Paleo Dog: Give Your Best Friend a Long Life, Healthy Weight, and 
Freedom from Illness by Nurturing His Inner Wolf 
by Jean Hofve, DVM, and Celeste Yarnall, PhD
A Book Review By: Carol Petersen, RPh CNP 

Paleo Dog is a primer for the care and wellness of your dog. However, by following the principles outlined by Jean Hofve, DVM, and Celeste Yarnall, PhD, you might do yourself and your human household a lot of good as well.

Dogs are "opportunistic omnivores," meaning that they will eat almost anything, but dogs actually evolved eating prey animals. So, what does a modern-day Paleo Dog eat? The Paleo Dog diet excludes all cereals and grains, and processed or synthetic foods. Paleo Dogs eat primarily bones, organ meats, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, and fish oils. This is basically the same diet that has become increasingly popular for humans, with names like the "Stone Age" diet or "Caveman Diet."

According to the authors, approximately 78 million dogs live in US households, with 85% of those dogs eating a typical commercial dog food diet (which closely resembles the composition of a human "fast food" diet). About half of the dogs eating commercial dog food diets are overweight, and about 75% of them have some sort of dental disease by the age of three. The death rate due to cancer is over 40% for dogs under 10 years old. Death in dogs typically occurs between 10 and 13 years of age, and most often from cancer.

Many dogs show early signs of health disturbances that owners and veterinarians might accept as normal. For example, excess weight leads to joint disease, heart disease, respiratory problems, diabetes, liver disease, skin and coat problems, decreased immune function, cancer, and a reduced life expectancy. (Sound familiar?)


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February is National Pet Dental Health Month!

Watch this informative video as Dr. Sheldon Rubin, speaking for the American Veterinary Medical Association, gives easy, step-by-step instructions on how to teach a dog or cat to accept a daily tooth brushing.

Dental Health: How to Brush Your Pet's Teeth

AmerVetMedAssn. (2011, February 11).
Dental Health: How to Brush Your Pet's Teeth 
[Video file]. Retrieved from
Talking With PHP Pete

Dear PHP Pete,

The temperatures are dropping outside as winter is starting to kick in, and it got me thinking about my dog, Molly. Molly is a larger collie mix, so her coat should keep her fairly warm in the winter, but should I increase the amount of food for her? Would more food give her more of a "coat" to make it through winter? Any suggestions would be great!

-Winter Molly

Dear Winter Molly,

It would seem to be intuitive that more food might be needed to keep our pets warm in the winter. 

However, Dr. Ken Tudor  points out that this may actually lead to a winter weight gain.   Why might this be so?

Just like their human counterparts, colder weather may lead to cutting outdoor exercise short.  Colder weather and shorter days also cause changes in hormone output leading to a lower metabolic rate and the conservation of calories.  The tendency to overfeed a pet during the winter will lead to obesity and poor health. 

In humans, we use a body mass index (BMI) to evaluate the fat to muscle ratio and to identify an over or under weight problem.  Veterinarians use a scale called the Body Condition Score (BCS) in a similar fashion.  Ask your veterinarian how your met measures up and how you can offer food appropriately.  

You can also use this visual guideline to give you an idea of your pet's BCS.





Staff at Pet Health Pharmacy
Pet Health Pharmacy
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