Safe Dog Food Bowls (and How to Keep Them That Way)

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The easiest type of bowl to keep clean – and, not incidently, also the safest bowl for your dog to eat and drink from – is stainless steel. This material will not leach potentially dangerous chemicals into your dog’s food and water, like some plastics, aluminum, poorly glazed pottery, or old ceramic dishes. Stainless steel and glass bowls are similarly inert, but stainless steel wins in my house, due to its durability on the floor and in the sink.   More...

Nose Work is Great Exercise for Dogs!

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When your dog has learned how to search, this makes a great rainy day indoor exercise activity. You can also routinely scatter her meals around the yard so she has to search through the grass to find them; put her on a long line if you don’t have a fence. You can also name her favorite toys and have her find them. You can even have family members and friends hide and have her find them.   More...

Teach Your Dog to Make Eye Contact

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If your dog doesn’t already know the value of eye contact with humans, you can easily teach her. This is an operant conditioning/positive reinforcement exercise – your dog learns her behavior can make good stuff happen. When your dog has come to realize the value of eye contact, she will sometimes offer the behavior without being cued. Be sure to reinforce offered eye contact as well as cued eye contact. To help her be comfortable with eye contact from other humans, ask your friends to play the “Watch” game with her as well.   More...

Train Your Dog to Accept Hugs

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The process of teaching a dog to tolerate hugging involves either classical conditioning (giving a puppy a positive association with something she doesn’t already have an opinion of), or classical counter-conditioning (giving a dog a new association with something she already has a negative opinion of). Either way, the process is similar, but it may go slower if you are working to change an existing opinion rather than simply installing one where none previously exists.   More...

Which Type of Dog Food is Best?

What kind of dog food is best? Is canned food healthier than kibble? Does a homemade dog food diet require as much work as it appears to? Whole Dog Journal developed a very comprehensive pros and cons chart for various dog food options you may be considering. Remember: no one dog food is best for all dogs! Consider your dog's lifestyle and needs and use this chart to help you decide what kind of food your dog should eat.   More...

What's The Best Dry Dog Food for Your Dog?

How should you select the right dog food for your dog? Over the years, we’ve spoken to literally thousands of dog owners and industry experts – and they have at least a few hundred different approaches to the task. We’ll briefly discuss some of the most prevalent factors used by owners to support their dog food buying decisions – and then we’ll tell you how we recommend choosing your dogs’ food.   More...

The February 2011 issue of Whole Dog Journal is now available online! Here is a brief summary of what you'll find...

Whole Dog Journal's Approved Dry Dog Foods List for 2011 is upon us. Along with the list of this year’s approved dry dog foods we’ll explain on what criteria you should use when selecting a food for your dog. Some of these criteria range from price, ingredients, a manufactures’ past history and the size of the manufacturer. All of the products that made the list have met our selection criteria – including our newest criterion, that the company discloses the name and location of its manufacturers.   More...

Home-Prepared Dog Food Diet Books

Over the past few months, I’ve read more than 30 books on homemade diets for dogs. Many offered recipes that were dangerously incomplete; a smaller number provided acceptable guidelines but were confusing, unduly restrictive, overly complicated, or had other issues that made me recommend them only with reservations. A few were good enough to recommend without reservation. This review is about the cream of the crop: three relatively new books (one is a new edition of an older book) whose authors have taken the time to analyze their recipes to ensure that they meet the latest nutritional guidelines established by the National Research Council (NRC).   More...

The March 2011 issue of Whole Dog Journal is now available online! Here is a brief summary of what you'll find...

Over the past few months Nancy Kerns has read more than 30 books on homemade diets for dogs. Hence the article, A Review of the Best Books on Home-Prepared Dog Food Diets on the Market ; is about the cream of the crop: three relatively new books (one is a new edition of an older book) whose authors have taken the time to analyze their recipes to ensure that they meet the latest nutritional guidelines established by the National Research Council (NRC).   More...

The January 2011 issue of Whole Dog Journal is now available online! Here is a brief summary of what you'll find...

Subscribers Only — Your dog grabs your stuff and runs away either because she knows you’re going to take it from her and she doesn’t want you to, or she’s inviting you to join in her a fun game of “Catch me if you can.” In either case, chasing after her is usually the least effective way to get your stuff back. Besides the obvious “management, to prevent her access to your stuff,” and “exercise (mental and physical) to keep her happily otherwise occupied,” here are five suggestions that will maximize your chances of getting your precious thing(s) back quickly, relatively unscathed.   More...

The December issue of Whole Dog Journal is now available online! Here is a brief summary of what you'll find...

Subscribers Only — Dogs rely on us to teach them acceptable behaviors. Jumping up, stealing food, barking, and digging are normal dog behaviors. Unfortunately for dogs, they are also behaviors few people find enjoyable. The arrival of holiday houseguests often introduces ample opportunities for dogs to engage in unwanted activities. Even trained dogs can benefit from brushing up on basic skills. Help remind your dog what's expected of him by practicing and rewarding desired behaviors on a daily basis.   More...

The September issue of Whole Dog Journal is now available online! Here is a brief summary of what you'll find...

Subscribers Only — Reinforcing Your Dog's Training Throughout His Lifetime – If you want your dog to reliably perform any particular behavior, you have to find ways to practice it regularly, and in a way that maintains your dog’s enthusiasm for the task. Without regular practice, good habits can slip. Sign up for a refresher training course. Play games. Reinforce training on walks. Be sure to keep your dog socialized, especially around children. And most importantly, keep it fun for both you and your dog.   More...

The October issue of Whole Dog Journal is now available online! Here is a brief summary of what you'll find...

Subscribers Only — Carbs Contribute the Bulk of Your Dog's Kibble (Even Many Grain-Free Foods)- Grain-free dry dog food has become wildly popular in the past few years. More and more companies are rolling out a grain-free kibble, as demand for this type of food keeps growing. Why are they so popular? There are two main reasons why we feed carbs to dogs. The first reason is because we can. Dogs can utilize just about anything we feed them; their digestive tracts are extremely versatile. The second reason is economic; fat and protein sources are much more expensive than carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can play a valuable role in a weight loss program. Grains, for example, have a lower fat content than many meats and can be used judiciously to help a dog feel “full.”   More...