Saturday, March 24, 2012

An Comparative Analysis of Over the Counter and Veterinary Diets Recommended for Canine Growth


Marion Smart DVM, PhD, Jack Mills,DVM and Cory Haggart 24/03/2012

 Introduction:
The pet products industry is expanding, and the promotion of pet nutrition is highly competitive as the players in the industry jockey for the consumers’ dollar. This competitive environment offers the veterinarian a challenge, as a client asks on a daily basis “What is the best diet for my pet?”  Can a veterinarian give unbiased advice?  With hundreds of new diets and diet related supplements released annually, each promising to embrace the latest concepts in nutritional research, how can a veterinarian keep up without becoming a victim to the same promotional advertising that their client is questioning?
For large breed puppies, the industry has accepted that growth must be controlled and that the calcium and phosphorous levels must be adequate and not excessive for proper skeletal development. Terms or variations of these concepts such as a “precise balance of protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals”, “managing caloric intake”, “Scientifically formulated for proper bone and joint development”, “one hundred percent complete and balanced” are found in the promotional materials provided with the growth diets. In this information or the statements of nutritional adequacy, no references are sited of the companies’ research. The only supporting evidence of adequacy on the label is that the diets have met AAFCO feeding trial standards for growth or are formulated to meet AAFCO recommended minimum nutrient requirements for growth or all life stages.
Developmental orthopedic diseases (DOD) in dogs, osteoarthritis and joint health are popular topics within the lay and veterinary communities. This paper is a review the science behind the nutritional requirements for puppies in particular large and giant breed puppies. The energy density, protein, fat, and calcium and phosphorous levels of 44 veterinary and OTC growth diets, 15 alternative diets and 16 adult premium diets were compared to the published requirements and trends identified. The goal of this study is to help veterinarians make a more informed reply to the owner’s question “How should I feed my large breed puppy?
Establishing the Nutritional Adequacy of Pet Food
In North America, the National Research Council (NRC), Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the Canadian Veterinary Medical  Association[1] (CVMA)through their Pet Food Certification Program contribute in establishing the minimum and maximum nutrient intakes required for  growth, gestation/lactation, and maintenance in dogs and cats. These organizations do not have any regulatory powers but the information generated is often used by government departments in setting regulatory standards most of which use the AAFCO recommendations as a base.
In 1974, the first National Research Council (NRC) Nutrient Requirements of Dogs was released. An expert academic panel of animal nutritionists reviewed the relevant published research on the minimal requirements for growth and then supplemented these nutrient requirements with a 20% safety margin. Most of the reviewed literature was based on the minimum nutrient intake that was adequate for growth and biological function was ignored. Until 1985, the nutrient requirements set by NRC 1974 were those used by the pet food industry. In 1985 (dogs) and 1986 (cats) NRC released revised editions. The pet food industry considered them inadequate, as the minimum requirements for growth were generated from scientific research where purified diets of extremely high digestibility were fed under laboratory conditions. These conditions did not take into account the type of ingredients and technologies used to manufacture commercial pet foods. (AAFCO, 2006) To address the industry concerns, the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) appointed a committee that in 1991 produced the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles for Dogs and Cats. Their mandate was to build on the 1974 NRC nutrient requirements and establish practical minimum and maximum limits to nutrient levels in dog foods formulated from non-purified, complex ingredients. The 1974 NRC values were modified “only where indicated based on the practical experience of the subcommittee members or by new data from the1985 NRC publication or elsewhere” (Dzanis, 1992). The values took into consideration the various known effects of ingredients and processing and the potential for lower digestibility in some of the diets (AAFCO 2006). AAFCO recommendations also considered the bioavailability of the nutrient source and made allowances in the formulations for losses during processing and storage.   
In 1976, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association, working with industry instituted The CVMA Pet Food Certification Program. Their mission is to provide the consumer with an independent quality assurance program and a means of identifying nutritionally sound pet food for all life stages in the market place. This is accomplished by providing nutritional standards for the certified pet diets and through constant monitoring of the diets to ensure they continue to meet the standards for composition and digestibility. Initially the CVMA adopted the NRC 1974 nutrient requirements for dogs and cats but the CVMA standards “continue to evolve as new scientific information becomes available”. In 2003, the CVMA published the CVMA veterinary reference manual on Nutrition included in this manual the CVMA recommended nutrient profiles are compatible with AFFCO profiles except CVMA classification of all life stages is the same as AAFCO profile for growth and reproduction. Feeding trials are not part of the certification process.
In the spring of 2006, NRC published the “Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats”. The committee’s mandate for this new publication was to address the deficiencies found in the 1985 requirements and to produce an updated estimate of requirements based on a comprehensive review of the factors governing these in dogs and cats. The project started in 2000 and the committee acquired input and data from public and private organization. They combined this information with a critical review of the published scientific literature to produce recommendations “firmly grounded in science”.
The nutrient requirements are summarized in tabular form as Minimal Requirements which will support a defined physiological state; Adequate intake which is presumed to sustain a given life stage; the recommended allowance will meet the nutritional requirements of that particular life stage which includes a bioavailability factor; and a safe upper limit which is the maximum amount of a particular nutrient not associated with adverse effects.
This publication according to the Pet Food Institute has fallen short of its goals of providing a research compendium that is useful to pet owner, government and in particular the pet food industry. (Cook 2006 Pet Food Industry)
AAFCO Feeding Trials
The AAFCO protocol for growth diets is a 10-week test period following weaning. Eight puppies (four males and four females) from three different bitches are required. The breed distribution must be similar. The data generated during the trial can be compared to AAFCO standards, the historical colony average for puppies or data obtained from a concurrent control group. After the 10-week period, large breed puppies will be just under 50% of adult body weight while a puppy from a breed with ABW of 5 kg will be at 64%. The pet food industry then takes the results from this short-term feeding trial of adequacy for growth to (widely) proselytize (didactically inform, preach) that such diets provide adequate nutrition. The implication proffered to the pet owner and the family is that all the nutrient needs of the family pet are met by meeting the AAFCO standard for growth and thus ensuring a long lasting healthy disease-free productive life These AAFCO trials for growth do not evaluate any parameters associated with normal skeletal growth. (Remillard R.L. 2001Practical Nutritional and Dietary Recommendations: Minimizing Clinical Aspects of Orthopedic Diseases - http://www.vin.com/Members/SearchDB/m05000/m01651.htm )
Items of interest AAFCO uses two different energy densities for their nutrient profiles The % DM is based on a diet with a nutrient density of 3500 Kcal/1000g of diet and an energy density of 4000 Kcal/1000g of diet when the profile is for units per 1000 Kcal. AAFCO’s actual value for the units/1000Kcal was calculated using the energy density of 3500 Kcal/1000g rather than 400 Kcal. With an energy density of 400 Kcal/100g the Protein would be 25.2% DM not 22% Protein as indicated. No explanation is offered.
NRC uses an energy density of 400 Kcal/100g across the board.  The daily recommended allowance for protein for NRC is 70% of the daily intake based on AAFCO’s profiles. This reflects the effect that processing has on protein digestibility while NRC’s daily intake is based on semi-purified diets with high protein digest abilities. The slight differences seen between the other nutrients reflect that AAFCO still uses most of the NRC 1974 values were the numbers used by NRC 2006 have been updated.
Label Information
The Guaranteed Analysis
The use of the guaranteed analysis found on the label of pet foods to compare the nutritional value of a puppy diet to a standard requirement is only a superficial comparison. This analysis guarantees minimum and maximum nutrient percentages and not the values as analyzed. The energy density of the diet in Kcal of metabolizable energy (ME)l/1000gm of diet  is now allowed on the label.  Thus, the amount (g) of nutrient in 1000 Kcal can be  determined. This number gives you a better evaluation of the nutrient density of the diet.  For example, calcium is often recommended not to exceed 1.0% of the diet. If the energy density of the diet is 3500 Kcal (ME)/1000g then the calcium content is 2.85 g/1000Kcal: if the energy density is 4500 Kcal/1000g then the calcium is 2.2g/1000Kcal. For a large bred puppy 2 to 4 months of age with a caloric requirement of 1350Kcal/d this represent an daily drop in Ca intake of 900 mg per day for diet with the high energy density.
 
