Chicken pot pie is a classic dish that would tempt any dog, not to mention any human. Let's compare some nutritional values of a popular people version (a 7-ounce frozen pie) with an equal amount of the same flavor of high-end wet dog food (half of a 12.5-ounce can).
The frozen pie provides 192 calories, the dog food 206. According to the National Academy of Sciences, a normal, healthy adult dog weighing about 30 pounds needs about 700 calories a day, depending on his age and activity level. The dog could satisfy his caloric needs with just less than 4 servings per day of the frozen pie or a little more than 1 1/2 cans of the dog food.
The frozen pie contains 10 grams of fat, the dog food 27 grams. According to NAS, the dog needs 14 grams a day. The dog could satisfy his needs with 1 to 1 1/2 servings a day of the pot pie, and exceed it with a single serving of the dog food. While dogs have a high tolerance for dietary fat, too much can cause weight gain and lead to obesity.
The frozen pie provides 5 grams of protein, the dog food 8 grams. NAS says the dog requires at least 25 grams a day, so he would have to eat 5 frozen pies or 3 servings of the dog food to meet his needs, and this would create an excess of both fat and calories.
Salt (and sodium in other forms) is a vital nutrient, but too much can be harmful. The frozen pie contains 425 mcg. Unfortunately, no specific amount is given for the dog food; however, it is listed on the label as the 11th ingredient, between natural flavoring and vitamins, and as ingredients are listed in descending amounts, we can infer that the amount is relatively small. NAS says the dog needs 100 milligrams of sodium a day, so he is in no danger of excess sodium from two servings of frozen pie, and is unlikely to get too much from two servings of a high-end wet dog food.
While this comparison does not include the food value of the vegetables in the chicken pot pie and the dog food, the carbohydrates in each, or other factors, it suggests that, while a steady diet of either might be neither complete nor balanced, an occasional chicken pot pie will do no harm. Give him one on his birthday -- we all need an occasional splurge.
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