Oral palatability testing of a medium-chain triglyceride oil supplement (MCT) in a cohort of healthy dogs in a non-clinical setting
The oral palatability of functional foods such as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) play a crucial role in owner and patient compliance when used as an adjunct in the management of health conditions such as epilepsy. Despite the promising benefits, the palatability of MCT has not undergone a more recent evaluation in dogs. The aim of this study was to assess the palatability and tolerance of short-term, daily supplementation of a 10% metabolic energy based MCT oil volume compared to a tasteless control oil in healthy dogs. An at-home, randomized, double-blinded, controlled single-bowl palatability test with three five-days phases was conducted. Data were collected from nineteen healthy dogs via study visits, feeding diary and eating questionnaires. No difference in the average food intake or intake ratio between food with and without oil supplementation or between the two oil groups was found. The mean food intake time was longer under MCT. In conclusion, MCT oil given as a short-term supplement is well tolerated and palatable in a healthy canine population, with only some changes in eating behaviour. Our results support earlier evidence that MCT oil is a well-tolerated additive in the nutritional management of different diseases such as epilepsy or dementia in dogs.