My goal is to teach people to see what their dog is telling them and how to think about what they’re seeing. I provide information to help dog parents to arrive at the questions they should be asking. Because you cannot get the right answers without asking the right questions.

Awards and recognition

Jana Rade, author of an award-winning dog owner manual, Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: How to Tell Your Dog Is Sick and What to Do next. Edited by Dr. Joanna Paul BSc BVSc

What veterinary professionals say about Jana’s work

I have worked with Jana over many years. Our discussions have ranged from cruciate disease to dog nutrition to oncology and everything in between. Jana’s dedication to dog health is extraordinary. Furthermore, her determination to thoroughly research a topic, check the information with reputable experts in the field and then adjust the information she offers until everything is just right and perfectly pitched to the dog owner is unparalleled. I couldn’t recommend Jana more highly and I thank her for everything she has given to the pet-loving community.

Dr. Joanna Paul BSc BVSc, Creature Clinic, our wonderful sponsor

Dr. Joanna Paul BSc BVSc, Creature Clinic

The experiences of a dog owner who has been through many health issues with their dogs can help guide others towards getting appropriate care for their dogs. An average dog owner may only have 1, 2 or 3 dogs in their entire lives. Knowing what is normal and abnormal can take exposure to hundreds of dogs. Jana’s work helps fill in that missing experience.

Dr. Rae Worden, Fergus Veterinary Hospital, Aka Jasmine’s Vet

Dr. Rae Worden of Fergus Veterinary Hospital

Jana’s publications provide a valuable resource to owners looking for information about the health and well being of their dogs. They serve as a wonderful bridge between veterinarian and dog owner being written in a concise but easy to read style. Her information is well researched, providing comprehensive reviews of the topic at hand. I have used them as an educational tool with my own clients on many occasions. Her passion for her work is evident in her writing making it a joy to read.

Dr. Carolyn Lariviere DVM, Walden Animal Hospital, Cookie’s Vet

Dr. Carolyn Lariviere DVM, Walden Animal Hospital, Cookie's vet

Sometimes you don’t have all the answers, sometimes you want to reach out to someone that has done the research because she cared enough about her pet to find out more information. Jana has done the research and has developed a site that contains a wealth of information for dog owners. I myself have reached out to her when my best boy was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, I knew she would have information on surgery, medications, and chemotherapy that would help me understand and make an educated decision. I look to her blog when I am looking for specific information and when I just want to see what she will write about next. She always has great information, it is laid out in an easy to read manner and she is always an advocate for your dog’s health.

Laurel Dutrisac, Registered Veterinary Technician, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner, Touch Animal Rehabilitation

Laurel Dutrisac, Registered Veterinary Technicial, Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner, Touch Animal Rehabilitation

The knowledge Jana Rade has acquired through her years of owning dogs and communicating with dog owners on social media has given her unique insight as to what pet owners worry about. Her work can help you to not only figure out when to seek out treatment but also how to choose a veterinarian who will communicate with you in a way that makes you feel comfortable, and that addresses your concerns.

Kristi Hauta, Former Veterinary Technician and Practice Manager

In her book, Jana Rade has created an excellent resource for all dog lovers. Not only does she cover what to watch for that could signal a trip to the vet, but she also discusses other ways you can advocate for your pups and help your vet get the information they need to best help you keep your pups healthy and enjoying life. Nice work, Jana!

Dr. Jason Nicholas, Preventive Vet

Dr. Jason Nicholas, Preventive Vet

Jana is a passionate dog mom. Her passion for her dogs has turned her pet parenting into a quest to understand and assist them at every turn of their ever-evolving medical needs. Jana has become a learned student of pet nutrition, orthopedics, training, behavior, and all things dog. Consequently, her no-frills, straight-talk advice is easy to read, pet parent-friendly and simplifies the often overly superfluous scientific jargon that is difficult to process into accessible, meaningful and helpful dog health information. It is through her years of research, personal experience and dedication to her Rottie kids that the rest of the pet parents around the world will benefit.

Dr. Krista Magnifico, Founder And Chief Creative Officer At Pawbly And Owner At Jarrettsville Vet Center

Dr. Krista Magnifico, Founder And Chief Creative Officer At Pawbly And Owner At Jarrettsville Vet Center

Related certification

Certificate in Canine Nutrition
Building Better Bodies Through Nutrition online course
by Dr. Ava Frick, DVM

An advanced course in clinical animal nutrition that addresses canine organ and body system nutrition using observational and diagnostic tools to help identify deficiency or toxic indicators and give suggestions on how to address the nutrient needs of dogs.

Subjects covered by the course included

  • genetic effects of nutrition
  • whole food vitamin complexes
  • assessing the nutritional health status of a dog
  • impact of nutrition on dog behavior
  • nutrition for specific organ systems
  • nutrition for the immune system
  • nutrition for the nervous system

So who is Jana Rade, and what is she doing writing a dog blog?

I am a graphic designer. That’s how I make my living. I am not a vet or a veterinary technician.

So what do I know about dog health issues?

More than I’d like.

The medical challenges which I’ve gone through with my dogs, and the desire to save others from having to learn the hard way as I did, are the driving force behind my writing.

Some of my veterinary friends use the term “a vet’s dog.” A vet’s dog is a dog plagued with so many health challenges only a veterinarian can take on.

As it turns out, you don’t need to be a vet to get a dog like that.

Jasmine, the dog of my life and inspiration behind my dog health advocacy

Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. How much of Jasmine’s snowballed health challenges stemmed from that and what role played her vets’ failure to diagnose her, we will never know.

I loved Jasmine with all my heart–I still do even after her passing.

Certainly, Jasmine didn’t ask to be a medical project and, likewise, I was not ready for one.

Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine’s health care in my own hands. As a result, I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough.

It was frustrating and heartbreaking.

I was determined to help Jasmine to get well, but I didn’t know what else to do. We kept taking her to a vet–what else is there? We tried different vets, second opinions. It seemed like getting answers was impossible. Certainly, that couldn’t be true? I was not ready to accept that.

So I had to find a way to take charge of Jasmine’s health.

As it turns out, there is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog’s health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough but it often is not.

Jasmine’s health challenges became my crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Above all, I had to learn and I had to learn fast.

So I did.

Consequently, we found answers and diagnoses in order to give Jasmine the life she deserved. Even though it was an ongoing effort, Jasmine enjoyed a full life. Well, with the exception of some unforeseen medical disasters that got thrown into the mix.

How different things could have been if I knew then what I know how?

Possibly quite different. It seems like Jasmine’s inflammatory bowel disease was what started the domino effect, While I never believed that, I couldn’t get a better diagnosis out of anyone. It took five years to confirm that Jasmine didn’t just have “a sensitive system” after all and stick a conclusive diagnosis to it.

Unfortunately, I stories like that unfold often enough.

Indeed, a diagnosis is a process. But it shouldn’t take five years to arrive to one.

The two main steps in advocating for a dog’s health are

  1. recognizing that something is wrong
  2. finding a way to getting answers and solutions

While that sounds straightforward, it often is not.

Therefore helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine’s legacy.

I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did.

That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. And that is why I blog.

Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: How to Tell Your Dog Is Sick and What to Do Next

Related articles:
The Dogs Behind the Blog
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog

Contact Jana