Diet

Three Qualities of an Ideal Dog Food

Three Qualities of an Ideal Dog Food

There are several thousand commercially available dog foods to choose from in the United States alone.  Almost every one of these contains long lists of ingredients and hard to understand “guaranteed analysis” and imprecise feeding recommendations.  Unfortunately, this plethora of information and fo... »

Feeding a Senior Dog: Seven Functional Foods

Feeding a Senior Dog: Seven Functional Foods

Like humans, as a dog ages, their body will be less able to fight off disease and recover from daily physical and mental stress.  As a result, it is crucial that a senior dog is fed a healthy and functional diet, so that they will live a long and high quality life.   From a macro perspective, m... »

Can Turmeric Help Stave off Obesity in Dogs?

Can Turmeric Help Stave off Obesity in Dogs?

What we eat and how much of it we eat can have a major impact on our overall health and lifespan. The same is true for our dogs. Our decisions on which foods to buy, and how much to serve at each meal, will have a marked impact on the dog’s overall health and wellness.   If you or your pet need... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Protein Part 3

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Protein Part 3

Evaluating the protein in a dog food requires a multi-faceted approach.   Besides looking for named meat and fish as the primary protein source, one must also watch for other added protein sources that, while helping increase the total protein content of the dog food, might not be really species app... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Protein Part 2

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Protein Part 2

I have previously discussed protein and how specific, named proteins (e.g. Chicken) should be fed to a dog instead of non-specific proteins (e.g. Poultry).  Yet, there are more ways to scrutinize protein sources in dog foods besides this rule of thumb.     Proteins in dog food, whether spe... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Vitamins & Minerals

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Vitamins & Minerals

Commercially available dog foods will typically contain long lists of ingredients.  In fact, the average dog food contains over 40 different ingredients in a single recipe.  One of the reasons that dog foods contain so many ingredients is due to the fact that they are generally formulated to be “com... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Coloring

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Coloring

One of the most senseless ingredient functions in dog food is coloring.  Dog food color can be enhanced in many ways, but when ingredients are added specifically to add color while adding no nutritional value, then those ingredients are at best, useless and at worst, harmful.   Why Colorings ar... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Sweeteners

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Sweeteners

Like in the case for humans, a dog’s taste buds allow them to taste sweetness.  And for many dogs, some sweetness is considered to be a good thing when it comes to their foods.  Pet food manufacturers are well aware of this fact, and in an attempt to improve palatability, will often include ingredie... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Preservatives

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Preservatives

Preservatives are, unfortunately, a critical component in most pet foods, especially the dry variety.  A bag of dog food might not actually be purchased and opened by the consumer for 6-9 months or longer due to the industry’s long (slow) supply chain.  As a result, dog foods must have relatively lo... »

Pet Obesity in the U.S. 2015

Pet Obesity in the U.S. 2015

The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) has recently released the results of its latest annual pet obesity survey.  Unfortunately for dogs (and cats) in the U.S., the news is not good.   According to APOP, in the U.S., 58% of all cats and 54% of all dogs are overweight or obese.  For ... »

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Carbs

Feed Your Dog This Not That: Carbs

Although dogs will eat like omnivores, they are descendants of the carnivore wolf and thus will thrive on diets high in protein and fat.  By definition, this also means that dogs require little in the way of carbohydrates.   Canine Ancestral Diet = Low Carbohydrates A canine ancestral diet, the... »

Feed Your Dog This, Not That: Fat

Feed Your Dog This, Not That: Fat

Most healthy dogs are meant to thrive on a diet that is high in protein and fat.  Adequate amounts of fat will provide a variety of health benefits to a dog.   Benefits of Dietary Fat to a Dog: Fat is a dense source of energy (calories) that is necessary to keep a dog active. Fat provides essen... »

Feed This, Not That: Protein

Feed This, Not That: Protein

In theory, every single ingredient in a dog food formulation has a purpose, a specific reason or benefit that made the food company include it in the recipe.  It could be that the ingredient is to provide protein, or perhaps it acts as a preservative.  Whatever specific role needs to be filled, ther... »

