Dog Food and Treats

What to Do if Your Dog Won't Eat

By the Editors of Exceptional Canine for Exceptional Canine

Dog Won’t Eat? Manage His Feeding Issues

Super-skinny models might have food issues. So do the majority of children under the age of 4. Then, there’s your brother who hasn’t tasted a carbohydrate since 2001. He definitely has issues. But what if your dog won’t eat?

Your dog might be finicky. Or perhaps he possesses the appetite of a lumberjack. Wherever the problems lie, take heart. You can help your dog eat a nutritionally sound diet -- without the aid of a high-priced doggie psychologist or canine chef.

What Your Dog Needs
Before we tackle idiosyncrasies, let’s step back and look at good dog nutrition. All dogs need a balance of protein, fat and carbohydrates like those found in high-quality pet foods. Feed your dog according to its size, breed and stage of life.

Feeding the Dog That Won’t Eat
If your dog sniffs its bowl then rejects all but a few bites, analyze your dog’s behavior. Like kids, dogs will eat when they’re hungry. A few things could be happening:

  • Too many snacks Is your dog fed people food or extra dog treats that suppress his appetite? Feeding table scraps is a no-no, and too many treats can dull your dog’s appetite for the nutritious food he needs.

  • Illness Neither people nor canines eat if they’re ill. Make note of whether or not your dog is pooping regularly and playing normally. Recording such information in a notebook could help you and your vet determine a pattern and thus lead to a diagnosis. “Some dogs actually have a dental problem, and it’s painful to eat,” says Dr. Bruce Silverman of Village West Veterinary in Chicago. “These dogs need this problem addressed at the vet’s office before they can go back to their food dish and eat without discomfort.”

  • Overfeeding Your dog might be eating all it needs and leaving the rest alone. Check to make sure your portions are on target.
  • Yucky food Cheaper dog food brands might be made with low-quality ingredients that may not suit your dog’s palate -- or his body. Your dog might not like the taste or likely has difficulty digesting it. “Some dogs are just picky eaters because they don’t love the food in front of them,” says Silverman. “If you haven’t experimented with different-quality diets, perhaps it’s a good time to do so.”

Feeding the Dog With a Big Appetite
We know Irish Wolfhounds that can pack it away -- and Miniature Schnauzers that can keep up with them. If your dog seems truly hungry (you’ll know if he inhales supper in five minutes flat then begs you for more) there could be a reason:

  • Food quality Is your dog getting the right kind of nutrition to feel satiated?

  • Adequate portions Are you feeding your dog enough? If you’ve recently taken up cross-country skiing and your dog joins you in the adventure, he is burning more calories. Take a look at the feeding guidelines on the package or consult with your veterinarian.
  • Water Like people, dogs often eat when they’re actually thirsty. Make sure your dog’s water bowl is clean and contains fresh water at all times.

Silverman recommends training exercises with treats before mealtime (you can use the same kibble you use for food), both for dogs that won’t eat and dogs that overeat. “It gets dogs in the mood for eating, they respond better to the training exercises, and some of their appetite is satiated before they dive into the food dish,” he explains.


Custom Dog Food - 15% Off and Free Shipping

ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 07 12.20If you're looking for a way to give your dog exactly the nutrition he or she needs (and food that your dog will love too), then consider trying RedMoon. RedMoon offers you an easy online process so you can actually create your own custom dog food. All of the food is grain and gluten-free, so it's an especially good choice for dogs with allergies or digestive problems.

Until December 25, RedMoon is offering Carolina Mountain Dog readers 15% off your order, plus free shipping. Just click on the RedMoon square ad in the right hand column on this page and enter the coupon code Holiday15 when you order.

Holiday Pet Food Drive in North Asheville

ScreenHunter_01 Nov. 25 16.26Animal Hospital of North Asheville is accepting donations of canned or dry pet food, blankets, pet toys, and cash donations for the holiday season on behalf of three local animal welfare organizations -- Asheville Humane Society, Animal Compassion Network, and Brother Wolf Animal Rescue. Donations will be evenly distributed among the three organizations.

