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Pet Food News / Research Notes / Pet Food Ingredients
on August 19, 2016

586 dogs’ nutrition needs analyzed by scientists

Certain breeds eat more energy, but lifestyle should guide pet food choices.

Particular dog breeds ate more calories to maintain their body weights than other breeds in a recent study of 586 dogs’ daily metabolizable energy intake. Metabolizable energy is the amount of energy left for the body to use after digestion is complete. Pet food manufacturers can use this research to guide their formulation of lifestyle- and breed-specific dog foods.

High and low energy intake breeds

Active breeds tended to have above average energy intake in comparison to their body mass:

  • Jack Russell Terrier, Dalmatian, small Munsterlander and Magyar Viszla, Bearded Collies, Sight Hounds, German Boxers, English Foxhounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks and Flat-Coated Retrievers

While tranquil breeds took in fewer calories while maintaining their body weight:

  • Dachshunds, Bichons, West Highland White Terrier, Collies except Bearded Collies, Airedale Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers and Golden Retrievers

Breed versus lifestyle in pet food needs

However, the biology of each breed might not completely explain these differences. Active owners might choose breeds associated with an energetic lifestyle, said study author Ellen Kienzle, PhD, chair of animal nutrition and dietetics at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, in an email. What’s more, certain dog breeds go in and out of fashion for particular lifestyles.

“Thus breed specific energy requirements may change with the type of people who typically own dogs from these breeds,” said Kienzle. “I think it is not breed specific products which are needed but lifestyle specific. Dogs with high energy intake may need different nutrient profiles than dogs with low intake.”

For example, Beagles…

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