Petfood Industry - January 2018 - 30
30 | www.PetfoodIndustry.com
Top pet health trends impacting
pet nutrition research
Recent research looks into trending pet health questions for pet food formulators.
The dietary needs of dogs and cats are more complex
than ever. Pet owners want pet food formulas uniquely
designed to suit their companion animals, and formulators must continue to maintain the balance of giving pet
parents what they want and ensuring the health and
wellness of the animals they serve remain top priorities.
It is, then, no surprise that recent pet research is
focused on pet diets, as well as the effects of those diets
on animal health.
Breaking new ground: gastrointestinal
health and macronutrients
One study, published online with the Journal of
Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition (JAPAN),
takes a look at how dietary particle size may affect the
gastrointestinal transit of dogs.
"The effect of dietary particle size on gastrointestinal
transit in carnivores has not been studied
and might offer more insight into
their digestive physiology,"
say the study's authors.
"How does dietary
particle size affect
carnivore gastrointestinal transit: A dog
model" evaluated the
effect of two dietary
vs. coarse) of chunked
day-old chicks on transit
parameters in six Beagles. The
dogs were fed both dietary treatments in a crossover design of seven days
with transit testing on the fifth day, using two markers:
a wireless motility capsule and titanium oxide.
According to the study, dietary particle size did
pet nutrition and
not affect gastric emptying time, small bowel transit
time, colonic transit time or total transit time. There
was no effect of dietary particle size on titanium oxide
mean retention time, though the time of last titanium
oxide excretion (MaxRT) differed between diets, being
later for the coarse diet. Both mean retention time and
MaxRT were positively correlated to total transit time.
The ratio of mean retention time/total transit time
tended toward a difference between diets, with the
coarse diet exceeding fine diet values.
Overall, "results show that the difference between
capsule measurements and titanium oxide is larger
for the fine than the coarse diet, suggesting that the
capsule becomes more accurate when dietary particle
size approaches marker size," say the study's authors.
"Dietary particle size might have affected transit parameters, but differences are too small to claim major physiological consequences."
Another JAPAN study breaking new ground is
"Macronutrient intake of dogs, self-selecting diets
varying in composition offered ad libitum," published
online in October 2017. According to the study's
authors, at the time they began their research, only two
studies had been done examining macronutrient selfselection in dogs. The first focused on protein intake,
while the second investigated dietary protein, fat and
"This study's aim was to further elucidate macronutrient intake by providing greater macronutrient range,
energy content, and to investigate over a longer duration
than previous studies," say the authors.
Fifteen adult dogs were given access to three wet diets
providing 500 percent of daily metabolizable energy,
twice daily over 10 days. The diets were nutritionally
complete and formulated using the same four ingredients
in different proportions to supply high levels of protein,