One of the great joys in life (after loving a dog, of course) is preparing and sharing great food. Here in the Bay Area, where nutritious and delicious eats are plentiful, we have a multitude of options for feeding ourselves well. This issue — Bay Woof’s first-ever food issue — suggests that we all take another look at the dietary options that exist for our dogs and make more informed choices. Your dog pack doesn’t have to live on kibble alone!
In this day and age when recalls of pet foods have become commonplace, concern about what we put in our dog’s bowl is at an all-time high. Low-end foods made by unscrupulous manufacturers have been shown to contain such horrid ingredients as toxic chemicals, animal wastes, and plastics. Countless dogs have been sickened, many killed, by these foods.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend a mint to provide your dogs with tasty, safe, and healthy meals. This issue is all about the benefits, options, and cost-effectiveness of feeding quality foods and supplements. Think of it this way: paying a little more for dog food, or making it yourself, is a heck of a lot cheaper than vet bills down the line when nutrition-related illness — or out-and-out poisoning — occurs.
A good way to start your healthier-diet-for-Fido campaign is by learning to read pet food labels. Sue Tasa, Director of Education for Pet Food Express, gives us a Guide to Reading Food Labels. Dr. Magda Szymer writes People Food is Good for Dogs! — explaining which human-grade foods are safe and nutritious for dogs, and why. See her piece on here. Animal nutrition expert and trained homeopath Heidi Hill of Berkeley’s Holistic Hound gives us The Raw, The Cooked, and The Processed: Tips for Choosing a Healthy Diet for Your Dog. This is a great, informative piece on the raw vs. not-raw food debate. And hounds who are “long in the tooth” will be pleased to know they weren’t left out of this issue — Mary Strauss shares her thoughts about Senior Health and Longevity , including a list of 10 Great Foods for Senior Dogs.
The reliable meat-and-potatoes in our pages comes every month in the form of columns written by local professionals. This month’s Good Dog! by Chad Culp talks about making training more fun and effective by emphasizing the positive. Ask Dr Dog by Holistic Animal Care’s Dr. Gary Richter discusses canine allergies — something you’ll definitely want to consider when choosing your dog’s food. The Shelter Zone article is from The Marin Humane Society, which is in the midst of an impressive adoption challenge. Read all about it!
Rounding out the issue: Kelly Gorman-Dunbar pens The Monthly Woof — her plea that we let our dogs BE dogs. Tails of the City illustrates last month’s Bay to Barkers, the Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society’s annual fundraiser, with photos from (cover photographer) Lori Cheung. The usual (and unusual) Mr Smarty Pants continues his fact-sharing — note that we recently added all his columns to our website so you can catch up on past months’ dog facts and be a hit at your next doglovers’ meet-up.
Our Calendar of Events presents some great happenings on the doggy scene. Remember how important socializing is for your canine pals and get thee to an event where you both are welcome. (BTW, you can help keep Bay Woof wagging by paying a modest fee to include your event listings in our calendar — see details here.)
It’s almost time for our annual Beast of the Bay Awards — nominations will start in the next few months. Also down the pike are Halloween, Thanksgiving, and our December holiday gift guide issue. Before we know it, 2012 will be a wrap, so if you’ve got a business to promote, get in our pages while 2012 rates still apply.
Happy reading to you, and to Bowser, happy eating!
— M Rocket, Publisher