More dog food recalls

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is warning dog owners not to feed one lot of Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Dog Food after a sample tested positive for Salmonella bacteria.


The product represents a serious threat to human and animal health. For details, please visit the following link:


One lot of Aunt Jeni’s Dog Food Tests Positive for Salmonella


Best Dog Food Lists

Recently Updated

Over the last 90 days, The Dog Food Advisor has updated the following best dog food pages:

  • Best Dry Dog Food
  • Best Wet Dog Food
  • Best Puppy Food
  • Best Affordable Dog Food
  • Best Dog Food for Allergies
  • Best Grain-Free Dog Food
  • Best Dog Food Made with Grain
  • Best Dog Food for Sensitive Stomach
  • Best Senior Dog Food
          • Best Dog Food for Weight Loss

Click here to see ALL Best Dog Food lists for February 2020

Parasites in your dog’s stool

The Parasitic Infection Hiding in Soft Stools

Analysis by Dr. Karen Shaw Becker


  • Giardia infections are common in pets, and since the condition is zoonotic, it can be passed from infected animals to other animals and humans as well
  • The most common mode of transmission in pets is through the ingestion of feces-contaminated water
  • Most cases of giardiasis are asymptomatic, but when symptoms are present, the most common is intermittent diarrhea or soft stools
  • Definitively diagnosing a giardia infection involves a combination of tests, preferably performed by an outside laboratory vs. in-house vet clinic testing
  • Successfully resolving the infection requires not only treatment with an antiparasitic medication, but also comprehensive follow-up testing to ensure the animal’s body has completely cleared the parasite

Giardia is a one-celled parasite found not only in the small intestine of dogs and cats, but also in most wild animals worldwide as well as many people in third-world countries.

There’s much we don’t know about the giardia parasite. For example, we don’t know exactly how many species there are, or which ones affect which animals. We also don’t know everything about the life cycle of the various species we’ve identified.

It’s thought that while exposure to giardia is common, acquiring disease from the parasite is less common. Giardia is ubiquitous in the environment, meaning it’s pretty much everywhere, including rivers, ponds, puddles and lots of other places.

Giardia is a zoonotic disease, which means if your dog or cat has it or a human family member has it, the rest of the family — humans and animals — can be infected. Puppy mills and other facilities that house lots of dogs are breeding grounds for the spread of the parasite.

How Giardia Is Transmitted

Your pet can acquire giardia by ingesting infected cysts contained in the poop of another animal. Contamination can occur directly or indirectly through contact with infected cysts. If a dog is giardia positive and licks his backside and then licks other dogs, cats, or humans, there is potential for transmission to occur. The most common route of transmission is through feces-contaminated water.

Once inside a dog or cat’s small intestine, the cyst opens and releases the active form of the parasite. These forms move around and attach themselves to the walls of the intestine where they reproduce by dividing in two.

Eventually, the active forms of giardia encyst (build cysts around themselves) and are passed from the animal’s body in feces. The poop then contaminates water sources, grass, soil, and other surfaces. Giardia thrives in cool, moist environments.

Symptoms of Giardiasis

Most giardia infections are asymptomatic, meaning there are no obvious signs your pet is carrying the parasite. When symptoms are present, the most common is diarrhea, which can be acute (sudden), chronic or intermittent.

Many people don’t consult their veterinarian about their pet’s soft, mushy stool because often it improves on its own after several days. About the time you’re ready to call your vet for an appointment, the stool firms up and all seems fine again. Stools can be normal for a week or two, and then the soft stool starts again.

Because of the on-again off-again nature of loose stools associated with giardia, many pet owners assume the dog got into something he shouldn’t have or had a meal that didn’t agree with him. That’s why so many cases of giardia go undiagnosed.

After a week, month, or sometimes years of an undiagnosed giardia infection, a giardia positive animal can experience an acute and very debilitating bout of bloody, dehydrating diarrhea. Most pets with giardia don’t lose their appetite, but in chronic cases they can lose a lot of body weight. They’re still eating, but they’re getting thinner.

