Letters and Corrections: March 2021


 Collar Safety

I read with interest your article about collars, tags, and the risks associated with both. (“Don’t Wait! Prevent Collar Accidents,” December 2020.)
I have three dogs, including a Border Collie who likes to lie over one of the floor vents, especially in the summer when cool air is being pumped out. Twice, he’s gotten his metal ID and rabies tags caught in the grate and ended up in somewhat of a panic dragging the grate around the kitchen. 

After reading your article, l decided on a fix. I took a couple 1/4-inch-wide strips of duct tape and taped the tags flush to the collar so they could no longer get snagged. If for some reason the tags have to be read, the tape can easily be removed. I think my solution will work just fine without removing potentially valuable information should he get in trouble one way or another regarding the dog’s identity or shot records. 

Chuck Meyer, longtime subscriber  – Beaver Dam, WI


Food Review Questions

I love WDJ but I have questions. In your dry food list (“Approved Dry Dog Foods 2021,” February 2021) only one is available in my area. I need help! I have three small dogs, two Miniature Pinschers and one Chihuahua. 

Edith Bunch – via email

We’re sorry, but we can’t make specific recommendations for diets for individual dogs. 

Some of the companies on our list sell directly to consumers. Alternately, if you have a good independent pet supply store in your area, we’d suggest asking the manager if they can order one of the products you are interested in; most stores are happy to do that. You may be bringing a product to their attention that they are not aware of. 

Also, most of the foods on our lists are available through online retailers. If a particular product appeals to you, go to the company’s website; they usually have a link showing where their products are sold. Or check the big online retailers: Chewy, Amazon, and Petco.

Again, we’re sorry, but we can’t possibly make recommendations for specific dogs. Nor would we be able to know what’s in your budget.

I noticed an incorrect statement on your 2021 approved dry foods list. Regarding Annamaet’s foods, you state “Annamaet’s formulas are made with low-ash chicken, salmon, or lamb and healthy whole grains (no legumes).” Their grain-free formulas most certainly do contain legumes. I know because I feed Annamaet’s food and have spoken at length with this wonderful company. They produce excellent, well-researched foods, but their grain-free formulas definitely do contain legumes.

Deborah Grodecka – via email

Argh! You’re right. None of Annamaet’s seven grain-containing foods contain legumes. But its grain-free foods do indeed contain legumes. We regret the error.

We just reviewed the ingredients of all of Annamaet’s dry dog foods, again! Here are the legumes used in its grain-free foods: Lean Formula (field peas, lentils); Aqualuk (field peas, chickpeas), Salcha (lentils, field peas, chickpeas); Manitok (lentils, field peas, chickpeas, pea protein); Sustain (lentils, green peas, pea protein isolate); Ohana (lentils); Re-Juvenate (green peas, lentils, pea protein isolate). 

If you remove a food from your approved list,. it would be helpful if you made a note as to why.

Dean Mair – via email

Thanks for the suggestion; we will absolutely add that to our coverage. We’ll explain the discrepancies between the 2020 list and the 2021 list here: 

We noted in the introduction to the 2021 dry dog foods list that, for the first time, we had stopped including companies that make and sell only one product or are sold in only one state or part of the country. We did not name the companies that were eliminated from our list by this change; they are Bench & Field, Pet Chef Express, and Petguard. The foods made by these companies meet our selection criteria , but we want to keep our focus on companies with the resources and full-time commitment to best serve consumers on a national scale.

Castor & Pollux has discontinued its Ultramix line of foods. 

Weruva is no longer making a dry dog food.

Dr. Tim’s Pet Food was previously on our lists, though we had warned in past articles that we are not fans of including animal blood as a protein source in dog foods, and that some of Dr. Tim’s foods include this ingredient. This year, we learned that all of Dr. Tim’s foods include dried porcine plasma, so we removed the company from the 2021 list.


Access to Past Articles

I read your comments about quick fixes versus longer term efforts.(“Sound Solutions,” WDJ February 2021) and was struck by a comment you made regarding calendula tincture for skin issues and needing to work on determining underlying causes. I was so excited, as I have a couple of rescue Pekes that have some significant skin issues, which have managed to defy all our efforts so far and mystify my vets.

I was disappointed to check through the entire magazine and not discover the article, so assume it was something printed at some time in the past.

