43- Transcript

Join me and my guest, Dr. Em from Vet Med Corner, for an informative episode on keeping your Doodle healthy and happy. Dr. Em shares science-based tips on assessing prescription dog food, maintaining a healthy weight, and other long-term solutions for optimal health. Plus, we cover the Top Ten questions about nourishing our Doodles, providing invaluable insights for keeping your furry friend fit, strong, and happy. Tune in to this paw-some episode, grab your pup, and put on your headphones for some doggone great advice!

“The ingredient list really has very little correlation to the quality of pet food … What really matters is the bioavailability and your pet’s ability to absorb into their bodies the nutrients that those ingredients are made up of.”

– Dr. Em

 Welcome to part two of my interview with  veterinarian and YouTube vet med corners. Dr. M. She's about to blow your mind turning topsy, turvy, everything you thought you knew about dog nutrition. Have you used the most popular dog nutrition advising site and thought it was reliable. Did you hear that things like corn or meat meal or bad for your dog? 

[00:00:26] Or have you looked for the protein to be the number one ingredient? On your dog's food? Well, come listen to one of our experts, Dr. M as she sheds light on what to really look for to keep your dog healthy. 

[00:00:40] Make sure to catch part one on episode 42 of the doodle pro podcast. And let's dive in, this is a fantastic episode. 

[00:00:48] Intro

[00:01:42] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Not everyone gets the opportunity that I'm having right now with Dr.

[00:01:45] M to be able to ask questions. and Doodle parents are very committed, yes, and invested in their dog's wellbeing and health, and it's overwhelming trying to navigate. How do I tell? the junk from the science. How do I tell what to look for? Yeah. So what is your advice when somebody doesn't get to just sit down with a veterinary nutritionist or with their vet?

[00:02:11] Where should they go for accurate information? . 

[00:02:14] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: That's a wonderful question. 

[00:02:17] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Doodle breed. Dogs are easy to love, but can be challenging to parent. I'm Doodle Expert Car Gearhart, also known as the Doodle Pro, and I'm here to help doodle parents have a more fulfilling and rewarding experience with their doodles. No one has professionally worked with as many different doodle breeds, or has more experience with doodles than I have, and I love to share my expertise in a fun, compassionate, and non-judgmental way.

[00:02:46] From my years of work and education in the pet care and dog training industry, I have an incredible network of skilled training. Grooming and veterinary professionals to share their knowledge with you and give you the doodle specific answers you are looking for. I hope you enjoyed today's episode as I help you parent your doodle like a pro.

[00:03:11] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: So one of my favorite resources to give to people is actually the Tufts blog. It's written by a veterinary nutritionist or maybe residents in veterinary nutrition. And so I think it's called Pet Food ology. I can try to send you an email with a link to it.

[00:03:29] I'll put it in 

[00:03:30] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: the show notes for our listen. 

[00:03:31] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: Yes. Awesome. Yes, because they have tons of excellent articles that are, blogs really, that are easy to read and that link to appropriate research studies when people want to do additional reading, and they go through a lot of their real common myths and misconceptions and really lay it out.

[00:03:52] Quite clearly, and it is from experts. So that is something that I recommend to people is that you're really careful about where you get your information from. If it's your veterinarian, a veterinarian nutritionist, someone with a PhD in animal nutrition, there are also veterinary technicians who can do specialized training in nutrition.

[00:04:14] They're pretty rare. Yes. If you can find one that's awesome, , but looking for people with actual expertise and. Being critical about where this information is coming from. And it should be like, the majority of the experts will agree on the majority of things. If you find a lone voice that's, Going against what the majority of the experts are, the likelihood of them being correct is just so incredibly low.

[00:04:45] We want to look at consensus statements from the bulk of the experts, and we would have the most confidence that will be most likely to be correct. In science you're never a hundred percent about everything. It's always. Yes. Yes. And changing, right? Yes. So we're just doing the best we can with the knowledge we have now.

[00:05:05] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: I learned from you something I found pretty shocking. lot of people, you're like, oh boy, 

[00:05:12] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: what? Now? 

[00:05:14] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: A lot of people rely, if they look for what's the best dog food, the first thing that comes up is a website, dog food advisor. Yes. And you shared. whether or not that site you trust it and why?

[00:05:30] And you blew my socks off here. . , do you mind sharing with our listeners 

[00:05:34] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: what, 

[00:05:35] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: what you learned and what you tell your followers and, clients. Yeah, 

[00:05:41] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: so that, that website was interesting. So it was actually founded by someone who used to be a dentist for people. And so they have zero dog cat animal nutrition expertise at all.

