of canine cancer.   Today, we are going to dig a little deeper and provide some insight into the diet and n... »

Jack Takes the Dognition Test

Jack Takes the Dognition Test

We’ve read about Dognition, a cognition & personality assessment for your dog, since it was released early last year. It sounds like a really interesting concept – using brainteasers and puzzles, you can learn how your dog thinks. I’ve been wanting to buy it ($29 for one dog or... »

MythBuster #8 Do Dogs Remember?

MythBuster #8 Do Dogs Remember?

Last spring they planted a crop of peppers in the fields at the end of our street. At the time, I posted a picture of Jack looking over the field wishing and hoping they were growing bacon. Well, the crop has grown and they harvested it 2 weeks ago. I posted some pictures of the workers and the big ... »

jack playing find the food

Challenging a Dog’s Mind and Senses for Overall Fitness

This week, we are participating in two blog hops.  Our FitDog Friday hop (of course) and also the Zukes Fuel the Love Blog Hop.  We often use Zuke’s treats when training our dogs and when we play games with our dogs that challenge their minds, bodies, and senses.  Today’s post is about the rol... »

Fear Aggression in Dogs

Fear Aggression in Dogs

Don’t misunderstand, I am no expert when it comes to working with dogs with fear aggression. Jack had a touch of this problem, but with hard work and a good trainer, he’s worked through most of it and while he doesn’t joyfully greet strangers like our Sally did, he tolerates them. ... »

bacteria slide

Dog Food Ingredients A to Z: Enterococcus Faecium

Today we move to the letter E in our ingredient A to Z series and are featuring Enterococcus Faecium as our ingredient of the day.  Admittedly, this is one tough ingredient to understand and there is some conflicting, and somewhat scary, information on it!   What is enterococcus faecium? Entero... »

swiss chard

Ingredients A to Z: Biotin in Dog Food

What is biotin? Biotin is water soluble B vitamin that is essential for protein and fatty acid metabolism. Water soluble means that the body will not store excess amounts which are eliminated during urination. Common names for biotin Some common names for Biotin include vitamin B-7, vitamin H, and v... »

Dear Labby on Doggie Breath

Dear Labby on Doggie Breath

Dear Labby: Everyone says their dog has smelly breath, but what’s your opinion on dog teeth cleaning? When should the procedure be considered? Do some dogs have weak teeth/gums? I’m sure diet and lack of natural teeth cleaning options affect tooth/gum health. Does it cause bad breath in ... »

Sources of Fat in Dog Food

Sources of Fat in Dog Food

Just as protein is a crucial component to a dog’s diet, so too is fat, which provides many health benefits as we discussed last week. Talking about fat may not be too “Tasty”, but it is important. So, today we will look at some of the more common sources of fat in commercial dog food pro... »

Music that soothes the savage beast

Music that soothes the savage beast

We’ve been working with a new trainer lately, getting Jack a little more sociable with strangers and she introduced us to Through a Dog’s Ear, Music to Calm you Canine Companion. Now, many of you may have heard about this, may even use it with your dog but it was new to me. We’ve o... »

2012 National Pet Obesity Survey Results | Pet Obesity Prevention

2012 National Pet Obesity Survey Results | Pet Obesity Prevention

Dr Ernie Ward and the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention published their annual survey data yesterday.  Let me say up front, a big thank you for doing this and raising awareness to this problem! As you can imagine, the news is not good. You can read all of the details of this years survey here: ... »

Leanness Rules

Leanness Rules

Lean Dog = Longer Living Dog We kickoff our “Daily Reader” with an oldie but goody that refers to the Purina Study that showed how keeping your dog lean can add 15% to their lifespan.  Yes, I said 15%. In the study, Labradors who were fed less and thus were leaner than the control group ... »

World Spay Day

World Spay Day

February is dedicated to Spay/Neuter Awareness and February 26th World Spay Day. Join us along with our friends in the pet community to raise awareness of the health and well-being benefits from spaying or neutering your pet. You can read more efforts to raise awareness and about the statistics rega... »

Getting high with your dogs

Getting high with your dogs

Recent study shows that dogs, like people, get runner’s high! As discussed by Dr. Ernie Ward here,  Raichlen et al , in the Journal of Experimental Biology report that dogs and humans are both wired to experience a feeling of well-being and euphoria through  Endocannabinoids (eCBs), chemicals ... »

Cross-Breed to Avoid Inbreeding

Cross-Breed to Avoid Inbreeding

For all the lovers of ‘pure-bred’ dogs, I wanted to make sure that you haven’t missed the recent and controversial piece in the NY Times about breeding to standards.   The author, James Serpell, suggests that cross-breeding is one solution to some of the health problems that are ca... »

Calorie Requirements For Your Dog

Calorie Requirements For Your Dog

Calorie Burning 101 In our last post, we discussed the kcal and the difference between basal/resting calories burned and activity fueled calorie burns. Today we will present the basic formulas that are used to estimate calorie requirements for your dog and provide some specific examples as reference... »

Primer on Calories

Primer on Calories

A Primer on Calorie Expenditures. In our last post, we discussed some of the common behaviors (in humans) that lead to an overweight dog and some tips on how to change them.  Today, we will talk about calories and how your dog’s weight and activity level impact the amount of calories that are used e... »

Dog Life Spans

Dog Life Spans

We are often asked about the average life expectancy for different breeds of dogs so we started to compile a list for our readers.  This data was pulled from several sources including vetinfo.com and pets.ca. While this data provides a view of relative longevity by breed, there are many factors that... »

Bully Stick Dog Treats High In Calories, Bacteria: Study

Bully Alert Pawnation.com wrote a piece on the study on Bully Stick dog treats by Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in the U.S. and the University of Guelph in Canada.  Bully Stick Dog Treats Contain High Calories, Bacteria: Study – PawNation The news was not good.  As... »

The Bacteria and Obesity in Pets Connection

Dr. Tudor writes about a recent study linking a stomach bacteria (Enterobacter cloacae)  to obesity. Interesting stuff. But realize that the primary cause of being overweight is that your body is burning less calories than it is consuming. I wonder, too,  if there is any causation between being over... »

Dogs Pick Up on People’s Intent

I saw this very cool article on how dogs can actually ‘infer’ intentions of humans based on gestures and pitch.  Studies show that a dog can understand a vocabulary of up to 165 words.  Most of which, I am sure, are food related! Check it out.   http://www.everydayhealth.com/healthy... »

Dogs and Words

Dogs and Words

My Dog is Smarter than Your ……. Ever wonder if your dog understands what you are saying when you talk to him/her?  Unfortunately, they do not understand when you tell them that you won or lost a deal, got a great report card, or dented up your new car!  But they can and do understand a l... »