dog with pineapple

Can dogs eat pineapple? Five health benefits of pineapples for dogs

Pineapples are a great low-calorie treat for dogs, so can dogs eat pineapple? The answer is yes, dogs can eat pineapple. They are packed with nutrients, antioxidants, and enzymes that protect against inflammation and can help improve your dogs digestion.

What are the health benefits of pineapples for dogs?
Pineapples and Pool: Can giving your dogs pineapple really stop them from eating their poop?
Which dogs benefit the most from eating pineapple?
What are the risks and dangers of giving my dogs pineapple?
These dogs should never get pineapple
How to feed your dog pineapple
How much pineapple should I feed my dog?
How do I know if my dog is having a reaction to pineapple?
FAQs about pineapples and dogs
Things to remember about feeding your dog pineapple

Can dogs eat pineapple: Five health benefits of pineapples for dogs?

The majority of the beneficial effects of pineapples come from the enzyme bromelain.

1. Pineapples are low in calories and fat

Although they are pretty low in calories they still have a ton of nutrients. A cup of pineapple chunks has about 83 calories and 1.7 grams of fat.

2. Pineapples are packed with vitamins

Pineapples have a lot of vitamin C and manganese. In addition, but to a lower extent, they can provide lower amounts of vitamin B6, thiamine, copper, folate, magnesium, potassium, iron, riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid. Pineapples also contain trace amounts of zinc, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin A, and phosphorus.

With the large amount of vitamin C and manganese available to your pup, you should know how each vitamin affects your dog. Read our article about vitamins and your dog.

3. Pineapples have fiber

If you have a dog with digestive issues that do well with fiber a cup of pineapples provides over two grams of fiber. While you probably wouldn’t give your dog this much pineapple it is a beneficial treat to give to your dog in an appropriate amount for their body size.

4. Pineapples have antioxidants

Antioxidants are compounds that help prevent oxidation and oxidative stress due to free radicals in your dog’s body and can help with inflammation which may help with cancer and arthritis. Pineapples are rich in the antioxidants phenolics and flavinoids specifically. (Source)

5. Pineapples can help with hydration

Pineapples contain over 80% water so that’s some serious hydration for your pup

Can pineapples really stop my dog from eating poop?

The answer to this question is it depends. Success rates with this issue vary greatly with many owners seeing no signs of their dog stopping the practice of coprophagia.

The tanginess of the bromelain in pineapples is supposed to give your dogs poop a nasty taste, although if they don’t think feces tastes disgusting there’s a good chance this won’t do much.

There has actually been little scientific research that corroborates the statement that pineapple will end this act. If you have a coprophagic dog it is worth giving pineapple a try, but if you are looking for other tips that may help read our latest article here about coprophagia and puppies.

Which dogs benefit the most from eating pineapple?

1. Dogs with digestive issues

If you have a dog with digestive issues such as constant constipation they benefit from the added fiber in pineapples. In addition, the bromelain helps to break down protein molecules which can aid in digestion.

2. Dogs with arthritis

Dogs that have arthritis may benefit from eating pineapple every once and a while due to their anti-inflammatory effects.

3. Dogs with cancer

Because pineapples have tremendous antioxidant effects they are often included in dogs diets that have cancers. If you have a dog with cancer, make sure to read our article about how to feed a dog with cancer.

4. Dogs with pancreatic insufficiency

In humans with pancreatic insufficiency, the bromelain enzyme has been shown to be helpful because it breaks down the protein molecules, which assists the pancreas since it is not making enough digestive enzymes. Bromelain is used in meat tenderizers to help break down tough meat proteins, so it should be extremely helpful to dogs with pancreatic insufficiency

What are the risks and dangers of feeding my dog pineapple?

While there are many beneficial aspects to feeding your dog pineapples there are some detrimental ones as well. This is why it is important to feed pineapples to your dog sparingly

Sugar Overload

One large pineapple has an average of 89 grams of sugar which is about a whopping 21 teaspoons of sugar! If you have a diabetic dog you should refrain from feeding your dog pineapple.

Allergic Reaction

Pineapples are a very low-risk allergen but if you are feeding your dog pineapple for the first time keep an eye on him or her to ensure they don’t have a reaction to the fruit.


Due to the high sugar content if given too often your dog can develop obesity and possibly diabetes, especially in smaller dogs

Tooth Decay

Again due to the excess sugar in pineapples in fed too often accelerated tooth decay can occur


Choking is of concern if you aren’t giving your dog pineapple the correct way (cubbing it for them) and feeding parts of the pineapple they shouldn’t eat like the skin or core

Allergic Reactions

While rare, it is possible that your dog may be allergic to pineapple. If you want to read more about how to recognize allergic reactions to pineapple skip to that section in this article.

Can all dogs eat pineapple? Which dogs should not eat pineapple?

Most dogs can eat pineapple but there are exceptions

  • Due to the high sugar content dogs with diabetes should not be given pineapple
  • Dogs on a blood thinner should not eat pineapple as the bromelain can decrease blood clotting time
  • Obese dogs should not get pineapple due to the high sugar content

How to feed your dog pineapple

  • Ensure that the flesh is a light to medium yellow
  • Always give your dog raw fresh pineapples
  • Never give your dog an entire pineapple as they can not eat the crown, core or the skin (just like us)
  • Cut your dogs pineapple into small chunks
  • Do not feed your dog canned pineapple as these are usually preserved in sugary syrup and have added sugar for extra sweetness

How much pineapple should I feed my dog?

Fruit should play a very small part in your dog’s meals, if you are feeding your dog an over-the-counter diet you may notice a tiny amount already in the ingredients list.

If you are making your dog’s food at home and want to add pineapple the fruit should not exceed more than 10% of his or her total food consumption for the day.

If a small cube is about 4-5 grams (think the size of a sugar cube) it contains about 2 calories.

Small Dog (5-19 pounds) One to two small cubes no more than 2-3 times a week
Medium Dog (20-50 pounds) Three to Five cubes no more than 2-3 times a week
Large Dog (over 50 pounds) Five to Eight small cubes no more than 2-3 times a week

You should still check with your vet for an amount specifically tailored for your dog

How do I know if my dog is having a reaction to pineapple?

While rare, if your dog has a reaction to pineapple they may present with

  • excessive drooling: if you’ve ever eaten a lot of pineapples then you know that sometimes it can cause your tongue to burn this is due to, you guessed it, the bromelain
  • gastrointestinal signs: nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • Constipation: if your dog gets too much fiber from pineapples they could become constipated
  • Obesity: If you are giving your dog too much pineapple they may eventually become obese and diabetic due to the high sugar content
  • Swelling: If your dog is going into anaphylactic shock due to eating pineapple you may notice some swelling of the face or body
  • Difficulty Breathing and Fainting: If your dog is severely allergic to pineapples they may go into anaphylactic shock and pass out or faint due to the inability to breathe properly

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my dog stink after eating pineapple? Some owners may notice some unwanted smells coming from their dog after eating pineapple and it is usually caused by excess gas due to the high fiber content in the fruit.

Can dogs have dried pineapple? Yes, dogs can have dried pineapple as long as there are no additives or sugar. You can even buy a dehydrator and make your own dried pineapple jerky

Can my dog drink pineapple juice? No, dogs should not have pineapple juice. There is already a lot of sugar in pineapple and since most of the pulp and fiber are stripped away in juice they can’t counteract the insulin spike that the sugar will cause, so refrain from giving your dog pineapple juice

Things to remember when feeding your dog pineapple

  • Your dog’s digestive system isn’t built for handling a large amount of fruit and sugar, so feed it sparingly and in moderation or you may have to clean up a lot of unwanted messes
  • When feeding your dog raw pineapple make sure to only give him or her the flesh
  • Dogs that have diabetes, are obese or on blood thinners should not have pineapple


What are the symptoms?

Five common symptoms in dogs with pancreatitis

If your little guy or gal recently got in the garbage, ate a piece of fatty ham, or has been receiving table food on a regular basis you should keep an eye out for these signs of pancreatitis in dogs.

These are by far the five most commonly seen symptoms in dogs with pancreatitis. If you notice your dog doing any of these things you should get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible!

Pancreatitis in dogs symptoms: Five common signs of pancreatitis in dogs

1. Anorexia

Loss of appetite is a common symptom of pancreatitis in dogs

Anorexia is a loss (or decrease) of appetite and is one of the first symptoms owners notice in dogs with pancreatitis. If you notice that your dog is usually a voracious eater and suddenly has no interest in food no matter how tasty, you may want to see your veterinarian ASAP.

There are two types of anorexia

  1. True anorexia – This is the type of anorexia seen in dogs with pancreatitis and other systemic diseases. Dogs with true anorexia simply have no desire to eat. You will notice that your dog has no interest in food and may sniff the food but not partake or stay away from their food bowl altogether
  2. Pseudo-anorexia – dogs with pseudo-anorexia are hungry but they can’t due to something causing difficulty chewing, picking up, or swallowing their food. You may notice your dog returning to their food bowl over and over again but unable to actually eat or whining while at the bowl. This usually occurs with tooth pain, abscesses, gingivitis

2. Weakness

Weakness is the second most common sign seen in dogs with pancreatitis

A lot of owners may notice their dog seems weak and wobbly when they walk or extremely lethargic and does not want to walk or move a lot. If your dog is usually very energetic and bouncing off of the walls and you suddenly notice that he or she is acting sluggish and tired you may want to see your veterinarian.

You may notice that your dog may not want to go for walks or play as much as usual and just laying around the house.

3. Vomiting

Vomiting and nausea may also be seen in dogs that have pancreatitis

If your dog does eat you may notice that they aren’t able to keep any food down and will have vomit that sometimes has whole pieces of food in it.


4. Diarrhea

Diarrhea is a common symptom of pancreatitis in dogs

The diarrhea is usually a darker color but if left untreated it will usually progress to have a light yellow color with a distinct foul odor and a greasy appearance. In addition, you may also notice blood in the stool due to pancreatitis bleeding because of blood vessel rupture.

5. Abdominal Pain

Stomach pain is a very notable symptom of pancreatitis in dogs

Your dog may wince or nip when touched on the abdomen and they may also cry out when picked up by their stomachs. You may also notice that your dog takes a ‘praying position’ which means their rear end is up in the air and their front legs are lowered to the floor.

It should be noted that the combination of these clinical signs could indicate pancreatitis or another illness which is why it is extremely important for your dog to see a veterinarian as soon as you can if you notice any of these symptoms. Usually, the combination of upper stomach pain and vomiting is fairly indicative of pancreatitis in dogs.

Signs of pancreatitis your vet might notice

Your veterinarian may also notice some additional symptoms once presented to the clinic

1. Dehydration

Your vet will probably do a skin tent test and run some blood work to check dehydration in your dog. You can also do a skin tent test at home as well.

A skin tent test is to check your dog’s skin elasticity as when they are well hydrated it is normal. To perform a skin tent test you gently pinch the loose skin away from the body at the scruff and release it. Well dehydrated dogs’ skin will return to normal immediately whereas if dehydrated dogs will form a ‘skin tent’ it will take a couple of seconds to return to normal.

If your dog has been vomiting or has some diarrhea they will most likely be dehydrated as they are losing water and electrolytes.

2. Icterus

Icterus or jaundice is yellowing of the skin due to excessive accumulation of pigment in the blood and tissues. This is usually for prolonged cases of pancreatitis that aren’t treated immediately. You may also notice some yellow tinting of your dog’s eyes and gums.

3. Fever

You can take your dog’s temperature at home as well but part of your vet’s physical examination will be getting a temperature. If your dog’s temperature goes above 102.5 they have a fever (most dogs are under 102.3)

pancreatitis guide


Golden Retriever

Common inherited diseases in Golden Retrievers and how food can help

Golden Retrievers are a popular breed among owners, in fact, they are consistently in the top 10 for most owned dogs in the United States.

However, like most dogs, they can come with their own set of genetic and inherited issues. Aside from the common digestive issues that most dogs get like bouts of diarrhea, here are some congenital issues of Golden Retrievers and how food may help.


Cancer is a leading cause of death in dogs and unfortunately, Golden Retrievers top the list for dogs prone to developing cancer. In fact, a study showed that approximately 60% of Golden Retrievers will develop cancer in their life span, which is twice as much as most dogs. It is good to note that most Goldens can still live very long lives, usually between 10-12 years of age even with the prevalence of cancer.

cancer in dogs

How might diet help Golden’s with cancer?

While there are no guarantees when attempting to feed for cancer in dogs, along with treatment with a veterinarian, owners often try the ‘cancer diet’ for dogs. It consists of feeding your dog a clean diet, usually mixed with their current diet or in lieu of what they are eating over the counter. To learn more about feeding your dog a cancer diet, read our article here.

In addition to feeding your Golden the right things you should help them shed any extra weight as some studies like this one published by the AVMA, showed a slightly increased prevalence of cancer in overweight and obese dogs

Also, if you have a dog with cancer the Dog Cancer Blog may be a great resource!

Hip dysplasia

golden retriever

Hip dysplasia is fairly common in Golden Retrievers, like most larger breed dogs. It is a multifactorial condition that persists for life after diagnosis, however, there are some things you can do to help your dog like hydrotherapy, keeping them at a healthy weight, and some supplements have been shown to help as well.

Hip dysplasia in dogs usually presents at two times in a Golden’s life, when they are growing, usually between 6-12 months of age, and when they are older, usually between 4-8 years old.

What can I feed my dog to help with hip dysplasia?

Just like people collagen has been shown to help dogs that have hip dysplasia, common ones include:

  • Egg white supplements (source) – there are over-the-counter supplements available.
  • Glucosamine
  • Chondrotin
  • MSM (methylsulfonylmethane)


golden retriever

Ichthyosis is a skin condition seen in dogs that carry the recessive genetic mutation, while it is rare, Golden Retrievers are one of the breeds that carry the mutation.

The genetic mutation prevents the outer layer of skin from developing and sloughing properly which causes the skin to be rough (most owners initially notice it on the paw pads) and feel greasy. There are often times very large flakes, thickened skin, discoloration of the skin, and a greasy like feel to the skin.

If anyone has ever had fish, then you may be familiar with the fish disease ‘ich’ and that is where the word ichthyosis comes from since it is the Greek word for fish.

The disease usually worsens with age and requires a biopsy for diagnosis.

How can diet help my dog with ichthyosis?

Along with medicated shampoo some owners have had success in shifting their dog’s diet to include more fatty acids like Omega 3’s and fish oil.

GDV or stomach bloat

GDV is not necessarily only found in Golden Retrievers but is more common in larger dogs like the breed. What happens is that because they have such large barreled chests and large bodies after eating a large amount and especially if they are extremely active after eating the stomach can ‘twist’ and cause a blockage that prevents anything from passing (gas, water, food). It can be deadly if not treated quickly since gas continues to build up in the stomach.

If the stomach continues to twist, it can cause other complications like the spleen twisting and cutting off blood flow or twisting the esophagus

While there isn’t one known specific cause of Bloat in dogs some contributing factors are:

  • Overeating
  • Eating quickly
  • Exercise after eating
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Older dogs

Symptoms are usually seen in a couple of hours and some signs of bloat in dogs are

  • Pacing the floor and unable to rest or relax
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • The abdomen may look distended or severely swollen (like a balloon)
  • Attempting to vomit but nothing coming out
  • Drooling
  • Panting
  • Collapse
  • Pale gums
  • Difficulty breathing

How can what and how I feed my Golden help prevent gastric bloat

  • Feeding smaller meals throughout the day may help prevent bloat
  • Not allowing your dog to run around after eating
  • Avoid foods that expand in the stomach, like cereal-based foods or excess amounts of chia seeds
  • Use a slow-feeder to prevent your dog from eating too fast

Muscular dystrophy in Golden Retrievers (GRMD)Golden Retriever

Muscle Dystrophy is a degenerative muscle disease in dogs where the muscle fibers generate and die. The muscle protein dystrophin is not produced and these dogs suffer from muscle weakness and wasting, inability to walk, and in some cases eat.

It is an X-linked recessive inherited trait and symptoms usually begin at about 6-10 weeks of age. The same disease occurs in humans and is termed Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to help a dog that has this genetic defect as far as feeding is concerned. The best thing to do is to keep their stress levels down and feed a whole, quality, nutritiously balanced meal.


dog chicken

Chicken Allergies In Dogs: The Ultimate Guide

Similar to humans, dogs can be allergic to certain foods. Besides beef and dairy, chicken allergies in dogs are the next most common food allergy seen at most veterinary clinics, so yes dog’s can be allergic to chicken.

Canine food allergies are caused because of an immune-mediated hypersensitivity reaction to proteins in the diet. However, what most pet owners believe to be food allergies is actually food intolerances or a food sensitivity and this usually shows up as skin and/or stomach issues.

Chicken is used in a lot of dog foods because it is highly palatable, an excellent source of protein, and relatively inexpensive but because it is used so much in dog foods veterinarians tend to see an elevated rate of food sensitivities. (Source)

If you want to read more about the difference between a food allergy and food sensitivities or intolerances read this article.

Is chicken okay for dogs to eat?

Yes, chicken is a great choice of protein to feed your dog as an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Not all dogs have a food sensitivity to chicken, in fact, most don’t.

How do I know my dog is allergic to chicken?

Common Signs of a chicken sensitivity in dogs include:

SKINSTOMACH (less common)
Redness can be generalized or localized to ears and pawsVomiting
Persistently recurring ear infections (chronic ear infections)Diarrhea
Itching and chewing at skin and pawsExcessive Gas
Fur loss (alopecia) or fur thinning from bitingUpset or Sore Stomach
Frequent skin infections

How are chicken allergies detected in dogs

1. Food trials

The best and gold standard method for detecting chicken allergies in dogs is by doing a food trial. This is done by slowly introducing your dog to a food with a novel protein that he or she has never eaten. Then after a period of time reintroducing an old protein to determine if chicken is the culprit.

However, due to the time required (about 2-3 months) and strict feeding regimen during an elimination diet, most dog owners opt to forgo doing a complete food trial and stop at the elimination diet. If you are interested in doing a food trial read our article here for a step-by-step guide.

2. Elimination Diet

An elimination diet is when an owner gets rid of or eliminates every protein that the dog has had previously and a novel protein is introduced. Your vet may proceed with doing a food trial depending on the results of the elimination diet.

3. Allergy test

There are several allergy tests on the market and your vet can give your dog an allergy test as well. Unfortunately, research shows that many of the tests that are readily available are not extremely reliable. Although the patch testing and serum antibody tests can still be slightly helpful when determining which ingredients to choose for an elimination diet. (Source)

How do I treat my dog for a chicken allergy?

If your dog is diagnosed with allergies to chicken, the best route of treatment is to avoid it at all costs and feed your dog a chicken-free diet. This means no chicken from the table and if you have guests over make sure they know not to feed your dog.

Some things to keep in mind when eliminating chicken from your dogs diet:

-There are many treats and medicines that have chicken added in that you would not consider so ensure you read all packaging before feeding your dog anything. Chicken may be in:

  • Some supplements include chicken flavoring
  • Many treats are made with chicken
  • Some chews may include chicken like rawhides
  • There are chicken flavored toothpastes for dogs as well

-Keep in mind that even though you have eliminated chicken from the diet, your dog can eventually become allergic to the novel protein and you may have to do the process of determining what is causing the allergy again if you feed a diet that includes more than one protein.

-In addition, some over-the-counter dog foods have been shown to mislabel their lists of ingredients and oftentimes include trace amounts of other types of protein than those listed on the packaging. This study determined that over-the-counter diets are not recommended for the diagnosis and treatment of food hypersensitivity.

What are some good foods for dogs allergic to chicken?

Hydrolyzed Prescription Diets

There are several hydrolyzed diets available for pet owners and these diets work because the protein is broken down into much smaller pieces and are not recognized by the body as a threat.

Hydrolyzed diets are broken down proteins from chicken, beef, and other proteins like fish or even chicken feathers. You read right, there are some foods like the Royal Canin Hydrolyzed Anallergenc diet where the main protein is hydrolyzed poultry feathers. In a study done on dogs that were allergic to chickens, it was noted that feeding a diet of hydrolyzed poultry feathers did not induce pruritus flares. (Source).

Insects & Fish

If you’re horrified by the thought of feeding your dog chicken feathers you may not be too keen on feeding them crickets either but that is just what some owners have had success with. Jiminy’s Cricket Crave Dry Dog Food is one that owners that have dogs with chicken allergies like. Another option is a complete fish meal.

Novel Protein Limited Ingredient Diets (LIDs)

Feeding your dog a limited ingredient diet with a new protein is optimal since they won’t have had a history with that protein and the LID do not have a lot of ‘fluff’ or extras that can sometimes also cause issues. These diets usually only have one protein so if they become allergic to it you will know right away what the cause was.

Feeding your dog a chicken-free diet with a novel or new protein like kangaroo or bison may prove to be the best option for your pup. Zignature has some great options for novel protein diets.

Homemade Diets

There are many owners that have had success with giving their dog a homemade diet. For some great ideas on what to cook for your dog with chicken allergies check out our list of homemade recipes.

homemade dog treat recipes


Here are some treat options for dogs with chicken allergies:

FAQs about chicken allergies in dogs

1. What percentage of dogs are allergic to chicken?

While a definitive number is not known it is said that food allergies account for only 10% of all dog allergies with the most common being seasonal and environmental. In one study of over 200 dogs, it was noted that 15% of the dogs had chicken allergies.

2. Can a dog be allergic to chicken and not turkey?

Turkey is used as a replacement for chicken, many times a dog that is allergic to chicken is not allergic to turkey but each dog is different so keep an eye out for signs of a reaction when feeding complete turkey.

3. Can a dog with chicken allergies eat chicken meal?

If your dog is allergic to chicken you should refrain from feeding them chicken meal is basically powdered chicken parts and by-products.

4. Can a dog with chicken allergies eat eggs?

You would think a dog that was allergic to chicken would also be allergic to eggs, but this isn’t always the case. Just like with turkey some dogs are allergic to eggs and some aren’t.

5. If a dog is allergic to chicken can they eat duck?

Duck is many times used as an alternative to chicken in meals but it has a lower incidence of allergic reactions than turkey

6. Can a dog be allergic to raw chicken?

If your dog is allergic to chicken they will also react to raw chicken as well

7. My dogs food has chicken fat in it, is that safe?

Dogs can eat chicken fat or foods with chicken fat in them even if they are allergic or sensitive to chicken because it doesn’t contain any protein.

8. Do dogs in the wild have food allergies?

While it is rare it has been noted that some wild dogs do have food allergies. However, this is far from the norm and it is thought that domesticated dogs have food allergies due to their environments.

9. Can dogs be allergic to chicken liver?

If your dog is shown to be allergic to chicken, they should not eat chicken liver. This study showed that 40% of dogs that ate a diet of hydrolyzed chicken liver still had allergic flares.


About the author: Dr. Jackson has over 15 years of clinical experience as a small animal veterinarian and has worked as an educator for 7 years. She enjoys spending time with her dogs Chi-Chi and Cha-Cha who were the catalyst for the creation of The Pets Digest blog. Read More

Turmeric for dogs: The benefits, the dangers, how to use it and an awesome recipe

If you’ve ever gone to an Indian restaurant then you have probably had curry a time or two and turmeric is what gives it the yellow color. Turmeric has been used in Indian, African, and Asian dishes for centuries but the spice is becoming more well known for its anti-inflammatory properties in the West and many owners are now curious about turmeric for their dogs.

Yes, turmeric is safe for dogs, it is an extremely beneficial spice to use in your dog’s diet on a regular basis due to its antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and its modulatory benefits on the immune system.

Aside from being used in food to spice things up, turmeric is a common ingredient in many traditional medicinal practices as it has some extremely powerful health benefits. In fact one study found that it helped decrease chronic inflammation in dogs within 3 days to 3 months, along with other treatments for the conditions (Source)

Curcumin is what gives turmeric its tremendous health benefits, however, it only makes up about 2-5% of turmeric, which is not very much, and why many people opt to use extracted curcumin instead of turmeric.

In clinical trials, curcumin for dogs has shown efficacy against numerous ailments including arthritis, diabetes, cancer, gi issues, heart disease, immune diseases, and liver disease.

Let’s look at some of the many health benefits your dog can get from eating turmeric

10 Tremendous Health Benefits of Feeding Your Dog Turmeric

dog eating turmeric

While turmeric touts several health benefits for dogs, most are due to the spice’s tremendous anti-inflammatory and immune-balancing properties.

Inflammation isn’t always a bad thing because in short acute burst it can help the body heal and repair itself but chronic or long-lasting inflammation is extremely detrimental to your dog. Chronic inflammation is the foundation of almost all diseases. Chronic inflammation can last for weeks, months, or years and often contributes to many diseases like arthritis and autoimmune disorders.

There have been thousands of studies on turmeric and curcumin in humans (a lot less in dogs) so we will look at some of those throughout the article. One study claimed that curcumin along with other anti-inflammatory compounds like resveratrol, celecoxib, and tamoxifen were more potent at decreasing inflammation than aspirin and ibuprofen. (Source)

1. Anti-Cancer

Unfortunately, according to the AVMA, approximately 1 in 4 dogs will develop tumors, and almost half of the dogs over the age of 10 will develop cancer.

So what does inflammation have to do with cancer? Chronic inflammation can cause cell mutation and proliferation creating an environment that is extremely conducive to cancer development. (Source)

Curcumin helps to decrease tumor cell growth or proliferation, metastasis, and death of normal cells (Source). In fact, the spice is now added to some chemotherapy treatments to improve outcomes (Source).

2. Immunomodulation

Aside from its anti-inflammatory effects, turmeric has been shown to be able to positively modulate the immune system via the expression of the systems cells like macrophages and t-cells.

3. Arthritis

Inflammation of the joints causes tremendous stiffness and pain in dogs. Usually, owners will notice their pup not wanting to walk up the stairs, getting up slowly, or not running and playing the way they used to. Your vet can officially diagnose your pup with arthritis by taking an x-ray and looking at the cartilage surrounding the affected bones.

Most likely your vet will put your dog on pain and anti-inflammatory medications, you should also inquire about giving your dog curcumin or turmeric powder since they have been shown to help with arthritis in both humans and dogs. Some owners even notice that they can eventually wean their pups off of over-the-counter medications in lieu of turmeric only.

4. Promotes Gut Health

The gut is known as the second brain and there is some speculation as to if the positive effects of curcumin on the gut microbiota are the reasons for its overall health effects (source). There are currently two main ways known that turmeric has been shown to help the gut

  • Pre-biotic and probiotic like effects: Turmeric extract has been shown to have better resistance to the acidic gastric environment of yor dog’s stomach than the standard prebiotic given and is digested by and supports the growth of beneficial bacteria including Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium animals.
  • Helps with inflammation in the gut: It has been shown that turmeric can help with leaky gut due to the spices relationship with the gut microbiota but it has also been shown to suppress IBD colitis in humans and reduce the relapse in patients with chronic IBD. These studies are done in humans, but they are also promising results for our fur babies. (Source)

5. Improves Heart Health

It is estimated that 10% of dogs in the United States have heart disease, this is approximately 7.8 million dogs. (Source) Studies have shown that curcumin can reduce the risk of heart disease in humans by improving blood flow and in turn help to reduce blood pressure and help regulate blood clotting factors.

6. Diabetes

Turmeric supplements have also been shown to help with blood sugar management (Source)

7. Antioxidant

Turmeric is a powerful antioxidant and as we all know by now, antioxidants are beneficial for decreasing the effects of aging and cellular degradation by protecting your dog’s cells and eliminating free radicals & oxidative stress in the body.

8. Antifungal

Turmeric seems like the spice that does it all and it even wards off some fungi, like Candida Albicans, according to several studies (Source)

9. Antibacterial

Turmeric has been widely used in some cultures as a natural antimicrobial for centuries, recently it has proven to be effective in fighting off certain types of bacteria like Streptococcus. (Source)

10. Adaptogen

Just when you thought the spice couldn’t have any more beneficial properties, it turns out that turmeric is also an adaptogen! This means that it can help your dog’s body manage stress and anxiety. I wrote an article about dogs and adaptogens here so you can find out other scientifically backed adaptogens for your dog.

7 Dangers of Feeding Your Dog Turmeric

dog eating turmeric

Is turmeric dangerous for dogs? No turmeric is not dangerous in the right dosages for dogs. The spice is generally considered safe for dogs but there are some instances where it can be harmful. Here are some other things you should be concerned about when feeding your dog turmeric

1. Medicine Interactions

Turmeric can interact with some medications like NSAIDs, some cancer drugs, blood thinners, blood pressure medications, and diabetes medications. Always speak with your vet prior to placing your dog on new herbs or formulas especially if they take an over-the-counter medicine

2. Black pepper

While a small amount of black pepper probably won’t harm your dog, feeding him or her large quantities should be avoided since it provides little to no health benefits and can cause irritation to the airways and eyes. Most pet owners have no issues but there are other, less irritating options to pair with curcumin for optimal absorption.

Some turmeric contains black pepper in their formulations, so if you do not want to feed your dog black pepper always read the ingredient list

3. Constipation

While not a serious danger, too much turmeric can cause constipation in your dog. Your dog would have to eat a ton of turmeric for this to occur so this is not likely to occur, but if you notice your dog straining to use the bathroom stop feeding the spice.

4. Allergies

This is extremely rare but allergic reactions to turmeric can occur. Signs of allergic reactions to turmeric in your dog are usually:

  • swollen skin or hives
  • itchy skin (most common)
  • trouble breathing (extremely rare)

5. Anemia

Turmeric has been known to cause iron deficiency anemia in humans

6. Kidney Stones

In humans, turmeric has been associated with the formation of oxalate crystals which can increase the risk of kidney stones. Dogs that are prone to forming kidney stones should refrain from eating turmeric.

7. Overdose

If you give your dog too much turmeric over a long period of time it can cause issue like:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Incordination and dizziness

How to give your dog turmeric

How much turmeric do I give my dog?

In general, the recommended dose of turmeric for dogs is 15mg–20mg per pound of body weight per day, or more simply put, 1/8 to 1/4 tsp per day for every 10 pounds of body weight. You should start with half a dose increase to the max dose over a couple of weeks.

For example, A 9-pound dog would get 1/8 teaspoon at the lowest dose and up to 1/4 teaspoon at max dose

How often should I give my dog turmeric?

You can feed your dog turmeric daily and to ensure it still functions optimally in their body, you can use the ‘on for a certain period of time and off for a short amount of time’ method as an elimination period (for example on turmeric for 3 weeks and off for 1 week).

In addition, turmeric leaves the body fairly quickly, so it is best to give it throughout the day. Ideally, you would split your daily dose into the number of feedings you give your dog and feed at each meal, for example, a 9-pound dog would get 1/8 teaspoon in the morning and 1/8 teaspoon in the evening if you feed twice a day to make up 1/4th of a teaspoon.

How do I use turmeric so my dog processes it efficiently?

If you are simply sprinkling turmeric over your dog’s food you should probably just sprinkle it over the trash can as the spice requires paring with piperine or a fat to be used efficiently by your dog’s body. Since you don’t want to give your dog too much black pepper try using a small amount of coconut oil. You can even make frozen treats using the recipe provided from Pawsomely Delicious.

Where do I get turmeric for my dog?

There are several places to pick up ground or whole turmeric which you can grind yourself.

Health Food Store

Choose to buy your turmeric from the health food store and not the grocery store as many of the grocery store spices have other ingredients that may be harmful to your pet since they are usually made to bring out a better taste in foods and not for supplemental purposes

Grow Your Own

Growing turmeric is easy to grow if you live in a warm and sunny climate

Pre-Formulated Treats

There are a ton of over-the-counter supplements for dogs that contain turmeric, if you want to take the guesswork out of dosing these are your best bet

Which dogs should not have turmeric?

  • Pregnant dogs
  • Dogs with bile tract obstruction or gallstones
  • Dogs blood clotting issues
  • Dogs on medications that turmeric may interfere with the efficacy of the treatment
  • Dogs with allergies to curcumin
  • Dogs with kidney stones
  • Dogs getting ready to have a surgical procedure (as it promotes thin blood)
  • Dogs with renal failure or kidney disease

1. Get your turmeric from the health food store or buy one formulated specifically for dogs to prevent excess chemicals and ingredients your dog shouldn’t ingest
2. There are certain dogs that should not have turmeric
3. Turmeric should be combined with a fat for optimal absorption
4. The general dose of turmeric for dogs is 1/8 to 1/4 tsp per day for every 10 pounds of body weight
5. Turmeric leaves the body fairly quickly, so it is best to give it throughout the day

Important Facts You Should Know Before Feeding Your Dog Turmeric

  • Turmeric stains EVERYTHING, when mixed with a liquid it will stain your hands, your kitchen counters, the floors, and your dog’s fur! So use gloves or be extra careful when handling it if you are making treats
  • You may already be giving your dog turmeric so check your dog’s food to make sure it is not already in the formulation before adding it to his or her diet
  • Buy organic when possible
  • Purchase from a reputable company to ensure the pureness of the contents
  • Look for products that have a Certificate of Analysis

Below is our recipe for Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Rolls feel free to add other anti-inflammatories and antioxidants such as chia seeds to pack in the goodness

Anti-inflammatory Turmeric Rolls


  • 1 Cup Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Puree
  • 1 Cup White Rice
  • ½ tbsp Turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon Coconut Oil


  • Cook the rice until soft and slightly over cooked so that it will stick together
  • Mix together Pumpkin or Sweet Potato Puree with coconut oil, rice and turmeric
  • Roll into balls (you may want to use gloves since the turmeric stains)
  • Place in oven at 350° for 20 minutes
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool


Store in the refrigerator up to 7 days 


dog food

Feeding your dog for a strong immune system

Did you know that your dog’s diet plays a tremendous role in their overall health?

It is imperative that your dog get plenty of exercise, clean water, and a high-quality diet if they are going to maintain a healthy immune system. Want to learn more about how to choose the most beneficial and quality food for your dog? Read this article.

It doesn’t matter if you are feeding a commercial kibble dog food or making your dog’s food at home, it is critical that as an informed owner you make the best possible diet choices for your fur baby.

You can do this by

  • Reading dog food labels
  • Feeding organic and natural as much as possible
  • Knowing your dog’s allergies and digestive issues
  • Feeding to boost their immune system (which we will discuss today)
  • Feeding for life stages such as a senior dog
  • Supplementing where needed with vitamins & minerals

By doing these things, your dog has the best chance at living a long and healthy life.

How do I know if my dog’s immune system is performing at sub-par levels?

Before you start feeding your dog to optimize their immune system you should first determine if their immune system is performing at sub-par or normal levels. This is especially true if your dog is entering senior status as optimizing their immune system through their diet may oftentimes serve to delay the decline seen in many older dogs.

Many times it isn’t quite obvious to owners when their dog’s immune systems are not able to function optimally due to nutritional deficiencies, but some signs may be:

  • Constant lethargy or tiredness
  • Skin issues
  • Lackluster coat
  • Occasional bouts of diarrhea

You may have to discuss getting a baseline blood work with your vet to check their organ function and if possible their vitamin levels (although this isn’t usually performed at many vet clinics on a regular basis)

What are the key nutrients my dog needs?

Let’s take a look at some of the key nutrients that dogs need

The six basic nutrients that every dog needs are

  1. Protein
  2. Fats
  3. Carbs
  4. Water
  5. Vitamins
  6. Minerals

1. Proteins

Proteins are integral parts of your dog’s cell membranes. They help form the framework of organs, muscles, joints, hair, skin, nails, ligaments, tendons, and bones. By feeding your dog quality protein you are providing amino acids that they can’t make on their own but that they need as foundational building blocks to a healthy life.

Since dogs are obligate carnivores they tend to eat a lot of meat, although some people do feed their dog a carefully planned vegan diet. The meat translates to protein by their body’s cells and your dogs may even need a higher percentage of protein in their diets than you.

Good sources of protein are

  • Lean meats – beef, lamb, veal, pork, kangaroo
  • Poultry – chicken, turkey, duck, emu, goose, bush birds
  • Eggs
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat

2. Vitamins

Many times, vitamins act as cofactors in metabolic reactions, they aid enzymes in converting nutrients into compounds the body uses, they help in the breakdown of nutrients that provide energy, have antioxidant factors, and play a major role in the structural function of membranes.

If you are feeding your dog a high-quality over-the-counter diet you shouldn’t have to worry about supplementing your dog’s diet with vitamins as they are usually added in.

While we discuss the critical core vitamins that your dog needs more in-depth here in this article, your dog may or may not need a multivitamin-mineral supplement if they fit one or more of the points below

  • Age: many times older dogs need supplements from multi-vitamins to joint supplements
  • Food type: Are you making your dog’s meals at home or feeding a sub-par over-the-counter food? You will most likely have to supplement your dog’s diet with a vitamin.
  • Pregnancy: pregnant dogs may need vitamin supplements, especially in the last phase of their pregnancy
  • Lactating dogs: If a dog is feeding a litter of pups they will need some sort of supplementation
  • Diseases: Some diseases like auto-immune diseases can cause your pups immune system to function at a lower level

If you do decide to give your pup vitamins never give them human vitamins as they need one formulated just for them and their weight.

Want to know how to choose a great multi-vitamin for your dog? Read this article.

3. Minerals

Minerals are inorganic elements that are essential to the life of your dog. Many essential minerals are provided by vegetables, meats, whole grains, and fruits. If your dog is eating an over-the-counter diet the formulations usually have added mineral content in them,

4. Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates like glucose and fructose supply energy to cells and provide molecules important in cell functions.

5. Fats

Dietary fat provides the most concentrated source of energy in the diet which is why they are such an important component of your dog’s diet.  They also improve the palatability of the food and serve as carriers for fat-soluble vitamins.

Fats are essential to your dog’s life and some types of fat are even necessary for proper brain function.

6. Water

Of course, every living creature needs fresh, clean, water to survive and your pup is no different. Water has so many functions in the body that we can’t list them all here (unless you want to read this article for days) but some of the most important include keeping the ion balance across cell membranes intact, transportation of nutrients, elimination of products through the urine, lubricating the joints and organs, and removing heat from the body when necessary.

A pet’s total water intake comes from three possible sources: 

What weakens my dog’s immune system?

dog food


While vaccinations strengthen the immune response to viruses that pose a threat to your dog some owners have concerns about vaccinations actually weakening the immune system and while you don’t want to over-vaccinate your dog, they are integral to your dog’s overall health as they effectively prevent your dog from getting diseases, some which can be deadly like parvo or distemper.

If you are concerned about your dog being over-vaccinated, you can speak with your vet about doing an antibody titer test to see if your pet’s antibodies are within the protective range. Some vets will also give rabies and distemper every 3 years as opposed to annual vaccinations

Environmental Stresses

With all of the chemicals and waste in the environment, it is not surprising that your dog’s immune system can suffer if they are bombarded with things like pollution, pesticides, and radioactive waste. While your dog’s body can naturally eliminate some of the toxins, it can not get rid of them all.

Emotional Stress

We all know that emotional stress can dampen your dog’s quality of life, but did you also know that stress can also shorten your dog’s life? And yes, dogs can get stressed!

Some ways to help decrease your dog’s stress are

  • Train them so they are comfortable when you leave them in the house alone if they have separation anxiety
  • Try external options like the thunder shirt which may help decrease stress in some dogs during stressful times like the fourth of July, by applying a comfortable amount of pressure to their bodies
  • Try antianxiety treats
  • Antianxiety sprays help in some cases
  • Keep dogs separated when feeding if one dog bullies the other
  • Give your dog loads of exercise to help them get rid of an excess energy
  • Keep music on when you leave the home
  • Is there a way to detox my dog’s body? Doggy detox

Lack of sleep

Just like humans, dogs need to get adequate sleep and if they don’t it can affect their immune systems. If you find that your dog isn’t sleeping well due to stress or pain try to alleviate the cause so they can get a good nights rest every night.

How can I strengthen my dog’s immune system with their diet?

There are certain things you can do to support your dog’s immune system like making sure your dog has plenty of fresh air, exercise, water, and a quality diet. In addition, research has shown there are several things you can give your dog to help boost their immune system.


Yes, dogs can have turmeric, to learn other ways turmeric benefits your dog and how much you should give read our latest article about the spice here.

While lots of research has been done on the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric more are focusing on the potential immunomodulatory action of the spice. It has been shown to be able to modulate the activation of the immune system and enhance antibody responses. (1)

It has also been shown that turmeric may be able to decrease cortisol levels in humans, while more research is needed for dogs it may also do the same to decrease their stress levels.


Earl Mindell’s Nutrition & Health For Dogs

Your Mini-Guide to Feeding Your Cat A Bland Diet

If you are a cat owner expect to encounter vomiting and/or diarrhea several times throughout your cat’s life. Many times the cause of the diarrhea isn’t serious and your vet will put your cat on a bland diet.



