Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
Most dog owners think of healthy skin as being that which doesn’t leave white flakes on the coat and isn’t scaly to look at. True enough, those two things are signs to look for, but how do you get there?
We know that the skin is an organ and it needs proper nutrition, but we don’t often connect this to water intake. Healthy skin minimizes the migration of moisture upward from deeper dermal tissues. Fatty acids in the skin do a good job of preventing water loss. In contrast, fatty acid deficiency can lead to a poor barrier, encouraging water loss, so the dog might drink a lot more water to compensate.
Protein is required for development of new skin, and while some diets provide ample amounts of protein, the quality matters. For example, protein from sources other than eggs, milk, fish or meats are of inferior quality. Read more Your Dog’s Skin Health
Thursday, November 24th, 2011
Despite the popularity of this myth, the fact is that adding brewer’s yeast or nutritional yeast to the diet does nothing to detract fleas. I’ve often been pointed to websites and books that make this claim and some people insist that they can prove it’s true. Their proof is that their dog never had fleas while ingesting this yeast. By that logic I can point to my Zoey who never ingested brewer’s yeast and never had fleas, therefore I could claim that not eating it kept fleas away. Obviously, it’s ridiculous at best!
Consider my Ming, who lived to be just shy of seventeen years, ate a combination of kibble and (healthy) human foods, and finally a prescription diet. He never consumed yeast, yet never had fleas despite being walked along the boardwalk (a beach area in Toronto that is known for heavy flea populations) almost daily. But these are only personal stories. The facts should hold more weight, so let’s look at them. Read more Brewer’s Yeast As a Flea Preventative
Friday, November 18th, 2011
Numerous trials show that a combination of primrose oil and fish body oil (wild salmon oil is my preference – see What’s In Your Fish Oil? blog post) helps dogs with atopic dermatitis. I really like that science tries and often wins in pointing us in the right direction, but I think that observation has a place as well. For example, science asks how much of each fatty acid is the right amount and under what circumstances. Important questions, but are we going to sit around while a dog is mutilating him/herself until scientific knowledge provides an answer?
Veterinary dermatologists seem to have decided not to wait. Most will supplement with essential fatty acids once the more obvious problems have been ruled out. No fleas, no mites, no bacterial infections, no yeast overgrowths, etc. Or, treat any of the above via medication(s) and shampoo therapies and if a problem remains, use essential fatty acids, sometimes in combination with particular vitamins and/or minerals. Read more Does Your Dog Have Itchy Skin?
Tuesday, November 15th, 2011
Also referred to as IBD, dogs with this disease have common symptoms although not all dogs will experience the gamut of them. Diarrhea, mucus in the stool, a sheath that looks like a sausage casing around the stool, vomiting, weight loss, noisy tummy sounds, refusal of food, hiding after eating…basically, a lot of obvious signals that the gastrointestinal tract is in bad shape and the dog feels poorly.
Most cases of IBD include food allergy which is why changing the diet to one or two foods (fresh foods, not commerciall diets) the dog has never consumed before usually works very well. An allergic reaction includes inflammation and when the gut is inflamed, permeability often results. Read more Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Dogs
Thursday, November 10th, 2011
Some people fast their dogs for a day or more on a regular (often, it’s one day per week) basis. Here’s the skinny as regards nutrient metabolism while fasting:
Metabolic demands are ongoing and must be met despite that the flow of absorbed nutrients slows down between meals. This is a basic issue of supply and demand and the ebb and flow is based on the feeding interval imposed on a dog. During the intervals between meals, the dog must remobilize stored reserves in an efficient manner. Read more Nutrient Metabolism When Fasting Your Dog
Tuesday, November 8th, 2011
Some happy news: I received very nice emails over the last month from people who bought the digital download version of the booklet about arthritis in order to make changes to diet and supplements as soon as possible. They’re seeing positive changes in their dogs and it’s not surprising to me, but it sure feels good. Arthritis doesn’t necessarily care if the dog is young or old, but the older ones are the most likely to have the problem and I have a thing for old dogs. They’ve given us their whole lives and now they need us more than ever.
Obviously, I can’t (better said, I don’t have time) to write the entire booklet in a blog post, but here are some thoughts for you to consider:
Age is not a disease. Your older dog doesn’t need less protein in the diet – he or she needs more! Read more Arthritis in Dogs