Should You Neuter Your Male Dog for BEHAVIOR Problems?

At the post-end of the day (the awkward time at most vet’s offices in between official closing hours and the act of leaving with doors locked behind us), a client walked in with a question: her 6-year old intact Dachshund was being an absolute hormonal boy in reaction to a bitch in heat somewhere. The owner suspects that the bitch had urinated in the yard, which might explain why this particular episode was more severe. The dog would stand at the front door and whine constantly. She asked what she could do about it. There are multiple answers to this, which make it no easy fix regardless of which avenue she took. Since she came into a vet clinic, the first answer would be to obviously neuter the dog. At 6 years old, any benefit he’s derived from keeping his testicles and allowing his hormones to positively affect growth and development has obviously taken its course. As intact males age, the risk of prostate enlargement (which does NOT equal cancer!) increases, which is also why older men must bend over for the doctor and ads for questionable saw palmetto-based supplements pepper the airwaves. In addition, removing his testicles has the potential to significantly reduce his drive to use them. Unfortunately, from a training and behavior point-of-view, that last point is a bit of a gray zone. Let’s look at the behavior of neutered dogs (MALES ONLY, in keeping with the spirit of the situation in question), especially considering the extremely large population from which one can sample. While veterinary clinics see a great number of these dogs on a regular basis, one drawback is that the environment is simply not suitable to making definitive statements. I would be more inclined to give weight to those from a trainer who is able to observe and work the dog either in the home environment, or in a residency program, which allows said trainer to pretty much assimilate the dog into his/her lifestyle. These people are actively working with the dog to learn appropriate behavior to be a good citizen in society, and it is the rare trainer who requires all dogs to be sterilized as a part of their program.

Neutered dogs still actively hump other dogs, objects, and can even achieve a mating tie with a bitch given the right circumstances

While humping is not always a sexual behavior, especially in a pack setting in which there is no bitch around (much less one intact, even less so one in estrus), it is certainly not a behavior people like to see. Unfortunately, as dogs are dogs, it is part of their repertoire. It establishes hierarchy, creates puppies, and in many dogs (indeed, more than one might initially think), is also pleasurable. No one likes to talk about it, of course! Neutering a dog might decrease the desire to mate, but for a 6-year old dog, that’s very questionable. A younger dog might not have had the time to mature and allow his sexual drives to come forward, so he’s not going to be aware of bitches in heat and what those smells mean. Many older dogs might have that drive diminished, but not completely disappear. And there are the rare few for whom neutering makes absolutely no difference at all, and they will STILL attempt a tie given the opportunity. The good thing is that, to paraphrase what a good friend wrote about the issue, ties with court eunuchs are much shorter in duration and produce no puppies. Neutered males still hump pillows and cushions. They can still hump other dogs. If you were unaware, there are sex toys available to dogs whose owners feel the desire to give them an “outlet” for their humping. But, in the long run, it’s just easier to correct the behavior instead of cater to it.

Neutered males can be territorial and aggressive

Good fences make good neighbors, until the dog starts in with how he thinks he should run the show. Barrier aggression due to fences, which can at first seem like territorial behavior, is actually built out of frustration from the inability to physically reach the dog on the other side of the fence—a truly territorial dog is more likely to have a resource-guarding mentality, in that the house is HIS. The yard is HIS. That toy over there is HIS. That person on the end of the leash is HIS. He is anxious that someone will try to take what is his, and it is easier to be offensive and prevent them from TAKING these things than it is to try to take it back once it’s gone.We see it in the dogs who separate spouses, do not allow even good friends to hug each other, and give warning signs of a very real impending bite should anyone reach for anything that is THEIRS, concrete or otherwise. They are the perfect Abusive Boyfriend dog. Appropriately, these are NEUTERED MALES we’re talking about, and if you think I’m only talking about the stereotypical five-pound landshark with Big Dog Syndrome, you better think again. At the vet’s office, some of the smaller landsharks can be handled with welding gloves, a muzzle, a towel and possibly a syringe full of sedating drugs. The ones about which you need to think again need a tranquilizer pill 3 hours before the appointment, and the possibility of (but attempts to otherwise avoid) using a rabies pole and a syringe full of sedating drugs. These are NEUTERED MALES. Dogs with no testosterone in their systems—it’s hard to blame the aggression on hormones when there are none present!