What makes up a good bland diet?

cat bland diet

Let’s look at five key aspects of a great bland diet for cats

A bland diet is one that helps to soothe and calm your pet’s stomach when they are having diarrhea or vomiting. It should be used only in non-serious cases when the cat does not need to be on IV fluids or other medications at a veterinary clinic. Many times cats feel better after feeding a bland diet for two to three days

The ideal bland diet for cats that have diarrhea will be:

1. Highly digestible

The food should be easy to digest so that the stomach doesn’t have to work as hard

2. Low-Fiber

Low in fiber, bland diets slows stool production so the urge to go to the bathroom is less frequent

3. Gluten-free

Gluten is a known allergen in many cats and can cause further GI upset

4. Low in fat

Fat can easily worsen an already upset stomach as malabsorbed fats serve to promote diarrhea

5. Lactose-free

Most cats are lactose intolerant and have some milks have fats that can serve to make diarrhea worse

cat bland diet

When should you feed your cat a bland diet?

You should put your cat on a bland diet if your cat has nonserious diarrhea, usually from eating something that they should not have. This is of course after speaking to your vet.

Steps to safely feeding your cat a bland diet

1. Let your cat’s stomach rest by not feeding for a period of time usually 12-24 hours especially if vomiting accompanies the diarrhea

2. Give small amounts of water at a time and watch for any vomiting

3. If the pet is keeping the water down, feed small amounts of bland food (1/4 of your pet’s normal meal size)

4. If vomiting occurs remove the food and contact your vet

5. Feed a small amount of bland food every 3-4 hours for no more than 3 days, if diarrhea persists after 72 hours see your vet as there may be a need for further testing (like bloodwork and x-rays) and treatments that you aren’t able to give at home.

Give 1-2 teaspoons for small cats and 1 tablespoon of food for large cats each time. If your cat is still hungry and able to keep their food down feel free to gradually increase the amount and times between feeding over the next 2-3 days until they are eating a normal amount two times a day as before.

6. If your cat’s stools are back to normal or becoming solid in a couple of days you can start to gradually mix in their regular diet over the next 4-7days until they are eating their regular diet 100%. However, if your cat’s stools are getting worse or you notice any abnormalities such as blood or an excess amount of mucus in the feces you should see your vet ASAP.

How to safely revert to your cat’s regular diet after being on a bland diet

1-275% (3/4)25% (1/4)
3-450% (1/2)50% (1/2)
5-625% (1/4)75% (3/4)

What does a bland diet for cats consist of?

When you think about a bland diet think boring, plain, and simple since as we said before it should be easy to digest and gentle on the stomach. The most common ingredients in a bland diet for cats are:

  • Rice with plain chicken or turkey: Boiled and chopped, unseasoned skinless and boneless) – see the recipe here
  • Baby food: Chicken or turkey without onion or garlic which are both toxic to cats)
  • Prescription diet: Most owners choose this option since the homemade bland diet and baby food lack vitamins and minerals that cats need
bland diet
bland diet dogs and cats
bland diet dogs and cats
Hills I/D
Purina EN
Royal Canin Gastrointestinal

Bland diet recipe

Bland Diet Recipe For Cats

Prep Time42 mins


  • 1 Chicken Breast
  • ½ Cup White Rice


  • Boil White Rice
  • Boil Chicken Breast in enough water to be fully covered
  • Once cooked remove the chicken breast from the water and rinse it with warm water
  • Chop or shred chicken breast into small pieces
  • Add a small amount of rice to the chicken breast to see if your cat will eat it. We don't recommend fully mixing everything together at once because many times cats have an aversion to rice. If your cat will eat only the chicken brreast feed that
  • Refrigerate any leftovers and use within 3 days

What if my cat won’t eat the food?

Unlike dogs, cats can be pretty finicky eaters and even if they are hungry they may turn their noses up at the bland diet you prepared. Cats are pretty sensitive when it comes to the smell, taste, and palatability of their food and may often turn away rice.

Here are three things you can try to help entice your cat to eat

1. Offer them warm food

If you’ve refrigerated the bland diet or baby food try warming it before feeding it to your cat as this may be more appetizing to them

2. Try keeping the meat and rice separate

If you made a diet of meat and rice for your cat, try only giving them the meat as sometimes cats may not like the rice

3. Have at least one alternative on hand

Since cats are pretty finicky eaters always have at least one alternative meal available to give them

4. Add liquid

You can add homemade or store-bought chicken broth for cats to the food

Dogs will usually give in and eat if they are hungry even if they don’t like the food but cats are a different story and can go days without eating. If you notice that your cat is refusing to eat get them to the vet as soon as possible as it can lead to ‘fatty liver or hepatic lipidosis which is a life-threatening condition.

What not to do when feeding your cat a bland diet

  • Do not feed seafood as this usually makes diarrhea worse, espeically oily canned seafoods
  • Don’t feed over the couter cat chicken or turkey cat food as this will most likely have other ingredients that your cat shouldn’t have at this time and make matters worse. If you would prefer to purchase a bland diet instead of cooking for your cat ask for a prescription diet from your veterinarian
  • Do not give milk or diary products as many cats are lactose intolerant and they may have too much fat
  • Don’t wait to see the vet especially if vomiting and diarrhea persists for longer than 24-48 hours or if you know that your cat ate a foreign object like a string (which can actually be deadly to cats)
  • If you have multiple cats either separate the cat that is not eating a bland diet or do not leave out the regular dry food out for cats
  • Do not fry or season meat only poach or steam it
  • Do not leave the homemade bland diet or baby food sitting out throughout the day as it can go bad

Supplements to help with diarrhea in cats

Probiotics: If your cat has periodic bouts of diarrhea a probiotic with prebiotics may help keep these episodes at bay or lengthen the amount of time between episodes.

Over-the-counter Anti-diarrheal for cats: Some owners have had success with these although they are usually not prescribed by a vet. One common one is the Nutri-Vet Anti diarrheal for cats.

cat raw diet

FAQ’S about cats and bland diets

  • How long can a cat be on a bland diet? Cats can be on a bland diet for a couple of days but if the diarrhea persists or is getting worse you should see your vet
  • How much chicken should I feed my cat on a bland diet? Chop up the chicken (or turkey) into small pieces and depending on your cat’s size feed 1 teaspoon or 1 tablespoon (for large cats) 3-4 times throughout the day
  • Is there a BRAT diet for cats? The BRAT diet is for humans and stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. The only thing from the BRAT diet that is appropriate for cats to eat when they have diarrhea is boiled white rice
  • Does chicken and rice help with cat diarrhea? Yes this is considered a basic bland diet for cats when boiled and not seasoned
  • What happens if my cat doesn’t eat? Your cat not eating cat lead to very dire (and sometimes life-threatening) consequences such as fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease can start anywhere from 2-10 days so it is imperative that you keep an eye on your cat and ensure they are eating.

1. The best homemade bland diet for cats is chicken and turkey either boiled plain or chicken and turkey baby food (without additives)
2. Prescription diets are a great choice as they are already prepared with stomach upset in mind
3. If your cat continues to have diarhea or experiences vomiting see your vet ASAP


homemade dog treats peanut butter

The best peanut butter for dogs

Many owners often wonder if peanut butter is even safe for their dog? The answer is of course yes, peanut butter is an extremely safe treat for dogs in moderation of course.

However, there are some peanut butters that can be harmful (even deadly) if fed to your dog on a consistent basis. In this article, we cover what you should and should not look for in a peanut butter for your dog, some great peanut butter brands for dogs, and some frequently asked questions that pet owners often ask about feeding their dog peanut butter

What should you look for in good peanut butter for your dog?

To begin with, there are four main things you may want to keep in mind when choosing a peanut butter for your dog

  1. Always read the packaging: Opt for peanut butter that is organic, GMO free and gluten freel for your pup. While most dogs usually do pretty well with gluten there are some (just like humans) that don’t digest it well, so it’s best just to avoid it all together. Even if the label says ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ on the front still read the ingredients list
  2. Choose a smooth over chunky peanut butter: If you have the option, choose a smooth and creamy peanut butter over chunky. While crunchy peanut butter is fine for most dogs, if you have a smaller dog you should always choose creamy peanut butter. It just makes it a bit easier to digest
  3. Choose a peanut butter made for dogs: While there are plenty of peanut butters that are safe options for dogs, if you are on the fence about using a peanut butter for humans, they have options made with dogs in mind
  4. Make sure your pup does not have a peanut allergy: This is of course one of the first things you should do before you begin to feed your dog peanut butter on a regular basis. We discuss the signs of a peanut allergy here.

The top 8 peanut butters for dogs

We did some research and found 8 butters that are great for dogs

1. Homemade

Ultimately, the best peanut butter for dogs is made with love at home! This way you know exactly what is in the peanut butter. Making peanut butter at home is as easy as churning peanuts until they are smooth and creamy. You can also add other things to the peanut butter to make it a tasty treat for your pup like canned pumpkin.

2. Spread the love Organic Peanut Butter

Spread the love peanut butter has no GMO’s, Palm Oil, or added sugar and is made from organic ingredients

3. Santa Cruz Organic

4.Crazy Richard’s Natural Peanut Butter

5. Greencoast peanut butter

Green Coast Pawnut Butter is made specifically for dogs, it is xylitol and gluten-free and has flax seed

6. Poochie Butter Dog Peanut Butter

Poochie Butter has flax, turmeric, parsley, and ginger.

7. Buddy Butter

Buddy Budder is peanut butter made specifically for dogs and comes in several flavors including pumpkin

8. Hyper Pet IQ Treat Spread Dog Peanut Butter 

peanut butter dog

This peanut butter is made with dogs in mind and is bacon flavored so you pup will love it

Which peanut butters should you never buy?

Great peanut butter for dogs should optimally have peanuts and little else, so while we won’t go through brands to avoid, let’s look at what ingredients you should always avoid. Many of the added ingredients are for taste, preservation, or texture and are many times unnecessary. If the peanut butter you choose has any of the following ingredients you should opt for another option:

1. Added Salt: Peanut butter will naturally have some salt in it, adding more is not doing your pet any favors

2. Added Sugar: Look for added sugars in the form of caramel, corn syrup molasses, or sucrose. Just like in people sugar increases the risk of obesity and diabetes in dogs

3. Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils: many peanut butter manufacturers put this in their peanut butter to keep it from separating, but peanut butter is already fairly high in fat so it is unnecessary.

4. Palm Oil: While most peanut butters on the market don’t have nearly enough palm oil in them to be harmful to pets if eaten too much it can cause GI upset like diarrhea, vomiting, and pancreatitis in severe cases, so err on the side of caution and bypass any peanut butter that includes the oil

5. Xylitol: Xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs, in fact, it is over 100 times more toxic than chocolate to dogs. Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs. (Source)

6. Gluten: Most dogs do well with gluten but there are some that don’t fare well with it, there are some that don’t. It also isn’t a necessary part of their diet so bypass it when you can.

What can you do with the peanut butter for your dog ?

There are so many things you can do with peanut butter since it is such a versatile treat for dogs

Make awesome homemade dog treats: Most dogs love peanut butter so what better way to incorporate it into their diet than putting it in homemade dog treats. If you are looking for some great treat ideas you can check out our homemade treats section or use this recipe

peanut butter for dogs
homemade dog treat recipes

Use it on a lick pad: These are great if you are giving your dog a bath or need to distract him or her for some reason as they will be too focused on eating peanut butter to even notice what you are doing

Use it in hollow treats like kongs: Placing sticky peanut butter inside of a kong or other hollow toy will give your dog hours of enrichment. You can even freeze it for a longer-lasting treat

Feed it to them: Of course, you can always feed it to your dog directly as a treat, here is how much you should give your dog

Use it for training: If your dog goes crazy for peanut butter use it as a training tool, giving them a lick every time they do well


How do I know if my dog is allergic to peanut butter

There are a couple of ways to do this you can always have them tested for peanut allergies at your vets office or use one of the kits below. Most owners choose to give their pets a small amount with some Benadryl on hand, you can always speak to your vet as well to decide which route you should take. While the vast majority of dogs will not have a peanut allergy, symptoms of a peanut allergy in your dog can range from mild to severe to deadly. Signs of peanut allergies in dogs include:

  • Red and/or itchy skin
  • Collapse
  • Excessive licking
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling
  • Hives
homemade dog food

How much peanut butter can my dog have?

Peanut butter shouldn’t be a staple in your dog’s diet as too much can cause digestive upset, but it can make for a great treat every now and then. The suggested amount of peanut butter for dogs is up to 1/2 teaspoon for smaller dogs and up to 1 teaspoon for larger dogs, no more than twice daily.

In conclusion, peanut butter is a great treat for dogs in moderation. There are so many things you can do with peanut butter, like make treats and place it in toys. Simply, avoid butters with ingredients like added salt, sugar, xylitol, and palm oil and your fur baby will do well!

dog food bowls

11 Steps to starting a successful pet treat business | cat & dog treats

Because many pet owners are now seeing the benefit of feeding their cats and dogs the best treats the pet treat business is a fairly profitable endeavor.

As pet owners that want healthier options for their cats and dog than what they are finding on the shelves, they are starting to make their own treats and selling them to other pet owners that want the highest quality treats for their pets.

Should you start a dog treat business? Should you open a ‘catery’ (cat bakery)? Continue reading to determine if the pet food/treat business is something you would like to delve into and what steps you should take

homemade dog treat recipes

What is legally considered pet food?

For animals, the Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) regulates two classes of products: food or drugs.

Most state pet food regulations have four categories of pet foods: snacks & treats; intermittent or supplemental pet foods; complete & balanced pet foods and special purpose products.

Let’s look at what the government considers pet food

Pet food is a subset of general animal feed and is defined as any commercial feed prepared and distributed for consumption by dogs or cats. Per the AAFCO the following constitute pet food:

  • Complete and balanced diets/foods
  • Pet treats and pet snacks
  • Pet nutrient supplements (vitamins, minerals, fatty acids)
  • Nutrient-added waters
  • Edible chews (rawhide, hooves, pizzles) – these may be exempt from state registration and labeling requirements under specified conditions.

What is not considered pet food

  • Non-nutritional supplements (herbs and botanicals, metabolites) – however, these items may be subject to regulation as drugs. The law that allows these types of ingredients in “dietary supplements” for human consumption does not apply to animal products.

FDA Standards for pet food products include that the product must be

  • safe for the animal to eat
  • contain no harmful stubstances
  • produced under sanitary conditions
  • truthfully labeled
  • Canned foods must be canned according to low acid canned food regulations

1. Budget

before you do anything, you should create a budget. Write down all of the things you will need along with the cost. Luckily the start-up cost for a pet treat business are usually relatively low when compared to other businesses, however, you should factor in things like

Start-up cost:

  • the cost of your ingredients (and how much you will sell them for)
  • processing fees
  • shipping fees (if you are selling on the internet and going to offer free shipping)
  • licenses or regulation fees
  • packaging
  • molds
  • marketing
  • website hosting cost
  • domain purchases

Selling fees If you are going to sell your treats at local farmers markets and fairs you should start getting the information on them ASAP so you know how much to budget for application fees

Ongoing expenses: these usually consist of purchasing additional ingredients and shipping fees

Develop realistic price points as well to determine your approximate profits

2. Determine your audience

Determine what people want from a new dog and/or cat treat company. Do a needs assessment, which can be as simple as doing a poll in a popular Facebook group.

3. Develop a Company Name and Brand

Coming up with a name for your business may prove to be the most difficult part of the entire process!

Think of what you want your business to represent, is it a fit dog brand or holistic cat brand, and ensure the name conveys this.

There are federal regulations around pet food names, so ensure you are staying within the limitations set by the FDA when creating a name, for instance, if you are going to include the word ‘organic’ in your company name you will have to follow the guideline of the National Organic Program.

Here are some tips for creating a great brand name

  • Ask friends and family
  • Do a poll on Facebook
  • Use a Name generator like the one created by Truic

You should also come up with some brand colors and a slogan if you are going to use one. Most brands have 2-3 brand colors and four at the most.

4. Get a Website

Now that you have your name purchase the domain and start working on a website.

There are plenty of options for website hosting like Blue host and Siteground if you decide to build your own website or most business owners use a drag and drop platform like Shopify for simplicity.

5. Form a Legal Entity

Since you are starting a business for profit, you will want to start off making it official and this includes the following processes. They are in no necessary order but obtaining an EIN and social media websites are free and relatively easy to do so I would start with those.

  • obtaining your EIN
  • opening a business bank account – to separate your personal assets from your company’s assets
  • determining if your business will function as a sole proprietorship, LLC, or a corporation (speak with a CPA)
  • obtain your trademark (I would recommend waiting until you are established and know the name you have is he one you are settled on)
  • get your domains
  • get your social media sites
  • register with your state as a business

6. Know your Regulations

Pet food, treats and supplements are highly regulated by both the federal government and the U.S states. It would be nice if there was one organization that created, maintained, approved, and enforced regulations concerning pet treat production, but unfortunately, there is not.

All states with the exception of Alaska and Nevada have their own established commercial feed laws which vary greatly, so yes this means that you will have to go to each state and learn what you can and cannot do.

Regulations on pet food focus on two main things:

  1. The product label (is it truthful, how are the ingredients listed etc.)
  2. The ingredients used (are they on the approved ingredient list, are they fit for pet consumption etc.)

Most state laws require registration of feed or pet food and some states require that your company be licensed to sell in that state. As I stated before, each state is different so some states will have a year renewal cycle and some two years, which means if you are selling in multiple states this is something you’ll want to make note of.

In Texas, for example, small package pet food is registered, and the facility is licensed. In California, a license fee per location and a license fee for each pet food manufacturing facility are required. In Iowa, the label guarantor is licensed and each small pet food package is licensed.


What is the state registration process like?

For most companies, the registration process consists of

  1. Paying a licensing fee or registratyion applicaiton fee
  2. The registration fee may have to be renewed annually or bi-annually and usually involves a fee for each product, whereas a licensiting fee usually covers as many products under the same brand as you have in your store
  3. Submitting the company contact information/ a list of products to be registered/an example of the product labels
  4. Submitting a Tonnage Report if necessary

Aside from your local state regulations, The United States Food and Drug Administrations Center for Veterinary Medicine also regulates pet food and treats. These regulations cover basic labeling requirements (ingredient list, net content, name, and address, statement of identity). Fortunately, there are no product registration or licensing requirements with the federal government. 

However, if you are manufacturing canned pet food, you have to register your processing method with the federal government to ensure production safety.

The AAFCO is a great resource for pet treat makers and has a list of State Feed Controls

Alternatively, they have a PDF that you can download here.

7. Prep your labels

Your pet treat label is highly regulated both on a federal and a state level. The labels must have the ingredients listed in descending order of predominance by weight.

After reviewing the labels for format and content they will either be approved or not (you can usually reapply if your label is not approved after making the necessary changes). The label submitted to the regulator must be the same label that will be used in the marketplace.

When I decided to start my pet treat business I wanted to know exactly what to include on the labels so that I would be in compliance with all of the labeling requirements in all of the states. Most states have their own feed laws and regulations when it comes to labeling requirements but according to the AAFCO, if you use their model for labeling you should meet or exceed most state requirements and this is what most small pet treat companies do.

Your pet food label has 8 required items

  1. Brand and Product Name:

    There are rules about using specific words in your dog treats/food and they are determined by the percentage of that ingredient in the product. Generally you may see the words “Beef Dog Food”, “Beef Recipe Dog Food”, “Dog Food with Beef” and “Beef Flavor Dog Food” depending on the amount of beef in a product.
  2. Name of Species for which the pet food is intended:

    This can be included in the name, such as ‘Duck Dog Treats’ and must be conspicuously designated in words on the principal display panel
  3. Quantity Statement:

    This is the net weight or net volume, and it must be expressed in the correct units
  4. Guaranteed Analysis:

    This lists the percentage of each of the nutrients in the food, it is the list of minimums and maximums listed on tthe side of dog and catfood products. To read a bit more on guaranteed analysis click here. Most pet treat companies have the guaranteed analysis done by an external laboratory as many don’t have the equipment to perform the testing in house, especially if you are just starting or run a small business
  5. Ingredient Statement:

    Ingredients must be listed in order of predominance by weight, on an “as formulated basis”
  6. Nutritional Adequacy Statement:

    This is a statement that indicates the food is complete and balanced for a particular life stage, such as growth, reproduction, adult maintenance or a combination of these, or intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only. If you are making treats this probabaly won’t be significant for you.
  7. Feeding Directions:

    This tells consumers how much they should feed their dogs or cats by weight and how often. Feeding directions are usually optional for treats as long as they are not complete and balanced and they are labeled as snacks or treats
  8. Name and address of manufacturer or distributor:

    your companies name and address for gurantee purposes. The streeet address can be omitted but the city, state, and zip code should be shown. If someone else is making your treats you have to include verbage such as “manufactured for” or “distributed by” in front of the location listed

The AAFCO has a pet food labeling booklet for purchase on their website here.

8. Choose your ingredients

Not all ingredients that you are considering for your pet treats may be okay for use. My motto is to keep it as simple as possible and do not include any new or novel ingredients that may be considered dietary supplements.

Your ingredients should be

  • Safe and appropriate for cats and dogs
  • On the approved ingredients list – Federal & State officials can help you dettermine if your ingredients are on the approved list
  • Listed in order of weight on the ingredients list
  • Trutful of what is on the ingredients list

9. Determine where you will sell your pet food and pet treats?

Some places to sell your treats are:

  • Local farmers market – most local farmers markets will want your state registration paperwork so they know you are in compliance before selling
  • Over the internet – if you are selling treats over the internet you will have to register in every state you ship to (see the next section of this article)
  • At a veterinarians office
  • in a local store – make sure to get a break down of the percetnage you will retain to determine if this is going to be profitable for your business. It is normally a 40%/60% split

Selling pet treats over the internet

If you decide to sell your products online this would legally be considered distributing your products in every state, which means you should have your product registered in all of the states that require registration prior to offering your products for sale on your website.

If you do not want to register in all 50 states you can opt to limit your sales to specific states. If you have a Shopify store, you can restrict some products from being able to be purchased in some states, but you will have to do so state by state. You can also download an app like Better Shipping to create different shipping profiles by zipcode for products.

10. Get Insurance

You should definitely invest in obtaining business insurance to protect your company’s finances. Most new business owners start with general liability insurance but speak with a couple of different companies and agents to determine which would be best for you.

11. Start Marketing

Marketing is by far one of the most important aspects of your new business you should focus on, while it can be overwhelming you should start developing a marketing plan as soon as you can. Most new business owners are also new to the world of marketing, so this may take some research and education to learn the world of marketing. Since you are just starting, try some free promotions to start off like sharing your treats with family, friends, or Facebook groups (if they allow it).

Some common ad programs are:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • YouTube Ads
  • Pinterest Ads
best flours for dog treats

FAQ about starting a cat & dog treat business

  • Do I need to have a professional home inspected prior to starting my treat business? No, you do not have to have your home inspected by an agency prior to making dog and cat treats at home
  • If I’m selling treats on Etsy am I in compliance with the required rules and regulations? It depends, if you are shipping to a state you are registered in then yes if you are shipping to a state you are not registered or licensed in then no you are not in compliance
  • Are there people that can assist me with submitting my paperwork to each state? Yes, there are agents that are knowledgeable about submitting g the proper paperwork to each state and will definitely make the entire process go a lot smoother. One company I found is TSGconsulting
  • Can I use the term “veterinary recommended” on my packaging? Yes, you can if you have done a sufficient survey of veterinarians to prove this claim as true. This means more than a couple of vets should be surveyed.
  • Can I use the term “veterinary approved” on my packaging? No, since veterinarians alone cannot approve labels or products, only state regulatory agencies can do this
  • Can I use the term “human grade” on my pet treat label if all of my products are from the grocery store? According to the AAFCO you can use the term human grade on your label if all of the products used are fit for human consumption. Meaning you can’t mix products that are fit for human consumption and some that aren’t and still call it “human grade”.

dog treats

Some great references for further research are:

feeding dog vitamins

Dogs & Vitamins: Do dogs need them? Vitamin Deficiencies in dogs

Vitamins are necessary substances that dogs use to complete everyday metabolic functions properly. They are mostly found at low concentrations in the diet and unfortunately many are not synthesized by the body.

With the advent of holistic pet care, many owners are questioning if a dog multivitamin is necessary to achieve optimal health.

Let’s start with the basics, there are two main types of vitamins: water-soluble (does not need to be taken with food) and fat-soluble (should be taken with food). This is important to know when giving your dog vitamins or adding them to their food.

Also, if you are looking for more information about vitamins and minerals for dogs a great book to check out is here, it may be a bit on the scientific side for most but includes basically everything you need to know about feeding dogs and cats.

Should I give my dog vitamins?
Which dogs should have vitamins?
Which vitamins does my dog need?
How do I know if my dog has a vitamin deficiency?
What are some good dog multivitamins?
What not do when starting your dog on vitamins?


There may be many reasons that pet owners decide to supplement their dog’s meals with vitamins, a couple of the most common reasons include

  • Most produce is grown in soil depleted of nutrients and sprayed with pesticides
  • Most meat (unless organic) comes from animals given estrogenlike hormones to make them grow bigger and faster
  • Some animals were administered antibiotics
  • Dogs (just like humans) experience daily bombardment of pollutants and toxins which can be physical stressors that makes dogs need for vitamins much higher


The main question to ask yourself is if you even need to give your dogs vitamins. The answer depends on what and how you are feeding him or her.

If your pet is eating quality “complete and balanced” over-the-counter commercial dog food, they probably do not need a dog multivitamin supplement as their food should contain all of the vitamins needed. This is even more so true if you are feeding your dog food aimed at specific life states like puppy and senior since these diets often contain a calculated vitamin dose depending on what your dog needs at that time in their life.


Here are some times you may consider supplementing your dog with a multivitamin

If your dog gets homemade meals

Homemade meals are a great, healthy option for your dog since you know exactly what your dog is ingesting and how it was processed. However, you may need to supplement your dog’s meals with vitamins or an overall multivitamin. If you are simply topping your dog’s over-the-counter meals with homemade food this should not be necessary but speak with a veterinary nutritionist to develop a sound feeding plan for your dog to ensure s/he is getting everything they need in their diet.

Something else to consider is the fact that many vitamins may denature with heat, so if you are not feeding your dog a raw diet and are cooking their food they may need vitamin supplementation

Large breed dogs

If you opt not to feed your growing large breed dog puppy food specifically for large breed pups then you may want to supplement their diet with vitamins. Speak with your vet about which vitamins to give your fast-growing pup because if their food contains too many vitamins and minerals, like calcium, it could make them grow too quickly and negatively impact their joints. It is a fine line to walk when feeding puppies which is why most vets recommend sticking with a quality commercial dog food that has been formulated for growing dogs.

Pregnant or lactating dogs

Speak with your vet about good vitamins for your pregnant or lactating dog as they will often require more nutrients and minerals than dogs that are not

Vegan Dogs

Yes, there is such a thing, although I’m sure most dogs would prefer not to be vegan if given the option, some pet parents choose to go the route of canine veganism. Dogs are omnivores so they eat meat and plants (as opposed to cats which are carnivores) many of the vitamins vital to their growth, development, and longevity are found in meat which is why vegan dogs need vitamin supplementation

Dogs eating poor-quality diets

If your dog is eating a diet that is of poor quality, they may need supplementation. If you want to read about how to choose a quality dog food read our article all about the subject.

Dogs on certain medications

Some medications like high blood pressure meds and cortisone can interfere with vitamin absorption in dogs and may need supplementation. An example is anti-inflammatories and vitamin D and in some cases, dogs on diuretics (medication to help them urinate) will need vitamin supplementation

Dogs with pre-existing conditions

If your dog has anemia, cancer, or another pre-existing condition that can interfere with the absorption of vitamins, they may need to have vitamin supplementation


Vitamins A, C, K, E, C, and the B-complex vitamins are considered essential for dogs because they are needed to sustain life. It should also be noted that the fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body which creates a greater risk for toxicity but a lower risk for deficiencies. Let’s go over these major vitamins that your dog needs and should be getting from their diet and the risks associated with toxicities and deficiencies.

1. Vitamin A


There are five primary functions of vitamin A vision, growth, cellular differentiation, morphogenesis (the formation of morphology during embryonic development), and immune function.

Clinical signs of a Vitamin A deficiency

  • ataxia (usually see head tremors and unstable gait)
  • ocular lesions
  • Clinical signs of too much Vitamin A

    • Skeletal abnormalities
    • Oversensitivity to sensory stimuli
    • Cleft palpate i puppies
    • Refusal to walk

    2. Vitamin D


    Vitamin D helps maintain your dog’s body mineral balance and plays an important part in regulating calcium and phosphorous in the body for bone growth

    Clinical signs of a Vitamin D deficiency

    Vitamin D deficiencies often have to do with bone development and stabilization so signs of a deficiency usually include

    • lameness
    • rickets

    Clinical signs of too much Vitamin D

    calcification of soft tissues (calcium sticking to the organs)

    3. Vitamin E


    Vitamin E is an antioxidant present in plasma, erythrocytes, and tissues, where it functions as a scavenger of free radicals and thus, prevents free-radical or oxidative damage.

    Clinical signs of a Vitamin E deficiency

    • degeneration of the skeletal muscles
    • muscle weakness
    • reproductive failure
    • retinal degeneration
    • while rare owners may notice edema
    • anorexia
    • depression
    • in severe cases coma

    Clinical signs of too much Vitamin E

    Dogs given high doses of vitamin E showed relatively few clinical signs as it is known to be relatively nontoxic. However, it may interfere with the absorption or metabolism of vitamins D and K

    4. Vitamin K

    Fat-Soluble (should be given with food)

    Vitamin K plays an important part in activating your dog’s blood’s ability to clot and bone formation

    Clinical signs of a Vitamin K deficiency

    Signs of a vitamin K deficiency may include increased clotting times in dogs, however, there has not been much research done as naturally occurring vitamin K deficiencies (in the absence of anticoagulants) have not been reported

    Clinical signs of too much Vitamin K

    There have also been no studies of vitamin K excess in dogs to determine what the detrimental effects would be if any. But vitamin, in general, has not been shown to be toxic to animals

    5. Vitamin B

    The B-complex vitamins work together as a team and usually come together. The B-complex vitamins help to ward off stress, are essential for cell maintenance and growth, alleviate neurological issues, are needed for the production of antibodies and red blood cells, and the absorption of protein, fat, and carbohydrates.

    There has even been one study that showed that hyperactivity and aggressiveness in dogs can sometimes be remedied by a B-complex supplement.

    Some drugs like cortisone (a steroid), some high blood pressure medication, sulfa drugs, and hormone therapy drugs rob your dog’s body of vitamin B so be sure to supplement if your dog is taking these.

    Water Soluble

    There are several forms of vitamin B often referred to as B complex vitamins, all of which help the body to convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose), which is used to produce energy.

    Thiamin (Vitamin B1)

    Most clinical signs of thiamin deficiencies are due to changes in the brain such as myelin degeneration and axonal disintegration and can include

    • severe neurological signs (seen in acute cases)
    • heart issues (usually in more chronic cases)

    There are no reports of toxicity resulting from oral ingestion of thiamin by dogs, only thiamin hydrochloride


    Also known as B2 and occurs in the coenzyme form and its major function is to serve as a precursor of the coenzymes FMN and FAD. Synthesis of the coenzymes from riboflavin is under the control of the thyroid hormones.

    Signs of deficiency include

    • anorexia
    • decreased activity
    • hypothermia
    • weight loss
    • slow breathing
    • muscle weakness which worsens over time
    • flaking dermatitis
    • eye opacity

    There are no studies that show negative effects with an increased dose of riboflavin in dogs

    Vitamin B6

    Signs of deficiency include:

    • weight loss
    • death (especially in puppies)
    • convulsions
    • muscle twitching
    • anemia

    When an increased dose of Vitamin B6 is given dogs had

    • muscle weakness
    • loss of balance
    • ataxia


    Niacin is the general descriptor for vitamins having the biological activity associated with nicotinamide, including nicotinamide, nicotinic acid, and a variety of pyridine nucleotide structures

    signs of deficient include

    • anorexia
    • bodyweight loss
    • reddening of the inside of the upper lip that becomes inflamed
    • ulcers in the lip lining
    • excessive salivation
    • bloody diarrhea
    • reduced absorption of water and minerals

    Too much Niacin has been shown to lead to bloody feces, convulsions, and death

    Pantothenic acid

    in a component CoA and is required by all forms of life. It is widely distributed in foods and deficiencies are rare

    If deficiencies occur they can result in

    • coma
    • fas breathing
    • fast heart rate
    • convulsions
    • gastrointestinal
    • signs like diarrhea and enteritis

    no cases of pantothenic acid toxicity have been reported

    Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)

    Cobalamin is unique because it is made by certain microorganisms. The major food sources of cobalamin in the diet are animal products since plant products do not have the vitamin.

    deficiency of cobalamin include

    • inappetence
    • failure to thrive
    • neutropenia
    • anemia
    • changes in the bone marrow

    There are no reports of toxicity reported from eating high doses of cobalamin by dogs

    Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)

    • signs of deficiencies include
    • weight loss
    • anemia

    According to the book ‘The nutrient requirements of dogs and cats, there have been no adverse responses to excess folic acid in dogs and it is presumed to be fairly safe.


    Biotin, also known as vitamin H is part of the B complex group of vitamins. There are no reports providing many clinical signs of biotin deficiency reported in dogs but alopecia may occur. There are also no reports of biotin toxicity in dogs

    6. Choline

    Choline is not a true vitamin in the classic sense because many animals can synthesize it in the liver. It is also not considered an essential vitamin but is an integral component of the phospholipid lecithin and is a necessary component of the phospholipid cell membrane. Choline supports healthy brain and liver function and in some cases is given to dogs with epilepsy.

    Clinical signs of a Choline deficiency

    • weight loss
    • vomiting
    • fatty liver
    • death

    Clinical signs of too much Choline

    • weight loss
    • anemia

    7. Ascorbic Acid

    Water Soluble

    Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is normally synthesized in the liver from glucose and plays a role in hormones and hormone activation. It is a powerful antioxidant that can boost the immune system, reduce the risk of cancer and cataracts, and stimulate wound repair. It is important for proper bone formation and preventing heart disease.

    There was a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that reported people with cataracts tend to have lower levels of vitamin C in their blood.

    Clinical signs of a Vitamin C deficiency

    • muscle weakness
    • joint pain
    • delayed wound healing
    • bone weakness
    • bad breath

    Clinical signs of too much Vitamin C

    • Gastrointestinal upset (diarrhea & vomiting)

    CHOOSING a good dog food

    How do I know if my dog has a vitamin deficiency?

    There are several ways to know if your dog has a vitamin deficiency besides paying attention to the clinical signs mentioned above. Most commonly, your vet will run a simple blood test to check your dog’s vitamin levels just like in human medicine. Here are the four main ways vets will check for vitamin deficiency in animals.

    1. Blood work: One of the simplest and most common ways of measuring the concentration of vitamins in your dog’s blood work.

    2. Urinary measurement: Oral administration of the vitamin to the dog or cat and measurement of the urinary excretion of the vitamin or one of its metabolic products as an index of the saturation of body tissues

    3. Measurement of a compound in a biological fluid that requires the vitamin for its metabolism

    4. Enzyme stimulation tests: The rate of a reaction is measured before and after the addition of the vitamin

    What are some good vitamins for my dog?

    There are so many choices for a dog multivitamin in the market but in general, you want a multivitamin that

    • Includes all of the core water and fat-soluble vitamins your dog needs
    • The ranges for each vitamin are within the necessary limits for your dog’s weight (not too low or too high)
    • Have paid for clinical trials or studies to test the efficacy of their vitamins
    • Have raving reviews of other’s experiences with the vitamins prior to
    dog multivitamin

    Canine Complete Wholistic Vitamins for Dogs

    For Dog’s Daily Health: Canine Complete is a premium dog supplement loaded with multivitamins for dogs and a key source of healthy protein; contains vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, and more

    Per the website the daily dog vitamin powder features organic ingredients which are easily digestible when mixed into food, and is ideal for dogs of all ages; visible results in a few weeks

    No fillers, synthetics, GMO’s or artificial flavoring, only natural ingredients for a healthy functioning digestive system, immune system, and more

    dogs vitamins

    dog multivitamin
    dog multivitamin
    dog multivitamin
    dog multivitamin
    dog multivitamin

    Vegetable flavor, calcium carbonate, canola oil, soy lecithin, fish oil concentrate, I-ascorbyl-2- polyphosphate, maltodextrin, sodium
    alginate, calcium sulfate, citrus pectin, water, Vitamin E
    supplement, di-methionine, vitamin B12 supplement, ferrous sulfate,sorbic acid (a preservative), zinc sulfate, niacinamide, d-calcium,
    pantothenate, mixed tocopherols (a preservative), citric acid (a preservative), rosemary extract, silicon, dioxide, vegetable oil,
    propionic acid (a preservative), manganese sulfate, inositol,riboflavin, copper, sulfate, magnesium oxide, vitamin D supplement,vitamin A supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, sodium selenite,
    thiamine mononitrate, biotin, folic acid, potassium chloride, calcium iodate.

    Do this prior to starting your dog on a multivitamin

    Don’t start your dog on vitamins without speaking with your vet first as they can help you choose a good vitamin, give you the appropriate dose, and see if tests need to be run prior to starting your dog on vitamins

    Don’t feed your dog human vitamins as they will most likely require a different dosage than a human

    Get your dog’s vitamin base levels this way you can ensure that your dog is getting the appropriate amount of vitamins, you will probably want to check these levels annually

    Dog diarrhea colitis


    dog food bowl
    dogs rosemary

    Rosemary and rosemary extract in my dog’s food: Is it good or bad?

    As owners are starting to be more cognizant of what goes into their dog’s bodies, many are starting to regularly read dog food labels and noticing rosemary as a common ingredient.

    Since rosemary is becoming more and more popular in dog foods owners are asking questions like, why is rosemary being included in my dog’s food, and is rosemary even safe long-term for my dog’s health? We will answer these and many more questions for you in this article all about rosemary and dogs.

    Can dogs eat rosemary?

    Yes, dogs can eat rosemary and it actually has many beneficial qualities to dogs when given in small amounts. However, there are some dangers associated with excessive feeding of rosemary to dogs and there are some dogs that should not have rosemary in their diets at all.

    There are several studies that show rosemary extract is generally safe for dogs and has numerous health benefits. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) approves its use.

    However, in 2012 the FEEDAP Panel (The Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed) assessed data to determine the safety and efficacy of adding rosemary extract to dog food and were unable to deliver an opinion as more information was needed. (If there are updates in the statement we will post them here) (Source)

    Why is rosemary used in my dogs food?

    dogs rosemary

    Rosemary has been used in dog food for over 20 years and the addition of rosemary extract liquid to dog food is intended to be used as an antioxidant.

    What are the benefits of rosemary for dogs?

    In small quantities, rosemary is an extremely beneficial herb for dogs

    Antioxidant: Rosemary contains antioxidants, which help neutralize cell-damaging free radicals in the body. Rosemary’s antioxidant effects are mainly due to diterpenes, carnosol, and carnosic acid which have been linked to preventing cancer and heart disease. (Source 1/ Source 2). Natural antioxidants in dog feed, in addition to promoting feed conservation, stimulate levels of systemic antioxidants and minimize the impacts caused by free radicals in the dogs’ blood.

    Antimicrobial: One of the reasons rosemary is so great as a preservative in food is the herb’s ability to keep microbes and other pathogens like bacteria and fungi at bay, which keeps the food from spoiling.

    Mood & Memory enhancer: Rosemary has been shown to enhance mood and memory!

    Digestion Supporter: Rosemary has been known for its ability to assist with digestion related issues due to its antimicrobial properties

    Heart health: Rosemary has antispasmodic qualities on smooth muscle which may assist dogs with cardiac arrhythmia

    Blood Glucose Modulation: While further studies are necessary, feeding dogs a diet with rosemary (or basil) leaves powder at 0.05% might be a promising modulator of blood glucose levels to control diabetes mellitus in dogs. (Source)

    Anticancer effects: This is due to the herb’s antioxidant effects. A study in dogs noted that in combination with turmeric root, the use of rosemary induces a synergistic response to induce apoptosis. (Source)

    Bug Repellant: Many owners boast about having great success when bathed in a ‘rosemary tea’. In 2020, one double-blind study, a mixture of plant-based food supplements was used to successfully treat flea infestations on dogs. Bioticks is a mixture of extracts of thyme, rosemary, melissa, fenugreek, absinthe, and lemongrass (Source). This was the first study to evaluate a plant-based product as an oral supplement for flea control.

    According to The Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats by Dr. Richard H. Pitcairn and Susan Hubble Pitcairin this makes a great rosemary wash to help repel fleas. Mix 1 pint boiling water and a tablespoon of rosemary leaves for 10 minutes. Strain the rosemary from the water and allow it to cool to room temperature. After you have washed your dog you can use this mixture as a final rinse. It is not necessary to rinse the mixture off as you should allow it to dry on the skin.

    What are the dangers of rosemary for dogs?