An Analysis and Critic of Dry Commercial Growth Diets
Data collection and analysis
Data was collected for 44 dry puppy diets, 15 “whole food all life stage” diets and 18 adult premium diets. The data for the diets selected came from the information collected from the manufacture’s web site, the product keys, or directly from the company. A spreadsheet was developed to simplify the analysis of the data. The input data for the diets included diet transition periods of 2 to 4 months (60 days) 4 to 9 months (150 days), and 9 to 12 months (90 days), the energy density of the diet as feed, the guaranteed but preferably the actual or typical analysis based on the grams of nutrient per 1000 Kcal, and the average daily caloric intake for each diet based on the manufacturer’s feeding recommendations from 2 to 12 months of age. The data was used to calculate the daily intake of protein, fat, calcium and phosphorous in grams per day for each diet, by a puppy whose adult body weight would be 30 kg. The data generated was compared to two standards “an ideal puppy diet” and data generated for the growth phase of Purina’s life long study.
The Ingredient List
 For the consumer to judge the quality of the diet from the ingredient list is difficult. In the dry commercial puppy diets studied, the main sources of protein were derived from chicken or lamb either initially as a frozen product or as a rendered meal or by-product meal. Secondary sources of protein were corn gluten meal and soybean products. Most other sources of protein such as whey, dried egg products and fishmeals were found lower on the ingredient list often listed after flavors.  The primary sources of carbohydrates are derived from corn or rice with secondary sources from oats, wheat, and barley. The fat sources were animal, poultry, chicken, beef and pork with secondary sources from fish, canola, sunflower, and flaxseed. Beet pulp was the main fiber source. Novelty ingredients such as vegetables were mostly by products and included in very small amounts. No scientific evidence supports the benefits of “grain free” diets over conventional diets containing primarily rice and corn.
Determining the manufacturer’s daily caloric intake
For this comparative study, the recommended daily caloric intake for the puppy diets was calculated using the daily feeding recommendations supplied by the manufacturer for puppies whose adult body weigh would be 30 kg. Since each manufacturer has a unique way of presenting these instructions, adjustments had to be made accommodate for this. For example some feeding instructions were based on the time when the puppy reached a certain % of its adult body weight, others gave a range of adult body weights across the top (horizontal axis, abscissa) and a range of puppy weights and ages down the side (vertical axis, coordinate) . Any of the weights recorded in pounds were converted to kilograms.

