Dogs, Dog Food, and Dogma


Diligently researched and relevant to canine owners and animal scientists alike; a serious addition to dog health literature.

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A debut book explores the dog obesity “epidemic.”

Schulof, whose recreational participation in endurance sports attuned him to body fat’s impact on athletic performance, wondered how he could keep his own dog fit and healthy. His research revealed that “at least half of the dogs in America today are overweight,” which led him on a quest to determine how best to fight canine obesity. This rather remarkable study veers from Schulof’s personal experiences into a weighty scientific treatise about obesity—to some extent, both human and canine. The author approaches the challenge much like an investigative journalist. He does exhaustive research that examines the ancient connection between dogs and wolves, digs into the similarities and differences between human and canine obesity, explores the role of carbohydrates in human and canine diets, and uncovers the seemingly sinister influence of giants in the pet-food industry. Schulof’s keen observation that there is virtually no obesity in wolves while domestic dogs suffer from it is just the tip of the iceberg; the real revelation is that wolves consume a high-quality natural meat diet while most dogs are fed a regimen high in carbohydrates by their owners. The author discovers that the science of canine obesity tracks closely with that of human corpulence; the latest research suggests that carbs, not fat, are to blame: “The most glaring finding that emerges from the literature on canine metabolism is the same one that comes out of studies conducted on human subjects: drastically reducing carbohydrate intake, or eliminating carbs altogether, brings blood sugar and insulin levels crashing back down to earth.” The second half of this strong book is perhaps more eye-opening and potentially scandalous, as Schulof exposes the carb-focused leanings of the pet-food industry, which, in a nod to big pharma, he labels “Big Kibble.” Even the nebulous nature of pet-food labeling is suspect. Quite a bit of this work is technical and scientific but nonetheless intriguing and current. Exhaustive notes and an extensive bibliography make the book all the more impressive.

Diligently researched and relevant to canine owners and animal scientists alike; a serious addition to dog health literature.   

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-692-76840-2

Page Count: 348

Publisher: Present Tense Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 9, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016



This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996




An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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