    It should be noted that many of the negative side effects noted when pertaining to rosemary and dogs are due to rosemary oil, a toxic oil meant strictly for topical use. Negative side effects cited on the web actually pertain to rosemary oil, a toxic oil meant strictly for topical use.


    In small quantities, rosemary can lead to a calming or relaxing effect in your dog but if fed too much it can produce the opposite effect and cause seizures since it is a nervous system stimulant.

    While this is not an issue for most pet parents, if your dog already suffers from seizures you may want to steer clear of foods that contain rosemary abstract as an antioxidant


    While most dogs tolerate rosemary well, some dogs may have severe allergies or sensitivities to the herb. Let’s look at some of the signs that your dog may have a rosemary sensitivity or allergy. These symptoms can happen immediately or over a period of years.

    If you want to read about the big differences between allergic reactions and sensitivities, read our latest article here

    Symptoms may include:

    • Itchy skin: as with most allergic reactions rosemary can cause severe itchy skin in dogs that are allergic
    • Dry, flaky skin: this is usually seen in dogs that have a rosemary sensitivity and have been eating food with the herb for an extended period of time
    • Hair loss
    • Bumps/rash: typical of most allergic reactions
    • Chronic ear infections: If your dog has a sensitivity to the herb they may develop recurring ear infections
    • Obsessive licking/chewing of feet: this is also a common sign of an allergic reaction in dogs
    • Inflamed, red paw pads: most likely due to the excessive chewing and licking
    • Gastrointestinal upset: vomiting and diarrhea
    • Seizures: This is seen in severe cases

    If you are concerned that your dog may have an allergy to rosemary there are two things your vet can assist you with

    1. A blood test to determine if your dog is allergic to rosemary
    2. A food trial – which over a period of a couple of months eliminates the possible cause of an dietary allergic reaction by placing your dog on a ‘hypoallergenic diet’

    To treat your dog for rosemary allergies/sensitivities you simply remove any trace of rosemary from his or her diet, it’s a pretty easy fix. However, this means keeping a close eye on the ingredient list of your dog’s food and treats as rosemary is often present as a preservative.

    Once your dog is off of rosemary all of the symptoms that developed from him/her eating rosemary should go away and any open wounds or scratches should heal easily as your dog won’t be tempted to lick at their skin going forward

    How to feed your dog rosemary

    dogs rosemary

    In their dog food

    There are plenty of dog foods with rosemary as an ingredient, usually for antioxidant purposes, simply read the labels on your dog’s food to see if it is included.

    Can I season my dog’s food with rosemary?

    Yes, there are owners that season their dog’s food with rosemary. However, it should not be something that is done daily, and if your dog’s food already has rosemary in it as a preservative don’t include any additional portions of the herb.

    How much rosemary can I give my dog?

    In the book, Herbs for Pets, it is recommended to give no more than 1/8th of a teaspoon of tincture orally per 20 pounds (no more than 3 times a day)

    Note: You should never use undiluted rosemary oil (externally or internally)

    Never use undiluted rosemary oil internally or externally. Also do not use the oil on any pet with any kind of seizure disorder. Avoid using rosemary for pregnant pets. Check with your holistic vet for any questions.

    Which dogs should not have rosemary

    The following dogs should not have rosemary in their diets

    • Dogs that have seizures
    • Pregnant dogs
    • Dogs that have allergies to rosemary

    Moving forward

    • Some research has found that rosemary may interfere with iron absorption in humans, this needs to be further studied in dogs
    • Rosemary has been shown to improve memory in humans, studies in dogs would be great especially to determine if it may able to slow or prevent canine cognitive dysfunction

    dog ketosis

    Dogs & Ketosis: Should you feed your dog a ketogenic diet?


    What is a ketogenic diet?

    The ketogenic diet has three main components: it is high in fat, low carbohydrates, and adequate in protein. The diet was named ketogenic because fat is converted to ketones that are utilized as energy in place of carbs which pushes the body into a metabolic state known as ketosis.

    The diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel, fats instead of carbohydrates which are usually the main fuel burned for energy in your body.

    Dietary fat provides the most concentrated source of energy in the diet. When feeding your dog a diet high in total fat you must take care to ensure the adequate intake of protein, minerals and vitamins.

    The ketogenic diet is basically mimicking a constant state of starvation by forcing the body to burn fats rather than carbs/sugars. When the body doesn’t have access to carbs it begins to break down stored fat and creates ketones to use as energy instead of sugars that come from eating carbohydrates.

    Carbohydrates are found in a wide array of foods—beans, milk, popcorn, potatoes, cookies, spaghetti, soft drinks, corn, and white bread, vegetables, fruits, and beans.

    Are ketogenic diets safe for dogs?

    The majority of the research states that ketogenic diets are fairly safe for dogs. One of the main reasons is that in the wild, canines will in the majority of cases naturally consume a very low amount of carbohydrates, usually between 3%-5%. If your dog were in the wild and had to hunt for their food the typical ratios of carbs, proteins, and fats would be fairly close to a ketogenic diet.

    However, there can be some side effects to feeding your dog a ketogenic diet:

    • Gastrointestinal upset: Diarrhea or constipation usually
    • Keto flu: lethargy, gi upset as stated above (this is the same in humans)
    • Renal Calculi: This is rare in dogs
    • Stunted Growth: Especially if meals are not formulated properly
    • Pancreatitis: Due to the high-fat content of the diet, (this is under much debate as some companies, like KetoPet, attribute pancreatitis to the increased carbohydrates in the common canine kibble diet as opposed to fat

    What are the health benefits of a ketogenic diet for dogs?

    There are many pet owners that have placed their dogs on a ketogenic diet and their pets have shown tremendous improvements in their diseases. While more studies are needed, some common diseases that ketogenic diets are said to help with are listed below.

    Weight loss

    The ketogenic diet has become popular in humans mainly because of the weight loss benefits associated with it. The same is true in dogs fed a ketogenic diet. Since it is a calorie-restricted diet, some pet parents love the resulting weight loss they have seen in their dogs on the diet.


    In humans, the ketogenic diet is often combined with antiseizure medication in children with epilepsy and has been shown to have some protective effects for those developing Alzheimers.

    There is some evidence that ketone bodies have anticonvulsant activity. While one of the earlier studies showed no change there have been case studies and retrospective studies that have shown a significant decrease or elimination of seizures in dogs fed a ketogenic diet.

    There have not been any studies specifically on cognitive dysfunction syndrome in senior dogs and a ketogenic diet, but hopefully, those studies are underway!


    It is well known that many cancer cells rely on sugar for energy and since the ketogenic diet is decreased in carbs and subsequently sugars the cancer cells are basically starved. The is the main hypothesis that many scientists give as a reason for including a ketogenic diet in canine cancer patients.(Source). The addition of a keto diet seems to be most beneficial for dogs that are early in the disease.

    What dogs should not eat a ketogenic diet?

    While you should always do what you feel is best for your fur baby, it is highly advised that you speak with your veterinary nutritionist before starting your dog on a ketogenic diet if they suffer from one of the illnesses below

    Dogs with Pancreatitis

    According to the Harvard School of Public Health, many popular ketogenic resources suggest an average of 70-80% fat which for dogs with pancreatitis or others that should eat a diet low in fat could cause a setback in any progress made on previous treatments.

    Dogs with Diabetes

    You would think that a ketogenic diet would be perfectly safe in a dog with diabetes, but there is one issue. You will have to carefully monitor the insulin dose you inject your pup with to ensure they don’t become hypoglycemic. This usually just entails lowering their morning insulin dose.

    Dogs with IBD & Colitis

    Much like pancreatitis, you want to be wary of feeding dogs with gi issues like IBD and Colitis foods with high-fat content.

    Dogs with Kidney Issues

    Since, although rare, ketogenic diets have been known to cause kidney stones this should always be something that is regularly checked if you decide to put your dog on a ketogenic diet

    Growing pups

    This is especially true if you are going to feed your pup a homemade diet as they need an increase in protein since they are growing

    A Review of the Research

    While many more studies are still underway, let’s look at some of the research done on dogs that are eating ketogenic diets. Many of the studies use the MCT diet which is a form of ketogenic diet therapy. The MCT diet includes a supplement called MCT oil, which contains medium-chain triglycerides and produces ketones in the body. Click the links to visit the websites where these papers are published.

    dog ketosis
    dog ketosis
    dog ketosis
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    dog ketosis

    Should I start my dog on a ketogenic diet?

    This is definitely an individual decision as every dog is different. Speak with a veterinary nutritionist if you are having doubts about starting your dog on a ketogenic diet or have further questions.

    Since dogs are carnivores and can naturally tolerate longer periods of not eating and do not respond the same way to ketogenic diets as humans, meaning it takes them longer to go into ketosis and when they do their bodies often produce fewer ketones. Another hypothesis is that dogs use ketones more efficiently than humans, therefore there will be less circulating.

    Keep in mind that while there are some studies, there really isn’t enough clinical research and data to show if ketogenic diets could truly benefit your dog, other than cancers and possibly seizures in dogs.

    Here are some questions to ask yourself while making the decision:

    • Does my dog have any comorbidities such as pancreatitis, diabetes, IBS, or colitis?
    • Is my dog a picky eater?
    • Do I have time to make meals for my dog or the money to purchase pre-made meals?

    How do I start my dog on a ketogenic diet?

    Congratulations on deciding to take the plunge on feeding your dog a ketogenic diet!

    Let’s go over some of the things you will have to keep in mind when doing so

    Items to purchase

    • Glucose meter: to check your dog’s glucose levels (especially if your pup has diabetes). Blood glucose measures may be lower than average since it is no longer the primary energy source.
    • Ketone meter: Check your dog’s ketones at least twice a week. It’s important to note that urine ketone strips are not a reliable indicator for dogs, since small amounts of ketones can be found in normal dog urine, and once your dog’s body has adapted there will most likely be no ketones in the urine as the body will use them instead of excreting them.
    • Enzyme supplement: With older patients that may have cancer or diabetes, it is often advised to add a pancreatic enzyme supplement. This will help assist in the transition process for all pets. (Source)

    If your dog’s blood glucose levels are at or below 75 mg/dL and blood ketone levels at or above 0.3 mM, then he or she is in a state of ketosis. The ketone levels may be lower especially if they are active

    What do I feed my dog on a ketogenic diet?

    1. Commercial Diets

    If you are new to the ketogenic diet and do not want to make your dog’s meals at home, purchasing an over-the-counter diet may be the option for you. These are premade and often ship to your door via a monthly subscription. One popular diet is Ketonatural, pictured below.

    2. Homemade Diets

    If you decide to plan your dog’s meals you should know that feeding a dog a ketogenic diet is a lot less complicated than it is for humans since they (hopefully) don’t eat many of the processed foods and sugar like cereals, candy, and bread.

    You can have your dogs abstain from grains and most plant-based carbohydrates like potatoes or fruit and their fat intake can be increased through meats like lamb, beef, and fish. You can also increase green vegetables like broccoli and kale, but not carb-heavy vegetables like carrots and peas. (Source)

    A canine keto diet will usually consist of at least 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5 % carbs on a dry-matter basis, meaning the moisture has been removed.

    It appears that dogs adapt to a fairly wide range of fat types and amount, but dogs usually prefer animal fats most likely due to taste (Rainvird, 1988)

    The chart below details the diet plan given by KetoPet, which starts dogs with cancer off on option 2 of 82% fat.

    dog ketosis
    Source: KetoPet

    FATS (70%)

    • Ghee
    • Kefir
    • Coconut oil
    • MCT oil
    • Avocado oil
    • Olive oil
    • Pasture-raised butter
    • Fats from meats

    PROTEINS (25%)

    • Organic Meats
    • Fresh Caught Fish


    • Green beans
    • Cabbage
    • Collard Greens
    • Kale
    • Broccoli
    • Blue Berries

    The KetoPet Sanctuary has an awesome keto diet calculator for dogs. KetoPet Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that has tested the feasibility of using a ketogenic diet as adjunctive therapy in dogs with cancer.

    FAQ’s about feeding your dog a ketogenic diet

    • Make the transition to a ketone diet gradually, ideally over 10-14 days
    • What if my dog doesn’t like the food? Many owners find this to be true if they have very picky eaters, it is usually the fat content in the food, so try an alertanive fat
    • What if I want the benefits of a ketogenic diet but do not want to switch completely? You can do a modified ketogenic diet which ensures they are getting all of their necessary nutrients. You can also add MCT to your dog’s food which creates ketones.
    • My dog seems sluggish after starting the diet: Your dog may feel slightly lethargic for a couple of days once starting the diet and can have some diarrhea or constimpation due to the increased fat content of his or her meal

    Have other questions about feeding your dog a ketogenic diet? Ask in our online community

    dog foods choosing reading labels

    How to read dog and cat food labels like a pro

    Choosing a dog food or cat food for your pet is pivotal in promoting the best health and life possible for your fur baby. When feeding your dog or cat you should always take your time to read not only the ingredient label but know how to decode the manufacturers labels.

    Product Name

    The product name is the first thing you should look at since it tells you a ton about the actual protein content in the food. Manufacturers do have rules they must go by when naming their dog foods per the AAFCO or The Association of American Feed Control Officials

    The “95%” rule

    Products that list the protein content on the front of the bag must have at least 95% of the food type listed in the formation. For example “Salmon Cat Food” or “Chicken for Dogs“. Note that this is without the water added before processing, if the water content is included in the name of the named ingredient must still comprise 70% of the product listed. If there are two proteins included both the ingredients together must comprise 95% of the total weight but the first one listed should comprise the highest amount of the two.

    The 25% rule

    Also known as the dinner rule: applies to canned and dry products, if the named ingredient comprises at least 25% of the product but less than 95% the name on the bag will have a descriptive term such as dinner, platter, entree, nuggets or formula in the name. If water is counted, the ingredients must still make up 10% of the product.

    For example in a product named “chicken entree” for dogs only 1/4th or a quarter of the product has to be chicken and it is probably third or fourth on the ingredient list

    The 3% rule

    is applied to ingredients highlighted on the principal display panel but outside the product name and are minor ingredients. For example, the name could read Salmon Dinner Cat Food with shrimp if there is at least 3% shrimp

    The Flavor rule

    there is no specific percentage required but a product has to contain a sufficient amount to be detected when eaten. These do not have to actually be the meat stated, for example, Chicken flavored does not necessarily mean chicken is in the formula

    Manufactured by vs Manufactured for

    The manufacture is the party responsible for the quality and safety of the product. Companies will provide their name and mailing address but are not required to include a telephone number.

    • Manufactured by usually indicates that the food was made by the company itself and they have a lot more control over the process of making the food and quality control.
    • Manufactured for usually indicates that the food was outsourced (USFDA, 20120)

    CHOOSING a good dog food

    Nutritional adequacy

    Nutritional adequacy statements indicate whether a product is “complete and balanced” according to the AAFCO guidelines

    Dog foods that claim to be “complete and balanced” have to have either

    • Formulated to meet specified nutrient levels as established by the AAFCO
    • The product must be tested using an AAFCO Feeding trial protocol

    Guaranteed Analysis

    This is the list of minimums and maximums that you see on the side of the packaging, it often contains:

    • minimum/maximum: crude fat
    • minimum/maximum: crude protein
    • minimum/maximum: crude fiber
    • minimum/maximum: crude moisture
    • ash content (the foods mineral content): most food compaines do not list this as they aren’t required to
    • carbohydrates: may or may not be listed as dog food companies are not required to list carbs in their formulas

    Minimums and maximum levels don’t necessarily match the actual amount contained in the food, if you want to know the average you should contact the food company. This is especially true if your dog has a condition like pancreatitis or colitis.

    Note: Crude often refers to how the nutrient was measured

    dog food label


    Ingredients are usually what owners zone in on when looking at a new brand of dog food for their pups and rightfully so since it is extremely important to know what your pet.

    Ingredients are listed in descending order according to their weight, with the ingredient weighing the most at the top of the list. But since ingredient weights are listed with their initial water content (much of the water is extracted during the drying and/or cooking process) this may not necessarily be an accurate picture of what is truly included in the final bag of dog food.

    To accurately determine the amount of nutritional value of two foods you have to remove the water content and convert the ingredients to a dry matter or DM basis. For example, if meat is listed first but is 70% water, it is weighed with the water, but after drying there may only be 20% actual meat content left in the formulation.

    How to convert fed basis to dry matter (DM) basis

    Subtract the percent of the foods moisture content from 100 to determine the dry matter (a kibble conatint 10% moisture will contain 100% dry matter)

    To determine the amount of protein on a DM basis: take the crude protein listed under the Guaranteed analysis on the food label and divide the number by the DM number frrom step one. For example if the foods listed guaranteed analysis of 20% protein then you would calculate 20 divided by 90 which equals 22% so the food contains 22% proten on a DM basis

    The first ingredient is usually meat and you should bypass the food if the type of meat is not listed.

    The second ingredients listed are usually grains and fats: look for whole grains like brown rice

    Feeding directions

    The feeding directions are the manufactures recommended daily intake usually in cups or cans per your dog’s weight. Keep in mind that these are just recommendations and they are usually an overestimate of the amount you should feed your dog so use them as guidelines only. Speak with your vet to come up with a feeding plan and read our article about how much you should feed your dog as well.

    The food you choose to feed your dog plays a pivitol role in their overall health and longevity

    dog food

    Calorie Count

    While companies aren’t required to list the number of calories in their food some will do so. This is especially great for owners who want to keep an eye on their dog’s calorie intake for weight loss reasons. Calories are expressed in kilocalories per kilogram or kcal/kg (kilocalories are the same as calories on human food labels and a kilogram equals 2.2 pounds)

    If calories are listed it will reflect an “as fed basis” so you will have to factor in the water content

    Other Common Terms Listed


    The FDA considers the term natural to mean nothing artificial or synthetic. Note that natural and organic are not the same. Natural can simply mean that the food you’re feeding your dog has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

    Limited Ingredient

    These diets have a smaller amount of ingredients than most of their counterparts and are usually chosen for dogs that have food sensitivities or intolerances that cause allergies or gi upset. They are also often used in hypoallergenic dog food trials.

    New or Novel Proteins

    While these aren’t usually new proteins to some dogs they may be new to your dog. Most dogs in the US are used to eating chicken, lamb, beef, or salmon and as a result, can develop allergies to them. Owners may start their dog on a ‘novel’ or ‘new protein’ diet if they have developed sensitivities to these proteins. It should be noted that a dog can eventually develop allergies to the novel proteins as well.

    Human-grade dog food

    To be labeled as human-grade a dog food has to be legally edible and approved as food for humans as determined by the FDA. According to the AAFCO for a product to be deemed edible for humans, all ingredients must be human edible and the product must be manufactured, packed, and held in accordance with federal regulations


    Dog diarrhea colitis
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    choosing a good dog food

    10 Things Every Pet Owner Must Avoid In Their Dogs Food

    Would you eat unhealthy fast food every day of your life and expect to live a healthy life? Most likely not, but did you know that some dog foods are akin to just that, feeding your dog unhealthy fast food every single day of his or her life.

    As loving pet parents, we know the benefits that feeding our dogs beneficial and healthy dog food. Feeding your dog a quality diet can enhance not only their cognitive function, activity levels, and growth, but can contribute to a longer life.

    However, there may be some things you are unaware of when it comes to feeding your dog. Below are 10 things you should always look out for and avoid when choosing a good dog food for your fur baby.

    1. Artificial Colors & Food Dyes

    choosing a good dog food

    Did you know that some studies show a possible connection between artificial colors in foods and hyperactivity in children? (Source) While there haven’t been many studies specifically about dogs and artificial colors in their foods, it most likely isn’t a great additive. In fact, it really serves no purpose other than making the food look more appealing to humans, as dogs are pretty much color blind!

    These dyes may be linked to allergies and possibly cancer in humans and animals. It is an unnecessary ingredient, so avoid them at all cost

    How do you avoid artificial colors in your dog’s food? While it should be on the ingredients label another way to determine if your dog’s food has artificial colors is if the food is brightly colored. Usually, these foods have dyes like Blue 2, Yellow 5, or Red 40. Also, caramel color as it contains 4-methylimidazole (4-MIE), a known animal carcinogen.

    2. Sugars

    choosing a good dog food

    Sugars are added to some dog foods to enhance the taste (just like in our foods), however, it comes with unnecessary calories and adds no nutrients to your dog’s diet. Some dog foods include sugars, many times in the form of corn syrup which doesn’t need to be in your dog’s food. While sugar is a necessary part of a dog’s diet, it should come in the form of natural sugars like fructose from fruit, not one’s added. (Source)

    Dogs do have a sweet tooth and can become addicted to sugar just like humans. Too much sugar can also affect dogs in the same way as humans so you may see obesity or weight gain, hyperactivity, hyperglycemia, and tooth decay so steer clear of any dog food that has added sugar. Here is a really good article about sugar in dogs food.

    Also, artificial sweeteners like xylitol can be extremely toxic dogs so they should be avoided at all costs!

    How do you avoid sugars in your dog’s food? When reading the ingredients listed on your dog’s food look for sugar which can be listed in various ways:

    • sugar
    • caramel
    • syrup
    • sucrose
    • glucose
    • molasses
    • maple syrup
    • caramel
    • dextrose

    3. Artificial Preservatives

    choosing a good dog food

    Most pet food companies include artificial preservatives to help the food last longer but many times these additives can cause significant issues in pets when fed long term.

    How do you avoid artificial preservatives in your dog’s food? Do these things to avoid feeding your dog preservatives

    1. Opt for foods with natural preservatives like vitamin C (ascorbic acid) or vitamin E (mixed tocopherols). Want to know more ingredients to look for in high-quality dog food? Read our article here about how to choose a beneficial food for your dog.
    2. Feed canned Food: While you may probably not want to feed only canned food, the canning process usually eliminates the need for these preservatives
    3. Look for these common artificial preservatives on the ingredients label:
    • BHA/BHT: Butylated-hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) are preservatives found in pet and human food alike. They have both been linked to issues like kidney damage and cancer and have been banned in some countries. Fun fact, BHT is used as antiviral medication to treat herpes and AIDS!
    • Ethoxyquin: was created by Monsanto and is widely used in animal feed and sometimes dog food to protect it against lipid peroxidation or fat degradation, but it is also used in pesticides. As of now, it cannot be used in any food for human consumption (except spices, e.g., chili), but can pass from feed to farmed fish, poultry, and eggs, so human beings can be exposed. (Source) It has been associated with the development of kidney, liver damage, cancer, and other illnesses.
    • Propyl Gallate: Although the FDA has stated propyl gallate is safe, recent research suggests propyl gallate may be responsible for causing health issues for dogs that eat the preservative long-term. This is due to the chemical’s ability to mimic the negative effects of the female hormone, estrogen. (Source)

    4. Flavor Enhancers

    choosing a good dog food


    While salt is necessary for both humans and their pets, too much salt has extremely detrimental, life-altering effects like high blood pressure, heart issues, and strokes. Salt is usually included in your dog’s food in adequate quantities without any extra being added directly.

    Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

    Flavor enhancers like salt and Monosodium Glutamate or MSG are usually included in low-quality dog foods that need to make up for the lack of taste. As we know from human medicine an excess in these flavor enhances can have deleterious effects on our bodies and our pets. MSG has been linked to adverse effects like anxiety, bloating, depression, diarrhea, and infertility in humans. (Scopp, 1991)

    How do you avoid detrimental flavor enhancers in your dog’s food? Look for the following ingredients in your dog’s food to avoid feeding them unnecessary flavor enhancers

    Look for MSG in your dog’s food which can cause issues in their bodies, just as it can for humans. It truly provides no benefit for your dog and can contribute to allergies and possibly cancer. While it may not always be listed as MSG it may be shown on your dog’s ingredient list as one of the following:

    Any ingredient with the word “hydrolyzed” is often code for MSG being in the product

    MSG can also be shown as:

    • Natural flavors
    • Monopotassium glutamate
    • Hydrolyzed flour
    • Sodium caseinate or Calcium caseinate: Caseinates are sources of MSG becaue of the high heat they are exposed to during processing. The processing increased the glutamic acid that forms MSG (Source)
    • Hydrolyzed proteins: Unfortunately according to this book hydrolyzed proteins are used as a flavor enhancer in food industries. Hydrolyzed proteins are precursors to produce MSG because the chemical breakdown of hydrolyzed protein releases glutamic acid, which combines with sodium to form MSG. MSG does not have to be placed on the label since MSG is not physically added to the food.

    5. Non-descript meat products

    choosing a good dog food

    Some dog food companies will include scraps of meat which are given a very broad and generic name to encompass any and all parts of the animal. As a pet owner, this not only means that you don’t know what animal it came from, which part of the animal the meat came from, nor how much nutrition is actually in the final product. Descriptors like Animal By-products and generic meat terms like ‘meat meal’ are examples of these non-descript terms.

    Animal By-Products

    Animal by-products is a catch-all phrase that basically means anything left of the animal carcass once the meat and bones have been removed. Basically, slaughterhouse scraps which may not be easily digested by your dog. Fortunately, if animal by-products are listed, companies are legally required to have the food be free of feathers, hooves, hair, hide, beaks, and any other non-edible parts of the animal.

    The worst aspect of having animal by-products in your dog’s food is that it is said to include diseased tissues, organs, and tumors at times, which of course is doing your dog no good. It has also usually been so processed that your dog receives little to no nutritional benefit from including animal by-products in their diets.

    Generic meats

    When a dog food companies lists unnamed, generic meat products, like meat meal, there is no telling what kind of meat it is and usually, these foods are not high-quality. If you want to know what to look for in a high-quality dog food read our article here.

    It is also said that these meats can include diseased meat scraps that were heated to an extremely high temperature in a process called rendering. Rendering is a process that converts waste animal tissue into stable, usable materials by heating it to remove any pathogens. Unfortunately, this process also gets rid of most of the nutrients in the meat as well. (Source)

    According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials, rendered products often have the term “meal” listed in their titles (for example, ‘chicken meal’)

    How do you avoid low-quality meats in your dog’s food?

    1. If animal by-products are listed as an ingredient in your dog’s food bypass it and look for options that include real, whole meat. If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t feed it to your dog
    2. Also, look for ingredients like the list below, these nondescript meats should be avoided
    • Meat meal
    • Bone meal
    • Meat

    3. Always look for whole real, whole meats, the company should tell you the specific type of meat that is included in the food like ‘chicken’, ‘beef’, or ‘salmon’.

    4. Look for foods that include the part of the animals that were used like liver, heart, or kidney

    CHOOSING a good dog food

    6. Nondescript Fats

    Just like nondescript meats as a pet owner try to avoid nondescript fats as well. Similar to generic meats, these can be from any part of the animal and maybe diseased.

    Here’s how to avoid nondescript fats in your dog’s food:

    • Refrain from purchasing food that lists ‘animal fat’ or ‘poultry fat’
    • Choose food that names the source of their fats like ‘salmon oil

    7. Propylene Glycol

    Propylene glycol is a product often placed in dog food to help reduce moisture and prevent bacteria growth, however, it is also found in some anti-freeze products which if given to your dog can reach toxic levels. However, the propylene glycol included in many dog foods has been deemed safe for dogs by the FDA, but should still be avoided if possible. Since it may be toxic with long-term use and can reduce the growth of “good” bacteria in the gut and as we all know or are learning the gut is considered a second brain and beneficial bacteria is necessary for optimal performance.

    If you have cats propylene glycol can cause anemia in them, so this is of extreme concern if your cat likes to partake in your dos food from time to time.

    How to avoid propylene glycol in your dog’s diet: If you see propylene glycol on your dog’s food bag don’t buy it!

    8. Farmed Fish

    choosing a good dog food

    While dogs can benefit from eating fish like salmon and sardines if it is farmed it can include harmful toxins. Farmed salmon can carry added mercury, PCB’s and other toxins. It was also found that levels of 13 pollutants are almost 10 times higher in farmed salmon than in wild salmon and the cancer rate for consuming farmed fish can be up to 3 times higher in humans. (Source)

    How to avoid farmed fish in your dog’s diet:

    1. Choose foods that say ‘wild-caught salmon’ or other types of fish on the bag, nine times out of ten if a company is using wild-caught fish over farmed they will be ecstatic to let their customers know that they are choosing the healthier option
    2. Avoid foods that list the following on their ingredient labels
    • Salmon: oftentimes companies will refrain from stating that the salmon is farmed and just say the food includes salmon. If you are sold on a dog food and really want to know if the fish included is wild-caught or farmed you can always contact the company for clarification.
    • Farmed Salmon:
    • Salmon Meal

    9. Corn and Wheat Gluten

    choosing a good dog food

    In most cases, gluten is fine for dogs and is fairly harmless. However, for a small percentage, some dogs can suffer the same fate as humans that are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease such as GI upset, disruption of the gut wall, and other damage that may not be repairable in the long run.

    10. Carrageenan

    Carrageenan is a food additive that is used to emulsify and thicken food. It has recently come under scrutiny as it is studied more and shown to have some not-so-great effects on dogs gi systems. It has been shown to cause issues like inflammation and toxicity in dogs. However, there have been other studies that exhibit no harm to animals when fed food that includes carrageenan long-term.

    As a result of the mixed study results, it may be best to avoid foods that include Carrageenan in them until further studies are completed. Carrageenan is easily avoided by by-passing foods that have it in them.

    Dog diarrhea colitis

    Some things to always do when choosing a dog food

    choosing a good dog food

    Always, always, always read the pet food labels. As you can see from this article there can be so many hidden ingredients that are counteractive to feeding your dog a good quality diet. This way you know exactly what your dog is eating. If you can’t pronounce something or don’t know what it is look it up!

    Speak with a professional to help you choose a good dog food, this could be your local veterinarian or the associate at a pet food store

    Watch your dog after they’ve eaten so you can know how the food affects them, does it give them diarrhea? Does it make them use the bathroom more frequently? Do they now like it?

    Other References

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    dog food feeding

    Choosing the best quality kibble dog food for your dog

    Choosing high-quality dog food for your dog is of the utmost importance because your dog’s diet affects every aspect of their overall health including cognitive function, body weight, and proper growth.

    There are several factors to take into account before deciding on a dog food. You should always factor in things like age, size, and activity level when making a decision about your dog’s diet.

    Your dog is counting on you to make the best decision for their life, so choose wisely! Use the guide below to learn about what makes great dog food, the types of dog food, how to choose a food for your dog, and how to read dog food labels.

    woman feeding dog dog food

    What are the different types of dog food?

    Dog food generally falls into one of two categories: dry or canned and these can further be broken down into dry-expanded, semi-moist, or soft-expanded depending on the moisture content.

    1. Dry-expanded
    2. Semi-moist
    3. Soft-expanded (soft dry)
    4. Canned dog food

    Choosing a dog food for individual characteristics

    1. Feeding for age

    Yes, you should feed for your dog’s age! The three life stages to consider when choosing food for your dog are puppy, adult, and senior. All three stages require different ingredients in the food to help your pup grow and develop properly.

    Puppies: food for puppies is aimed at growth stages, so these diets usually have higher protein levels, increased fat, and higher calorie counts since puppies generally have more energy than their adult and senior counterparts. Everything is developing in puppies including their brains so the food they eat must be able to meet their developmental requirements. Generally, most dogs are considered adults at 12 months of age, but size does play a part in determining adulthood in dogs as the chart below shows. (Source)
    Adults: Most dogs are considered adults around 1 year of age and can be fed normal adult food for maintenance of weight, although you may want to adjust the food for size and breed as we will discuss below.
    Seniors: Dogs are considered senior dogs at around 6 to 10 years of age depending on size. Larger dogs generally do not tend to live as long as smaller breeds so they reach senior status a little earlier than their smaller counterparts. If you would like to learn more about feeding your senior dog for optimal cognitive health and prevention of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome read here.
    canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome senior dogs

    Size and Ages

    Toy0-10/11 months10-12 months10 years
    Small0-10/11 months10-12 months10 years
    Medium0-11 months12-14months7 years
    Large0-11 months12-16months6 years
    Giant0-12/12 months14-24 months6 years
    General overview of when dogs are considered puppies, adults, or, seniors based on size

    Keep in mind that smaller breeds tend to mature faster than larger breeds and also live longer (many times) than larger breeds. While the chart above is helpful in determining your dog’s stage of life, most vets will use the general rule of starting your puppy on adult food at one year of age.

    2. Feeding for size

    While keeping in mind your dog’s age, you also want to feed for their size. Larger dogs have larger body parts (of course) and their foods complement their size requirements. So not only will you feed your large dog a lot more than a toy or small breed dog their foods will have an increased amount of nutrients.

    Smaller dogs should have foods that are smaller bites so while you don’t necessarily have to feed a breed-specific food, feeding for size is highly recommended.

    3. Feeding for breed

    There are owners that put their dogs on breed-specific diets like Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier or Royal Canin chihuahua-specific food. Why should you feed a breed-specific diet? Breed-specific foods often have added nutrient sources that help stave off common diseases to the breed for instance the Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier diet has added omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, and biotin for coat health

    4. Feeding for health issues

    If your dog has a health issue like chronic colitis, pancreatitis, liver issues, or kidney issues your vet will most likely place your dog on a diet to help counteract any detrimental effects of a regular diet since food plays such a large part in health. Although, the goal in choosing a quality dog food is to prevent your dog from having to be placed on these foods in the first place.

    5. Feeding for activity level

    Dogs that are more active use more calories and will need more to meet their energy needs. These dogs can benefit from a food that takes this into account and also gets slightly more food. If you notice that your active dog is still hungry after eating consider increasing their portions after speaking to your veterinarian.

    What to look for in a quality dog food

    What should not be in my dog’s food?

    • Chemicals: Bypass any foods that contain unnatural preservatives (most dog foods use vitamin E as a preservative), flavor enhancers, artificial colors, or other chemicals.
    • Inferior proteins: If your food contains animal by-products or animal meals from unnamed sources as opposed to whole meats you may want to bypass this food
    • Bypass foods with high amounts of ‘fillers’ like corn, wheat, or soy as these have been shown to cause leaky gut and may be the source of other health issues in dogs
    • Your dog will benefit from not being fed a diet with natural preservatives as opposed to one with chemical ones like BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin
    • If your dog has allergies choose a grain or gluten-free food and one that has novel proteins. To learn more about feeding for allergies you can read our article here.
    • Avoid foods that list their grains as ‘hulls’, ‘mill run’ or ‘by-products’ as these are the waste left after the grains have been processed for human consumption.

    What should I look for in a high-quality dog food?

    • Opt for a food that has high-quality animal sources towards the top of the ingredient list (usually first, second, or third). These meats should be spelled out such as lamb, rabbit, or bison rather than unidentified “animal” proteins, “poultry” or “meat meal” sources. (if you aren’t sure where the manufacturer obtained their meat, you can always contact them)
    • Choose foods that contain natural preservatives like vitamin C, vitamin E, or green tea polyphenols. Many companies also use rosemary but some owners choose to bypass this herb, if you want to learn more about it why read our article here.
    • The first ingredient in a high-quality food should be a named animal protein (i.e. chicken, lamb, or beef)
    • Look for foods that contain fresh sources of fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods
    • Choose a food that has organic-based products when possible
    • Choose food for your dog that doesn’t have a ton of ingredients listed on the bag, it’s a bonus if you can actually pronounce and know what all or at least the majority of the ingredients are
    • Do look for foods containing fresh sources of fruits and vegetables
    • Foods that identify the type of meats such as ‘beef fat’ or ‘poultry fat’ it should not just say ‘animal fat’

    How to read dog food labels

    When you’re choosing food for your dog, it is critical that you read the food label so that you know what your dog is eating.

    According to the AKC, all pet food labels follow roughly the same format:

    • Product and brand name or unique identifier
    • Quantity in terms of product weight, liquid measure, or count, depending on the formulation of the food
    • Guaranteed analysis, which specifies the number of specific nutrients
    • Ingredients, which must be listed in descending order by weight
    • Nutritional adequacy statement (must be backed up by testing that proves the food provides a) certain level of nutrients. It may also include the life stages the food is appropriate for
    • Feeding directions
    • Manufacturer’s name and address
    • Calorie statement

    The Ingredients Label

    The ingredients on the label are listed in descending order of weight. Meaning the ingredient at the top of the list is the most by weight. However, this is calculated prior to the food being formed into kibble and includes moisture (which can add a significant amount of weight)

    The Guaranteed Analysis

    The guaranteed analysis which you usually find on the side or back of the bag under the ingredients will tell you the minimum or maximum percentages of key nutrients in the food.

    reading dog food labels

    Common Terms


    The AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) does not have specific regulations for labeling organic pet food; however, the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) does have the NOP or National Organic Program, which develops and enforces consistent national standards for organically produced agricultural products sold.

    Organic Foods should:

    • Not contain any artificially coloring, flavoring, or preservatives
    • Should have no or little fillers
    • Not contain any antibiotics or growth hormones in meat


    The FDA considers the term natural to mean nothing artificial or synthetic. Note that natural and organic are not the same. Natural can simply mean that the food you’re feeding your dog has no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

    Limited Ingredient

    These diets have a smaller amount of ingredients than most of their counterparts and are usually chosen for dogs that have food sensitivities or intolerances that cause allergies or gi upset. They are also often used in hypoallergenic dog food trials.

    New or Novel Proteins

    While these aren’t usually new proteins to some dogs they may be new to your dog. Most dogs in the US are used to eating chicken, lamb, beef, or salmon and as a result, can develop allergies to them. Owners may start their dog on a ‘novel’ or ‘new protein’ diet if they have developed sensitivities to these proteins. It should be noted that a dog can eventually develop allergies to the novel proteins as well.

    Human-grade dog food

    To be labeled as human-grade, a dog food has to be legally edible and approved as food for humans as determined by the FDA. According to the AAFCO for a product to be deemed edible for humans, all ingredients must be human edible and the product must be manufactured, packed, and held in accordance with federal regulations

    homemade dog food

    FAQs about dog food

    Can I mix kibble with cooked food? Yes, you can, this is called top dressing and many owners do it to include functional foods for their dogs like vitamins, herbs, and other ingredients. It is a great idea to come up with a meal plan for your dog with your vet. Check out our guide for making your dog’s meals at home.

    What if my dog won’t eat his or her food? Try top dressing the food or slowly changing the food over. You can also always make the food into dog treats, try this recipe

    How do I change my dog’s food to a new brand? Do so slowly, over a period of one and a half to two weeks ideally to prevent gi upset. To read a more in-depth article about switching your dog’s food read here.


    • Your dog’s food should be adequate for his/her age, size, age, and activity level
    • To choose a quality food look for things like organic foods, whole meats, and natural preservatives
    • Avoid foods with artificial preservatives, artificial colors, and other chemicals
    • Your dog’s food affects their health so always read the back of the packaging so you know what you are feeding your dog
    • It is a great idea to ‘top dress’ your dog’s food with beneficial vitamins or functional foods not found in their regular kibble diet

    Want to do more research about dog food? Here are some websites to check out

    dog food bowls
    biohacking your dog

    Adaptogens & Nootropics: biohacking your dog

    Have you heard of people ‘biohacking’ their lives through brain-boosting drugs and compounds? While many pet owners are wondering about biohacking their dogs for cognitive improvement. While some people are actually ‘biohacking’ animals to make them glow in the dark (including dogs), most pet owners just want to enrich and lengthen their dogs’ lives through improved cognition and physical stamina.

    Dog owners with high-anxiety dogs, have cancer, are aging, or geriatric dogs may want to include these supplements in their dog’s diet. This is especially true if they have noticed either a minor or significant cognitive decline or signs of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome (dog dementia).

    Since the use of nootropic drugs and supplements are fairly new to the Western world, much more research is needed on many of the nootropic substances for dogs, but we touch on a couple that have been researched specifically for canines.

    canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome senior dogs

    What are Nootropics & Adaptogens?

    The terms adaptogen and nootropics are often used interchangeably.

    However, nootropics are described as working to enhance brain health and cognitive performance, whereas adaptogens focus on reducing both mental and physical stress. Adaptogens help the body adapt to various stresses.

    The body systems most benefited are the cardiovascular system, immune system, endocrine system, and central nervous system.

    Can dogs take adaptogens?

    Yes, dogs can take adaptogens, in fact, there are many destress supplements available for dogs that include a combination of adaptogens.

    Adaptogens have been studied much more in dogs than nootropics and as you will see below are already included in many calming formulations for anxious and stressed dogs. Besides helping with stress, adaptogens have also been shown to boost cognitive function, improve coordination, and improve your dog’s sleep.

    Can dogs take nootropics?

    Yes, dogs can take nootropics, however, stick with those that have been studied and placed in the proper formulas for dogs.

    Nootropics are also known as cognitive enhancers or smart drugs. They are a large group of supplements, prescription drugs, and synthetic compounds that people think may improve not only their brain’s cognitive functioning but also their dogs.

    The compounds are meant to have a positive impact on mental skills and are often given to people suffering from ADHD or Alzheimers (donepezil). However, while given to people with known conditions is commonplace, there is much discussion around the safety and efficacy of nootropics in healthy individuals and now their pets.