The Ideal Daily Caloric Intake Kcal/day
The recommended daily caloric intake for the puppy diets was calculated using three (3) databases:
A review of the literature was done to determine the accepted daily caloric requirements of a growing large breed puppy.  The calculated daily caloric intake for three transition phases was derived from the following:
1.    NRC 2006 formula to calculate the energy requirement for a puppy ref National Research Council. Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats. Washington: The National Academies Press, 2006: 364:
            ME (kcal) =130xBWa .75 x3.2 [e (-0.87p) -.01]
            p=BWa/BWm
o   BWa actual body weight of the puppy at the time of evaluation
o   BWm expected mature body weight
            E=natural log approx. =2.718                                                     
2.    The formulas in Small Animal Clinical Nutrition(ref  Hand MS, Thatcher CD, Remillard RL, and Roudebush P, ed. Small Animal Clinical Nutrition.4th ed. Walsworth Publishing Co,2000:1021 ):

Table 1- Energy Requirements for Puppies from 2 to 12 months of age
Time frame
Age in months
 ME R*
Weaning to 50% ABW
2 to 4
3xRER**
50 to 80% ABW
4 to 9
2.5xRER
>80% ABW
9 to 12
2xRER
*Metabolic Energy Requirements
**Resting Energy Requirements =70(BW kg)0.75

The daily feeding recommendations supplied by the manufacturer for puppies whose adult body weigh would be 30 kg.

Table 2 - The average calculated daily caloric intake (Kcal/d) for large breed puppies (ABW 30 kg) from 2 months to 12 months of age determined using three data sources.
Age in Months
2-4
4-9
9-12
Average over 2-12 mo
% of Adult Body Weight
20
50
80

NRC 2006
1470
1870
1780
1763
Small Animal Clinical Nutrition
1400
1350
1600
1435
Industry Average*
1183+/-176
1541+/-150
1483+/-314
1452
Average Kcal/d used as the required caloric intake
1350
1590
1625
1550
*Average for the 44 diets studied

