Weekly Pet Quiz: Alkaline Water, Devocalization and Big Pet Food

1 After drinking alkaline water, kitties were seen to develop with of the following?

  • struvite/MAP crystals and stones

    Years ago when people started asking me about alkaline water for pets, I would explain that I couldn't predict what would happen, but that they needed to monitor the urine pH of their animals. I have had experiences where it wasn't necessarily beneficial to alkalize a dog or a cat. Kitties are obligate carnivores, and dogs are scavenging or opportunistic carnivores, and their urine and saliva pH are naturally slightly acidic, not alkaline. I saw cats drinking alkaline water whose urine pH crept up and they developed struvite crystals, magnesium ammonium phosphate stones, bladder stones, kidney stones and so on. I was seeing a whole lot more kidney stones in dogs and cats drinking alkaline water, so I started telling people that if you're going to give your pet alkaline water, you should have pH test strips at home, and the minute that pH goes up to seven, you need to discontinue alkaline water. That was my standard advice. I tried to do my due diligence in preventing kidney and bladder issues. Learn more.

  • calcium oxalate crystals
  • purine crystals and stones
  • cystine crystals and stones

2 Punitive training methods have nothing to do with problem canine behaviors such as fear and aggression.

  • TRUE

    For all you dog lovers out there, I'm sure it has been absolutely no surprise to learn from scientific studies that your mood and behavior have an effect on your canine companion. Anyone who shares a close bond with a dog knows this already. We also know, both first-hand and through research studies, that punitive training methods are linked to problem canine behaviors such as fear and aggression. There's also evidence that a link exists between the personality of a dog owner and features of the dog's behavior, and recently a team of researchers set out to discover whether people with certain personality traits are more likely to use particular dog training methods, and if so, whether it might explain the link with the dog's behavior. Learn more.

3 Dogs born in June, July and August are at higher risk of heart disease.

  • TRUE

    I have some news to report about dogs and heart disease that's a little disturbing. A recently published study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine suggests that dogs born in the months of June, July and August are at higher risk of heart disease than those born during other months of the year, and there seems to be a correlation with outdoor air pollution. Learn more.


4 Which state does NOT have legislation to prohibit devocalization of dogs?

  • Illinois

    According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), currently there are just six states that have enacted legislation to prohibit devocalization of dogs under certain circumstances: Massachusetts, Maryland and New Jersey have banned the practice except in cases where it is medically necessary as determined by a veterinarian.

    Pennsylvania prohibits devocalization of any dog for any reason unless the procedure is performed by a licensed veterinarian on an anesthetized dog. (Since these surgeries are most often performed by veterinarians while the animal is anesthetized, this really shouldn't be considered a law "prohibiting" devocalization.) California and Rhode Island make it unlawful to require the devocalization or declawing of animals as a condition of real estate occupancy. (This is a nice start, but hardly a comprehensive ban on debarking or declawing.) Learn more.

  • Massachusetts
  • New Jersey
  • Maryland

5 According to Big Pet Food, dogs may be fed too much protein. How might this be correct?

  • It's absolutely incorrect
  • They confused protein with fat
  • They're referring to plant-based protein

    One of the processed pet food industry's latest worries is that dogs and cats are eating too much protein. The answer? More carbohydrates. Yes, you read that right. According to PetfoodIndustry.com, "The current pet food trend of pushing protein levels ever higher may not be sustainable, for a variety of reasons, and research is lacking to understand the long-term effects on dog and cat health." Apparently, they're not talking about animal protein levels, because the existence of wild cats and dogs is all the "research" anyone should need to understand the long-term effects of high-animal protein diets on canine and feline health. If they're referring to plant-based protein, they're absolutely correct — there is no peer-reviewed scientific research on the long-term effects of biologically inappropriate protein sources on dog and cat health. One possible explanation: The biologically inappropriate kibble industry is estimated to generate a whopping 20 billion dollars this year. Learn more.

  • They're referring to meat protein only