    Are nootropics safe for dogs?

    For an answer to this question, let’s look at what the research says. Many studies like the one showed very little to no side effects when nootropics were given to dogs.

    While most research leans towards nootropic drugs being safe in dogs, there are also studies that show deleterious effects of using nootropic drugs in dogs. One study done by researchers in Japan showed toxic lesions induced by nefiracetam in the urinary bladder and kidney were examined by repeated oral administration of 300 mg/kg/day in male beagles. Nefiracetam is a nootropic drug and while the dosage was higher than you would normally give a dog there still is a cause for safety concerns when giving them to dogs.

    Needless to say, since the world of nootropic drugs is still fairly new and developing, much more research on safety and efficacy in both humans and their pets is still needed.

    Are adaptogens safe for dogs?

    In most cases, adaptogens are safe if they are in dog supplements for stress and anxiety.

    The adaptogens that are already included in formations for dogs have proven to be efficacious and safe, as long as they are given within the approved dosage included on the packaging.

    Biohacking can be described as citizen or do-it-yourself biology. For many “biohackers,” this consists of making small, incremental diet or lifestyle changes to make small improvements in your health and well-being.

    4 Common nootropic & adaptogens for dogs

    The research around nootropic drugs and dogs shows that there are some compounds safe for dogs

    1. L-theanine


    L-theanine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in tea but also in many supplements. When studied, it was shown to have a calming effect in dogs. Many pet treats meant for calming anxious dogs include L-theanine.

    2. Panax Ginseng

    panax ginseng

    While many more studies are needed some of the suspected benefits of Ginseng in dogs are:

    • Improve general physical performance
    • Boost immune function
    • Enhance cognitive function
    • Regulate blood sugar levels
    • Hepatoprotectant and boost liver function

    Many pet owners give their dogs ginseng because it is said to help them recover from stress and illness. It is also an anti-inflammatory that can help regulate blood sugar. In humans, it is said to boost brain function and reduce brain fatigue

    However, there have been limited studies dog on the effects of Ginseng in dogs.

    If you decide to give your dog ginseng use with caution if your dog has high blood pressure, an infection heart problems or is on an ant-coagulant medication, insulin, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

    Limited studies in animals have been performed, but there is anecdotal evidence that ginseng works to improve general physical performance, immune function, cognitive function, blood sugar levels, and liver function. Below are studies that have been performed to determine the benefits of Ginseng in dogs

    • Study one: Compared three groups of dogs, (a)those with ginseng & brewers yeast (b) a control group with just brewers yeast (c) an external group. The study found significant improvement in the dogs fed Ginseng and brewers yeast mentally but not physically. No side effects were noted. (Source)
    • Study two: Concluded that KRG accelerates liver regeneration and ameliorate liver injury after hepatectomy in dogs. (Source)
    • Some studies in humans have shown that our bodies may adapt to ginseng, making it less effective after months of use, this may be the same for dogs.

    Keep in mind that Siberian ginseng or Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticoosus) are not the same plants

    3. Ginkgo Biloba

    gingko biloba

    Ginkgo Biloba is heavily utilized in humans and now in some older dogs, the benefits for dogs are:

    • Decrease in clinical signs of cognitive decline
    • Decrease stress
    • Improve memory

    Since Ginkgo Biloba has been used for many years in humans there has been more research around dogs and the substance, three are chronicled below.

    • Study one: Scientists studied 39 geriatric dogs while giving Ginkgo Biloba and found that “general behavior” (Apathic, nervous, agitated, general condition) improved significantly (Source)
    • Study two: A second study done in geriatric dogs showed similar results to the first, a significant improvement in cognitive function over a period of weeks (Source)
    • Study three: Scientists in France noted that Ginkgo Biloba is also beneficial for short-term memory, however, the scientist also included Vitamin E and pyridoxine with the supplement.

    How much Ginkgo Biloba should I give my dog? It was shown that oral administration of a ginkgo leaf extract in the dosage of 20-40 mg/10 kg body weight once daily for 8 weeks appears to be both safe and efficacious in geriatric conditions and age-related behavioral changes of dogs. (Source)

    4. Ashwagandha

    Ashwagandha is used as an adaptogen, it is an evergreen shrub that grows in African and Asia that is commonly used for stress in humans. In dogs the benefits are said to be:

    • Reduces stress
    • Calming effect
    • May help lower blood pressure
    • Antioxidant effects

    Study: One study showed that Ashwagandha was hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory when given to dogs (Source)

    How much Ashwagandha should I give my dog? Dosage: 500 mg-1500 mg twice daily for dogs (Source)

    There are also several formulas that include Ashwagandha for dogs listed below

    Where can I get pre-formulated adaptogen supplements for my dog?

    Adaptogens seem to be more readily available for dogs than nootropics. One trusted brand is Pet Wellbeing, which you can find on Amazon.

    Where can I get pre-formulated nootropic supplements for my dog?

    While many calming treats for dogs use adaptogens like Ginseng and Ashwagandha, but Nootrodog is the first (and as of writing this is the only) nootropic compound specifically created for dogs.

    If you want to give your dog nootropic drugs for their cognitive function it is best to do so with one that is pre-formulated with your pup in mind so you do not have to worry about over or under-dosing.

    The active ingredients are:

    • Rhodiola Rosea – Rhodiola is an herb, its roots are considered adaptogens, meaning they help your dogs body adapt to stress
    • Bacopa Monnieri – Bacopa is also called Brahmi, water hyssop, thyme-leaved gratiola, and herb of grace, is a staple plant in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It has been traditionally to improve memory, treat epilepsy, and reduce anxiety. It has also been shown to alleviate anxiety and stress and boost brain function (Source)

    Nootrodog can be found here

    4 Other ways to optimize your pets health

    homemade dog food

    Since much is left to be seen about the effectiveness of nootropics and adaptogens in dogs, you may want to consider other ways of keeping your dog’s brain healthy and functioning at peak capacity.

    1. Make sure they get adequate sleep

    If you notice your dog isn’t sleeping through the night, try to determine why. If it is due to old age, as some dogs will stop sleeping through the night as they grow into their senior years, speak with your vet about the next steps. He or she may even consider one of the substances mentioned in this article.

    2. Ensure they are eating a nutritious diet

    Feeding for cognition is important at all stages of your dog’s life, but as your dog increases in age, it is even more important to include things like antioxidants and brain strengthening functional foods in your dog’s meals since many times these things decline naturally. If you want to read more about feeding your dog’s brain, read this article.

    3. Manage your dog’s stress

    If you notice that your dog is stressed when you leave the home or take him/her around other dogs or for a car ride, there are things you can do to decrease their stress levels and improve their overall quality of life. Just like in humans, stress can be extremely detrimental to your dog’s body and brain function. Try training with your dog or speak to a specialist about what you can do to decrease your dog’s stress. You may even want to try one of the anti-anxiety adaptogens shown above since they are over the counter and already formulated for your dog.

    4. Keep your dog mentally active

    Keeping your dog mentally active will also help improve their brain function. There are plenty of things you can do, like taking them to new places on walks so they explore different environments to dog games for dogs.

    What do you do to ensure your dog’s brain is as healthy as possible? Share this article with someone that loves their dog!


    Nutraceuticals in Veterinary Medicine

    senior pet cognitive dysfunction disorder

    Feeding for cognition: Nutritional support for the aging canine brain

    As dogs age and head into their senior years, just like elderly people, there are dietary changes that can help their brains to function at optimal levels and keep cognitive dysfunction in your dog at bay. Your older dog’s diet drastically influences their behavior and cognitive function.

    Senior and geriatric dogs may show some decline in cognitive abilities such as memory loss, disorientation, and sleep pattern disturbances.

    Below we talk about what happens as your dog ages and some foods that can hinder them aging optimally and some that can enhance their cognition.

    What happens to your dog’s brain as they age?
    How do I know when my dog is a senior?
    Eliminating Brain-detrimental ingredients from your dog’s food
    Four ways to eliminate unwanted products in your dog’s food
    Brain-boosting ingredients for your dog’s food
    Good Diets for Seniors
    Other things you can do to help your aging dog
    senior dog cognitive dysfunction

    What happens in your dogs brain as s/he ages?

    Aging can result in a number of negative effects on the brain but don’t necessarily have to and may not occur in some dogs at all. Age-associated brain changes can be due to a number of issues like:

    • Gray and white matter atrophy
    • Accumulation of abnormal proteins (like in Alzheimers patients)
    • Reduced glucose metabolism
    • Inflammation
    • Oxidative Stress
    • Mitochondrial dysfunction
    • Vascular changes
    • Myelin reduction
    • Reduced neurogenesis (creation of neurons)

    These things often result in issues like cognitive decline, decreased memory, and canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome. Some people call cognitive dysfunction syndrome in dogs ‘dog dementia’.

    • Changes in Personality: you may notice your dog becoming more aggresive with your, your family members, or other pets. Your dog may be increasingly anxious or fearful
    • Disorientation: Your dog may run into things like walls or get stuck behind a piece of furniture (this can also be due to blindness from common age related issues like cataracts)
    • Staring: You may notice your dog staring at a wall or other focal point
    • Decreased Recognition: Your dog may no longer recognize you or other family members
    • Changes in sleep cycle: You may notice that your dog wakes often during the night and roams the house
    • Soiling: Your dog may begin to soil their environment or seem to regress in the housetraining
    • Changes in Activity: Your dog may begin to slow down and not be as active as they once were (although this can generally come with old age in some dogs)
    • Pacing: You may notice your dog pacing

    Determining if your dog has cognitive dysfunction syndrome or dog dementia

    See your vet who will most likely run some tests like blood work and possibly an x-ray to determine if there could be any other reason for the changes in behavior like hyperadrenocorticism. Once these things have been ruled out your doctor can give you an official diagnosis.

    How do I know when my dog is a senior?

    Do you remember the adage that says for every year a human lives their dog has aged seven? Well, that old way of determining your pup’s age by relating dog years to human years is outdated. This way of calculating a dog’s age has been around since the 1950s and has gone out the window.

    Smaller dogs tend to live longer than large dogs with an average life span of 14 years and larger breeds seven (source). Hence, larger breeds are considered seniors at around 5 or 6 years of age and smaller dogs at around 10. This comes into play when trying to determine if your dog is truly a senior or not.

    The chart below from the AVMA shows an estimate of human years to dog and cat years. The AKC also has a great chart you can use to determine your dog’s years when comparing them to human age.

    If you are truly unsure of your dog’s age, your vet can look at his or her teeth and give you a guesstimate of their age. Of course, age is really nothing but a number in some cases as the oldest dog on record was Bluey, a 29-year-old Australian cattle dog.

    Eliminating Brain-detrimental ingredients from your dog’s food

    senior dog cognitive dysfunction

    Studies have shown that there are many beneficial effects that feeding your old dog a brain-healthy diet which can have on your dog’s cognitive function, including slowing the progression of cognitive dysfunction. However, along with adding some things to your dog’s diet, there may be ingredients you want to avoid or remove.

    These items should be eliminated or decreased in dogs at any stage of life, but as your dog ages you want to make sure these are nowhere near their food bowls


    Just like in humans, dogs can have gluten sensitivities which have been linked to impaired brain function in people. The issues seen in people include memory problems and learning liabilities.

    High-glycemic carbohydrates

    Colleen Paige the author of The good behavior book for dogs states that high-GI foods like corn and wheat create similar sugar highs in dogs as they do in people that eat them. Dogs may be full of energy one minute and crash the next.

    Too much sugar can lead to neurological issues such as canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome or CDS also known as canine cognitive dysfunction, which is similar to Alzheimer’s disease in people.

    High-glycemic foods fed in excess can lead to diabetes which also negatively affects the brain and will also leave your dog feeling hungry soon after they have eaten. (Boler 2011/Pagie 2007)

    Free Radicals

    The oxidation of cells by free radicals has been identified as a major cause of aging. While you may not be able to eliminate free radicals you can definitely attempt to counteract them by feeding your dog a diet rich in antioxidants. Younger pups can protect themselves well from the detrimental effects of free radicals as your dog ages they become increasingly vulnerable to oxidation.

    To help counteract free radicals, feed your dog a diet rich in antioxidants. In one study dogs were fed an diet rich in antioxidants for six months and showed considerable improvement in cognitive function. (Cotman et al 2002)

    In the study the dogs were fed the following:

    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin C
    • acetyl-l-carnitine (which improves mitochondrial function)
    • lipoic acid
    • Fruits – like citrus pulp
    • Vegetables – like spinach flakes and carrot granules


    Fillers are unhealthy ingredients included in many pet foods to make your dog feel full or satiated. These hold little to no nutritional value and can lead to obesity and high blood sugar which as we learned above is extremely bad for your dog’s cognitive function.

    When most people think of fillers, they think of corn, wheat, soy, and rice but these can actually hold some nutritional value for dogs, but you want them to be further down on the ingredient list. But definitely eliminate things like corn syrup, and MSG (monosodium glutamate). (Source)

    Four ways to eliminate unwanted products in your dog’s food

    senior dog cognitive dysfunction

    Read Your Labels

    Always read your dogs food labels to ensure that sugar, corn, or fillers are not one of the first ingredients

    Make your meals at home

    While not feasible for all since it does take quite a bit of time and effort as you have to know exactly what nutrients your dog needs since there is always the possibility you could do more harm than good if not. Another option, if you want homemade meals for your dog is to order from a subscription company. Here are a few that we like.

    Choose Good Ingredients

    Choose a food that is made from organic whole ingredients

    Feed for Seniors

    Choose a diet made for senior or aging dogs which includes things like antioxidants, Omega 3’s, and other brain-boosting foods

    Brain-boosting ingredients for your dog’s food

    There have been many studies that investigated the effect of functional foods on dogs’ cognitive abilities. Many of the studies showed an improvement in cognitive function, overall attitude, and other health issues.


    Apoaequorin is a calcium-binding protein derived from jellyfish and studies show that it holds some benefit when given to senior or geriatric dogs struggling with cognitive decline by enhancing memory.

    While still being heavily researched its mode of action is believed to improve neurodegeneration and neuron death by improving intracellular calcium dysregulation.

    Humans that have signs of cognitive decline show significant improvement when taking Apoaequorrin and in a study with geriatric beagles, this also held true. The beagles were given Apoaequorin exhibited improved cognitive abilities.


    Oxidative stress increase aging in both pets and humans there have been several studies showing how antioxidants help decrease cognitive decline in dogs and issues like canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome.

    Antioxidative enzymes and nutrients like vitamin E and C bind to, capture, or prevent the formation of free radicals and therefore decreasing oxidative stress. While the body produces many of these as dog’s age endogenous antioxidant capacity decreases making the mitochondrial function in the brain less efficient. (Source)

    • Vitamin E
    • Vitamin C

    Mitochondrial cofactors

    Mitochondrial cofactors are chemicals that play a part in mitochondrial function and antioxidation when given in combination to dogs there is a tremendous improvement in cognitive function.

    L-carnitine functions as an antioxidant and when given in combination with other supplements can help improve cognition in dogs. (acetyl-l-carnitine is its metabolite)

    a-lipoic acid


    S-adenosylmethionine is a chemical that assists in neurotransmitter turnover and has some antioxidant effects which is why it is a great supplement for aging dogs.

    Reduced amounts of SAM-e have been associated with aging and other neurologic disorders in humans like Alzheimer’s so researchers assume supplementing should help to counteract these processes.

    There have been some studies about how well SAM-e improves cognition in humans, the scientific community continues to seek further information about how cognitively supportive it is for pets. One preliminary study showed cognitive improvement in dog’s executive function but not memory these were also not senior pets.

    In another study dogs with cognitive decline showed improvement when given SAM-e

    SAM-e is also included in many veterinarian’s health plans when treating a dog that has liver disease.

    Omega 3 Fatty Acids

    Omega 3 Fatty Acids have long been touted as having anti-inflammatory effects on the brain but it is also neuroprotective in dogs. It has also been shown to be safe for use in dog

    Omega 3s also help improve skin and have been shown to help with arthritis

    Coconut Oil

    Coconut oil, specifically the MCTs found in the oil, have been shown to increase cognitive abilities in dogs with long-term supplementation. MCT oil when given to dogs generates ketones that can be used as an energy source by brain cells which can help prevent age-related declines in neural function.

    Glucose is the main source of energy for neurons but glucose metabolism is usually reduced with age and other energy sources like ketone bodies may be needed to maintain neuronal metabolism.

    This isn’t due to the same type of ketosis that is induced by feeding a ketogenic diet as it has been shown that dogs do not respond in a similar way to humans.

    The use of MCT oil in dogs does not negatively impact blood pH and has no known adverse effects and changes in the gastrointestinal microbiota may also have something to do with the beneficial effects.

    Other benefits of MCT oil

    • MCTs can help with your dogs weight loss as they increase they may help your dog feel fuller faster, they also aren’t stored as fat
    • MCTs help improve digestion and absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
    • MCTs have alsop been shown to improve the skin and coat in dogs

    Selecting a coconut oil for your dog

    Choose one that is unrefined

    • Expeller pressed or cold pressed meaning that it hasn’t been heated or processed and lost nutrients in the process
    • Choose an organic coconut oil when possible to eliminate the chances of giving your dog potential toxins like pesticide
    • Choose an oil that is in a dark colored jar because as with most oils light can cause it to go rancid and also store it in a dark cool place
    • Buy a coconut oil that is in a glass jar to prevent the chances of BPAs leeching into the oil

    Coconut oils are great to use in frozen treats in the summer for a recipe click here

    Milk Thistle

    According to VCA, milk thistle, specifically, silibinin which is extracted from the seed, is safe and well-tolerated for animals and many veterinary herbalists or holistic practitioners recommend the use of the herb in dogs for many years to treat liver disorders.

    It works as an antioxidant as many of the other herbs discussed and it is also commonly given to dogs with cancer as part of their treatment.

    Silibinin has been shown to assist in recognition memory in mice and further studies are looking at the effects in dogs.

    One caution is that milk thistle should not be used in pregnant animal


    Yes, dogs can have berries and they are quite beneficial for your pup. Blueberries are one of the most beneficial as they are extremely rich in the phytochemical compound anthocyanin which is an excellent source of antioxidants. If your dog is averse to blueberries, you can try placing them in homemade treats.

    Here is a list of some other fruits that are quite beneficial for your pup

    Good Diets for Seniors

    So now that you know some of the ingredients which may benefit your aging dog you probably want to know which foods already have these ingredients in them right? The Farmers Dog has a great dog food for seniors. Wild Earth is another option.

    senior dog dog food
    wild earth dog food

    Other things you can do

    While food is extremely important, there are some other things you should be doing to help increase your dog’s chances of aging gracefully and without cognitive issues or at least minimal cognitive abnormalities.

    1. Physical Stimulation

    Just like with humans pets need physical exercise into their senior years, this not only helps to keep their bodies healthy but also their brains.

    There are a variety of things you can do with your pet from walking, jogging, or mini obstacle course that can be easily created.

    Keep in mind that you should include new and stimulating experiences for your pup as well because according to Dr. Stanley Coren, “The brains of animals that have lived in changing and complex environments actually become larger. New connections develop between existing neurons in the cortex as a result of experience. Recent evidence demonstrates that it is even possible to grow new neural cells in important areas of the brain that are associated with learning, memory, and the organization of behavior.” (Source 1 / Source 2)

    2. Mental Stimulation

    Brain games are effective for keeping brains healthy regardless of species or age. There are tons of mentally stimulating games you can get for your pup online or you can create some at home.

    Can a ketogenic diet help my senior dog?

    There has been some connection to neuroprotection and feeding a ketogenic diet in both humans and dogs, specifically those suffering from epilepsy and Alzheimers. However, further studies are necessary to determine if there is a beneficial link between dogs with cognitive dysfunction syndrome and a ketogenic diet. If you want to learn more about feeding your dog a ketogenic diet read our article: Dogs & Ketosis: Should you feed your dog a keto diet?

    In conclusion, there are many nutritional supplements that may help decrease or reverse cognitive decline in your pup including antioxidants, coconut oil, and blueberries. However, to gain the most benefit from these ingredients you will want to give them in combination as studies show that giving vitamin E, vitamin C, fish oil, mitochondrial cofactors α-lipoic acid and L-carnitine, along with healthy fruits and vegetables have the most beneficial effect on dogs cognition. There are several over the counter supplements available for senior dogs that are packed with these foods, herbs, and chemicals so that you don’t have to do the mixing!

    dog food bowls
    feeding small dog puppy

    Essential Tips for Choosing Dog Food for Small Dogs & Puppies

    If you’re a dog owner, chances are you’ve wondered about the correct way to feed your pup. While each dog is different (as most pet owners come to learn), there are some key tips that every pet parent should follow about feeding your dog.

    Knowing the right tips for giving essential nutrients is important and this begins when they are still fun-loving and adorable puppies as this early age of development require core attention.

    For most pups, puppyhood lasts anywhere from one to two years as most begin to peak at 7 months. Since so many changes are occurring in our canine babies, they need the correct diet to stay healthy.

    In this article, I am going to share some useful diet tips for feeding small dogs. Read carefully!

    1. Feeding Small Breed Puppies

    Do you know that the little tummies of adorable pups grow an average of twenty times faster than adult dogs? This doesn’t mean that they eat more food but there may be a need to adjust their food proportions. Since their tummies are small and energy requirements are more it is expected that they may need to eat more often.

    Give Multi-Portion Meals

    You can divide their food into three or four meals, instead of the common two for adults. These meals will give them the energy they need to stay active for the entire day. Otherwise, they won’t be able to have enough food at one time and become easily tired.

    Gradually Increase Portion Size and Time Gap

    It’s great if your pet is able to adjust to the routine of multi-portion meals but as they grow you may also need to gradually increase the portion size, considering the time between meals. This will allow the dog to preserve energy for a longer period which enables you to increase the time gap and decrease the number of meals as they grow.

    Try not to guess at the amounts you need to feed your pup always read the back of the packaging or use this chart to determine how much your pup should be eating. Our furry friends have extremely sensitive tummies, and one mistake can make them sick for a long, so follow the diet chart as per their age and weight while making changes to the amounts based on their individual hunger levels.

    2.   Change the Type of Food Infrequently

    Like human babies, these little dogs’ stomachs do not do well with a variety of meals. Once they have the habit of eating a specific type of food they can eat it for several days. Another key reason for not changing the type of food is the ease of increasing quantity.

    Understanding that the purpose of a gradual increase in food intake is to increase the number of nutrients, fats, and vitamins for the dog as they grow is critical in determining how much to feed. Additionally, changing the brand is also not preferable. So, stick with one brand or one recipe. If you offer too many different recipes with varying amounts and types of starches, proteins, or vegetables maintaining gastrointestinal balance may be difficult causing GI upset.

    3.   Go for an All-Natural Diet

    Many pet parents opt to serve their pups homemade meals, which if you are going to do this make sure you do these five things first. However, if taking out time to create meals for your dog is difficult, you can go for readymade food, here are a couple of tips when choosing food from the shelves for your dog

    • Read labels before picking up your dog food is essential. Never trust the bold words written on the front like “all-pure” or “all-natural.” Always go through the ingredient list to ensure they are as whole and natural as possible.
    • Stay away from foods that have unnecessary preservatives
    • If there is added sugar in the diet skip it
    • Choose diets that have been made from real whole foods
    • Watch out for unecessary fillers like corn or mill (especially as one of the first 5 ingredients)
    • Nix anything with dyes

    Note: Carbohydrates, a big source of instant energy, are best for all dogs. A high amount of carbs is present in rice, pumpkins, berries, etc. But refrain from wheat, corn, and soy as they can cause allergies.

    We Love Doodles has a great article about dog food brands to avoid but a couple that are quite beneficial for your pup per Dog Food include:

    4.   Select Hypoallergenic Foods

    Choose hypoallergenic foods or hydrolyzed diets for dogs that may be prone to food sensitivities. If you want to know how to tell if your dog has an intolerance to foods here are the common signs.

    Among pets, food allergies are less common than airborne allergies. Any breed can develop food allergies, but there may be an increased risk for Labrador Retrievers, West Highland White Terriers, and Cocker Spaniels. (source)

    5.   Choose Low-Fat Treats

    When you bring a dog into your family, either as a puppy or adult you will most likely grab a ton of treats as they are in many cases an essential part of training. However, oftentimes these treats can contribute to unnecessary weight gain. Since the majority of the training occurs at the developmental age, loading the pup’s tummy with fat and sugar is a bad idea.

    Therefore, analyze the daily amount of fat intake and make sure that you are not giving extra fat. Always have a look at the diet chart. Some good options in low-fat treats include:

    • Carrots
    • Cucumber
    • Apple
    • Watermelon
    • Green peas
    • Broccoli
    • Sweet potato

    6.   Offer Dog Food Only

    It’s so tempting to offer a scrap of food from your plate when your little companion is sitting beside you. But, once this habit is developed, it becomes hard to reverse.

    Additionally, many of us do not know about some foods that can be dangerous for dogs, here is an article about some human foods that can be dangerous for dogs.

    Grapes are a good example. Yes, this fruit is good for humans but not dogs. Likewise, onions, avocado, and beer can cause your dog to vomit, cause irregular heartbeat and digestive problems.

    7.   Consult a Veterinarian

    If you are a new parent always consult your vet shortly after bringing your pup into the home. There are countless things to be taken care of and risks to be evaluated before offering any food. Apart from it, a vet has enough knowledge to analyze the number of nutrients, carbs, and vitamins necessary for your dog. It becomes even more important if the dog has some dietary issues.

    What’s the Best Time?

    But, at what stage is it ideal for visiting a vet? After adopting a pup, we take it to the vet for a thorough checkup or vaccination. This is the best time to discuss the diet schedule. If you follow professional advice from the first day, you will never face any difficulty.

    8.   Always Keep Abreast of Dietary Developments  

    Be prepared to face some challenges in the first few days. But do not worry. Your new pooch will take some time to adjust to a new diet. For any confusion and worries, you should keep researching. Read articles, watch videos, and join social media groups especially created for dog owners.

    Gathering information from all these sources can clear doubts. If you are still not satisfied, book another appointment with a vet.

    How much should I feed my dog?

    Per the popular website Rover, the amounts listed below are a good general starting place for determining how much to feed your small dog. If your dog is leaving most of the food in his or her bowl or still hungry feel free to adjust as needed.

    Toy Breeds (3-9 pounds)1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of food per day
    Small Breeds (10-25 pounds)3/4 cups to 1.5 cups of food per day
    Medium Breeds (26-50 pounds)1.75-2.5 cups of food per day
    Large Breeds (51-100 pounds)3-4.5 cups of food per day + 1/3 cup for every 10 pounds over 100 pounds

    9. Choose a breed-specific food

    While most pet parents find that it is unnecessary to feed a specific formula for the breed of their dog, many others like it and you might find it beneficial as well.

    There are some breed-specific issues that these foods state they are formulated to assist with. For instance, the Royal Canin Yorkshire Terrier Diets are much smaller bites and are said to be made for picky eaters. In addition, the diet includes vitamins like vitamin C, EPA, and DHA which may help with liver issues, which Yorkies are prone to acquiring with age.

    However, in most cases breed-specific foods are not a requirement of feeding your small breed dog a balanced, healthy, and nutritious diet.

    Final Words

    Conclusively, choosing the healthiest food for your puppy or small breed dog becomes easier with a few tips. Things like multi-portion meals, an all-natural diet, and low-fat treats can provide a balanced diet to small dogs. However, consulting a vet and researching about changes in diet is imperative.

    How is your dog’s health? Which food are you giving, and what is the response? Share some tips with us!

    Author Bio: Arslan Hassan is an electrical engineer with a passion for writing, designing, and anything tech-related. His educational background in the technical field has given him the edge to write on many topics. He occasionally writes blog articles for Dynamologic Solutions. You can find more of his posts about pets at We Love Doodles.

    Dog eating
    dog food bowl
    overweight dog

    Is your dog overweight? Weight loss in dogs and cats

    Obesity in dogs and cats is a leading cause of secondary chronic issues and is the number one health concern in dogs worldwide, but is also the most preventable medical condition. While there are diets like Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low-Fat, there are other things you can do if you have an overweight dog.

    For a dog or cat to experience optimum health, they must be at a healthy weight. In 2018, an estimated 60% of cats and 56% of dogs in the United States were overweight or obese according to the association for pet obesity prevention. (source)

    Obesity is essentially a state of chronic inflammation that leads to chronic inflammatory disease due to the accumulation of excess body fat.  In dog’s obesity is loosely defined as being 30% over the ideal body weight, but there are no hard and fast rules about what officially defines obesity ranges in dogs.

    What are the risks associated with obesity in pets?
    How to tell if your dog or cat fat?
    What dogs are prone to obesity?
    What causes dogs and cats to be overweight?
    What is the fastest way for my dog or cat to lose weight?
    How do I create a weight-reduction plan for my pet?
    How much weight should my dog lose?
    How much should I feed my dog or cat for weight loss?
    How can I encourage more activity?

    What are the risks associated with obesity

    Overweight dogs are at increased risk for many diseases including:

    • Early death: It has been shown that obese dogs die an average of 2 years earlier than their fit counterparts
    • Cardiorespiratory diseases: airway obstruction syndrome and laryngeal paralysis
    • Decreased respiratory capacity
    • Exercise intolerance
    • Hyperlipidemia (abnormally high fat in the blood)
    • Cancer
    • Orthopedic issues like osteoarthritis due to the extra weight
    • Urogenital system conditions like transitional cell carcinoma

    Is your dog or cat fat?

    Most pet owners are astonished when the vet tells them that their pet is overweight as many believe their dog or cat is at a healthy weight. So, how do you know if your dog or cat is at a healthy weight do what vets do and use the Body Condition Score or BCS.


    Run your hands along the spine and the sides of the body along the ribs. You should be able to feel the spine, ribs, and shoulder blades under a very thin layer of fat. The ribs should not protrude so much that you can see them but you should easily be able to palpate them. If you can easily see the ribs then your pet is probably underweight.


    Stand over your cat or dog they should be shaped almost like an hourglass, wider at the ribs narrow at the waist, and wider at the hips. If your pet has no waist and is just straight, they are probably overweight.

    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat

    What breeds are prone to obesity?

    There are certain breeds that have been identified as being genetically predisposed to obesity (source)

    • Basset Hounds
    • Beagles
    • Boxers
    • Cairn Terrriers
    • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
    • Cocker Spaniels
    • Dachshhunds
    • Doberman Pinschers
    • Golden Retrievvers
    • Labrador Retrievers
    • Scottish Terriers
    • Shetland Sheepdogs
    • West Highland White Terriers

    What dogs have the lowest susceptibility to obesity?

    Sighthounds like, Whippets and Greyhounds tend to be some of the least susceptible breeds to obesity and German Shepherds tend to have the lowest incidence of obesity.

    fat obese dog
    Body Condition Score Chart (Source)

    What causes obesity in dogs and cats

    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat

    ‘Fixed’ or dogs that have been spayed or neutered have an increased risk of being overweight than those that are sexually intact. This is independent of the age they were fixed. (source)

    There are many other causes of obesity in dogs and cats besides spaying and neutering:

    1. Decreased physical activity

    Just like people, regular physical activity helps your dog or cat stay at an optimal weight and improve their overall health. As they get older, their metabolisms may slow and it is easier for them to put on weight which is why it’s important to keep them as active as possible through walks and other forms of physical activity.

    2. Too many unhealthy treats

    While a wholesome healthy treat daily won’t do much harm, if you are allowing your pup or kitten to snack endlessly on highly processed treats they will most likely gain weight

    3. Feeding food that isn’t beneficial

    Human studies have shown that a poor diet can lead to the obesity-gene changing its expression and once the body becomes “programmed” for fat it leads to an increase in fat cells. Always read the packaging when choosing a food, if sugar is one of the first five ingredients then steer clear.

    4. Diseases

    Some diseases like hypothyroidism or Cushing’s causes obesity in dogs, so be sure to take your dog or cat in and have him or her checked prior to making large changes

    There is an ‘obesity’ gene in humans & dogs called the ‘fat mass and obesity-associated gene and those that have the gene are 20%-30% more likely to become obese.

    What is the fastest way for my dog or cat to lose weight?

    Just like people weight loss is 80% diet and 20% activity, so get your pet up and active while feeding them the proper portion size and decreasing the treats.

    Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat

    How do I create a weight reduction plan for my dog or cat?

    Here are some things to consider when forming a weight-reduction plan for your dog

    1. Speak with your vet first

    Ideally, you shouldn’t put your dog on a diet without the assistance of your vet as they can calculate the needed caloric intake to reach optimal weight, assess for any underlying medical issues

    2. Get your entire family on board

    Encourage your family to get on board with feeding your dog or cat the right amount of food and not giving too many treats or any table food.

    Also, there has been a study that showed a family-centered approach to getting your dog to lose weight can lead to successful weight loss and to a modification in the caregivers’ way of thinking about nutrition and their own lifestyle. Read Article

    3. Write everything down

    Write down the foods that seem to work for your dog and how much are feeding. Also, keep track of your dog or cats weight loss progress (download a free weight tracker here)

    4. Set goals

    Set small goals for your dog or cat to reach especially if they have a lot of weight to lose so that they are still getting enough calories and nutrients without losing too much weight too fast

    5. Create a meal plan

    If you are making your dog’s meals or using meal toppers that you make at home create a healthy meal plan and go over it with your vet.

    6. Make it simple

    There are tools like the Petable app that can make charting your dogs progress simple

    How much weight should my dog lose?

    Every dog and cat is different which means your pet will have his or her own ideal weight, However, The Pet Obesity Prevention website has a list of suggested weights for dogs and cats here. The list is a great guide, but again each dog or cat will have their individual optimal weight, so your pet’s goal weight could be a couple of pounds more or less.

    It is considered safe for most dogs to lose between 3-5% of their body weight per month.

    How much should I feed my dog or cat to lose weight?

    Most dogs need about 25 to 30 calories per pound per day to maintain their weight; but since every dog is different, speak with your vet about your pet’s weight loss specifically.

    To determine the amount of food you should feed your dog or cat first have to determine the number of kcals (calories) they need each day. You can do this with an online calculator like this one from the pet nutrition alliance or the equation below:

    30 x (body weight in kilograms) + 70 = RER

    If your dog has a lot of weight to lose identify an interim goal to aim for somewhere between his goal and current weight rather than aiming straight for his or her ideal weight (Ward 2007). 

    fat dog overweight pet

    What should I feed my dog or cat to lose weight?

    • Since obesity is bascially an inflammatory condition, feed foods that are antiinflammatory based. Many owners add things into their dogs diet like coconut oil, turmeric, and vitamin E to their dogs food.
    • Feed diets that use whole foods and do not contain artificial colors, flavers, or preservatives.
    • If possible give your pets foods that are organic and do not have added antibiotics and hormones, sugar, or pesticides or GMOs
    • Feed foods with good carbs that originate from whole, fesh foods like fruits, vegetables, and gluten-free grains
    • Many vets will prescribe prescription weight loss foods
    • Choose a food specifically geared toward weight loss and creating a healthy weight in your pet
    • High-quality, novel protein as it is a critical part of weight-loss

    Refrain from feeding your dog

    dog eating
    • unhealthy treats
    • table food

    Healthiest over the counter food for overweight dogs oor cats

    While most prescription diets like Royal Canin Gastrointestinal low-fat will work well for pets trying to lose weight there are other options for pet owners that may not want to go the prescription route. Some other great over-the-counter foods are Eukanuba Weight Control and Hills I/D Low Fat.

    What are some great treats for weight loss in dogs?

    If your dog will eat things like fruit and vegetables these make great treats, some great options are

    • Blueberries: These not only taste great but they are packed with antioxidants
    • Apples: My dog loves a good apple, you can also include a small dollop of low-fat peanut butter
    • Broccoli: These are extremely beneficial for dogs and they usually enjoy the taste

    Here is an article that goes over some other great fruits for dogs

    If you would prefer over the counter treats look for these things

    • no preservatives or added dyes
    • lower in fat (less than 10-12%)
    • no sugars added
    • whole foods like dried treats like sweet potatoes or liver

    How can i encourage more activity?

    Regular walks: The most obvious (and easiest) way to encourage more activity in your pet is to extend their walks and time outside or at play in the house.

    Treadmills: some pet owners invest in a pet treadmill if they aren’t able to get their pet to move on a regular basis or don’t have the ability to walk them themselves

    Toys for cats: There are tons of toys to choose from for cats to get them up and moving

    Obstacle courses: One option is to set up a pet playground that includes obstacle courses and things for your pet to interact with, however, if your pet isn’t used to the activities they may not be thrilled about running through the courses.


    dog food bowls
    dog eating grass

    Here is what you need to know about your dog eating grass

    Many pet owners have concerns about their dog eating grass as it will sometimes lead to vomiting. Here are some things you should know if you have a dog that seems to love eating grass!

    Why does my dog eat grass?

    dog eating grass

    We will start off by letting you know that there is no scientific reason that has been identified as to why dogs eat grass. It is most likely something that dogs have done for hundreds of years and therefore won’t stop any time soon.

    Sixty-nine percent of dog owners state that their dog eats grass according to an IAMS poll and according to this article published in the Applied Animal Behaviour Science journal nearly 80% of dogs who have access to grass will occasionally eat it. 

    Here are a couple of speculations as to why dogs may eat grass

    1. They enjoy the taste: It could be that dogs enjoy the sweet taste of som grasses or even the texture and feel of the grass. Some of dog’s favorite grasses to eat are quackgrass, and/or twitch grass and stickyweed. Many dogs seem to like newly emerging grass that comes with spring the best
    2. They need roughage: grass is actually a good source of fiber and if your dog is lacking roughate it can actually decrease their ability to digest food effieciently.
    3. They are sick: while not proven, many pet parents believe their dogs eat grass to make themselves vomit and get whatever is bothering their stomachs out. Dogs can regurgitate on their own volution due to the types of muscles i their esophaguses. But it should also be noted that not all dogs throw up after eating grass
    4. All of the above: Since we just don’t know for sure, your dog could eat grass at different times for various rerasons

    Does it mean my dog is sick if they eat grass?

    As stated above, not necessarily, many people think that when their dog eats grass they are sick and need to relieve their upset stomachs. There have been some studies that have deemed this to be untrue in all cases. Studies actually show that less than 25% of dogs vomit after eating grass and only 10% show signs of illness prior to eating grass. While this may be true for a small number of dogs, the majority of dogs do not present as ill before or after eating grass. (source)

    Is my dog missing something in his/her meals if they eat grass?

    Not likely, as stated above, some dogs may need a bit more roughage and instinctively reach for the nearest blade of grass, but if you are feeding an over-the-counter diet your pup is most likely receiving all the nutrients they need. However, if you notice your pup eating dirt, rocks, or feces they may be suffering from pica. Pica can be the result of needing a more nutritious diet or some other underlying issue.

    When is eating grass dangerous for dogs?

    1. Treated grass: Grass that has been treated with a pesticide or weed killer can be extremely toxic to dogs.
    2. Parasites: If the grass that your dog is eating was once covered in feces or urine from another canine, it is possible that they can pick up worms and other parasites like giardia.
    3. Toxic grasses: Some ornamental grasses are toxic to pets

    What can i do to stop my dog from eating grass?

    Since dogs are not strictly meat eaters or true carnivores they will need some added plant materials to their diets. In the wild, approximately 11-47% of wolves eat grass and it is actually normal for them to do therefore stopping it will be extremely difficult and could be counterproductive in the long run.

    However, if you just cannot handle the fact that your dog eats grass you can always try training them to deter them from partaking. Of course, this works best if your dog is food motivated as you can simply offer them a small treat each time you notice them going for a blade of grass. You can take the treats with you on walks and to the dog park. If your dog is affection driven give them lots of love when they listen to the command to not eat the grass and redirect them.

    How do I keep my dog safe when eating grass?

    dog eating grass

    Here are a couple of things you can do to ensure your dog is safe when eating grass

    1. Don’t let them eat grass outside of your yard

    When you are on walks or especially at places where dogs congregate like the dog park try to keep your dog from eating the grass. As discussed earlier there is always the possibility that they could pick up tiny, microscopic parasites when eating the grass, and the chances of this occurring increase when more dogs are (or have been) in the vicinity

    2. Don’t treat your grass

    If you must treat your grass make sure your pet doesn’t eat it as the poisons that are in many pesticides and lawn care applications can really make your dog ill

    3. Grow their own grass

    Many pet owners opt to grow grass for their dogs this way they won’t have to worry about them eating it outside

    4. Keep them away

    Keep your pup away from grasses that are poisonous, like pampas and grass palm to dogs and if you have a grass lover don’t plant them in your back yard!

    Dog diarrhea colitis
    dog food bowls
    dog chia seeds

    Chia Seeds & Dogs: Which dogs benefit the most from chia seeds?

    Dogs and Chia Seeds Overview

    Chia seeds have so many awesome benefits that most pet owners would be remiss if they didn’t include them in their dog’s diet every now and then. However, there are some dogs that may benefit from chia seeds more than others. There is increasing research around dogs and chia seeds and the evidence proves that the seeds are extremely beneficial for them.