Three Pet Food Additives to Avoid

Three Pet Food Additives to Avoid

When choosing a food for your dog, it is just as important to consider what should NOT be in the food as to consider what should be in the food.  Today, I am focusing on some ingredients that should not be in a dog’s food.  And when it comes to ingredients to avoid, there are several food additives ... »

protein fat carbs in dog food

Average Protein, Fat, and Carb Content in Dog Foods

When choosing an appropriate dog food for a dog, the first indicator of suitability for the species is the macronutrient profile.  The macronutrient profile is the percentage makeup of the macronutrients—the protein, fat, and carbs—in the dog food.  Because dogs are of carnivore descent, they will t... »

calories in dog food

Average Calorie Content in Dog Foods

It has been some time since I have published updated statistics on key dog food indicators and today’s post will do this, focusing on the average calorie content in dog food.  I used our pet food database, which currently consists of near 3,000 dog foods along with their calories, ingredients, macro... »

Do You Really Want to Feed your Dog a Diet Food?

Do You Really Want to Feed your Dog a Diet Food?

Last week, in the final post on the top things that people don’t know about dog food series, I made mention of the fact that weight control foods are not necessarily a good option for an overweight dog.  I wanted to expand on that topic a bit this week with updated data on calories and carbohydrates... »

Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 5

Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 5

This week is the last part of the continuing series on things that people don’t know about dog food.  The first four installments are available by clicking the links below: Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 1 Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 2 Things People Don&#... »

Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 4

Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 4

This week is part 4 of the continuing series on things that people don’t know about dog food.  The first three installments are available by clicking the links below: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3   Dog food contains an average of 39 ingredients. Anyone who has looked at a dog food label knows that the ... »

Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 3

Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 3

This week is part 3 of the continuing series on things that people don’t know about dog food.  The first two installments are available here and here.   Meat as the first ingredient is a good rule, but by itself is not a true indication of a foods overall quality or appropriateness.  Ingredient... »

Things People Don’t Know About Canine Fitness Part 1

Things People Don’t Know About Canine Fitness Part 1

I recently started a series on the top things that people don’t know about dog food (part 1 and part 2 are here).  Which made me think that a similar type of format would also work for canine fitness.  After all, as readers of this blog will know, exercising with a dog can be so much more than just ... »

Top Ten Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 2

Top Ten Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 2

Last week, I began a list of things that people don’t know about dog food. Continuing on with this theme, here are two more facts that are not common knowledge to pet parents.     Grain free dog food is not low carb dog food, nor is it necessarily better.  Grain free diets are all the rage... »

Top Ten Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 1

Top Ten Things People Don’t Know About Dog Food: Part 1

Over the past several years, there has been a sea change in the pet food industry.  Driven by the humanization of pets and the fact that more homes in the U.S. now have pets than have children, the premium pet food market has exploded and more and more pet owners are educating themselves on how to r... »

Calculating a Dog’s Body Mass Index?

Calculating a Dog’s Body Mass Index?

The body mass index, or BMI for short, is a quick way to ascertain whether a person is overweight, underweight, or just right.  For humans, the BMI is calculated by the formula: BMI = weightlbs / (heightinches )2 * 703   The resulting value is used to classify the person’s body condition.  A sc... »

Best Protein Sources for Dogs

Best Protein Sources for Dogs

Last week, I wrote about amino acids and why some are considered essential from a dietary perspective – the essential amino acids are those that the dog’s body can’t produce on its own and therefore these aminos must be supplied via diet.  The implication of this is that a dog should be fed fo... »

Amino Acids the Building Blocks of Protein for Dogs

Amino Acids the Building Blocks of Protein for Dogs

When it comes to a dog’s diet, protein is the starting point when building a species appropriate feeding regimen.   But while feeding a dog adequate amounts of protein is important, feeding a dog the correct type of protein is just as important (if not more important).  Like it is with carbohydrates... »

Why Carbohydrates are Bad for Dogs

Why Carbohydrates are Bad for Dogs

Last week I discussed the reasons why some carbohydrates are actually good for a dog’s health.  However, not all carbs are created equal and there are many which are generally unhealthy for a dog’s body.  These carbs, which are often included in many commercially dog food recipes, should be avoided ... »