Neutered males slip out the door, escape the yard, otherwise get lost and risk being hit by a car

Most of the owners of intact males seem to have a decent idea of what they are dealing with. In fact, the dachshund’s owner is one of them. Without my knowing whether or not her yard is fenced and having not clued me in either way, she is adamant that the dog does not go outside without being on a leash that is attached to a person at the other end. While life on a leash is a bit of a downer that some reliable training can remedy, I have to give this lady a gold star in that she is properly confining and supervising a dog that is a high flight risk, mostly due to a lack of training to properly stay in his yard when off-leash and under supervision. (NB: I do not recommend leaving any dog outside unattended, especially, ESPECIALLY in an unfenced-yard, whether or not the dog is contained with a buried cable static fence. This is where behavior problems start, medical problems manifest unseen, and tragedies occur, most of them completely preventable and a few of the freak accident variety. Even if the yard is securely fenced beyond all reasonable attempts to escape or the dog is tied out on a chew-proof cable attached to a non-slip martingale collar, I recommend supervision of some kind.) Any dog can escape a yard provided the motivation to do so is great enough. This does not always have to be a bitch in heat; it could be an errant toy, the lure of another dog outside the yard, fencing malfunctions (including inadequate enclosure or height) or the desire to chase suburban wildlife of any size. Most dogs are also not properly trained to respect a door threshold, much less that of a gate, which sets up the classic scenario of an owner chasing a loose dog, losing the dog, posting lost pet flyers, calling vet offices and shelters around town, etc etc. And whether or not the dog actually returns home is left to chance. And of course there are many dogs that just don’t agree with the concept of secure confinement, be it in a crate, kennel, yard, or small room. These are remedied and managed on a case-by-case basis. Any dog that escapes in any manner, without reliable obedience to bring it back (although, with obedience the dog would ideally not be escaping in the first place!), is at risk of being hit by a car. Even street-proofing/boundary training is not a 100% guarantee that a dog in flight mode will respect the curb, but it can be a big help in reducing the possibility it will happen. Believe it or not, there is a population of dogs who are at great risk, if it hasn’t already happened, of being run over by none other than their OWNERS, most often right on their own property. Seriously: I’ve met a dog to whom it’s happened TWICE.

Neutered males have health problems

Because of the nature of castration, it should be common knowledge that cancer cannot form in an organ that is no longer present. Testicular cancer is slow-spreading enough anyway to have a high likelihood of detection before metastasizing, with castration as a cure. But the truth remains that intact males, as mentioned earlier, can have benign prostatic growth as they mature. WHEN this happens is somewhat subjective. I’ve assisted in appointments with 3-4 year old intact males with enlarged and non-painful prostates, and I’ve also been in appointments with elderly 8-10 year old dogs with normal-sized prostates. Perianal fistulas are also a reality with intact dogs, with some breeds more predisposed to them than others and sterilization is, unfortunately, not a guarantee of avoiding them completely. But what about other problems? I was lucky (perhaps that is the wrong word) to know one of the few neutered males with suspected prostate cancer. No diagnostics were ever done, but all the symptoms were there and his owners consistently declined aggressive treatment, choosing to keep him comfortable until he was humanely euthanized. Retrospective studies using established and reputable veterinary databases have shown a correlation between loss of reproductive hormones and various disease processes, some of them very significant (including many dreaded cancers). Does correlation equal causation in this case? Not always, but the results are consistent enough and the sample populations large enough to conclude that this is more than mere chance. Does timing of the neuter matter? There is some evidence that it may, and other evidence that it may not. These studies do not by any means follow the true scientific method in terms of data collection, have no control populations are generally conducted through surveys or records obtained said databases, and as such can be flawed to some extent. However, the fact that these results are repeatable and the numbers consistent enough to show up in paper after paper is enough to make some people reconsider the choice to neuter until later in the dog’s life, if at all.

