Here are some suggestions for increasing calories that have been used for ME dogs:
IMPORTANT: Always discuss what you want to try with your veterinarian prior to giving to your dog.
1. Boost Plus Calories – 360 calories for a mere 237ml! Though, honey at 60 calories/tablespoon is an easy way to add a couple of hundred calories a day.
2. Using coconut milk, instead of water, added to food, can also add calories.1 cup canned coconut milk contains 445 calories
NOTE: Most Megaesophagus dogs seem to have a hard time w/ high fat diets (fat stays in the stomach for a long time, increasing the possibility of regurgitation) so, increasing calories w/ high fat diets (like A/D or Maximum Calorie) may actually increase frequency of regurgitation.
3. Raw oat bran is often added to food in the blender for adding calories. It is nutritionally better than the oatmeal.
4. Can make bread crumbs out of dry dog food and use that too. I used regular bread crumbs for my renal girl to make meatballs out of the hill`s k/d…..added a mashed sweet potato and an egg and a piece of white bread and micro waved them for a minute to cook the egg and she loved them….only thing she would eat. We called it the k/d meatloaf.
5. Our vet at the University of FL told us to include more carbs in the meal: pasta or mashed potato flakes. Some on the list have had problems with potato flakes, so you will have to give them a trial.
6. I actually cooked up pasta at every meal for about a month. Also included scrambled eggs (which I guess you could put in the blender). We add Nutrical [note from Dr. Kathy – too large of a volume is needed, for this to be touted as very helpful for weight gain], canned pumpkin and honey to Olivia’s canned food also. For the past month, I also added about 1/3 canned puppy food which has more fat than adult food. (Some mega-e dogs cannot tolerate fat so that, too, would have to be a test). Other suggestions include baby food or baby cereal.
7. Princess Leia has been steadily gaining weight on Wellness venison moist food which is what I used to make the meatballs. It is not cheap but Leia is a newfi so we have to feed her more. She has gained over 20 pounds since March when she was in the battle for her life with MG. I used the sweet potato and fish as well but her breath was so fishy and the house smelled fishy..When she was really sick and regurging all the time I added oat bran as well and canned pumpkin if her stool got too soft from the Mestinon or whatever meds she was on at the time. The food makes great meatballs easily.
8. We switched Bentley to California Natural chicken & rice canned food when his original food became unavailable. To our delight, he gained weight! You may want to look at the nutrition information on the Natura website, and compare the info for the California Natural chicken & rice with Banner’s current food.
NOTE: As an aside, the California Natural also blends easily, better than Bentley’s previous food, which means I can prepare his meals faster–a nice bonus!
9. STAT is a high calorie nutritional supplement that is available online. It is not balanced, by itself, but can be used as part of the feeding regimen.
10. For the better part of our journey, meatballs (of various concoctions) worked. But the thought of getting the equivalent of (4) 13 oz cans of dog food in a chocolate lab everyday was tough for working folk. We found a dry food by the Abady Company that is granulated.. ..right out of the box it looks like potting soil. We chose a fairly high quality, wetter than most, canned food (Evolve) and mixed each can with a half cup or so of the Abady maintenance and stress. We were able to add enough calories that we only had to feed 2-2 1/2 cans per day. It worked very well for us for quite a while.
11. Adding protein from the health food store, meant for weight builders, has also been used by some.
12. Sweet potato/ white potato mixture, oatmeal (baby- or puree the heck out of the other kind) along with the good coconut milk will help for weight. Sweet potato works as well as pumpkin as a diarrhea/constipation preventative.