The Appropriate Nutrient Requirements and Daily Intakes for Protein, Fat, Calcium and Phosphorous
Since NRC requirements have just been published and the diets in this study were formulated and manufactured before the industry could respond to NRC, we have used the following references including NRC 2006 to establish the recommended daily protein, fat, calcium and phosphorous intake in g/day for a large breed puppy.
Table3 - The standards for daily caloric (Kcal/d) and calcium Intakes (g/d) used as base lines in our comparative analysis of puppy diets fed to puppies whose adult body weight is 30 to35 kg
Average Kcal/d
Kcal/d


g/100Kcal
Calcium g/d


1*
2**
3***
Kcal/100g

Protein
Fat
Ca
1*
2**
3***
Average over 300d
Ideal puppy diet

1552
1350
1590
1625
350
RA
6.1
3
0.27
3.6
4.4
4.4
4.1





D


0.14
1.9
2.2
2.3
2.2





E


0.82
11.1
13.0
13.5
12.7
Hazelwinkel

1460
1122+
1598++
1456+++
331
RA
6.3
3
.33
3.7
5.2
4.8
4.8





D


.17
1.9
2.7
2.5
2.5





E


1.00
11.2
15.9
14.7
14.6
Lavelle

1460
1122+
1598++
1456+++
430

6.9
3.3
.53
5.9
8.4
7.7
7.7
Purina Life Long Study

1483


1483+++
359

7.5
3.2
0.39


5.8
5.8
AAFCO


1122+
1598++
1456+++
350
Min
6.2
2.3
.29
3.3
4.6
4.2
4.2
1460




Max


.71
8.0
11.3
10.3
10.4
NRC 2006

1763
1470
1790
1770
400
Min
3.5

0.2
2.9
3.5
3.4
3.5





RA
4.4
2.1
0.3
4.4
5.3
5.1
5.2





Max

8.3
0.45
6.6
7.9
7.7
7.9
Hand





406

7.1
4.2
.24












.44l




Industry Average for All Dry Puppy Diets Compared

All Diets (1523)
1123
1526
1525
393

7.1
3.9
.3
3.8
5.1
4.8
4.6
Large Breed Diets (1460)
1122+
1598++
1456+++
375

7.9
3.5
.3
3.5
4.7
4.5
4.4
*Period 1 (57 to 96 days of age) **Period 2 (97 to 280 days of age) ***Period 3 (281 to 365 days of age)

*Hand MS, Lewis LD, MorrisM. Feeding Puppies: Common Errors, Their Effects, and Prevention Comp vet cont ed 1987;9: 41-44
** Kealy RD Olsson S E., Monti KL et al.  Effects of Limited Food Consumption on the incidence of Hip Dysplasia in Growing Dogs. The Purina Institute Symposium Advancing life through diet restriction St. Louis Miss. 2002
*** Dzanis DA, CorbinJE, et al AAFCO Nutrient Profiles for Dog Food .report of the Canine Nutrition Expert Subcomittee 1992
**** NRC 2006
***** Lepine AJ. Nutritional Influences on the skeletal growth of large breed puppies. Iams Co Veterinary Learning Systems North American Veterinary Conference.1918: 15-18


Hazewinkle AW, Van Den Brom WE,  Arie T,et al. Calcium Metabolism in Great Danes Fed Diets with various Calcium and Phosphorous Levels.1991  J Nutr.121:S99-S106. 



Protein
Fat
Ca
P
Protein 
Fat 
Ca
P
Ideal puppy diet
Ave. Kcal/d (300d)
Kcal/100g
****
g/100Kcal
g/d (300d)
RA 
1552.5
 350
 6.1
3
0.27
0.19


