How much should I feed my dog? Does the pet food I’m providing meet my dog’s nutritional needs? Click here for the pamphlet on Dog Nutrition

Your dog’s nutritional needs.
The information in this pamphlet is based on Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats, a technical report issued by the National Research Council as part of its Animal Nutrition Series. The Food and Drug Administration relies on information in the report to regulate and ensure the safety of pet foods. Scientists who study the nutritional needs of animals use the Animal Nutrition Series to guide future research. The series is also used by animal owners, caretakers, and veterinarians to develop specialized diets for individual animals.

Calorie requirement for dogs calculator ; evaluate your dogs caloric needs based on weight and activity.

Website to analyze a commercial dog food: independent dog food information and reviews. To look up a specific food alphabetically, click

The 2010 Whole Dog Journal’s recommended dry food list. WDJ dog food recommendations.

Because of the Food Recall by Menu foods, we encourage any dog or cat owner to consider carefully their food choices. Some people have begun to feed their dogs a homemade diet. Unfortunately, many of these are no more than feeding what the owner thinks a dog needs or wants and are not nutritionally balanced. Dogs like the diets because they are palatable however, just like a toddler, dogs are not able to make correct long term feed ingredient choices.Resources for learning about feed formulation for canines:

Diet formulation resources : guides to homemade diets.

The Collins Guide to Dog Nutrition by Donald R. Collins DVM
Complete textbook for formulating a balanced diet based on a large combination of possible ingredients and tailored to dog’s weight. Very highly recommended. I used this book for formulating diets for my two mastiffs with severe IBD.

K9 Kitchen by Monical Segal AHCW

Optimal Nutrition by Monica Segal AHCW

Dr. Pitcairn’s Complete guide to Natural health for dogs and cats (3rd ed.)

About Melamine:

Food Safety Issues| Article from the Canadian press about food safety issues from China: |
Pesticide, fertilizer use widespread in China
The problems the government faces are legion:
-Pesticides and chemical fertilizers are used in excess to boost yields while harmful antibiotics are widely administered to control disease in seafood and livestock.
-Rampant industrial pollution risks introducing heavy metals into the food chain.
-Farmers have used cancer-causing industrial dye Sudan Red to boost the value of their eggs and
– fed an asthma medication to pigs to produce leaner meat.( In a case that galvanized the public’s and government’s attention, shoddy infant formula with little or no nutritional value has been blamed for causing severe malnutrition in hundreds of babies and killing at least 12. )
| Veterinary Information Network |Article on Melamine in pet food:
This Community Update is preliminary and based on rapidly changing and developing information. This information is current as of March 30, 1PM EST.——————————————————————————-
March 30, 10AM EST: FDA and Menu Foods announcement – Melamine identified in affected foods.
What is Melamine?
Melamine is a cyclic amino compound which is part of the triazine family of chemicals. It is produced from urea and exists as a monomeric powder.
What is melamine used for?
Melamine monomers can be polymerized into melamine resins and then crosslinked with formaldehyde to form thermosetting plastic laminates, the most common of which is Formica. It is used in plastic utensils. It is also used as a flame retardant and a non-protein nitrogen source (fertilizer), when combined with appropriate microorganisms that can metabolize the compound into urea or ammonia.Is melamine toxic?
As far as we can ascertain, melamine is minimally toxic. In acute toxicity trials in rats and mice, LD50 was >3g/kg. Intravenous injections (0.3mM/kg) and acute oral administration of melamine (125mg/kg) to cats failed to induce any toxicity (Lipschitz & Stokey, 1944, J Pharm & Exp Ther). In chronic dosing studies, rats developed cystic calculi (bladder stones) and consequent carcinomas of the bladder after 6 months of administration. There is virtually no mention of nephrotoxicity in the published literature. It is considered a mild ecological toxin, and generally safe in a work environment (inhalation and dermal or mucosal contact). Suprisingly, melamine has a diuretic action.Is melamine present in the affected foods? Yes. Studies have confirmed that melamine is present in the affected foods. It is not present in other foods tested. It is present in the gluten used in the manufacture of the affected foods.Is it present in high concentrations in the affected foods?
Melamine was present at about a 1-3% concentration in the gluten used in the manufacture of affected foods. Therefore it is present in a 0.01-0.2% (10mg – 200mg/100g food) concentration in affected foods.How does this translate into dietary toxicity?
If extrapolated from toxicity studies in rats (and assuming cats have the same acute toxicity doses as rats), cats would need to consume about 4kg of food per day to approach the rat LD50. Thus, we are skeptical of the ability for melamine to produce toxicity that is being reported.

Can melamine act as a marker for affected individuals?
We believe so. Since it appears to be present only in the contaminated foods, and is relatively easily detected in urine and kidneys of affected animals, melamine may be a reasonable marker of exposure to affected diets. This may help rule out dietary causes of acute renal failure. However, more information is needed to determine the validity of this hypothesis.

How can melamine be detected?
Currently, melamine is detected by mass spectrometry, which is not routinely available. However, if testing options become available, we will update this information.