Dear Doctor: Give the poor dog a bone – but not a raw one

I know youre not supposed to give your dog raw food because it can contain live bacteria that can make your pet sick, and cooking will kill all the harmful germs. But what about a raw bone?

Dear Doctor: Human Grade Food for Dogs

Ive come across some dog food with labels that say human grade. Is that a better bet for my pet?

Raw Meat Diet Risks As High As Ever

As the popularity of raw-meat diets for dogs has increased, so have their levels of dangerous bacteria. When researchers in the Netherlands tested 60 raw-meat products intended for dogs, more than half of them had levels of bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter that exceeded the maximum threshold set by the European Union. The products were made in Scandinavia, Germany, and the United Kingdom, all of which have hygiene standards comparable to ours. E coli, found in about a third of the samples, can cause serious illnesses, and even death in some cases.

Probiotics for Fidos Sensitive Tummy?

Almost a decade ago, the Canadian Veterinary Journal published a seminal study on probiotics for dogs showing that of 25 commercially available products tested, only two met criteria for quality control. Ten did not even list the bacterial counts in their merchandise, a critical point because probiotics are all about good bacteria flooding the GI tract to help calm a dogs diarrhea or other gastrointestinal signs. Of the 15 that did list bacterial counts, only one in four actually contained what the label said. Some products mentioned bacteria that dont exist, while others had bacterial counts that were too low to effect any beneficial changes in the gut.

Why Homemade Diets Can Be So Dangerous to Your Dogs Health

For puppies and older dogs especially, and also for dogs who are pregnant or nursing, meals prepared by you in your own kitchen can be extremely dangerous.

Dear Doctor: Popcorn for the Pooch

My dog, a 25-pound mixed breed, happens to love popcorn. Is there any reason I shouldnt give it to her as a treat?

Homemade Treats Your Dog Will Love

While a home-cooked diet can be a healthful alternative to commercial pet food, it can be very time-consuming and expensive to make sure it meets all your dogs needs - and should never be done without help from a board-certified veterinary nutritionist.

Why Dog Diets Fail

The reason efforts to slim down an overweight dog often fail is not because of a nutrition problem like too many calories per serving. Rather, most dogs have weight problems because of emotional issues - yours, not theirs.

No Longer Legal in the U.S.: Dogs as Food for People

Many tend to think of consumption of dog meat as something still going on only in undeveloped, far-off nations. But the import, export, and slaughter of dogs (and cats) has been legal in 44 states.

Dog Food Prescribed By the Vet Not Working?

Tufts veterinary nutritionist Cailin Heinze, VMD, is only too familiar with scenarios like the following: We had this little dog who needed surgery to remove bladder stones made of calcium oxalate, she says. After that, she was prescribed a diet that would make the stones less likely to recur. Even so, the stones kept coming back. She had to undergo two more operations to remove more stones. We asked the owner what was going on. Well, Im feeding the diet you recommended, he said.

You Gonna Eat That?

You love your dog and dont mind giving him table scraps here and there. But it has gotten to the point that every time you sit down to eat, hes there - begging, nudging, drooling, and beseeching with wide eyes for some of your meal. How has something that you thought was cute and tried to be nice about - and loving about - turned into such a persistent, annoying problem?

Are Certain Pet Foods Causing Heart Disease?

You may have heard recently that certain types of diets, including those that are grain-free, have been linked to a type of life-threatening heart disease in some dog breeds that dont commonly become afflicted with it, including golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers, mixed breeds, and others. Called canine dilated cardiomyopathy, or DCM, it results in an enlarged heart.