Certain Dog Foods May Make It Harder for You to Fight Illness

When researchers at Portugal’s University of Porto tested 14 store-bought raw dog foods for the bacteria Enterococcus, they all contained it. What’s more, the bacteria were resistant to the effects of at least three antibiotics that were supposed to be able to wipe them out. It’s not a small matter. These bacteria can cause urinary […]

It Probably Isn’t a Food Allergy

Suspected food allergy is a common reason people bring their dogs to the Clinical Nutrition Service at Tufts. By the time they get there, they’ve often tried five, six, or even seven different diets with different ingredients, but none of them have stopped the dog’s itching, paw licking, throwing up, or other canine allergy symptoms. […]
Raw food, no matter the form in which it’s fed, is laced with serious risks.

Back to the Raw Food Diet Debate

If scientific study showed that raw food diets are better for dogs than cooked food and also that they are safe to feed for both pets and people who come into contact with them, we would actively recommend them. Our aim is to keep dogs — and their human families — as healthy as possible […]
Once in a while, even the most voracious eater just can’t.

Chicken and Rice for an Upset Tummy?

There’s no shortage of advice on the Internet for what to feed a dog who is having temporary GI upset, either with vomiting, diarrhea, a gurgling stomach, or a combination of those untoward symptoms. The advice often comes down to the suggestion to give a pet a little boiled or plain roasted chicken with rice. […]

Dear Doctor: Are dogs really carnivores?

Q. You said in a recent article that it’s not a good idea to choose dog food by the ingredients list because it doesn’t tell whether the food has the right nutrients in the right proportions. But I have always looked at the ingredients list before buying my dog food. For instance, one popular dog […]
The science on whether a lower-protein diet will curb aggression has been mixed.

Less Protein to Reduce Aggressive Behavior?

At the level of folklore, it makes sense to think that a diet relatively low in protein would help inhibit aggressive tendencies in a dog. After all, throughout history protein has been the nutrient associated with red-blooded men who use aggression to hunt and then dine on protein-rich animal food to keep up their strength […]
Would it be better to put out a lot and let the dog choose how much to eat?

Free Feeding Versus Scheduled Feedings

On the face of it, there are a number of reasons to allow your dog unlimited access to food rather than doling it out in measured portions. One is that she will never go hungry. Like us, dogs are hungrier some days than others, and free feeding will allow her to eat more when she […]
Popcorn can make a good snack for dogs. But for those with certain health conditions, salted popcorn is a bad idea.

Reduced-Sodium Diets: What’s Available?

There’s more than a fair chance that a reduced-sodium diet is in your dog’s future, if it’s not here already. An estimated 10 percent of dogs develop heart disease that requires sodium restriction for proper treatment, and the proportion only goes up with age. At least another 10 percent develop chronic kidney disease, which also […]
Sorting through dog food labels can be a confusing experience if you don’t know how to interpret the information.

How Can a Dog Food Be “For All Life Stages?”

When you look at a bag or can of dog food, there’s always a statement from the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) that says the food is appropriate for any one of a number of phases of a pet’s life. These include “growth” (puppies), “reproduction” (pregnant or nursing bitches), “maintenance” (adult dogs), or […]
Stainless steel is the way to go.

The Right Food Bowl

The best all-around food and water bowls for a dog are made of stainless steel and have a heavy bottom. Glass or ceramic bowls, while often very nice-looking, can break, and bowls made of plastic have a number of potential problems of their own: Bowls composed of plastic are viewed as chewing toys by some […]
Young puppies should be fed more than twice a day.

Dear Doctor: How often to feed a puppy

Q. We’re about to adopt a new puppy. I have always fed my dogs twice a day, but the breeder is telling me that three times a day is better. What’s the right answer? Eugenia Hummer Grapevine, Texas Dear Ms. Hummer, A. Young puppies definitely should be fed more than twice a day. Their developing […]

Five Common Nutrition Mistakes We Make For Our Dogs

We all want to feed our dogs as nutritiously as possible, but many owners’ earnest efforts are misguided. Even with the best of intentions, they end up choosing their dog’s diet on faulty assumptions. Here are five common mistakes loving dog guardians make — and how to correct them. Mistake # 1. Choosing food by […]