Not All Low-Cal Pet Foods Are Equal

Dog and cat owners buy weight-control diets for their overweight pets but are confused by the calorie density, recommended intake, and wide range cost of low-calorie pet foods. A study by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University 100 commercially available diets that claimed to help the pet lose weight. They found that dry dog foods range in calorie density from 217 to 440 kilocalories per cup (kcal/cup) and the intake recommended ranged from 0.73 to 1.47 times the dog’s resting energy requirement. The diets also varied wildly in price for similar ingredients used. It was the same with wet food as well. So, if the owners adhered to the label’s feeding directions and did not adjust according to their pet’s individual calorie requirements, the pets would not lose weight – they would actually gain it!