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Thes, M.; Koeber, N.; Fritz, J.; Wendel, F.; Dillitzer, N.; Dobenecker, B.; Kienzle, E. (2016): Metabolizable energy intake of client-owned adult dogs. In: Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, Vol. 100, No. 5: pp. 813-819
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Abstract

A post hoc analysis of the metabolizable energy (ME) intake of privately owned pet dogs from the authors' nutrition consultation practice (Years 2007-2011) was carried out to identify if current ME recommendations are suitable for pet dogs. Data on 586 adult dogs were available (median age 5.5, median deviation from ideal weight 0.0), 55 of them were healthy;the others had various diseases. For ration calculation, a standardized questionnaire and the software diet-check Munich was used. ME was predicted according to NRC (2006). Data were evaluated for the factors disease, breed, size, age, gender and type of feeding. The mean ME intake of all adult dogs amounted to 0.410 +/- 0.121 MJ/kg metabolic body weight (BW0.75) (n=586). There was no effect of size and disease. Overweight dogs ate 0.360 +/- 0.121 MJ/kg BW0.75, and underweight dogs ate 0.494 +/- 0.159 MJ/kg BW0.75. Older dogs (>7years, n=149, 0.389 +/- 0.105 MJ/kg BW0.75) had a lower ME intake than younger ones (n=313, 0.419 +/- 0.121 MJ/kg BW0.75), and intact males had a higher ME intake than the others (p<0.001). Some breeds were above average: Jack Russell Terrier, Dalmatian, small Munsterlander and Magyar Viszla, Bearded Collies, Sight Hounds, German Boxers, English foxhounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Flat-Coated Retrievers with a mean ME intake of 0.473 +/- 0.121 MJ/kg BW0.75. The following breeds were below average: Dachshunds, Bichons, West highland White Terrier, Collies except Bearded Collies, Airedale Terriers, American Staffordshire terriers and Golden Retrievers with a mean ME intake of 0.343 +/- 0.096 MJ/kg BW0.75. The mean maintenance energy requirements of pet dogs are similar to that of kennel dogs which do not exercise very much. These results suggest that opportunity and stimulus to exercise provided for pet dogs are lower than for kennel dogs. Lower activity in pet dogs may reduce part of potential effects of breed, medical history and age groups.