Energy Sources For Your Dog

Originally, dog owners who fed their pets natural ingredients were attempting to replace the natural diet of the dog.  Natural ingredients used today are no longer the foods eaten by an animal ‘naturally’ in the wild, but have become modifications of those original foodstuffs to more confinement or longer-lasting forms.

The human diet consists of a large selection of such modified natural foods, most of which have been tried for feeding a dog.  Besides these human foods, there are still a few natural ingredients available to the dog owner that are not normally considered to be human foods.  Examples of such foods are horse meat, hog livers, and bone meal.


Meat is, without question, the most common natural ingredient fed to a dog.  It is also the most common source of protein. It is not the only source, however, nor is it the best.  Eggs, milk, and plant proteins also make up a large reservoir of protein sources available to dog feeders.


All natural foods containing nutrients are energy sources, since most nutrients can become energy.  Some natural foods supply more energy than others and are customarily used as energy sources.  These are the foods containing the largest quantities of fats and carbohydrates.  Fats are the primary energy source in any diet for a dog.  Most meats come with the fat already attached, especially in the chopped and ground varieties.  Fats also can be found in nature in the pure form as vegetable oils or as tallow and lard.


Carbohydrates, while not as concentrated an energy source as fats, are lower in cost.  Carbohydrates are useful to dilute the protein in high-meat diets or lower the caloric density of diets containing too much fat.

Corn Oil

Probably the most universally useful source of energy for a dog is corn oil.  Corn oil supplies 9 calories in every gram, 250 calories in every ounce, 124 calories in every tablespoonful, and 62 calories in every teaspoonful.  When used as the only fat in a food it also furnishes about ten times the amount of essential fatty acids needed by a dog.  Corn oil is inexpensive, easily obtainable, and has a reasonably good keeping quality.  Other vegetable oils that can be used satisfactorily as an energy source for a dog are olive oil, peanut oil, safflower oil and soybean oil.

Feeding Your Dog Table Scraps?

Until about 40 years ago, most dogs could still eek out a living on table scraps.  With the advent of modern merchandising methods, both the quality and the quantity of the usable scraps has declined.  Meats are sold already trimmed and boned, carefully wrapped in cellophane and cardboard, and ready for cooking without additional alterations.  Frozen foods have eliminated trimmings from vegetables, and dairy and poultry products come from cartons and coolers, not cows and chickens.  Everything is prepackaged in convenient quantities so that purchases can be adjusted to family appetites with almost no leftovers.

The scraps from a meal made from these pre-trimmed, pre-battered, pre-buttered, pre-cooked, and pre-packaged foods consists of only bits  and pieces which are either inedible or unwanted by human beings.  Such bits and pieces make neither a balanced nor an adequate diet for a dog.

The true value of today’s table scraps are succinctly brought home when the dog owner who feeds his dog table scraps asks himself, ‘What would I do with these scraps if I didn’t own a dog?”  lf his answer would be to save them in the refrigerator for his own next meal then a dog can probably eat the scraps, too.  However, If he would throw the scraps into the garbage can, then he is literally feeding his dog garbage when he feeds table scraps.

But there is an even greater danger in table scraps.  In spite of their poor nutritional quality, table scraps frequently are quite palatable to a dog.  All too often such table scraps are used with the idea of increasing the palatability of a less palatable, but better balanced, commercial food.  Unless the scraps are finely chopped and blended with the commercial foods, most dogs will simply pick out the table scraps and leave the balanced food behind.

Most table scraps are fats and carbohydrates, yielding lots of calories and little else.  As a consequence, the dog obtains a sizable portion of its daily caloric need from the useless scraps and loses his appetite entirely for the commercial food.  By refusing to put table scraps on the food, a dog owner may feel he is forcing his dog to eat a food it does not want.  But, in the long run, most dog owners will agree that it is better to starve a dog with concern than to kill it with kindness.

Dogs Who Eat Their Own Feces

Dogs Who Eat Their Own Feces

I have a cousin named Leonard who was in the Army during Vietnam.