Donations can be dropped off by the public at the veterinary hospital's location at 1 Beaverdam Road, Asheville during normal business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 AM - 8:30 PM and Saturday, 8 AM - Noon). Donations will be accepted until December 24.

For further information, call Animal Hospital of North Asheville at (828) 253-3393.

3 Reasons to Feed Your Pet a Raw Diet

Guest Post by Kristi King, Owner, Green Earth Pet Food

Green Earth Pet Food JPG (2)When asked to write a guest blog on three reasons to feed a raw diet, I realized I had a huge problem:  how do I narrow it down to just three?  So I decided to “cheat” a little by including a few reasons within each of the three reasons.  Here goes:

1.  Health!  We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat.”  This is also true for dogs.  Dogs are scavenger carnivores, meaning they are meant to eat meat (they have sharp teeth for tearing meat and no flat molars meant for grinding grains/grasses).  Dogs can also eat some fruits, veggies and the occasional pesky fly.  Raw food’s main ingredient is meat, usually over 50%.  On the other hand, even the best kibble must contain 40%-50% starchy carbs just to form the kibble shape.  Raw food also boosts the health of your pet’s digestive tract with lots of naturally-occurring digestive enzymes and “good” bacteria, which in turn boosts your pet’s immune system so your pet’s body can naturally fight off illness, allergies and disease.  Plus, the high meat content and low carb content means raw food helps your dog easily maintain a healthy weight.

2.  Save Money!  A healthy dog only needs to see the vet occasionally for a checkup.  With a strong and healthy immune system, there is no need for vaccinations after initial core vaccines, no need for internal or external parasite medications, and no need for skin allergy medications.  With a strong and lean body, there is no need for prescription “diet” foods and no need for medications for obesity-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney failure, etc.  With chewing on raw meaty bones, there is no tartar build-up so no need for expensive teeth cleaning.

3.  Happiness!  Eating a species-appropriate diet of real meat means your dog will not feel hungry all the time.  Plus, chewing on raw bones releases endorphins for dogs, exercises their jaw muscles and keeps them from becoming bored.  And isn’t that what we all want?  A happy, healthy dog!

Green Earth Pet Food

Where to buy Green Earth Pet Food:

ReTail Scene: "Bone Appetit" Food and Water Mats

Food matHere's a cool idea from Better Buddies, an online pet supplies company with a heart.

The company has taken discarded donated yoga mats, run them through a sanitation process, and cut each one into a handy doggie food and water mat. The new "upcycled" pet food mat cuts down on landfills, wipes off clean with a sponge, is dishwasher safe and is totally one-of-a-kind! No two mats are alike as each one is cut out from different pre-existing yoga mats.

10 percent of profits from each product are donated directly to the Guardian Angel Program at the Best Friends Animal Society, helping the most severe-needs pets find a wonderful home.

Better Buddies is also giving a special 15 percent discount off all of its products to Carolina Mountain Dog readers. Just use the coupon code ADPT15 when you place your order. For more information about the mats, visit the Better Buddies website.

ReTail Scene: Ready to Bake Cookies for Dogs

Rsz_2dog_joy_cookie_renderingImagine baking up a batch of warm, delicious and nutritious cookies for your family. Nothing is better than freshly baked cookies, right?

Now you can do the same for your four-legged friend. It's easy with new Ready to Bake Cookies for dogs from Freshpet. Freshpet sent this blogger two packages of the new product for me to test on my own pack of four dogs. I just opened the box, took out the pre-formed cookies, and baked them for about 14 minutes.

I must admit, the aroma of the peanut butter and oatmeal cookies coming out of the oven was scrumptious enough for me to want to take a bite! But I restrained myself and let the doggies sample them instead. It was unanimous -- they all loved the cookies and were ready for more. I also discovered that the cookies could be easily crumbled onto a meal for an extra added treat. I was pleased to see that the ingredients were 100% all natural with no artificial additives.