[00:05:58] None. Bananas. I know

[00:06:04] but they're good at marketing. . Yes. An 

[00:06:07] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: seo, yes. I. It WA wasn't like their company name related to search engine optimization or something, and 

[00:06:16] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: I'm sure, oh my gosh. . They were smart about it. And so really what is the current recommendation is to look at the WS a v a guidelines. Are you familiar with what WS a b A stands for or is that something you should share for you?

[00:06:34] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: The world. Small Animal Veterinary Association, correct? Yes. Did I pass the quiz? . Ok, good. 

[00:06:41] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: gold stars all around

[00:06:46] Yeah, so the Ws A b A was actually established in 2011, and so they. Took a group of people with expertise in pet nutrition. They also have groups looking at dental guidelines, body conditions, score guidelines, vaccine guidelines. everything, anything. They're really trying hard to set up like standards of care for all of these different industries so that we have something to use to help guide us when we're making these decisions. So they started in 2011. I think the actual guidelines came out in 2013 ish. And there are a few of them. And I rely on those when I'm looking to assess an individual pet food company. Cuz the Afco regulations are very, bare bones and they aren't at all sufficient for judging the quality of a company and their e.

[00:07:57] in putting out pet food. The Afco does not regulate test approve certified. They don't do any of those things. It's essentially this is the very, bare minimum you to trip over in order to sell something. Oh, that's what that CO is. Yeah. And so that leaves a lot of holes and issues that the W S A B A guidelines are attempting to start to address.

[00:08:28] And 

[00:08:28] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: when you mention the guidelines in the standards for the W S A V A there are a couple that you have pointed out that you found particularly important. Yes. Are there any that you'd like to highlight that you think, 

[00:08:43] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: how long do we have?

[00:08:50] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Just for a couple examples for our listen. 

[00:08:53] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: All right, sounds good. So I believe the total number of guidelines is nine. Okay. So we'll just skip through some of them. Yeah. So one of the very most important things is whether or not the company has hired someone who is a veterinary nutritionist and or has a PhD in animal nutrition, and that person is working.

[00:09:20] at least full-time, at least one person full-time, and that person is the one who's actually formulating. , the dog food formulas. Because you can just have anybody formulate bees, and as long as a computer calculation shows it's likely to be okay-ish, you can sell it according to afco. And so the W S A V A is saying that's not good enough.

[00:09:49] We want someone who actually has expertise formulating. These foods. And if a company doesn't have these people on staff, then it is unlikely that these diets are being formulated as well as we would want them to be when we feed them to our pets. You 

[00:10:09] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: shared something else about the rules about their facility.

[00:10:13] If it was a standalone or something that found interesting. Do you mind refreshing my memory on that? 

[00:10:17] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: Absolutely. Yeah. So we want the manufacturing plant. Be owned by the company because when it's not, when they use a food packer, they do not have enough control over the quality of the formulation that comes out of there.

[00:10:38] So we want the company to be testing the ingredients, but also to be testing the end product because the way that ingredients are used and cooked and ground or not ground. All of those things affect the ability of the animal to use those nutrients that make up the ingredient. And so if at the end product, if your animal's unable to use it, then it doesn't matter what it contains.

[00:11:12] We need to be certain that the animal is able to get the nutrients they need from that formula. Oh, 

[00:11:21] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: that's very interesting and something I wouldn't have thought of when I was assessing a manufacturer. You shared that a lot of kind of boutique brands or brands that you don't love that they use ingredient lists.

[00:11:38] Yes. We could be easily misled when it says something like, make sure it's meat first. Yes. Can you explain a little bit about that? 

[00:11:46] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: Yeah, it's a very, I think you were talking about like meat meal versus just meat in air quotes. Yeah. So that is something that drives me a little bit bonkers because the ingredient list on a pet food goes in order of weight.

[00:12:04] And so what some manufacturers will do to be a little. Tricky. I don't know of a better way to describe that, to be a bit misleading, okay. Is they will leave the water content, say in chicken. It's a very cheap and available protein source here in North America. It's used a lot in pet foods and it's a great source of nutrition for our animals.

[00:12:29] They will leave the water content in the chicken when it's being weigh. So that it goes first in the ingredient list, but once it's actually processed and the water content is removed, chicken is like 80 ish percent, 70 to 80% water. Oh, wow. So once you take that water out, you actually have. a lot less of the protein, amino acids that the animal needs.

