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High Calorie Dog Food and Whole Prey Diets

High Calorie Dog Food and Whole Prey Diets
High Calorie Dog Food and Whole Prey Diets

In the diverse world of canine nutrition, the choice between high and low calorie diets often hinges on the specific health needs and lifestyle of individual dogs. This article looks at the specifics of high calorie dog food, exploring why certain dogs might benefit from a higher calorie intake, such as active breeds, working dogs, or those recovering from illness. Conversely, we also touch upon why some dogs might require a lower calorie diet. The emphasis here is on a Whole Prey approach, ensuring that whether high or low in calories, the diet remains rich in essential nutrients and biologically appropriate for our canine companions

What Constitutes High Calorie Dog Food?

Understanding what qualifies as high calorie dog food is crucial for catering to the specific needs of different dogs. This category of dog food is characterized by its calorie density – the number of calories per gram of food. Here’s a breakdown to clarify:

  • Average Calorie Counts: Regular dog foods typically range from 300 to 400 calories per cup.
  • High Calorie Foods: Foods considered high in calories usually contain over 400 calories per cup.
  • Key Nutrients: In addition to higher calorie content, these foods pack in more protein and healthy fats. For example, a high calorie dog food might contain:
    • Over 30% protein content, compared to the 20-25% in typical dog foods.
    • Increased levels of healthy fats like Omega-3s, often more than 20%.
  • Essential Nutrients: Alongside, they are fortified with essential nutrients like folic acid and potassium chloride.

This composition makes high calorie dog food especially suitable for active breeds, growing puppies, and dogs with higher energy requirements or those under recovery.

The Role of High Calorie Foods in a Dog's Diet

For adult dogs needing to gain weight or highly active working dogs, high calorie foods can offer the additional energy they require. Ingredients like real chicken, beef liver, beef heart, beef blood, chicken meal, and chicken fat are commonly used in these diets to provide more protein and essential fats.

High Quality Dog Food vs. Low Quality Foods

The disparity between high quality and low quality dog foods is significant, particularly when evaluating their nutritional value and ingredient composition. Here's a detailed comparison to illustrate the differences:

    • First Ingredient – A Marker of Quality:
      • High Quality Dog Food: Typically lists real meat like chicken, beef, or fish as the first ingredient. This indicates a higher protein content, crucial for a dog's muscle development and overall health.
      • Low Quality Dog Foods: Often use fillers such as corn, wheat, or meat by-products as the first ingredient. These are less nutritious and used to bulk up the food.
    • Nutritional Content and Caloric Density:
      • High Quality Dog Food: Contains balanced proportions of protein (often above 25%), healthy fats, and essential vitamins and minerals. They ensure each calorie provides maximum nutritional benefit.
      • Low Quality Dog Foods: May have high caloric content but lack the balance of essential nutrients. The calories primarily come from non-nutritive sources, contributing to weight gain without health benefits.
    • Presence of Additives and Artificial Ingredients:
      • High Quality Dog Food: Minimizes the use of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Focuses on natural and whole-food ingredients.
      • Low Quality Dog Foods: More likely to contain artificial additives, which can be harmful to a dog's health in the long run.
    • Source of Ingredients: High quality dog foods often

Benefits of a High Calorie Diet for Specific Dogs

High calorie diets can be particularly beneficial for certain life stages or conditions. Growing puppies, senior dogs, and dogs recovering from health issues may require a diet with more calories and protein to build lean muscle and support their immune system.

For dogs at risk of heart disease or dental problems, choosing the right high calorie food becomes even more important. Options like grain-free formulas or those enriched with zinc proteinate and manganese proteinate can offer tailored nutrition to address these health concerns.

Choosing the Best Foods for Weight Gain and Overall Health

When selecting the best food for your dog, especially if they are a picky eater or need extra calories, it’s essential to consider their overall health and ideal weight. Foods rich in high quality ingredients like real chicken, fish oil, and organ meats can contribute to a balanced diet that supports weight gain without compromising on nutrition.

  • Beef: High in protein and essential amino acids; supports muscle growth and energy needs.
  • Whole Fish: Rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids; great for skin, coat health, and joint mobility.
  • Liver: Packed with vitamin A, iron, and essential B vitamins; crucial for metabolic function and organ health.
  • Heart: Excellent source of CoQ10 and B vitamins; supports cardiovascular health.
  • Kidney: Rich in selenium and B vitamins; aids in detoxification processes and kidney function.
  • Mussels: Loaded with glucosamine and chondroitin; beneficial for joint health and reducing inflammation.
  • Chicken: High in lean protein; essential for muscle development and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Beef Blood: Contains minerals like iron and protein; helps in oxygen transport and overall vitality.

whole prey dog treats whole beast beef liver heart kidney for health and longevity

Whole Prey Diet: The Path to Overall Health for Dogs

Embracing a whole prey diet for dogs is about offering meals that mimic what their ancestors would naturally consume. This approach ensures a well-balanced intake of all essential nutrients, fostering overall health and vitality. Here are three whole prey meal examples tailored for small, medium, and large dogs, highlighting their nutritional content:

Small Dogs: Quail-Based Meal

  • Ingredients: Whole quail, including bones and organs.
  • Nutrient Content: High in lean protein for muscle maintenance, calcium and phosphorus from bones for strong teeth and bones, and B vitamins for energy metabolism.

