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Welcome to! exists to pass along what I've learned in more than a decade spent investigating canine nutrition and health. See below for Updates, News, and Seminars.

Information is divided among the following sections:

I welcome feedback and am also willing to answer questions as best I can about your dogs. If you have any problems, questions, suggestions or comments, please


September 2016: I have revised my recommendations for vitamin E supplementation based on some newer studies. See Vitamin E for my current recommendations.

August 2015: Just added a section about the new SDMA test that IDEXX is offering for early detection of kidney disease in dogs, along with general information everyone needs to know when their dog is diagnosed with kidney disease.

I am no longer writing very much (I have always had trouble writing, and this problem has recently become worse). Here are some of my articles and topics to which I refer people most often:

I've created a Facebook page for my web site. "Like" this page to find out when new articles or seminars are posted or any major changes to the web site are made.


January 2017: Galliprant (grapiprant) from Artana Therapeutics is now available. Galliprant is a new type of non-cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibiting, non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) in the piprant class. Using a new mechanism of action, this therapeutic directly blocks one of the key receptors involved in pain and inflammation — the EP4 prostaglandin receptor. Galliprant was approved by the FDA in 2016 to treat pain and inflammation in dogs with osteoarthritis. It can be used by dogs unable to tolerate other types of NSAIDs, including dogs with liver and kidney disease. Share your experience with Galliprant and read about others on my DogAware Facebook page.

January 2017: Cytopoint, a new drug from Zoetis for the treatment of atopic dermatitis (environmental allergies) in dogs, was approved by the FDA and is available now. Cytopoint is a monoclonal antibody, a new form of treatment that may be safer than other drugs used to treat allergies in dogs, such as corticosteroids (prednisone), Atopica (cyclosporine) and Apoquel. Cytopoint is given by injection every four to eight weeks. Note that Cytopoint was formerly known as Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic. Share your experience with Cytopoint and read about others on my DogAware Facebook page.

March 2016: Hill's Prescription Derm Defense Diet introduced. Wait, I'm not recommending this food, but their comments about the diet may be helpful for those whose dogs are fighting environmental allergies:

Hill’s Prescription Diet Derm Defense pet food for dogs with HistaGuard complex is formulated to reduce signs of environmental allergies by helping disrupt the internal allergy response and create a barrier against future episodes. HistaGuard complex, a blend of antioxidants, egg and phytonutrients containing quercitin, helps continuously normalize the immune response to allergens. In addition, omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants such as vitamin E help reduce inflammation and support skin rejuvenation to aid healing, while omega-6 fatty acids help restore the skin barrier.

You can add eggs (cooked or raw) to any diet. Phytonutrients are found in vegetables and fruits, or can be given as supplements (quercitin is a phytonutrient). See Adding Fresh Foods to a Commercial Diet for guidelines. Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids) is particularly helpful for dogs with allergies of any kind, since it both relieves inflammation and helps to regulate the immune system. This food includes very high amounts of vitamin E (about 200 IUs per 1,000 calories) plus lipolic acid (another antioxidant). See Natural Anti-Inflammatories in my Arthritis article for more information. Note that most diets include ample omega-6 fatty acids, which come from poultry fat and plant oils, and too much omega-6 can contribute to inflammation, so I don't recommend adding more unless you're feeding a very low-fat diet or a homemade diet that does not include poultry (or uses only skinless breast, which has very little fat).

April 2015: An outbreak of canine influenza in Chicago and surrounding areas is from a new strain of canine influenza. We don't know how effective the vaccine will be against this new strain, but veterinarians are encouraging owners to vaccinate dogs in the area, as even partial immunity might be enough to save a dog's life. More info:

March 2015: Veterinarians are now seeing reports of the same Fanconi-like syndrome in dogs who have consumed jerky treats made in the United States with U.S. ingredients. See American-made jerky tied to illness in dogs and my Recall page for more information.

Doxycycline is in short supply as of the Spring of 2013. Minocycline may be an effective replacement for treatment of heartworm infection and tick disease. You may also be able to use doxycycline that is sold for fish or birds, such as Bird Biotic and Fish Doxy. More info:

Vetsulin is back! Most authorities consider Vetsulin, known as Caninsulin outside the USA, to be the initial insulin of choice for treatment of dogs with diabetes mellitus. Manufacturing problems that go back to 2009 led to the FDA having it withdrawn from the U.S. market. These issues have finally been resolved and the FDA has approved the drug for release. It should be available by 4/24/13. More info: Vetsulin Insulin Updated and Approved For Release in USA

Recent drought conditions are likely to lead to higher levels of aflatoxin, a dangerous mold byproduct, in corn. The first recall due to aflatoxin occurred in February 2013, and there will likely be more. Avoiding foods that contain corn will help to protect your dogs from this toxin. See the following for more information:

Updates on Cushing's Disease:

Low-Dose, Twice-Daily Trilostane Treatment for Dogs with Hyperadrenocorticism
A study published in 2011 found that giving smaller doses of Trilostane twice a day worked equally well while causing fewer side effects.

Bigger dogs may need less trilostane to control hyperadrenocorticism (Cushing's Disease)
A study published in 2012 found that larger dogs may need less trilostane for their weight in order to control Cushing's disease.

See my article on Cushing's Disease for more information.

Omega-3 Fats May Help with Weight Loss in Pets
Recent studies in both humans and dogs have shown that the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, found in fish oil, promote weight loss and help dieters feel more satisfied. I recommend giving an amount of fish oil that provides about 300 mg EPA and DHA combined per 20 to 30 pounds of body weight daily.

See News Archive for additional news items.

Seminars and Talks

See Dog Seminars Directory and Puppyworks for listings of dog seminars on various topics around the world.


Eternal gratitude to web site designer extraordinaire , who got me started with Dreamweaver and helped spice up my web site design with color and graphics.

Thanks to Terry Journey, Wind Dancer Design, for my logo and banners.

Thanks to Nancy Kerns, editor of the Whole Dog Journal, for allowing me to use some of her wonderful photographs on my site.

Thanks to award-winning professional pet photographer Pam Biasotti, You Had Me at Woof Photography, for allowing me to use her wonderful images of my dog, Ella.

I regret that I no longer have much time to respond to questions. See my Contact page for more information. My name is Mary Straus and you can email me at either or


Rocky is a Yorkie-Poodle mix who had suffered from digestive problems his whole life. Click on his image to read about the diet his owner finally found to help him.
Pashoshe Fisher, a Chihuahua, was a wonderful, joyful companion to his owner for 19 & a half years. He was on a high quality raw diet for over half his life.
This is Ella, my Norwich Terrier.