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Publication type: Diploma Thesis

Year: 2013

Author(s): Illi, Johanna

Title: Vergleich der scheinbaren Verdaulichkeit von rohen und gekochten Futterrationen für Hunde.

Other title: Apparent digestibility of crude nutrients of raw and cooked rations, with or without cereals, in adult Beagle dogs

Source: Diplomarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 53.


Handl Stefanie

Zebeli Qendrim

Vetmed Research Units:
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds

Graduation date: 06.12.13

Introduction: The number of dog owners preferring home-made diets over commercial dog food is increasing. So far there were no scientific trials comparing the apparent digestibility (ad) of nutritionally adequate raw and cooked self-prepared diets for dogs. Material and methods: Six adult Beagle dogs were fed four different diets (raw with and without cereals, cooked with or without cereals) in a latin square design. Rations consisted of minced beef, rolled oats, carrots, corn oil and a mineral & vitamin premix and were formulated to meet the maintenance nutrient requirements. In rations without oats, the missing energy was provided by addition of corn oil. After an adaptation period of one week, faeces were collected for five days. Feed and faeces were subjected to Weende Analysis. The amount of faeces and defecations/day were then evaluated. Faecal consistency was evaluated on a 1-5 scale by the animal caretakers. Statistical analysis was performed using t-test or Mann-Whitney-U-test in SPSS 17.0. Results: Dogs consumed all rations completely and tolerated them well. Apparent digestibility of organic matter and crude energy was >90%, ad of crude fat was >95% in all rations. Apparent digestibility of crude protein ranged from 88.1% (raw diet with carbs) to 92.9% (raw diet without carbs); ad of NfE was 86% and 85% in the cooked and raw diet with oats, respectively, while it was 66% (raw) and 60% (cooked) in the diets without oats. Statistically significant differences were not found. Amount of faeces/dog/day, faecal dry matter and faecal consistency did also not differ significantly. Faecal excretion ranged from 18.7% of ingested DM (raw diet without carbs) to 36.8% of ingested DM (cooked diet without carbs). Faeces were formed and slightly moist on all diets. Dogs defecated once per day. Discussion: Apparent digestibility of crude nutrients was high in all four diets and was comparable to high quality commercial diets. The replacement of energy from carbohydrates by fat resulted in high fat diets (about 50% in DM), which was tolerated well by the dogs. Faecal quality was optimal and dogs defecated mostly once a day, and no adverse reactions were noticed. Since each dog was only fed for two weeks with each ration, no predictions can be made about long-term feeding problems and intolerance reactions. In this experiment, only adult, healthy beagle dogs were used. Therefore it can´t be concluded whether digestibility and tolerability is similar in other ages and breeds. This study could therefore serve as a pilot study for further, larger-scale trials with a larger number of animals. Conclusion: Highly digestible, nutritionally adequate rations can be formulated from raw and cooked ingredients. If owners wish to feed no ingredients rich in starch, energy can be provided by fat. Homemade rations should always be calculated by a professional nutritional consultant to prevent nutrient deficiency.

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