Why Carbohydrates Are Good For Dogs

Why Carbohydrates Are Good For Dogs

I am a big believer in feeding a dog in a way that is appropriate for their carnivore ancestry.  This means feeding a diet that is high in protein and fat and relatively low in carbohydrates (e.g. carbs should not make up more than 40% of the macronutrients in a food). However, there are many health... »

Feeding a Dog to Lose Weight

Feeding a Dog to Lose Weight

Every other dog, and then some, in the United States is overweight according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). That means that there are around 44 million overweight or, worse, obese dogs in this country. These dogs need help and that help needs to come from their family in the f... »

New Year’s Resolutions to Feed Your Dog Better

New Year’s Resolutions to Feed Your Dog Better

New Year’s is a time that most people review the past year and resolve to make improvements for the coming year.  With that in mind, I offer 5 resolutions that will help a dog parent ensure that their dog is fed the proper amount of food and fed healthier, more species appropriate food.  ... »

Herbs and Spices in Dog Food

Herbs and Spices in Dog Food

Herbs and spices can be an important but often overlooked ingredient category when it comes to pet food. Herbs and spices have been used for centuries by humans add flavor and coloring to food and in many cases, to treat illness. They are also commonly used in commercially available dog food recipes... »

Hydrolyzed Soy in Dog Food

Hydrolyzed Soy in Dog Food

I was recently updating some pet food recipe information in our pet food database and happened to be updating a handful of prescription recipes when I noticed the ‘allergen free’ and ‘hypo allergenic’ (and similar) foods. Most of these types of foods use hydrolyzed proteins as a key ingredient that ... »

Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs: Chinese Medicine

Fruits and Vegetables for Dogs: Chinese Medicine

Like proteins, fruits and vegetables are also categorized by Chinese medicine into one of the three categories: warming, neutral, and cooling. As we showed last week, there are some fruits and vegetables that are commonly used in commercial pet food recipes. Today we will look at the Chinese medicin... »

fruits and vegetables in dog food

Common Fruits and Vegetables in Dog Food

Fruits and vegetables are becoming an increasingly popular ingredient in commercial dog food recipes. Most dog foods contain one or more of these, with some of the higher quality foods containing a half-dozen or more. Which raises a question: which vegetables are the most commonly found in commercia... »

Can I Give my Dog Holiday Food at Thanksgiving?

Can I Give my Dog Holiday Food at Thanksgiving?

Holiday Food Calories and the Exercise Your Dog Will Need to Burn it Off Holiday season is once again upon us. In the U.S., we will be celebrating our Thanksgiving holiday in less than two weeks and will soon follow this up with Christmas/Hanukkah, and New Year celebrations. Most people will tend to... »

Which Proteins are Best for a Dog with Cancer?

Which Proteins are Best for a Dog with Cancer?

As mentioned in previous posts, I recently consulted with holistic veterinarian Dr. Patrick Mahaney as part of our dog Maggie’s treatment for Osteosarcoma. Dr. Mahaney believes that when treating a serious disease like cancer, a combination of modern medicine and smart nutrition is the best approach... »

dog food proteins and food name

Most Common Proteins in Dog Food

As a pet parent of a dog with Osteosarcoma, I have been forced to deal with the reality that my dog Maggie is in need of modern medicine and modern medical care to enable her to live a high quality of life for the time she has remaining. Yet, my belief in using food as a ‘weapon’ to fight disease is... »

FitDog Friday Fall Fitness Challenge Wrap Up

FitDog Friday Fall Fitness Challenge Wrap Up

The FitDog Friday Fall Fitness Challenge, sponsored by ABOUND Pet Food, has come to a close. But we don’t want that to be an excuse for anyone to start slacking when it comes to their or their dog’s exercise and diet. There were many great ideas shared by our blog partners and readers on how to keep... »

