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  • I’m feeding my 5 yr old Yorkie/Chihuahua Hill's w/d canned dog food (she hates dry). The can is 13 oz and has 329 calories. She is 10.5 lbs and I would like her at 9.5 lbs. I don't know for sure how many oz a day I should be feeding her. Can you help me with this please? - Thanks
  • Sure .... If I assume she is spayed with no medical reason for her weight gain, and if she fits the generic equation well ..... my first best recommendation would be 200 kcal/day which is about 235 grams per day. Weighing out the food in oz is not accurate enough for feeding such a small dog. I suggest you purchase a digital gram scale ($25) and weigh out 115 grams twice a day and then weigh the dog every week.
  • Can you please recommend a quality canned food for a dog that has renal disease but no crystals? It doesn't have to be hypo-allergenic but she's allergic to beef and chicken, and I highly suspect soy and wheat. And perhaps now pea and potato (white) as well as she's been exposed to those in her previous diet (post kidney disease). Are there any canned commercial renal diets that exclude all those ingredients: chicken, beef, wheat, soy, pea, and potato? And possibly corn.

    Since there are SO many limiting factors, would it be advantageous to try allergy testing for these ingredients before buying a commercial renal diet or paying to have one formulated by you? I've always been told that allergy testing is pretty inconclusive, but we don't have many options left to us.
  • "Are there any canned commercial renal diets that exclude all those ingredients: chicken, beef, wheat, soy, pea, and potato? And possibly corn."
    Have you considered Rayne Clinical Nutrition products? Canine Moderate protein Ocean fish and sweet potato?

    "Would it be advantageous to try allergy testing for these ingredients before buying a commercial renal diet?"
    No the test is not good enough by which to formulate a diet. 

    All dog foods appropriately adjust for renal disease will be sold ONLY through Vets. The OTC pet food regulations do not allow for the phosphorous to be low enough for most dogs with renal dysfunction.

    Yes we can formulate one with novel ingredients the dog may not have previously eaten .... or using common ingredients that then allow you to test whether or not the dog truly has food reactions.

  • i have a 5 yr old yorkie/chihuahua - healthy, but could lose about 1/2 lb - would like to know why so many people tell me that she should be on a high protein, high fat, low carb, grain free food that has a ton of calories in it - when i feed her these foods and IF she eats them, i cut back on the amt served so she won't gain but she is always hungry - she weighs 10.5 lbs and she is not fat - she gets 4 - 20 min walks/day
    currently i'm feeding royal canin adult (pet store formula) - and of course i'm told that it's crappy food, simply garbage, Is it really that bad for a little house dog - thank you
  • Fair question ..... my best answer is most people do not know enough about nutrition and are simply spouting off the last marketing blitz they heard ....  
    You are correct on both points, and would suggest you avoid the recommendations of the masses when it comes to feeding your dog.  If you need a feeding dose of the Royal Canin product for weight loss, let me know specifically which food and the dog's ideal body weight if you have not already gotten that info from your vet.

  • I have a 6 1/2 year old intact male rough collie. He weighs 65 pounds. His veterinarians all say he is at a healthy weight (they feel him first and then say it!) He only eats 917 calories a day (3 1/3 cups) of Science Diet Oral Care Adult dry dog food (275 calories per cup.)

    My question: Is he getting enough nutrients eating only 917 calories a day? Seems like so little.
  • We calculate the initial food dose using a generic dog equation, however, for any individual dog this generic equation can be off by +/- 50%. The daily intake of calories for 65 lbs using that equation is 1064 kcal/d. So if your dog requires 917 kcal/day to maintain a healthy wieight, that  (-14%)  is very reasonable to me. Yes the diet is nutritionally complete and balanced which means all of the other nutrients are balanced properly with calorie intake.  
  • Hi. I have a 4 year old neutered male cat that was prescribed Hill's prescription c/d dry food for life after having an emergency visit to the vet for struvite crystals. He has been on it for about 2 years now and is getting fatter and more lazy. I would love to switch him to a homemade whole food diet, but have no clue what diet would be best for him or how to make the switch in a healthy manner. I do not want to put him in harms way when switching his diet, and would love to work with a nutrionist to make him a new diet.
    What kind of diet would be best for him?
  • The c/d product works very well in these cases but does contain more fat than he apparently needs. The Hill's w/d is a lower fat options with the same struvite prevention features.
    Most fat cats do well on canned w/d fed at a rate to induce optimal body weight although an indoor neutered male cat will probably never lose weight back to optimal.

