March 2018


Letters from Readers: March 2017

I used Manuka honey on my 14- year-old Lab/Shar Pei-mix. She had ripped open one of her pads and was having a very difficult time getting it to heal. I used a veterinary-prescribed ointment with fresh bandages as required, while using a boot to provide protection. Two weeks later, with the wound getting worse, I did some research and read reviews of Manuka honey and its healing power. I spoke with my vet and decided to give it a try.

Letters from Readers: January 2017

Thank you for your article on prison dog training programs (“Jail House Dogs,” May 2016). I love the concept of rehabilitating dogs and people simultaneously. I was a bit surprised and disappointed that the article did not include any information as to where or how someone could adopt a dog from one of these programs, though. Your readers seem like great candidates for doing so and the programs themselves mentioned the difficulty of placing dogs as quickly as they would like.

Letters from Readers: November 2016

My dog has learned to demand having her teeth brushed! I read that coconut oil was very good for dogs. About a year ago, I started using it to brush my dog’s teeth. Every night for the past year, our 2-year-old dog Lila will come to me and paw my leg while staring straight into my eyes, about an hour after her dinner meal. She will not leave me alone until I say, “Ready for your teeth to be brushed?” She looks at me, licks her lips, and runs into the bathroom. I lift her up (she weighs only 18 pounds) to the sink area and dip her brush into the jar of coconut oil. By now, she lets me insert the brush and do the outside of all her teeth surfaces. I know this will keep us from vet bills down the line, and oh my! Her breath smells great! It’s really adorable.

Your Dog's Skin Problems, Ear Care and Help for Aggressive Dogs

People are eager to feed “the best” to their animals, and the more protein the better it is – right? (Not!) Many of the dogs surrendered through the rescue arrived with the food they were eating along with other “personal effects.” Since most of these animals were young to middle age and house-bound for the most part, I found simply changing to a food with a lower percentage of protein cleared their ailments within a few days and their coats returned to normal within a couple of weeks.

Hitting Some Nerves

I would love to see some future articles regarding hypertension in dogs (which I was informed is very rare). It is unfortunate that I did not know that my dog had hypertension until she suffered a hemmorrhage in her right eye, which led to further diagnosis of the mass. I am surprised that unlike humans, who get their blood pressure checked every time they go to any doctor, you have to see a specialist to get a pet’s blood pressure checked, and you have to get a referral just to see the specialist!

October 2014 Letters & Corrections

I just finished reading my June issue of WDJ and, as usual, loved it! I just have one comment/question regarding “Vaccine Titer Tests” where you state, “Rabies is a slightly different case. Because the disease poses a significant risk to human beings, it’s the only vaccine that is required by law to be administered to dogs. Each state has its own legal requirements for rabies vaccination. Some require annual rabies vaccinations; the rest require the…

March 2013 Letters & Corrections

Three companies have reported that we made errors concerning their products in the “Approved Dry Foods List” in the February issue of WDJ. We also received (and are still receiving) mail from our subscribers regarding the dry food review. We received many inquiries about foods that readers thought should be on our “approved foods” list but weren’t. Here are a number of potential reasons for this.

April 2014 Letters & Corrections

Correction: In the list of WDJ-approved dry foods presented in our February issue, we reported incorrect ranges for the amounts of protein and fat in some of the dry foods made by Dogswell. The products in the company’s Live Free dry food line contain 36% to 40% protein and 14% to 18% fat. The products in Dogswell’s dry Nutrisca line contain 30% to 32% protein and 16% to 18% fat. We regret the errors. …

March 2005 Letters

Letters and Corrections: June 2015

In the May issue, we published an article, “Outfoxing Foxtails,” that included an endorsement of the Outfox Field Guard, a protective hood for dogs that is made out of a fine mesh, allowing the dog to run and breathe freely while protecting him from getting foxtails in his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. We failed to include a phone number for the company that makes and sells the Outfox Field Guard, however. That number is (800) 261-7737. Orders may also be made online at We regret the omission.

Letters From Readers: October 2015

I just finished reading your pet insurance article in the September 2015 issue and have to agree how important pet insurance is to have. We just lost our precious little Beagle, Rascal, to meningeal encephalitis at 101/2 years old – a horrible thing to see your pet go through. We were willing to do everything we could to save him. Rascal started “circling” and we went to our vet, who sent us to a neurologist at a veterinary specialty and emergency clinic that is out of town. We paid more than $4,800 there, for the neurologist, MRIs, blood work, spinal tap, and overnight care. We went home with a bag of medicines and low hopes of saving him.

Letters and Corrections

I am writing to express my concern at seeing the photograph on the cover of the April 2013 Whole Dog Journal that depicts a man running with a dog who is wearing a restrictive harness. As a specialist in canine sports medicine, I have significant concerns about the use of harnesses that wrap around the front of dog’s forelegs, particularly in circumstances like this, where a dog is exercising using a gait that requires forelimb…

Letters: 11/04

A friend copied the article, “Monkey See, Monkey Do?” from the July issue for me, knowing I would want to subscribe, which I did.

Evade These Potential Dangers to Your Dog

Environmentally concerned scientists believe that both polyethylene (recycling codes HDPE #2 or LDPE #4) and polypropylene (PP #5) are among the least toxic plastics available at this time. (Both are plastics, not rubber.) They offer toughness, durability, and flexibility, and don’t need additives the way vinyl does to attain these qualities. My Bouviers, who are great chewers with powerful jaws, love to play with their Jolly Ball and I feel it’s one of their best and safest plastic toys. Thank you for the excellent article “Why Vinyl Stinks,” which alerts consumers to the hazards of vinyl toys and products for dogs. As a professor of interior design, I am very aware of the problems associated with PVC and many of the products that are made from this plastic. PVC is a prevalent material in our world and it is used for a multitude of things that we use every day, many of these things we may have direct contact with. As the author points out, most PVC is fairly stable and may or may not present a hazard to the user. Primary hazards for end-users are the softening agents that are added to it or if it is burned.

Food and Friends

Regarding the article about canine anorexia ("Tales of the Lost Appetite," March 2008): As an RN and 50-plus-year dog owner, I appreciated it very much. However I did notice a mention of one cause of anorexia that almost took the life of my Boston Terrier: grief. I had two dogs at the time, the other being a 10-year-old Pug who suddenly became critically ill with a lethal brain tumor. We had gotten both dogs at the ages of eight weeks and they were very, very close. When the Pug did not come home from the veterinarian and her crate was put away, the Boston totally stopped eating and became very lethargic (she had always inhaled her food and was extremely active prior to this.) We were frightened that we were going to lose her too, and made numerous calls and visits to our vet to investigate. To make a long, terrifying story short, we never found a physical cause for her inappetence; it was grief. I spent several weeks tempting her with various treats, human food, and finally baby food mixed with her dog food. I also took her to a local pet supply store for a change of scene. She picked out - on her own - a small latex ball slightly larger than a golf ball, proudly carried it out to the car by herself, and it became forever known as "Happy Ball." That was what started her back on the road to health! Well, that and much loving care and snuggling from her human family.