Freshpet Ready to Bake Cookies are new additions to the company's line of fresh, refrigerated meals and treats for cats and dogs. You'll find them in the pet food aisle refrigerator at many stores. Dog Joy Peanut Butter & Oatmeal Recipe is available in select grocery and mass-market stores, and Dog Nation Oatmeal & Cranberry Recipe is available in select pet specialty stores. For more information, including store locations, visit

If you're looking for a unique treat that goes beyond the standard biscuit, try a package of Freshpet Ready to Bake Cookies. My dogs heartily endorse them!

$10 for $20 Worth of Goods at Patton Avenue Pet Company

Pattonavepet-front (2)One of our advertisers, Patton Avenue Pet Company, is currently making a great offer through Pay $10 and you'll get $20 worth of merchandise at this hip, new independently -owned pet store with its very own fenced-in dog park out back!

Patton Avenue Pet Company is located at 1388 Patton Avenue in Asheville.

Check out the deal here:  But hurry, it is only good until Saturday, February 25 at 12:00 AM.

ReTail Scene: Patton Avenue Pet Company, Asheville

Pattonavepet-frontHow many pet stores have a friendly, inviting front porch with a rocking chair, a huge pet mural in the parking lot, and a bark mulched dog park in the back, complete with red hydrant?

That's what you'll find at the new Patton Avenue Pet Company, 1388 Patton Avenue (near Haywood Road) in Asheville. This new breed of locally-owned pet supply store aims to be a resource center for Asheville's pet loving community, says owner/animal lover Jenna Yarosh (shown in photo with Penelope, one of her three dogs). Of course, pets are welcome inside, but dogs will find their own little piece of heaven in the fenced-in dog park at the rear of the store, which is located in a brightly painted house. The dog park has a little "pee garden" with a fire hydrant, dog toys, a bench for humans, and plenty of space for some off-leash play.

Pattonavepet-jennaInside the store, you'll find a complete assortment of top-notch nutritionally appropriate pet food, free of meat byproducts, artificial coloring, additives and perservatives, and with a minimum of fillers. Also on hand is a wide range of supplies, accessories, treats and other pet products. Some of these products, such as the line of pet potions from GoodJudy, are available exclusively at the store. Patton Avenue Pet Company even imports humanely sourced moose antlers -- known to be the best chew sticks for dogs -- directly from Alaska, so you can get them at a great price.

The store offers a companion animal lending library which sits over a cozy fireplace, actively seeks products from local community sources, and will periodically hold training classes and adoption events. Artwork from local artists graces the exterior and interior. The store's hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 AM to 6 PM, and Sunday, 11 AM - 5 PM (closed Monday). Visit or call (828) 505-8299 for more information.

Grand Opening on January 14
Stop by with your pets for the store's Grand Opening celebration on Saturday, January 14 from 12 to 4 PM. There'll be free samples, free nail trims, free behavioral and nutritional consulting, and a contest.

Do Dogs Need Vitamin Supplements?

DogsupplementsGuest Post By the Editors of Exceptional Canine for Exceptional Canine

People are crazy about vitamins. So you might think what is good for us will work for our dogs. But quality dog food is carefully balanced to fulfill all of your dog’s nutritional needs. Scientists have proven that additives often interfere with the balanced nutrition in dog food. In fact, they can stop the absorption of some important nutrients, leaving your dog with an upset stomach or even skeletal problems.

“As we all know from studying our own health, it’s not just the amount of vitamins that we take that matter; it’s the quality of the nutrients and the proper balance of vitamins and minerals that make the difference,” explains Dr. Katy Nelson, an emergency veterinarian in Alexandria, Va. “When a food has been deemed balanced, then that means that vitamins and supplements are already added to the food. Giving additional vitamins can greatly throw off the proper ratio.”

The Thinking Behind Vitamin Supplements
We humans take vitamins because our modern-day meals often don’t include all we need to stay healthy. We also eat a variety of foods instead of a single item. We’re therefore sometimes tempted to add a dollop of yogurt to a bowl of dog food because we think it will make for a shiny coat. Or we ladle on a bit of gravy to increase palatability or add variety.

