Educational Articles

Dogs + Nutrition

  • This handout summarizes the strong link between good nutrition and healthy skin and fur. Issues dealing with skin are a very common reason for visits to the vet, and the role of diet and supplementation in treating these conditions are highlighted.

  • Bladder stones can be a significant problem for dogs and finding out what type of stone is present will help determine if it can be dissolved, as well as make a plan to prevent recurrence. Bladder stones set the stage for chronic urinary tract infection, and some bladder stones (struvites) grow more quickly if the dog already has a urinary tract infection. Diet selection play a large role in this and it is important to follow veterinarian recommended nutrient profiles to prevent recurrence.

  • It is important to understand the unique nutritional needs of performance dogs. Their success depends upon a combination of genetics, training, and nutrition. It is important to match the nutrient profile to the individual dog and the activity. Your veterinarian can assist you in making optimal nutritional choices for your canine athlete.

  • Not all puppy foods are created equally, and your large breed dog needs to be fed an appropriate diet for development. An improper balance of nutrients can lead to health problems, including bone deformities. Measuring proper calorie amounts, looking for the AAFCO statement, and controlling food intake will ensure your puppy develops properly.

  • In North America, obesity is the most common preventable disease in dogs. Almost 50% of domestic dogs are overweight. Scientific evidence now reveals that fat tissue is biologically active; it secretes inflammatory hormones and creates oxidative stress on the body’s tissue, both of which contribute to many diseases and decrease quality of life. Treating obesity as a chronic, low-level inflammatory condition is the new approach.

  • Obesity is a very common problem in dogs and leads to many health problems including an increased risk of diabetes mellitus, heart disease, and many types of cancer. Extra body fat causes increased inflammation in the body, worsening osteoarthritis. If there is already evidence of OA, reducing inflammation and pain will help encourage your dog to become more active, which in turn will speed up appropriate weight loss. Obesity can be prevented or reversed by being aware of calorie intake, body condition, and exercise.

  • Pharyngostomy tubes are placed through the skin of the neck behind the jaw through the pharynx, into the esophagus to enable ongoing nutrition in dogs that either refuse to eat or are unable to chew and swallow food. A diet will be recommended by your veterinarian but must be liquefied with water before it can pass through the tube. Step-by-step instructions are given for tube feeding. The decision to remove the tube needs to be determined by your veterinarian.

  • The American Animal Hospital Association and American Veterinary Medical Association have established guidelines to standardize preventive health care for dogs, helping them to live longer, healthier lives. This handout provides an overview of the recommendations within these guidelines and why they are so important.

  • The pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene, if mutated, can contribute to increased body fat and body weight and increased food motivation in affected dogs. At this time, this gene mutation has only been found in the Labrador Retriever and Flat-coated Retriever and affects the majority of those working as service dogs. This handout explains how the POMC gene mutation was discovered, how it impacts affected dogs, and how you can support your dog if affected.

  • Congratulations on the addition of a new puppy to your family! This handout provides general care advice for your puppy, including nutrition, play and chewing behavior, housetraining, socialization, nail trimming, and basic first aid.

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