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Varsity Pets at GoPetFriendly.Com

Last month, the Varsity Pets braintrust took a road-trip to Charleston, SC to watch a Varsity Pets-sponsored canine athlete compete at the Southeast Wildlife Exposition.  We had an absolute blast.  When we returned, we wrote about our experience in Charleston for our friends at  If you’re interested in learning more about this amazing city […]

True But Useless

The majority of the content that we publish at the Optimal Dog is informational in nature.   We identify an interesting health or fitness question, we research and think about it, and we regurgitate our conclusions.  You, our readers, read the answers and, perhaps, learn some new information. And, sometimes, that’s it.  In those cases, you […]

Pet Obesity — Will Your Dog Die 1.8 Years Too Soon?

This article was written by Chris Redenbach CDBC, CBCC-KA, a certified dog behavior consultant and owner of the Balanced Dog, a canine training service based in Atlanta, Georgia.  To learn more about Coach Chris, please visit our “Contributing Authors” page. Obesity and Heartbreak My mother loved her dog intensely. I gave Eco, a Bouvier des Flandres, to […]

Canine Chocolate Toxicosis — Urban Legend or Legitimate Concern?

It’s Valentine’s Day — another holiday that dogs don’t understand. Of course, they don’t need to possess a fully-developed concept of a holiday in order to feel comfort or excitement when we shower them with love, affection, and gifts.  But if there is someone important in your life whose concept of Valentine’s Day is a bit […]

On The Difference Between “Reasons” and “Excuses”

We prove what we want to prove, and the real difficulty is to know what we want to prove. – Emile Auguste Chartier Is today the first time you’ve thought that your dog would be happier and healthier if she lost some weight? Probably not. If you’ve read this blog before (somewhat unlikely) or if […]

Learning to Take Pleasure In Being Your Dog’s Play Buddy-Drill Sargeant

No profit grows where is no pleasure taken; in brief, sir, study what you most affect. — William Shakespeare If your overweight dog is ever going to get back into shape, you’ll have to play several different (but equally critical) roles throughout the process. On one level, you’re going to be a general.  This one […]

Overcoming the Destructive Power of Your Dog’s Sweet, Sorrowful Gaze

Regardless of whether you call yourself an “owner,” a “guardian,” or simply a “friend,” in your quest to be the best human possible to your cohabitating canine companion, one of the most challenging obstacles  you will confront will also be one of the most adorable: Your dog’s longing, sorrowful, expectant gaze.