    So, how exactly do dogs benefit from chia seeds? Dogs (and humans alike) benefit from chia seeds because they are so nutrient-dense and packed with fiber which makes them a healthy option to add to your dog’s meals. Plus they are pretty much hypoallergenic so that is not a worry of most pet parents. If you want to read more about the benefits and dangers of feeding your dog chia seeds, read our article here.

    Although chia seeds are fairly safe don’t opt-out of discussing weight-specific dosages with your vet first. However, the general rule of thumb when feeding is a quarter of a teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight

    Obese Dogs

    obese dog chia seeds dogs and chia seeeds

    One of the things you can do for your overweight dog is to add chia seeds to his other meals, this is because chia seeds have been shown to increase satiety short-term. Of course, you should still be doing things like ensuring adequate exercise and the right diet but the addition of chia seeds will most likely prove to be beneficial.

    Chia seeds are said to satisfy hunger because one seed is able to absorb up to ten times its weight in water and therefore should help your dog feel fuller longer. They are great for dogs that may tend to overeat or that just need to lose some weight.

    Several researchers are still studying chia seeds for this use as there have been a couple of studies that showed little to no significant change in satiety with the long-term use of chia seeds, but most studies, like this one, show that they do help make humans and mice feel full.

    Pre- and Diabetic Dogs

    Probably one of the most studied benefits of chia seeds is their beneficial role in humans and animals with diabetes. Chia seeds support normal insulin function and help to regulate blood sugar. Chia seed’s effect on blood glucose is suspected to be due to the high fiber content as fiber helps increase the viscosity of the intestines and therefore may decrease the absorption of glucose into the body.


    Because chia seeds have such a high concentration of fiber they may be great additives for dogs that suffer from consistent bouts of constipation. Chia seeds have 34 grams of fiber per 100 grams of seeds.

    Fiber content of various seeds: NIH website

    Dogs with Anal Gland Issues

    Dogs with regular anal gland issues like trouble with expression or impaction may benefit from chia seeds added to the meals every once and a while because of the high fiber.

    Increasing your dogs fiber causes the stools to be larger which allows for increased pressure on the anal glands to assisting in natural expression.

    Growing Pups

    chia seeds and dogs

    While chia seeds are beneficial for dogs of all ages those with growing bones and bones that may need a little more support can especially benefit from them. Chia seeds contain more calcium than whole milk, more magnesium than broccoli, and more iron than raw spinach.

    A study done on rats found that long-term intake of chia seed actually increased bone mineral content and helped improve hepatic morphology.

    Dog chia seeds

    Dogs With Cardiac Issues

    Chia seeds help support a healthy heart since they are packed with fatty acids and are a great source of omega-3s. This means they can actually help strengthen the heart cells amongst other things.

    Dogs with joint issues

    The same omega-3’s that help with heart health also help with inflammation in the body, meaning improved joint function and mobility.

    Senior Dogs

    senior dogs chia seeds

    Seniors can truly benefit from regular feeding of chia seeds since they have so many great effects on aging bodies. Not only does it help with the joints and heart as stated above it also helps improve mental health. The omega-3s in chia seeds aid in brain function by strengthening the fatty myelin sheath that improves neurotransmission. This has been associated with improved learning and memory in animals.

    Dogs with high blood pressure

    Its been shown that eating chia seeds regularly can also help lower blood pressure: A Study published in 2021 showed a significant improvement in blood pressure after eating chia seeds regularly for 12 weeks.

    And it reduces inflammation too. Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide a 3 to 1 ratio of Omega-3 to Omega-6. fatty acids

    Key Take-Aways

    • Chia seeds are beneficial for dogs at any age
    • You should use them at a dosage specific for your dogs weight
    • There are some dangers that come along with overfeeding of chia – you can read about them here
    • Chia is beneficial multisystemically and can help with dogs that have issues like diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity


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    dog food bowls
    what fruits can dogs eat

    9 of the healthiest fruits your dog can eat

    Can dogs eat fruit?

    Yes, they can and there are some fruits that are truly beneficial for dogs like blueberries and apples. Fruit is also a healthy treat for dogs that need low-fat treat options.

    If you have a dog with digestive issues then you know the pain of finding a treat that is nutritious, safe, and organic to feed your fur baby. One of the easiest and healthiest options are fruits! But the question is, what fruits can dogs eat? After reading this article you will know the best fruits for dogs that are not only healthy but also safe options.

    can dogs eat fruit

    1. Blueberries

    can dogs eat blueberries

    Blueberries top our list of the healthiest fruit you can give your dogs. While some finicky dogs, like mine, won’t like the tartness, there are others that will swallow these antioxidant-packed fruits like candy.

    Why blueberries are good for dogs: Blueberries are a superfood, rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage in humans and animals. They also pack a tremendous amount of phytochemicals and fiber into their tiny frames.

    How to feed your dog blueberries: Since blueberries don’t have a tough or starchy outer shell you can simply unpack or pick the blueberries, clean them and use them as ready-made treats for your fur baby.

    2. Apples

    can dogs eat apples

    My dogs love apples and they are an excellent source of vitamins and fiber for your dog they are one of the safest and best fruits that you can give dogs.

    Why apples are good for your dog: Apples are great sources of vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber for your dog. Because they are low in fat and protein, they make a good snack for senior dogs or dogs with kidney issues.

    How to feed your dog apples: Make sure to remove the seed and core prior to giving a bit of apple to your dog, never give the entire apple whole. Also, peeling the skin will help your dog digest the apple a bit better. Try chopping the apple up into cubes or small slices, especially for smaller dogs. Apples are a great summer treat as you can easily freeze them for a snack when it’s warmer. Dogs can’t have things like apple pie, but you can find some great treat recipes that incorporate apples on our recipe page here.

    homemade dog treat recipe

    3. Bananas

    can dogs eat banana

    Dogs can have bananas in moderation as they do contain a lot of sugar when ripe.

    Why bananas are good for your dog: Bananas are high in vitamins, biotin, copper, potassium, and fiber while being low in sodium and cholesterol.

    How to feed your dog bananas: If you are eating a banana feel free to give your dog a small piece every once and a while, however as stated previously when ripe they can have a tremendous amount of sugar so if your dog has diabetes refrain from feeding them this fruit. You can also freeze banana slices to give to your dog in the summer as a treat.

    4. Watermelon

    can dogs eat watermelon

    Why watermelon is good for you dog: Watermelon is full of potassium and vitamins like C, B-6, and A. It is also mostly water and if it’s organically grown (not grown for sweetness) it can be a great treat every once and a while for your pup.

    How to feed your dog watermelon: remove the rind as this can cause an internal blockage if eaten and get rid of any seeds. Cut the watermelon into small chunks for your dog and as with apples and bananas, it makes a great frozen treat for your dog.

    5. Cucumbers

    can dogs eat cucumber

    Why cucumbers are good for your dog: Cucumbers have little to no fats, oils, or carbohydrates making them a great treat for overweight dogs. They are also packed with vitamins, copper, biotin, magnesium, and potassium.

    How to feed your dog cucumbers: After washing with warm water simply slice your cucumber and feed a couple of pieces to your dog. Smaller dogs, under 15 pounds, slice the initial slice into four sections for ease of eating.

    6. Strawberries

    can dogs eat strawberies
    While dogs can eat strawberries ensure that your dog does not have an allergy to them and they also contain a higher sugar content than some of the other fruits mentioned, so limit the amount you give your dog and avoid them in overweight, pre-diabetic and/or diabetic dogs.

    Why strawberries are good for your dog: They have a ton of vitamin C and fiber and they also contain enzymes that help whiten your dog’s teeth!

    How to feed your dog strawberries: Remove the stem and give one or two as a tasty treat to your dog. Most dogs won’t appreciate the tart taste but many will love them.
    kong filler treat recipe
    low-fat treat recipe for dogs
    antiinflammatory treat recipe for dogs

    Honorable Mentions

    There are a couple of fruits that your dog may enjoy eating but have some minor things you may want to look out for especially if your dog has a preexisting disease like diabetes. So we’ll just make these honorable mentions.

    7. Raspberries

    can dogs eat raspberies

    Can dogs eat raspberries? Yes, dogs can eat raspberries in moderation. Raspberries are a great training treat for pups since they are basically little antioxidant powerhouses. They have an abundance of vitamin C, manganese, and fiber so they are extremely nutritious. However, you want to ensure feeding in small quantities and in moderation, as they do contain xylitol which is toxic to dogs. In fact, they contain one of the highest naturally occurring quantities of xylitol.

    8. Pineapple

    can dogs eat pineapples

    Dogs can eat pineapple if it is chopped or cubed pineapple pieces and it is a pretty healthy snack option for dogs, but never give your dog canned pineapple as the syrup contains a large amount of sugar. Raw pineapple chunks are a great treat when given frozen. Make sure to peel and core the pineapple prior to feeding them to your dog. Pineapple contains a high amount of vitamin C, B6, and folate. It is also high in riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, minerals, iron, and copper. However, pineapple does contain a large amount of naturally occurring sugar which means if given too much can cause gastrointestinal issues and should be avoided in dogs with insulin issues such as diabetes.

    9. Mango

    Mango is extremely high in fiber, vitamin A, C, E, and B6 which makes it very nutritious however you should never allow your dog to get to the pit as they contain small amounts of cyanide and can also serve as a choking hazard.

    Things to keep in mind when feeding your dog fruit

    1. Do all things in moderation. Don’t make fruit a meal for your canine companion, instead use fruit as a small treat that you want to give sparingly. A couple of blueberries make for a great training treat
    2. Don’t try to make pies or puddings like a human might like with the fruit it isn’t that healthy for them and your dog will enjoy most fruit as is.
    3. Aways opt for organic when possible so that you aren’t feeding your dog insecticides and pesticides

    In conclusion, there are many fruits that dogs can eat and enjoy as long as you feed them in moderation since dogs don’t digest things the same way we do. What fruits do your dogs enjoy?

    Make sure to share this article with a friend that is looking for a tasty but healthy treat to feed their dog!

    The information shared in this blog post is for information purposes only always speak with your vet prior to giving your dog anything other than their regular dog food.

    dog food bowls
    Dog with colitis

    Colitis in dogs: A mini-guide to caring for your dog with colitis

    Overview of colitis in dogs: Colitis is a fairly common type of inflammatory bowel disease in dogs that usually causes persistent diarrhea of an unknown origin that can be acute or chronic. Usually, the cause of colitis in dogs is unknown but most dogs affected are middle-aged. In the majority of cases, colitis in dogs is diagnosed by ruling out other causes of diarrhea.

    Table of Contents

    What is colitis in dogs?
    What can I do immediately if my dog has diarrhea?
    What are the clinical signs of colitis in dogs?
    What are the common causes of colitis in dogs?
    What dogs are prone to developing colitis?
    How is colitis diagnosed in dogs?
    What information should I bring with me to the veterinarian?
    How can I cure my dog’s colitis?
    How do I treat granulomatous colitis in my boxer?
    What are the best diets for colitis in dogs?
    What is the prognosis for my dog with colitis?
    FAQ’s about dogs and colitis
    Key Article Take Aways

    What is colitis in dogs?

    dog with colitis

    The large intestine (also called colon or large bowel) helps maintain fluid and electrolyte (salt) balance. In addition it absorbs nutrients and serves to store feces until it is excreted. Oftentimes, when the colon is damaged or infilitrated by bacteria, parasites or fungi that causes inflammation your dog will come down with diarrhea.

    Colitis is a common disease in dogs and is characterized by persistent diarrhea. Any type of ‘itis’ means inflammation, therefore colitis is basically inflammation of the colon or large bowel. Colitis can be acute or chronic in dogs.


    In acute colitis, white blood cells (WBC’S) infiltrate the mucosal lining and can cause ulceration

    dog colitis


    Chronic colitis is defined as having inflammation of the colon for 2 weeks or more.

    dog colitis

    Furthermore, colitis has been split into four types depending on the type of cell invading the intestinal mucosa

    • lymphocytic-plasmacytic (most common)
    • eosinophilic
    • neutrophilic
    • granulomatous (least common)

    What can I do immediately if my dog has diarrhea?

    If your dog has diarrhea this article includes six things you should do immediately to assist them. Start with not feeding for 12-24 hours to give your dog’s bowels a chance to rest and then feed a bland diet.

    bland diet diarrhea dog

    What are the clinical signs of colitis in dogs?

    Symptoms of colitis in dogs may come and go, but will usually become more consistent and frequent as time passes. Remember that chronic colitis in dogs is just colitis that has been going on for at least two weeks. Your dog may present with one or several of the symptoms.

    • Frequent and seemingly uncontrollable diarrhea
    • Abdominal pain
    • Pain and/or straining when defecating
    • Diarrhea with mucus or blood
    • While rare, if left untreated chronic colitis can lead to severe weight loss
    • Vomiting may occur but this is rare

    What are the causes of colitis in dogs?

    In most cases the cause of colitis in dogs is unknown. While none have been factually established there are many factors that have been implemented in playing a part in causing the disease:

    • infection: Bacterial, parasitic, and/or fungal have been suspected of causing colitis in dogs
    • Traumatic injury may be a factor in developing colitis
    • Allergies have often been postulated as being the cause of colitis in dogs
    • Inheritance: some dogs seem to have a genetic predisposition to developing colitis other others
    • Stress: many cases of actute colitis seem to be due to stress
    • Autoimmune: Some research shows that colitis may be an autoimmune issue similar to Chrons in humans

    What dogs are prone to developing colitis?

    Most dogs are middle-aged and there is no sex predilection so it does not seem to occur more in males or females.

    While rare, young boxers and french bulldogs do seem to be prone to developing granulomatous colitis which presents as thickened bowel wall that is usually partially obstructed due to inflammation when viewed on endoscopy.

    How is colitis in dogs diagnosed?

    Diagnosis is often done in steps, so if you have a dog that you suspect may have colitis prepare to bring your dog in several times for testing. Your vet may decide to do all or only some of the things listed below and not necessarily in the same order, but this is an example of the general order events may take place.

    Step One: Your vet will need a history of clinical signs and any possibility of eating foreign foods, changes in diets, travel, etc. She or he will do a complete physical examination and will ask you many questions about your dos history (so if you are able to write down when. Your pup’s physical examination will probably include rectal palpation as well to check for any pain, abnormal masses, polyps, or blood.

    Step Two: Your Vet will want to rule out common causes of diarrhea in your dog. This means they will most likely run tests like a fecal to find out if there is a bacterial, parasitic, or fungal infection

    Step Three: Your vet will want to get some blood work and urinalysis to rule out other causes of the issue. Just FYI, these tests are usually normal with colitis unless the WBC’s that invade the mucosa are eosinophils in which case there might be a slight elevation of these on the blood test. At this time you will probably have placed your dog on another diet and/or tried some medications which are listed below.

    Step Four: Your vet may need to see inside of your pets stomach, a less invasive method than endoscopy is an x-ray or ultrasound so this is often the next step. Not every vet clinic has an x-ray machine or ultrasound so keep in mind that they may have to refer you to another clinic or specialist.

    Step Five: If necessary your veterinarian may want to do a colonoscopy to visually inspect the colon and even obtain a biopsy.

    What information should I bring with me to the vet?

    Here are some things you should have readily available for your vet:

    • A log of the frequency and urgency of the diarrhea occurs
    • Is there anything in the diarrhea (blood, excessive mucus, etc)
    • Note if your pup seems to have pain
    • What type of food is your dog on and is have there been any recent changes to your dog’s diet
    • A fecal sample: you can scoop a small amount of your dog’s poop prior to going to the vet and place it in a baggie. The fresher the better so if you can get it within a couple of hours of heading to the vets this would be great.
    Dogs colitis

    How do I cure my dog’s colitis?

    While most colitis cases relapse over time and never really go away there are things you and your vet can do to keep episodes at bay.

    1. Treat any infectious diseases

    If the tests that your vet runs show an infection that should be treated first

    2. Dietary Trial

    Usually, your vet will want to start the least invasive method of care which begins with changing your dog’s diet or doing a food trial. The diet should be a blander, more gut-friendly diet, so this may mean spending a little bit more money as oftentimes vets will prescribe a prescription diet such as Royal Canin gastrointestinal diet.

    royal canin gastrointestinal food for dogs

    3. Immunosuppressive Treatments

    If the first two steps of treating any existing infections and changing the diet don’t work then your doc will prescribe immunosuppressive or anti-inflammatory drugs such as NSAIDs or steroids such as Budesonide or cyclosporine may be given. Many vets notice a quicker improvement when anti-inflammatories are given with a change in diet.

    4. Fiber

    Increasing your dog’s fiber may help improve your dog’s diarrhea. Some pet parents find that giving their dogs a small amount of pumpkin or Metamucil (Psyllium mucilloid) with their meals helps tremendously. Speak with your vet about a dose for your pup’s exact weight, but in general, you can give up to 1/2 a teaspoon per five pounds of body weight. In many cases, this is a short-term addition and the amount given can be tapered off until you are no longer including it in your dog’s diet. Some owners swear by slippery elm, which is high in fiber as well.

    5. Probiotics

    Speak with your vet about giving a probiotic as well to help build up your dog’s gut flora, while there needs to be a lot more research around probiotics and colitis it most likely won’t cause any harm.

    6. Turmeric

    Some holistic vets will add turmeric to your dog’s treatment as it has been shown to help suppress IBD colitis and decrease the rate of reoccurrence in humans. (Source)

    7. Metronidazole

    Some vets will have had great results with adding regular metronidazole to the diet as it is antiprotozoal and antimicrobial. It is usually used in combination with other methods mentioned above

    8. Tylosin

    As an alternative, tylosin can be used in place of metronidazole although it is used less often

    9. Motility Modifiers

    Motility modifiers like loperamide may be given to help stop diarrhea. The dose is usually (0.1-0.2mg/kg, 2-4 times per day)

    10. FMT

    Some vets have had luck with fecal microbiota transplantation or FMT in dogs that have chronic colitis. Although not routinely done the results are promising. You can read about a study here.

    11. Surgery

    Surgery is usually saved as a last resort since it is by far the most invasive method of treatment

    Treatment of granulomatous colitis

    Granulomatous colitis in boxers and french bulldogs is often treated with antimicrobials effective against E. Coli like enrofloxacin since there has been a correlation shown between the bacteria and the disease. These dogs are reassessed fairly often, usually about every two weeks.

    Which diets work best for colitis in dogs?

    The goal when feeding a dog with colitis is to feed a food that is low residue, hypoallergenic, and highly digestible. So starting out with a low-fat, bland diet is always helpful. This includes giving boiled white rice or low-fat cottage cheese. For a complete guide on feeding your dog a bland diet, click here.

    Novel protein diets

    Novel protein diets or those that expose your dog to a new type of meat besides the common chicken or beef have been shown to be highly effective in keeping episodes at bay. The protein should be one that your dog has not been exposed to before, in the US, this would be diets that are made with lamb, venison, rabbit, or kangaroo.

    Hydrolyzed diets

    Hydrolyzed diets have also been shown to be effective at treating colitis. Hydrolyzed diets are diets that have their protein broken down so small that their immune systems no longer react to them

    colitis in dogs royal canin hyrolyzed protein
    hydrolyzed dog food colitis dogs
    hydrolyzed dog food pro plan

    FOS containing dog foods

    Fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) is a nutritional supplement that is becoming increasingly popular in dog foods. They have a pre-biotic effect and enhance colonic microflora to help in the prevention and treatment of diseases of the colon.


    The short-term prognosis is generally good for dogs but there are usual relapses long-term.

    Unfortunately, histiocytic colitis of Boxers is usually a grave prognosis unless treated early. The immunoproliferative enteropathy of Basenjis also has a poor prognosis; most dogs die within 2 years of diagnosis, although some have been reported to live as long as 5 years. Similarly, the prognosis for the diarrheal syndrome reported in Lundehunds is also poor. (Source)

    FAQ’s about colitis in dogs

    • Is colitis contagious? Colitis is not contagious but you may notice symptoms in more than one of your dogs especially if they are from the same litter
    • Is colitis the same thing as IBD? Colitis is a type of IBD
    • Is fasting necessary? Most vets will ask that you fast your dog for at least 24 hours to give their digestive systems a chance to rest
    • My dog seemed to develop colitis after she was spayed, is this possible? Since one of the causes of colitis in dogs may be stress if your dog was extremely stressed this could have contributed to a bout of acute colitis
    • Can I treat colitis naturally? Often times dogs do well with food changes so changing to a quality diet and adding things like fiber (a lot of owners like slippery elm), pre-and pro biotics may help tremendously
    • How long can a dog live with colitis? Every dog is different, so there is not set life-expectancy although in severe cases most dogs will usually live between 2-5 years after a diagnosis
    • Can a dog have constipaton with colitis? One of the main signs that a dog has colitis is diarrhea so they probably won’t present with constipation, however some owner may think their dog has constipation becasue they seem to strain when defecating
    • Is colitis fatal in dogs? While many times dogs can live for years after a diagnosis, it can prove to shorten their lifespan in some cases
    • Is colitis treatable? As stated above, most cases are incurable and your dog will have recurring episodes throughout their lifespan
    • Is colitis hereditary? Since researchers have not pinpointed an official cause of colitis in dogs but there does seem to be a hereditary link
    • Is colitis painful to dogs? In some cases colitis can cause severe pain, so it is important to keep your dog very comfortable during this time

    Key Takeaways About Dogs and Colitis

    • Colitis is a common form of IBD in dogs that presents with persistent diarrhea
    • Dietary modification is necessary in most cases of treatment, start with a bland diet
    • Dogs that do not respond to dietary changes may be placed on medication or require surgery as a last resort
    • The short-term prognosis is usually good although many dogs do relapse over time

    Have a friend that has a dog with colitis? Share this article with them!

    Dog diarrhea colitis


    1. Colitis in Small Animals
    2. Congenital diseases in small animals

    dog food bowls
    dog eating bland diet rice

    Bland diets for dogs: Bland foods and dogs with bland diet recipe

    If you have a dog, there will come a time in his or her life that your vet will put them on a ‘bland diet’ or feed them bland food, but what exactly does this consist of, and why do so? Read a little further if your pup has vomiting, diarrhea, or any other type of digestive irritation and needs to eat a bland diet for a couple of days.

    bland diet for dogs



    What exactly is a bland diet for dogs?

    The purpose of a bland diet is to give your dog’s digestive tract a chance to rest. Vet’s often refer to a bland diet when feeding foods that have four main qualities

    1. They are soothing to the stomach
    2. They help restore solid stools
    3. They are easy to digest
    4. Slow stool output

    dog eating a bland diet

    When to feed your dog a bland diet?

    Feed a bland diet when your dog has had a short bout of gastrointestinal upset. Bland foods are great for diarrhea in puppies that are always getting into things so if you notice runny stool in your dog for less than 24 hours. This is usually from minor stomach upset like

    • getting in the garbage
    • eating too much table food
    • change in diet
    • an illness flare-up as in pancreatitis
    • colitis or gastritis

    If you notice blood in the stool or vomit or it has been going on for days you should see a vet instead

    What is the best bland diet for dogs?

    The best bland diet for your dog is one that they will eat! But ideally, a good bland diet will consist of three main things

    1. Low in fiber

    A diet that is low in fiber will help slow stool production decreasing the frequency of your dog using the bathroom which means less diarrhea

    2. Low in fats and oils

    Fat and oils, while usually healthy otherwise, tend to irritate the stomach lining further when there is gi upset. Feeding a diet low in these will decrease any irritation and pain

    bland diet for dogs

    What foods are good in your dogs bland diet?

    Cooked White Rice

    white rice bland diet for dogs

    Cooked white rice is often used because it is bland and low in fiber which causes less irritation and helps with decreasing bowel movements, which is key. on the stomach lining than other types of rice (like black or brown). It doesn’t coat the stomach like many people tend to think, but it’s easily digested and is suitable for most dogs with an upset stomach, and won’t contribute to further diarrhea or vomiting.

    Boiled Lean Meat

    boiled meat bland diet for dogs

    Boiled lean meats like chicken, turkey, or low-fat hamburger are great to give a dog with an upset stomach, especially if they are not vomiting. If they are vomiting, they probably won’t be able to keep anything down and you should see a vet if it goes on for too long. If your pup is having some diarrhea and doesn’t seem interested in eating because of it, boiled meats should entice them to eat.

    If your dog is allergic to any type of meat like chicken or beef, it is safe to leave these out and opt for another type of ground meat like bison.

    Why do I need to boil the meat? Boiling the meat removes any excess fat that can contribute to further gastrointestinal irritation.

    Things to remember when feeding boiled meats

    • After boiling and before removing the meat, you should always skim any fat off of the top of the water so your dog won’t eat any unnecessary fat as fats and oils can wreak havoc on an already upset stomach
    • Remove any bones prior to feeding
    • Ensure the meat is boiled thoroughly and all the way through, you can do this by shredding the meat prior to feeding it to your dog
    • Never season the meat, it should be plain
    • If feeding chicken remove the fat prior to boiling

    Baby Food

    baby food bland diet for dogs

    If your pup isn’t eating a full meal, you can try feeding a tiny amount of baby food as it is extremely easy to swallow and digest. Choose any of the organic meat-based foods like chicken, lamb, or turkey that don’t have preservatives. Make sure you don’t feed anything that can harm your pet like garlic or onion powder. For a list of foods to avoid read here.

    Bone Broth

    bone broth bland diet for dogs

    If your dog isn’t up for eating anything but will drink, try making him or her bone broth. Bone broth is a liquid meal that helps give your dogs nutrients without upsetting their stomachs further. For a good bone broth recipe, click here. Just make sure to take the bones out prior to feeding your pup.

    bland diet for dogs bone broth

    Commercial bland diet for dogs

    bland diet for dogs

    If you don’t have the desire or time to make food for your dog, you can always ask your vet about a good over-the-counter bland diet. These diets are already formulated with your pet’s sensitive stomach in mind so you don’t have to. Some of the most common bland diets that vets prescribe are listed below and include Hills Prescription Diet i/d and Royal Canin bland diets like Intestinal HE or Royal Canin Gastrointestinal, however many times these are prescription diets.

    If you have a puppy with some gastrointestinal upset, an already balanced over-the-counter diet may be the best option for their growing and sensitive stomachs.

    Cottage cheese

    cottage cheese bland diet for dogs

    Cottage cheese is bland enough to give your dog to entice him or her to eat. While you don’t want to set an entire bowl in front of them, a couple of spoon fulls may help give them the desire to eat if they haven’t wanted to in a while.


    Bland diet for dogs pumpkin

    Pumpkin is high in fiber and can help with diarrhea or constipation in dogs. Start with boiled white rice and chicken and if your dog does not respond well to these try a bit of pumpkin. Do not get the canned pumpkin for pies as that has a ton of additives like sugar and salt which will only serve to upset your dog’s stomach more.

    Are eggs considered part of a bland diet for dogs?

    Eggs are iffy when it comes to being included in your dog’s bland diet only because they have so much protein. Scrambled eggs would not be the first choice especially if your dog has never had eggs since you don’t know how your dog will react to them. Some owners and vets swear by eggs as part of a bland diet so if your dog enjoys them and they are the only thing they will eat at this time then by all means feed them some scrambled eggs. Just make sure they are thoroughly cooked and unseasoned.

    dog food bowls

    How much bland diet should I feed my dog?

    The plan should be to reintroduce food to your dog’s system gradually after a bout of feeling ill. Therefore you should feed your dog small amounts throughout the day. If you have the time you can feed 4 to 6 times a day.

    Start out by offering very small amounts, 1-2 tablespoons of food every couple of hours, every 2-3 hours.

    If your pet is able to keep 1-2 tablespoons of food down then you can gradually increase the amount and frequency of the food until they are eating their normal amount of food, but split into several meals throughout the day.

    As a general rule, you can use the chart to determine how much you should feed your dog once they begin eating throughout the day again unless your veterinarian determines otherwise.

    Less than 5 pounds1/2 cup split into smaller amounts of food throughout the day
    5-15 pounds1/2-3/4 cup split into smaller amounts of food throughout the day
    16-30 pounds1-1.5 cups split into smaller amounts of food throughout the day
    31-50 pounds1.5-2 cups split into smaller amounts of food throughout the day
    51-75 pounds2-3 cups split into smaller amounts of food throughout the day
    76-99 pounds3-4 cups split into smaller amounts of food throughout the day
    100 pounds4-5 cups split into smaller amounts of food throughout the day

    What if my dog is vomiting?

    If your dog is vomiting, they won’t be able to keep anything down so you shouldn’t feed them until they stop or you see a vet if the vomiting persists. Once your dog has gone 12-24 hours before feeding a bland diet. If your dog does not stop vomiting in 1-2 days you should see a veterinarian as you may need further workup like blood work or x-rays.

    How long should my dog be on a bland diet?

    If your dog had a bout of diarrhea due to something simple like getting into the garbage their stools should be back to normal within two to three days, after which you can start slowly switching them back over to their normal diet. To learn how to safely switch your dog’s diet read here.

    What if the bland diet doesn’t work?

    If diarrhea persists for more than 12-24 hours or your pup gets worse then contact your vet. You may need to have further testing to determine if the upset stomach is due to something more serious than a little irritation.

    What if my dog has another health issue, is a bland diet okay for them?

    Bland diets and pancreatitis in dogs

    Bland diets lend themselves well to dogs that have pancreatitis as they are generally extremely low in fat. My dog that has chronic pancreatitis always gets a little bit of white rice or boiled chicken breast with his meals as these foods are fairly safe for dogs with pancreatitis.

    Bland diets and renal or kidney disease in dogs

    If your dog has kidney disease you may want to forego adding the boiled meat as you want to decrease the protein and phosphorous fed. If you decide to feed meat with their meals opt for ground beef (sirloin steak) as it has a lower phosphorous content.

    Meat or PoultryPhosphorus Content
    Beef, sirloin steak195 mg
    Chicken breast, skinless190 mg
    Chicken thigh, skinless150 mg
    Hamburger patty, 90 percent lean170 mg

    Bland diets and diabetes in dogs

    If your pup has diabetes forego feeding the red meat and make sure you use white rice, not brown or black.

    Bland diets and IBD and colitis in dogs

    A bland diet is excellent for dogs that have a bout of irritable bowel or colitis, just refrain from feeding them anything they may be allergic to like chicken if this upsets their stomachs.

    Bland diets and Liver disease in dogs

    Most dogs with liver disease have to be on diets that are low in protein but high in fat, so try feeding boiled white rice without the meat. If you have to feed meat use lean ground beef as this has less protein than turkey or chicken.

    Bland diets and dogs with food allergies

    Because many food allergies in dogs are due to the proteins in the diet you may want to refrain from giving chicken, turkey, or beef if they have had it before. As an alternative, you can opt to use a novel protein.

    Bland diet and dogs with colitis

    Similar to feeding a dog with allergies, you will want to either feed a novel protein or refrain from feeding meat as allergies may play a role in the disease

    Is a BRAT diet for dogs considered a bland diet?

    No, the BRAT diet isn’t considered a bland diet for dogs as it is in humans, but it is a variation. The BRAT diet consists of bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Refrain from feeding your dog bread especially when they are not feeling their best, but the boiled white rice may make them feel better.

    Things to keep in mind when feeding your dog a bland diet

    • When feeding your dog a bland diet, ensure that you aren’t giving anything like treats or table scraps
    • Remove all skin and bones prior to feeding
    • If you prepare batches before hand store them in the refrigerator for no more than 48 hours or frozen
    • If the diarrhea or stomach upset persist for longer than 2 days speak with your veterinarian


    Merck Veterinary Manual

    dog eating a bland diet



    pet holding up sign

    How dogs are joining the fight against COVID-19

    History has shown the world that early and rapid detection of COVID-19 is critical in keeping numbers down and curbing the spread of the virus.

    Who would have thought that one of the greatest fighters of COVID-19 spreading could be sitting on your living room floor and will work for treats? Recently there has been a ton of notice given to dogs and their keen sense of scent for help in the fight against COVID-19 as many scientists have been studying them as preliminary ‘rapid’ detectors.

    How can dogs smell COVID-19?

    Dogs have almost 100 times the olfactory receptors in their noses as we do, almost three hundred million to our five million.

    It has been shown that they are extremely sensitive to scents as dogs are able to sniff out the differences between healthy people and those with cancer, MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), and Parkinson’s disease. There have even been studies that show they are able to sniff out malaria infections in children with 73% accuracy just by smelling their socks.

    Thus far there haven’t been too many studies published about COVID scent dogs but there are several ongoing at the time. One study published in PLOS ONE showed that the virus may actually have an odor that dogs can smell in urine and saliva. The same researchers of this study are now studying if dogs are able to sniff out the virus on T-shirts.

    Since we are just learning more about how scent detection of the virus works in dogs, researchers are still unsure as to exactly how dogs are sniffing out the virus, it could be that they are actually smelling the virus itself or detecting a change in the body triggered by infection.

    While it is still unclear as to the method dogs are able to ‘smell’ coronavirus it is quite obvious that they have the ability to do so and do it well. In a study at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine researchers found that they could detect infection with up to 94.3% sensitivity meaning that they correctly identified 94 out of every 100 people infected. This is just slightly less sensitive than PCR tests, at 97.2%. There was a total of 3,921 people and 1,097 of them were infected with the virus and they were 92% correct in identifying negative samples of 2,031 individuals.

    Why use dogs?

    Speed: The gold standard method for detection of COVID-19 has been PCR, but this takes time usually at least 24 hours, whereas dogs could possibly detect if someone was positive or negative with a quick sniff. This would be great for places that get crowded quickly and people are often on a tight schedule like airports, schools, and concerts. So while dogs may not be as accurate as a PCR test they are a great deal faster!

    Cost: After the cost of proper training using dogs to detect the virus is an efficient and relatively inexpensive method that can be used to screen out those that need further testing

    Invasiveness Currently, detection is accomplished through throat and nose swabs which can take hours to days for results and can possibly cause nosebleeds, irritation, and pain. But since all a dog has to do is sniff you or an item of your clothing it is extremely non-invasive and painless.

    Global Impact: COVID sniffer dogs would be of great value in underdeveloped countries where they may not have the resources necessary to check a large number of their population for the virus. Detection dogs could be used to weed out those that need further testing, especially if test supplies are limited, this could be a much needed positive impact on screening in these countries

    How are dogs trained?

    It takes quite a bit of time to train a dog to sniff out diseases and viruses, about 8-10 weeks to be exact. The dogs are initially trained to detect a target scent and are rewarded once they have succeeded. After mastering this step, they are then trained to sniff out the virus on positive or negative humans or their clothing.

    What breed of dog is best?

    Dogs that make great COVID detection dogs have a great sense of smell, good temperament, and patience for being in large crowds of people

    • Bloodhounds
    • German Shepherd
    • Golden retriever
    • Spainels

    Are there any downsides to using dogs?

    Cost: it can be extremely expensive to train bio-detection dogs (although they are still cheaper than conventional testing methods)

    Complimentary: While not really a down-side, but just something to keep in mind that the dogs are complementary to any other testing methods and should not be used as the sole source of negative or positive results

    Overworking: One thing to keep in mind is that the dog’s care should always come first, while they are working dogs, they are still living creatures that deserve love and happiness. The dilemma of overworking should be heavily monitored and while most working dogs are well taken care of there should be a standard of care across the board to ensure the health and well-being of all the dogs used.

    Infection: Ensuring that the dogs are also well-protected from the virus is essential as it has been proven that dogs can get COVID-19. If you want to read about dogs getting the virus, read our article here.


    dog food bowls

    Covid-19 in dogs & cats: 16 things you need to know

    Can dogs and cats get Covid-19?

    Why are cats more susceptible to Covid-19 than dogs?

    How do I keep my pets safe from Covid-19?

    How is Covid 19 tested in dogs and cats?

    What are the symptoms of Covid19 in cats and dogs?

    If I think my dog or cat has Covid 19 what should I do?

    How do I treat a dog or cat with Covid 19?

    Should I separate myself from my pet if I test positive for Covid 19?

    If my dog or cat tests positive for Covid-19 should I separate him from my other pets?

    Should I put a mask on my dog when walking outside?

    Is there a vaccine for dogs and cats?

    Can Covid-19 attach to my dog’s fur and come in the house?

    How long is quarantine for pets?

    What is Canine Coronavirus?

    What animals can get infected with Covid-19?

    Can dogs detect Covid-19?

    Can dogs and cats get COVID-19?

    Yes, dogs and cats can get COVID-19. There have been a small number of pets worldwide that have tested positive for the virus.

    A study done by the Univesity of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College tested 48 cats and 54 dogs from 77 different households that had positive human COVID-19 cases. The study showed a higher percentage of cats (almost 70%) than dogs (40%) tested positive for antibodies. The researchers compared this to tests done on shelter animals where only 10% of dogs and cats tested positive. When tested on stray cats the number of positive cases shrank to 3% indicating close contact of pets with positive owners as a major variable in their contraction of the virus.

    Over two hundred pets have been tested in the U.S and there is a common occurrence of cats testing positive at a higher rate than dogs, 40% vs 39%.

    Per the USDA, dogs and cats account for nearly 80% of all animal infections in the U.S as of July 2021 (182/217 cases). However, these numbers do exclude mink as there have been several mink farms that have had outbreaks during the pandemic.

    Why are cats more susceptible to COVID-19 than dogs?

    While studies are currently being done, it is most likely that cats are not more susceptible but spend more time in close contact with positive owners. Sharing beds seems to be one major cause of the elevated positivity in cats. Cats that rarely interacted with humans had a decreased chance of contracting the virus.

    How do I keep my pets safe from COVID-19?

    • To keep your pet safe from the virus make sure to:
    • Keep your pet away from other animals as much as possible when out
    • Refrain from going to high populated areas with your pets
    • Regularly wash their dishes and bedding
    • Wipe dogs paws with a gentle cleansing wipe meant for dogs after coming inside
    • Keep your pet away from infected people and anmals
    • Keep cats inside as much as possible

    How is COVID 19 tested in dogs and cats?

    Idexx laboratories made a PCR test for COVID available to veterinarians in 2020. However, most veterinarians don’t recommend general or regular testing for pets at this time. Tests are usually only administered if the dog or cat is exhibiting symptoms or suspected of having the virus.

    What are the symptoms of COVID-19 in cats and dogs?

    In many cases dogs or cats present with no clinical signs or transient symptoms.

    If they do get sick they usually only have mild illness and recover fully. The majority of pets are cared for at home and hospitalization or serious illness in dogs and cats appears to be extremely rare.

    Some symptoms of the virus in cats and dogs are:

    • shortness of breath
    • sneezing
    • ocular (eye) discharge
    • vomiting
    • diarrhea
    • fever
    • coughing
    • runny nose

    If I think my dog or cat has COVID-19 what should I do?

    If you believe your cat or dog has Covid-19 call your veterinarian and they will direct you further. If you are sick with COVID-19 do not take your pet yourself as you risk spreading it to other people. Some vets will ask that you come into the clinic (as long as the person bringing them in is healthy) or they may prefer to do a telemedicine consultation.

    How do I treat a dog or cat with COVID-19?

    1. The CDC recommeds caring for pets the same as you would care for an infected person at home and have your pet stay in a designated ‘sick room’
    2. Those that are fully vaccinated or not at high risk of severe illness from the virus should care for the pet
    3. Make sure your pet is eating regularly, they may need a bland diet (click here to read about bland diets)
    4. Have items like pedialyte or electolyte replacers on hand in case your dog has severe vomting or diarrhea
    5. Wear all PPE, gloves and mask, when treating your pet and handling their dishes, bedding, toys, and feces
    6. Do not put a mask on your pet, as this can be dangerous
    7. Keep a record of your pets symptoms so you can know if they are getting worse
    8. If you are treating at home and notice shortness of breath, contact your vet immediately
    9. Follow all the care instructions that your veterinarian gives you
    10. Complete all medication as prescribed, even if your pet starts to act and feel normal
    11. Wash your hands regularly and disinfect common areas and areas used by your pet  Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home
    12. For multiple cat homes use separate litterboxes for sick and healthy cats
    13. Keep your pet at home as much as possible, this means no trips to places like the dog park, groomer, or doggy daycare.
    14. Do not allow your pet to interact with any people or other pets outside the home

    Should I separate myself from my pet if I test positive for COVID-19 or vice versa?

    If you test positive for COVID-19 you should quarantine and avoid all close contact with your pets, this includes sleeping with your pet and allowing them to lick you.

    If you are the sole caretaker for your pets, make sure to put a plan in place prior to contracting the virus. This may include asking a friend or family member to stop by and care for your pets and having self-feeders. If you are unable to have someone else take care of your pet make sure to wear a mask when interacting with them.

    Scientists have stated that while COVID-19 can be transmitted from humans to their pets it is far less likely that it spreads from pets to humans easily

    If my dog or cat test positive for COVID-19 should I separate him from my other pets?