    A homemade diet is difficult to get to be as low in magnesium as recommended which limits your options and you will have to give some medication to acidify the urine.  Unfortunately, the only way you will know that the homemade is not working will be another FLUTD episode which may or may land him in the hospital. I would recommend against it.
  • Our dog was recently diagnosed with lung cancer. Tumor was removed and we have started chemo, but I would like to take a holistic approach. When I asked the Oncologist about nutrition, it was recommended that I check out your site. Like others, I have heard about the low carb, component of cancer diets. I was going to start the Hills N/D. Are there any studies out there on dogs with lung cancer? Any nutrition recommendations. I have no issue with making homemade food. THank you for your time.
  • To date, the only canine cancer that seems to respond to low CHO high fat is lymphoma. So there are no nutrition studies to my knowledge in dog with lung cancer. IF  your dog can tolerate a high fat diet, then Hills n/d would be a reasonable option because it contains other more likely (but less talk about) benefits in inhibiting tumor growth. IF your dog cannot tolerate the high fat diet n/d, then yes a homemade diet designed specifically for you dog based on medical records, etc would be advisable.
  • Our 9 year-old Welsh Corgi has had struvite bladder stones twice in the past two years. This round is finally over. Our vet recommended that we ask you the following questions. What over the counter or prescription acidifying diet food /food brands would you recommend now that the bladder infection and stones are gone, and urine in clean? Would you also recommend probiotics and cranberry supplements? If so, which ones would you recommend? Many thanks for your assistance.
  • Urine pH is no longer thought to be of great importance in minimizing struvite stones:

    1. To inhibit UTIs - so if the dog has any redisposing factors - those should resolved. An example would be a overweight female dog where voiding urine completely is problematic.
    2. RSS is now the measure by which we assess the probability of stone formation in the urine, but that is difficult to measure and so ....... the only ones who can (b/c they are so motivated) are pet food companies selling such foods. An example is Royal Canin SO - probably moderate calorie if the dog is overweight..

    If you are still wanting to feed an acidifying diet, the Hill's c/d and w/d canned have successfully produced a dilute low pH urine in most dogs.  If you are looking for an OTC food that will acidify the urine, there are none to my knowledge that make that claim and have substantiated it. So I would not recommend cranberries or probiotics.
  • My dog had gastrointestinal issues due to food allergies. I am feeding him a homecook diet made by a nutrition specialist (not vet, not certified). He has lost weight while on the diet. Our vet wants some vet certified in nutrition to check on my diet to see if it needs to be changed. Which plan should I choose to have our diet revised? Thanks.
  • If the dog is at optimal body weight and has no other medical issues, you may select the Homemade Det Recipe module using the NOVEL PROTEIN option.  This is an automated recipe generated based on the dog BW entered and the foods you select.

    If you want the current diet assessed and then corrected as needed, then you would select the Nutrition Consult for an individualized consult, and/or if the dog needs to regain back the weight.

  • What hypoallergenic joint supplement do you recommend, besides Cosequin and Dasequin which contain her allergens, for a dog with a lot of food allergies (definitely beef, possibly soy and wheat, and now, possibly newly developed allergies to pea or potato)? She's almost 14 and has some arthritis. I've asked her neurologist at her ortho vet practice but he's pushing homeopathic and I don't have faith in that. I'd like something that has all three components, glucosamine, low molecular weight chondroitin, and MSM. Thank you for any guidance!
  • You may have to look for a product in the human pill form or horse powder form.
    Neither of those sources attempt to "flavor" meds.
  • My large cat family (10 kitties) gets both dry and canned cat food on a daily basis. I have their dry food down pat now in terms of what they get rotation-wise (Science Diet, Purina, & sometimes Nutro). I do feed the premium tier dry foods manufactured by these "Big Three" companies, because each uses animal nutritionists (this information is displayed on their websites, which is reassuring) and related food science professionals to create all their formulas.

    It's the canned food part I'm not sure about. Nutro and Science Diet offer canned foods that are beyond my budget for 10 cats. There is no "good, better, or best" with these two; at a dollar plus in my neck of the woods for either a 3 oz or 5.5 oz can of cat food, I simply can't afford to feed six plus cans of canned food (divided between two feedings) at this price point on a daily basis.

    However, I can afford to purchase Friskies canned food for their daily consumption; Friskies works out to be about 50 cents for a 5.5 oz can and has remained at this price for as far back as I can remember. There is a wide selection, and my cats like this brand.
    Am I undoing the benefits they get from their top tier dry food by adding Purina's lowly Friskies line to that nutritional mix? My cats are quite used to canned food, and I don't want to change their routine in regard to that.
  • I really have no problem with feeding a Purina product at any price point. The quality control is the same across the company. Purina prides itself on having all or none of the bells and whistles people want in their pet foods (color, shapes, sizes, flavors, ingredients, sources, etc) but the bottom line is the nutrient profile and quality controls are the same ..... The overpriced ones are covering for the less expensive products, so on the whole they make money allowing all kinds of people to feed their pets nutritionally sound products.... make sense?
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