4.2
2.7
D




 0.14
 0.12
94.7
48.0
2.2
1.7
EX




 0.82
 0.72


12.7
10.4
Purina Life Long Study
1483
359
7.5
3.2
0.39
0.3



0.9
Hill's PD
1489
417
7
3.1
0.34
0.27
72.3
7.6
5.1
3.8
Hill's PD LB
1603
351
7.9
3.1
0.28
0.22
90.3
33.2
4.5
3.3
Science Diet LB
1453
341
8.1
3
0.28
0.21
85.4
53.8
4.1
2.8
science diet Lamb/Rice
1515
377
7.2
4.9
0.416
0.262
73.4
50.6
6.3
3.7
Puppy Small bites/original
1556
380
7.1
4.8
0.34
0.3
78.9
77.8
5.3
4.3
Lamb meal and rice Formula puppy
1657
403
6.6
4.6
0.39
0.25
80.2
73.3
6.5
3.8
Natures Best with real beef
1676
382
7.6
4.8
0.38
0.27
91.3
64.4
6.4
4.2
Average
1564
378.7
7.4
4.0
0.3
0.3
81.7
51.5
5.4
3.7
SD
85
27
1
1
0
0
8
25
1
0.5
Purina Pediatric Large Breed
1494
380
8.05
4.02
0.35
0.31
74.5
9.3
5.2
4.3
Purina  Pediatric Formula
1126
424
6.83
4.46
0.27
0.22
43.4
62.0
3.0
2.3
Purina Complete Nutrition
1779
389
6.94
3.08
0.28
0.23
81.3
51.4
5.0
3.8
Purina LB Formula
1473
343
7.88
3.79
0.32
0.26
81.4
51.8
4.7
3.6
Healthy Morsels
1675
347
7.79
3.46
0.32
0.26
84.1
54.3
5.4
4.1
Purina One Growth and Dev
1672
355
7.32
4.51
0.28
0.23
83.3
57.9
4.7
3.5
Proplan Giant Breed
2087
381
7.35
3.41
0.29
0.21
104.8
77.1
6.1
4.0
Proplan Lamb and rice
1188
420
6.7
4.3
0.3
0.2
56.2
70.1
3.6
2.2
Proplan Chicken and Rice
1195
424
6.6
4.2
0.3
0.2
55.7
50.4
3.6
2.2
Purina Large Puppy Formula
1497
355
7.9
3.7
0.3
0.2
74.7
43.2
4.5
2.8
Average
1519
382
7
4
0
0
74
53
5
3
SD
300
32
1
0
0
0
18
18
1
1

Walthams
Kcal/d 
kcal/100g
Protein
Fat
Ca
P
Protein
 g/d
Fat
Ca g/d
P g/d
Medical development
800
405
7.11
4.3
0.27
0.25
56.9
12.6
2.2
1.8
Medical Adolescent
1116
400
6.8
3.2
0.2
0.2
43.2
35.7
2.2
2.1
Royal Canin Puppy Med
1474
424
7.5
4.7
0.2
0.2
78.4
49.9
2.9
2.7
Royal Canine Maxi
1415
398
8
3.5
0.3
0.2
79.6
62.9
4.2
2.6
Technical Puppy Formula
2375
420
6.67
4.29
0.33
0.21
110.3
48.2
7.8
4.6
Technical Large breed
1534
396
6.6
3.5
0.25
0.2
64.5
91.3
3.8
2.9
Average
1699.5
409.5
7.1
3.9
0.27
0.2
83.
63.
4.7
3.2
STD
453
15
1
1
0
0
19
20
2
1
Iams










Eukanuba LB Formula
1182
414
6.3
3.4
0.19
0.16
54.1
10.8
2.2
1.8
Eukanuba MB Formula
1393
428
6.8
4.2
0.27
0.21
76.1
42.9
3.8
2.7
Iams Smart Puppy LB
1229
406
6.4
3.9
0.19
0.18
62.3
55.2
2.3
2.0
Ians Smart Breed Puppy
1380
429
6.5
3.9
0.29
0.22
71.1
48.0
4.0
2.8
Iams Smart puppy lamb and rice
1468
410
6.3
3.4
0.3
0.22
66.0
43.1
4.4
3.0
Average
1331
417
6
4
0
0
66
40
3
2
SD
120
11
0
0
0
0
8
17
1
1
Nutro










Ultra puppy
0
477
6.3
3.1


0.0
7.7
0.0
0
Natural Choice Puppy Chicken, rice
0
358
7.3
3.4


0.0
6.9
0.0
0
Natural Choice LB Lamb and rice
1249
367
7.4
3.5
0.34
0.27
70.1
0.0
4.2
3.1
Max Puppy
1089
368
7.6
4.6
0.43
0.38
53.7
36.0
4.7
3.9
Max Large Breed Puppy’s 1c=375 Kcal
1190
360
7.8
3.3
0.27
0.22
0.0
50.5
0.0
0
Average
1176
365
8
4
0
0
41
29
3
2

