Treats on the Internets

Some key takeaways from cat studies presented at a recent pet food forum:

  • Starting at one year of age, cats fed kibble are heavier than those fed canned.
  • Protein digestibility increases in kibble fed cats after one year of age then remains consistent. Protein digestibility in canned fed cats is consistent over the life of the cat.
  • Cats like to lick gravy. (Perhaps not a key takeaway but I wanted to type it.)
  • Supplementing the diet with “choline at six times and eight times the requirements in overweight cats may increase liver fat transport, improve liver health and function and improve amino acid balance.”

The Applied Animal Behavior and Welfare Lab at Virginia Tech is conducting a study on the behavioral effects on shelter dogs who go to foster homes for one week. A shelter in Virginia and another in Arizona will participate and are seeking foster caregivers for the study.

Poachers are hunting giant clam shells to great harm, including extinction and broken coral reefs, because when carved, the shells resemble ivory. Seizures of illegal giant clam shells sometimes also yield carved elephant ivory, narwhal ivory, mammoth ivory, and helmeted hornbill casques. Authorities believe organized crime may be involved.

Researchers have published a new dental study after reviewing more than three million veterinary records for dogs in the U.S.

When the authors reviewed the data by dog size, they found that extra-small breeds (<6.5 kg/14.3 lbs) were up to five times more likely to be diagnosed with periodontal disease than giant breeds (>25 kg/55 lbs)(P <0.0001).


The five breeds with the highest prevalence of periodontal disease found in the study were the large Greyhound (38.7%), the medium-small Shetland Sheepdog (30.6%), and the extra-small Papillon (29.7%), Toy Poodle (28.9%), and Miniature Poodle (28.2%). Giant breed dogs (such as the Great Dane and Saint Bernard) were among the lowest breed prevalence estimates.

My layman’s theory on this is that too many breeders select for small head/body size but dogs are generally not meant to be tiny animals and teeth don’t know heads are decreasing in size (which is why we modern humans are still born with 32 teeth and have to get 4 of them surgically removed). The mouths on these tiny dogs become overcrowded with large teeth that would fit a larger headed dog. But the bone needed to hold these teeth in place has been reduced with jaw size. Therefore, dental disease. Again, just a personal theory.

Image of the week via Twitter:

Frog and newt friends (Image: Steven Allain)

3 thoughts on “Treats on the Internets

  1. Is there a reference for the cat food study? I would like to read it. There should be more pet food studies in general. One keeps hearing constantly about how vets only get 2 or 3 hours of teaching on nutrition in school, and how the pet food companies sponsor vet schools and vets profit by selling prescription food. I would love to know to what extent this is true, or nonsense. My parents had a cat that lived to 20, fed with whatever was on sale at the supermarket and kitchen scraps. I suspect more depends on the cat than the food.

  2. I’ve also observed the phenomenom that cats will lick up all the gravy in canned food and will leave the chunks and flakes behind. It drives me nuts, so wasteful! I have long learned to stick with the pate-style canned food.

Leave a Reply