Welcome to DogAware.com!
Information is divided among the following sections:
- Diet offers information ranging from how to select the best commercial foods to homemade diets, both raw and cooked. Included are sections on supplements, adding fresh foods to a commercial diet, and raw food resources.
- Health offers information on a variety of different health problems, focusing primarily on the use of diet and supplements, but providing additional tips such as new therapies. The sections on kidney disease and arthritis are especially detailed, as these are problems I've faced with my own dogs and to which I've devoted a great deal of time and effort learning as much as I possibly can about them.
- Articles are ones I've written for the Whole Dog Journal on the topics of both diet and health. I also wrote the Cook's Corner column for Dog World magazine from January to December 2010. The column focuses on issues related to homemade diets. Copies of my articles and columns are posted on my web site six months after publication.
- Shopping provides links to places where I've found good products, service and prices for dog food, supplements, medications and supplies.
- More Info includes Contact information, my About page, the K9Nutrition FAQ, and Useful Links.
I welcome feedback and am also willing to answer questions as best I can about your dogs. If you have any problems, questions, suggestions or comments, please
September 2016: I have revised my recommendations for vitamin E supplementation based on some newer studies. See Vitamin E for my current recommendations.
August 2015: Just added a section about the new SDMA test that IDEXX is offering for early detection of kidney disease in dogs, along with general information everyone needs to know when their dog is diagnosed with kidney disease.
I am no longer writing very much (I have always had trouble writing, and this problem has recently become worse). Here are some of my articles and topics to which I refer people most often:
- Dishing on Diets: Study Evaluates Homemade Diet Recipes for Dogs Article that talks about nutrients that are commonly deficient in homemade diets, and how to provide them.
- Supplement Series: Probiotics, Prebiotics, Digestive Enzymes, Proteolytic Enzymes, Fish Oil, and Plant Oils, as well as Senior Supplements (new supplements to help dogs with canine cognitive dysfunction).
- New Flea and Tick Products Hit the Market along with updates and direct reports of problems.
- Dogs Going to Pot? Marijuana Toxicosis and Medical Uses for Dogs Keep this option in mind for treating inappetence and chronic pain.
- Dogs with a Drug Problem. Learn how this mutation affects more than just Collies, and involves other drugs, not just ivermectin.
- Jerky Treats (and Others) Still Making Dogs Ill
- Hypothyroidism in Dogs (co-authored with CJ Puotinen)
- Canine Diabetes and Diet and Diabetes (both co-authored with CJ Puotinen)
- Cushing's Disease in Dogs and Addison's Disease: The Great Pretender (both co-authored with CJ Puotinen)
- Bladder and Kidney Stones: Struvites, Calcium Oxalate, and Others.
- Homemade Diet Book reviews
I've created a Facebook page for my web site. "Like" this page to find out when new articles or seminars are posted or any major changes to the web site are made.
January 2017: Cytopoint, a new drug from Zoetis for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (environmental allergies) in dogs, was approved by the FDA and is available now. Cytopoint is a monoclonal antibody, a new form of treatment that may be safer than other drugs used to treat allergies in dogs, such as corticosteroids (prednisone), Atopica (cyclosporine) and Apoquel. Cytopoint is given by injection every four to eight weeks. Note that Cytopoint was formerly known as Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic.
March 2016: Hill's Prescription Derm Defense Diet introduced. Wait, I'm not recommending this food, but their comments about the diet may be helpful for those whose dogs are fighting environmental allergies:
Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Defense pet food for dogs with HistaGuard complex is formulated to reduce signs of environmental allergies by helping disrupt the internal allergy response and create a barrier against future episodes. HistaGuard complex, a blend of antioxidants, egg and phytonutrients containing quercitin, helps continuously normalize the immune response to allergens. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants such as vitamin E help reduce inflammation and support skin rejuvenation to aid healing, while omega-6 fatty acids help restore the skin barrier.
