Petfoodology

the scientific study of pet nutrition by veterinary nutrition specialists and experts.

Fiber Frustrations

Fiber can be frustrating because of the many different types and effects as well as the inaccuracy of most measurements of fiber in pet foods. We explain the common types of fiber and the ways that it can be reported in foods.

Think Twice: Reasons to Avoid a Home-cooked Diet

Considering a home-cooked diet or already feeding one? They may not always be in your pet’s best interest. Make sure you are avoiding common pitfalls and are feeding the best diet for your pet’s situation

Figuring Out Food Sensitivities

Many pets may have mild gastrointestinal signs with diet changes or related to being fed certain diets, supplements, or treats. Once major medical issues are ruled out, here’s a step-by-step plan to get to the bottom of things.

Can I change my pet’s diet to improve skin and coat health?

While we want pets to have a nice, shiny coat, having a shiny coat does not always mean the diet is best for your pet, since high fat diets, even if they are not good quality ones, will typically give pets a shiny coat. However, in addition to the absolute fat content, here are some other components of a pet’s diet that can help in skin and coat conditions.

When a Big Loss is a Huge Gain: The Role of Diet in Managing Orthopedic Conditions

Most of us know how important a balanced diet is for our own optimal health. The same holds true for our pets. For Max, a Samoyed suffering from painful hip dysplasia, conservatively managing his orthopedic condition with weight loss avoided the need for surgery.

Raw cat food associated with outbreak of tuberculosis in cats

Over one hundred cats in the UK became infected with a bacteria that causes tuberculosis from eating a raw cat food

Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM): Update, July 2019

On June 27, 2019, the FDA posted an update on their investigation into diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Since then, there have been many news reports, company responses, and internet/social media interpretations of the update.

Make “Cents” of Your Pet Food Budget by Calculating Pet Food Costs

Price per can or pound of dry food is not the most accurate way to compare pet food prices. We help you figure out how much your pet food is really costing

Asking the Right Questions to Make Informed Decisions about Pet Foods

We’re big fans of the WSAVA guidelines for selecting pet foods and there is a new online tool from the Pet Nutrition Alliance that allows you to see answers from pet food manufacturers to some of the questions WSAVA recommends asking about your pet’s food

‘As Long as He’s Eating, He’s Happy’: Is Appetite the Best Way to Measure Quality of Life?

Using appetite as the only test for whether your cat is happy or dealing with medical conditions means you might miss some subtle behaviors.

Feeding Frenzy: How Accurate Are Your Pet Food’s Feeding Directions?

Dr. Freeman discusses the accuracy of pet food label feeding directions and how to determine how much to feed your pet

Research Review: A Simple Step for Extending Your Dog’s Life

A new study confirms results from a previous study that keeping dogs lean for life increases lifespan

Puzzle Feeders for Cats: Dogs Shouldn’t Have All the Fun!

Puzzle feeders offer a fun enrichment opportunity for cats as well as dogs

Stop reading your pet food ingredient list!

We discuss red flags in your pet food ingredient list – they may not be the ones that you expect!

Human Grade: Should pets eat the same food that we do?

Should your pet be eating “human grade” food? We discuss what the term human grade means as applied to pet food

Cooking Up Trouble: Common Home Cooking Mistakes

Creating and maintaining a nutritionally complete home-cooked diet can be challenging and many pet owners inadvertently make mistakes that could lead to their pet not getting adequate nutrition. If you choose to feed your pet a homemade diet, it is important to watch out for these common errors.

Picky pet prescription: What to do when your pet won’t eat her prescribed therapeutic diet

Dr. Freeman provides tips for getting your pet to eat their therapeutic diet

New Year’s Resolutions for Pet Owners

Your dog and cat may not be able to make their own resolutions, but you can include them in yours this year!

Cats are not Small Dogs: Unique Nutritional Needs of Cats

Different from dogs, who are omnivores (meaning they are designed to eat a combination of animal and plant foods), cats are carnivores and have unique metabolism compared to many other domestic animals.

It’s Not Just Grain-Free: An Update on Diet-Associated Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Dr. Freeman provides an update on diet-associated dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs

When Less is More: Sensible Use of Supplements

Even if the dietary supplements you are giving your pet are high quality and safe, using multiple products increases the risk to your pet

Dangers of Bully Sticks: Popular Treat Can Carry Bacteria and Add Calories

Do you know what bully sticks are? A surprising number of owners (almost 50% in our survey) do not.