[00:12:58] So when you have a meal on an ingredient list, all that means is that it's the chicken with the water already removed. . 

[00:13:07] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: It sounds junkier, right? Like it sounds like not the level grade that you'd want for the best for your pet when you see the meal part, 

[00:13:15] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: right? Yeah. People think that, but it has nothing to do with the quality of the ingredient.

[00:13:21] It simply has to do with the amount of water content that's in it. So if you're looking at nutrition density chicken meal will have. Nutrients per gram than just chicken with all the water that makes up the bulk of that weight. That is 

[00:13:39] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: fascinating. Thank you. Yeah. also kinda talk about, just because of what in the ingredient list.

[00:13:50] doesn't equate to what's being absorbed 

[00:13:53] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: Yes. By your dog. Yes. So something that I say all the time and that I'm sure my staff is tired of hearing you say, , is that the ingredient list? It really has very little correlation to quality of the pet food. We, and this is a huge myth, that pet owners, they rely on that ingredient list.

[00:14:15] Yes. I 

[00:14:15] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: mean we, work with what information we could find. and it's what's right there. Yeah, 

[00:14:20] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: exactly. But what actually matters is the so the animal's ability to absorb into their body. The nutrients that those ingredients are made up of. So something that's a very common thing that people will get upset about is if they see something like corn in an ingredient list.

[00:14:42] Now whole corn humans know this. You don't absorb it. Yes, it comes right up , but if you grind it up, . All of a sudden that corn and the nutrients in it become bioavailable and the dog can absorb what they need from that corn, and we can use, there's fatty acids in there. There's some amino acids that nicely complement some of the things that are missing from other meat protein sources.

[00:15:18] Then it can be used and the animal can get nutrition. . So that's why the way that the ingredients are handled and processed matters so very much. And actually proving with bioavailability testing, which means that there's people who are going through dog poop. Wow. Figuring out what nutrients are left in it.

[00:15:44] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: things are breaking that down for us. Dr. . 

[00:15:47] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: I'm so glad. That's not my job. . 

[00:15:51] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: We all have to scoop it and it up at some point, but yes, it's next level. 

[00:15:57] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: These, companies are taking what was in, what went in the front end of the dog. And comparing it to what comes out in the waste to prove the bioavailability of what the animal's actually.

[00:16:10] That's fascinating. That's 

[00:16:11] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: huge. , it's a big deal. And yeah, so it's like when we're told if you take vitamins that aren't necessary for you, you just pee it out that they're doing similar. So yeah. Is everyone doing that testing? No. 

[00:16:26] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: On their food? Okay. No, because this is expensive. . No. And so not everybody.

[00:16:35] And a lot of companies will take their money and spend it on advertising or on bashing other companies and or bashing veterinarians. And they are not doing the research and publishing peer reviewed studies, and they're not testing bioavailability in a way that I would want them to if I'm going to be feeding that to my pets.

[00:17:04] Yeah. 

[00:17:04] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: I get a lot of clients that are sent to me with human grade, like fresh food, frozen, and so when you hear that dog food is human grade, that sounds like we're giving our best, right? Sure. What does that mean to you as a vet? 

[00:17:23] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: Nothing. Yeah. There , it means not it's a marketing term that's used to like tug at the heartstrings of people.

[00:17:36] But it doesn't. Have any influence on how bioavailable the micronutrients are to the dog? How humans absorb food and what we need is very different from what dogs need. Yeah. And our taste perceptions and our, how we associate food with love and family and all of those things is very different from what a dog needs and how they interact. their nutrition. So just because something is good for people in no way means that it's anything to the dog. And it I it could be good, it could be neutral, it could be bad, right? Yeah. And yeah, so human grade, . I just, when I see that, I go, ah, they're using marketing techniques that annoy me, , it makes me less likely to buy from that company cause it's such a scam.

[00:18:33] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: we have with the poodle side, which can be override if it's a LabraDoodle, sometimes it overrides that lab side where they're never. And instead they have a very discerning palate. , I remember my late standard poodle would vomit bile before on an empty stomach before eating something that she found on appetizing.

[00:18:58] So a lot of people are looking for the food that their dog will eat and they'll get caught in the Doodle trap. Oh, you didn't eat it like this. Let me add a little bit more. Let me add a little bit more. So what do you advise your clients when they've found the food that meets the nutritional needs of their Doodle?

