I have a 1-year-old female golden retriever. She's a wonderful dog. I have started running with her, beginning with short distances, and I'm hoping to work up to a six-mile loop. Should I be increasing the amount of food I'm feeding her in comparison to what I eat? She currently gets a total of 2 1/2 cups a day (1 1/4 cups in the morning and 1 1/4 cups at night) of adult lamb and rice AvoDerm.
DF: Your dog needs more calories, and the dry food you give her is too high in carbohydrates, which are not the best energy source for dogs. A dog's metabolism is more on the side of a carnivore than that of a human omnivore, who can get energy from carbohydrates. She needs quality fat and protein in her diet, such as raw or lightly cooked grass-fed beef or free-range pork, chicken or turkey. If you plan to feed raw meat (about one cup daily with her regular food), don't use ground beef, which contains harmful bacteria. Grass-fed beef (and some dairy products) contains more beneficial fats than beef from conventionally fed animals, a trend that many chefs are pursuing for their human clients. By the way, you could harm your dog by forcing her to run too far too fast. She is still a pup. Take it easy for the next year and never run with her right after she has eaten.
Dear Dr. Fox:
My 2-year-old female tabby has had ulcers on her lips, twice. They bled the first time. My vet doesn't know what causes this condition but says yellow cats are prone to it. It takes her a week to get back to normal.
DF: The most common cause of lip ulcers in cats is a herpes-virus infection, which is not transmissible to humans. Secondary bacterial infection and chronic inflammation can set in, leading to what is commonly called a "rodent ulcer." Eating and drinking from plastic containers might aggravate this condition, along with certain food allergies and contaminants in municipal tap water.
Applying aloe vera gel to the lips four to six times a day (ideally containing calendula herb) can help alleviate the ulcers, in addition to a wholesome diet.