Locating Information on Pet Metabolic Needs

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Today we continue our series of reader questions answered by Dr. Tiffany Bierer

Where could I get reliable, and credible information on the metabolic needs for cats and dogs? Such as grams per kg of body weight of the energy nutrients, and essential nutrients for their optimal health?

Dr. Bierer: That is a great question!  The key to making sure you keep your dog at a healthy weight is to feed them the right amount of food.  Feeding guidelines on the dog food label will give you an estimate of how much food you should be feeding your dog daily but you have to take into account that a dog’s individual needs may vary.
So monitor your dog’s weight and body condition.  Your veterinarian can help you do this.  When you run your hands across your dog’s back and ribs, you should be able to feel the spine and ribs with a small amount of pressure.  If they are very prominent, your dog may be too thin.  If you can’t feel them easily, your dog may be overweight.  Adjust the amount of food you feed to keep your dog at the proper body condition.
Visit the following websites for more information on assessing your pet’s body condition and the WALTHAM S.H.A.P.E. guide for body condition:

Dr. Tiffany Bierer is the health and nutrition sciences manager for Mars Petcare US, makers of PEDIGREE® Food for Dogs, CESAR® Brand, WHISKAS® Food for Cats, THE GOODLIFE RECIPE® Brand, TEMPTATIONS® Treats for Cats and CRAVE® Treats for Cats.

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is an award-winning author of over 30 pet and travel books. Along with her husband, John Bigley, Paris is the founder and publisher of CatTipper and DogTipper.