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Nutrition Center - Blogs

Study Finds 45% of Raw Pet Foods Contaminated with Dangerous Bacteria

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

I have recently developed a special interest in the bacterial contaminants in dog food that can be transmitted to people. Why? Because my one year old son has an obsession with our dog’s kibble. The second my back is turned he scoots his...

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Diets for Helping Cats with Chronic Diarrhea

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Chronic diarrhea is an all too common problem for cats and their owners. In a perfect world, veterinarians would always be able to fully work up the case, come to a definitive diagnosis, and prescribe treatment that cures the diarrhea. But as...

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Why You Should Not Take Nutritional Advice from a Pet Store

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

I just had a disturbing conversation with a neighbor about his dog Maggie. Maggie is an elderly black lab who is doing surprisingly well despite suffering from diabetes mellitus, lumbosacral stenosis (causing extreme hind end weakness), protein-losing...

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5 Tips for Picking Out Treats for Cats

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

My cat has me well trained. Every evening she arrives in the kitchen for her treats. If I don’t conjure them up quickly enough, she is not shy in expressing her irritation – vocally at first and then as the situation becomes more...

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The Role of Diet in Treating Epileptic Dogs

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

Diet is an often overlooked component of treating dogs with epilepsy. No, I’m afraid I don’t have any insider information on a miracle food that prevents seizures. The ketogenic diets that help many human epileptics don’t seem...

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Protein Levels in Cat Foods May Be Too Low

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

A couple of weeks ago we talked about how, unlike many other species, cats need more protein when they enter their golden years (around 12 years of age). In the process of researching that article I came across some disturbing information. The...

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Dietary Fat is Important for Athletic Dogs

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “carb loading.” It refers to a practice, used primarily by endurance athletes, of increasing the percentage of carbohydrates in the diet a few days before an event. Carbohydrates are...

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Senior Cats Need More Calories

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Anybody out there have an old, skinny cat? Veterinarians see them on a daily basis. Sometimes we reach a causative diagnosis — kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, cancer, and gastrointestinal disorders are all common culprits....

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Using Omega 3 Fatty Acids Effectively and Safely

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are very popular nutritional supplements for dogs. They are advertised to help with skin conditions, allergies, kidney function, lymphoma, heart disease, cognitive function, arthritis, and more. Research is spotty but supports...

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Are Some Dry Cat Foods Better Than Canned?

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

I often hear owners and veterinarians (myself included) say that canned food is generally better than dry for cats because the former is higher in protein. Well… I was doing some research for a previous post on feline nutrition and stumbled...

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New Recommendations for Feeding Dogs with Pancreatitis

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

Our understanding regarding how best to feed (or not feed) dogs with pancreatitis has undergone significant changes over the last few years. Back when I was in veterinary school in the 1990s, we learned that dogs with pancreatitis should be...

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Chronic Kidney Disease in Cats – Monitoring Nutrition is Essential

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

The importance of diet in the management of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in cats is well established, but what is often overlooked is the fact that a cat’s nutritional needs will change as the disease progresses. Phosphorous restriction...

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Dry Food and Dental Disease in Dogs

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

Daily tooth brushing and professional dental cleanings on an as-needed basis are the best ways to prevent the formation of periodontal disease in dogs, but diet can play an important role. This is especially true when daily tooth brushing is...

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Foods for Cats with Chronic Diarrhea

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

When I was a veterinary student, I was taught that dietary fat and gastrointestinal disorders were often a bad combination. The rationale behind this had to do with the fact that fats are often considered to be the nutrient class that is most...

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Feeding Dogs with Congestive Heart Failure

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

I recently came across an estimate for the prevalence of heart disease in older dogs that shocked me — thirty percent. My first reaction was “that can’t be right,” but the more I thought about all those elderly, small...

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Figuring Out Carb Levels in Cat Foods

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Given the controversy surrounding carbohydrates in the diets of cats, you’d think it would be relatively easy to determine how many carbs a particular food contains, but that’s not the case. Cat foods that adhere to the...

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Feeding the Dog that Vomits Every Day

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

We spend a lot of time on Nutrition Nuggets talking about what (and what not) to feed our dogs. When dogs have bilious vomiting syndrome, however, when meals occur is even more important than what the meals consist of. The classic symptom...

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Choosing Your Cat's Food Should Be Convenient

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Dedicated cat owners are a heterogeneous group. I have met some whose lives are focused on their fur kids. Others still love their cats, but have additional interests and/or responsibilities that can distract from their cat’s care. I suspect...

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Why Your Dog's Health Depends on Life Stage Diets

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

One of the most important breakthroughs in canine nutrition came when veterinary nutritionists recognized the different nutritional needs that dogs have as they mature. This may seem fairly self-evident now, but dog owners and veterinarians...

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What Kind of Meat By-Products Are in Your Cat's Food?

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

I recently saw the results of a survey that asked 852 consumers what ingredients were legally permissible in the meat by-products that are included in many cat foods. The responses took me by surprise: 87% — Internal Organs 60%...

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FDA Issues Another Update on Jerky Pet Treats

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

We’ve been following the saga of pet illnesses associated with jerky treats made in China for years now, and I have to say that the latest U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) update is the most concerning yet. It states, in part: As...

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Feeding Cats with Idiopathic Hypercalcemia

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

Idiopathic hypercalcemia in cats is a vexing condition. We don’t know what causes it (although theories abound), symptoms may not be present until cats are severely affected, and in many cases, treatment is not all that successful. To...

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Feeding Dogs with High Blood Fat

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

Dogs with hyperlipidemia, also called lipemia, have higher than normal amounts of triglycerides and/or cholesterol in their blood stream. When triglycerides are elevated, a sample of the dog’s blood can look a bit like a strawberry smoothie...

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Feed Your Cat More to Encourage Weight Loss

Filed Under NutritionNuggets-Cats

I cringe whenever I see an obese cat. Enabling feline obesity is almost like putting a gun to a cat’s head in a game of Russian roulette. Sure, he or she may dodge the diabetes or hepatic lipidosis “bullets,” but play the game...

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“How Much” is As Important As “What” Your Dog Eats

Filed Under NutritionNuggets

Nutritional deficiencies were common back when dogs were fed table scraps supplemented by whatever they could scrounge. All that changed with the advent of commercially prepared, complete and balanced dog foods. Now, nutritional excess is enemy...

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nutrition Questions

  • Q: What information can I take away from the ingredient list on a cat food label?

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  • Q: Why are 'human' ingredients like apples and carrots used in dog food?

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  • Q: What is a “body condition score”?

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