Neutered males lift their legs to urine-mark, almost to the point of obsession
Urine marking is a dirty habit, and I’ve written about it before. It’s disrespectful in the majority of cases, and unnecessary in others. There is simply no need for any male, intact or sterile, to feel the absolute desire to lift his leg on any given thing on which he feels needs some urine—it is downright rude. The sheer number of sterile males who go around on walks marking every tree, every bush, every corner curb until there is no urine left with which to mark (and even then the behavior still continues!) tells me that the problem lies not with the testicles so much as it does the mentality of the person holding the end of the leash. A male dog can be taught to relieve himself in one urination (or two at most) instead of multiple squirts here and there. Most dogs actually do not empty their bladders completely, and occasional marking might occur during free play time or on an off-leash walk. The key word here is occasional; it must not be obsessive. I welcome a dog that loves to explore its environment and expand some boundaries in terms of what’s out there in this big world—what I draw the line at is a dog that think its needs to own, through a drop of urine, every little thing out there. Whether or not a dog decides to lift his leg during urination is completely up to him. A fair number of castrati seem to do this, and an intriguing amount of sexually intact dogs remain squatters during their lifetime. With this said, neutering is absolute not a guarantee that your dog will never lift his leg to urine-mark objects, or even empty his bladder completely; and again, neutering is not a guaranteed “fix” for the dog that already does lift his leg during urination.

Neutered males are energetic and require exercise

A good friend of mine was in conversation with a client over whether or not the client should neuter their dog. The notion was brought up that he would “calm down” if neutered. My friend’s words were, to paraphrase, “I don’t think dogs keep their energy in their testicles.” However, it’s commonly stated that dogs DO calm down after they are surgically sterilized. My experience with vast numbers of castrati in a veterinary setting, as well as working with them in a professional capacity as a trainer, tell me otherwise. Dogs calm down because they have been physically and mentally fulfilled through exercise and stimulation. They are calm because of their confidence in appropriate choices in life, their ability to make those choices, and their respect and trust of the people around them, specifically the one with whom they live and train with most often. Bear in mind that this doesn’t mean these dogs can sit around in a zen state all day doing absolutely nothing; but that they are calm through fulfillment of simply being allowed to “be a dog,” with all the rights, responsibilities and restrictions thereof. They do not calm down because certain parts of the body have been removed. Even dogs that have had amputations, or those in wheelchairs, or even those few who live as two-legged specimens have not experienced decreased levels of energy due to missing limbs. The dogs who have undergone ear canal ablations or cataract removal surgery are actually MORE energetic, because the sources of pain, infection or inability to move freely without running into something have been removed. Dogs whose tails were docked at birth, or who had pieces of ear cartilage snipped away for cosmetic purposes do not experience a lack of energy due to those procedures. Even dogs who have had an intestinal resection and anastomosis, or even an entire spleen removed are unchanged after appropriate recovery period of cage rest and exercise restriction. People think that hyperactivity is cute, except when it gets in the way of leading what one MIGHT describe as a “normal” life. In reality, it’s not. Having boundless amounts of energy and nowhere to direct it is no way to go through life. Dogs are social creatures, and being excluded because of something that can easily be controlled through humane and effective training is very stress-inducing. It is frustrating to the dog to not be able to be with company. It is the equivalent of mental torture to have a mind that is so anxious and stressed that the dog can’t think rationally. It is our job to teach these skills to our dogs so that they can be included in a calm, safe manner. In closing, there are many reasons to neuter a dog, most of them health-related and even then, as mentioned before, some of those are coming into question more and more. Anytime someone recommends you neuter your dog for behavioral reasons, caveat emptor. With that said, there are some notable exceptions put forth by Heather Houlahan while, relating to golden retrievers as per her blog entry, go for all dogs: Any [dog] that lifts a hostile lip at a human being loses its gonads. Every. Single. Time. Any [dog] that starts fights with other dogs loses its gonads. Every. Single. Time. No [dog] gets to use its gonads before age four (bitches) or six (dogs). In other words, the dog is culled from the gene pool. These are not traits we want to pass on to future generations (unless you run with the Fila or the Ovcharka crowd, but that’s neither here nor there). Remember: “culling” does not necessarily mean euthanizing or killing the dog–and yes, there is a difference. Neutering is never a guaranteed cure for any behavioral issues. The only guarantees you do have are that:

Your dog is rendered permanently
sterile and will not reproduce

He will never develop cancer in organs he no longer has.
Do the right thing and train your dog right instead of depending on an elective surgery to do the training for you. And finally, don’t hesitate at all to neuter your dog if you feel that’s the right choice for both him and you. Don’t do it because it’s “the responsible thing.” What is more demoralizing is that sterilization is considered the height of responsible pet ownership when so many dogs are overweight (or even outright obese), lacking in canine social skills, unsocialized to living in our world, aggressive, not housetrained and/or living lives of anxiety, stress, and frustration behind suburban fences (except for the 1-2 times a year they are taken to the veterinarian). Responsibility is training, supervising and properly confining a dog so that it can live life in the fullest, healthiest manner in a society with the people to whom it is attached. And there is absolutely no reason that owners of well-trained, socialized, mentally- and physically-fulfilled intact dogs should be regarded as anything BUT responsible!

