Ask Dr. Alice: Treat Alert & Pet Gluttony

We think of our pets as family so when they get sick we panic and have a million questions. Well, no fear, Dr. Alice Weiss is here! Dr. Weiss has been working for 30 years as a licensed veterinarian and is here to answer any questions you may have about your best furry friends.

If you have a question for Dr. Alice about your pet, email it to:


Dear Dr. Alice,
I saw on the national news something about problems with dog treats. I am concerned since we give our pup tons of treats. Is my dog in danger? What’s the deal?


Treat Giver

Dear Treat Giver,

Recently there has been news coverage on issues with two types of dog treats. I will include some links below. One news item is about bone treats, which are supposedly treated for your pooch. Bones cause major gastrointestinal problems. Are any bones safe for your pup? The answer to this is NO. No bones. No big bones. No little bones. No treated bones. No nothing bones. Secondly, there has been news coverage over ‘jerky treats.’ Just think of the name, don’t be a jerk. Avoid these treats. We don’t know yet what it is in the treats that causes the health issues, such as gastrointestinal or kidney problems. We do know they are made in China but in OTHER places as well, and the flavoring is usually chicken, duck, and sweet potato. If you are wondering what treats are bad, look on line and call your Vet. If you want to reward your pooch, give them hard biscuits, carrots, broccoli, or a piece of bread. There are some foods you can not give your dog like raisins, grapes, avocados, and chocolate. And don’t forget the best rewards- a smooch and a hug.


Dr. Alice


Dear Dr. Alice,
My dog will not stop eating. I mean he can find a crumb of food under a rug. The good thing is he cleans everything off the floor, but the bad thing is I have to watch him all the time so he doesn’t get any extra food or so he doesn’t counter surf and eat all of our food. We have another dog and cat and he always manages to get some of their food. I always feel very embarrassed about his weight when we go out. It’s pretty stressful. What do I do?


Gluttony Stress

Dear Gluttony Stress,

I feel your stress! Some dogs and cats are genetically wired to eat a lot so don’t feel embarrassed. There is weight variation within breeds., for instance Labradors are born to eat. And it is usually hard to tell about weight issues even when you have a definite butter ball. Just like with people, it is very subjective. Be very careful about any kind of diet with plus-sized pets though. Talk to your local veterinarian first about how to proceed with weight loss programs because diets can cause problems with livers.
And as you know, if you live with an overweight pet, you have to change your life style so that food accidents don’t happen. Bone meal, used for gardening, has to be locked away. Visitors have to be told not to leave food on the coffee table. Again, I feel your stress! You can try to train overweight pets to eat apples, carrots, celery, and other vegetables. If you sit on the floor and eat vegetables with them you would be surprised at what they suddenly will want to eat. It is especially hard when you have more than one pet. So you really need to organize the feedings so your gluttony pet can not get the other food AND the other pets don’t feel rushed when they eat. Its a lot to handle. Good Luck!!

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Dr. Alice has spent her life embracing and advocating the animal human bond through her work as a traditional and a public health veterinarian, a writer, and vlogger on dogsenjoylife. Some people love expensive vacations and shopping but all Dr. Alice needs is time with her pets.

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