Monday, October 24th, 2011
People send me a lot of emails about their dog’s stool. Sometimes, they send pictures of it. No, I’m not kidding. They want to know if the poop looks to be the right color, texture, etc. They’re worred (I get it) and even more so if they’ve read something on the internet about what the perfect stool looks like and Fido produces anything different from that.
The latest cause for their concern comes from a site that states healthy stool must be hard/firm and brown, but it must turn white within a day and disintegrate within two days. Anything other than that is considered to be bad. So, now we have not only a description, but a timetable to follow! Seriously?
Normally, stool is brown due to a series of reactions in the body, and to bacteria present. Read more The Scoop on Dog Poop
Thursday, October 20th, 2011
The excitement about prebiotics is deserved but overdone. It’s deserved because sometime in the mid ’90s a doctor in Brussels coined the term to describe something that’s very old but wasn’t understood all that well. It’s overdone because prebiotics have been around from the start. It’s just that we didn’t have a fancy name for sugar molecules that escape digestion and so, help to feed the good-guy bacteria in the bowel.
Probiotic bacteria aka good-guy bacteria (remember that acidophilus is proven in dogs whereas others are questionable at best) helps to crowd-out nasty bacteria.
Since prebiotics help to ‘feed’ probiotics, the former is often added to supplemental probiotics to keep the bacteria thriving. Not only is this not necessary if the probiotic is freeze dried, but many dogs can’t handle some of the common prebiotics being used. Read more Prebiotics and Probiotics for Gut Health
Tuesday, October 11th, 2011
Some of the things that others consider to be more complicated may nevertheless be very worthwhile. This is the take-home message I got after reading the article I’m going to point you to, but the message isn’t new, really. I’ve never doubted the power of balanced home-prepared diets. What I find exciting is that it’s finally being recognized by scientists focusing on dogs.
Sometimes, when working with veterinarians, I’d wonder if they really believed in my approach or if they accepted it with a shrug. Now, having worked at this for so many years, I feel we (all of us) are coming to a better understanding of just how important a fresh food diet can be. Read more Nutritional Help for Dogs with Heart Failure
Thursday, October 6th, 2011
The general classification of amino acids is broken down into three categories. Essential amino acids are called essential because the body isn’t able to produce them, so they have to come from foods.
Unessential amino acids are, in fact, needed by the body as well, but the body can manufacture them if all essential amino acids are present in sufficient amounts. A conditionally essential amino acid is one that the body may need more of when certain circumstances arise. Read more L- Glutamine – A Conditionally Essential Amino Acid
Tuesday, October 4th, 2011
Taurine is an amino acid known for heart health, but it also has a role in eye health. The body can manufacture taurine from other essential amino acids in the diet, so it’s been considered an unessential amino acid for this reason. In other words, as long as the diet provides sufficient amounts of all essential amino acids, we shouldn’t have to worry about taurine. But that turns out not be the case for all dogs, or even for people.
Some breeds show a taurine deficiency even when the diet is great, and some individual dogs, no matter the breed do, too. Another interesting consideration is that more taurine seems to be needed when there is emotional or physical stress. Read more Taurine for Eye Health