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,…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Vegan pets – is it safe?

Can my dog or cat eat a vegetarian or vegan diet? It’s a common question that doesn’t necessarily have a simple answer. Usually owners wish to feed a vegan or vegetarian diet because they themselves are vegetarian or vegan and feel uncomfortable feeding meat or animal products to their animal whether for moral reasons or…

Decoding pet food labels – part 2

Continuing from my last post, decoding pet food labels is an involved process. There’s a lot of information on the label and not all of it is as important as manufacturers will have you think. This post explains, in simple terms, the guaranteed analysis panel and ingredients list; it is by no means comprehensive, particularly…

Decoding pet food labels – part 1

Pet food labels can contain a lot of helpful information for owners and the vet team alike, but can also contain a lot of marketing. I often get asked what you should look for on a label; this is a loaded question. While the label tells you a lot of things, it doesn’t always tell…