He and his fellow soldiers would often be in the jungle for several days at a time.  The Army would supply them with MRE’s.  (Meals Ready To Eat.)  These are kind of like T.V. dinners… packed in foil bags.  After the novelty of eating out of a foil bag wears off, you come to realize that MRE’s are some of the most bland-tasting food you will ever eat.

Leonard once told me that he and his buddies would pack small bottles of Tobasco sauce in their bags.  That Tobasco sauce became a real life-saver…. in the culinary department, that is… as dousing enough Tobasco sauce on any meal would make it edible.

I always think about Leonard whenever somebody tells me that their dog eats it’s feces and they’ve already tried seasoning it with Tobasco sauce.

Some Con-Man came up with this as a remedy for a dog’s fecal appetite, but it always seemed like a pretty good way to make it more appetizing for the dog, if you ask me.

So what should you do if your dog or puppy has this nasty habit?  Here’s a couple of things you can try.  My clients have had success with all of these:

  • Keep his area clean.  Don’t let him be in an area where he has access to feces.
  • Correct your dog with a collar and leash if he tries to eat feces.
  • Add pineapple juice to his meals.
  • Add ‘Accent’ meat flavor-enhancer to his meals.  (Apparently, this gives the feces an odd odor that repels dogs… as if the odor of feces wasn’t bad enough by itself???)
  • Pick up your dog’s waste immediately after he eliminates.

10 Tips For Your Dog’s Pearly Whites

A pretty smile may not be on your dog’s priority list, but having sound teeth to chew his food certainly is. Your veterinarian will examine your dog’s teeth as part of his annual checkup, but don’t wait until a yearly exam to help prevent your dog from developing dental disease. Tartar and plaque can form on your dog’s teeth as they can on your own, and tooth loss and gum disease can just as easily develop.

Some dental problems may be a result of genetic manipulation and breeding. Some miniature dogs, for example, may have tooth problems from birth due to having the same number of teeth as a large dog being crammed into their smaller jaws. Other dogs develop dental problems as they age. Whatever the cause, help your dog in the dental department by cleaning his teeth twice weekly and following some of these suggestions.

1. Accustom your dog to having his teeth cleaned early in life. Make the session a game and reward your dog with a tartar-control treat.

2. Two types of teeth-cleaning products exist that fit over the pet owner’s fingertips. One is a rubber device a little larger than a thimble with tiny rubber spikes on it. The other has an actual brush on it so that you can brush your dog’s teeth, using only tooth- paste that is intended for dogs. The brush can be sterilized in a microwave oven after each use.

3. If you prefer to use an actual brush, use a soft toothbrush meant for a baby.

4. If your dog has a very small mouth, use a human eyebrow brush.

5. Try a little baking soda instead of pet toothpaste to clean your dog’s teeth. Caution: Human toothpaste is intended to be spit out and will make your dog sick if he swallows it.

6. An alternative way to clean your dog’s teeth is to rub them several times a week with a dampened terrycloth washcloth. To make it more enjoyable for your dog, rub a little garlic on the cloth.

7. If your dog runs in the other direction when he sees you whip out the toothbrush and paste, offer him treats or food products that are designed to remove plaque and prevent the buildup of tartar. Give him some hard, dry, crunchy food as a part of his normal diet to help clean plaque deposits. Manufacturers have developed foods and treats to reduce the amount of tartar and plaque. Most are available in grocery stores and supermarkets.

8. Discuss with your veterinarian having your dog’s teeth cleaned professionally. Teeth cleaning requires that your dog be anesthetized.

9. If your dog has bad breath, it could signal the sign of disease. Have your dog checked by a veterinarian. To help reduce bad doggie breath, purchase products intended to make your dog’s breath smell better. They are available at pet stores.

10. As an alternative way to improve your dog’s breath, mix three parts water to one part non mint liquid chlorophyl (available in health food stores) in a medicine bottle. Liquid chlorophyl is a natural deodorant. Give your dog one dropper full daily to fight bad breath from the inside.