A Few Extra Pounds on a Dog can Change Their Life

A Few Extra Pounds on a Dog can Change Their Life

Pet obesity is a major problem in the U.S. and other countries and it can lead to shortened life spans and lower quality of life for overweight pets. Many dog owners do not think about their pet’s excess weight in proportion to their pet’s overall body size, which is one reason why the pet obesity p... »

royal canin food ingredients

Royal Canin Pet Food: Marketing vs. Food Ingredients

Last week, I introduced the idea of using a word cloud analysis to check if a given pet food Brand’s marketing messages are consistent with the actual ingredients in their product portfolio. In today’s post, I will share the results of the first analysis, which was done on the Royal Canin Brand. &nb... »

Adjusting a Dog’s Food Portions

Adjusting a Dog’s Food Portions

Over the past few weeks, I have detailed the steps that are needed to determine the proper amount of food to feed a dog each day. The steps involve a few calculations but are well worth the effort in the long run.   For those pet parents who have worked through the steps, determined a daily pet feed... »

How Many Cups of Food Should I Feed My Dog?

How Many Cups of Food Should I Feed My Dog?

Last week, I provided some benchmark values that can be used to estimate how many calories a dog needs each day to maintain a certain weight. The next step in determining how much food to feed a dog is to use this calorie estimate in conjunction with the caloric values of their foods and treats, to ... »

How Much to Feed Your Dog: Importance of an Ideal Weight

How Much to Feed Your Dog: Importance of an Ideal Weight

Far too many people are not aware of the amount of food their dogs really require each day to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.   According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), a majority of dogs in the U.S. are overweight. Just like with people, an overweight dog will have a s... »

Are Large Bags of Dry Dog Food Cheaper than Small Bags?

Are Large Bags of Dry Dog Food Cheaper than Small Bags?

Dry food is by far the most popular form of pet food sold. I saw some data on petfoodindustry.com that said that dry food makes up almost 75% of all pet food sales in the world. There are several reasons for this. First of all, dry food is convenient and doesn’t require refrigeration. Second, dry fo... »

Senior Dog Food: Protein, Fat, and Carbs

Senior Dog Food: Protein, Fat, and Carbs

Last week, I discussed one of the longstanding myths that says that senior dogs should be fed a lower protein food. Although this approach was recognized as viable for many years, more recent research supports the notion that older dogs in fact, require higher amounts of protein, not lower amounts. ... »

Can Exercising a Dog Before Breakfast Help them Burn Fat?

Can Exercising a Dog Before Breakfast Help them Burn Fat?

According to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than half of all dogs in the US are overweight. Keeping a dog fit and trim requires proper feeding and ample exercise. I often wonder if some of the techniques that humans use to optimize their calorie balance could also work on dogs. One... »

Feeding a Senior Dog: Do Older Dogs need Less Protein?

Feeding a Senior Dog: Do Older Dogs need Less Protein?

Over the years, there has been a lot of confusion, or at least uncertainty, about proper diets for senior dogs.   In a 2011 study by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, researchers polled more than 1,300 people online about their perceptions about senior foods. According ... »

Is the First Ingredient a Good Judge of a Dog Food

Is the First Ingredient a Good Judge of a Dog Food

One of the most common rules that pet owners use to choose a food is the 1st ingredient rule. The 1st ingredient rule simply means that the 1st ingredient in the ingredient list should be a meat or fish. At its core, this rule makes sense because dogs are carnivores and their food should contain ani... »

FDA Approval of Dog Food Ingredients – Does it Matter?

FDA Approval of Dog Food Ingredients – Does it Matter?

Like with human foods, the FDA requires that ingredients in dog food are “safe” before they can be included in a recipe. Many pet owners think that if the FDA has approved an ingredient for use in pet food, it must be safe for their dogs. Some pet food companies will point to the fact that some of t... »

Overview of Carbohydrates in Dog Food

Overview of Carbohydrates in Dog Food

The three macronutrients (besides water) that make up the majority of a pet food are protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Pet food labels, which are required to report certain crucial nutritional data, list protein and fat percentages but rarely is there a reference to the carbohydrate content. This is ... »

Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?

Is Coconut Oil Good for Dogs?