[00:19:21] And then they say, but my dog won't eat it. , 

[00:19:23] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: right? Yeah. So thankfully we have a few companies that do meet Wsav eight guidelines, and I would never, ever say to anybody that there's one food to rule them all. If you're Yeahs fan at all. , yes. . I'm such a geek. Okay, . But that's just not true. What I might feed to my.

[00:19:49] May not work well for your dog. And so we consider things like age and body condition, score and size and medical history. And we also look at calorie density of the different formulas. So if you do have a dog that. Tends to be a bit more of a nibbler. Instead of a vacuum inhaler, you might look for a formula that's higher calorie density so that your dog can eat fewer cups.

[00:20:20] But get all the nutrition they need where my dog will. Eat any and everything. She is a Labrador. And there you go. Oh boy, the whole girl. Find the bag.

[00:20:35] So I look for boots that are lower in calorie density because I need to be able to feed her more volume to try to get satiated. , yeah. To help her with the sat satiation and to keep her a bit busier because I, a lot of her food goes in food puzzles for her. And that is something dogs are for the most part fans of working for their food.

[00:21:01] Yeah. And so you can. Shape dogs to work for their kibble in training sessions in food puzzles, in things like topples and Kongs. And that enrichment can also help them to eat. I use that all 

[00:21:17] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: the time. I use it with my own. In fact, I've tested it. My, I have a cav aoo cavalier and poodle mix that I will even set the food bowl down that I use to fill the puzzle next to.

[00:21:32] and the stuff in the bowl is like dead to him. Yeah. That is boring. But the value of the food that he gets out of the puzzle, same exact food, yes. Is raised so much more because he is enriched while he is getting it. Exactly. 

[00:21:46] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: Yes. and that's key. It's, a big deal. And it also helps. With the sat satiation cuz it slows them down.

[00:21:55] And it, just gives them something to do as well. It's great for their brains and even for dogs that have cognitive dysfunction, improving enrichment can help to reduce their cognitive dysfunction symptoms and so isolating. Yes. Yeah. . Yes. Is that 

[00:22:13] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: like my grandma doing Sudoku? Yes. , yes.

[00:22:20] Oh, that's so interesting. Yeah. Oh, that's fascinating. One of the things that Doodle parents will try is, using some raw food to make the kibble more enticing. So there's some that are sprinkles or patties. Or they'll do just the full patty as their standalone. What do you recommend with your clients 

[00:22:45] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: with those?

[00:22:46] Yeah. So are you wanting to dive into like toppers 

[00:22:51] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: or are you more Yeah, more toppers as opposed to all raw feeding? That's a, that would be a whole nother episode. I'm 

[00:22:56] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: sure. You might have to help me back

[00:23:02] So we're on the topper side. . Absolutely. Yeah. So when we are feeding at least 90% of the daily caloric intake must be from Canon kibble that meets W S A V A guidelines. you go over 10% treats, toppers, all of the rest, you are unbalancing their diet. And over time that will cause problems. And now this is something that most people don't.

[00:23:32] No, I didn't know this. No, it's it, and it that blows my mind. But yes, most people, sorry. No . 

[00:23:38] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: That's why I have experts , just like you can't build the medicine and the machines, I can't know, 

[00:23:47] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: remind myself, but like it's. What you're saying is the experience of most people that I talk to, they have no idea, right?

[00:23:56] And so over time, that unbalance unbalancing of the nutrition will cause problems. So we need to be very careful about this and actually calculating what your dog eats, chloric wise per day, and making sure you're staying under 10% of. Clark intake is something that every person who has a Doodle should be doing, and I can also get you an excellent dog food Clark needs calculator.

[00:24:27] Awesome. Yeah, I'll make sure to send that to you because. I don't know if I have the link super handy at the minute. That's okay. You 

[00:24:36] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: can send it to me and I can add it to the show notes for them 

[00:24:38] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: to replace. Okay, perfect. Then I'll do that. Yeah, because it looks at, are they spayed, neutered what's their weight what's their body condition score?

[00:24:48] Should they be losing a bit of weight? Cause a lot of our pets are overweight and or obese. And that's like a whole nother topic too. And then it will give you, this is how many calories your. should be eating per day, which means this many food calories and this many treats, toppers, et cetera, calories.

