Educational Articles

Dogs + Nutrition

  • This handout discusses the pros and cons of feeding a raw food diet to your dog. Topics included are nutritional imbalances, potential bacterial contamination, the risk of foodborne illnesses involving both you and your pet, and other concerns that may arise from feeding a raw food diet.

  • Since we want the best for our pets, we should include them in the go green movement. Here are a few ways you can create a cleaner, greener home for you and your pet.

  • Traditionally, the terms “food allergy” and “food intolerance” have been used to describe any and all adverse food reactions in dogs. A far more accurate term to describe adverse food reactions in dogs is “food intolerance.”

  • Up to twenty-five of dogs have osteoarthritis. Diet can make a huge impact on the quality of life for dogs with osteoarthritis. Normalizing your pet’s body condition by helping your dog burn fat and preserve or build muscle is an important step in helping improve your pet’s quality of life. Your veterinarian can help you choose the correct nutrient profile for your dog.

  • When the digestive tract is upset, vomiting and diarrhea may result. Since the causes of these symptoms are varied, it’s best to consult a veterinarian. Often, a bland diet is recommended to rest the digestive tract and to decrease vomiting and diarrhea. Bland diets consist of a single easily digestible protein source and a simple carbohydrate. Pet owners may prepare bland diets at home or choose one of the many commercially available diets.

  • Pet owners may not realize that caffeine can be harmful to their pets. They also may not know that many foods and drinks in their cupboards contain caffeine. This particular chemical can be toxic for both cats and dogs.

  • Critical care patients in the hospital can often become malnourished which can delay healing and recovery. Wound healing and tissue repair are intimately interrelated with nutrition. In a hospitalized critical care patient receiving inadequate nutrition, normal cellular metabolic activities are disrupted which can lead to problems with medications; either with inadequate drug activity, or creating a relative overdose if drug elimination is slowed. If a dog is not eating well on their own, one of various types of feeding tubes can be placed to help the dog receive adequate nutrition.

  • Evaluating dog food labels is a challenging task for pet owners. Read about the rules governing dog food labeling in order to better interpret the information they contain.

  • Designer diets cover a range of options that target specific canine nutritional needs. While some designer foods include certain ingredients like novel protein sources, others exclude certain ingredients like grains. There is a potential link between heart disease and diet. Determining which type of diet is best for your dog should include a discussion with your veterinarian as there is no documented data that designer diets are any better for the average, healthy dog than are traditional, commercial preparations.

  • Treats are a great way to bond with your pet but can be a major contributor to obesity. Treats should be no more than 5-10% of your dog’s caloric intake as they add calories, and in greater quantities, can create a nutritional imbalance. Excellent treats that are low calorie and satisfying are vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, and cauliflower as well as air-popped popcorn. Many homemade treat recipes can be found on the internet, but be sure that these are not too high in calories or contain inappropriate ingredients for your individual dog. Check the recipe with your veterinarian before having your dog taste test them!