2018 journal article
Risk of nutritional deficiencies for dogs on a weight loss plan
JOURNAL OF SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE, 59(11), 695–703.
Objectives To determine how general practice veterinarians make weight loss recommendations for dogs and if nutrients become deficient when following these recommendations. Materials and Methods A questionnaire of general practice veterinarians was conducted to characterise weight loss recommendations made to clients. Using this data, progressive levels of caloric restriction were applied to top‐selling commercial non‐therapeutic adult maintenance diets and non‐therapeutic weight management diets. Nutrient intakes were compared to the National Research Council's Recommended Allowances for metabolic body weight using a theoretical current weight and ideal body weight for an obese dog. Nutrient intakes were also compared to recommendations from the Association of American Feed Control Officials using current body weight. Results Several nutrients were found at risk of deficiency, including choline, methionine, cysteine, selenium, eicosapentanoic acid, docosahexanoic acid, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and cobalamin in both non‐therapeutic adult maintenance diets and non‐therapeutic weight management diets. Clinical Significance Caution is warranted when making weight loss recommendations using commercial diets until further research on the nutrient needs of obese dogs undergoing weight loss is undertaken. Restriction of commercial diets to achieve weight loss in dogs may result in nutrient deficiencies.