    Yes, you should separate your pet from other pets in your home as they can give. itto them

    Should I put a mask on my dog when walking outside?

    Do not put masks on pets as masks can be harmful to your pet

    Is there a vaccine for dogs and cats?

    Scientists are testing an experimental COVID-19 vaccine from Zoetis on zoo animals. While the vaccine may eventually translate to cats and dogs it is not currently regularly administered at veterinary clinics.

    Can COVID-19 attach to my dogs fur and come in the house?

    The CDC states that there is no evidence that the virus can attach to fur and spread to humans. They advise against using things like hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes on pets and to use shampoos specifically for pets.

    How long is quarantine for pets?

    If you are treating a dog or cat at home, it’s important to follow your veterinarian’s advice as to the length of time your pet should be quarantined, but the general rule of thumb is that pets can come out of their ‘sick rooms’ if they have not shown symptoms for at least 72 hours without medical management and it has been at least 14 hours since the last positive test

    What is Canine Coronavirus?

    Canine coronavirus diseases (CCoV and CRCoV) are not the same as COVID-19. CCoV does not affect people and is an intestinal infection usually contracted by young puppies, which is why some veterinarians still vaccinate for it today. The vaccines that puppies get for CCoV will not cross-protect for COVID-19.

    Puppies usually get canine coronavirus by eating infected fecal matter but they can also get it from contaminated food bowls or by direct contact with an infected dog.

    Which animals get infected with COVID-19?

    Several studies are being done to learn which animals can be infected with COVID-19 and how it affects them, so far the virus has been noted in:

    • Cats
    • Dogs
    • Bank Voles
    • Ferrets
    • Fruit Bats
    • Hamsters
    • Racoon
    • Mink
    • Pigs
    • Rabbits
    • Non-human primates (Rhesus macaques, cynomolgus macaques, baboons, grivets, and marmosets)
    • Tree Shrew
    • White-Tailed Deer
    • Mice (were not susceptible to the original strain, but maybe to mutated strains)

    It has been shown that many of these animals can spread the infection to other animals of the same species.

    Chicks and ducks seem to not become infected

    Can dogs detect COVID-19?

    Research groups around the world are currently testing dog’s abilities to sniff out COVID-19 in humans. So far the research has met with much success. If you would like to read more about how dogs may be able to detect COVID-19 read our article here.

    Scientific America

    dog food bowl

    So, You Want To Be A Pet Blogger? Start Here

    Here are 9 crucial steps to starting starting a successful pet blog

    1. Decide on a niche

    One of the first things you need to do is decide on a niche. While it doesn’t have to be an extremely narrow niche, you do want to have a general focus. A lot of people have extremely successful lifestyle blogs or beauty blogs which are pretty general areas. Decide what you want to write about in your blog.

    2. Choose a name & grab the domain

    Once you’ve developed a niche, come up with a catchy name. You may have to try a couple different names or ask people their opinions. It may even take you a couple days to develop a name that you like and is has an available domain. Which is the next thing you should do, secure a the domain and social media sites with the name you’ve chosen.

    3. Choose a hosting site

    If you are not going to use a drag and drop site like Wix, you may want to research various hosting sites like Bluehost or Siteground prior to purchasing your domain so that you can buy it on the platform without having to go through the hassle of switching your domain to a new server. The reason you want to use a hosting site is so that you have more autonomy when it comes to building your website so that it will be uniquely yours and to ensure you will have no issues when you are ready to place ads on the site if you choose to do so.

    4. Choose a blog hosting site

    Most serious bloggers, meaning they want to make money from their blogs will choose a use WordPress to start their blog. But there are also other platforms like Wix and Squarespace to choose from as well.

    5. Start your socials

    Don’t wait to start posting on social media. Start promoting on your socials as soon as possible since it’s never too early to build an audience, so even if you don’t have one blog posted you can begin building your social media pages immediately

    6. Educate yourself

    Watch as many YouTube videos and read blogs about blogging for money. The Income School YouTube channel is a great place to start. Also consider networking with other bloggers there are several groups on Facebook you can join or if you want to meet others in person think about joining Meetup.

    If you have the money to invest, I would definitely consider investing in a course for bloggers to get you going like the one offered from the creators of Income School. Usually bloggers opt for courses because everything is laid out for them which makes getting started such a breeze as you aren’t searching around for where and how to start. These usually come with large private communities that you can bounce questions off of as well.

    7. Create a post list

    Start out with a list of 52 blog post ideas, this way you will have a blog a week for the next year!

    8. Choose a posting schedule

    The next tip goes along with this one, decide how often you will post. It could be monthly, weekly, or daily, just try to remain consistent.

    9. Learn about SEO

    As a blogger, I understand the frustration of having to wear so many other hats and learn about other things that you have no interest in. For me one of those things is SEO or search engine optimization. But it is crucial to your success, if you are going to dole out money for anything, it would be a course on SEO. Take some time to familiarize your self with the basics of SEO as it is an integral part of building a successful blog

    10. Start Pinning

    Many bloggers find success through using Pinterest, so start pinning! Services like Tailwind also give some bloggers an upper hand as you have a built in sharing system that can propel your pins into virality! Many bloggers swear by using Tailwind and credit much of their success to the app.

    dog food bowls
    dog diarrhea toilet

    5 Common Causes of diarrhea in dogs

    Unfortunately, having a dog means dealing with diarrhea at some point in their lives! Here are some pretty common reasons why your dog gets diarrhea.

    1. Eating something they should not have

    If you have a puppy that likes to put everything in their mouths or get in the garbage there’s a really good chance that they will end up with diarrhea and/or vomiting at some point in their lives. This type of diarrhea is easily prevented if you can keep the floor clear of debris and crumbs, make sure the garbage is out of reach from your dog, and let visitors know that they are not to give your dog table scraps.

    2. Change of food

    Sometimes a change of food is the culprit of diarrhea in your dog. This could be changing from dry to wet food or switching brands altogether. We usually buy our dogs food in bulk, which means they are eating the same thing for weeks and many times months at a time. If you all of a sudden deviate from this food and introduce a new food, their stomachs may have something to say about it in the form of diarrhea. While it is fine to change your dog’s food every now and then to introduce variety, refrain from doing so too often and too quickly. Try the 25% method, which is adding 25% of the new food to your dog’s diet daily until they are eating it 100%.

    3. Infections and Parasites

    Infections and parasites like roundworms, giardia, or parvovirus can often times cause bloody diarrhea in puppies. This is one big reason to make sure you are taking your dog to the veterinarian regularly especially as a pup since they will get their first series of vaccines and dewormer.

    Refrain from letting your dog drink from puddles outside as this is often where they pick up parasites like giardia and leptospirosis.

    4. Gastrointestinal Disorders

    Illnesses like Irritable bowel syndrome and IBD (which are two different diseases) can often times cause diarrhea in dogs. If you want to read more about the differences between the two, read our article ‘What’s the Big Difference Between IBS & IBD’ here.

    guide to colitis

    5. Nervousness or Stress

    Yes, just like in some humans, nervousness and stress can cause diarrhea in dogs! While it is usually intermittent and acute, you may notice some blood as well, but they are usually fine after the cause of stress is relieved.

    If your dog has diarrhea, especially bloody diarrhea, it will never hurt to give your veterinarian a call so they can tell you if you should go in for treatment.

    Never let your dog go with prolonged diarrhea without treatment and if you want to know of some foods that may help soothe a dog’s stomach that has diarrhea read our article here, ‘What Should I Feed My Dog With Diarrhea?’

    dog food bowls
    chia seeds superseeds dogs

    7 Scientifically backed super seeds for your dogs health

    We want our fur babies to be as healthy as possible and super seeds are here to help you towards that goal. If you are looking for something natural that is backed by scientific research to add to your dogs meals that will help with digestion, improve the look of the fur, and other provide health benefits then look no further.

    1. Camelina Seeds (Camelina sativa)

    Camelina seeds, also known as Gold of Pleasure or false flax because they look similar are a great super seed to add sparingly to your dogs diet. While similar in looks to flax seed the oil has a much longer shelf life and isn’t prone to rancidity.

    A study done in 2021 determined that camelina is safe for use in dogs, you can read the study here.

    The oil has naturally high levels of vitamin E and is high in polyunsaturated fats. The vitamin E contributes greatly to the longer shelf life. It is also rich in Omega 3 and 6 making it great for dogs skin health. In addition, it is great for dog’s that are prone to joint issues like arthritis as it helps prevent cartilage breakdown

    It’s often used by horse owners as an omega supplement to promote healthy weight gain, decrease inflammation, and promote healthy coat quality.

    Camelina oil is abundant in sterols, which has been shown to interfere with cholesterol absorption. At this time, many of the oils derived from the seeds aren’t genetically modified, which may change as more people become aware of the benefits of this super seed.

    How much Camelina oil should I give my dog?

    I recommend feeding your dog the oil as it is readily available

    5ml or 1 teaspoon per 25 lb of bodyweight divided twice a day, although I would just add once to twice a week as too much oil can cause diarrhea. Always start with a smaller dose and work your way up to your target amount.

    Camelina oil can be given with or without food


    camelina seeds contained 1.0% calcium (Ca)
    0.51% magnesium (Mg)
    0.06% sodium (Na)
    1.6% potassium (K)
    0.04% chlorine (Cl)

    2. Fenugreek Seeds (Trigonella Foenum-Graecum)

    Fenugreek is a fantastic anti-inflammatory, helps lower cholesterol, and is great for increasing milk production in lactating dogs. Overall, the seeds have been known to help maintain blood glucose levels in humans with diabetes and heart disorders. In one study, it even showed antitumor activity Al-Oqail et al. (2013) demonstrated a decrease in the cell viability of cancerous cells exposed to seed oil of fenugreek.

    Studies done by G.Valette and G. Ribes, showed that the defatted portion of fenugreek seed induces hypocholesterolemic effects and antidiabetic properties in dogs.

    How much fenugreek should I give my dog?

    I recommend soaking the seeds in an oil (like Camelina) if you are going to give it to your dog and using them together.

    For increasing milk lactation buy the Fenugreek pills for dogs, the dosage is usually 2-3 capsules per day for large breed dogs.

    Calories 36
    Fiber: 3 grams
    Protein: 3 grams
    Carbs: 6 grams
    Fat: 1 gram
    Iron: 20% of the Daily Value (DV)
    Manganese: 7% of the DV
    Magnesium: 5% of the DV

    3. Pumpkin Seeds (Cucurbita Pepo)

    Pumpkin seeds are widely available and well-known for their health benefits in humans and animals. One ounce of seeds contains amino acids, fiber, zinc, folic acid, protein, niacin, potassium, magnesium, vitamins, omega 3, omega 6, and copper.

    In addition, there have been several studies done in the past that showed pumpkin seed has effects on some types of worms in dogs because of the amino acid cucurbitin which paralyzes the worms so they can detach and be eliminated. One study is here. While the pumpkin seeds did not completely clear the infections, it did decrease the number of worms significantly. It has also been shown to help prevent calcium oxalate stone formation.

    How many pumpkin seeds should I give my dog?

    The recommended amount to give dogs is one-quarter teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight once to twice a week. If you arere attempting to use pumpkin seeds for worms it is given twice daily, but keep in mind that even in studies they did not get rid of the worms completely.

    1-ounce (28-gram) serving contains (1)
    Calories: 151 grams
    Fiber: 1.7 grams
    Carbs: 5 grams
    Protein: 7 grams
    Fat: 13 grams (6 of which are omega-6s)
    Vitamin K: 18% of the RDI
    Phosphorus: 33% of the RDI
    Manganese: 42% of the RDI
    Magnesium: 37% of the RDI
    Iron: 23% of the RDI
    Zinc: 14% of the RDI
    Copper: 19% of the RDI

    4. Coriander Seeds (Coriandrum sativum)

    Another super seed that was shown to be antidiabetic in dogs are coriander seeds and aloe vera given for two weeks. There were no significant side effects noted and significant positive effects on weight regulation could be confirmed. While you don’t want to give aloe vera to your dog regularly, adding a tiny amount of coriander if you have a diabetic dog may prove helpful after veterinary approval.

    How much coriander should I give my dog?

    If you want to give your dog coriander or cilantro, simply pinch off a small amount when you are having it and give them some in their meals. one half to a whole leaf of cilantro will do as you want to introduce the herb to their systems slowly to prevent gi upset and any allergies that may arise to cilantro.

    Total Fat 0.5g
    Sodium 46mg
    Total Carbohydrate 3.7g
    Dietary Fiber 2.8g
    Sugar 0.9g
    Protein 2.1g
    Calcium 67.00mg
    Iron 1.77mg
    Potassium 521mg

    5. Flax Seeds (Linum Usitatissimum)

    Flax seeds have been lauded for their health benefits throughout history as they were first cultivated around 3000 B.C. One tablespoon of flax seeds contains about 7 grams of alpha-linolenic acid, which supports heart health, has anti-inflammatory properties, and has actually been shown to block the growth of tumor cells due to the lignans. Flax seeds contain up to 800 times more lignans than other food.

    In addition, flax seeds have a ton of fiber which helps with keeping the gastrointestinal system running smoothly. Fiber, as we all know assists with healthy digestion, weight control, and blood sugar stabilization. This is why many dog foods and treats boast that they have flax seeds in their diets.

    However, if you are giving your dog flax seeds, keep in mind that they have a tough outer shell so purchase them ground (flax meal) or grind them yourself. Also, because the seeds can go rancid fairly quickly make sure to refrigerate them, whole seeds can last for a year in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Ground flaxseeds can last for about 6 months in the freezer.

    Most pet parents decide to use the oil, but the seeds have also been shown to improve dog’s coats after a month of use. If you decide to use the oil, store that in the fridge in an opaque bottle. Here is another research article about the health benefits of flax seeds in dogs.

    How much flaxseed can I give my dog?

    As with all the other superseeds, you want to start slowly so most holistic vets would advise to give 1/8th of a teaspoon for small dogs and 1/2 teaspoon for larger dogs over 100 pounds

    FLAX SEED NUTRITIONAL VALUE (SOURCE) – Based on 1 tablespoon or to grams
    Calories: 55
    Water: 7%
    Protein: 1.9 grams
    Carbs: 3 grams
    Sugar: 0.2 grams
    Fiber: 2.8 grams
    Fat: 4.3 grams

    6. Chia Seeds (Salvia hispanica)

    By now, everyone has heard about or taken chia seeds. It is one of the world’s most popular super seeds as they are a rich source of vitamin B, calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and other minerals. In addition, they are anti-inflammatory and an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, which I like a plant Omega 3, as they have the highest amount than other plant food (even higher than flax seeds). Like flax seeds, they are also a great source of fiber and can assist in weight loss as they give a feeling of fullness without adding extra calories due to their ability to expand with water.

    Chia seeds were first harvested by the Mayans, the word in Mayan means “strength”, and the Mayans believed that the seeds contained supernatural powers, and they may have been on to something!

    If you want to read about the dangers of feeding your dog chia, read our article here.

    How much chia seed should I feed my dog?

    Small Dogs1/4 – 1 teaspoon of Chia Seeds
    Large Dogs1-2 teaspoons of Chia Seeds

    7. Hemp Seeds (Cannabis sativa ssp. sativa)

    Hemp seeds are seriously superfoods and many holistic veterinarians give them to their patients. The seeds contain omega’s 3, 6, and 9 in addition to antioxidants and essential amino acids. It has been shown to help with dogs digestion, arthritis, and skin. It is also known for it’s calming effects on dogs.

    How much hemp should I give my dog?

    There are so many products for dogs with hemp that you can purchase over the counter and not worry about overfeeding your pup

    111 calories
    6.31 g protein
    9.75 g fat
    1.73 g carbohydrates
    14 milligrams calcium
    1.59 mg iron
    140 mg magnesium
    330 mg phosphorus
    240 mg potassium
    1.98 mg zinc
    22 micrograms (mcg) folate

    Things To Keep In Mind Before Feeding Your Dog Super Seeds

    • Remember that some seeds, like sunflower seeds, may have a hard outer shell and they should always be peeled first
    • Always opt for seeds that are organic, free of pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and chemical fertilizers when possible
    • Do not feed your dog flavored or salted seeds, they should be as natural as possible with no additives
    • Give them seeds sparingly as too much of a good thing is not such a good thing and can cause gi upset at times, speak with your vet about specific amounts to give your fur babies
    dog food bowls

    Please note that this blog article is for informational purposes only, any changes to your pet’s diet should be discussed with your regular veterinarian. This article also contains affiliate links, which if you click on them helps keep our blog up and running, so, thank you!!

    Proper storage of cat and dog food: 5 tips for best practices

    Properly storing your dog and cat food is essential for it’s preservation and freshness. Correct storage practices ensure the best quality of the diet. Practicing great storage habits is a crucial part in the maintenance of the nutritional properties of your pet’s food. Here are five things to keep in mind when storing your pets food.


    If possible your pet’s food should be kept in a dry and cool environment. If you are able to store the food in a refrigerator this would be best as exposure to warmth can enhance rancidity, especially if the diet is perishable, or high in fats and oils. If an item is perishable, it should never be kept at room temperature. Always keep kibble in a controlled environment under 80 degrees Fahrenheit, per the FDA Food and Drug Administration.


    Moisture attracts mold! So ensure that your pet’s foo is kept dry. If you live in a humid environment it is best to store your pet’s food in a fridge or at best an airtight plastic container.


    Food that is left out or exposed to air will go bad a lot quicker than if it weren’t. When storing your dog’s food keep it in the original bag but make sure to seal it or just use an airtight container in it’s original bag. It isn’t best practices to remove the food from the bag because the food comes in often has an oil-resistant liner, which is designed to help retain flavor, and it helps keep it from spoiling too quickly.


    Most kibbles will last for a month or two before they pass the expiration date. Always keep this in mind when storing food. If you have a small dog that will probably not finish an extra large bag of food for 6 months, it’s best to opt for smaller bags.


    If you store your dogs food in an airtight container, use all of that food before transferring a new bag in. Never top off old food or mix the old with the new as the older food is set to expire much earlier. Make sure to thoroughly clean the storage container between refills

    Reference: A Survey among Dog and Cat Owners on Pet Food Storage and Preservation in the Households. G. Morelli, D. Stefanutti et al

    dog eating
    dog food bowls

    Feeding your dog: How much, how often, and what you should feed your dog

    Your dogs diet is a key component of keeping them healthy. Make sure you are feeding them high-quality nutritious meals. This is why it’s extremely important to speak with your veterinarian and gain proper canine education. Below are some general rules to follow about how much, how often and what to feed your fur baby.

    How much should you feed your dog?

    Portion size may vary based on breed, age, and health condition, and settling on the right amount can be tricky. While there are recommend feeding amounts on the back of most dog food bags, these are just suggestions and you may notice that your dog does not function well with the amounts. Since every dog is unique, you will have to determine what works best for your dog through regular adjustments and observations. Unless stated otherwise, the amounts on the packaging is the recommended amounts for your dog over a 24-hour period.

    Feed too much and it could lead to obesity, feed too little and it could lead to malnourishment, it can be a thin line when feeding your pup. However, most dogs tend to fall within the normal to obese weight range.

    To determine how much food to feed your dog, start by knowing your dog’s estimated adult weight and from there you can determine how many calories your dog will need per day. One option is to try using a calorie calculator for dogs although you may need to adjust the results.

    How often & when should you feed your dog

    How often you feed your dog is just as important as what and how much you give your dog. With that said, there are no hard and fast rules about how often your dog should eat, each dog is different and how often you feed them should be taken as a case by case basis.

    Most pet owners tend to stick to feeding their dogs twice a day, morning and night as this is usually a good place to start off. This is the least number of feedings that most vets recommend, but you may notice that your pup does better with more small meals throughout the day.

    Some things to take into account when deciding how often to feed your dog are age, breed, and medical issues

    • Dogs with medical issues such as pancreatitis, may benefit from feeding three or four small meals throughout the day. Speak with your vet to determine if your dog requires specialized feeing schedules.
    • Size also plays a role in deciding how often you should feed your dog, large breed dogs like Great Danes may require more calories and hence more feedings throughout the day than smaller breeds like Yorkshire Terriers.
    • Puppies (8 weeks – 1 year): Puppies, like babies are growing and you may notice that they tend to burn off much of the food that they eat quickly and are still hungry after you feed them. If you notice that they are still hungry and searching for more food after they have eaten it is safe to increase how often you feed them. In some cases pet owners choose to feed puppies up to three or four times a day. Some owners opt for free feeding puppies since they always seem to be extremely hungry, but this often leads to uncontrolled accidents in the house so it usually is not recommended, although is safe to feed them more often throughout the day to keep up with their growing bodies. If you want more information on feeding a new puppy read our article here.
    • Some owners find that as their dog approaches senior status, they tend to eat less and decide to decrease the amount they feed them, or continue to feed them them the same amount but split it into more meals throughout the day.
    • Refrain from feeding your dog close to bedtime as this may cause accidents in the home and they may not get a great nights sleep as their stomach is digesting the food.

    In general, feeding more times throughout the day tends to allow for better digestion and comfort for your pet, but it is extremely important not to feed. It is best to come up with a feeding schedule for your dog, as this can help prevent accidents in the home and with healthy digestion.

    What should you feed your dog?

    There are many many feeding options for dogs available and you have to decide if you are going to feed your dog dry kibble, moist food, homemade meals, or a mixture of both. Once you have decided, it is important to remain consistent in your pups diet as a large deviation often times causes stomach upset and possibly diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea. Irregardless of what you choose, ensure that it is a high-quality food. If you are having trouble choosing a food for your dog, you can read our article here about how to choose a dog food.

    Here are some of the pro’s and con’s of each type of food:


    Better weight controlFoods vary wildly in quality and content, choosing a food can prove to be difficult in some cases


    Tastier to most
    Harder on teeth and can increase weight gain easier than many dry diets


    You know exactly what
    your dog is eating
    There is a lot of information to learn and any missteps can be dangerous for your pets health

    Homemade meals

    While I believe in cooking for my dogs, I use it as a supplement to the kibble already available at the stores. I’ll usually make them something nutritious and use it as a topping on their dog food. Many people opt to do this because cooking for your dog at home can be extremely time consuming and if not prepared properly can do more harm than good for your pet. You need to know your dog’s energy and nutrient requirements, for instance puppies must have a specific amount of calcium otherwise they can develop metabolic bone disease or orthopedic conditions like early-onset arthritis.

    If you want to feed your dog whole meals instead of kibble, but don’t want to cook for them, you can opt for a dog meal service which will regularly deliver fresh, appropriately portioned meals to your door. Since these companies have already done the work of formulating meal plans based on your dogs breed, weight, and allergies with a veterinary nutritionist this is a great option for pet owners that are too busy to do so themselves, but still want the benefit of a human grade meals for their dog. The best thing is that since the meals usually come pre-portioned, you don’t have to worry about under or over feeding your dog.

    General guidelines for feeding your pet. To get an accurate feeding regimen for your dog consult with your veterinarian as every dog has different needs.

    Once you have decided on a feeding schedule for your dog, it is important to remain consistent. If you are still concerned about correctly feeding your dog? Read this article about why you’re feeding your dog wrong and connect with a canine nutritionist.

    You’re feeding your dog wrong! 10 Reasons why you are feeding your dog the wrong way

    Here are ten things you might be doing that are destroying your dog’s diet!


    Your dog’s nutritional needs change throughout their lives, the pet food industry has broken down dogs lifespans into three main stages: puppy, adult, and senior. Sometimes people will feed their puppy and senior dogs food for adult dogs and vice versa. While many times this occurs because there are multiple dogs in the home at varying life stages, it can have terrible repercussions long-term, especially for puppies.

    Puppy foods are specifically designed to assist in their growth and they usually have a very high caloric content to accommodate for their booming energy levels. Since it is so high in calories, if you are giving your adult dog puppy food they will most likely be taking in too many calories and this can lead to unwanted weight gain. Another reason you should feed your puppy a diet meant for their life stage is that since it does have an increase in calories and other nutrients, you probably won’t have to feed as much as if you were feeding food meant for adult dogs. A quality puppy-specific diet should have all of the nutrients your fur baby needs for proper brain and body development.

    On the other hand, senior dogs tend to need a decrease in calories as their metabolisms are usually slowing down. Feeding them puppy food or continuing them on the same diet they were on as adults may cause an increase in weight, which can cause other health issues down the line. In addition, many senior dog foods contain vitamins like MSM to help with joint issues and some even help with dental issues. This blog article gives more tips on what you should and should not do when feeding your senior dog.


    Walking into a pet store can be extremely confusing if you don’t know exactly what to look for. You should make it a habit to read the back of the packaging before putting a bag of food in your cart. Some foods can be the equivalent of feeding your dog candy every day instead of the nutritious meal that you want for your fur baby. While it may be cheaper to skimp on your dog’s food as lower quality foods usually give you more for kibble for your money. In the long run you are probably losing money if the food is full of fillers that have no nutritional value.

    Not feeding nutritious foods can lead to issues like pica, where your dog will eat dirt and other non-food items in order to get the proper nutrients. Speak with your vet if you notice your dog exhibiting signs of pica.

    While premium and organic foods may be too expensive for most, there are still some great foods to choose from. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when choosing a food:

    • Buy your food from a pet store as many stores not dedicated to pets have very limited options and many times not healthy one’s
    • Read the bag: always, always read the ingredients and the nutrition label prior to purchase. I always tell clients, if sugar or fillers are the main ingredients put the bag down and run! Well, you don’t really have to run, but back away from the bag.
    • Look for real, whole ingredients and avoid meals when possible
    • Ask for help, speak with your veterinarian or someone that works in the store to direct you to a good brand
    CHOOSING a good dog food


    In addition to feeding the right type of food, you want to ensure you are feeding the right amount of food. If you are making your dog’s meals at home it is extremely important that you know the amount of calories and other nutrients your dog needs to live a happy and healthy life.

    Most food companies will place suggested amounts for feeding on their packaging, but just like people, every dog is different. Speak with your vet or veterinary nutritionist to develop a meal plan, especially for homemade diets as you will want to know the nutritional and metabolic energy requirements for your dog.

    A good rule of thumb for adult dogs is to feed 2-3% of your dog’s ideal body weight into 2-3 portions throughout the day. If you want to know exactly how to determine how much to feed your dog read our article all about feeding amounts.


    If your dog has a chronic illness like pancreatitis, diabetes, or kidney issues, it is extremely important that their diet is geared towards keeping their organs as healthy as possible.

    For instance, if your dog has pancreatitis, you want to ensure your pet’s food is very low in fat and with kidney disease a decrease in protein. Feeding for a specific disease process get’s tricky with homemade diets, but some people are willing to take the time to speak with a nutritionist and get a great long-term meal plan together. If that’s not in the cards for you there are plenty of over-the-counter prescription and non-prescription diet choices available.


    There’s nothing as sad as a pup that is staring at you with those longing eyes waiting for you to drop a piece of food from your plate onto the floor. Believe me, I’ve been there, and there are a lot of people that give in to the somber puppy eyes. In fact, this may not be the first time you’ve heard this, so stay strong my friend, because feeding your dog table scraps, especially heavily seasoned or fatty ones can have life-altering effects on your pup.

    Feeding fatty and salty foods can wreak havoc on your dog’s organs like the pancreas which can lead to acute or chronic pancreatitis. In addition, dogs can’t have many foods that we can like onions and garlic, so if you are feeding your dog these foods it’s best to put an end to it.

    If you must allow your dog to share in your meals, make him or her a special (small) plate by boiling their food without any seasonings and skimming off any fat or skins from meats prior to feeding.


    Pay attention to the ease or difficulty your dog has when chewing kibble if that is all they get. If you have a small puppy the bites may be too large for them and senior dogs that have lost a lot of teeth may not be able to chew as they once did. You may have to wet the food or add a little bit of soft food to soften it, although you don’t want to feed primarily soft canned food as this isn’t always the best thing for their teeth.


    The jury is still out on if elevated feeders help prevent bloat in dogs, but if your dog has issues like megaesophagus or orthopedic disorders these heightened dishes may prove to be beneficial for your pup. If your dog doesn’t have a health issue where their food needs to be elevated it is not something that needs to be done.


    If your dog is extremely active and gets plenty of daily exercise they will need more calories to meet their energy needs. This means they may need to eat a lot more than a dog that is less active or overweight.

    dog food


    This is especially true if your dog is overweight or obese as maintaining a healthy body condition is extremely important for your dog’s overall well-being. If your dog is overweight and you continue to feed the same amount or type of food you could be doing a lot more harm than good. It is best to speak with your veterinarian about getting your dog on a feeding plan. Your plan may consist of staying on the same food but decreasing the amount or completely switching to a low-fat weight maintenance diet.


    If you aren’t properly storing your dog’s food, it could easily get moldy due to dampness, go bad a lot quicker due to exposure to air, or get unwanted critters. To ensure you are properly storing your dog’s food read our article here about proper dog food storage.

    woman holding dog

    Why are there so many pet food recalls? 4 common reasons

    What is a pet food recall?

    A pet food recall or voluntary retrieval (to somehow lessen the blow) is an emergency recall of dog or cat foods due to it being unfit for consumption. This usually occurs when hundreds of dogs or cats become severely ill or die within a short amount of time that have been linked to consuming the same food.

    In rare cases the pet foods have caused illness or deaths in people as well for example in the 2000’s people who came into contact with contaminated dry dog food contacted Salmonellosis. The FDA currently has a zero

    What are common reasons for a pet food recall?

    1. Contamination

    By far the most common reason for pet food recalls is contamination. Contaminations by molds like Aflatoxins and bacteria like Salmonella lead the pack, even though the FDA has a zero-tolerance level for Salmonella in pet foods. There have also been cases of food being recalled for toxic materials like pentobarbitol or melamine, which is a white crystalline compound made by heating cyanamide and used in making plastics.

    2. Nutritional Imbalances

    There will be times when pet foods are recalled due to too much or too little of a nutrient. This occured when the Wet Noses Natural Dog Treat Company recalled approximately 51,000 packages of Simply Nourish dog food due to elevated levels of vitamin D. Excessive vitamin D can cause symptoms such as loss of appetite, drooling, increased thirst, weight loss, and death.

    3. Foreign objects

    This is usually due to plastic, but can include metals or other materials usually from failed or broken machinery.

    4. Improper packaging

    If your dog food isn’t packed properly this can lead to all types of issues like excess moisture which can lead to mold. It can also lead to air getting in dry bags of food which causes the food to expire before its time.

    How do I find out about pet food recalls?

    There are several avenues to find out about dog and cat food recalls

    The AVMA keeps a running list of all cat and dog food recalls by brand

    The Dog Food Advisor is also a good place to find out about pet food recalls

    What should I do if there is recall on my pet’s food?

    Find out why the food was recalled and know common symptoms of the cause so you know what to watch for in your pet. As mentioned previously the most common causes are contamination due to mold (mainly Aflatoxin) and bacteria (mainly Salmonella)

    • Symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning in dogs and cats may include sluggishness, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice (yellow tint to the mucous membranes – eyes and gums), and/or diarrhea. It can be fatal in some cases.
    • Dogs and cats that become ill from Salmonella infection generally will have diarrhea that may or may not contain blood or excessive mucus, they may also experience inappetance (not wanting to eat), lethargy, vomiting, and fever.

    If you suspect that your pet has eaten contaminated food contact your veterinarian immediately, he or she will most likely contact the FDA if there is an ongoing food recall at the time

    Contact the manufacturer or take the bag or receipt back to the store. It is the legal duty of the food company to replace or refund any recalled products, you will most likely get a refund from the store.

    Dispose of the food, if the store does not take the bag of food back, make sure to dispose of it in such a way that it can not cause harm to other animals. Dispose of any contaminated food by placing it in a heavy opaque or black garbage bag. Close and place the bag in a trash container or bury it in a landfill.  

    How do I report a pet food complaint?

    The FDA is the company that investigates pet food complaints. You can report a suspected illness to the FDA electronically through the Safety Reporting Portal or by calling your state’s FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinators. The FDA advises working with your veterinarian to submit your pet’s medical records as part of your report.

    If you are wondering what information will be needed you can read what will be helpful to include in your report here.

    What happened with the massive dog food recall of grain-free foods?

    Currently, there is no definitive answer about the link of grain free foods and DCM in dogs or Dilated Cardiomyopathy. To learn more read our article, the link between grain-free foods and DCM.

    dog food bowls

    7 Things you should change in your dogs diet when they are seniors

    As dog’s age, they have different needs than younger pups and it’s important that pet owners are aware of the possible dietary needs that come along with aging and how to treat them. It isn’t uncommon for your pup to experience some digestive issues as they grow older, even if it’s just a passing issue. These are some things you may have to change when feeding them.

    1. Less Food (or low-fat)

    Many times we notice weight gain with age in our pets and much of this is due to a decrease in your pup’s activity level. Ever notice that many older dogs just lay around the house all day, whereas pups are always bounding through the house and getting into something they should not be?

    All of that laying around can cause excess weight if you are feeding the same type of foods that you fed when your dog was younger and a lot more active. Changing your dog to a senior diet or low-fat diet is often helpful in these instances. Also, stopping any table food (I know it’s hard) will help your dog remain at a healthy weight.

    dog food bowls

    2. Vitamins

    Sometimes as dog’s age, their digestion processes may decrease and some of the foods they had when younger may not agree with them. Keep an eye on your dog for excessive gas or stomach pain and if you notice either of these see your vet to discuss diet. In addition, your dog may need vitamins to help replace any nutrient loss due to improper digestion or leaky gut.

    3. Probiotics

    Just like with improper nutrient absorption, your pup may have some issues like leaky gut that calls for probiotics to be added to their diet which will help increase the beneficial bacteria in their guts. If you want to know four that we love, read this article.

    4. Fiber

    Oftentimes senior dogs will suffer from gastrointestinal ills like constipation, flatulence, or diarrhea. You can choose to supplement fiber via over-the-counter products or naturally with foods such as pumpkin. Speak with your vet about the best way to supplement fiber in your dog’s diet.

    5. Food specific for health problems

    While diseases like kidney and liver disease aren’t solely noted in senior dogs, there is oftentimes an increased chance of them suffering from some type of ailment. In this case, it is extremely important that you speak with your vet about what foods should or should not be fed to keep your pup healthy. For example with kidney disease, you should cut back on the amount of protein fed, but many times your vet will start your dog on a prescription diet.

    6. Soft foods

    If you’ve noticed that your furry friend has lost a lot of teeth it may be time to start feeding more wet food or soaking their dry food in water or broth to make it easier for them to eat. If you want a good recipe for bone broth click here.

    7. Feed for cognition

    Many times as dog’s age they may decline cognitively and this is why it is important to start feeding their brains. Functional foods like coconut oils and Vitamin E oils should be added to their foods to improve their brains and stave off canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome. To read more about these specific foods read our article here to learn about the specific foods and supplements that may help your dog remain active and healthy as they age.

    canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome senior dogs

    Many times senior diets will take care of your aging dogs requirements, but if you’re anything like me, you enjoy cooking for your dog as a supplement. This is why it’s good to sit down with your vet and come up with a complete meal plan that works for you and your fur baby.

    Cats & Milk: Can cats drink milk? Kittens and milk

    Table of contents

    1. Should I give my cat milk or water?
    2. What is the best milk to choose for kittens weaning?
    3. Is milk bad for my cat?
    4. Why does my cat like milk so much?
    5. Can cats be lactose intolerant?
    6. What is the best milk to give my cat as a treat?
    7. Why is there a myth that cats should be given milk?
    8. Can cats drink almond, soy, and oat milks?
    9. Should I give my kitten baby formula?

    Many cat owners continue to give their cats milk well into adulthood, learning if you can give cats milk and how much is critical to them living long, healthy lives.

    Should I give my adult cat milk or water?

    Cats will usually start slowly weaning their kittens as early as 4 weeks, ideally, they will be eating solid food by 8-10 weeks.  If you have a kitten younger than 6 weeks you can feed a milk replacement, kitten milk replacer, like the ones listed below.  If they are 6 weeks or older you can begin weaning them and giving either soft food with some milk replacement (until 8 weeks) or dry food.  If the dry food is too hard for them to eat, you can add a little water.   While milk does have a water content, cats should have water at all times as consuming milk alone won’t supply them with all the essential nutrients they need.

    What is the best milk to choose for kittens weaning?

    Refrain from feeding cow’s milk or any other milk besides kitten replacement which is specially formulated for kittens, it includes the right amount of crude protein, fat, and colostrum.

    Typical weaning times are as follows

    • 4-5 weeks: give wet or moistened dry food, mixed with formula to form a slush. 
    • 5-6 weeks:  the kittens should be able to eat kibble mixed with a little water
    • 6-7 weeks: kittens should be almost weaned and eating small, bite-sized kibble
    • 8 weeks: kittens should be fully weaned and do not need milk

    Can cats drink milk? Is milk bad for my cat? Do cats need milk? Is milk healthy for cats?

    Milk is not bad for some cats per se, but they do not need it post-weaning. It can be bad for cats that have diseases like IBS or those that are lactose intolerant

    Whole milk can add unnecessary unhealthy fat to your cat’s diet.  There are over-the-counter diets that have milk in them and won’t cause stomach upset.

    Cats like many other animals can have irritable bowel and giving them milk can exacerbate the issue greatly

    Why does my cat like milk so much?

    Cats really enjoy milk because it has a high-fat content.  If you want to give some to your cat as a treat, feel free to give them a small amount, but they should still always have access to fresh, clean water.  You can also add a small amount of milk to their food as it is easy to mix into wet food.  Refrain from simply pouring milk over their dry food as it is not easily blended and your cat will most likely lap up the milk and leave the kibble.  

    Can cats be lactose intolerant?

    Yes, cats can be lactose intolerant.  Many cats, like most mammals, no longer have the enzyme to break down lactose into digestible single sugars after weaning and can no longer drink milk without some stomach upset.  Sore stomach, diarrhea, bloating, gas, and in severe cased vomiting.

    What is the best milk to give my cat as a treat?

    If you must give your cat milk as a treat first research the lactose concentration of the milk as the higher the concentration the more likely it is to upset your kitty’s stomach.

    For example, human milk contains 7% lactose, cow milk contains about 5% lactose, and goat milk contains approximately 4%. If you are going to add milk to your cat’s meals, try a small amount of goat milk or lactose-free milk from the pet store.

    Why is there a myth that cats should be given milk?

    Most people think they should only give their cats milk and not water because of older cartoons and the fact that cat’s really do enjoy milk.

    Can cats drink almond milk? Can cats drink soy milk? Can cats drink oat milk?

    • A couple sips of plain almond, oat, or soy milk, preferably made at home, will not be bad for your kitten. However there are some things to keep in mind:
    • Cats can have allergies to almond and soy so if you find that your cat begins to scratch or show signs of a food allergy after giving them either of the milks refrain from doing so in the future
    • Almond, soy, and oat milks usually come with empty and unecessary calories. If you decide to feed your cats either milk do so in moderation, a couple of licks is fine. A cup of soy or almond milk contains around 100 calories and an average ten-pound cat only needs about 200 calories a day (Pets Best)
    • Some nut milks and oat milks are sweetened with added sugars or worse xylitol which can be toxic

    Should I give my kitten baby formula?

    No, you should not give your kitten baby formula. If you have a kitten that is younger than 8 weeks and needs supplemental nursing formula use a kitten formula made for their digestive systems. If you have an adult cat you should refrain from feeding baby formula as they are probably lactose intolerant and it can cause gi upset and diarrhea.

    Human baby formula is not constituted to be nutritiously fit for kittens so you are better off using an actual kitten formula.

    What is the best kitten formula?

    KMR is by far one of the leading makers of kitten formula. Although, many of the supplemental milk formulas for kittens have the same ingredients.

    If you decide to give your cat any type of milk, cows, oat or almond, moderation is key!

    Know someone with a new kitten? Consider sharing this article with them!

    dog food bowls
    dog with thermometer

    Is your dogs food causing mucus?

    Why finding mucus in your dog’s stool is actually a good thing

    Yep, you read that right, if you see a small amount of mucus in your dog’s stool it’s a good thing because it is perfectly normal! Most mammals (humans included) will have a small amount of normal mucus in their poop.

    Mucus lubricates the intestinal tract making it easy for the feces to make its way through the gi system and onto your lawn. Without it, your dog would have a pretty difficult time using the bathroom.

    Normal mucus looks like a thin jelly-like, slimy substance usually covering your dogs poop. I bet you never thought you would want to learn so much about your dogs poop did you?

    When is mucus in the feces, not a good thing?

    Mucus is usually not a good thing when you notice one of the following:

    • Excessive mucus – large, thick globs of mucus
    • Other symptoms – When there are other symptoms present with mucus such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy
    • Bloody mucus – red-colored mucus

    How the food your dog eats affects mucus in the stool

    Many times if your dog has stool with bloody mucus it can be due to a dietary indiscretion and this includes a sudden change in your dog’s diet, a food intolerance, or eating something out of the ordinary like getting into the garbage.

