February 2019

Come, Sit, Stay

Those who are new to Whole Dog Journal may not be aware that we talk at length about dry dog foods in the February issue each year. I don’t know how that tradition got started; all I know is that dog food is all I can think about from before Thanksgiving through the winter holidays. We give this annual coverage a lot of space; the list of recommended foods alone takes many pages! In this issue, I hope that you will learn a lot about the dog food industry as a whole, how the machinations of the pet food market may have affected you and your dogs, and how you can ensure that the food that you buy for your dog is appropriate.   More...

Dog Muzzles Are Useful Tools When You Use Them Right

Subscribers Only — A significant percentage of my clients come to see me because they have dogs with aggressive behaviors. Often, they will ask me if their dogs should wear a muzzle. My answer is almost always, “Good idea!” In each case, however, we have a serious discussion about the reason why the client’s wants to use a muzzle, when and how the dog’s aggressive behavior presents, and – this is the clincher – whether the client is willing and able to take the time to condition her dog to love the muzzle before starting to use it.   More...

What is Mange in Dogs?

There may be no other canine malady that seems to inspire as much misinformation as canine “mange.” Internet searches often return pages that blame it on lice (wrong) as often as mites (right). Ask an older person about it and he may tell you to use a dangerous and ineffective treatment such as dousing the poor dog in used motor oil (a great way to sicken or even kill the dog). But the condition isn’t a mystery, and its treatment has never been easier. Let’s clear up the misinformation!   More...

Understanding Canine Compulsive Disorder

Also called compulsive behavior disorder, this is a mental health disorder “characterized by the excessive performance of repetitive behaviors that don’t serve any apparent purpose,” explains Dr. Jennifer Summerfield, a veterinarian and professional dog trainer who specializes in treating behavior problems. Common compulsive behaviors include spinning or tail chasing, licking or self-mutilation, flank sucking, chasing lights or shadows, fly snapping, or hallucinatory prey chasing/pouncing behavior. It is considered similar to obsessive-compulsive behavior (OCD) in humans.   More...

The Dog Food Label Information That Matters Most

Subscribers Only — The dry dog foods included in the 2019 list appear alphabetically by best-known name. In some cases this is the name of the company that makes the food; in others, it’s the name of the food line. We have split some lines made by the same manufacturer into separate rows to better distinguish prices, # of varieties, etc.   More...

Whole Dog Journal's 2019 Approved Dry Dog Food List

Subscribers Only — I honestly don’t think that we’ve earned either distinction. In my view, it’s the pet-food company marketing departments that are largely responsible for many beneficial and deleterious developments in the pet food industry in the past 20 years. Marketing claims have run completely amok! And in some cases, their success has been detrimental to our dogs. But let’s trace the history of this thing. There are some good lessons to be learned here if you want to feed your dog products that will promote rather than impair his health.   More...