Originally published Monday, July 29, 2019 at 10:52p.m.

One year ago, on July 31, my very first “All About Pets” column appeared in The Daily Courier. Now, 52 weeks later, I am still here, writing the column and hoping that many are reading and enjoying it.

I have shared a lot of information but also, I have come in contact with some most interesting people and their pets. And when you take on a task like this, one is forever learning.

I mentioned in that first column that my interests include pet health, nutrition and training. As I said then, and repeat today, “The pet food industry and our understanding of pet health is constantly evolving, just as it is with humans.”

What should we be feeding our dogs? A high quality kibble is fine as a base, but we cannot live on bread alone, and they should not live on kibble alone. Consider freeze-dried or dehydrated toppers. But certainly pay attention to what you are buying. Read the label and do some studying. Adding an egg, some chicken, fish or vegetables is always welcome.

As for the kibble, the quality goes from zero to top of the line. Some have now gone to a grain-free food for their dogs, and then there was the recent scare that this grain-free food was causing heart problems. With our pet’s food, as with our own, it is always a good idea to study and learn and be willing to change our mind when we discover a better option.

We also are hearing more and more about the high rates of cancer in dogs, particularly as they get a bit older. Some breeds are more susceptible than others. I have not done a lot of study on this, but I just read through the opinions of several veterinarians, mostly in the holistic arena.

There were interesting discussions as to whether surgery is the best route or other methods to help the body fight the cancer while strengthening the body as a whole. Interesting opinions on this. I found this information on the Dogs Naturally website. My goal here is not to stir up controversy but to encourage pet owners to do some studying on their own, have discussions with their vet and be comfortable with the conclusions.

Constantly in training mode and having it be fun, in mid-August, my two guys and I will be heading to Tucson for a tricks seminar taught by Debbie Decker.

/>It is a two-day learning event aimed at stimulating and motivating our four-legged friends who are most always interested in a challenge. It should be great fun and I will give a report here following the event.

The Woof Down Lunch will be held at the courthouse square on Saturday, Aug. 3, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Sponsored by United Animal Friends, this event is a fundraiser for their great work of helping animals in need. All sorts of games and training demos are scheduled. Great fun for you and your pups.

One final note. Our vet recently introduced me to a new treat: A jar of frozen baby food. This is such fun. I bought chicken and turkey. The ingredient label is short but make sure it is suitable for your guys. After a day in the freezer, remove the lid and just see what fun your guys can have. They will lick and lick until the jar is spotless. Recycle the glass jars or, as I have been, try to come up with some tasty ideas for refilling the jars for more enjoyment. Yogurt, rice cakes, cream cheese, a little creamy, unsalted peanut butter, fruit and organic pumpkin would be good for starters. Use your imagination.

Thanks for being faithful readers of my column! You are appreciated.

Christy Powers is a freelance writer whose passion is studying and writing about pet health, nutrition and training. She can be reached at cpowerspak@gmail.com.