Other
Kcal/d 
Kcal/100g
Protein
Fat
Ca
P
Protein 
Fat
Ca
P
diamond puppy Formula
1171
397
7.8
5
0.3
0.25
65.6
28.7
3.5
2.7
Innova  Puppy
1662
400
7
3
0.25
0.2
82.6
59.2
4.2
3.1
Innova LB Puppy
840.5
360
6.7
3.33
0.25
0.19
39.5
54.5
2.1
1.5
California Natural
1776
425
6.1
3.8
0.4
0.2
74.0
#DIV/0!
7.1
3.3
Horizon complete Puppy
1552
368
7.61
4.35
0.30
0.24
81.4
#DIV/0!
4.6
3.5
Super5Mix puppy(OMH)
1182
364
7.69
4.67
0.36
0.27
66.4
12.5
4.3
3.0
Wolf Cub LB
1250
400
7.6
3.4
0.4
0.34
69.6
45.2
5.0
3.9
California Natural Chicken and Rice
1092
379
6.9
4.2
0.4
0.3
53.3
60.4
4.4
3.0
Fundhenn-Floken Puppy
1621
438
8.2
4
0.49
0.4
93.4
37.4
7.9
6.0
Average
1349
392.3
7.3
4.0
0.3
0.3
69.6
#DIV/0!
4.8
3.3
SD
449
25.9
0.6
0.6
0.1
0.1
16.2
#DIV/0!
1.8
1.2
CVMA Certified










ACANA Puppy Small Breed
1576.
457
7
4.6
0.24
0.22
78.0
70.3
3.8
3.2
ACANA Puppy Large Breed
1890
405
7.9
3.4
0.27
0.22
100.1
67.4
5.1
3.9
PC 1st Premium Puppy
1497
464
6.3
3.9
0.26
0.19
59.6
63.1
3.9
2.7
PC Special Dinner Puppy
1923
370
7
2.4
0.32
0.27
84.7
58.6
6.2
4.9
PC Extra Meaty Puppy
1839
335
8.3
4
0.3
0.27
98.4
39.5
5.5
4.6
Sur-gainDebut growth formula
1188
348
8
3.2
0.43
0.29
71.5
74.3
5.1
3.2
Canidae for alllife stages
1518
346
6.9
4.2
0.35
0.26
69.4
8.3
5.3
3.6
AVERAGE
1633
389
7
4
0
0
80
55
5
4
SD
266
54
1
1
0
0
15
23
1
1

Whole Food Diets
Kcal/d
Kcal/100g
Protein 
Fat
Ca
P
Protein
Fat
Ca
P
Primal raw formulas Lamb
1576.5
168
7.1
6
0.51
0.32
79.1
14.3
8.0
4.7
Primal raw formulas Beef
1576.5
167
9
7.1
0.59
0.38
100.2
87.4
9.3
5.6
Primal raw formula Duck
1576.5
196
6.6
5.6
0.35
0.19
73.5
115.8
5.5
2.8
Primal Raw Formula
1576.5
214
6.1
3.2
0.31
0.19
67.9
91.1
4.9
2.8
Urban Carnivore Chicken patties
1576.5
223
7.1
8.6
0.4
0.21
79.1
63.0
6.3
3.1
Urban Carnivore  Beef patties
1576.5
140
12.7
6.7
1.4
0.78
141.4
136.9
22.1
11.4
Urban Carnivore Duck patties
1576.5
232
6.8
8.1
0.45
0.25
75.7
107.4
7.1
3.7
Urban Carnivore Lamb patties
1576.5
235
6.6
9.1
0.56
0.32
73.5
124.1
8.8
4.7
Urban Carnivore Rabbit patties
1576.5
170
10.6
7.4
0.62
0.39
118.1
142.9
9.8
5.7
Urban Carnivore Bison Patties
1576.5
150
13.6
6.7
0.85
0.49
151.5
107.7
13.4
7.2
Urban Carnivore Goat Patties
1576.5
195
8.1
8.9
0.53
0.32
90.2
97.9
8.4
4.7
NRG Chicken Blend
1576.5
393
6.6
3.9
0.44
0.26
73.5
127.5
6.9
3.8
NRG Beef Blend
1576.5
393
7.2
3.7
0.32
0.16
80.2
115.5
5.0
2.3
NRG Salmon Blend
1576.5
352
7.3
3.9
0.4
0.3
81.3
48.9
6.3
4.4
Mountain Dog Food Chicken
1576.5
203
14.1
25
1.9
1.1
157.0
70.9
30.0
16.1
Average
1576.5
228.7
8.6
7.6
0.6
0.4
96.1
96.8
10.1
5.5
SD
0
83.4
2.8
5.2
0.4
0.3
30.7
35.3
7.0
3.7

