Posts Tagged ‘overweight dog’

The Downside of Home-Cooked Meals (And Other Startling Facts About Pet Nutrition)

Monday, June 28th, 2010

by Lisa Stahr

   I’ve spent a fascinating day today reading some of the (many) publications issued by our July 6th podcast guest, veterinary nutrition guru Dr. Andrea Fascetti of UC Davis, and I can say with confidence that I am really looking forward to our show. 
     Dr. Fascetti is considered one of the leading veterinary nutritionists in the country and as such has strong opinions about what to feed your pet.  For example, did you know that in most cases it’s in the animal’s best interest to eat a commercially available food?  Or that home-cooked diets, although almost always delivered with the best of intentions, can be harmful to your pet?  Or that there are risks to adding nutritional supplements to a complete and balanced commercial diet? 
     Yeah, neither did I.
     So if you want to learn more about things like “diet drift” and the value of “feeding trials,” then don’t miss our next show on July 6th at 1pm Pacific time with Dr. Fascetti.  And bring your questions!

What To Feed Your Dog or Cat

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

     True confessions:  I work in veterinary medicine, I talk with veterinarians and researchers all the time for Scout’s House’s radio show about pet care, including pet nutrition, and yet I still am not sure I’m making the best food choices for my own pets. 
     Is the fish and potatoes kibble I give my dog with cancer the right choice?  Sure, it helps her allergies, but are there PCBs in the fish?  How much food should I be serving my tubby tabby everyday to get some weight off him?  It’s hard to know since there’s no caloric information about the cat food on the bag or can.  Is the premium cat food I buy for my cats really good for them or am I just putting out a lot of money for a bag full of chicken beaks? 
     So you can understand why I was so pleased to read about the new book Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat by Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim.  Nestle, a New York University nutrition professor and author of food industry exposés What to Eat and Food Politics, teamed up with Nesheim, a professor of nutrition emeritus from Cornell, to help pet owners decode all the confusing (and often conflicting) information that’s out there about pet nutrition so that we can make intelligent, informed choices about the food we feed our pets.   
     For more information about the book, click the links below.  And don’t miss our podcast on Tuesday, July 6th, when we talk with acclaimed veterinary nutritionist Dr. Andrea Fascetti from the University of California at Davis about the role of nutrition in the management and prevention of disease in dogs and cats.  To listen live–and to ask Dr. Fascetti your questions–go to at 1pm Pacific time on July 6th. 

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Who Doesn’t Love Free Dog Stuff?

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Especially when you have a special needs pet?  All that “stuff” they need can really add up!  But we just did some serious “spring cleaning” at Scout’s House and have a ton of stuff to give away and sell!  Need a bath tub for washing your dog?  Or a dog ramp (or two)?  Or harnesses, boots, diapers, or other accoutrement for your special needs pet?  Go to our new Community Forum page on our website (  Post there if you see anything you’d like and we’ll get back to you about sending it.  And please post things of your own, if you’d like, to buy, sell, or give away.  Or, even better, start a discussion about your special needs pet!

From Fat to Fit: Managing Your Pet’s Weight

Monday, July 20th, 2009

If you share your life with a pudgy pet, don’t miss our upcoming podcast on Getting Your Pet to Lose Weight and Keep It Off.  Scout’s House’s resident expert on weight management, Sandy Gregory, M Ed, RVT, CCRA, will tell you everything you need to know about how to get your dog or cat to safely lose weight.  That’s Tuesday, July 21st, at 11am Pacific time.

Dog Treats or Calorie Bombs? (Why is My Dog Fat?)

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

by Sandy Gregory, M Ed, RVT, CCRA



     There’s an obesity epidemic in America and it’s not just with humans.  Veterinarians are seeing many more dogs these days with serious weight problems–problems that can lead to many of the same diseases that obese humans face, including diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. 

     Of course, we don’t mean to make our dogs fat–and often we’re not even aware that those cute little treats we give them are part of the problem.  But when you start thinking about your dog’s diet as you would about your own, you realize that every dog needs a certain number of calories everyday, just like we do.  And if you exceed that number on a regular basis, your on your way to having one pudgy poodle. 

     Consider this:  A 23-lb. dog who isn’t especially active needs about 386 calories a day to maintain his weight.  Similarly, a 44-lb. dog needs 670 calories to maintain her weight, and a 70-lb. dog needs around 1024 calories. 

     Now, take a look at the calorie content of some popular dog treats and you can see just how easy it is for your dog to go from fit to fat:


Dog Treat                                                                  Calories per piece


Alpo® Biscuits                                                                     30

Alpo® Chew-eez® Chew Strips                                        60

Beggin Strips® Dog Snacks                                                40

Bonz® Dog Snack (small)                                                   43

Bonz® Dog Snack (medium)                                              67

Bonz® Dog Snack (large)                                                    89

Chew-rific™ Dog Biscuits                                                  31

Milk-Bone Dog Biscuits (small)                                         20

Milk-Bone Dog Biscuits (medium)                                   40

Milk-Bone Dog Biscuits (large)                                       115

New Greenies® (Teenie™)                                                25

New Greenies® (Petite)                                                      54

New Greenies® (Regular)                                                  90

New Greenies® (Large)                                                    144

New Greenies® (Jumbo)                                                   270

Purina ONE® Total Nutrition Flavor Biscuits                37

Purina® Beggin’® Wraps                                                   68

Pro Plan® Dog Treats                                                         35


     The trick isn’t eliminating dog treats entirely, it’s in being judicious with the higher calorie treats–or in finding a lower calorie alternative.  Below are listed a few healthy treats that aren’t so high in calories. 

     And remember, what your dog craves most of all is your attention.  A few minutes focused just on him is the healthiest alternative of all.


Healthy Alternative Treats


Charlee Bear® Dog Treat                                                      3

Apple slice (1/6 of one medium apple)                           13

Carrot (1 baby)                                                                        6

Chicken (1/2 oz. lean)                                                         26

Cottage cheese (1 oz.)                                                          30

Green beans (1/4 cup)                                                          9