The Dangers Lurking in Your Halloween Candy

Did you know that some of your favorite Halloween treats could be dangerous or even deadly to your dog?

How Fast Is Too Fast For My Pet To Lose Weight?

You’ve already conquered the first steps of determining that your pet is overweight and you’ve worked with your veterinarian to create a weight loss plan. But now what? How fast can pets safely lose weight and how vigilant do you need to be?

How To Make Your Own Dried Chews

Interested in a healthy natural chew for your dog? Dehydrating your own fruit and vegetable treats can be a healthy and low calorie way to provide tasty chew options for your pet.

Pill-popping pets: Are the foods you use to give pills safe?

Is your pet on medication? How you give it, especially when you use food, does matter. We provide some tips on getting pills into pets.

Organic Pet Foods: Optimal Health or Overhyped?

Are organic pet foods healthier? We review the evidence

Breed Specific vs All Breed Diets

We discuss the differences and similarities between breed-specific diets and all breed diets

Should I give fish oil to my pet?

There is a lot of interest in the use of fish oil because of potential benefits for dogs or cats from omega-3 fatty acids. Here are some times when fish oil may be helpful for your pet.

A broken heart: Risk of heart disease in boutique or grain-free diets and exotic ingredients

A recent increase in heart disease in dogs eating certain types of diets may shed light on the role of diet in causing heart disease. It appears that diet may be increasing dogs’ risk for heart disease because owners have fallen victim to the many myths and misperceptions about pet food.

What Treats Can I Give My Dog With Kidney Disease?

Consistently feeding your pet a therapeutic diet for kidney disease can help him to live longer and feel better and you can still have some creativity/flexibility through treats.

The A-B-C’s of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a nutrient we associate with helping the immune system and fighting off colds and keeping people healthy, but is this the same for dogs and cats? Let’s look at the A-B-C’s of vitamin C in pets.

The Skinny on Fat: Part 2 – Essential fatty acids and inflammation

In the second part of a 2-part series on fat, we discuss the different types of fat and how they affect inflammation and health

The Skinny on Fat: Part 1 – The Basics

There is a lot of confusion regarding fat in pet foods. In this two-part series, we will explain what types of fat your pet needs and what health conditions may benefit from more or less fat

Is Your Pet on a Veterinary Therapeutic Diet? Tips Your Vet Wants You to Know

Here are some tips to make sure your pet’s therapeutic diet is providing the greatest health benefit and value for your money.

Baby food: When puppies and kittens need a therapeutic diet

What happens when your growing pet has a health issue that requires a special diet? Read on learn about how you need a diet that not only helps manage the disease but also meets all nutritional requirements.

A big pawprint: The environmental impact of pet food

Your home is energy efficient and you drive a hybrid car, but have you thought about the environmental impacts of your pet’s food?

Why are so many of our pets overweight?

This was the moment I realized that I was treating pet obesity all wrong. I needed to focus less on the pet and more on the relationship between people and their pets. That’s what’s literally cutting the lives short of the dogs and cats we love so much.

Does an Apple a Day Keep the Vet Away? Harmful vs Healthy Foods for Pets

Some foods that are safe for people are not safe for pets. While some food items can be given in moderation as a healthy, low calorie snack, others can be toxic. Read on to learn more about foods you could try and those to avoid!

Can Joint Diets Help My Dog’s Pain?

Many pet food companies have come out with specific veterinary therapeutic joint diets that have claims to decrease joint pain from arthritis.So what makes these diets different?

What’s Your Pet’s Score? Assessing Muscle Condition

Muscle condition score is an often overlooked part of assessing the nutritional and health status of pets. We discuss what a muscle condition score is and how to assess your pet.

Digestive Enzyme Supplements: Breaking Down the Evidence

Digestive enzyme supplements are often touted to improve digestion and improve health even in healthy pets. We discuss the science versus the hype of enzyme supplements.

Five Ways Being Overweight Can Harm Your Dog’s Health

Though dogs may not have to be worried about being made fun of by other dogs at the dog park, being overweight has been linked with many conditions that can affect a dog’s health including…

Five Ways Being Overweight Can Harm Your Cat’s Health

With up to 63% of cats currently overweight, we now know about the problems that cats face when they are too heavy. If your cat is overweight, your cat is at risk for these common problems.

The Problem with Pumpkin

Pumpkin is frequently recommended as a fiber supplement for pets but is it as good as it is often claimed to be?

You Are What You Eat – Providing a Good Diet History

It’s important to be able to provide your veterinary care team with detailed information about what you feed your pet so that they can make the best recommendations for your pet. Here are the things that are important, and not important, to include in a thorough diet history for your pet.