Protect Your Dog From Those Cold Winter Months: 9 Tips That Can Help

Cold, frigid weather presents the same problems for pets as it does for some humans. If your dog is uncomfortable in the cold, expect him to shiver or hold up his paws as he walks. Left outside for extended periods of time, your dog can experience frostbite or hypothermia. Look for discoloring of the skin, especially on the ear tips and other extremities.

If you find any signs, contact your veterinarian. Salt or other ice-melting chemicals as well as antifreeze can be extremely hazardous and life-threatening for the dog that ingests them. Road salt also can cause sores if it becomes lodged between your dog’s footpads. Dogs at risk from the cold and winter-related hazards, whether they live indoors or out, need special care. Here are a few tips:

1. Place a flannel sheet over your dog’s bed for extra warmth.

2. To keep warm, your dog may like to sleep on floor heating vents that can catch the identification tags attached to his collar. If your dog likes to snooze over a floor vent, put his tags in a Pet Pocket, which attaches to his collar.

3. In cold weather, your dog will need more energy to fight the cold in the form of extra calories, so don’t be afraid to offer him additional food in the winter.

4. Be sure to wipe off your dog’s paws when he comes in from the outside to prevent salt and other chemicals from sticking to his feet.

5. Keep antifreeze out of your dog’s reach, and be sure to clean up any that may have spilled in the garage or driveway.

6. If your dog is accustomed to living the good life indoors, don’t allow him to stay outside for extended periods of time in cold weather.

7. Make sure your dog has a warm, draft-free place to sleep. Since warm air rises, offering him a bed off the floor will add extra warmth and comfort for winter dreaming.

8. Don’t allow your dog to be off leash in a snowstorm or ice storm. If he gets lost, he will not be able to use his sense of smell to find his way home.

9. If your dog is short-haired, elderly, or sensitive to the cold, even for short walks, consider purchasing a sweater for him to wear in cold weather.

Common Deadly Poisons That Can Harm Your Dog

Some owners have the false belief that a dog won’t eat or drink something that isn’t good for them when they are outdoors roaming off-leash. But unfortunately, this is a myth. Dogs make the choice of what to eat on what tastes good to them. They have no concept if a substance is harmful or poisonous. However, dogs can expel rotten or toxic substances more quickly from their digestive systems than we can since their vomiting reflex is quicker than ours. The less time a substance stays in the system, the less chance it has to create ill effects.

Anti-Freeze: Alleys, streets and garages are prime locations for small puddles of anti-freeze. Licking anti freeze, even a small amount, can be quite lethal. Just a teaspoon is enough to kill a small dog, so it doesn’t take more than a few laps. Dogs really like the sweet taste; they have been known to chew through plastic containers that hold anti-freeze. Take the precaution and store anti-freeze in areas where your dog can’t easily get to it. On the street, keep your eye out for it, especially in late fall and winter, and use the “Leave it” command to keep your dog away from it.

Ethylene glycol is the toxic chemical in anti-freeze. If your dog has ingested even a small amount, call your vet immediately. There is an effective drug for anti-freeze poisoning. Before going to your vet, give your dog some bread to absorb the anti-freeze and then induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide. The rule of thumb is one tablespoon per 30 pounds of your dog’s body weight. You can administer hydrogen peroxide by pulling up the fold at the side of his mouth and squirting the solution into his mouth with a syringe.

In an extreme emergency, when you can’t gt to a vet, you can use the following remedy for anti-freeze poisoning: After inducing vomiting, make your dog a Bloody Mary – a shot of vodka and tomato juice. In fact, any alcoholic drink (gin, vodka) will do the trick. The alcohol ties up the ethylene glycol so it doesn’t precipitate into the kidneys. Give your dog one mixed drink per hour until you can get to a vet’s office. For smaller dogs, use a half a shot of alcohol. Again, this treatment should only be given when you absolutely can’t get to a vet’s office. And under no other circumstances, except for anti-freeze poisoning, should dogs be given alcoholic beverages.

