Dog Food Logic

Dog Food Logic: Making smart decisions for your dog in an age of too many choices” is  now available! Click on the images for more information and to order. (Note: E-versions are already available from Dogwise, and will be included on Amazon soon).

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REVIEWS OF “DOG FOOD LOGIC”

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Reviewer: Dr. Brennen McKenzie, MA, VMD; President, Evidence-Based Veterinary Medicine Association,
Author of SkeptVet Blog

Dog Food Logic is an indispensable book for any pet owner who wants to make thoughtful, informed decisions about what to feed his or her canine companions. The dog food industry is a bewildering, ever-changing landscape of companies and brands, and dog owners are inundated with marketing masquerading as science, with rigid advice from self-declared experts, and with fads every bit as intense and short-lived as those in the human weight loss business. Dog Food Logic cuts through the noise and chaos and provides pet owners with a rational, science-based approach to evaluating their pets’ dietary needs and their feeding choices.

Rather than simply telling dog owners what food to buy, Dog Food Logic provides a concise and comprehensible guide to the three main subjects we must understand in order to make sound feeding choices: the science of canine nutrition, the nature of the dog food industry, and the pitfalls in our own ways of thinking that make us susceptible to marketing hype and irrational decisions. Rather than trying to tell us what to feed, Ms. Case empowers dog owners to make choices consistent with the needs of our individual pets and our own values.

In Dog Food Logic, the author displays a deep understanding of not only the science of nutrition but of the human-animal bond. Feeding our pets is more than providing them with essential nutrients. It is an expression of love and one of the most enjoyable shared experiences between pet and owner. Ms. Case understands that the emotional nature of feeding our animal companions must be appreciated and nurtured, but that it can also make us vulnerable to manipulation. Advertising and advice about what to feed our pets often plays on our anxieties about their health and happiness and our desire to do everything possible to ensure a long and healthy life for our dogs. Ms. Case is able to help us see through such manipulative marketing and make sound feeding decisions based on science while still respecting the role of feeding in the deep bond between owners and our pets.

As a veterinarian, a scientist, and a dog owner, I have waited a long time for a book like Dog Food Logic, one which I can enthusiastically recommend to my clients and colleagues. After reading Dog Food Logic, you will of course have a deeper understanding of canine nutrition, the pet food industry, and how to make good choices about feeding your pet. But you will also have a greater understanding of yourself as a pet owner and a consumer. Understanding how we make choices, and how those choices can be influenced by the quirks of our own thought processes and by the manipulative power of marketing, enables us to make better decisions about all aspects of our pets’ care. If we apply the same critical thinking and evidence-based approach to behavior and training, veterinary care, and all the other decisions we make as pet owners, we will better caretakers with happier, healthier pets.

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Reviewer: Steve Dale, CABC, columnist Tribune Content Agency; radio host Black Dog Radio Productions and WGN Radio (Chicago); contributing editor USA Weekend

Pet food is like a religion for many – but now those strong emotional ties can be backed up with fact. Linda Case, separates fact from fiction, and explains the complex terms and offers a guide to pet nutrition in simple to comprehend language. Unlike other books on this topic, there is no agenda here – except to present facts and then allow pet owners to make their own logical conclusions, letting the kibble drop where it may.

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Reviewer: Claudia Kawczynska, Founder and Editor-in-chief, The Bark

Dog Food Logic is the indispensable guide to the science behind canine nutrition that will help us to make wise, well-informed choices about how and what we feed our dogs. It takes the fear out of trying to understand proper nutrition and will empower us to determine what is best for the health of our dogs.

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Reviewer: Dr. George C. Fahey, Jr, Professor Emeritus of Animal Science, University of IL at Champaign-Urbana

Not often does one consider a book of this sort to be a “page turner”. Sure … a book may be very readable and the material presented accurate and informative. But, in so many instances, reading page after page of scientific jargon can be a sure cure for insomnia. So …, a “page turner” … really??? That’s exactly what I found when I picked up this book for the first time and read every single word in spite of a hectic schedule. Simply stated, this book was very difficult to put down, and it was with great displeasure that this happened to me on several occasions throughout the reviewing process.