Battling the Bulge? Troubleshooting Tips for Pet Weight Loss

Struggling to get those lost few pounds off your pet? Weight loss can be challenging, so we’ve though through some strategies to help you troubleshoot!

Research Update: New insight into grain-free cat diets

We share some findings from a recently published study comparing the calories, carbohydrate content, and ingredients in grain-free versus grain-containing dry diets for cats

Good Bugs/Bad Bugs – The Confusing World of Probiotic Supplements

The gut bacteria and probiotic supplements have become popular topics lately, but will supplementing “good” bacteria make your pet healthier?

Top Five Nutrition Mistakes Pet Owners Make

There’s a lot of information and misinformation on the internet about what to feed your pet. Avoid these top mistakes pet owners make to feed their pet.

The Reality of Pet Food Recalls

Worried about pet food recalls? Not every recall means that a company makes “bad” food – sometimes it can even be a good thing, but how do you tell the difference?

What’s a Good Exercise Plan For My Pet?

With warmer weather making it easier to be active, here are some ideas to have your pets more active with you this spring and summer.

Muscle Matters

If you have an older pet or one with a medical condition, it’s time to learn about an issue that pet owners and even veterinarians don’t think about enough – muscle. Maintaining muscle throughout a dog or cat’s life is incredibly important to her health.

How Do I Get My Picky Pet to Eat?

Dealing with picky pooches or finicky felines can make feeding your pets challenging. Check out our strategies for making meal time easier!

Dietary Supplements for Pets: Harmful or Helpful?

Knowing the real facts about supplements can help to determine which ones might be useful, which ones are useless, and which ones can actually be harmful to your pet.

Confused About What to Feed Your Large Breed Puppy? New Rules May Help!

The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has created new guidelines to help you better chose a diet for large breed puppies.

Much Ado About Therapeutic Diets

A recent lawsuit underscores the lack of understanding about therapeutic diets that can only be purchased through a veterinarian

Questions You Should Be Asking About Your Pet’s Food

How can you tell about the quality and nutritional expertise of a pet food company? Here are some questions savvy owners should ask companies to select the best possible food for their pets.

Managing Multi-pet Mealtimes

It can be hard to keep cats and dogs from eating each other’s food, but it can be important to do your best, especially when those foods aren’t the same or pets have different calorie needs. Here’s tips on how to make it work.

How Do I Know If My Pet Is Overweight?

Check out these tips and video to find out if your pet is in ideal body condition!

What’s your Pet Food IQ?

Think you know about dog and cat nutrition? Take our Pet Food IQ test to find out whether you are at the top of the class or need to hit the books!

Five Pet Weight Loss Tips That Work!

Weight loss can be challenging, especially in cats. See Sunshine’s story as he learned to shed the pounds and get more active with these healthy living tips!

What are these numbers? Nutrition Math 101

What do the numbers on the back of the pet food bag mean? If you’ve ever been confused by what to do with those numbers, we’re going to break down the basics of pet food nutrition math.

Premium pet foods – are they worth the premium price?

Are premium pet foods worth the premium price, or can you save money without compromising your pet’s health? We discuss what premiumization means for pet food and why premium foods may not always be the best nutritional value.

Who we are and why you can trust us

What does it mean to be a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and why can you trust us to provide accurate, unbiased nutrition information for your pet?

Paging Dr. Google: Nutrition on the Internet

Information on the Internet about pet nutrition can be confusing and contains lots of myth and misinformation, but there also is some excellent information available. How can you decide who to trust? We provide tips on effectively and objectively using the Internet so you can make the best decisions about your dog or cat’s diet.

Vegan Dogs – A healthy lifestyle or going against nature?

The story of a pet owner who was attacked online for posting a picture of her dog and describing her vegan dog diet has gone viral on social media. We discuss whether vegan diets are safe for dogs.

Should you make your own pet food at home?

An increasing number of pet owners are interested in cooking their pets’ food at home. We discuss what is involved in cooking for your pet and the pros and cons.

What are the best foods and treats for my pet’s dental health?

Advice for keeping your pet’s teeth healthy and clean

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Why Trust Us?

Clinical Nutrition Team, Heinze, Freeman and LinderAs you’re on this website right now, we can assume that you love pets and likely have a special dog or cat (or many) in your life. We love them, too! And not only do we love the pets, we also love their people, and you are our reason for making this site.

Learn more about the Clinical Nutrition Team at Tufts

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