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs: Products such as Advil or Tylenol may work wonders in reducing pain for people, but are quite toxic when ingested by your dog. They will wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive tract, so keep them safely out of reach.

Rat Poison: Rat poison can be found in city alleys and streets near garbage cans and dumpsters. Rat poison comes in pellet form – red or green. Rat poison is tasty to rats and, unfortunately, to dogs too. If your dog has ingested some rat poison, call your vet immediately. Rat poison can cause your dog to bleed from his mouth, nose and rectal area. If not treated quickly, your dog can bleed to death. If your dog happens to eat a rat that has been poisoned, your dog can be affected depending upon the amount of poison the rat ingested. Play it safe by calling your vet immediately.

Extermination: When your house is being exterminated, ask your exterminator what is a safe amount of time to keep your dog from the rooms that are being treated. Keep your dog from walking in areas that may still be slightly wet with pesticide. The pesticide can get on his paws which will get into his mouth if he starts licking them.

Household Cleaners and Disinfectants: If your dog has ingested household cleaners or disinfectants, then read the instruction label on the back to see if vomiting needs to be induced. You don’t want to induce vomiting on certain products because this can irritate the esophagus. You can induce vomiting by putting your finger down your dog’s throat, if you are comfortable doing this. Otherwise, give your dog a hydrogen peroxide solution (one tablespoon per 30 pounds of your dogs body weight).

House Plants: There are numerous household plants that are toxic for your dog. Some of the popular houseplants that are toxic include philodendrons, azaleas, rhododendron, Easter lilies, amaryllis, fox glove and Japanese lilies. Consult with your vet if you have any questions about house plants that you may have in your house.

Chocolate: Many vets get calls from panic-stricken owners who have discovered that their dog has eaten a candy bar. But one store-bought candy bar is really not enough to hurt your dog. Your dog has to ingest quite a bit of chocolate to feel any negative effects. It is the caffeine and bromethalin in chocolate that is poisonous to your dog. Dark baker’s chocolate is most toxic to your dog since it contains a high amount of caffeine and bromethalin. Milk chocolate and white chocolate have lower amounts of caffeine.

Bichon Keeps Scratching Neck… Is it Physical or Behavioral?

I have appreciated your advice in both your book and your

My male Bichon is a very good dog, gentle yet playful, minds
well, and treats me as the pack leader. He comes when I call,
goes in his crate at night with only one “kennel up” command
and is a general all around good dog.

One problem that I have been unable to break him of is scratching
his neck area to the point that it bleeds. He knows that he shouldn’t
do this and quits immediately when I say something to him. I have
taken him to the vet on three separate occasions.

He has received an antihistamine shot, been treated with Cortaid and
anti-itch spray, had flee treatment, bathed with hypo allergenic
shampoo and conditioner, been given a special diet, and none of this
made any difference. The last visit to the vet he prescribed a mild
tranquilizer coupled with hormone treatment. He quit scratching almost
immediately but he was somewhat lethargic. I cut out the hormone
treatment and cut his tranquilizer in half, under advisement of the vet.
He now scratches only moderately but I am hesitant to increase his
tranquilizer dosage back up to where it was. Also, I don’t see any end
to this form of treatment. As a trainer I wondered if you had ever
encountered this before and whether you had any recommendations I
might try other than the tranquilizer. In my opinion this just masks the
problem and does not fix it. I would appreciate any suggestions you
might have.


[Adam responds:] “No, this is most likely a physical problem not a
behavioral one.”

“You might try finding another vet to get a second opinion and see
another approach to it. My question would be: Why is he scratching?
It’s not the collar, is it?”

[Gordon replies:] Since he started scratching (about 3 months ago) he
has not worn a collar. One vet shaved his neck area and it shows no sign
of any irritation. I believe it to be something psychological and the vet (I
have seen two) tends to agree with me; ergo, the tranquilizer. In any
event I do appreciate you responding.

[Adam:] You might look into anti-anxiety drugs, if you feel this is the
case. Have your veterinarian call around and find out. Prozac-type drugs
will probably work better than just tranquilizing the dog.