Objective—To determine range of calorie density and feeding directions for commercially available diets designed for weight management in dogs and cats.
Sample Population—93 diets (44 canine diets and 49 feline diets) that had a weight management claim with feeding directions for weight loss or implied weight management claims.
Procedures—Calorie density was collected from product labels or by contacting manufacturers. Recommended feeding directions for weight loss were compared with resting energy requirement (RER) for current body weight by use of a standard body weight (36.4 kg [80 lb] for canine diets and 5.5 kg [12 lb] for feline diets).
Results—Calorie density for the 44 canine diets ranged from 217 to 440 kcal/cup (median, 301 kcal/cup) and from 189 to 398 kcal/can (median, 310 kcal/can) for dry and canned diets, respectively. Calorie density for the 49 feline diets ranged from 235 to 480 kcal/cup (median, 342 kcal/cup) and from 78 to 172 kcal/can (median, 146 kcal/can) for dry and canned diets, respectively. Recommended calorie intake for weight loss in dogs ranged from 0.73 to 1.47 × RER (median, 1.00 × RER) and for weight loss in cats ranged from 0.67 to 1.55 × RER (median, 1.00 × RER). Diets ranged from $0.04 to $1.11/100 kcal of diet (median, $0.15/100 kcal of diet).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Wide variation existed in recommended calorie intake, kilocalories, and cost for diets marketed for weight loss in pets. This variability could contribute to challenges of achieving successful weight loss in pets.
Objective—To determine whether subcutaneous fat thickness measured on thoracic radiographs was associated with body condition score (BCS) in dogs.
Animals—87 client-owned dogs (41 males and 46 females) with a median age of 10.0 years (range, 1 to 16 years) and median weight of 20.3 kg (range, 3.1 to 58.0 kg).
Procedures—Age, sex, body weight, and breed were recorded. Body condition scores (scale from 1 to 9) and muscle condition scores were assigned by a single investigator. Subcutaneous fat thickness was measured at the level of the eighth rib head on a dorsoventral or ventrodorsal radiographic view of the thorax by a single investigator. Ratios of subcutaneous fat thickness to the width of the midbody of T8 on the ventrodorsal or dorsoventral radiographic view (T8 ratio) and to the length of the midbody of T4 on a right lateral radiographic view (T4 ratio) were calculated and compared with BCS by means of the Spearman correlation method.
Results—Median BCS was 6 (range, 1 to 9), and all muscle condition scores were represented. There were significant correlations between BCS and T4 ratio (r = 0.86) and between BCS and T8 ratio (r = 0.84).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that in this population, there was a significant association between BCS and subcutaneous fat thickness measured on thoracic radiographs. Findings suggested that measuring subcutaneous fat thickness could aid in the retrospective assignment of BCS in studies involving dogs in which BCS was not recorded in the medical record.
Objective—To evaluate marketing claims, ingredients, and nutrient profiles of over-the-counter diets marketed for skin and coat health of dogs.
Sample—24 over-the-counter dry and canned diets marketed for skin and coat health of dogs.
Procedures—Data on marketing claims and ingredients were collected from diet packaging and manufacturer websites. Concentrations of selected nutrients were obtained by contacting the manufacturers and were compared against minimum values for Association of American Feed Control Officials Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult dog maintenance based on calorie content.
Results—Most diets incorporated marketing terms such as digestive health, sensitive, or premium that are poorly defined and may have limited relevance to skin, coat, or general health. The types and numbers of major ingredients (ie, potential to contribute protein to the diet) differed. The total number of unique major ingredients in each diet ranged from 3 to 8 (median, 5.5), but the total number of unique ingredients in each diet ranged from 28 to 68 (median, 38). Concentrations of nutrients associated with skin and coat condition also differed widely.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the large variation among over-the-counter diets marketed for skin and coat health may cause confusion for owners during diet selection. Owners of a dog with dermatologic problems should consult their veterinarian to select a good-quality diet that meets specific nutrient goals. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015;246:1334–1338)