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Newsletter - November 2009

The News At Home

Tori is a daddy’s girl. She loves me, I know, but Morley is her joy, most cherished playmate and safe place to cuddle. She can be sitting beside me, yet will whine because Morley isn’t here too. At first, Morley would ask me why the dog was whining and I’d joke “ She wants her da-da”. Three years later, all I have to say is “da-da” and a show begins.

Tori cocks her head in the way that dogs do when they seem curious and excited about something we’ve said. Then, she races around the house to look for him and starts to back excitedly when she finds him. Morley melts into a puddle and proceeds to give his dog a treat. This bit of food is part of a ritual because he gives Tori a treat when he comes home, before she goes outside (what’s that about?!), when she comes back in, when she lies down and stares at him - and you wonder why I can’t get a stubborn half pound of weight off this girl or why she’s so addicted to her “da-da”!

Observation during this past week while Morley’s been home tells me that he’s bought this girl with food and while she’s not the brightest dog, she can train a person well. Good job, Victoria! Your slave should be home to give you a treat any time now.

What’s New at

Joint Support Supplement Package

Dogs with skeletal issues can have a more difficult time when the colder weather sets in, and certain supplements are positioned to help. We’ve combined three products into a savings package to help your dog and your pocketbook. If you already use any of these products, you know that they are top quality and show positive effects. If you haven’t yet tried them, here’s your chance to make this winter easier on your dog. This package includes one bottle of each of the following:

Joint Complex Formula - a combination of glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM, to support joint health

Wild Salmon Oil to help battle inflammation while improving the condition of skin and coat

Antioxidant Booster - a combination of raspberry seed powder to help fight inflammation, vitamin E and selenium that work as powerful antioxidants

Mail Grab Bag of The Month

Over the past six weeks or so, I’ve received more email than usual, and much of it asks that I comment on certain items on the internet. Here are a few examples as well as my replies. I hope this helps you now or in the future.

Q: Is a dog food label that says chicken better than if it says chicken meal?

A: It’s not really a question of one being better so much as understanding the difference when we consider the protein amount in the food. Chicken includes moisture, so ounce for ounce it adds less protein to the finished product. Chicken meal is a dry product, therefore it adds much, much less moisture to the final product. So, chicken meal has a higher amount of protein in it and you need less of it to provide the same amount of protein as you would if using whole chicken.

Q: I read that dogs should never be fed fish because it depletes a vitamin.

A: Raw fish can be problematic if fed as the main protein source. Raw fish contains a large amount of an enzyme called thiaminase and this enzyme can deplete vitamin B1 (thiamin). Cooked fish doesn’t create a problem in this regard.

Q: Why aren’t all foods tested so a recall doesn’t happen in the first place?

A: There needs to be an index of suspicion before testing for a particular toxin. There are thousands of toxins, so I don’t think that pets, or people for that matter, would be able to eat ever again if everything was tested for everything possible before it hit the market. That said, the need for better regulation has been acknowledged by many people. Recalls for peanut butter, spinach, jalapeno peppers and ground beef (to name only a few!) in the human food chain alone tell us something needs to change.

Q: My dog has very itchy skin. Can any supplement help?

A: It depends on the underlying cause of this itchiness. Has the dog been checked for fleas and mites? Were skin scrapings performed? Is there suspicion of food allergy? Environmental allergy? If a good veterinarian and/or dermatologist has ruled these out and the cause is dry skin, wild salmon oil would be my supplement of choice. If the dog does not have a seizure disorder, I’d also add evening primrose oil to the diet.

Q: Which supplements do you suggest for heart support?

A: Vitamin E, taurine and CoQ10. The first two are important. CoQ10 has not been proven to help dog hearts that are already in trouble, but it does help gum health which, in turn, can keep the heart happier (bacteria under the gum line travels and can affect organs and the heart).

Q: I found a site that mentions fungal infections on paws can be eliminated by the use of an herbal tonic on their site. Is this true?

A: It depends on what is actually in the herbal tonic, but generally, I avoid sites that make claims without explanations or studies to back up those claims. The fact that you’re asking me about this claim makes me think that you have your doubts because the site doesn’t provide references. In that case, good for you! I think you’d be better off seeing the vet to treat the fungus and get to the underlying cause.

Q: Is the cost of feeding trials so expensive that smaller companies can’t afford them?

A: Yes. Which doesn’t make their foods better or worse, but there remains the unknown, I suppose. I don’t know the exact cost as of this date, but about two years ago, a feeding trial in the U.S. would have cost in the vicinity of $50,000 +, so given the variety of foods on the market and the risk that a food may not pass the trial, you can see the financial problem. That said, a food that passes a feeding trial may not be what you’d expect. I’ve written about this in both of my books.

Q: I read that taurine is only good for the heart. True?

A: Taurine is also active in membrane stabilization, bile acid conjugation, detoxification and modulation of cellular calcium levels as well as being used in cases of liver and seizure disorders.

Have a great November, everyone!


“Politics are not my concern... they impressed me as a dog's life without a dog's decencies.’ -- Rudyard Kipling



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