Nelson cautions that you’ll be doing your dog a disservice if you supplement his meal with human foods. “People food and other things purported to give shiny coats often contain large amounts of fat and possibly sodium and other unhealthy ingredients,” she says. “Highly fatty foods not only can cause weight gain, but they can also lead to health problems as simple as vomiting and diarrhea, all the way to severe issues like pancreatitis.”

Don’t worry about variety, says Nelson. Simply feed your dog what is healthiest for him. “Dogs are scavengers,” she explains. “Their taste buds are not necessarily sophisticated. Think about it: If your dog will eat rotten meat from the trash, the nuggets out of the litter box, and chase it all down with a little muddy water from a puddle, do you really think their palates are all that discerning?”

Good Minerals Gone Bad
Certain foods given to dogs in excess can produce adverse results. For example, meat contains 20 to 40 times more phosphorus than calcium, but your dog’s body needs a specific ratio of phosphorus and calcium to keep him healthy. Therefore, your dog’s system will attempt to right that ratio by stealing calcium from his bones.

Dogs, like the rest of us, need a balanced diet to thrive. Lucky for you, you don’t need to do anything more than open your pooch’s bag of food and pour. If you want to play chef, cook for your mother-in-law. She’ll probably appreciate it more than your pup.

New Year, New Advertisers

2012dogWe're pleased to welcome several new local advertisers as we begin 2012. You'll see their ads to the right of blog posts under the heading, "SUPPORT OUR ADVERTISERS." And we hope you will do just that -- show them your support! Just click on each ad and you'll be taken to the advertiser's website. Here is a little about them:
Patton Avenue Pet Company
A "new breed of pet supply store" in Asheville that features high quality products, many of which are locally sourced.
Bed and Biscuit Pet Spa
WNC's premier dog and cat boarding facility, in an idyllic setting in Black Mountain.
Best Bites for Pets
A free delivery service for the Asheville/Hendersonville/Brevard area focused on only natural food, treats and more.

Image: Grant Cochrane /

A Recipe for Your Dog's Weight Loss

By Dr. Tracy Dewhirst for Exceptional Canine

Weight lossCute, chubby, roly-poly dogs -- we all know one. They might make us smile and sometimes laugh, but these dogs are often left behind while their owners and other dogs enjoy outdoor activities. Carrying excessive weight makes dogs sluggish and contributes to serious health problems. Check out our recent feature to learn how to tell if your dog is overweight.

Overweight dogs are more likely to suffer pain, develop metabolic diseases and need surgery on damaged joints or herniated vertebral discs. They also have difficulty breathing during routine activity, and when temperatures are hot and humid they have trouble effectively cooling themselves via panting.

The good news, however, is that your dog’s weight loss is achievable if you devise a plan and stick to it. My patients who have successfully lost weight have restored mobility and renewed energy. Their owners often say their dog acts like a puppy again.

Access Your Dog’s Health and Calorie Needs
Weight control should be a simple equation. The number of calories consumed must be equal to, or less than, the number of calories burned. However, the equation does not take into account your dog’s activity level, age, breed, reproductive status, or medical condition.

Some metabolic diseases can cause weight gain, and some diet foods might not be appropriate for dogs with underlying medical problems. This is why assessing your dog’s overall health and getting a proper energy requirement and calorie count from your veterinarian is important before beginning a diet.

Do not rely on feeding charts for dieting. Know the exact kilocalories per cup in your dog food, and feed for your dog’s individual needs and desired weight. Pay attention to extra calories. It is easy to feed 100 kilocalories (or more) in snacks and treats -- and these calories add up to pounds over time.

Consider a Specialized Weight Loss Food
Weight loss is often easier to achieve when your dog is fed a specialized food designed to help reduce calories, maintain nutritional balance and produce satiety. Foods that contain L- carnitine, an amino acid derivative, have been shown to help promote lean body mass and improve weight loss.

