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Dog feeding practices and supplement use with regard to exercise routine in Switzerland – a survey


Lucke, Annegret; Hugentobler, Leoni; Moscoso Uribe, Freya; Wichert, Brigitta; Liesegang, Annette (2023). Dog feeding practices and supplement use with regard to exercise routine in Switzerland – a survey. In: 27th Congress of the European Society of Veterinary and Comparative Nutrition, Vila Real, Portugal, 7 September 2023 - 9 September 2023, European Society of Veterinary & Comparative Nutrition.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Regular exercise is related to owner awareness of their dog’s body condition and feeding habits [1]. We hypothesized that owners seem to overestimate the impact of their dog’s working regimen on its energy and nutritional requirements. The goal of this survey was to explore dog owners’ feeding habits depending on sport/ working intensity (WI) of their dogs. Animals, materials and methods: This survey was conducted at an annual dog exhibition in Switzerland. A set of 14 questions were asked: 4 about the dog, 3 about the WI routine and 7 about feeding routine and supplement use. 247 owners completed the survey. The obtained data were descriptively evaluated using Microsoft Excel (Excel 365, NM, USA). Data regarding feeding habits were evaluated with respect to work use (C group = no work, W group = work or sport use). Text answers regarding the category of W for which the dog was used were categorized in 13 different categories.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Characteristics of the study population are displayed in Table 1. Overall, 57% of the dogs were classified in the W group of which agility (n = 29), companion/ guard dog training (n = 28), and mantrailing (n = 20) were the most common. 36% of dogs in the W group were
used twice per week, 28% once per week and 26% 3 to 4 times per week for W. Most activities of W dogs lasted for 1-2 h (38% of W dogs), followed by activities lasting for 30 min to 1 hour (34% of W dogs) and activities shorter than 30 min (18% of W dogs). In W dogs, 54% of the owners believed that their dog does not have additional nutritional needs due to WI while 29% believed that their dog has additional nutritional needs due to WI. Feeding preferences were dry food (52% of W, 49% of C), wet food (25% of W, 27% of C), and BARF in the W group (13%) and home cooked in the C group (14%). Regardless of WI, dog owners found a protein rich diet important (58 and 57% in W and C, respectively). Most owners thought that the nutritional needs of their dog can be met with a diet with few components (58% in W, 63% in C group) while 23 and 21% in the W and C group thought that a large variety of foods is necessary to cover the nutritional needs of their dog. Most participants rated the use of supplements to the diet as necessary depending on the diet (36% in W group, 26% in C group). The use of supplements was rated as “always healthy but not necessary” by 25% in the W and 21% in the C group. The most used supplements in the W group were oils (23%), green-lipped mussel products (13%) and vitamin and mineral supplements (12%). In the C group oils (26%), vitamin and mineral supplements (11%) and green-lipped mussel products
(9%) were the most used. 11% of the W group and 19% of the C group did not report any supplement use.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, this survey suggests that feeding habits of dog owners mainly differ regarding the use of supplements. Further studies therefore should investigate the quantitative impact of the supplements on dietary nutrient composition

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Regular exercise is related to owner awareness of their dog’s body condition and feeding habits [1]. We hypothesized that owners seem to overestimate the impact of their dog’s working regimen on its energy and nutritional requirements. The goal of this survey was to explore dog owners’ feeding habits depending on sport/ working intensity (WI) of their dogs. Animals, materials and methods: This survey was conducted at an annual dog exhibition in Switzerland. A set of 14 questions were asked: 4 about the dog, 3 about the WI routine and 7 about feeding routine and supplement use. 247 owners completed the survey. The obtained data were descriptively evaluated using Microsoft Excel (Excel 365, NM, USA). Data regarding feeding habits were evaluated with respect to work use (C group = no work, W group = work or sport use). Text answers regarding the category of W for which the dog was used were categorized in 13 different categories.
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Characteristics of the study population are displayed in Table 1. Overall, 57% of the dogs were classified in the W group of which agility (n = 29), companion/ guard dog training (n = 28), and mantrailing (n = 20) were the most common. 36% of dogs in the W group were
used twice per week, 28% once per week and 26% 3 to 4 times per week for W. Most activities of W dogs lasted for 1-2 h (38% of W dogs), followed by activities lasting for 30 min to 1 hour (34% of W dogs) and activities shorter than 30 min (18% of W dogs). In W dogs, 54% of the owners believed that their dog does not have additional nutritional needs due to WI while 29% believed that their dog has additional nutritional needs due to WI. Feeding preferences were dry food (52% of W, 49% of C), wet food (25% of W, 27% of C), and BARF in the W group (13%) and home cooked in the C group (14%). Regardless of WI, dog owners found a protein rich diet important (58 and 57% in W and C, respectively). Most owners thought that the nutritional needs of their dog can be met with a diet with few components (58% in W, 63% in C group) while 23 and 21% in the W and C group thought that a large variety of foods is necessary to cover the nutritional needs of their dog. Most participants rated the use of supplements to the diet as necessary depending on the diet (36% in W group, 26% in C group). The use of supplements was rated as “always healthy but not necessary” by 25% in the W and 21% in the C group. The most used supplements in the W group were oils (23%), green-lipped mussel products (13%) and vitamin and mineral supplements (12%). In the C group oils (26%), vitamin and mineral supplements (11%) and green-lipped mussel products
(9%) were the most used. 11% of the W group and 19% of the C group did not report any supplement use.
CONCLUSION: In conclusion, this survey suggests that feeding habits of dog owners mainly differ regarding the use of supplements. Further studies therefore should investigate the quantitative impact of the supplements on dietary nutrient composition

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper), not_refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinärwissenschaftliches Institut > Institute of Animal Nutrition
Dewey Decimal Classification:630 Agriculture
570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Event End Date:9 September 2023
Deposited On:11 Dec 2023 12:01
Last Modified:19 Apr 2024 11:13
Publisher:European Society of Veterinary & Comparative Nutrition
OA Status:Closed
Official URL:https://esvcn.org/events/esvcn-2023