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Nutrition Nuggets

Your dog's nutrition is important for a healthy & happy life. petMD experts help you to know what to feed your dog, how much food to feed, and the differences in dog foods, so your dog gets optimum nutrition.

Nutrition Nuggets is the newest offshoot of petMD's Dog Nutrition Center. Each week Dr. Coates will use her expertise and wisdom to blog about the intricacies of dog nutrition.

A Simple Weight Loss Tip for Dogs

Do you know what I think the most powerful tool for helping dogs lose weight is? No … it’s not a fancy canine treadmill or even a particular type of food. You probably already have some in your kitchen and may use them yourself on a daily basis. It’s a Tupperware container (any brand... READ MORE

Jul 12, 2013 / (2) comments

Feeding Sick Dogs

What do you think of the saying, “Starve a fever, feed a cold”? On one level it makes sense. READ MORE

Jul 05, 2013 / (2) comments

Puppy Popsicles

It’s been really hot in my neck of the woods recently. My family has been hitting the pool and enjoying many popsicles and bowls of ice cream to stay cool. I’ve been doing the same for my dog Apollo. We’re lucky that our local dog park has a pond, and that’s certainly his favorite... READ MORE

Jun 28, 2013 / (1) comments

Dietary Therapy for Canine Epilepsy?

I am acquainted with a veterinarian who has a son with epilepsy. According to her, he used to take nine pills a day to control his seizures, but his condition is now well-controlled with diet alone. Much research and clinical evidence supports the use of a ketogenic diet for seizure control in kids with... READ MORE

Jun 21, 2013 / (2) comments

An Unusual Source of Protein

I recently ran across an article in Forbes magazine detailing a new dog food that uses hydrolyzed feather meal as a protein source. (Hydrolization is a process through which proteins are broken down into such tiny fragments that the immune system no longer recognizes and reacts to them.) The food in... READ MORE

Jun 14, 2013 / (12) comments

The Glow of Health

I’ve mentioned many times on Nutrition Nuggets how important it is to monitor a pet’s response to a diet when making the final determination as to whether or not a particular food is right for that individual. One of the parameters I always look for is a healthy coat.   READ MORE

Jun 07, 2013 / (1) comments

Weight Loss Coaching for Dogs

The veterinary publication Clinician’s Brief recently summarized some of the presentations given at the 12th Annual American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition (AAVN) Clinical Nutrition & Research Symposium held last year in New Orleans. I found the following fascinating and want to share it with... READ MORE

May 31, 2013 / (2) comments

Nutritional Supplements for Joint Health

I am not a big fan of nutritional supplements. As long as a dog is eating an appropriate amount of a nutritionally complete dog food that is made from high quality ingredients, supplementation shouldn’t be necessary. I also question whether many supplements actually deliver what they advertise,... READ MORE

May 24, 2013 / (3) comments

Feeding Dogs with Hepatic Encephalopathy

One of the complications commonly seen with advanced liver disease in dogs is hepatic encephalopathy. The liver acts as a giant filter for the gastrointestinal tract (among other roles). After a meal, the circulatory system absorbs all sorts of things from the gut. Many of these substances, especially... READ MORE

May 17, 2013 / (8) comments

Microminerals: Tiny Amounts, But Big Effects

I’ve found that whenever I talk about the nutrients that dogs require in a balanced diet I tend to gloss over the microminerals – minerals that are required in the diet in relatively small amounts. The big players like protein, carbohydrates, and fat get the most attention.   READ MORE

May 10, 2013 / (2) comments






Photo of Jennifer

... graduated with honors from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1999. In the years since, she has practiced veterinary medicine in Virginia, Wyoming, and Colorado. She is the author of several books about veterinary medicine and animal care, including the Dictionary of Veterinary Terms, Vet-Speak Deciphered for the Non-Veterinarian .

Jennifer also writes short stories that focus on the strength and importance of the human-animal bond and freelance articles relating to a variety of animal care and veterinary topics. Dr. Coates lives in Fort Collins, Colorado with her husband, daughter, and pets.