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News: JoAnna Lou
Taste Test
Humans and canines put treats head to head.
For humans, healthy food usually comes at the expense of taste. Given how concerned we are about feeding our pups the best, Lou Bendrick at Grist.org decided to run a humorously unscientific study on whether dogs prefer healthy or unhealthy treats.  The testing panel included Burn the Border Collie, Lulu the Cockapoo, Sugar Ray the Pug, and Austin the Australian Shepherd. And to make sure the...
News: Guest Posts
Cats 1, Dogs 0
Study links asthma risk to dogs, not cats
I feel like I have a built-in radar for dog versus cat stories. Or rather, I’m sort of a magnet for them. I know it drives some Bark readers crazy—those who don’t feel a need to make comparisons and think I should stop feeding the feud. Well, if you are such a high-minded egalitarian read no further. If you’re with me (and keeping score), add a hash mark to the “Cat’s rule” side of the ledger.  ...
News: Guest Posts
Xylitol Alert
Artificial sweetner is dangerous to dogs
March 14 is the start of Poison Prevention Week, so here at The Bark we’ve been getting alerts about which household products are toxic to pets. The poisons lists feature pretty much the usual suspects, including, but not limited to, Ibuprofen (such as Advil), Acetaminophen (such as Tylenol), antidepressants, chocolate, certain fertilizers, pest control products, and a special Easter-season...
News: JoAnna Lou
Avoiding Plastic
Making adjustments for the environment and our health
This year, my New Year’s resolution isn’t to get back into shape or qualify for agility nationals, although they’re two things I am trying to do. For 2010, I decided to keep it simple and reduce my dependence on plastic. Not only is it better for the environment, but as we’re increasingly finding, it’s better for our health, both human and canine. Avoiding plastic isn’t easy, as I wrote about...
News: Guest Posts
Food Safety Watch
How to report problems to the FDA
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is on a public outreach tear these days. A few days after announcing a Twitter feed, with regular updates on food and drug safety issues (pet food recalls among them), it has released a video primer on how to report concerns about and adverse reactions to food and drugs for people and/or animals. Hopefully, this campaign on the consumer side is matched by...
News: JoAnna Lou
Diets for Dogs
Navigating the canine obesity problem.
This time of year, many people have diets and weight loss on the brain. But humans aren’t the only ones that could stand to lose a few pounds. A study by Pfizer Animal Health found that veterinarians consider 47 percent of their patients to be overweight, making them susceptible to a myriad of health problems and possibly a shorter life span. Earlier this month, I wrote about exercising with your...
News: Guest Posts
Are Vegan Dogs the Future?
Humane Society goes into the dog food biz
Earlier this month, the Humane Society of the United States announced it would be marketing an all-natural, vegetarian, organic dog food called Humane Choice—responding to the public’s desire for a cruelty-free option with ingredients we can trust. I admire the work of the HSUS, but I greeted this announcement with a big, Huh?   First, is it really a good idea for a nonprofit advocacy...
News: Karen B. London
A Dog in the Road
How best to help
While driving recently, I was preparing to turn onto the main highway near my neighborhood when I saw a dog in the middle of it. She seemed scared and confused, and looked about to bolt, but seemed unsure where to go. I was terrified for her—cars were coming at 50 miles an hour and the roads were still snowy and even icy in patches from the almost 5 feet of snow plus some rain that recently...
News: JoAnna Lou
Keeping Track of Recalls
FDA compiles pet food recalls in a searchable database
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently launched a searchable pet food recall database, similar to the resource that already exists for humans. The database contains the 971 pet food recalls that have occurred since the beginning of 2006. It’s scary to think that there have been almost a thousand recalls in the past four years alone. I’m glad, however, to see that the FDA is...
News: Karen B. London
Getting Fit With Your Dog
Skip the gym!
A recent study in Great Britain found that people with dogs exercise more than those who work out at the gym. The difference was considerable. People with dogs exercised for an average of eight hours a week compared to the two hours a week of people going to the gym.   The researchers speculate that the difference may be because more people (86 percent) enjoy the time that they spend walking...

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