Perhaps it was the writing style of the author – relaxed and sometimes emotional, yet at the same time scientific, credible, and understandable. Perhaps it was the examples used to illustrate major points – story-like, but with just the right content of scientific rigor and hard facts. Perhaps it was the balance of topics provided – from the emotional (e.g., Food is Love) to the highly scientific (e.g., What’s So Special About a Dog’s Nutritional Needs?). Whatever it was, I found this to be a very compelling presentation of topics related to pet animal nutrition and the pet food industry that provides the foods for these animals. Rarely, if ever, can one find the variety of topics presented in this text to be under one cover. The author clearly has done due diligence in investigating the 11 major topics covered in the book, then distilling and summarizing that information into an entertaining, factual, educational presentation that will benefit readers regardless of their expertise (or lack thereof) in this discipline. There is something in this book for everyone interested in pets and what they eat. And there is no question that a pet owner will come away with a great deal of awareness of the complexities associated with the seemingly easy task of choosing the proper food for his/her animal companion.

There are several unique features of this book that are noteworthy:
1.Evidence-based decision-making as applied to dog nutrition is explained and advocated, as is the use of scientific information to make wise decisions about pet animal health and well-being. This approach is compared and contrasted to other gathering processes such as placing value on personal opinions of others, anecdotes, and testimonials.
2.An excellent explanation of the key components of a scientific article is provided. After reading this section, a lay person should be able to discern the key findings of the research group who published the article.
3.Detailed information on the nutritional idiosyncrasies of the senior dog and the “athletic” vs. the “couch potato” dog is provided.
4.The chapter about marketing is fascinating with good separation of reality and hype.
5.The appendices are valuable supplements to the textual material.

There are a few issues discussed in the book that I don’t agree with completely:
1.The importance of the owner knowing the digestibility values for specific foods is overstated. While I am a strong advocate of the digestibility measurement as an index of food quality, there is ample scientific information available allowing an owner to infer from the ingredient list (and the order of ingredients) what the approximate digestibility of his/her particular pet food might be. This takes some time and study on the part of the owner, but if they really want to know, sufficient information exists to allow them to determine a ballpark digestibility value.
2.Ingredients from countries other than the U.S. are devalued to some extent in this text. Hundreds of very successful pet food companies are in business all across the world. Many of them would be unknown to the American pet owner, yet they prepare excellent quality foods from ingredients purchased in their own country and from countries other than the U.S. Most ingredients from other countries are just fine with a few exceptions.
3.The demand for a higher degree of transparency from the pet food industry, with the suggestion that key information be included on the pet food bag, is impractical. There is only so much room on the bag, and most bags have a lot of information written on them already (in font sizes sometimes difficult to see without a magnifying glass!). In addition, I doubt that the majority of pet owners want to spend a lot of time on the “sausage-making” details associated with pet food production. ISO certification serves the purpose of identifying foods of high quality, and that should give peace of mind to pet owners.

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Reviewer: Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, DVM, CVJ, Author, speaker, and CEO of Pawcurious Media

Don’t read this book if you want someone to tell you what to feed your dog. This is a book for people who want to learn, in a reasoned and thoughtful way, how to figure it out for themselves. Dog Food Logic goes way beyond the usual textbook list of nutritional requirements to cover the pet food industry in all its glory: the history, the business, the marketing, and best of all, the science.

Case deftly navigates the most controversial topics in pet food and presents the big picture without interjecting judgment about what approach is best. There’s something here for everyone: pet care professionals and dog lovers alike will learn something new from this informative, easy to read, and well researched book.

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4 thoughts on “Dog Food Logic

  1. Pingback: What Should I Feed My Dog? | jsmelo

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