This is because a giardia infection interferes with the digestion and absorption of nutrients from the diet. It can also damage the lining of the intestine. In fact, this parasite is at the root of many cases of chronic gastrointestinal (GI) inflammation in dogs and cats.

I would go so far as to say that many cases of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or dysbiosis (leaky gut syndrome) could be caused by an undiagnosed giardia infection. Many of these patients have a history of being giardia positive as puppies or kittens, and they go on to develop IBD as adults.

I also see a number of pets with chronic diarrhea, malabsorption and other digestive issues who end up being giardia positive. It’s something many primary care veterinarians don’t routinely check for.



The giardia parasite is microscopic and can’t be seen with the naked eye, so you can’t assume because you don’t see anything weird in your pet’s poop that there’s nothing there. And unfortunately, parasite testing performed at your veterinarian’s office instead of an independent laboratory may not be accurate.

Estimates are that up to 30% of in-house tests return a false negative, which means there are a lot of giardia-positive animals testing negative for the infection. If you think your pet may have giardia, I recommend you ask your veterinarian to send a stool sample to a commercial laboratory for analysis.

I also recommend an ELISA or PCR test for giardia for any pet with a history of GI issues. A fecal ELISA or PCR test is preferable to the standard fecal flotation test because it checks for the presence of giardia antigens. A standard fecal float only detects giardia cysts, which may or may not be shed in the stool sample being tested. This is another reason veterinarians often fail to diagnose the parasite early on.

Labs now offer a diarrhea panel that checks for other common causes of diarrhea. The panel is a good diagnostic choice for any dog or cat with intermittent GI issues.

Treatment Options

If your pet has been diagnosed with giardia, your veterinarian will prescribe medication to eliminate the parasite. Unfortunately, the giardia parasite is becoming resistant to many antiprotozoal drugs, which means more and more pets are becoming persistent carriers of the infection. This means that even after treatment with medication and repeated stool samples, your dog or cat might still be positive.

As I mentioned, the antigen test is what we use to diagnose the parasite. It can be positive for up to 6 months after treatment because it takes quite a while for your dog or cat’s body to clear the antigens out of the bloodstream after the parasites have died.

Immediately following treatment for giardia, I recommend veterinarians run a fecal float test once a month for 3 to 4 months to ensure it is negative, followed by an antigen test to ensure the infection has been fully resolved.

The reason for repeated fecal floats post-treatment is, again, because cysts aren’t typically passed in every stool sample. You may get one or two fecal samples that are negative, but if your pet is persistently infected or if the treatment didn’t work, he could still be positive. I believe it’s important to do repeated testing after treatment to be absolutely sure the infection has been cleared.

I’ve tried many natural protocols to eliminate giardia without the use of drugs, and I’ve had some success using combinations of antiparasite herbs such as berberine (Oregon grape root), ginger, cinnamon, black walnut, olive leaf, cat’s claw, and Pau d’arco. I’ve found these substances do a good job reducing the parasitic load in dogs and cats, but they don’t always resolve the infection.

If you choose to treat your pet all naturally, I recommend that you extend your intermittent stool checks to 9 months because I most commonly see a recurrence of cysts between the 6 and 9-month mark after an all-natural giardia treatment protocol.

Once your pet has been fully cleared of the parasite, I strongly recommend partnering with a functional medicine veterinarian who can provide an intestinal recuperation plan. There are many articles and videos here on the Healthy Pets site about leaky gut and inflammatory GI disorders you can refer to as well.

An intestinal recuperation plan will help your giardia positive pet avoid long-term consequences from the damaging effects of the parasite.

Preventing Infection

Preventing a giardia infection involves being aware of several predisposing factors, including avoiding kenneling your pet with other animals of unknown parasitic status, picking up your dog’s poop outside, and avoiding walking your dog in areas where other animals have pooped. As much as possible, also prevent your pet from drinking water from outdoor sources.

I also recommend asking your veterinarian to test a fecal sample from your pet using an outside lab twice a year. This will help identify and treat parasitic infections before they have a chance to cause a lot of GI inflammation.