Trouble Clipping Your Dog’s Toenails? Here’s Some Advice…

JJ Murray wrote to us with a question about clipping his dog’s toenails:  “I have a really hard time clipping my dogs nails especially my Sitzu He bites if I try to hard My other dog is skittish about getting his nails cut. Any ideas ? I really need help with this.”

“Clipping toenails seem to be a sticking point for many dogs, especially small breeds like Shih Tzus for some reason.”

DP Trainer 3 replied: “Clipping toenails seem to be a sticking point for many dogs, especially small breeds like Shih Tzus for some reason.

The main thing is to gt the dog used to you handling his feet. Make it a game. Several times a day pick up one of his feet and and handle it, touching the nails, checking the foot, etc. At first, just pick up a foot, reward the dog with something of high value (to him). IF he accepts the handling. gradually do more, such as actually touching/handling one nail, then 2, etc) before rewarding. Basically you want to teach the dogs that having their nails done is no big deal, but something positive and rewarding for them.

Now, if the dog actually tries to bite, that warrants a “You don’t mess with the Alpha” correction. And, make sure you are relaxed and confident about what you’re doing. Your attitude will go a long way towards how the dogs behave.

While working to desensitize (paragraph 1) one thing that’s worked for many people is to have someone hold a jar of peanut butter for the dog to eat the peanut butter while a 2nd person cuts nails. That might work, but don’t necessarily try clipping all the nails in one session.

Selecting a Proper Diet for Your Dog


How and what we feed our dog has a big effect on our pet’s health and over-all behavior. There are so many commercially available dog foods to choose from that making the right decision can be somewhat impossible. But let’s tackle the problem nonetheless.

For a change, look beyond the labels and advertisements and look into what exactly your dog food contains. What follows is a partial list to help you find out if your dog is getting what he needs in the right amounts.

If your pet dog has large, smelly stool, is gaseous, burps often, sheds constantly, is prone to ear and skin infections, has either no energy or is hyperactive and if his immune system is weak, something may be wrong with your pet’s diet. Although any or a combination of these symptoms may occur occasionally, having them recur often is a cause for concern and reviewing your pet’s diet is one of the first things you should look into.

First of all, your dog needs 45 nutrients to function properly. Major groups for these nutrients are protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins and minerals, as well as water. These nutrients have to be in the right amounts so that they are properly digested and absorbed by the body.


Remember that your dog, or any dog for that matter, is a carnivore, meaning his body mainly uses meat. That also means that vegetables and grains are not supposed to have a major contribution to your pet’s diet.

On dog food packages how much protein is in the food is indicated. But finding out how much protein is in the food is not as important as knowing what source the protein came from.

Dog food makers have a wide choice of protein sources to choose from. Aside from meats (beef, chicken, lamb, etc.), plants and grains like corn, wheat and soy are used as sources.

To find out what sources have been used most in the package you’re buying, look at the ingredients list. By law, the largest amount of ingredient used is listed first and others follow in decreasing amounts.

You should see 3 meat sources on the first 5 items mentioned. Any less than that and you may not be giving your dog the proper protein for his diet.


Your dog will also need carbohydrates primarily for energy. But unlike their masters, dogs do not need a lot of carbohydrates to be healthy. A diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates is ideal for your pet.

Since dogs are meat-eaters, diets high in carbohydrates will take a long time for your pet to digest, not to mention resulting to large and smelly stool and gas. The gums can also grow sore due to excessive chewing and his breath can develop a bad smell. So only use a small amount of a carbohydrate source (such as grains) in your pet’s diet.


Two kinds of fat exist. One is saturated (animal fat) and the other is polyunsaturated (vegetable fat). Your dog will need both and taken together supply essential fatty acids (EFA) needed to maintain good health.

Not enough fat in the diet can cause low energy levels, heart problems and dry skin. However, too much fat can cause obesity. Tumors and cancers can also develop. In reading the label, look for a product that has a good balance between animal and vegetable fat in it.


Vitamins are necessary to release nutrients from the food that the body can use. There are two types of vitamins: water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. Both types are needed by your dog.

