I feed my 12 yr old lab mix “Science Diet Senior Vitality” dry food, and she eats it fine. So, she’s 83 pounds and could afford to lose a few pounds for her health. “Science Diet Perfect Weight” dry food formula has less calories. Both are chicken based. Can I do half and half of each, so that I cut the caloric intake by at least some from half of it being the lower calorie “Perfect Weight” formula? I like that she likes the “Senior Vitality” AND that it has, supposedly, good nutrition for an older dog. But, I want her to take in less calories. Is there any real downside to giving her a 50/50 mix of both? ThanksHav momParticipant
Oh My! It is so hard to lose weight . But, I think you should start by adding a small amount of the Perfect Weight at each meal with her Senior Vitality formula. About a week should do it until it is completely Perfect Weight food. She should be more or less starting to lose weight by the second week on the Perfect Weight food alone. But, if you prefer the 50/50 method, check with your vet and see if that would be alright for her at this time. ( It is like when you change the dog to a different food .) Actually, she is halfway. there.
Also, you could add a few veggies when you cut the Senior Vitality out. Carrots, broccoli, tiny pieces of apple. etc. that should help the transition, also less calories, filling and healthy for them. Hope it helps. Perhaps someone else has a better solution to help you with this.
. Good Luck.crazy4catsParticipant
It depends on who you ask as to whether it is acceptable to mix two foods like that to achieve a lower calorie meal.
I’m on a few different canine nutrition FB groups and there is disagreement even between experts. Some say that if you do not feed the one formula close to the recommended amount, the meals might not be complete and balanced.
Others say, that since both formulas are complete and balanced, that is is fine to mix the two.
Honestly, I am doing that right now with a couple of my kitties that are a little chubby. I’m having a hard time finding their regular Royal Canin food so I’ve been mixing the new formula with a weight management recipe hoping they lose a little weight.
I’d like to believe that I am not shorting them on any nutrients!
If Aimee is around, maybe she can comment on this. I value her opinion on these type of questions. Good luck!aimeeParticipant
Hi J B,
This is an interesting question and I’ll give you my thoughts. When two complete and balanced foods are mixed the resulting mixture is complete and balanced. However, feeding for weight loss is a special situation, a complete and balanced food, when fed to achieve weight loss, may not meet nutrient needs.
This is because nutrient levels in foods are tied to an assumed average intake. Because a caloric deficit is needed to achieve weight loss, weight loss foods need to be fortified with nutrients so that when feeding fewer calories a dogs nutrient needs are met.
In this situation you are asking if feeding a presumed fortified with a non fortified food will meet the dogs needs. To answer that you’d need to know the nutrient levels of each food to calculate the levels in the resulting mix, factor in the amount being fed and then compare to needs.
To add to the puzzle is that the nutrients in the vitality formula to support senior health will be being fed at a lower level which may or may not affect outcome.
You said your dog weighs 83 lbs. How much of the vitality formula is she eating a day? What other calorie sources are consumed? Treats, Supplements, dental chews etc. In my experience, Hill’s feeding guidelines are well calculated and so if currently she is consuming an amount at the higher end of the feeding recommendations I’d simply cut back to the lower range and trim other sources. If however she is already consuming at the lower end of the Vitality feeding range, and you would need to feed less than the recommended amount of that diet to achieve weight loss I’d consider switching completely over to a weight loss formula
Finally, Hill’s has a vet support service and you can ask your vet to contact Hill’s, discuss your particular dog, and get customized feeding advice.crazy4catsParticipant
Thank you for your input. So, in other words, if you are mixing two foods, one food for senior benefits and the other for weight loss benefits, you might be diluting both and not getting the results you are hoping for from either. Makes sense. I think I need to make a change! 🙂aimeeParticipant
Hi Crazy4 Cats,
The best you can say is you have to look at the individual foods nutrient profiles and the resulting mix. There is so much “marketing spin” and no consistency across brands in regards to the profiles used for a “senior”food or a “weight loss” food.
What a senior needs is individual to that particular dog or cat. What a dog needs for weight loss is individual to that dog. I tend to not look at what the foods are being marketed as being, and instead look at the product’s nutrient profiles and match to the needs of my dog.
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