    1. Recent diet changes

    If you have recently changed your dog’s food, this can cause some stomach upset which many times comes along with mucus-y diarrhea. If you are switching diets it is always recommended that you do so slowly. A good rule of thumb is to switch diets over a period of one or even two weeks

    Most veterinarians will recommend using the 25% rule as pictured below

    2. Food intolerance

    Food intolerances differ from food allergies in that it is something that you will usually notice right away, wheras allergies may take some time to develop.

    If you suspect that your dogs mucus in the stool is due to a food intolerance speak with your vet immediately.

    3. Food allergies

    Is your dog allergic to their current diet? Are you noticing other clinical signs of food allergies like itchy skin, red eyes and skin, or constant licking? If so the cause of excessive mucus in the stool may be a food allergy.

    What other things can cause mucus in the stool


    Yes, stress can wreak havoc on your dog’s gastrointestinal system! Irritable bowel syndrome can oftentimes cause diarrhea with mucus and while there are other causes to the syndrome besides stress it remains to be a leading factor in the development of the syndrome. Anxious and stressed dogs can develop colitis which is large bowel diarrhea and can present with excessive mucus in the stool.

    Don’t confuse IBS with IBD! If you want to know how to differentiate the two read our blog article what’s the difference between IBS and IBD.


    Viruses such as parvovirus in puppies (and unvaccinated adults) can often times cause bloody mucus in the stool


    Diseases like hemorrhagic gastroenteritis and irritable bowel disease can cause what seems to be an excessive amount of bloody mucus in the stool


    While quite cringe worthy to think about your dog could be infected with parasites. This is especially true with puppies that are basically like toddlers because they sniff and taste literally everything without discretion. This means that your dog has not problem inspecting another dogs left over poop and possibly giving it a taste. I know disgusting right? But this is a common way that pups pick up diseases and parasites.

    Parasites like worms and giardia are common culprits of bloody diarrhea with mucus in dogs.


    Sometimes bacterial overgrowth like in dogs affected by Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO) or clostridium overgrowth can cause diarrhea with mucus.

    Tumors or polyps of the Intestinal Lining

    If the intestinal lining is covered with polyps or tumors your dog may present with some diarrhea with mucus.

    What should I do if I see a lot of mucus or bloody mucus in my dog’s stool?

    Contact your vet

    If you see an excessive amount of mucus in your dog’s feces and especially if you see blood or the symptoms have been going on for more than 24-hours call your veterinarian to see if you should make an appointment to come in. If you notice these things along with other symptoms of illness like vomiting, lethargy (acting very tired and sluggish), or diarrhea you may want to visit an emergency room.

    When you visit the vet, they will most likely want to run multiple tests including a fecal. Make sure to take a fresh (within a couple of hours) sample if possible, this will make the vets job a lot easier and they can run the fecal right away usually while you’re in the clinic and you can get some answers immediately.

    Depending on what your dog’s issue is your vet will prescribe medications like dewormers or metronidazole. If your dog’s state is severe an overnight stay with intravenous fluids may be warranted.

    Don’t feed your dog

    During an episode, while it is most likely that they won’t want to eat anyway refrain from offering any type of food to tempt them to eat at least 5 hours after an episode and you have your vets okay. After your dog has stopped vomiting or no longer has diarrhea you can introduce food in the form of a bland diet.

    Make sure they are hydrated

    While you won’t want to feed for a couple of hours to give your dog’s stomach a chance to rest, water is fine. The goal is to make sure they are adequately hydrated so keeping freshwater out is a good idea.

    dog food bowls

    What you can do as a pet owner to prevent excess mucus

    • Make sure your pup isn’t able to get in the garbage, always keep it locked away and out of reach of your dog
    • Check your pup’s poop often. That’s right, make sure you are constantly on poop inspection duty. Believe it or not, poop can tell a lot about your dog’s health. While it may sound disgusting, the goal is to learn what normal poop looks like for your pet so that you can tell when it is abnormal. When picking up the poop inspect it for parasites, consistency, color, and of course excessive mucus.
    • Get your pup dewormed regularly. As a puppy, your dog will receive multiple doses of dewormer within the first few months of life. After you can place them on a monthly dewormer like Heartgard to keep endoparasites at bay.
    • Keep your annual visits with the veterinarian. This way your vet can do an annual fecal where they will look for abnormalities and nip it in the bud before it becomes an issue.
    • Introduce probiotics into your pet’s diet After your dog has overcome the episode, ask your vet about incorporating pre-and probiotics can be helpful in replenishing your pup’s gut flora. If you want to learn about 4 that we like you can read our article here.
    • Switch your dog’s food slowly over a period of one to two weeks
    • Check the expiration dates on your dogs food and treats

    Courtnye or Dr. J is a veterinarian with a passion for writing and her pet babies, Chi-Chi, Cha-Cha and new to the family is Gnocchi

    Please note that this article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be providing medical advice and is not a substitute for such advice. The reader should always consult a health care provider concerning any medical condition or treatment plan. Neither The Pets Digest nor the author assumes any responsibility or liability with respect to use of any information contained herein.

    Patriotic Pup Coolers

    Jump to Recipe

    July 4th Coolers


    • 2 Cups Water
    • Dog Safe Food Coloring
    • 1/2 Cup Coconut oil (melted)


    • Place the red and blue in one cup of water each
    • Pour the water with the red food coloring into a mold filling it up ⅓ of the way and place in the freezer until frozen solid
    • Pour enough coconut oil over the red water after it is frozen. Pour enough coconut oil to fill up the mold ⅓ as well and freeze
    • Pour the water with the blue food coloring into the mold filling it up and freeze until ready to serve
    • These do melt quickly and the food coloring will get on the floor if placed outside of the bowl. These are great for an outside treat!

    Did you make this treat for your dog? Tag us in a picture so we can share it with the world! @the_pets_digest

    dog food bowls
    dog looking at food bowl

    The differences between food intolerances and food allergies in dogs and cats

    While many of the symptoms and presenting clinical signs of pet food intolerances in dogs and cats and pet food allergies in your pet are similar, these food sensitivities have vastly different processes and can have drastically different outcomes.

    True food allergies are actually pretty rare in pets. Food sensitivities are approximately 10-15 times more commonplace than food allergies. So, if you have a dog that is scratching incessantly or has some stomach issues it is probably due to a food intolerance/sensitivity and not an allergy.

    Among pets, food allergies are less common than airborne allergies so also have your pet checked for other types of allergens.

    Let’s compare the two food sensitivities in dogs and cats.

    pet food allergies


    What is dog and cat food intolerance?

    Dog and cat food intolerance is when your pet is unable to tolerate something in the food. As opposed to the long-term duration that comes with food allergies, dog and cat food intolerances are almost always immediate reactions. Pet food intolerances can be caused by too much or too little fiber, too much fat.

    Food intolerance in dogs and cats usually occurs when your pet is unable to properly break down, or digest their food. Most dogs will present with dog food intolerance diarrhea. Think of it like being lactose intolerant, many people can not digest lactose and it results in gas and stomach upset. It is not necessarily an allergic reaction.

    What breeds are more prone to food sensitivities?

    Any breed can develop food sensitivities, but there may be an increased risk for Labrador Retrievers, West Highland White Terriers, and Cocker Spaniels. (Source)

    What foods most commonly cause food intolerances or sensitivities?

    The foods dogs are most often allergic to include:

    • beef
    • chicken
    • eggs
    • corn
    • wheat
    • soy
    • milk

    Once the offending allergens are identified they should be strictly avoidance. If your dog is allergic to other things (such as plant pollen or fleas), identifying underlying food allergies will be harder. Infrequently, a dog will react to new food insensitivies as it ages and you will have to identify and avoid these foods.

    How is dog and cat food intolerance diagnosed?

    Cat and dog food intolerance symptoms are usually limited to gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea, there may be some malaise or lethargy noted after your pet eats certain foods. Many times owners are able to tell what is causing their fur baby some discomfort and will go to the vet for confirmation.

    There are at home tests that can be used to help in the detection of food intolerances. While the technology is still evolving there have been amazing strides taken like the NutriScan saliva-based diagnostic system for food intolerance/sensitivities pictured below.

    How are dog food intolerances treated?

    The only way to rid your pet of having further reactions is to determine and remove the offending culprit. If your dog has a disease like pancreatitis or irritable bowel syndrome the culprit is usually fat, so feeding a life-long low-fat diet may be necessary.


    What are food allergies in pets?

    While some of the symptoms of pet food allergies can be the same for dogs and cats, these food allergies occur when your dog or cat’s immune system determines that the protein from the food they eat is invasive and something that needs to be attacked.

    Your pet’s body produces antibodies against the food they are eating. This ends in a response that can be exhibited in various ways such as seriously itchy skin, constant ear infections, gastrointestinal upset, and excessive licking. Think of food allergies in dogs the same as in people, if someone is highly allergic to peanuts it can cause hives, swelling, and itchiness almost immediately. This is the same way with your dog, it usually is something that is acute or causing a more immediate immunological response as opposed to food intolerances which are usually chronic or ongoing issues that build up over time

    The most common food allergens are chicken, beef, lamb, dairy products, soy, and gluten. Although these are the most common in the United States, dogs that regularly eat other types of protein may not share the same allergens. Also, it is not only proteins that some pets become allergic to, although much rarer pets can be allergic to grain or other food additives as well.

    How are dog and cat food allergies diagnosed?

    Although there are allergy tests available that can be done by your veterinarian or on your own via an at-home test. They aren’t always accurate and there really isn’t any easy way to determine what your pet is allergic to.

    There have been multiple studies that show that the food allergy test done on dogs and cats are not the gold standard for diagnosing food allergies in dogs. In fact, one article stated that the commercial diet, skin testing, and anti-IgE ELISA cannot replace an owner-prepared food elimination diet for food hypersensitivity testing in dogs. Most vets will agree that the gold standard for diagnosing food allergies in pets is to do a food trial or dietary elimination trial. If you want to learn more about doing a food trial read my article here.

    How are food allergies in pets treated?

    Many times your fur baby will be placed on an extremely strict diet with a novel protein and usually a prescription diet at least initially. Since your dog has never eaten this protein (usually kangaroo or bison) their bodies will most likely not react to them. However, owners should always be aware that sensitivities to these proteins can eventually occur, which means there are no diets that are completely hypoallergenic.

    There are some pets that do well on a veterinary-prescribed hydrolyzed diet. Hydrolyzed dog food simply means the protein has been broken down chemically into much smaller sizes so the immune system does not react to them. This is probably the closest you can get to a completely hypoallergenic diet.

    pet food allergies pet food intolerances

    What are good meds for skin issues in my dog?

    While you don’t want to give any medication like steroids while you are doing a food trial or testing for the possible culprit many times vets will put dogs on a medication like Apoquel.


    A once-daily treatment for canine atopic dermatitis, providing relief from allergic itch without the side effects of steroids. This is a prescription medication and owners will usually give it for 7-14 days then use a maintenance dose


    Antihistamines like Benadryl are given at times via injection or oral, although this is not something that you should do long-term


    Some vets will prescribe steroids for allergies if they are severe enough, this is something that should be tapered if given orally and preferably not used for long durations

    What are good hypoallergenic diets for dogs and cats?

    Most foods designated hypoallergenic or hydrolyzed will work well for a dog that has some food sensitivities and often times it is up to the dog or cat and what they will eat. Royal Canin has a good line of foods for allergies, I would begin with the Royal Canin Hypoallergenic or Royal Canin hydrolyzed diets.

    dog food bowls

    10 Things to keep in mind when feeding your dog or cat a homemade diet

    1. Make sure you are feeding balanced meals

    Many times pet owners are unknowingly feeding their dogs meals that aren’t balanced. If you are creating your dog’s meals at home I would speak with a veterinary nutritionist about the meals you develop and check the website BalanceIt to ensure you are feeding a well-balanced meal.

    2. Nix the fat

    When I’m feeding my dog’s homemade meals I always make sure to boil all of the fat out. This is usually a process you will need to do for meats, especially beef. Make sure to boil the meals and once done skim off all of the excess fat.

    3. Stages of life matter

    Keep in mind that stages in life matter when feeding your pet. If you have a senior pet or a puppy there are going to be some differences in each meal.

    4. It’s not always the cheaper option

    If you are looking for a more cost effect food option for your pet, just know that homemade diets aren’t always the first place many will look. It is optimal if you are able to feed your pet a whole food diet with organic and natural ingredients, which can be quite costly.

    5. Don’t forget to supplement

    Many owners will need to add supplements to their pets meals in addition to the food that they feed. For a list of supplements that are usually added to homemade meals for pets you can read this blog article.

    6. Use fresh whole foods

    As stated above you want to use as many fresh, whole foods as possible in your pet’s homemade meals. This means that you aren’t solely using your leftovers or meat organs to feed your pet. In fact, many times when I’m making my own meals, I’ll just use the ingredients that they can eat and make their dinners.

    7. Make the switch slowly

    If you are switching your dog or cat over from a kibble diet to a homemade diet make sure to introduce the new diet slowly to ensure there is minimal stomach upset.

    8. Use small bites

    Always chop up your pet’s food into the smallest bites possible. This is especially true if you have a dog that likes to gulp their food instead of chewing it. One of my dogs is so greedy that he will practically inhale anything you put in front of him. Chopping the food into small pieces helps prevent choking, eating too fast, and overeating.

    9. Disease processes

    If your dog or cat has a disease such as kidney disease, diabetes, or pancreatitis you should always keep that in mind when creating homemade diets for your pet. This is because certain ingredients like oxalates, salt, and fat can cause their diseases to flare up and will make them sick.

    10. Every dog and cat is different

    What works for one dog or cat may not work for your pet, so when scouring the internet for recipes keep this in mind. If you notice that your pet has stomach upset or pain discontinue using a diet. If you notice vomiting or diarrhea make sure to speak with your vet as soon as possible!

    Seeking to place your dog or cat on a homemade diet? Speak with your vet first!

    dog food bowls

    5 things to do before you start your pet on a homemade diet

    Thinking of placing your dog or cat on a homemade diet? These are five things you need to know before you start making your pet homemade diets.

    I have given much thought to placing my dog with pancreatitis on an all homemade diet since he has fallen out of love with his prescription food and as a result has lost some weight.

    After a ton of research, I decided that I will be placing him on a partially home-made diet using his prescription diet as a base, which he seems to be happy with currently.

    The five things I share with you below are steps I took prior to making my decision. None of it is meant to scare you away from creating a homemade meal plan for your pup, but these are very realistic things that should be given thought to prior to doing so.

    1. Speak to a veterinary nutritionist

    In my opinion, this is one of the very first things you should do before switching your dog to a 100% homemade diet. A veterinary nutritionist will not only be able to guide you on the right path when making meals, but they will also be able to develop meals based on your dog’s individual needs.

    If you are having trouble locating a veterinary nutritionist, simply ask your regular veterinarian for a referral or visit the American College of Veterinary Nutrition website and search for one there. Your regular vet may also be able to help you decide on an appropriate well-balanced meal

    If speaking with a nutritionist is too costly or not an option for you at least checkout websites like BalanceIt that supplies you with vet-approved homemade ingredients.

    2. Develop a budget

    If your main reason for switching your dog or cat to a homemade diet it to save money, then you may want to rethink your decision. It should be noted is that many times feeding your pet a homemade meal is no cheaper than purchasing a pre-made healthy diet.

    Per the Mint Life, the average cost of making a balanced, home-cooked diet for a 30-pound dog would cost $3.52 per day or $5.58 if you go organic. Which ends up being two to four times the price of commercial dry dog foods of similar qualities, he says, but up to half the cost of commercial wet foods.

    I would definitely suggest adding your dogs meals into the family shopping budget.

    3. Make room in your freezer

    Not only does the food cost equal to or more than commercially available food, it usually tends to take up more room.

    If you are going to try to be as cost-effective as possible you will want to make your pet’s food in bulk and freeze most of it for a later date. Some pet parents even find themselves purchasing an extra deep freezer to keep their pups food in. This will run you an extra $250-500 on the low-end.

    Since you will probably be freezing your pet’s food make sure to add freezer-safe containers or baggies to your shopping budget as well.

    4. Do a little research

    Even after speaking to a veterinarian about creating an appropriate meal for your pet, do your own research as well.

    Get books on the subject and join communities (like our mighty networks community) where you can bounce ideas off of other people that are already creating their own homemade diets.

    5. Block out time

    As you can imagine, making your dogs meals will take a little bit of time. The most time will probably be devoted to preparation for the meals. If you make many of your meals in a crockpot this will of course cut down on your cooking time.

    Looking for a good crock-pot dog food recipe? check out my crock pot recipe for chicken stew topper.

    dog food bowls

    10 low-fat foods your dog will actually want to eat

    As a mom of a fur baby that suffers from pancreatitis, I know all too well the struggle of trying to find a food that they like but won’t wreak havoc on their digestive systems or your wallet!

    Feeding dogs with pancreatitis can prove to be tricky. So, I set out to find a couple of over the counter, non-prescription, dry commercial dog foods that fit the bill and this list is what I came up with.

    How was this list compiled?

    1. General Consensus

    I searched high and low for the best foods that owners have had the most success with, and that kept their pooches flare-up free from pancreatitis. Many of the foods listed below were mentioned many times over and the general consensus was that these were great foods for dogs with pancreatitis.

    2. Fat, Protein, & Fiber content

    I also looked at the fat content and calculated the dry matter so that you would have the actual fat content minus the moisture content (which is pretty important when comparing dog foods). Want to know why this matters? Read this article about why you are choosing your dog food improperly.

    3. Personal Experience

    The third way I chose these foods is through personal experience. I had my dog with pancreatitis on Royal Canin Low Fat Gastrointestinal and understandably, he grew tired of it after years of eating the same thing over and over. I would see his reluctance to eat and anti-climactic feedings. He began to lose weight and I knew I needed to find something that I could incorporate into his diet that would entice him to eat and keep him at a healthy weight. I personally chose to go with Solid Gold but will also try Dr. Harvey’s in the future.

    Here are my top picks for the best commercial non-prescription dry foods for dogs with pancreatitis

    1. Solid Gold – Fit & Fabulous

    Crude Protein26%
    Crude Fat6.5%
    Crude Fiber9.5%
    Dry Matter Analysis 7.22%

    2. Wysong Anergen™

    A hypoallergenic canine/feline diet formulated with alternative protein sources to address food allergies/sensitivities.

    Crude Protein30%
    Crude Fat14%
    Crude Fiber5%
    Dry Matter Analysis 15.56%

    3. Nulo Adult Trim Weight Management

    A grain Free, Low Carb Kibble Diet Helps Promote Healthy Weight

    Crude Protein30%
    Crude Fat7%
    Crude Fiber6%
    Dry Matter Analysis 7.78%

    4. The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free Dog Food Grain Free Fish

    Crude Protein32%
    Crude Fat8.5%
    Crude Fiber5.8%
    Dry Matter Analysis 9.33%

    5. Dr. Harvey Canine Healthy Weight

    Crude Protein23%
    Crude Fat11%
    Crude Fiber28%
    Dry Matter Analysis12.36%

    6. Rayne Kangaroo low-fat maintenance

    Crude Protein31.2%
    Crude Fat7.7%
    Crude Fiber2.2%
    Dry Matter Analysis8.4%

    7. Zignature Goat Formula

    Crude Protein30%
    Crude Fat15%
    Crude Fiber5%
    Dry Matter Analysis16.67%

    8. Earthborn Holistic Weight Control

    Crude Protein25%
    Crude Fat7%
    Crude Fiber7%
    Dry Matter Analysis7.78%

    9. Acana Light & Fit Formula

    Crude Protein33%
    Crude Fat10%
    Crude Fiber8%
    Dry Matter Fat Analysis11.11%

    10. Wild Earth Clean Protein

    Crude Protein31%
    Crude Fat10.5%
    Crude Fiber5%
    Dry Matter Fat Analysis (10)1.67%
    dog food bowls
    dog treats

    Carob Dripped Donuts Bites

    Carob Dripped Donut Bites

    Servings: 6 Small Donuts


    • ¼ Cup Flour (I used coconut flour)
    • ¼ Cup Carob Powder
    • ½ Cup Water

    Carob Drizzle

    • ½ Cup Water
    • Cup Potato Starch
    • Cup Carob powder


    • Blend the water, carob powder, and flour together
    • Pour into mold and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until done

    Carob Drizzle

    • Mix Carob Powder, water, and potato starch together
    • Pour over donuts once cooled from the stove


    These little bite-sized donuts are great as a great tasting treat every now and then!
    [yasr_visitor_votes size=”–” postid=”2264″]

    Did you make these donuts? Tag us on Instagram so we can share with the world 🙂 @the_pets_digest

    dog food bowl

    Keep your pets safe this July 4th!

    The fourth of July is the ultimate summer celebration for many. It is full of barbecues, pool parties, drinks, and fireworks. But the holiday may be down right nerve wrecking for your fur babies!

    In fact more dogs go missing during this weekend than at any other time of the year. Why is this you ask?

    There are usually two very good reasons dogs go missing on the 4th:

    1. Parties

    During many summer holiday celebrations, people are coming in and out of the house, which means your dog or cat may get lost somewhere in the shuffle and find their way outside.

    2 Fireworks

    sometimes dogs that are outside can be startled by fireworks and in an attempt to run away from the noise or hide from it find themselves far from home.

    Here are a couple of things to keep in mind when celebrating the 4th of July

    Keep your pets in a separate room

    This way there is no chance of them accidentally getting outside and if they get apprehensive during gatherings they may want to be in a nice, quiet room anyway. Make sure they have a lot to play with and chew on while in the room. You can also keep all the windows closed and curtains drawn that will help muffle the sounds of fireworks. Also leaving the radio or television on may help distract them from any outside noises as well.

    Get them microchipped

    This is jut in case your pet does manage to make it outside. If they are picked up by the local authorities they can scan them and alert you to their whereabouts

    Put their collars on

    Even when they are in the house keep their collars on until the party stops, this way they have their pet id on at all times in case they get outside

    Alert guest

    Your guest may not know that you have a dog or cat so make sure they know to keep the door closed. Also, let them know to refrain from feeding them as well.

    Keep the garbage out of reach

    If possible keep the garbage in another room in a tightly closed bin so there is no chance your pet will be tempted to dig in

    Try external methods

    If your dog is apprehensive about loud noises like poppers and fireworks try something that will help soothe them like a thunder shirt, CBD for animals, or a mild sedative prescribed by your veterinarian.

    Have a happy July 4th!

    Check out our patriotic pup coolers that you can make for your own dog!

    dog food bowls

    18 of the best flours to use in your homemade dog treats

    Want to start making your dog homemade dog treats but aren’t sure where to begin? If you have a dog treat recipe that calls for flour start here with the best flours to use in your homemade dog treats!

    The best flours to use in your dog’s food are going to be heavily dependent upon your dog’s specific needs. Does your dog do better with a gluten-free or grain-free option or one that is lower on the glycemic index? I have given you 18 choices of flours to use in your dog’s treats and broken down when to use them.

    A lot of dog food companies use flour in dog food many times as fillers. Since flour was not a natural ingredient in your dog’s diet remember to give the treats sparingly. There are plenty of dog-friendly flours to choose from and if you are looking for some healthy dog treat recipes you can find a ton here!

    There are 4 main categories of flours that you will learn about in this article along with their pro’s and con’s

    1. Grain-Free flours
    2. Pulse Flours
    3. Pseudo-grains
    4. Grains (most commonly used)
    best flours for dog treats

    Whole wheat flour is by far the most commonly used flour in commercial and homemade dog but if you are seeking an alternative, like a gluten-free or a grain-free option one of the flours below are great in treats as well.

    We also touch on some flours you should avoid at all costs at the end of the article, or jump to that section now by clicking here.

    dog flours for treats
    dog flours for treats

    best grain-free flours to use in dog treats

    What are grain free flours?

    Grain-free flours are those without grains and are usually used to substitute whole grain flours in dog treats.

    Grain-free flours are an excellent choice to use in treats for dogs that have:

    • Gluten sensitivity
    • Autoimmune disease.

    1. Almond

    almond flour The best flour to use for dog treats

    As one of the most popular flours for pet owners to use, many owners will say that almond flour makes a great alternative to wheat flour and is one of the best flour to use for dog treats.  It is made with almonds that have usually been blanched and finely ground to a light, fluffy texture.  Almond flour is high in plant-based proteins, low in carbohydrates, and gluten-free.  There are many treat companies and pet food companies that use almond flour in their ingredients.


    You can easily make almond flour at home to include in your pets so you know exactly what is in your treats, no additives or preservatives!  Almonds are pretty high on the nutrient list as they are full of healthy fats, calcium, fiber, vitamin E, iron, and plant-based proteins.


    Unfortunately, with all of the benefits of almond flour comes the high-calorie count with one cup having an average of 648 calories.  Almond flour is great for treats that can be cooked at lower temperatures as it contains delicate fats that can be oxidized when cooking at higher temps

    2. Quinoa flour

    The best flour to use for dog treats quinoa

    Yes, dogs can eat quinoa and quinoa flour! Quinoa flour is a good alternative to wheat flour and is naturally gluten-free and extremely high in plant-based protein.  You can easily make this flour at home by grinding raw quinoa seeds.


    It is also a source of fiber and iron for your pup.  It provides all 20 essential amino acids as well.


    It doesn’t hold the shape as well as some other flours, so may not be the best choice if you are using cookie cutters or need a specific shape. 

    3. Coconut Flour

    Coconut flour is made from dried and ground coconut pulp which you can do at home but may not be as easy to make as almond flour.  It has less fat and fewer calories than almond flour but also has fewer vitamins and minerals than almond flour.


    It is pretty high in fiber which is great for stomach regularity and because of the dryness it is great for thickening broths or other liquids you may want to top off your dog’s regular meals with.  Coconut flour is a great option if your dog is dieting or needs to be on a low-carb diet.


    Coconut flour can be a little grainy when working with it and because it is so high in fiber it can sometimes be hard to digest so make sure your pup has water readily available when giving them treats made from coconut flour.  You may also have to add extra water when baking your treats as it often needs more than lighter flours.

    While dogs can have coconut flour, you may want to avoid using coconut flour in dogs that suffer from allergies, irritable bowel syndrome or IBS as it may cause gas, bloating, and other symptoms of the syndrome.

    4. Arrowroot Flour

    Arrowroot flour is a starchy substance that comes from the tropical plant Maranta Arundinacea.  Many pet owners swear by it to help alleviate digestive issues in pets including upset stomach, diarrhea, and constipation.


    It is generally safe to use in dogs and can be mixed with other flours to make treats.  It is rich in iron, B-vitamins, and potassium.


    Used alone it will not make a great dough, it will be more of a paste consistency and you will need to mix in another type of flour to form treats

    It’s a versatile flour and can be used as a thickener or mixed with almond, coconut, or tapioca flours for bread and dessert recipes. If you want a crispy, crunchy product, use it on its own.

    5. Potato Flour

    Potato flour is a white powder ground from whole peeled and dehydrated potatoes.  This makes it ideal to use as a thickening agent because it attracts and holds water.  Potato flour is a natural source of iron, B vitamins, and fiber.  You can easily make your own potato flour at home if you have a dehydrator, but it does take quite a while to make it as many times it can take over 10 hours.


    Potato flour has high binding power and is great to use in treats that need a lot of water as it absorbs a lot of water.


    Like potatoes, potato flour is high in carbohydrates so you may want to avoid it in dogs that need to lose a little weight.   Most flours are at least 94% carbs.

    If you like the properties of potato flour look into using potato starch as well, it is a little lighter than the flour and may be used in a wide variety of treat options as well.

    6. Tapioca Flour

    Also known as cassava, tapioca flour is a common carbohydrate source in grain-free dog foods. 


    Tapioca flour is fairly easy to work with and the texture lends itself to many recipes


    Tapioca flour generally lacks most nutrients and is mainly used as a filler.  If you want a more nutritious option, you may want to choose another flour.

    7. Chia Seed Flour       

    Chia seed flour is easy to make and packed with nutrients that will benefit your furry friend.  Incorporating chia seeds into your dog’s diet is always a great thing, while there are some dangers that you may want to keep in mind that you can read about in this article, they are fairly safe for dogs.  Chia seed flour is basically finely ground chia seeds.


    Chia seed flour makes a great egg substitute if you don’t want to use eggs


    Chia seeds are extremely drying and can expand when wet, so ensuring your pet has adequate water available to drink and that you add water to the treats will help prevent bloating.


    What Are Pulse Flours?

    If you are looking for an alternative to grain-free flours, Pulse flours are made from pulses or legumes.  Most pulse flours are made by milling or grinding whole pulses into flour and many of them can be easily made at home and retain most of their inherent nutrients.  All pulses are gluten-free.

    8. Chickpea flour

    Chickpea flour is made from ground dried garbanzo beans and is extremely high in fiber and protein.  It is often used in gluten-free recipes for dogs as an alternative to wheat flour.  It is pretty filling so a couple of treats will go a long way.  The flour has the same amount of protein and fiber as whole wheat flour.


    Chickpea flour sticks together pretty well and adds a bit of texture to treats. Because it is high in fiber it is a great choice for dogs that may need assistance with constipation or firming up diarrhea. 


    Because it does have a slightly nutty taste some dogs will turn their noses up at treats made with chickpea flour.  It is a heavier flour, so combining it with lighter flours like potato starch or almond flour may make your treats a bit less dense.

    9. Lentil

    Lentil flour is made from you guessed it, dried and ground lentils.  The flour is an extremely nutrient-dense pulse as it is high in protein and fiber. 


    It is an excellent source of iron, has a low glycemic index, and is low in calories which makes it a great flour for treats in a dog that is trying to lose weight.


    As with most of the treats listed, you can overdo and give them too much which will usually result in an upset stomach.  But that is pretty much the only con when considering lentil flour to include in your dog’s treats

    10. Pea

    Pea flour is milled from roasted peas and is rich in plant-based protein, iron, calcium, and fiber.  You can easily make it at home by roasting your peas and grinding them.  Pet parents make pea flour from all types of peas including split and yellow.  If you are making treats that require a green hue using green pea flour will be just what you need.


    Pea flour is slightly less than other pulse flours and most dogs enjoy the taste


    There are some dogs that are highly allergic to peas and your treats will come out green if you use green peas

    The best flour to use for dog treats


    What are pseudograins?

    Pseudograins or pseudocereals are non-grasses that resemble grains. They are actually seeds but are not biologically similar in nutrient composition to grains but can be used in the same manner.  

    11. Amaranth flour

    Amaranth flour is made by milling amaranth seeds into a fine powder.  It contains higher amounts of many micronutrients than most other grains and pseudograins mentioned.


    The flour is rich in vitamins and fiber and is gluten-free.  It is highly nutritious and packed with proteins.


    Not only is amaranth pretty expensive, but it has a high glycemic index which may interfere with blood sugar levels and is not best for dogs with diabetes.  It also has what many describe as an earthy or grassy flavor which may not appeal to some dogs, but since most dogs do eat grass from time to time it’s probably more the human that won’t like it.  It is a havier flour so you may have to combine it with a lighter flour like almond to get the right consistency depending on the treats you are making.

    12. Millet flour

    Millet is a common ingredient in many dog foods and is a small grain-like seed which while not the highest in protein and fiber is a great choice for treats due to consistency.


    Millet is a source of carbohydrates and is high in B-vitamins, phosphorus, and iron, but it is easier to digest than whole wheat


    Aside from acting as a filler, there aren’t many added nutritional benefits to including millet in dog treats.

    13. Buckwheat

    Buckwheat flour is a pseudo-grain flour made from roasted buckwheat.  This flour is a great source of dietary fiber, carbohydrates, and plant proteins.  It also contains antioxidants.


    Buckwheat has been shown to lower blood sugar levels by 12-29% and could be beneficial when included in treats for dogs that have diabetes.


    There aren’t too many cons to using buckwheat in dogs treats, but still do so in moderation

    14. Teff flour

    Teff flour is not commonly added to dog foods or treats but is perfectly okay to be used as a flour alternative, so yes dogs can eat Teff flour.  It is a staple in many Ethiopian diets and has a nutty flavor.  It has more iron than barley and more calcium than oats.


    Teff flour is rich in fiber and protein and can be easily mixed with other gluten-free flours.   It is a great choice for dogs that have sensitive stomachs since it is high in fiber and gluten-free.


    The nutty, earthy flavor may deter some picky eaters

    The best flour to use for dog treats


    What are Grain fours?

    Grain flours are made from grains that are members of the grass family.

    15. Brown rice flour

    Brown rice flour is made from finely ground brown rice and is rich in fiber with a light texture similar to white flour which makes it a favorite of many pet owners.  Many pet food companies include brown rice flour in their formulations.


    It is pretty easy to work with and may give similar results as regular white flour when baking.  There is also not a strong taste to deter picky eaters.


    There are not many downsides to including brown rice flour in your dog’s treats aside from possible allergies if your dog suffers from them.

    16. Oat flour

    Oat flour is good for dogs and a pretty common substitute for many other flours because it is readily available and simple to make.  If you have oats then you can quickly and easily make oat flour! 


    As with most of the flours mentioned, oat flour has protein and fiber which makes it good for dogs that may have some digestive upset with other flours.  It has zero calories making it a great choice for pups that may need to lose a few pounds.


    If your pup is allergic to oats or has a hard time digesting them obviously steer clear of this flour

    17. Sorghum Flour

    Sorghum is often classified as an ancient grain and is a good source of vitamins, minerals, plant-based proteins, and antioxidants. 


    The texture is super fine so it makes exceptional treats and is easily blended with other flours for various consistencies. 


    It is a grain so if you are concerned about feeding your pup grains steer clear

    18. Whole-Grain Wheat Flour

    This is currently one of the most popular flours that pet owners use to make their pets treats.  While it isn’t simple to make at home it can be found in most grocery stores.   Whole wheat contains a lot of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fiber.   If you decide to choose whole-grain wheat steer clear of white flour which has very little nutritional value because of the way it is processed.  Wheat flour retains the bran or outer shell which is where the bulk of the nutrients come from.


    It is prevalent and cost-effective.  Whole-grain wheat flour is excellent for baking because it holds shapes well and is easy to work with.  There is little taste associated with it making it a good choice for most pups.


    It is not grain or gluten-free, if either of these are concerns for you use one of the other flours listed.  Also if your pup can not tolerate gluten you may want to steer clear.


    • White flour – This provides little to no nutrients
    • Soy – due to the processing it is not safe for pets
    • Corn – Contains little to no nutrients

    There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing the best flour for your homemade dog treats. It really comes down to your dog’s preference and health needs. If you want to know how to make your own flour instead of purchasing it from the store, you can read this article.

    If you know someone that has a pup and they enjoy making treats at home, why not share this article with them!

    best flours to use in homemade dog treats

    Just some key things to remember when making your dog treats

    • They all have a con: In this article, I touch on the pros and cons of the various flours you can opt to use in your dog’s treats, but they all have one con in common and that is too many of a good thing can be a bad thing. Always use moderation when feeding treats.
    • Possible allergies: Some dogs may be allergic to some flours like pea or wheat so obviously make sure to keep that in mind when choosing
    • Buy organic: While many of the flours are simple to make at home the easiest route is to pick some up while you’re out and about. If you choose this route opt for organic flours
    • Meal replacement: Treats are not meal replacements so while dogs are omnivores and can have plants they do still need meat to have a healthy, balanced diet
    • Consultation: Always consult with your veterinarian prior to feeding any homemade treats or meals
    • Mixing: You may find it best to mix flours to get the perfect consistency. After playing around with it for a while you will find a go-to flour mixture that works for you and your fur baby
    • Feed any treat sparingly, the purpose isn’t to replace meals with treats
    dog food bowl


    One Green Planet

    The Nest

    This blog is for information purposes only and is not meant to take the place of a licensed vet, please speak with your regular vet prior to changing your dog diet

    20 of the best and most unique gifts for dog lovers

    If you are a dog lover like myself then you understand the thrill of receiving a unique item for your fur baby. When shopping for my dogs I get so tired of seeing the same things over and over, variety is the spice of life right? So I decided to put together this list of over 20 unique items that all pet lovers will love

    These gifts are sure to be a hit for doggie birthday’s, Christmas or just as a thinking of you present. One idea is to put together some of the cheaper options to create a great gift basket for your loved one!

    1. Unique dog tags

    Any pet owner would appreciate dog tags and these are too unique to pass up

    2. Anything Personalized

    I love anything personalized for my pet’s as most pet owners do. If you have a friend or loved one that loves their dog then they will certainly be head over heels for any of these items!

    3. Owner/Pet Bestfriend Necklace

    A bond between an owner and pet is special, this necklace serves as a dog tag and necklace for that special relationship.

    4. Pet Treat Baker

    As someone that likes to make my own dog treats sometimes, I understand the need to not only know what goes in my dogs mouth but also where the ingredients come from. This baker will be a real treat for any pet owner

    5. Cuddle Clones Houseshoes

    These houseshoes are not only functional but adorable! They are created to look just like the owner’s dog, who wouldn’t love a pair of these?

    6. Customized Clothing

    Who doesn’t like unique clothing for their pups? It’s so hard to find clothing that isn’t cookie cutter your loved one will be thrilled to get these

    7. Pet Selfie Stick

    Have a friend that loves taking pics with their dog or cat? The pet selife stick is the optimal gift for them.

    8. Customized Puzzles

    This puzzle can be created based on your friends pet

    9. Customized Dog Portrait

    If the person you are purchasing a gift for is an art fanatic they will be ecstatic at the thought of a customized pet portrait

    10. GPS Tracker

    Every pet owner knows that dreaded feeling of their dog taking off or being snatched, or at least have a fear of it. Why not put your friend or loved one’s mind at ease with a GPS tracker.

    11. Personalized Pet Loss Gift

    If you know someone that has lost their beloved pet this plaque will be a great way to remember them

    12. Pet Pouch Hoodie

    If your friend or loved one’s pet is basically attached to their hip, why not make it easy for them to be connected. This sweatshirt with a pouch will be a fun way to tote their best friend around.

    13. Custom Kicks

    These shoes are awesome and can be customized to showcase your friends own cat or dog

    14. Hands-Free Leash or Bike Leash

    If the person you’re buying a gift for is pretty active why not get them a hands-free leash so they can run and jog freely or a bike leash, so they don’t have to leave their dog home when they hit the trails.

    15. Pet Camera and speaker and treat thrower

    While this isn’t the only pet camera/video console for owners it is one of the few that integrates video, treats, and games together.

    The PetChatzvideo allows you to stay connected with your pet while you’re out and about, there is a camera and video so you can see your pet and they can see you. In addition, it features games using the PawCall Dog Camera Accessory which releases treats while engaging your pet and exercising their mind using custom light and touch puzzles.

    16. Unique Dog Carriers

    Ask any pet owner and they will tell you that cute and unique pet carriers are hard to come by!

    This Volkswagon carrier is stylish and functional, which means your loved one will love it!

    17. Personalized Dog Book

    If your loved one has children that enjoy a good bed time story surprise them with this personalized book. The book incorporates the owners pet into the story line.

    18. Door Mat

    These door mats are adorable and any pet owner would love them. They can be personalized and will leave visitors with smiles on their faces

    19. A Treat Gift Basket

    There are several to choose from but I would opt for organic and limited ingredient treats

    20. Cute Treat Jars

    There are several to choose from, but these are adorable!

    Don’t see what you’re looking for here? Here are a couple of tips for seeking out unique gifts for pet lovers!

    • Shop on Etsy, because many of the sellers customize you can get a one of a kind personalized gift
    • Stay off of the major websites like Amazon or any big box stores
    • Always include the word unique or different in any of your searches
    • Search Pinterest for ideas

    Want more great tips and recipes sent to your inbox weekly?! Join my weekly newsletter!

    dog food bowls

    No Cookie Cutter Christmas Wreath Dog Cookies

    Jump to Recipe

    This Christmas make sure to include your fur baby in the festivities! These treats would be great to give away as presents or as a Christmas treat for your pet baby.

    While I used dog-safe food coloring you also have the option of using beetroot powder for the red dye and peas in place of the green dye.

    The coconut flakes are optional decorations

    Christmas Wreath Dog Treats – No cookie cutter needed!