On a side note, I don’t recommend routine deworming of dogs. There isn’t a universal dewormer that kills every parasite imaginable. You can’t give your pet a pill that will take care of, for example, giardia, coccidia and tapeworm. Don’t just assume your pet has parasites and offer unnecessary medications. No drug is entirely safe, and there is always a certain amount of risk involved in giving medications, so please only do so when necessary and not “just in case.”

I also don’t recommend routine use of natural dewormers “just in case.” I’ve seen many cases of significant GI inflammation caused by unnecessary doses of strong herbal preparations that were totally unnecessary because the animal had no parasitic infection.

It’s almost never a good idea to give your pet a drug or even a natural remedy just-in-case. The just-in-case preventive I absolutely recommend is to proactively test your dog’s or cat’s feces on a regular basis to be sure your pet is negative for parasites.

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Stomach problems in dogsView this email in your browser You are receiving this email because you subscribed or because you made a purchase at To unsubscribe click the UNSUB link at the bottom. B-Naturals Newsletter – February 2020 Stomach Problems with Your Dog? Find Out How to Solve Them! By Lew Olson, PhD Natural Health Good News Reminders & February Specials Free Freight Friday is February 7th and February 21st. Mark your Calendars! Let us help you stretch your hard-earned dollars! Purchase $75 or more in products on one of these two days and we will ship your order anywhere in the continental US via UPS Ground free! Visit Check out Lew Olson’s on-line video courses – Cooked Diets or Raw Food Diets videos. View Lew’s Courses Lew’s New Book is also available and makes a great gift for any dog lover!! Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs, Revised: The Definitive Guide to Homemade meals! This is a definite ‘must have’ for every dog lover! Lew Olson’s revised edition is filled with an abundance of new topics and information. Whether you are new to home feeding or a seasoned raw feeder, have a senior dog or a new puppy, a pregnant mom or a toy breed, this book presents all the information you need to make the best nutritional decisions for your dog. Click to View Lew’s Raw and Natural Nutrition Book View Book Lew Olson’s K9Nutrition Facebook Page is another great resource for canine nutrition help and advice! If you have been following Lew on her K9Nutrition Yahoo Group, you will thoroughly enjoy her Facebook page. Join today! Click to view the K9Nutrition Facebook Page View K9Nutrition Group Join Lew’s Fan Page on Facebook! You will find canine nutrition and diet tips, and you can see what her fans are up to. Sign up today and invite your dog-loving friends to join too. It’s educational and lots of fun! Click to view Lew’s Facebook Fan Page View Lew’s Fan Page B-Naturals Newsletter – February 2020 Stomach Problems with Your Dog? Find Out How to Solve Them! By Lew Olson, PhD Natural Health When a dog has ongoing symptoms of diarrhea, gas, and occasional vomiting, this is often diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). The best description of this is that the lining of the intestinal tract has become inflamed. This causes the food to shoot through the digestive tract, which in turn, forces the food to pass without being digested properly. The diagnosis will occur when symptoms of diarrhea, upset stomach and weight loss have continued for several weeks or months and other causes have been ruled out. Other causes of long-term diarrhea may include the following: 1. Internal parasites, such as whipworm, hook worm, giardia or coccidia 2. Bacteria overgrowth, including helicobacter or SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth) 3. Addison’s disease, an adrenal disorder due to low cortisol 4. Ulcers It is recommended that you take a stool sample to your vet and have a complete wellness checkup done on your dog. If the cause is not diet related, it could be a variety of things, which can include parasites, bacteria and/or inflammation of the intestinal lining. Want to Feed the Best Diet for Your Dog, But Don’t Know How? Now there is a fast and easy way to learn! Check out Lew Olson’s easy-to-follow, on-line course videos! Read on to learn about Canine Nutrition and preparing Raw and Home Cooked Diets! Click for Video Click to View Parasites Parasites can be a common cause of diarrhea so it is important to rule these out first with your veterinarian. Parasites that can cause diarrhea are roundworms, whipworms, hookworms, coccidia and giardia, just to name a few. Once parasites are identified, proper treatment usually clears up the diarrhea. Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO) Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO) is caused by a bacteria overgrowth. This is becoming more common in dogs. This problem creates large, gassy stools, weight loss and often appetite loss. Other causes of diarrhea to rule out include: Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) EPI is a condition where the pancreas does not secrete the proper enzymes to digest foods. This is common in German Shepherd Dogs, but is seen in other breeds as well. Testing is needed to determine and confirm the disorder and prescription enzyme medications are needed for treatment. Like SIBO, EPI has large stools with odor. Symptoms of EPI include INCREASED appetite, fluffy, very smelly, greasy, gray colored stools, loss of weight, gas, loud stomach noises, etc. The dog’s pancreas does not produce enough digestive enzymes to break the food down and therefore no matter how much they eat, they cannot digest their food. Untreated, weight loss happens quickly and can lead to starvation and death. Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis (HGE) With HGE there is bloody diarrhea, which is often red and clotted in appearance. Vomiting and lethargy can develop later. A high packed cell volume (PCV) in a blood panel will confirm the diagnosis. Toy breeds are more at risk, but HGE has good recovery outcomes. When all the above are ruled out, your veterinarian will oftentimes refer you to a specialist who will recommend a series of tests. These can include using an endoscope or doing exploratory surgery to obtain a biopsy. The results will determine which part of the intestinal tract is involved and what degree of inflammation is present. At this point, several medications are usually recommended. These include steroids, immunosuppressant drugs, antibiotics and flagyl (metronidazole), or other drugs to slow motility (lomotil). Medications These drugs tend to mask the symptoms and do not address or treat the problem. Steroids will bring back the appetite and help control inflammation, but long term use of prednisone and other steroid drugs have numerous negative side effects that include frequent urination, diarrhea, GI disturbance, ulcers, pancreatitis, renal and liver problems, diabetes, Cushing’s Disease, thinning hair, pancreatitis, muscle wasting, bone thinning and changes in behavior. Immunosuppressant drugs can cause bone marrow loss, anemia and a permanent loss of tears in the eye, causing dry eye. Metronidazole is an antibiotic with some anti-inflammatory side effects. However, this drug is processed through the liver. Long-term use can cause neurological disorders and it destroys the natural flora and fauna in the system. Tylan is another antibiotic used that also has anti-inflammatory effects, but again, using antibiotics long term can destroy the good bacteria in the digestive system and it can lead to antibiotic resistance. Diet recommendations often include prescription dry diets of the hydrolyzed protein type, which claims to be more easily digested. I find it amazing that when a dog’s digestive tract is inflamed and the dog is in a weakened condition, the treatment is to offer harsh drugs that reduce the immune system and have a myriad of harsh side effects. On top of that, a poor food source that is heavily processed and high in fiber is included. Besides offering poor nutrition, high fiber diets continue to irritate and keep a dog’s digestive tract inflamed. Dogs are carnivores and therefore it is easier to digest animal protein and fats. Food spends more time in a dog’s stomach and then speeds through their short and simple digestive tract. Humans on the other hand, have a longer digestive tract, designed for longer transit time. Dogs labor tremendously trying to digest diets high in fiber. While high fiber will remove moisture in the large intestine and produce firmer stools, the intestinal tract remains inflamed and continues to cause spasms and creates poor digestion. Rather than feeding a high-fiber diet and using immunosuppressant drugs and high power antibiotics that strip the digestive tract of good flora and fauna bacteria and cause further damage to the digestive tract, ideally, a diet change would be the first treatment of choice! This diet would never be a dry food diet such as kibble, which is more irritating to a dog’s digestive tract. Instead, this diet would be a moist diet, high in good quality animal proteins and fats. A small amount of carbohydrates would be useful in a cooked diet for a fiber source. In a raw diet, the bones act as the fiber, which keeps stools firm. Keeping stools consistently firm is not the main part of the ‘healing’ process, but it makes the human owners more secure when they see their dog’s stool look more like their own. Canines in the wild often have loose stools. This is not a sign