This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about a cat with food allergies and the benefits of feeding grain-free dog food.
Q: I have a 5 year old cat with food allergies. She can’t tolerate a food with many grains and is allergic to chicken. Does Wellness have a type of food that she would be able to eat?
A: Based on your diagnosis of food intolerance and allergy, you want to impose the following dietary restrictions for the cat: elimination of the dietary protein source chicken, and avoidance of grains, which contribute dietary carbohydrates.
I suggest you consider the following as the Wellness diets of choice to satisfy the requirements of your desired feeding program:
A.) Wellness CORE Salmon, Whitefish & Herring Recipe. It is available In 5.5 ounce cans and is 192 kcal per can (78% moisture maximum). It has a nutritional guarantee for all life stages.
B.) Wellness Cubed Salmon Dinner. Available in 3 ounce cans at 81 kcal per can (82% moisture max). It has a nutritional guarantee for adult maintenance.
C.) Wellness Minced Tuna Dinner. Available in 3 ounce cans containing 73 kcal per can (82% moisture max). It has a nutritional guarantee for adult maintenance.
To determine feeding rates, estimate the caloric need for your adult maintenance cat at about 22 to 25 kcal per pound of body weight. Feed measured amounts of food two or three times daily. Feed less if your cat is overweight, and more if your cat is underweight.
Use a scale to measure body weight frequently.
Q: We have been feeding our 2 year old Maltese a grain- free formula since birth (as recommended by the breeder). Why should I feed a grain- free food for dogs?
A: Grain free feeding such as Wellness CORE means the diet has a meat protein focus. Wellness CORE grain free dry dog food is based on the philosophy of providing nutrient rich high quality meat/fish ingredients, while eliminating traditional grain ingredients (such as corn, wheat, oats, and barley).
Advocates suggest that a grain free diet more closely mimics our pet’s ancestral diet—higher in animal protein and fat while limited in carbohydrates from grains. This type of diet is more efficiently digested and less antigenically reactive for our pets.
Supporters of feeding grain free diet to dogs also suggest that positive results are visible: improved skin and coat condition, low stool volume and a more energetic dog. In addition, supporters suggest encountering fewer problems with food allergies and food intolerances when feeding a grain free dog food.
Grain free dog foods tend to be energy dense, containing more calories per cup (dry food) or per can than foods that contain grain. To avoid overfeeding, it is prudent to follow the recommended feeding guidelines initially; then based on weighing the pet weekly, adjust the food offered in two or three daily meals. I recommend that when feeding a grain free diet, dogs are not fed free choice.