[00:25:07] So it just breaks it down for people. Real nice. And 

[00:25:10] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: I knew the calculation. It's so funny, I knew the calculation for how much of their diet treats versus like their real food. But I didn't think of it. In terms of the toppers. Yeah. So that's so interesting and 

[00:25:26] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: enlightening. Yeah. So for a lot of the Kongs and topples and things that I make for my dog, I will use canned and I'll either put kibble through it or I'll even use some water with the canned.

[00:25:41] Yeah. You. Depending on, like my dog needs that low calorie density, right? So I'm looking for ways to make the calories last longer. You might be doing the opposite. You.

[00:26:02] Oh, man. Yeah. So then you can use canned food and kibble or kibble in water. . A mix of all of the above. And then just make sure that you're keeping in that treat chloric limit with everything else that you're adding. So like a lot of people will use very calorie dense things like peanut butter.

[00:26:24] Yes. And those quickly go over your daily calories that you should be using for treats. And then if you're also doing treats for training sessions and treats on walks, yeah. You, gotta watch where all those treats go. And I think. because so many people are using too many treat calories. That's a lot of the reason for why so many dogs are overweight.

[00:26:47] Is because they're getting their daily caloric needs. in kibble and canned food, but then they're also getting 30% more in treats on top of 

[00:26:55] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: it, or? Yeah. I was just talking to one of my clients, she has a, little 11 pound Havanese. And I was like, she was eight pounds. Which was probably on the underside for her, but I was like, she started to be a bit of a tank When it's your, it's like my own kids.

[00:27:14] Somebody will point out that my human child oh, they've grown. I'm like, they have, cuz I see them 

[00:27:19] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: every day. . When you live with them every day, you don't see it, right? No, I don't 

[00:27:23] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: see it. But when I get to see her pup once or twice a week and I lift her up, I'm like, oh, she's a little tin. And she, and he discovered that it was her.

[00:27:31] She worked with her vet trying to figure it out cuz she was like, I don't add anything to her diet. Like I follow. all the guidelines and it was the dental chews. Yeah. She was following the guidelines on the bag of the dental chews. The 

[00:27:45] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: greenies. Yep. They're so high in calories. Greenies are a huge culprit.

[00:27:50] Oh, but thing 

[00:27:52] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: It sounds like a salad.

[00:27:56] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: Which is why I'm not a vet

[00:28:00] Oh, that's so funny. . 

[00:28:03] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: But she cut out the greenies and did a half a day, whatever the vet headed vice and. Beautiful little Beatrice to slim down to her fighting weight. . 

[00:28:15] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: Wonderful. I don't have a small dog, but I do have a cat. And for him it's 250 calories per day. He's small. Yeah. Which means he gets.

[00:28:26] 25, treat and topper calories. That's it. Wow. And so then when you think about, okay, what's a cube of cheese, right? Like that would be all of his daily treat calories. Yeah. Now with my. 32 kilo Labrador. I have a bit more leeway, but yeah, you like those small calories add up so fast. 

[00:28:50] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: So fast. And I know both you and I practice positive reinforcement and force free training methods.

[00:28:58] So for me, I'm not hearing not to use food. In training, but I'm going to be planning, maybe the whole breakfast isn't free, maybe not all of dinner is free, but maybe I'm using some of that kibble purposefully throughout the day raising the value of the nutritious food and I can mix it in. 

[00:29:21] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: Absolutely.

[00:29:22] Okay. . Absolutely. Each individual will need to problem solve it a little bit. For their own needs. But like for me, I have, I weigh out the portion cuz weighing is far more accurate than measuring. Measuring is incredibly inaccurate. And so I weigh out the, say the breakfast portion and I have that in my bait bag.

[00:29:46] And then on our morning hike that we always go on, then she gets a lot of it, whatever's left over, she gets in food puzzles through the day. Yeah. And then if there's something, say a rabbit jumps out in front of us and takes off, and my field Labrador thinks that is the best thing in the entire.

[00:30:06] kibble is not enough there. So it's in that situation where I break out a higher value treat. But for the behaviors that she is fluent in and that she knows well already. Yes. I use kibble to reinforce the bulk of those, and then I'm reserving my higher value treats. The situations where kibble just isn't enough.

[00:30:30] And you can also cut down your treats a lot smaller Yes. Than a lot of people do. , 

[00:30:35] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: the size of a Cheerio is my role. Yes. And people are like, what? But think of how much more you can deliver. How many more reps? You get? Yep, Versus that big chunk of almost no treats come in the size that I want Exactly.