of being unhealthy or having an illness, as long as they are digesting and utilizing the food consumed. Diarrhea now and then is not a big problem; it is projectile or liquid diarrhea for more than a day that can cause dehydration. The idea is to reduce the inflammation in the intestinal tract, which puts the digestive tract back into good health and allows for the proper digestion of food. My best advice is to look at the overall health of your dog. What is the condition of the skin and coat? Are they at a healthy weight? Are their stools consistent? Pay less attention to the stool and pay more attention to their coat, skin and weight for signs of recovery and good health. Diet Recommendations If you prefer a cooked diet, I recommend the low fat, low glycemic diet. This diet is 75% animal protein and 25% low glycemic (low sugar) carbohydrates. I would use a variety of proteins, such as beef, chicken, turkey and pork. Remove the chicken skin and trim extra fat from the other meat choices. You may also use low or nonfat yogurt and cottage cheese and egg whites, as they are also low fat. Low glycemic vegetables include broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, green beans and dark leafy greens. For more recipes, see my newsletters on Low-Glycemic Diets: Carbohydrates and Low Glycemic Diets Part I Carbohydrates and Low Glycemic Diets Part II You can also get information that is much more detailed in my book, “Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs.” In raw diets, I suggest using a menu that consists of 50% raw meaty bones and 50% muscle and organ meat. For raw meaty bone meal, I suggest skinless chicken necks, turkey necks and pork neck bones. For the muscle/organ mix meal, I would use leaner meats such as low fat hamburger, white chicken meat chicken (no skin), and wild game such as venison and elk, with a small amount (5% of the meal) organ meat (liver or kidney), and nonfat yogurt or cottage cheese. More fat can be introduced to the diet later, but while the digestive tract is healing, higher fat diets should be avoided. For both home cooked or raw diets, it may be best to start with three or four smaller meals per day for the first few weeks. Additionally, adding the supplements below will help during the transition of the diet and help heal the digestive tract. Supplements I recommend three main supplements for dogs with IBD and gastric problems. These include: L-Glutamine: L-Glutamine is an amino acid that is helpful in healing the lining of the digestive tract. This supplement helps maintain muscle mass and helps healing after surgery or an injury. The recommend dose is 500 mg per 20 pounds of body weight daily. Berte’s Ultra Probiotics: Berte’s Ultra Probiotics are a blend of beneficial bacteria, which are typically found in the digestive tract. These probiotics contain the good bacteria the digestive tract needs for proper digestion. During times of stress or illness, this natural bacterium can be depleted. Adding these probiotics to the diet, twice daily with meals, is helpful in restoring the flora and fauna needed for proper digestion and maintaining a strong immune system. Food Science All-Zyme: Animal-based enzymes include pancreatin and pancrealipase. They help predigest fats in the stomach so that when food is released into the small intestine, less strain is put on the liver and pancreas. The fat is better digested for easier passage through the small intestine. This leads to better formed stools. Berte’s Digestion Blend: This supplement offers all three of the above suggested supplements, L-Glutamine, Probiotics and Animal Enzymes, as well as GAGs to help heal the gut, and ginger to help prevent nausea. Yucca Intensive: Yucca is a natural steroidal herb that helps control inflammation. It MUST be given with food and at no more than 1 drop per ten pounds of body weight. DMG Liquid: Dimethylglycine is an amino acid recommended to help support proper immune response and glucose metabolism. For dogs with allergy problems, this supplement has been found to be beneficial in helping the immune system. This supplement also helps support skin and heart health, as well as proper nerve and brain functions. You can find more information on this subject in both my newsletters Gastric Problems and Digestion and Gastric Problems FAQ. Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone in the B-Natural’s family. Time to look forward to warmer weather! Eat Well, gets lots of exercise and rest! B-Naturals PO Box 56 Buffalo, MN 55313 1-713-303-5639 – Lew Olson 1-866-368-2728 – Toll Free – Product Orders/Questions/Comments or 1-763-477-7001 – Phone Email for Orders, Shipping and Product Updates Email for Consults Click this link for on-line Course Videos: DotBravo Co. 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