Establishing the Daily Caloric Intake
In our comparative study, the major confounding factor is the daily caloric intake based on the manufacturers feeding recommendations and how this is interpreted by the owner and then translated into what the puppy is actually fed. Most veterinary nutritionist and manufacturers recommend that the over-riding factor to all feeding recommendations is the body condition of the puppy.  Various charts and descriptions are available to assist the veterinarian and the client in evaluating the puppy’s body condition. In most cases, the amount feed is based on the owner’s judgment and perception of what a puppy should look like. How the owner defines, a cup is another factor governing the puppy’s daily caloric intake.  Our findings that some puppy diets are marginal in calcium and phosphorous if they are fed according to the manufacturers’ recommendations may make the decision to further restrict the caloric intake a factor contributing to the future development of orthopedic disease
The Purina research Center has done numerous studies evaluating dietary many breeds of puppies. These were 10-week growth studies involving Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, English Springer Spaniels, English Setters and Siberian Huskies. The energy level of the diets was approximately 330Kcal/100g and the Ca:P =1.2:1. Breed differences were noticed in the puppy’s response to low Calcium and excess Ca intakes. Their conclusion was that 1 to 1.5% was safe and adequate for all breeds.

Conclusions
1.    Most puppy diets meet the protein, Ca and P requirements of growing puppies if fed to meet their calculated caloric requirements, but exceed the recommended allowance for fat.
2.    With an increase of 25% of the manufacturer’s suggested caloric intake, daily protein, fat, Ca and P would be within the recommended allowance.           
3.    If the calculated caloric intake were reduced by 25%, 11% of the diets would be deficient in Ca but adequate in protein and fat.
4.    Based on the manufacturer’s recommended caloric intake, protein and fat intake would be within the recommended allowance but Ca intake would be marginal in 30% of the diets.
5.    A reduction in the manufacturer’s suggested caloric intake by 25% when fed from 2 to 4 months of age; the calcium intake would be deficient in 35% of the diets when fed from 4-9 months and 14% of diets are inadequate in Ca when fed from 9 to12 months. In total 22%, all of the diets are deficient in Ca.
6.    With an increase of 25% of the manufacturer’s suggested caloric intake, daily protein, fat,  Ca and P would  be within the recommended allowance
7.    Out of all the diets studied, we could find no diets that stood out as “the best” or would we feel comfortable ranking the diets. Therefore, if you as a veterinarian choose to find among the diets we analyzed or another as the best to recommend make sure it meets the nutrient standards that are set out in Table 4.
8.    You have an obligation to explain to a client with a new puppy that promotional terms used by the manufacturers’ such as “specially adjusted” “precisely(balanced) calibrated” “perfect (proper) balance” ,”targeted (controlled) levels” , “optimal”, “restricted”,  “less fat”, “reduced” are descriptive terms only and have no quantitative value.
9.    As most other recommendations, we support the use of the puppies body condition  as a guide to whether the puppy is being underfed or over fed calories, but you as veterinarians must determine the source of those calories
10.All the diets both adult and puppy are 1.5 times above the recommended daily allowance for fat and yet both meet the recommended daily allowance for protein, so if you choose to restrict the caloric intake you may be potentially compromising protein, calcium and phosphorous intake and supplementation may be required.
11.If a premium adult diet is fed to meet a puppy’s recommended daily caloric requirements there is no risk of over feeding calcium, but some may require Ca and P supplementation.
12.If the safe upper limit for Ca and P is set at 1.5% and 1% DM respectively then a diet with an energy density of360 Kcal/100gms would provide from 2 to 4 months of age 5.4g Ca and 3.8gP per day; from 4-9 mo of age 7.2 g of Ca; 5.1g of P  and from 9 to 12 months of  age 6.6 g of Ca; 4.7 g of P.  In order to exceed this limit  in calcium the average puppy diet would need to be supplemented with 2g of calcium and 1.6 g P. To meet the safe upper limit of calcium 2.6, 750 mg Ca Tums would have to be fed or 4, 500 mg tablets fed or ¾ cup of 2% milk yogurt.
13.Our findings that some puppy diets are marginal in calcium and phosphorous if they are fed according to the manufacturers’ recommendations may make the decision to further restrict the caloric intake a factor contributing to the future development of orthopedic disease



1 comment:

  1. you have shared some great thoughts. i am really impressed how you can managed every thing. it is surprisingly awesome. Pet Food

    ReplyDelete