Canine Nutrigenomics – The New Science of Feeding Your Dog for Optimum Health by W. Jean Dodds, Diana R. Laverdure


A wonderfully comprehensive (mostly) look at the budding science of nutrigenomics for dogs -though just as easily applicable to us humans!

Dodds covers a lot of ground in this book, looking at how nutrition effects the expression of genes (epigenetics) and the very best ways to harness this new information to create total health and disease prevention in our dogs. Topics discussed include functional vs non-functional foods, specialized approaches in diet to aid weight control, arthritis, cancer, behavioral and cognitive decline, etc.

So why not five stars? Aside from all of the things I liked, I had two major issues with the book:

1) There was absolutely NO mention of toxicity, and in particular heavy metal toxicity , and it’s effects on genetic expression and overall health (something that is especially impactful).

2) The disappointingly tiny amount of information on nutrigenomic approaches to behavioral conditions, which is the biggest reason I purchased the book to begin with. Dodds limited the section to basically pushing Tryptophan and Tyrosine supplementation, which, depending on which source you chose to listen to, may or may not be a safe thing to do. The research I’ve done on my own indicates there are innumerable environmental and nutritive factors that can play a major role in behavioral epigenetics/nutrigenomics. Just spend five minutes researching Autism and nutrition/toxicity and you will learn 100x more regarding this subject than is covered in this book ( is a great resource for this info, btw).

I realize that you can’t cover everything in a single book, but in my opinion this was really dropping the ball, as canine behavioral issues are exponentially increasing without any sign of slowing, and I believe this is due largely to:

1) nutritional deficiency (i.e., Tryptophan and tyrosine are amino acids in which deficiency is known to cause aggression, yet are destroyed during kibble manufacture due to high-heat processing), and

2) heavy metal toxicity (…) and it’s effect on genetic expression, causing detectable and increasingly common health side effects such as candida yeast overgrowth and food intolerances (…) as well as hormonal and thyroid problems (http://www.naturalendocrinesolutions….).

I feel like I’m the only person aware of or paying attention to this info, and I’m so frustrated because I’m dying to learn more about it. (Please somebody make a book on this so I can read it! 😉 )

Overall, however, I really enjoyed this book and found it to be a wealth of information regarding general health. The section on nutrigenomics and cancer was especially informative and very well put together.

The book, as a whole, has a very user-friendly layout, is easy to skim, and the more scientific aspects are broken down into layman’s terms so that anyone can understand.

I would whole-heartedly recommend this book to every dog owner, and even those who are interested in learning about nutrigenomics for their own health.

Rating: 4 stars

To read more reviews of this book on Goodreads, click HERE

To purchase a copy of this book on Amazon, buy HERE

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