The Whole Dog Journal – A Look Back and Into the Future


The Whole Dog Journal began in 1998 as a line extension of other subscriber-supported periodicals from Belvoir Media Group. Since 1972 Belvoir had polished the concept of advertising-free journalism, and dogs seemed like an interesting fit.

Little did we realize then that The Whole Dog Journal would become a world leader in natural canine care and training. From the outset The Whole Dog Journal’s writers—led so capably by Nancy Kerns—have been liberated to freely state which foods, treats, beds, bowls, leashes, collars etc. that dog lovers should consider for their faithful companions with their hard-earned dollars. The Whole Dog Journal has always favored holistic solutions (when appropriate) which has given Nancy and company a chance to bring small but worthy companies and their products to light. Pat Miller’s ground-breaking training articles about positive dog training have performed an immeasurable service in forging the dog-human bond. We now have a clearer understanding of the ways dogs think, gaining newfound appreciation for their emotions, their loyalty, their primordial instincts—and we’ve learned how to work with our dog pals for the enrichment and benefit of all.

I had the good fortune to be present at the creation of The Whole Dog Journal, and to witness how our work has impacted so many people. Nowhere has the work of The Whole Dog Journal been more keenly felt than the subject of canine nutrition. More than ten years ago our ads-free format allowed us to open the aperture and shine a light on dog foods we could recommend for your companions. In a world filled with Alpos and Milkbones, we scoured the literature and interviewed leaders in industry and academia to determine what a good dog food should look like. Armed with strong criteria (that’s always evolving) we set out to match our idea of solid ingredients with the foods available on store shelves. Clear favorites emerged, and thus was born our annual Guide to Dog Foods—wet, dry, frozen, dehydrated and treats.

I am here to tell you the work hasn’t always been easy. Nancy has become an expert on canine nutrition and has spent a considerable amount of time traveling to dog food formulators across this country. She’s become immersed in by-products, supplements, additives, dyes. She’s sustained by The Whole Dog Journal readers who reach out to us with stories of dogs’ lives transformed by improved nutrition.

As any serious journalist will tell you, it’s the readers that keep us going.

And now we’re happy to give you, our readers, an additional resource in the care and training of your dog. The Whole Dog Journal website has undergone a complete overhaul. Among other things, the new site features this new blog, a complete archive of all of our past content available FREE to paid subscribers and the ability to comment on any of these articles. Take a look around and enjoy.

Previous articleDownload the Full June 2010 Issue PDF
Next articleBe a Hair-O
Cole is the chief content officer of Belvoir Media Group, publishers of monthly periodicals from major healthcare centers, including Harvard Medical School, The Cleveland Clinic, and Massachusetts General Hospital. In prior roles he served as an editor at leading marine magazines, and was the science/technology/aerospace editor of Popular Mechanics magazine. Tim’s editorial assignments have taken him aboard America’s nuclear Navy, to climate change studies at the South Pole, and to particle physics cyclotrons in Siberia. He is an instrument-rated private pilot, and holds a 50-ton captain’s license from the U.S. Coast Guard. Tim and his wife, Sarah Smedley, live in Greenwich, Connecticut and New York City.