Get Your Dog Moving
Daily activity should be a part of any comprehensive diet program. Start inactive dogs off slowly; moderate walks are good. Outings can become more strenuous as your dog’s stamina builds. Also, metabolism rate increases with regular activity, making weight loss more rapid. Weigh your dog periodically and make necessary caloric adjustments during a trial diet.

Don’t Yield to Temptation
Another major factor in managing your dog’s weight is addressing begging. This learned behavior contributes to dogs being overweight because owners simply cannot refuse their dog’s innocent, hungry stares. Be strong. Remind yourself that the goal is to make your dog healthier and happier. Never reward begging. This only perpetuates the problem.

Dieting does not mean completely eliminating the joy of giving your dog a treat. But it does mean feeding healthy, low-calorie snacks when and only when your dog has earned it, not begged for it.

Start Now
Dogs that live active lives are content and fulfilled. Don’t waste another day. Start turning back the clock by encouraging your dog’s weight loss, so you can enjoy his new-found energy and second puppyhood.


Dr. Tracy Dewhirst, a graduate from the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, practices small-animal and equine medicine in Knoxville, Tenn. She is a long-time columnist for the Knoxville News Sentinel. Dewhirst also sits on the East Tennessee Peer Review Board.

Puppy Photo Contest at Exceptional Canine

Exceptionalcanine is a website for active dogs and their owners that covers the benefits of the dog lifestyle, with tips on how to care for an energetic pet and attend to its needs. The website is currently sponsoring an "Exceptional Puppy Photo Contest" with a gift basket valued at $600 awarded to 10 exceptional puppies. The basket will include such goodies as Eukanuba food, Kong and Nylabone toys, and more.

To enter, go to and "Like" the page. Then upload a picture (color .jpg file no larger than 1 MB) of your exceptional puppy (must be 2 years old or younger to be eligible). The more votes your puppy gets, the better your chances of winning. Winners' photogenic pups will also be featured on the Exceptional Canine website and Facebook page.

The contest ends on August 29. Visit for additional information and to see what Exceptional Canine is all about.

Happy Tails Doggie Ice Cream at The Hop

Doggieicecream It's ice cream season, so why should your dogs be left out? While there are numerous fine ice cream and frozen yogurt establishments in the Carolina mountains, we thought we'd make special mention of one place (with two locations) that is especially dog-friendly.

The Hop, located at 640 Merrimon Avenue in Asheville and 721 Haywood Road in West Asheville, is a long-time Asheville tradition, known for both its outrageous gourmet ice cream flavors and its undying commitment to civic responsibility. Greg and Ashley Garrison are especially kind to the local animal welfare community, participating in a recent adoption event at Asheville Humane Society's new Adoption Center and holding regular doggie socials on behalf of other animal groups.

The Hop also offers the first locally made ice cream for dogs, "Happy Tails Doggie Ice Cream." It's all natural with no added sugar, artificial flavors or preservatives. The plain yogurt base is enhanced with protein, peanut butter and bananas -- a summer treat your doggie will love.

Both locations are open Monday - Saturday from 1  to 11 PM and Sunday from 1 to 10 PM. And the ice cream for humans is pretty darn awesome, too!

Asheville Yappy Hour-June 9

Bulldog Join Asheville Humane Society at its first Yappy Hour of the summer season at Laughing Seed Café in downtown Asheville on Thursday, June 9. It's a social for dogs!

Drop in anytime between 6-8 PM for a drink and some visiting with other dog lovers. Pooches can sniff and mingle while munching arf d'oeuvres provided by Three Dog Bakery and slurping doggie daiquiris. For a $10 donation, human companions can relax with their beloved pooch while enjoying vegetarian appetizers and sipping beer, wine or soda. Dogs are admitted free with their people."

Laughing Seed Cafe is located at 40 Wall Street in Asheville with additional information at   

ReTail Scene: Lucky Dog Delivers Opens Woodfin Store

Luckydogstore Lucky Dog Delivers, an Asheville area pet store on wheels, has settled down and opened up a shop in Woodfin. Still delivering holistic and natural pet foods to pet lovers in and around Asheville, their healthy foods and eco-friendly products are now also available at the new shop at 175 Weaverville Highway, Woodfin.