Medium Dogs: Chicken and Rabbit Combo

  • Ingredients: A mixture of chicken, including liver and heart, and rabbit meat.
  • Nutrient Content: Rich in protein for muscle health, iron for blood health from liver, and essential fatty acids from chicken for skin and coat health.

Large Dogs: Beef and Venison Blend

  • Ingredients: A hearty blend of beef (including kidney and beef blood) and venison meat.
  • Nutrient Content: Abundant in high-quality protein for muscle upkeep, kidney for detoxification support, and iron-rich beef blood for vitality and energy.

These whole prey meals provide a comprehensive diet for dogs of different sizes, ensuring they receive a balanced spectrum of nutrients necessary for their health and well-being.

High Protein Content in High Calorie Dog Foods: The 'Whole Beast' Advantage

When it comes to a high calorie diet for dogs, the importance of high protein content cannot be overstated. 'Heart of the Canine' takes this seriously, particularly with our flagship product, 'Whole Beast'. This unique blend not only provides the necessary high calories but does so with a diverse range of proteins, ensuring your dog benefits from a balanced and nutrient-rich diet. Let's delve into the specifics of 'Whole Beast's' ingredients and their nutrient profiles:

Beef: As a staple ingredient, beef provides high-quality protein crucial for building and maintaining lean muscle mass. It’s also a great source of essential vitamins and minerals that support overall health and vitality in dogs.

Liver: Rich in Vitamin A and essential B vitamins, liver is vital for maintaining healthy vision and supporting metabolic processes. It's also high in iron, which is crucial for healthy blood and immune function.

Heart: Heart meat is not only a lean protein but also rich in taurine, an amino acid essential for cardiovascular health. Additionally, it's a good source of Coenzyme Q10, supporting muscle health and energy production.

Kidney: Kidney meat is high in protein and offers a unique blend of nutrients, including selenium and B vitamins, which are key for kidney health and overall detoxification processes in the body.

Bone Broth: A natural source of collagen, bone broth in 'Whole Beast' contributes to joint health and gut integrity. It also provides a range of minerals that support bone health and aid in nutrient absorption.

Beef Blood: Often overlooked, beef blood is an excellent source of protein and iron, playing a crucial role in maintaining healthy blood cells and overall vitality.

By choosing 'Whole Beast' from 'Heart of the Canine', you’re not just opting for a high calorie, high protein food for your dog; you’re selecting a product crafted with quality, care, and a deep understanding of canine nutritional needs. Each ingredient is selected for its nutritional profile, ensuring that your dog not only gains the necessary calories but does so through a diet that supports their health and longevity.


Feeding Guidelines for High Calorie Dog Foods

When introducing high calorie dog foods into your pet's diet, careful monitoring and adjustment are key to ensure optimal health benefits:

Determining Caloric Needs:

  • Small Dogs (up to 20 lbs): Typically require between 30 to 40 calories per pound of body weight per day.
  • Medium Dogs (21 to 50 lbs): Need about 25 to 30 calories per pound daily.
  • Large Dogs (over 50 lbs): Generally need 20 to 25 calories per pound of body weight each day.

Adjusting Portions:

  • Begin by calculating your dog's daily caloric needs based on their current weight.
  • For active and working dogs, consider increasing the calorie count by 10-20%.
  • For dogs prone to weight gain or less active, reduce the calorie count by 10-20%.

Monitoring Progress:

  • Regularly weigh your dog and adjust the food quantity to prevent overfeeding or underfeeding.
  • Observe your dog’s energy levels, coat health, and overall wellbeing as indicators of a suitable diet.

Balancing the Diet:

  • Ensure the high calorie food is balanced with appropriate levels of protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
  • Consider incorporating whole prey options that provide a diverse range of nutrients.

Veterinary Consultation:

  • Regular check-ups with a vet are essential, especially when making significant changes to your dog’s diet.
  • Discuss any concerns about your dog’s weight, eating habits, or health to tailor the diet appropriately.

By following these guidelines, you can effectively manage your dog’s intake of high calorie dog food, ensuring they receive the energy they need while maintaining a healthy weight and overall condition.


In conclusion, high calorie dog food can be an integral part of a dog's diet, whether for weight gain, weight loss, or maintenance. Choosing the right food, rich in high quality ingredients like real chicken, fish oil, and essential vitamins, and following appropriate feeding guidelines, can ensure that your dog maintains a healthy weight and overall well-being.

FAQ for "High Calorie Dog Food" Blog Post

Q1: How does high calorie dog food support weight gain in underweight dogs?
A1: High calorie dog food is formulated with more calories per cup, often enhanced with chicken meal and chicken fat, to help underweight dogs gain weight effectively. It provides concentrated energy for healthy weight gain.

Q2: Can high calorie dog food be used for weight loss in dogs?
A2: Yes, for dogs losing weight due to health issues or decreased appetite, a high calorie diet can help maintain or regain weight. Consult a veterinarian for a specific formula based on the dog's activity level, age, and breed.

Q3: What are the key ingredients to look for in high calorie dog food for puppies?
A3: Look for high calorie foods with balanced protein, fat, and carbohydrates for puppies. Ingredients like white fish meal, rice, and riboflavin supplement are essential. Choose formulas that are easy on the stomach to avoid digestive distress.

Q4: How can I ensure my dog doesn't gain too much weight on a high calorie diet?
A4: Monitor your dog’s weight and feeding. Adjust portions based on activity level, age, and breed. High calorie foods are energy-dense, so manage portions carefully. Regular vet check-ups can help adjust the diet to maintain a healthy weight.

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