[00:30:50] To 

[00:30:50] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: be delivering them in. Yeah. I cut them down real small. I have a cutting board that's from Yes, dog treats, . 

[00:30:58] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: I've made that mistake as my husband's the cook, and he was like, what are you cutting at our cutting board? So that became my cutting 

[00:31:05] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: board , just like how you should have an animal thermometer and a human thermometer.

[00:31:11] Yeah. True. Vet moment there. . So 

[00:31:18] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: you mentioned using the, weighing and then the calculator. So if someone's trying to see how much do I feed my dog? And they're looking at the back of the. , they found a very nutritious food that has great standards. What do you tell your clients about how to tell how much they should 

[00:31:37] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: be feeding?

[00:31:38] Yeah. So the back of the bag will have a recommendation. It legally has to now that is an average starting point. So if you're blending over to something different, you blend over to what is the recommended. From the back of the bag. But if you notice after two weeks, you should be checking your dog's weight and their body condition score.

[00:32:03] If they are gaining weight and or their body condition score is going up, then you need to be decreasing the amount that you're feeding them until you find what works for your individual dog. And even like with my dog in the summer or when she was in. Classes. She needed more calories Yeah. Than she did after her elbow surgery that she had a few months ago.

[00:32:24] There are going to be things that are going to change it. And so you're I try at least once a month to weigh her at work, my own dog to see. Oh, spoiled that you've got 

[00:32:34] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: one of those for your lab. 

[00:32:35] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: Yeah. But you can check body condition score at home or if, 

[00:32:39] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: can you define that for our listeners who haven't heard of, oh.

[00:32:43] Of that 

[00:32:43] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: term before. That's a very good point. Absolutely. So the most commonly used body condition score is a nine point scale. And so we want our dogs to be between a four and a five out of nine. And so how we define that is that when they are standing pretty square and you run your hands over their ribs, that you can feel the.

[00:33:04] Quite easily. There should not be much padding , if you will, over those ribs at all. And when you look at them from the top, they should have a visible waste. And when you look at them from the side, they should have a visible tucked their abdomens that their abdomen tucks up a lot higher than their ribcage.

[00:33:22] Now the specifics of like how much of a waste and how much. An abdominal tuck they have will vary from breed to breed a bit. Like my Labrador has a lot less of a tuck than a greyhound, right? Yeah. So we will have to go from speed from breed to breed, a little bit changes, but yeah, those kind of general parameters describe a four to a 5 0 9 if you have a dog that is.

[00:33:50] A seven or an eight or a nine out of nine, having them try to lose weight on an overthe counter formula is likely not advised. Interesting. Yeah. Yeah, because they will the over-the-counter formulas don't support metabolism well enough, and they don't preserve muscle mass while helping them to lose fat well enough, and they don't support the satiety as well.

[00:34:21] So when we have those really overweight to obese dogs, there are prescription weight loss formulas to help, to support them to lose weight health. . 

[00:34:31] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: Oh, so it's not like you're getting a Jenny Craig and it's just , . I'm leaving so many brands here. I'm gonna put myself in such trouble, but , it's not cause it's prepackaged or labeled for it.

[00:34:46] But I never would've thought about the muscle mass loss. Yes, the safety makes sense, but I wouldn't have thought about 

[00:34:53] Dr. Em- Vet Med Corner: that part. Yeah. So the prescription weight loss formulas help to maintain muscle mass while helping them to lose fat. Yeah, and the other problem is that if you are not feeding at least 75% of the bag recommendation, then you are not getting enough of the micronutrients, the vitamins, and mineral.

[00:35:12] Yes. So with a lot of the over-the-counter formulas, in order to get the dog to lose weight, you have to feed them too little of how that food is formulated to be fed. So then you're going to end up not getting enough vitamins and minerals into your dog. Yeah. While you're trying to reduce the calories.

[00:35:30] Yeah. 

[00:35:31] Corinne Gearhart- The Doodle Pro™: That's fascinating. 

[00:35:33] I. I could talk to you for hours, Thank you.

[00:35:36] Thanks for joining me on this episode of the Doodle Pro Podcast. If you enjoyed the show, don't forget to rate and review us wherever you get your podcasts. And I invite you to follow me on Instagram at the Doodle Pro for behind the scenes peaks at all of the adorable doodles I work with daily.

Listen to Pt 1 of our interview here.





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corinne the doodle pro

oh hey there!

I’m Corinne, The Doodle Pro™


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