    Prep Time30 mins
    Cook Time30 mins


    • Icing Piper
    • Mixer or Blender
    • Small Bowl – the size of the wreath you would like
    • Shot glass or extra small bowl


    • Cup Sweet Potato Puree
    • 2 Eggs
    • ½ Beet root powder Optional
    • 2 Cups Flour Brown Rice or Coconut Flour (unbleached)
    • Red Food Coloring
    • Green Food Coloring
    • Cup Peanut Butter Without Xylitol


    • ½ Cup Greek Yogurt non-fat, plain, no sweeteners added
    • ¼ Cup Corn Startch


    • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F
    • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper for dough. If you don't have parchment paper use a glass dish to bake they are generally easier to remove. Never use butter!
    • Combine sweet potatoe and eggs in a mixer
    • Add in half of the flour until fully blended together, continue to add flour until the dough is ready to knead or no longer sticky when you touch it
    • Remove the dough ball from the blender (or mixer) and knead with your hands
    • Separate the dough ball into two sections and flatten the center of the dough ball and place red food coloring in one and green in the other it. If you want to add the beet root powder add it to the half with the red food coloring now
    • Knead the dough until it is all the desired color
    • Flatten the dough into multiple small patties a little larger than your small bowl, cut out the wreaths using the small bowl
    • make the opening of your wreath with your shot glass or smaller bowl
    • Place I the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the bottoms begin to brown
    • Remove from the oven and let cool completely


    • While cooking your wreaths you can begin to make the icing for the ornaments by placing ½ a cup of not fat greek yogurt into your mixer along with ¼ cup of corn startch
    • Mix them and add in corn startch until they are a firm consistency, like icing
    • Once your Christmas wreaths and balls have cooled completely you can dip the balls in the icing and stick them to your wreath. You can choose to leave them white or add a splash of coloe
    • Use a plastic ziploc bag and cut the end off to use as a piper if you would like to decorate the cookies with your icing
    • Have fun!


    This recipe yields approximately 10 large candy canes.  
    Treats can be stored in an airtight container or Ziploc bag for 3-4 days when refrigerated.

    Share these with your fur babies or your guest’s dogs. Remember it is a treat so I would only feed one or two depending on the dog’s size and the size you made your wreaths. For smaller dogs, break larger treats in half and feed.

    If your pet has stomach issues like IBD or pancreatitis refrain from feeding them these treats as they probably aren’t used to eating them. Instead, opt for our pancreatitis safe treats for dogs


    dog food bowls
    how to comfort a dog with pancreatitis

    How to comfort a dog with pancreatitis at home


    Updated 10/2021

    As a veterinarian with a dog that has pancreatitis, I understand the need to know how to properly comfort your dog with pancreatitis if they are having a flare-up or are suffering from the illness for the first time.

    Per a study published in the Journal of Small Animal Practitioners, the main goals of comforting your dog with pancreatitis are:

    • replacing fluid losses
    • maintaining hydrostatic pressure
    • controlling nausea
    • providing pain relief

    Some aspects of treating and comforting a dog with pancreatitis have to do with the type of pancreatitis they present with.

    There are two types of pancreatitis acute and chronic, many times your action plan will depend on which type your pup presents with. Both types can cause a lot of pain and if not treated can be life-threatening. Let’s look at the major differences between the two

    Acute Pancreatitis

    Chronic Pancreatitis

    • A dog that has suffered from pancreatitis in the past
    • The condition develops over time
    • Dogs can have repeated bouts of pancreatitis or flare-ups
    • You may have to feed a low-fat diet for life or an extended period of time

    If your dog has an acute case of pancreatitis and this is the first episode you will want to get them to the veterinarian as soon as possible. There they can get the necessary treatment. They will receive intravenous fluids, anti-emetics to help them with any vomiting, and round-the-clock observation.

    If your pup has chronic pancreatitis and is having an episode I would still recommend contacting your veterinarian to see if they recommend bringing them in. Many times vets will want you to come in for blood work and possible overnight monitoring with fluids, once you have your pup home make sure you follow these tips if you are wondering how to comfort a dog with pancreatitis.

    dog pancreatitis

    10 ways to comfort your dog with pancreatitis

    1. Go NPO

    While there are some vets that are moving away from the practice of going NPO or simply put not feeding for the first 24 hours after a flare-up, it is still something that I do with my little guy because it is what works. If I feed him too soon after a pancreatitis flare-up he doesn’t do as well. There are scientists starting to do more research on the subject as they found it is beneficial to feed earlier than waiting as it helps decrease inflammation. However, the jury is still out.

    So, the first thing you want to think about is comforting your pet’s pancreas and giving it a chance to rest and slow the production of digestive enzymes. Many vets will tell you to feed at the 12-hour mark as you don’t want them to remain on an empty stomach for too long which is fine. Every dog is different, so make sure you speak with your vet about when to start feeding again.

    2. Feed Less But More Often

    Once your pup is able to eat again you want to feed smaller, more frequent meals instead of one to two large ones. This should look like 4-6 small meals throughout the day. This may be something you want to do long-term as well.

    3. Feed Low Fat

    Once they do start to eat again, no matter how sad your pup looks or how much they beg do not feed them any table scraps. Instead, opt for a very bland diet that will be easy on their stomachs. To read more about how to make a bland diet and how much to feed read this article.

    Ensure that the foods you give are very low in fat once you do start feeding. Aim for 8% fat or less. Many times if your pup has chronic pancreatitis your veterinarian will place your dog on a prescription diet or a low-fat weight-loss diet. While these usually cost substantially more, they are many times what will save your pet’s life.

    4. Pamper them

    Make sure they have somewhere to lay as your pet will probably want to rest and retreat to somewhere quiet. This also means if you have little ones in the house or other pets keep them separated as much as possible so that they can rest

    They may be in some pain and unable to walk long distances so bring their bowls closer to them and if necessary (and if possible) carry them outside to use the bathroom.

    5. Watch Their Stomachs

    Ensure not to place undue pressure on your pup’s abdomen when carrying him or her or picking them up. If you can, refrain from picking your pup up while they are going through an episode if it means touching their stomachs. Many times dogs that have pancreatitis also have extremely sore abdomens. If you have to pick them up use a towel or the bed they are laying on to do so.

    6. Use Puppy Pads

    While not often, if my pup has flare-ups of his chronic pancreatitis it almost always comes with accidents, usually diarrhea. Although your pup may be a potty-trained adult, at this time they may have some accidents.

    Have a puppy pad somewhere in close proximity for them to go to if need be. Never chastise them for doing so in the house, they simply can’t help it

    7. Monitor for worsening symptoms

    Keep a close eye on your pup if your veterinarian doesn’t recommend hospitalization. Dogs with chronic pancreatitis often have lethargy, a poor appetite, and diarrhea. By keeping a close eye on your pup you can make sure to get your pup to the vet as soon as possible. Mild cases usually resolve within 48 hours

    • Check the gums: to ensure they remain pink, if they are pale or white get your pup to the veterinarian immediately
    • Unresolved clinical signs: if the signs fail to resolve within 48 hours such as vomiting and lack of appetite call your vet
    • Blood in stool: While it is fairly common to see blood in the stool, you may want to call your vet if bloody diarrhea begins

    8. Have water readily available

    While you should refrain from feeding for at least 24-hours make sure your dog has water readily available. You may want to include a capful of clear Pedialyte in the water as well.

    dog pancreatitis

    9. Get your dog the right medication

    Your vet will be able to give you medications for pain, and vomiting if needed. Your pup may also have to spend some time at the vet clinic getting IV fluids, so bringing a bag of his or her things to remind them of being at home will probably be very comforting as well.

    My recommendation is to put together an emergency kit for cases when your pup has a flare-up, that way you will have everything you need, like antiemetics on hand from your vet. I created a list of thing things you may want to have which you can download here.

    10. Reduce your dog’s activity

    Even if they want to get up and run around outside (which they probably won’t) try to keep them calm at least for the next 24 hours if possible.

    If you know someone that has a dog with pancreatitis, consider sharing this article with them


    Web MD

    Canine Journal

    6 Things to do when your dog has diarrhea

    You walk in from work only to notice that your pup has diarrhea you can’t take him or her to the vet but you want to make sure you give them some help. Here are six things you can do immediately to help your dog with diarrhea.

    diarrhea dogs

    1. Determine the cause

    Determine what may have caused diarrhea in your pet. Diarrhea is a symptom of some sort of issue that your pup is having. Just like with humans, there can be a plethora of causes. Some of the most common include:

    Switching to a new food too quickly

    If you are thinking about switching to a new food for your pet you should read our article about how to do so safely here.

    Parasitic diarrhea

    Parasites like worms, giardia, and other critters that your dog can easily pick up from outside can cause diarrhea. Many times this diarrhea will be more of a liquid and you may notice blood or worms in the stool.

    Getting in the garbage

    if you notice that your pup has gotten into the garbage, then that is a huge clue to what has caused diarrhea in your pet. Foreign foods can cause tremendous stomach upset in dogs and many times lead to vomiting and diarrhea, in severe cases it can lead to acute pancreatitis

    Feeding table food

    Similar to getting into the garbage, if your pup was recently given some foods (especially fatty foods) that they were not used to getting, this can cause stomach upset and subsequent diarrhea.

    2. Rest their stomachs

    Your next step after assessing the situation is going to give your pet’s stomach a brief rest period. I usually advise 12-24 hours.

    3. Replenish electrolytes

    If your dog’s diarrhea seems to be severe you can choose to supplement lost electrolytes by adding a capful or two of clear, unflavored Pedialyte to your dog’s water. The amount you give is based on the size of your dog so make sure you speak with your vet first.

    There are very few side effects or chances of overdosage when using Pedialyte, although it is possible so always speak with your vet prior to administering

    4. Feed a bland diet

    After a short rest period, you can then introduce a very bland diet in an effort to see if your pet will eat and not have diarrhea.

    Bland diets usually consist of boiled white rice, boiled chicken breast, or boiled lean ground beef. You are boiling the meats to ensure all of the fat is removed, therefore if you notice any at the top of the water make sure you skim it off prior to serving to your dog.

    Also, speak to your personal veterinarian to see which diet will most likely work best for your pup.

    After a couple of days of the bland diet, you can then begin to slowly add in your pup’s regular diet again.

    bland diet diarrhea dog

    5. Keep a close eye on your dog

    Keep a close eye on your pup when they go to the bathroom to make sure they do not have prolonged diarrhea (more than 24-48 hours) and are not straining when going to the bathroom.

    6. Introduce probiotics & fiber

    There are some foods like pumpkin that can really help with diarrhea in your dog. You can also introduce fiber into their diet through psyllium. (1–6 teaspoons of psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid or 1–4 tablespoons of coarse wheat bran/feeding). For some foods that help with diarrhea read our article here.

    Pre- and probiotics are great additions to your pet’s meals. Just like in humans, they help heal the gut by introducing canine beneficial bacteria.

    Looking for more information on probiotics for dogs? Check out these three articles that I wrote about choosing probiotics for your dog.

    How do you know it is time to see a veterinarian?

    There are a couple of reasons I would say you should make an appointment to see your vet if your dog has diarrhea

    • If you have tried all of the above and it has been a couple of days (I wouldn’t let it go for any more than 2-3 days) since your dogs’ bout with diarrhea which doesn’t seem to be going away
    • If you notice blood in the stool
    • If you notice worms in the stool

    When you do visit the veterinarian take a sample of the feces with you for testing. Your veterinarian may want to do a fecal test that looks for worms in the sample.


    What a veterinarian feeds her dog with pancreatitis

    I have one dog (Chi-Chi) that suffers from pancreatitis and another (Cha-Cha) that suffers from occasional IBS. Talk about a sore stomach!


    As a pet parent, I want to ensure my dogs are eating foods that will not aggravate their sensitive stomachs and since I have two dogs with gastrointestinal issues, I have to be vigilant about choosing the correct foods.

    Here are three things to keep in mind when feeding your dog with chronic pancreatitis

    • Ensure the food is low in fat
    • Opt for all-natural and organic treats when possible
    • Add healthy food options to their regular diet to entice them to eat

    1. I try to ensure his food is low-fat

    I always make sure that his food is maximum 7% fat.

    Many times only the minimum is shown on food and treats so if the minimum is 7% I will definitely bypass that food.

    I feed him Royal Canin low fat (gastrointestinal) which is a prescription diet and can be quite costly.

    An alternative that I like to use is Ultra weight management. Sometimes I will mix this food with the Royal Canin, just to give him another taste.

    2. Give healthy treats

    I also ensure that his treats are low fat. Some common treats I give him are pig ears (while I know some some people don’t like them, my Chi-Chi loves them), dried sweet potato and raw hide.

    Some rules of thumb I use when giving him treats is:
    • The main thing with rawhide is making sure I take it away from him when it gets to be extremely small. Small enough for him to swallow whole because my little guy is pretty greedy so he will try to eat the entire thing once it’s small enough. This is why some people opt to bypass rawhide completely.
    • I opt for treats that are harder and take a while to get through. Because again, my Chi-Chi is pretty greedy he will scarf down anything soft in a millisecond. So the longer it takes him to get through a treat the better. This is why I like things like the rawhide and dried sweet potato.
    • I go all-natural. My fur baby loves apples, broccoli, and carrots just to name a few natural treats. If I’m making something that has these ingredients I will usually toss him a couple as a treat.
    • I opt for treats that are made from all-natural products like chicken and sweet potato, here’s a tip, you can find treats similar to the one’s below at overstock stores like Marshalls and TJ Maxx a lot cheaper than you would most retail stores. If you’d rather have a regular supply, you can have them delivered to your home monthly through

    For more things, I try to keep in mind when giving my dog treats you can read my article: 7 rules of thumb I use for choosing treats for a dog with a sensitive stomach.

    3. Food Substitutes

    Because my dog gets pretty bored with the same old food day after day. I will make his food from time to time. Usually I will mix in some boiled rice, or chicken breast in his food.

    I also really like to give him bone broth as it’s healthy and also adds some extra flavor to his regular diet. Just make sure the bone broth is low in sodium or preferably sodium-free. They do have bone broth specifically for dogs.

    Let me know some of the things you do for your dog with pancreatitis!


    How to care for a sick dog & keep them comfortable

    A couple of days ago, my dog Cha Cha threw up what looked like blood. In addition, she wasn’t being her normal self, she was lethargic, walking slowly and with the telling arched back of a dog with stomach pains. 

    My confirmation of her illness came about when she allowed my other dog to get near her food dish. Normally, she would jump up and have an entire fit if he tried, but this time she lazily watched him as he inched closer and closer to her bowl and proceeded to chow down.

    Needless to say, I was extremely concerned that she may have gotten into something that could have done internal harm. 

    After a trip to the vets’ office and a couple of x-rays later we walked away with a diagnosis of irritable bowel. You can read more about the cost of IBD treatment here.

    During the couple of days when she wasn’t feeling her best, I made sure to keep these things in mind to make her feel at ease

    Your Voice Matters

    Dogs can easily sense the tone of your voice so make sure to speak in a calming and gentle voice. This can go a long way at making them settled and more comfortable.

    Dogs are pretty smart creatures, a study done by Hungarian researchers reported that dogs can actually distinguish between tones of voices and words. The dogs studied showed activation in their brains’ reward centers when they received praise through positive intonation and the words that matched.

    So, not only can they tell apart what you are saying, but also how you say it and they can combine the two aspects to interpret meanings. If you’d like to read more on the subject click here.

    Let Them Rest

    The life of a dog usually consists of waking up, going out, eating, sleeping for a large part of the day and repeating the cycle daily. What a life right?

    However, when your pooch isn’t feeling their best they may sleep a little bit more than usual, be sluggish and slightly lethargic. Allowing them the time to simply take it easy may be just what they need to feel better.

    On average, if your pup has a stomach bug, they can be out of commission for at least 24-48 hours. Be prepared for them to resist going out as much or acting like their normal selves and allow them all the time they need to sleep and recharge.

    Entice them to Eat

    Food is usually the last thing on your mind when you’ve just finished having an upset stomach, nausea or some other illness. The same usually goes for dogs which means you may have to do some serious enticing to get them to eat. Here are a couple of options if you have a picky eater on your hands

    • Warm up the food: You know how delicious bread smells when it is baking and wafting through the air? It is because as it being baked aromas are released and entice you to want to eat. See how evil carbs are! The same rationale goes for your dogs’ food when you heat it. Plus, since their sense of smell is a billion (maybe a slight exaggeration) times better than ours it sometimes works wonders to get them to eat.If you decide to heat their food up directly make sure to give it time to cool off and obviously always test it prior to feeding. Another great option is to just add warm water to the food.
    • Add something delicious: Adding something like warm organic, all-natural low fat, no salt chicken stock or boiled chicken breast to entice your pooch to eat is also a good way to get them to chow down. If your pup has a stomach issue, make sure what you add is super bland like the above.
    • Make a slurry: When my Cha-Cha was sick, I made her a slurry to eat and had to do the suggestion below which was to sit and spoon feed it to her. Slurries, although not usually heavy enough to fill the stomach, will get some nutrients in your dog’s body until they feel well enough to eat solid foods.
    • Hand-feed: For those dogs that still show some resistance to eating there is always the option of spoon or syringe feed them. This is usually a sure-fire way to get something in their stomachs when they need it. 

    Loads of Water

    When your pup is sick, especially if it is from diarrhea or vomiting, they will need water and probably a lot of it. Diarrhea and vomiting can cause dehydration quickly in your dog and it will be necessary to replenish the lost liquids. 

    Ask your vet if adding clear Pedialyte is an option as well since this posses a lot of the nutrients your dog most likely lost. Both Pedialyte and Gatorade have lots of sodium and potassium, but Pedialyte has fewer calories and less sugar than Gatorade. So, I always opt for Pedialyte if rehydration is required.

    An even better option is to give your dog electrolytes meant specifically for their digestive systems, like NaturVet Pet Electrolyte Concentrate.

    Use Puppy Pads

    Since your pup will be drinking water but not be able to make it outside to use the bathroom, it is recommended that you keep a puppy pad nearby to catch any unforeseen accidents. If you have a larger dog, you will most likely have to use several at once. If your dog is relaxing in one part of the house, make sure the pads are close to them so they don’t have to go far.

    Peaceful Environments

    Because your dog won’t be feeling their best, they probably aren’t up for play. If your pooch has an upset stomach there may also be some soreness in the area. If not handled gently your dog could end up feeling worse. While it is a great idea to keep their favorite toys around you may want to keep them in a quiet place. Most young puppies and some children like to rough house a bit much for your dog to get the peace they need.

    Lots of Love

    Lastly, and of course the most obvious, make sure to pile on the love. If they are small like my girl, all she wanted to do was be held and rubbed. While we always make an effort to make sure our pets feel loved, this is a time to give them lots of attention and a little extra loving.

    If you think others would benefit from this read, consider sharing it on Pinterest or Facebook!

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    dog with sunglasses

    9 Ways Your Pet Can Earn a Living (besides breeding)!

    ‘He needs to get a job!’  I huffed as I shakily lugged yet another cumbersome and heavy $98 bag of Royal Canin Low Fat prescription food for my dog.  He suffers from pancreatitis so he’s been on it for a while, but my pockets scream every time I have to purchase it.  

    I love my Poo and wouldn’t trade him for the world even with all his issues but seriously, why can’t we write our pets off on our taxes (insert crying emoji here), why is this not a thing??

    If you’ve ever felt your pooch was a bit of a mooch, then you know exactly how I felt that day lol.  So, I researched a little bit about how my dogs could make a little money with their own side hustles.

    Thirty nine percent of all U.S. households own at least one dog and 33% at least one cat, according to The Humane Society of the United States.  People in the U.S. spend billions of dollars each year on pet supplies and services.  Wouldn’t it be great if our pets could contribute to some of that!?

    Besides breeding (which I don’t advocate), people don’t know that their pets could actually make a living.  Here are a 9 gigs that can get your pet continuous streams of income, some you may even consider passive. 

    1.  Lights, Camera, Acting!

    Think Eddie on Frazier (or am I aging myself here).  

    When movies, commercials and sitcoms need dogs on set they turn to pet casting agencies.  Bill Casey, the owner of Animal Talent of Chicago states that your pup should have tons of personality (not be shy) and have extensive training.  

    Therefore, if you are looking to see your dog on the big screen start training early.  Training doesn’t have to cost you a lot either, you can find a plethora of YouTube videos on the subject, pick up books on training or just speak with your local trainer.  Now this may be slightly different with cats as they tend to be a bit more head strong, but they are still highly trainable.

    As far as dog go, they don’t have to know complicated tricks either if they have an in-depth comprehension of sit, stay and come you’re on your way.  

    Also, just like with human agencies, you should never have to pay to be represented.  If an ‘agency’ asks you for money, it is most likely a scam.

    Always keep your pet in mind when starting the process, if they are unhappy, shy away from the lights and cameras then maybe this just isn’t the role for them.

    Cost may include:

    • Professional pet portraits: a truly professional portrait may cost anywhere from $500-$5,000 for more well-known photographers.  If you can find a student or amateur photographer, the price may go down to $250-$500.  Of course, you always have the option of taking and submitting your own photos. 
    • Professional training: Dog training costs varies significantly depending on location, experience and goals.  They can range anywhere between $30 – $120 per hour
    • Time: While this isn’t a monetary cost, you will have to devote a tremendous amount of time to your dogs growth.  Don’t forget you will most likely be the one taking him or her back and forth to auditions.

    If you’re looking to break your dog into show business check out these casting agencies: 

    • Animal Talent of Chicago
    • Animal Casting Atlanta
    • Hollywood
    • Mathilde De Cagny Dog Training (this Moose’s ‘Eddie’ from the show Frazier trainer)

    2. Dog & Cat Competitions

    If you’ve ever watched the AKC National Championship or The Westminster Kennel Club Dog show in Manhattan then you can see that it is not for the faint of heart.  But if you have the will, determination and a pet with the same then you would do well!

    Dog and cat competitions are another way that your pet could earn money through winning prizes.  For the larger shows your pet will most likely need to be a pure breed but there are other smaller competitions that you could qualify for if your pet is mixed or without authentication papers. 

    Did you know that the largest and oldest cat show is the San Diego Cat Fanciers’ Food and Water Bowl XX?

    Unfortunately, though some of these do pay out big bucks like the AKC National Championship’s $50,000 prize, you will have to invest a significant amount of money prior to showing.   Another competition, the Dog Agility Steeplechase pays out $10,000.  But, while that may seem like a lot, the bulk of the money you win in these cases could be less than what was spent as the overhead is tremendous for larger competitions.  So, I wouldn’t go into this to become rich, but if you have the passion then go for it!

    There are of course smaller competitions, some online contest are available where you simply submit a photo to enter your pet.  Most of them are based on cuteness and voted on by the public.  These contest usually award between $1000 – $4000 or other cool prizes, like the Washingtonians contest to win a spa day.

    While you most likely won’t get rich from competitions, it is a fun way to make money with your dog.

    If you’re looking for contest to enter your pet into look into these:

    • The Washingtonian: Cutest Dog Photo Contest
    • PetVote Cutest Pet Competition
    • The Pet Parade

    If you are looking for actual competitions they are all over, but the cost to enter a major one like the AKC would look something like this:

    • The major costs comes with the dog, so most likely you’ve already got your pup, but for a show dog they cost anywhere between $5000-$8000 depending on the parents
    • Show entry: for the AKC it’s $100, but if you enter in multiple shows per year this can add up.  Usually show entry fees range from $25-$30 per show
    • Handler fee: $75-$700, depending on your dogs wins and scores.  Handling fees also tend to double for big shows like the Westminster, it could be up to $24,000 or more if your dog wins often (looks like I went into the wrong career field, were you thinking the same thing?!)
    • Advertising: Did you know that owners pay for their dogs press?  This could add on an easy $1000 a month to promote your dog in the trade magazines.
    • Grooming: $50 per month
    • Conformation class: depending where you go $100-$150
    • Attending shows: travel can range depending on your location but typically owners spend about $1000-$1500 per month to get their pooches from show to show
    • Pet Insurance: When you have a show dog pet insurance is quite necessary this could cost $1000 annually 

    Just like pageant moms, pageant pet moms have to put up a lot of money and time upfront to reap the rewards.  Is this something you would do with your pet?  

    If you are seeking cat shows, look into The Cat Fanciers’ Association

    3. Research Studies

    Research studies often pay small amounts like $50-$100 per study usually via gift cards.  Also, many times they will pay for a vet service such as blood work or skin allergy test if it pertains to the study.  Most of the studies are noninvasive, which puts a lot of pet parents minds at ease.

    If you are looking for studies you can search for ‘canine patient recruitment studies’ or ‘pet research studies’ and a plethora will come up in your area.  Purdue University has an entire page dedicated to the recruitment of pets for research studies. 

    Another huge study is the Dog Aging Project from the National Institute on Aging.  Where scientist are looking for 10,000 subjects to determine if a medication can slow down the aging process in dogs.  It is a 10 year long-term study and I don’t believe it is paid, but your dog might live longer if their findings are true.

    Cost Associated:

    • Gas: to get to and from the studies
    • Time: Researching studies in your area that may be appropriate for your fur baby

    4. Strike a pose!  Modeling

    Want to see your cat or dog in print?  Then, register him or her to become a model.  

    While it isn’t quite that simple, getting your pet into modeling, much like acting, requires an agent, photos and a lot of time.  The costs are pretty similar as well so make sure to take a look prior to delving in. 

    Your pet should be comfortable in situations around other people, loud noises, and of course bright lights.  I have one dog that I know would do well, but my little girl would probably have a panic attack on set.  We know our dogs best, so always be realistic with what you think your pet can and cannot handle. 

    Some agencies to consider are:

    • Hollywood Animals in California
    • All Creatures Great and Small in New York
    • LePaws Agency in California

    5. Social Media Superstardom

    Social media is a cheap way to get your dog in the spotlight and depending on which platform you choose, you can make a lot of money.  

    You can make money through advertisements, product endorsements and even get free items to endorse.  So, if you have a pup or cat with a unique face meant for the camera start snapping.  

    By the way did you know the original grumpy cat’s name was Tardar Sauce?

    It is pretty much free to you as a start up, especially if you’re using your phone or pre-owned camera to take photos with.  So, this is by far one of the cheapest ways that your pet can make a living.  But again, you will have to invest some time.  

    Three of the mainstays of creating a successful social media account are

    • Consistency: you must be consistently posting, commenting, liking and following others at least daily, and sometimes throughout the day
    • Patience:  Your pet might become an overnight sensation, but most likely not.  Sorry to break the news for you, but you must be patient while building a following, it could take months or years, so get started sooner than later
    • Networking:  Online networking is must when trying to build a social media page, so get into groups, talk to other pet parents that are doing the same and grow together

    6. Photo Royalties

    If you are a professional photographer or already have a ton of quality pet photos on your phone then you may be all set for this one.  

    While it doesn’t always pay a lot per photo if you upload multiple photos you can bring in a couple extra hundred dollars per month.

    Uploading and selling the use of your pet’s photos on stock photo websites is a great way to earn a little cash with your dog or cat as the model.  Normally, the payout isn’t great 25 to 50 cents per photo depending on the site, but some will give a lot more in royalties.  You can  also sell the rights to the photo for more (sometimes $100).

    rare cases you will have to pay a subscription fee to get the higher royalties and this eats into your profit, but most are free.  

    Some sites that tend to pay above average for your photos are: 

    • iStockphoto
    • Etsy
    • SmugMug Pro
    • 500px Prime
    • Shutterstock

    7. Blog about your pet

    If writing is your thing then you should defiantly be blogging, what are you waiting for?   While many blogs start off as fun ways of sharing their pets antics, they can prove to be tremendously profitable. 

    The profits usually come in the from of advertisements on the blogs, affiliate marketing or selling your own products or services.  So make sure that they are appropriate for the audience you are targeting.

    You will also want to ensure that your blog has a focus and isn’t scattered all over the place, for instance if you start off focusing on dog treats, don’t all of a sudden start talking about children’s bouncy houses.  It will most likely confuse your audience and they will be lost. 

    The cost associated with starting a professional blog will most likely include: 

    • Blog template: $50-150
    • Hosting such as Siteground or Bluehost: $5 per month average, but depends on your package choice
    • Domain names: $10-90, depending on plan
    • Ads: if you wish to promote your blog, this ranges and you can use as little as $10 on some social media platforms
    • Time: Us writers realize that although it writing may be a passion, it still takes time and you will have to practice patience while your blog grows

    8. Start a YouTube channel

    Can your dog  or cat do cool tricks?  If so get the camera rolling!

    If you are tech savvy and can make wonderful (or not so wonderful) videos then point the camera at your pooch.  If your pet has a special talent or trick you can start their channel and with consistent posting watch it grow.  

    Your videos will make money on YouTube in much the same was as social media platforms, but mostly through ads when your videos are able to be monetized.  

    To apply for monetization your videos must have tallied 4,000 hours of overall watch time within the last 12 months and have at least 1,000 subscribers.

    9. Product Testing

    That’s right those companies that produce dog products have to test them on someone and who better than the pets that will be using them!  

    Although, did you know most food companies have human dog food taste testers?!  Read more about that here in our article – 10 pet jobs you can do without even owning a pet. 

    Many times you will get paid with samples, but there are some monetary options as well. 

    Usually this option is free to you as you shouldn’t have to pay shipping and handling.

    Some companies to check out are PetSafe or

    Let me know if you have or plan to try out any of these options with your dog or cat!  

    Also, if you found this post useful or think others would enjoy it please consider sharing on Pinterest or Facebook!

    two ferrets cuddling

    Pancreatitis in Ferrets

    Yes, ferrets can get pancreatitis and it turns out it may be a bit more common than most vets thought!

    Infectious, inflammatory and endocrine diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease, parasitic infection, diarrhea or insulinoma are commonly diagnosed in ferrets, but somehow pancreatitis seems to remain overlooked in many cases. 

    Although in the past scientist have noted limited cases of pancreatitis through research studies, it remains to be a disease that is not given much thought in the veterinary world. What is currently known about the inflammatory disease in ferrets is primarily from a small number of cases where the researchers happened upon pancreatitis. 

    However, examination of biopsy and necropsy pancreatic samples submitted to two exotic pathology services revealed that pancreatitis is not an uncommon finding. This leaves us to recognize that the disease may be extremely underdiagnosed in clinical practice. The pathologists in this paper reviewed fifty cases where patients of both sexes ranged in age from 1.6 to 11 years. All 50 of the ferrets had evidence of either chronic or acute pancreatitis which is quite significant.

    To understand what pancreatitis is, let’s first look at the function of the pancreas.

    What is the function of the pancreas?

    The pancreas is an endocrine organ responsible for two very different functions in the body. It secretes hormones such as insulin and glucagon which helps control blood sugar levels, which is where the endocrine function comes into play. Secondly, the pancreas secretes digestive enzymes. These enzymes help breakdown the starches, proteins, and fats from ingested food. This makes up the organ aspect of the pancreas.

    What is Pancreatitis?

    Pancreatitis is simply put the inflammation of the pancreas. Any time the pancreas becomes inflamed, it is called pancreatitis.

    The enzymes that are secreted for digestion are very strong and corrosive and there are times when they become activated too early and the flow of them into the digestive tract becomes disrupted. If they are activated in the pancreas and not the small intestines, they can be extremely destructive to the body.  

    Since the environment of the pancreas is nothing like that of the stomach, the enzymes basically begin to digest or eat away at the pancreatic tissue. This causes severe inflammation and, in some cases, the enzymes can spill into the abdomen resulting in damage to other organs including the liver, gall bladder, bile ducts and intestines. This is because the enzymes have one job, which as we stated previously is to break down the fat, proteins and starches. This is no different if they are in the stomach or the liver, but when they perform this function in the wrong organ it can wreak havoc on your pets’ body.

    This often means vomiting, diarrhea, and tremendous pain for your pet due to the resultant swelling of the organ as it eats away at itself. I know, sounds horrible right?

    What are the symptoms of pancreatitis in ferrets?

    All of the cases of pancreatitis in ferrets have been diagnosed as secondary to other diseases and often after the patient had passed. 

    This, unfortunately, does not leave much information about the clinical presentation of the disease in ferrets since the doctors were not looking for pancreatitis symptoms. 

    However, in the cases studied for this article, the clinical signs of pancreatitis were associated with symptoms of concurrent disease. Because pancreatitis is not regularly diagnosed, the signs and symptoms of the disease itself may have easily been overlooked. 

    Common symptoms noted were

    • Fever – most of the affected animals had a fever
    • Abdominal pain – this is commonly noted in animals with pancreatitis
    • Anorexia – many of the ferrets did not want to eat
    • Weight loss – this is to be expected if they did not want to eat
    • Diarrhea – often a common symptom in most animals with pancreatitis
    • Swelling of lymph nodes – this could have been due to other disease processes as well

    Why do ferrets get pancreatitis?

    As in most pets, pancreatitis in the ferret is usually concurrent with another disease. 

    In dogs, pancreatitis is usually associated with the consumption of fatty foods, medication or parasitic infection and ferrets were no different. It was noted that ferrets that presented with pancreatitis also had many concurrent disease processes. The most common diseases noted were adrenal disease, gastrointestinal inflammation, cholestasis, and insulinoma. 

    In addition, vets found some possible common contributing factors:

    • Insulin resistance – like insulinoma, which is quite common in ferrets
    • Infectious diseases – like coronavirus
    • Ascending gastrointestinal inflammation
    • Trauma to the abdomen

    How is pancreatitis diagnosed in ferrets?

    As of now, to acquire a definitive diagnosis of pancreatitis in ferrets a biopsy is needed. 

    Since the disease is not regularly diagnosed in ferrets, there is no gold standard test such as a pancreatic lipase immunoreactivity or the cPL (canine pancreas-specificc lipase) snap test for dogs that are now commonly used in most veterinary practices. 

    In many animals, blood work will show elevated liver levels, but even this is not definitive as a diagnosis of pancreatitis, although it can place your vet on the right path. There are subsequent tests to be done after blood work, but they are limited in the ferret.

    In the case where pancreatitis was diagnosed and treated in a ferret, the veterinarians performed ultrasonography sand abdominal exploratory laparotomy. Basically, they explored the abdominal area and took a biopsy. 

    This is an extremely invasive procedure and one which most vets will probably not want to delve into without sufficient reason. 

    How is pancreatitis treated in the ferret?

    In the one case where treatment was successful, pancreatitis was linked to the ferret also having FSCV or ferret systemic coronavirus. 

    FSCV is caused by a coronavirus that is said to be a mutated form of the virus that causes Feline infectious peritonitis in cats. FIP is a viral disease of cats caused by certain strains of a virus called the feline coronavirus. 

    Therefore treatment was aimed at both, pancreatitis and FSCV. In FSCV Most of the clinical signs of this disease are not caused by the virus, but by the immune responses that it elicits so the treatment is generally steroids. 

    The following is a breakdown of treatment:

    • The ferret was fasted – this is commonplace to do in most cases of pancreatitis 
    • Treatment for coronavirus with oral long-term prednisolone
    • A low-fat, high protein feline diet
    • Sucralfate

    As the diagnosis for pancreatitis in ferrets is an invasive biopsy there is a chance that many vets will not opt to do this and just treat for pancreatitis as a general precaution if the signs and symptoms are visible.

    What is the prognosis?

    In previous cases, the average survival time of a ferret with FSCV was 2 months. The question is, is this mainly because a possible case of concurrent pancreatitis was not taken into account and subsequently treated. 

    The ferret that was treated with the above protocol did well for almost 2 years after his initial diagnosis (22 months). Leading us to say that if the patient is treated for both the underlying disease and pancreatitis, they would have much better chances of leading longer healthier lives.

    While pancreatitis is not commonly diagnosed in ferrets it is something that should be taken into consideration, especially when treatment for possible coexisting diseases is not working. In addition, the formation of a simple, gold standard test is needed for diagnosis.

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    7 rules of thumb when making your pets treats

    These are seven things to remember when you’re making your dog homemade treats from scratch.

    1.Use Pet Safe Ingredients

    This may be a no brainier, but you’d be surprised at how many people still feed their dogs things like grapes and chocolate. Also, if you are using something that is pre-mixed such as baby food, make sure to read the package to ensure that it is free of things that could harm your pet. Many times ingredients are put in human foods for taste that animals stomachs can not handle, like onions

    2. Go Au Naturale

    As we become more aware of the detrimental effects that antibiotics, hormones and genetic modifications can have on our bodies. Many people are opting for more natural and organic foods. Why not do the same for your pet who is probably even more susceptible to the harmful effects of dangerous additives and artificial flavors.

    3. Take it Slow

    When switching foods or introducing a new treat you want to do so slowly. This is to give your pets gut a chance to get used to the treat.

    4. Limit the Amounts of Treats

    Don’t allow your pet to scarf down as many treats as he or she may want. Make sure you place limits on the amount of treats they get, especially if this is the first time they are eating them.

    Feed smaller amounts and make sure to limit the number. This should help cut down on any negative gastrointestinal effects.

    5. Keep it Simple

    When I make treats for my pets I try to limit the ingredients to no more than three. This is because I have a dog with pancreatitis and know that their stomachs are a bit more gentle.

    Make it a rule to try to limit the ingredients to no more than 4 or 5. Not only will this be gentler on your pets stomach, but if they happen to have an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients it will be much easier to rule out.

    6. Watch for Allergies

    Speaking of allergic reactions, if you are introducing your dog to something for the first time always keep an eye out for allergies and sensitivities. This could be as simple as sneezing to something more serious like vomiting, diarrhea and swelling.

    7. Mix it up

    There are times that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. If you are feeding your pet something like egg everyday, it could serve to add some unwanted weight to your pet. Remember they are treats and should be given as such.

    list of seven rules to making your dogs treats


    dog treats

    14 Binders to use in your homemade dog treats: The good, the bad & the ugly

    What are Binders

    I don’t know about you, but I’ve had some dog treat disasters when I initially started making my dogs treats. They were flaky, not staying together and would pretty much fall apart before I could even think of giving them to my dog. That is because I wasn’t using binders. Binders are basically used to bind or hold your dog treats together.

    Four binders to use in dog treats
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    Let’s look at some healthy options you can use in your homemade dog treats.


    There are a plethora of flours to choose from when baking for your little guy or girl, the choices seem endless. Let’s look at some healthy versions and why they work well.

    Coconut Flour

    Coconut flour is gluten free, wheat free and hypoallergenic. It is especially good for diabetic dogs or those that have a high cholesterol.

    It contains approximately 10% digestive carbohydrates but 40% fiber so is extremely beneficial for your dogs digestive system. Fiber reduces the absorption of sugar into the blood stream, so this is great choice for diabetic dogs. It also ranks fairly low on the Glycemic Index which measures how much the flour raises your pets blood sugar levels.

    Coconut flour has also been shown to lower cholesterol and removes toxins therefore improving digestive health. When cooking with it, you will most likely need to play around with amounts and liquid content as it tends to be more on the drier side.

    The one con is price, as coconut flour is usually more expensive than other flours.

    Chickpea Flour

    Chickpea flour is gluten free and made from plain or roasted dried and is a fairly good source of potassium, magnesium and phosphorus.

    It is a great source of folate as chickpeas contain seven times the amount of wheat flour. Chickpea flour is is especially good for dogs that are pregnant or those at risk for folate deficiency. Many times dogs with small-intestinal diseases or malabsorption (for instance in chronic pancreatitis sufferers) are low or deficient in folate. Although, this is more common in cats as most dogs have small intestinal bacteria that can synthesis folate. You can always get your dogs folate levels checked if this is a concern.

    It is widely used in India where it is called gram flour or besan flour. It is very high in fiber and protein while low in carbs and calories. There are about 20 grams of protein in a cup of chickpea flour.

    As with Coconut flour, you may want to play around with the amounts and use less chickpea flour than you would wheat as it is on the drier side.

    Rice Flour

    Rice flour is a good alternative as a binder especially for dogs who may be sensitive to gluten and wheat products. It is made from long, medium or short grain rice. Since much of the rice we purchase today is made from GMO rice ensure that it is organic.

    Rice flour may be useful in treats made for a pup that is just getting over an episode of diarrhea, as rice is one of the main staples of a bland diet. If you want to know twelve more foods that may help after a bout of diarrhea read our article 13 foods that can help if your dog has diarrhea.

    This flour is really good in treats that are frozen or refrigerated since it inhibits liquid separation and the starchiness helps ingredients stick together well.


    Organic eggs

    Eggs are great binders due to their high fat and protein make up (45.8 percent protein and 41.8 percent lipid). Plus adding them to your dogs treats from time to time makes for a healthy snack. They are high in protein, vitamins, amino acids, riboflavin, selenium, folate, and fatty acids and the shells can even be used as a good source of calcium (though they shouldn’t be used as a substitute).

    Just be sure to cook them, as raw egg whites can cause biotin deficiency with long-term use. This is due to the protein avidin which binds to biotin and prevents uptake and subsequent use in the body. In addition, dogs are at risk of contracting Salmonella as well as the people who feed and handle raw eggs.

    Flax & Chia ‘Eggs’

    Flax and Chia Seeds both create a very viscus, sticky almost mucoid like liquid when soaked in hot water. Once ready to use, the liquid should resemble an egg white, hence the names.

    Flax and chia are both pretty healthy when given to dogs in moderation. They have tremendous amounts of fibers and needed fatty acids which are beneficial for your pup. If you are incorporating them into your dogs diet, you’ll want to read about the dangers of feeding your dog chia and the six things to keep in mind when giving your dog flax seeds.

    Mix 1 tablespoon of flax seed or Chia seeds to three tablespoons of hot water. You can use a little bit less water for chia seeds, just play with the ratio until it is the consistency you desire. You can make a large batch to store and store in the refrigerator in a covered container for up to two weeks