We have had many readers ask us about the benefits of coconut oil and whether it is good for their dogs. Even though we aren’t doing another ingredients series for awhile, we wanted to respond to our readers questions with our thoughts on coconut oil.   Fats are an important part of a dog... »

The Problem with Online Dog Food Reviews

The Problem with Online Dog Food Reviews

One of my ‘pet peeves’ when it comes to pet food is related to the online reviews. Over the years, I have stumbled upon these reviews while collecting data and doing my research on pet food ingredients, calories and macronutrients. To illustrate the problem with online reviews, I will use a recipe p... »

Overview of Fats in Dog Food

Overview of Fats in Dog Food

Dogs require moderate amounts of healthy fats in their diet. Much like protein, fats are a crucial part of a pet’s diet. Some of the key benefits of fat include: Fat provides essential nutrients such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are vital to keeping your pet’s skin and coat healthy. Res... »

Overview of Dog Food Protein

Overview of Dog Food Protein

Dogs are carnivores by nature, which means that they are meant to eat a diet high in protein. However, when it comes to pet food, all protein sources are not created equal. This means that you can’t simply look at the total protein in a food and instead, must examine both the total protein and the s... »

Overview of a Good Dog Food

Overview of a Good Dog Food

When it comes to dog food, reading the labels can be complicated and when people ask me for some tips, I can often talk for hours on end about the nuances and tricks that are needed to decipher the label. With that said, I have created a simpler approach, a crib notes version if you will, that can b... »

Feeding a Dog for a Healthy Liver

Feeding a Dog for a Healthy Liver

One of the workhorse organs in the body, and one that normally doesn’t get much thought unless there is a problem with it, is the liver. A well balanced diet can ensure that the liver is functioning properly. There are specific food ingredients that are particularly supportive of proper liver functi... »

Beneful Dog Food in the Shopping Cart

Beneful Dog Food in the Shopping Cart

As a staunch proponent of the many benefits of using quality, healthy food to keep a dog healthy and happy, I often cringe when I walk down the pet food aisle in the grocery store. I realize that I am generalizing a bit with my next few statements, but I will say them anyway. Looking at the dog food... »

Healthy Dog Diets: Foods that Reduce Inflammation

Healthy Dog Diets: Foods that Reduce Inflammation

Chronic inflammation, which is internal inflammation that persists and serves no healing purpose, is linked to many health issues including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis. The inflammation that occurs after an injury is the body’s natural response to the trauma. Its purpose it to floo... »

Feeding Active Dogs and Canine Athletes

Feeding Active Dogs and Canine Athletes

Much like human athletes and generally active people need to fuel their bodies properly to ensure that they are able to train appropriately or keep up their activity levels, so do active dogs and canine athletes. When it comes to feeding an active body, there are 3 important considerations that shou... »

Feeding a Dog for a Healthy Heart

Feeding a Dog for a Healthy Heart

A healthy heart is (obviously) a precursor to a healthy body. As the engine that pumps the blood through the body, the heart needs to be in top working order to properly perform its job. Unlike the skeletal muscles (e.g. leg muscles), which can rest, the heart is always working, involuntarily, to ke... »

U.S. Pet Obesity: The Total Number of Pounds our Dogs are Overweight

U.S. Pet Obesity: The Total Number of Pounds our Dogs are Overweight

We recently wrote about the 2014 Association for Pet Obesity Prevention survey results, which were very disappointing. According to this year’s survey, the number of obese dogs has risen the past two years and the total number of overweight or obese dogs in the US is almost 44 million. I thought it ... »

U.S. Pet Obesity Statistics, 2012-2014

U.S. Pet Obesity Statistics, 2012-2014

Dr. Ernie Ward and The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) recently released the results of the 2014 pet obesity survey. The study, conducted in the fall of 2014, continues to show that Americans are over feeding their pets. By a lot.   Overweight or obese dogs make up 52.7% of all do... »

Brain Foods for your Dog

Brain Foods for your Dog

The fairly well known expression, “a healthy body is a healthy mind”, implies that one’s physical health can have an impact on one’s mental wellbeing. This saying is actually derived from a work by Roman Poet, Juvenal based on the latin adage “Mens sana in corpore sano”. This phrase is often transla... »

Feeding a Dog for Healthy Joints

Feeding a Dog for Healthy Joints

A common ailment that afflicts both humans and dogs is osteoarthritis. This has led to an explosion in demand for NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Humans often use drugs like Naprosyn and Ibuprofen to reduce the pain, while dogs are often prescribed Rimadyl (carprofen) or Deramaxx (de... »

Strong Bones: What Should I Feed My Dog?

