This month, Dr. Moser answers your questions about helping a Beagle lose weight and switching to a new diet.
Q: Is it okay to switch from Wellness® Super5Mix® Chicken Recipe to Wellness® Super5Mix® Whitefish & Sweet Potato Recipe or does that need to be over a course of 7 days?
A: It is always a good idea to introduce a new diet to a pet slowly- over about a week-gradually decreasing amounts of old food offered, while increasing the new. Even though many diets look “similar”, they often have different protein and fat content or a different ingredient addition rate, indicated on the label. Conservative feeding management will avoid many unwanted cases of gastrointestinal upset (vomiting and diarrhea).
Wellness® Super5Mix® Chicken Recipe is equivalent in kilocalorie count per cup (about 400 kcal/cup) to the dry Wellness® Super5Mix® Whitefish and Sweet Potato Recipe; so an equal substitution is possible on a volume basis.
Q: Buddy is our 1 year old pure bred 15 inch beagle. His current weight is 36 pounds. Our vet feels that he needs to lose a couple of pounds. We do exercise him daily and limit treats. Aside from decreasing the amount of food he eats can you tell me about how many calories he will need to lose/maintain a certain weight? Also, can you recommend what food is best to achieve this?
A: Your 36 pound dog needs about 560 kcal per day to satisfy the resting energy requirement (RER); if he is an active pet we multiply RER x 1.6 to get the maintenance energy requirement ( MER) of 898 kcal per day. Is this close to what you are currently feeding daily?
To calculate the energy content of the body mass you wish the pet to lose (l pound of fat tissue = 3500 kcal). Divide this total by the number of days you plan to diet the pet. Subtract the resulting number of kcal from the animal’s current daily kilocalorie intake and feed the remainder.
Another suggested weight reduction plan would be to feed the pet 60% of the current intake until you reach the desired weight.
A good Wellness dry food choice for weight control in a young active dog is Wellness® Grain Free CORE® Reduced Fat Recipe dry dog food which is about 350 kcal per cup. It is enhanced in protein and crude fiber to curb hunger, low in fat and very palatable.