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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



Nutrition plays a fundamental role in the management of canine chronic enteropathies (CCEs). Dog owners may elect to feed home-cooked diets (HCDs) rather than veterinary commercially prepared diets (CPDs) because of perceived lower costs. There is a paucity of data comparing costs of these options. We hypothesize there will be differences in costs between complete and balanced HCDs and nutritionally comparable CPDs.


6 Home-cooked diets.


Six HCD recipes (2 highly digestible, 2 limited antigen, 2 low-fat) were formulated by 2 board-certified veterinary nutritionists to mimic the nutritional and ingredient profiles of veterinary CPDs for management of CCEs. The cost (in US$ on a per 100 kilocalorie [kcal] basis) of each recipe was determined via collection of ingredient prices from 3 grocery stores combined with supplement prices from online retailers. Prices of CPDs were obtained from a national online retailer. Maintenance energy requirements of 1.6 X (70 X BWkg0.75), where BWkg represents body weight in kilograms, were calculated for 3 dog sizes (5, 20, and 40 kg), and costs of feeding maintenance energy requirements with HCDs versus dry and canned CPDs were compared with a Kruskal–Wallis test and post hoc testing.


The median costs of all dry and canned CPDs and HCDs were $0.29 (range, $0.18 to $0.46), $1.01 (range, $0.77 to $1.20), and $0.55 (range, $0.35 to $1.14), respectively. Feeding complete and balanced HCDs cost more than feeding dry CPDs (P < .001), but not canned CPDs (P > .99).


Dry CPDs cost the least for nutritional management of CCEs. There is a wide range of costs for both CPDs and HCDs.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the body condition score (BCS) distribution for dogs examined at a teaching hospital and examine whether the BCS distribution for dogs with cancer differed significantly from the distribution for dogs without cancer.

Sample Population—1,777 dogs with cancer and 12,893 dogs without cancer.

Procedures—A retrospective prevalence case-control study was conducted that used medical records from 1999 to 2004. Information was collected on BCS (9-point system), age, breed, sex, neuter status, diagnosis, and corticosteroid administration. Body condition score at the time of examination for cancer (dogs with cancer) or first chronologic visit (dogs without cancer) was recorded. Logistic regression was used to compare BCS prevalence distributions between groups.

Results—The overall prevalence of obese dogs (BCS ≥ 7/9) was 14.8% (2,169/14,670), and the overall prevalence of overweight dogs (BCS ≥ 6/9 to < 7/9) was 21.6% (3,174/14,670). There was a significant difference in the BCS distribution between dogs with and without cancer, with a slightly lower prevalence of being overweight and obese in dogs with cancer. The prevalence of obese and overweight dogs varied with specific cancer types when compared with the prevalence for dogs without cancer.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Differences in obesity prevalence among cancer types is suggestive of an incongruous effect of this variable on cancer expression or a differential effect of specific cancer types on weight status. Systematic use of BCSs will help elucidate the association between obesity and cancer development.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research