HYPOCALORIC PRODUCTS: PRACTICAL RATIONING
Within the Canistar/Felistar range, it exists two products to help owner’s of obese animals to make them loose weight: S1 for dogs and et S9 for cats. Both products are low-fat and high-fiber diets, in order to reduce the energy consumption.
- S1 contains 2990 kcal/kg, that is to say about 25 % less than Medium Adult1.
- S9 contains 3120 kcal/kg, that is to say about 20 % less than Fit 32.
Despite this drop in energetic density, simply substituting the usual diet for S1 or S9 is not enough to initiate a weight loss. The food consumption also has to be dramatically restricted, otherwise the animal’s bodyweight does not change much. Actually, compared to a normal animal, an obese one tends to have lower energetic expenses: his physical activity is generally reduced, so as his basal metabolism. This is why you can often hear owners saying: “ I assure you Doctor, he does not eat much !”.
Calculation of an hypocaloric food ration
To be successful, a low-energy diet has to be strictly limited: the daily ration should provide only 60 % of the maintenance energy requirement, calculated upon the ideal bodyweight to reach.
1st example: a 35 kg Labrador bitch; targeted bodyweight: 30 kg
- Theoritical Maintenance Energy Requirement for 30 kg : MER = 132 PV0,75 kcal
MER = 132 (30) 0,75
MER = 1692 kcal
- Maintenance Energy Requirement limited to 60 %: 0,60 x 1692 = 1015 kcal
- Energetic density of S1 : 2990 kcal/kg
Daily amount of S1 : 1015 / 2990 = 340 g.
2nd example: a 6 kg neutered cat; targeted bodyweight : 4 kg
- Theoritical Maintenance Energy Requirement for 4 kg : MER = 4 x 40 kcal/kg
MER = 160 kcal
- Maintenance Energy Requirement limited to 60 %: 0,60 x 160 = 100 kcal
- Energetic density of S9 : 3120 kcal/kg
Daily amount of S9: 100 / 3120 = 30 g.
Such restricted diets allow to get an average of 1 % weight loss per week, that is to say about 5 % per month. For a dog that must loose 4 to 5 kg, the slimming period will lay over 12 - 15 weeks.
To avoid overfeeding his animal, the owner must measure precisely what he feeds everyday. To help him, Royal Canin offers measuring cups. These cups are helpful to avoid rationing mistakes, providing that they are properly used. As the surface of the product is not regular, the highest kibble must correspond to the line of the targeted ration. If one takes care not to go over this line, experimental measures have shown that the margin of error compared to the real weight, stays below 10 g. For owners that would like to get more precision, they would better use special scales !
During the slimming period, it is advised to split the daily ration in two meals per day. The dinners presentation of S1 presents 2 specific advantages :
- it increases the palatability,
- thanks to the water dilution, the volume of ration is increased, but not the energy intake.
Concerning the cats, it is very important to check that the hypocaloric diet is well consumed. An obese cat that would suddenly stop eating would have some chance to suffer from hepatic lipidosis, which is a very serious disease.
A veterinarian follow-up of the slimming period is very important, to objectivize the results, and to control the eventual evolution of obesity-related diseases, like diabetes.
Once the bodyweight goal is reached, the owner will have to stay very careful. An animal that has been obese always keeps a tendency to store fat in his adipose tissue. Any food excess will be able to make him gain weight again, especially if the diet is rich in fat. Following the hypocaloric diet, a soft transition should be done towards a maintenance diet that does not contain much energy (ex: Premium Light for a dog, Slim 37 for a cat). The bodyweight evolution will be still controlled, in order to be able to modify quickly the daily ration.
Donated by the Borg Cardona and Co. Ltd. visit Borg Cardona website