Vitamins B and C are water-soluble. Too much of these will not harm the body much since it is urinated out in 4 to 8 hours. This is the reason they need to be in each meal. Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat-soluble. They are stored in fatty tissues of the body and the liver.

It is important to remember that vitamins are easily lost in the making of manufactured dog food. And they break down as soon as you open the package and expose the food to light and air. Vitamins B and C are particularly sensitive.

Vitamin C is needed for healthy teeth and gums as well as for a strong immune system to fight diseases. While dogs can produce their own vitamin C, it is not enough and therefore needs to be part of the diet.

Vitamin B is needed for energy and to break down protein and carbohydrates.


Minerals are a critical component of a diet but they make up less than 2% of most formulated dog food products. Since more than half of the necessary minerals are lost in manufacturing processes, adding mineral supplements to your pet’s food is recommended.


Ready access to fresh and clean is necessary for your dog to maintain proper body functions as well as to aid the body to break down hard-to-digest food like meats.

Whether you make your own dog food or buy them off the shelf, it is necessary to make sure the proper nutrients in the right amounts are given to your dog. Just a little effort goes a long way in helping our pets lead a healthy life as your companion. 

Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.

Just Got Spayed Today

That was actually a ZZ Top song. Except when they sang it, it wasn’t “Just Got Spayed Today” … it was, “Just Got Paid Today.”


Gidget, our five month-old Belgian Malinois puppy just got spayed… last Tuesday. And it’s been a rough ride for both her, Carla and I.

The night she got home, she vomited, twice. Apparently, this is a fairly common reaction to the anesthesia.

But then she vomited again, in the morning. The whole rest of the day, she had terrible diarrhea. When evening rolled around, it seemed like she was alright. Her energy level was good and her demeanor was normal.

So, we let her sleep outside in the kennel run, because the weather was nice. In the morning, everything was covered in feces. It took us two hours to clean up.

Then we took her back to the veterinarian. She did a fecal test, and everything looked normal. Vet thinks it’s just that she has a weak stomach in general, and the stress of the surgery may have thrown everything off balance. Just to be on the safe side, she put her on an antibiotic, plus flagyl, plus something else I can’t remember, to help balance the natural bacteria levels in her stomach. Oh yeah, we also have to feed her some canned food from Science Diet that is basically a low carb doggie version of the Atkins diet.

Well, she seemed to be getting better over the past couple of days– but then tonight… we’re back to diarrhea, again. Tomorrow will be a week since she’s had the operation, and I’ll be taking in a stool sample to (hopefully) figure out what’s going on?

And this whole time, training has pretty much been on hiatus. Although I have been playing a little game with her where I have her stand in front of me, and I show her the toy and whisper either “Sit!” or “Down!” and she needs to figure out which behavior to do. Including going from the down position, into the sit position. It’s a good exercise for her right now, because it doesn’t involve any runnning or anything that might involve stress.

I’ll keep you posted on her progress.

Why You Should Eat In Front Of Your Dog

If you’ve read any of my dog training books, then you know that I subscribe to the pack philosophy of dog psychology. And you don’t need to be an animal psychologist to watch a pack of dogs and know that if you drop a steak in the middle of the room… the most dominant dog will eat it, first

So, what are you communicating when you eat in front of your dog? You are communicating that you are the pack leader.

In our household, we don’t allow our dogs to beg. If I have a cheese snack (and I do love cheese!) … and if I choose to toss one of our dog’s a piece, then I’ll make him work for it. (Just like I work for the food, by the way. As does every other animal in the jungle!)

I will never, ever give one of our dogs a piece of cheese when they ask for it. In fact, I’ll actually use the leash and collar to correct the dog for this behavior– as it’s one of those things that gets very annoying, very quickly.

Now, our dogs are allowed to sit and look pretty. That’s okay. But they better keep their distance, because if they get too close while I’m eating, they’ll get corrected… just like the dominant dog would do.

“But they’re hungry!” I can hear you saying.

Tough. Too bad.

Our dogs live better lives than Kings did in the 15th Century.

Waiting until after we humans finish eating is something that every dog should be taught to do. It’s one of 100 subtle ways you can act like the pack leader. And acting like a pack leader in a non-training environment does translate over to the park, when you ask your dog to behave around distractions. If your dog has seen you consistently act like a pack leader, then he won’t question your authority when faced with a distraction such as a cat, a dog or a piece of food.