I was hoping you could send me the article you referred to. If there’s a cost, please let me know. I’m hoping to use the information along with the advice about dog foods to try and improve life for Bonnie and Clyde.

Jackie Wagoner – Tennessee Pekingese Rescue

Hi Jackie, thanks for your note. The calendula reference was meant to be an example of the type of information we include in our articles. This is in contrast to articles frequently seen elsewhere that lack specifics on how to put the information in the articles to use! 

Here are two of the articles we have published about calendula and its many uses: “How to Use Calendula on Dogs,” April 2008, and “The Many Benefits of Calendula for Your Dog,” February 2007.

I also would like to make you aware that current subscribers are able to access all of our back issues and articles on the WDJ website, whole-dog-journal.com. Just go to our site and type the topic you want information about into the search box in the upper right corner. If we’ve covered that topic, a list of articles will appear. 

You do need to register for online access, if you haven’t already. At the very top center of the website, there is a box that says “Activate My Web Access.” Click on that, and fill in the boxes to help us find your subscription status. You will then be instructed to choose a user name and password. Once that’s done, as long as your subscription is current, you will have access to everything we’ve ever published.

Good luck with the Pekes! I hope that a calendula rinse proves to be helpful!


Thanks for the Information

My first issue of Whole Dog Journal was Volume 2, No. 2, February 1999. I have been an avid reader since then, reading every issue nearly cover to cover. It is with a good deal of sadness that I anticipate receiving January 2021 issue, my last. 

After 22 years, I didn’t want to leave without thanking you and telling you why I’m letting my subscription lapse. First, why: In November 2018 and July 2019, I said goodbye to my two beloved Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Tamu and Pendo. My heart is still broken. Because of recent changes in my life, I don’t anticipate ever having another dog. 

Tamu came to us as a puppy. We gave him that name – Swahili for “sweet” – in honor of Nunda, my first Rhodesian Ridgeback, who had died in March 2008, just three months before Tamu was whelped. Tamu was a show dog until he was about 7, when he and I decided it was time for us to retire from the ring. Pendo was about 4 years old when we rescued him. His name is Swahili for “love,” with which he was overflowing. He and Tamu were close in age, and they became best friends. I miss them both immensely.

Now for the “thank you.” Over the years, I have learned so much from WDJ, and that knowledge greatly enhanced my understanding of my dogs and my relationships with them. When we got Nunda as a puppy, I was a novice in the world of dogs, and I had no clue how to train him, care for him, or bond with him. It was 1996, and I had never heard of positive, force-free training, so I didn’t understand why I was having so much trouble mastering the punishment-based training techniques being taught in the obedience classes to which we went. I also had a gut feeling that I shouldn’t have to be so cruel to him to get him to do what I wanted him to do. It just felt so wrong.

Then I discovered WDJ. You and your wonderful contributors taught me why I felt so uneasy about the training methods I had been taught. It took some time to repair the damage I had done to my relationship with Nunda in those first couple of years without WDJ, but by the time Tau and then Pendo came to us, I had the knowledge and resources I needed to get off on the right foot from the beginning. Whether it was training, nutrition, products, health, or behavior, I always knew where to go to find answers and solutions.

Thanks you for all you’ve done for me and my dogs in the past 22 years. Keep up the good work. If I ever do welcome another dog into my life, you can be sure I’ll be back. 

With gratitude,

Deborah blankenberg – Lodi, California 

Deborah, I can’t tell you how much your letter means to us. I’ve shared it with our long-time WDJ contributors, and it’s made each of us cry! It has always been our goal to encourage dog owners and help them find effective, dog-friendly answers to the problems they may be having. We are proud to hear that we helped you and your dogs, immensely grateful to you for your long-time support, and sincerely hope that circumstances again find you with a dog to love and to love you. 

Nancy Kerns, Editor  


  1. Collar Safety – I’ve been using Boomerang Collar Tags (flat tags) for years. Inexpensive & safe. I use them for both ID & License tags. (www.boomerangtags.com).
    From their website: CollarTags™ for Adjustable Length Nylon Collars: These fit collars with a plastic clasp / snaps and single-ply harnesses. Made of Non Magnetic Stainless Steel .060 thick, bent to match the curve of your pet’s neck This style goes on adjustable collars with snap type “closure.” They also work on Martingale Collars and harnesses.

    Tom Miserendino