Strong Bones: What Should I Feed My Dog?

Besides proving energy for basic metabolic functions and movement, food can help support (or hinder) the body’s ability to maintain a strong muscular-skeletal structure, support organ health, enhance the immune systems, and basically ensure that the body is running on “all cylinders”. Active dogs (a... »

Feeding a Dog Cheap Dog Food Can Cost You

Feeding a Dog Cheap Dog Food Can Cost You

In the modern world, food is relatively abundant and there is a wide variety of convenient foods available on the grocery store shelf. More often than not, these foods may contain ingredients of dubious quality, yet the general public mostly chooses to ignore the ingredient label and will still purc... »

#GimmeFive Campaign

#GimmeFive Campaign

This year marks the fifth anniversary of First Lady, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative. The initiative was introduced as a means to help fight childhood obesity. There have been some significant changes and advancements made in fighting obesity as a result of this movement which she... »

Lessons from Beneful Suit: Importance of Reading Dog Food Labels

Lessons from Beneful Suit: Importance of Reading Dog Food Labels

If nothing else, the class action lawsuit against Purina’s Beneful brand of dog food has reawakened the general public on issues concerning the quality and ingredients in pet food. In the case of Beneful (and many other pet food Brands), the ingredient list is laden with artificial ingredients and f... »

Purina Lawsuit: Is Beneful Dog Food Harmful to Dogs?

Purina Lawsuit: Is Beneful Dog Food Harmful to Dogs?

In case you haven’t heard the news, Purina was recently named in a class action law suit due to alleged harm caused by its Beneful dog food product line. CNN.com has a good summary of the suit here.   Historically, there have been many consumer complaints about Beneful products. The customer co... »

SlimDoggy Mythbuster | Giving Your Dog Garlic Prevents Parasites

SlimDoggy Mythbuster | Giving Your Dog Garlic Prevents Parasites

I’ve never bought into the logic behind this myth – is it supposed to detract parasites because your dog has bad breath? I don’t know, but it’s not really true. So put the garlic away. Garlic can actually be toxic to your pet. It is a member of the Allium family (which includ... »

Influencing Obesity Genes in Dogs

Influencing Obesity Genes in Dogs

Nutrigenomics, the study of how food and nutrition can alter a body’s gene expression, is an interesting and relatively new field of study that can help uncover the true power of food as the first line of disease prevention, or in the case of poor dietary choices, the power of food as a facilitator ... »

Can Diet Change a Dog’s Genes to Fat Burning from Fat Storing?

Can Diet Change a Dog’s Genes to Fat Burning from Fat Storing?

The idea of functional foods and, specifically, nutrogenomics (the study of how food and nutrition can impact gene expression), suggests that food can have a direct and marked impact on a person’s or pet’s health. One interesting study, performed at Hills Pet Nutrition, found that specific foods cou... »

What are Functional Foods?

What are Functional Foods?

In our last article, we used the Hippocrates quote “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food,” to illuminate the idea that food can be a powerful deterrent and cure of many diseases and ailments.   Hippocrates (rightfully) believed that the things that you eat can help the body ... »

Importance of a Balanced and Varied Diet for Dogs

Importance of a Balanced and Varied Diet for Dogs

We have all heard the expression, “you are what you eat” (paraphrased from the original quote by Frenchman Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who said “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”) This simple idea holds true for both humans and dogs. Eating a lot of junk foods will res... »

Is Quinoa Good for Dogs?

Is Quinoa Good for Dogs?

We are now up to the letter “Q” in our dog food ingredient series. Today we are writing about the use of quinoa in dog food.   What is Quinoa? Although quinoa is consumed like a cereal grain (e.g. oats and wheat), it actually belongs to the same food family that contains spinach, beets, and Swi... »

Can I Give my Dog Turkey at Thanksgiving?

Can I Give my Dog Turkey at Thanksgiving?