Does Your Dog Itch and Scratch, All Night Long?

Here’s a dialogue I had with my friend, Rose.  She had tried everything from diet, special baths, exercise and training but could not get her dog, “Dutch”  to stop itching and scratching.  She gave me permission to share this exchange with you:

Rose: I forgot to tell you that I’m now beginning the third cycle of Revolution on Dutch and it has solved the problem of incessant scratching.  It got me to thinking of all those people that have been convinced their dogs had psychological problems that caused that (probably because they were using something like Frontline or Advantage and never saw hot spots, etc. on their dogs).  So, good lesson learned.

Adam replies: That’s interesting.  So– he didn’t have fleas, he had hot spots?  And you think the Advantage was causing the hot spots? Where did you get the Revolution?  Pet catalog, or do you need a script?

Rose: No, he never had fleas or hot spots.  That’s my point.  There was just incessant scratching with no “visible” signs of irritation and he had been on Frontline for years.  So I kept wondering if there wasn’t some other problem.  I had heard of dogs having emotional type problems that caused certain behaviors, one of which was scratching, but Dutch has had a good life so I didn’t think it was that kind of behavioral problem.  That’s when I asked his breeder about it and she told me that often veterinarians did not diagnose sarcoptic mange properly.  They just missed it because they didn’t see anything.  When I brought it up to Dutch’s vet, all she did was run a flea comb through his coat and that was that.  I asked her to prescribe Revolution (as the breeder suggested) and she did without question.  It solved not only the problem of the itching, but also ear mites (and, of course, potential fleas and ticks).  It also addresess heartworm.  So in one prescription, many types of problems are addressed simultaneously.  I suspect that many dog owners are experiencing similar problems and have no clue how to deal with it.  When I look back, we had the same problem with China too, but her breeder wasn’t quite as bright.

Adam: Okay, bare with me… because I want to make sure I’m understanding what you’re saying: You think he DID have mange, and the Revolution fixed it?

Rose: I think he may have had a low-grade case of sarcoptic mange (microscopic stage) with no visible signs of irritation.  Often dogs are misdiagnosed with some sort of dermatitis (just like people) and it’s difficult to pinpoint what is causing it.  It could be contact dermatitis with soap/shampoo or a plant, etc.  I suspect that dogs are quite often diagnosed in the same way and treated with antibiotics unnecessarily.  I’m just speculating here.  The point is that sarcoptic mange should not be ruled out just because a dog’s hair isn’t falling out or because it’s not full of visible irritation.  The dog owner should probably have their dog tested for it when a visual inspection by the vet doesn’t produce results. Dutch’s scratching was going on for months and we couldn’t figure out what the problem was.  We switched shampoos, food, etc. looking for the cause and came up empty.  That’s when I finally just asked the breeder.

She also recommended keeping him on California Natural dry dog food and nothing else.  Dutch quit eating so many times I couldn’t tell if he was just bored with all the different foods (mostly high-end dog food) or what the problem was.  Finally, I just cut him down to one meal a day and that worked out great.  I feed him about 3/4 of the daily recommended amount for his weight in the morning (so he has time to work it off) and then at night, I give him some of those tartar fighting dog biscuits or a natural treat of some sort to tide him over until morning.  He’s doing really well now.

Adam: So, again: The Revolution got rid of the mange?

Rose: Yup.  My point is that we would have never known what it was and the vet didn’t diagnose it either, even after repeated office visits.  Dog owners need to be proactive.  Dutch would scratch all night long and we weren’t getting any sleep listening to him.  When you don’t see sores or irritation in a dog, you tend to let it slide thinking he’s “just being a dog.”


Cooking Your Own Dog Food

Ellen writes: “I am considering making my own dog food and not using commercial dog food. Any information you could give me would be helpful.

I’m looking for recipes as well as the pro’s and con’s of doing this. Thanks for any advice you can give me. ”

Adam responds: I hate to tell you this, but… EVERY single one of my clients who has tried to create their own dog food has ended up– after several weeks– with a dog that looked malnourished and had health problems.

Once they went back to the commercial stuff, the dog would start gaining weight again, return to good health, and re-gain a nice coat.

The big pet food companies have put hundreds of years and billions of dollars (okay, maybe not quite that much) into researching what makes for the best quality dog foods. If you stick with one of the top three or four dry dog foods, your dog will be healthier.