Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Impact of animal by-products on diet digestibility and fecal quality in Beagle dogs

In animal feeds and pet food, meat industry rendered by-products as a source of high-quality protein are commonly used. Among all rendered protein sources, poultry carcasses and neck meal are frequently used as ingredients in commercial pet foods due to their agreeable fatty acid and amino acid profiles, and they have no impact on the palatability of the diet. Nonetheless, it is unclear how poultry by-product meal affects companion animals regarding diet digestibility and fecal quality. This study either aimed to provide information on poultry by-product meal, including coarsely, finely, or very finely ground varieties, regarding their nutrient digestibility and characteristics of feces in dogs. One type of animal by-product meal was used in the three aforementioned particle sizes. Beagle dogs (n = 6; body weight, 16.6 kg ± 2.03) participated in a crossover experiment design. Each trial consisted of a five day adaptation period to the diet, and five days of fecal samples were collected and measured for individual apparent nutritional digestibility and fecal scores. The animal by-product supplementation in the diet of dogs was well accepted, with an acceptable percentage of apparent nutrient digestibility. Different particle sizes had no significant effect on the organic matter, crude protein, and crude fat digestibility as well as the fecal fatty acid concentrations. In addition, feces remained firm and well-formed and increased fecal dry matter. This indicates that poultry by-products should be taken into account as a potential dietary protein source in dog food.


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