Holiday Food Calories and the Exercise Your Dog Will Need to Burn off the Calories Holiday season is once again nearing. In the U.S., we will be celebrating our Thanksgiving holiday in two weeks and will soon follow this up with Christmas/Hanukkah, and New Year celebrations. Most people tend to over... »

Is Overfeeding Your Pet a Sign of Love?

Is Overfeeding Your Pet a Sign of Love?

Dumb Ass Dog Owners or DADO’s. When I read about this blog hop last week, I wasn’t sure if I would join because I wasn’t sure what to write about and then it hit me…the biggest DADO of all and a real pet peeve, the people who think that having a fat pet shows that they are we... »

Healthy Dog Treats or Tricks?

Healthy Dog Treats or Tricks?

In the spirit of Halloween, our fitness post today is about tricks or treats. Specifically, dog treats and how they can sabotage or support a healthy body.   Popularity of Dog Treats There is no question that dog treats are commonly used by dog owners. According to the American Pet Products Ass... »

Marigold as a Dog Food Ingredient

Marigold as a Dog Food Ingredient

Continuing our analysis of dog food ingredients, we are now up to the letter M. Today’s dog food ingredient is Marigold.   What is Marigold? Marigold, in the plant genus Calundula, is a short-lived aromatic and herbaceous perennial, growing to 80 cm (31 inches) tall. The marigold blooms in vivi... »

Lecithin as a Dog Food Ingredient

Lecithin as a Dog Food Ingredient

We are now up to the letter L in our second pass through the A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series. Today’s dog food ingredient is Lecithin.   What is Lecithin? Lecithin is a fatty substance found in plants and animals. It is produced naturally in the body.   Common names for Lecithin The most... »

What if Every Dog Ran: Costs of Having a Fat Dog

What if Every Dog Ran: Costs of Having a Fat Dog

I recently wrote about the Mizuno sponsored study entitled “What if Everybody Ran”, which calculated the benefits of what would happen if everyone in the United States ran and was fit. The study is eye opening as it calculated numerical estimates, across the entire U.S. population, of the associated... »

Pet Obesity: The Cost of Having an Overweight Dog

Pet Obesity: The Cost of Having an Overweight Dog

National Pet Obesity Awareness Day was created by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) to help raise awareness of both the seriousness of and pervasiveness of the pet obesity problem we have in the U.S. It also provides the perfect opportunity to highlight the substantial financial cost... »

How Much Should I Feed My Dog

How Much Should I Feed My Dog

According to Dr. Ernie Ward, the Founder of the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP), “The most important decision that you make each day regarding your pet’s health is what you feed them. What you pour into that bowl each morning has the greatest influence of anything else you will do to k... »

Protein in Dog Food: Common Non-Meat Sources

Protein in Dog Food: Common Non-Meat Sources

We have already looked at some of the more common named and unnamed meat based proteins in dog food. Today we will look at other protein sources in dog food, namely plant (or vegetable), legume, and grain sources.   Besides meat and fish, there are other dog food ingredients that can increase t... »

number of proteins in dog food

Protein in Dog Food: Common Meat Sources

Last week, we discussed the use of unnamed proteins in dog food and found that they are more commonly used than I would have expected. We also asked our readers to try and guess the order of the most frequently used meat proteins in dog food. The choices were:   Salmon Beef Pork Lamb Chicken Du... »

unnamed dog food proteins

Protein in Dog Food: Common Unnamed Proteins

In the first part of this series on dog food proteins, we discussed the primary sources of protein in commercially available dog food. Today we will use the SlimDoggy dog food database to determine the usage patterns of the lower quality, unnamed proteins source that are used in dog food.   Unn... »

Sources of Protein in Dog Food

Sources of Protein in Dog Food

Most normally healthy dogs require a diet that is high in protein. Thus, the amount of protein in a dog food, as calculated on a dry matter basis, is important when evaluating a dog food. But it is only part of the protein story. The source of protein in dog food, the specific ingredients that are u... »

What are Juniper Berries and Why are they in Dog Food?

What are Juniper Berries and Why are they in Dog Food?

