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aimee
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Hi M& C,

I think you’ve got it! The best way to compare foods is on a caloric basis. This takes into account water, fiber, ash and energy density. You’ll note on this site there is a table for each diet and that the macronutrients are given in an as fed. dry matter, and caloric basis.

AAFCO requires that for any diet over 4000 kcals/kg DM a conversion factor be applied. If the diet you are feeding is 5000 kcals/kg that conversion factor is simply 5000/4000 X the number in the table. So many times, I’ve found that companies overlook this. Recently, I got a nutrient analysis table for a diet labeled for ALS. The Ca content was listed as 1.3% DM and AAFCO’s min is 1.2%, so that looks good right? Well, they also reported the kcals as 5400/kg for that diet. Calculating through 5400/4000 X 1.2 = 1.6. The diet needs to have 1.6 % Ca to meet AAFCO min and they are reporting 1.3%. Got ‘ghosted” after inquiring about the apparent discrepancy.

AAFCO writes a model food law which most states adopt in some form, but they do not do any type of regulation. There is no oversite by AAFCO. Oversite is done by your state feed control official and the FDA. IMO for all practical purposes, oversite is nonexistent in most areas. It seems to me that areas that effect humans, like pathogens in food, are monitored via spot check cultures of foods. Some foods may be tested to see if they meet their GA.’s, but overall, no one is checking to verify information on a label is correct.

In regards to high bone content in foods, it could just be a reflection of what sourcing the company has access to and an acceptance of high fat and mineral content in the products available to them.

I didn’t see calorie content listed for the diet to see what mineral content is on a caloric basis. But I found their marketing very oft putting and reckless. They write “Turkey meat is one of the leanest proteins available making it a great option for pets that are sensitive to fat content, such as those with pancreatitis.” which can be true esp turkey breast. BUT their turkey diet is a whopping 35% as fed fat diet! Using their information and doing some rough calculation that would mean ~63% of the calories are coming from fat! This appears to be a very high fat diet being marketed as being appropriate for dogs with fat intolerance. For me that makes me see red and would earn them a spot on my not recommended list.

Just as an aside.. did you mention your dog is having seizures? I’m asking because you mentioned a 5000kcal/kg diet and to reach that high of caloric density fat has to be significant component of the diet. I might get my details wrong on this because it is awhile since I read the literature. But as I recall some dogs have low levels of tissue lipase. This results in prolonged clearance of fat from their blood and the outcome is high triglycerides. High triglyceride can trigger seizures.

A friend’s dog was having horrible cluster seizures several times a month, was seeing a vet neurologist and on 3 different drugs. Her reg. vet noticed that on each blood panel gotten back from the neurologist, the triglycerides were high, and the sample was always reported as “lipemic,” meaning visible fat in the blood. The reg vet called the neurologist and the neurologist said paraphrased “yeah they are high, but not high enough to cause seizures.” The reg vet told her there is no downside to trying a lower fat diet. So, the diet was changed, triglycerides returned to normal, and the dog went from having multiple cluster seizures a month to never again having another seizure. Apparently, the dog didn’t read the medical book.