In the past with kibble, I've sometimes dropped below recommended amounts as dogs get older sometimes and have metabolism slow with aging...but I'm rethinking that, after the UC Davis paper came out on DCM finding that one of the common denominators of dogs that developed DCM was they all were fed less than the minimum caloric calculation for that food. They were also all fed higher-end foods -- with Acana being the highest-frequency food, but many other "good" brands represented.
The researchers hypothesized that not following the recommended guideline might cause micronutrients to dip below recommended levels, contributing to heart problems and DCM. It's a paper about correlations, not causation, so we can't take too much from it -- but it is thought provoking. It's linked and discussed in the back end of this mega-thread:
It is a conundrum -- feeding recommended amounts creates fat pets sometimes. Obesity is epidemic in pets, and it causes a cascade of health issues (from orthopedic problems to metabolic disorders and contributes to cancer risk). I honestly think the national trend of keeping pets obese is a low-grade kind of well-intentioned neglect given how bad it is for their health. There's also research showing lean animals live a lot longer. So...keeping them lean is good for them -- but it's hard to do with kibble feeding at recommended guidelines as they age. And yet if we fall below recommended guidelines, they may not be getting enough micronutrients and could even end up with a deadly heart problem. It's one of those things that making me wonder if our over-reliance on kibble is really the problem. I'm skeptical that it's carbs per se but suspect that the low-quality, highly processed and fractionated, heat-degraded forms of them combined with fragile formulations of synthetic nutrients -- like for humans, sugary kids cereal vs. plain, organic oatmeal with sliced fresh berries on top (both have carbs but....radically different nutrition).
So here's an out of the box idea: if you have a hard-keeper that has a lot of allergies or other issues with various kibbles, thus limiting your choices, how about taking the dog off kibble? Feed an alternative diet that's complete and balanced. You can do this with a basemix (The Honest Kitchen, Sojo's, etc.) plus meat -- it's very little work, and takes only an extra 5 minutes per meal for rehydrating the mix (or you can save those minutes by rehydrating the night before and refrigerating so that it's ready on a busy morning). You can also accomplish this with well-formulated frozen commercial meat diets or dehydrated diets like Ziwi.
A base-mix/pre-mix like The Honest Kitchen or Sojo's plus meat is about as close as you can get to a home-made diet with some assurance that it's complete and balanced (though I would add taurine to THK while the DCM research is ongoing, as there's doesn't have any; I also think it needs some EFA like fish oil added).
Sojo's (with grain) is by far the most affordable base mix on the market. I don't have experience with it, but I've fed a lot of The Honest Kitchen's Preference. It feeds out really well for tender-tummied dogs as long as you find a meat source that agrees with him. Dr. Harvey's Paradigm is also fantastic, but the most expensive of all of them.