We are now up to the letter J in our second pass through the A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series. Today’s dog food ingredient is Juniper Berries.   What are Juniper Berries? Juniper Berries, scientifically called Juniperus communis, come from the Juniper shrub and are widely found throughout the ... »

The New and Improved SlimDoggy Dog Food Rankings

The New and Improved SlimDoggy Dog Food Rankings

We are pleased to announce that we have updated our dog food database and made some improvements in our dog food ranking system. A summary of our approach is provided below. For a full description of our methodology please refer to the dog food ranking reference page. Click here to jump to the Frequ... »

What is Inositol and Why is it in Dog Food?

What is Inositol and Why is it in Dog Food?

We are now up to the letter I in our second pass through the A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series. Today’s dog food ingredient is Inositol.   What is Inositol? Inositol is a vitamin-like substance. It is found in many plants and animals. Because dogs can produce this internally by breaking down su... »

Diet Dog Food: Worth it or Worthless?

Diet Dog Food: Worth it or Worthless?

Just as it is with humans, where almost 70 % of U.S. adults are overweight and more than a third are considered obese according to the Center for Disease Control, there is a similar problem with our pets. According to Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, more than half of all dogs and cats in the... »

SlimDoggy Dog Food Database

SlimDoggy Dog Food Database

Today is another “Blog the Change for Animals” day, a special event sponsored by Be The Change 4 Animals. It’s a day when pet bloggers & pet lovers come together and blog about their favorite animal-related cause in an effort to raise awareness and understanding. In the past we’... »

Benefits of Green Tea for Dogs

Benefits of Green Tea for Dogs

Moving on to the letter G in our A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series, today we discuss the benefits of Green Tea for dogs.   What is Green Tea? Green tea is made from the leaves from the plant Camellia sinensis. Unlike black tea, green tea leaves have undergone minimal oxidation during processing... »

Benefits of Fenugreek for Dogs

Benefits of Fenugreek for Dogs

Moving on to the letter F in our A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series, today we discuss the benefits of Fenugreek for dogs.   What is Fenugreek? Fenugreek is an annual plant in the Fabaceae family with leaves consisting of three small obovate (i.e. with narrow ends) to oblong leaflets. It is culti... »

Ethoxyquin in Dog Food. Worth the Risk?

Ethoxyquin in Dog Food. Worth the Risk?

Moving on to the letter E in our A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series, today we discuss why Ethoxyquin is in dog food.   What is Ethoxyquin? Ethoxyquin is a controversial and artificial ingredient that has been used in dog food for many years—it was approved as an additive to pet food in 1959. Eth... »

Dl-Methionine in Dog Food

Dl-Methionine in Dog Food

Moving on to the letter D in our A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series. Today we examine why Dl-Methionine is in Dog Food.   What is Dl-Methionine? Methionine is an essential amino acid that is important for many bodily functions. Dl-Methionine is a synthetic version of this amino acid. Methionine ... »

chicken in name and ingredients of dog food

What is in Dog Food? Reading Beyond the Name

We often stress the importance of reading the details on a dog food label. It is really the only way to evaluate if the food is a good fit for your dog. Yet, many people simply look at the Brand and recipe name (along with the packaging) when making their pet’s food decisions.   This had me won... »

Carrageenan in Dog Food

Carrageenan in Dog Food

Moving on to the letter C in our 2nd A to Z Dog Food Ingredient series. Today we examine why Carrageenan is in Dog Food. What is Carrageenan? According to Wikipedia, Carrageenans are a family of carbohydrate structures that are extracted from red edible seaweeds.   Common names for Carrageenan ... »

Do Dogs Need Carbs?

Do Dogs Need Carbs?

Having a fit and healthy dog requires a combination of proper exercise and proper feeding. Because dogs are decedents of carnivores, most dogs are well suited for high protein, high fat diets. While dogs can tolerate carbohydrates, the way that their bodies utilize macronutrients for energy is diffe... »

Are Blueberries Good for Dogs?

Are Blueberries Good for Dogs?

After a short break, it is time to resume our dog food ingredients series where we walk through the alphabet and pick a pet food ingredient to analyze. Today’s ingredient is Blueberry.   What are Blueberries? According to Wikipedia, blueberries are perennial flowering plants with indigo-colored... »

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