You can add eggs (cooked or raw) to any diet. Phytonutrients are found in vegetables and fruits, or can be given as supplements (quercitin is a phytonutrient). See Adding Fresh Foods to a Commercial Diet for guidelines. Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) is particularly helpful for dogs with allergies of any kind, since it both relieves inflammation and helps to regulate the immune system. This food includes very high amounts of vitamin E (about 200 IUs per 1,000 calories) plus lipolic acid (another antioxidant). See Natural Anti-Inflammatories in my Arthritis article for more information. Note that most diets include ample omega-6 fatty acids, which come from poultry fat and plant oils, and too much omega-6 can contribute to inflammation, so I don't recommend adding more unless you're feeding a very low-fat diet or a homemade diet that does not include poultry (or uses only skinless breast, which has very little fat).
April 2015: An outbreak of canine influenza in Chicago and surrounding areas is from a new strain of canine influenza. We don't know how effective the vaccine will be against this new strain, but veterinarians are encouraging owners to vaccinate dogs in the area, as even partial immunity might be enough to save a dog's life. More info:
- Midwest Canine Influenza Outbreak: A New Virus Within the United States
- Midwest Canine Influenza outbreak caused by new strain of virus
- More of What You Need to Know About the Current Canine Flu Outbreak
- Canine Influenza Vaccine
March 2015: Veterinarians are now seeing reports of the same Fanconi-like syndrome in dogs who have consumed jerky treats made in the United States with U.S. ingredients. See American-made jerky tied to illness in dogs and my Recall page for more information.
Doxycycline is in short supply as of the Spring of 2013. Minocycline may be an effective replacement for treatment of heartworm infection and tick disease. You may also be able to use doxycycline that is sold for fish or birds, such as Bird Biotic and Fish Doxy. More info:
- Doxycycline Shortage leaves People and Pets Scrambling for Treatment Alternatives
- Not the Heartworms You Used to Know.
Vetsulin is back! Most authorities consider Vetsulin, known as Caninsulin outside the USA, to be the initial insulin of choice for treatment of dogs with diabetes mellitus. Manufacturing problems that go back to 2009 led to the FDA having it withdrawn from the U.S. market. These issues have finally been resolved and the FDA has approved the drug for release. It should be available by 4/24/13. More info: Vetsulin Insulin Updated and Approved For Release in USA
Recent drought conditions are likely to lead to higher levels of aflatoxin, a dangerous mold byproduct, in corn. The first recall due to aflatoxin occurred in February 2013, and there will likely be more. Avoiding foods that contain corn will help to protect your dogs from this toxin. See the following for more information:
- Grain Handlers Wary of Toxin Lingering in Corn Harvest
- Dog food recall underscores toxic danger in drought-hit U.S. corn
- Corn-Containing Dog Food at Increased Risk of Aflatoxin
- Hy-Vee issues recall of certain bags of Hy-Vee dog food due to elevated levels of aflatoxin (2/22/13)
Updates on Cushing's Disease:
Low-Dose, Twice-Daily Trilostane Treatment for Dogs with Hyperadrenocorticism
A study published in 2011 found that giving smaller doses of Trilostane twice a day worked equally well while causing fewer side effects.
Bigger dogs may need less trilostane to control hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's Disease)
A study published in 2012 found that larger dogs may need less trilostane for their weight in order to control Cushing's disease.
See my article on Cushing's Disease for more information.
Omega-3 Fats May Help with Weight Loss in Pets
Recent studies in both humans and dogs have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, found in fish oil, promote weight loss and help dieters feel more satisfied. I recommend giving an amount of fish oil that provides about 300 mg EPA and DHA combined per 20 to 30 pounds of body weight daily.
See News Archive for additional news items.
Eternal gratitude to web site designer extraordinaire , who got me started with Dreamweaver and helped spice up my web site design with color and graphics.
Thanks to Terry Journey, Wind Dancer Design, for my logo and banners.
Thanks to Nancy Kerns, editor of the Whole Dog Journal, for allowing me to use some of her wonderful photographs on my site.
Thanks to award-winning professional pet photographer Pam Biasotti, You Had Me at Woof Photography, for allowing me to use her wonderful images of my dog, Ella.
You can contact me if you have any comments, but I regret to say that I can no longer respond to questions about individual dogs. See my Contact page for more information. My name is Mary Straus and you can email me at either or