Deane Giordano, owner of Lucky Dog Delivers Holistic Pet Supplies, says she hopes to use the new venue for puppy socialization hours, free nutritional consultations, a library of pet health information, pet adioption events, in-store fostering of homeless pets through local shelters, and a worm composting center.

Hours at the store are 10 AM to 6 PM, Tuesday through Saturday. For more information about the shop or the free delivery service, call (828) 484-9032, or visit .

Asheville Pet Expo, Apr. 2-3

Ashevillepetexpo The first annual Asheville Pet Expo will be held at the WNC Agricultural Center (across from the Asheville Airport) on Saturday and Sunday, April 2 and 3. Pet owners are invited to shop for products and services all in one place.

The Asheville Pet Expo will include educational sessions, demonstrations, hands-on activities, and more. Pet products vendors, groomers, veterinarians, rescue organizations, trainers, boarding/day care facilities, dog bakeries, and other vendors will be available.

The Expo runs from 9 AM - 5 PM on Saturday and 11 AM - 5 PM on Sunday. Adult admission is $7, children 6 - 15, $5 each, and children 5 and under are free. (Cash only.)

For more information, visit:

ReTail Scene: MoonDoggies Natural Pet Foods

Moondoggies-store MoonDoggies is a family-owned natural pet food store located at 1263 Smokey Park Highway in Candler, NC.

Owner Linda Gavel says on the store's website, "When you walk into the store you will immediately feel right at home. We take pride in our business and offer a full line of holistic and organic pet foods, as well as an organic doggy bakery. We also have holistic supplements, Chinese herb blends, and natural remedies to keep your pet healthy and happy. Local products are our first choice and we have many to choose from ranging from raw meat diets to leashes made from recycled mountain climbing ropes.

"One thing you can expect when you come to Moondoggies is personal service that ensures your pet is getting the best products and natural pet foods made especially for them. We look forward to the opportunity of serving you locally and as we expand our website presence we will be adding new products for your online shopping convenience."

MoonDoggies also features online shopping. For more information, check out the MoonDoggies website:

ReTail Scene - Lucky Dog Delivers, Asheville

Luckydogdelivers Lucky Dog Delivers is a new delivery service for dog and cat owners that delivers high quality pet food and other products, free of charge in the greater Asheville area.

Deane, owner of Lucky Dog Delivers, says the service grew out of her need to find high quality special food for her Bernese Mountain Dog, Zephyr. While Zephyr is gone now, Deane and her two "canine testers," Rico and Lucy, personally choose every dog food product , ensuring each is "nutritionally advanced and as close to what nature intended as possible." In fact, all of the dog foods sold by Lucky Dog Delivers are on the Whole Dog Journal's list of approved dog foods.

Lucky Dog Delivers offers pet food, treats, and supplements, along with select toys and accessories, even cat litter for the kitties in the household. You can set up deliveries as needed or take advantage of "Recurring Delivery" -- especially convenient if you need dog food delivered on a regular basis (maybe along with a special Treat of the Month). In addition to offering a unique service for dog and cat owners, Deane pledges to donate 9 percent of the company's profits to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue and Asheville Humane Society.

For more information or to schedule a delivery, check out the company's website:


Watch These Beautiful Dogs!

Pedigree has outdone itself with a video shot depicting dogs watching, catching, and savoring Pedigree's Vitality brand dog food.

What's so special about it? The video was shot in slow motion and edited brilliantly to capture the true beauty and vitality of these animals.

Of course, as a Carolina Mountain Dog reader, you already know how special dogs are -- but this stunning video is a great reminder nonetheless.



ReTail Scene - Wag! Pet Boutique, Hendersonville

Wag When your travels take you to downtown Hendersonville, NC, be sure to check out Wag!, a unique Pet Boutique located at 231-A N. Main Street. The store carries apparel, beds, toys, collars and leashes, treats, and grooming supplies.

Store hours are Mondays through Saturdays, 10 AM to 6 PM. Wag! also operates an online store, available at their website: