Vitamins in pet food: helpful or harmful?

Vitamins and minerals have become somewhat of a bad-guy as of late so I think it’s time we cleared a few things up. Pet food ingredient labels can be confusing, and scary because they contain chemical sounding words we aren’t used to seeing – but that does not mean they are toxic for us or…

Aflatoxins: is corn the culprit?

Aflatoxins have been getting a lot of publicity lately with the recent recalls and deaths associated with contaminated pet food. But, what are aflatoxins? Is it really was simple as not using corn in the diet? I often hear alot of blame around corn, but surely there is more to it. If corn was such…

Top 5 reasons I don’t recommend raw diets

I am asked more frequently about the raw diet than anything else, especially on the internet. It is a hot potato with many passionate opinions online, however I believe it’s vital that clients can make an informed decision before deciding to feed this incredibly complex and risky diet to their pets. The FDA, WSAVA, AAHA,…

Food allergies & hypoallergenic diets

Often when pets have diarrhea or a skin condition, people immediately jump to the conclusion that their pet has a food allergy. True food allergies in pets are fairly rare (10% of all allergic pets) but they do happen, and can be diagnosed through something called a food elimination trial. This is a strict diet…

Anal glands: Finding relief through diet

A common issue dog owners encounter is scooting or dogs dragging their bottom along the ground. They do this to try and express their anal glands – these are two scent glands that are at the 4 o’clock and 8 o’clock position on the inside of the rectum that fill with sebaceous secretions similar to…

Probiotics: veterinary, human or DIY?

Probiotics are relatively new to veterinary medicine, despite being regularly used in human medicine and readily available over the counter in most pharmacies – clients are beginning to catch on, and it’s a growing trend to add probiotic supplements or foods such as yoghurt, kefir or raw milks to pets diets. Probiotics are incredibly useful…

Natural isn’t always best

This week, I was flooded with questions and concerns from clients worrying about feeding an “unnatural” diet to their pets. Some had been told by unqualified laypeople that they were doing something ‘bad’ or ‘wrong’ by feeding their pet a complete and balanced commercial diet, because it wasn’t natural. Unfortunately, some of these pets became…

To treat or not to treat?

Everybody loves treats! When selecting a treat for your pet, it can be both very exciting and overwhelming. It’s easy to be tempted to buy whatever sounds delicious and enticing to you, however, there are a few things to consider when shopping for an ideal treat for your pet. Not all treats are made equal,…

Researching pet foods: What to look for

“Is this a good food? What should I feed my pet?” I get asked these questions all the time, and it’s far more complicated than picking up a bag of food! Many clients base their opinion of a food or what to feed their pets on the marketing tactics that are designed to attract owners…

Recalls: the good the bad and the ugly

Every so often, a pet food recall occurs that sends shockwaves through the pet food industry and pet owners alike. Owners panic, call their vets and may even choose to feed unconventional diets because of the fear surrounding recalls – some pet food “rating” websites even use these recalls to rank pet foods, however as…

Investigating Ingredients

An ingredients list can be confusing, overwhelming and scary for many consumers if you don’t know what those words or ingredients actually mean or their actual definitions. It’s fast becoming a marketing ploy for companies to use their ingredient list to sway owners to purchase their product, by simplified, “dumbed down” ingredients lists and scaremongering…

Water – an essential nutrient

Do you know how much your pet should be drinking? Water is essential for life, and is considered a nutrient and functions as a key nutritional factor in many disease states. Coming into summer, pet parents are more conscious than ever of their pets drinking habits and making sure they stay well hydrated is at…

Helping pets get their ‘summer body’: weight loss clinics

With obesity becoming an increasing problem in pets, we see many patients coming through the clinic with associated conditions that need to lose weight to avoid exacerbating their existing conditions, or to simply improve their well-being and quality of life. A recent study conducted by Purina showed that pets who were maintained at ideal weight…

Pet food marketing buzzwords: sorting fact from fiction

When looking at a bag of pet food, it’s so easy to get overwhelmed with the amount of persuasive marketing and trendy buzzwords slapped on the package. So many pet owners come to me with pre-conceived ideas of the best food to feed their pet, that are based on marketing tactics and human nutrition, rather…

Joint care for dogs – to supplement or not?

With many dogs suffering from some form of joint condition or disease, many pet owners turn to supplements or alternative treatments to help ease the pain. However not all supplements or home remedies are effective, or even safe. So let’s explore the current research on joint supplements and joint diets in dogs, both what works…

Protect the kidneys: feeding cats with CKD

Chronic kidney disease is a common condition in senior cats. In fact, it is the number one cause of death in cats over the age of 7. The condition can’t be cured, but the progression of this disease can be slowed, symptoms reduced and quality (and length) of life improved – with nutrition. The primary…

Going against the grain: grain free diets

You may have heard the lastest buzzword in pet food is “grain free”. However, grain free pet foods came into the market with little to no scientific evidence to support the trend that was largely led by consumer demand following an increase in the popularity of gluten free diets for humans and an incorrect assumption…

Don’t fear the feed! How to use feeding tubes

Following on from my last post, sometimes animals simply will not eat on their own and are now at risk of deteriorating even further as a result of prolonged anorexia. This is where feeding tubes come in! I promise you they are not scary, they are superheroes of the nutrition world. Sometimes the only way…

When nutrition is critical: preventing malnutrition in hospital

Did you know that patients of any age can become malnourished from inadequate nutrient intake? Malnutrition is defined as any disorder with inadequate or unbalanced nutrition associated with either nutritional deficiencies or excesses. This can occur in a variety of ways, but we often see patients come through to the clinic already in some state…

The balancing act: preparing your own pet food

Home cooking meals for your pets is not all it’s cracked up to be. There are often many unbalanced, dangerous recipes floating around the internet that owners who don’t know any better decide to try out and the proponents of these diets continue to reinforce the misconception that making your own pet food is simple…