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Doctoral thesis, 2001

Diet and activity in Swedish dogs

Sallander, Marie


In this thesis the demographics, diet and activity in a defined population of 460 insured Swedish dogs between 1 and 3 years was presented. The data was collected by using a mail and telephone questionnaire. The repeatability (the questionnaire repeated to the same dog owners) and validity (questionnaire compared to 7-day weighed registration of dietary intake and recording of activity) of the questionnaire were examined, and shown to be good to excellent for most of the parameters measured. Also, the most commonly used commercial dog feeds were analysed, and the results were compared to the declared values and to the recommended nutrient profiles. The insured dogs were shown to be representative for all Swedish dogs of the same age. A typical Swedish dog consumed 75% of the energy intake from commercial feeds, and a smaller part as table foods, but with large variations between individuals. Most of the dogs were fed total diets supplying adequate amounts of the nutrients compared to the recommended nutrient profiles. Total diets that did cause deviations from recommended levels were most commonly those consisting of only table foods (too low levels of vitamins and minerals) or commercial feeds supplied with extra vitamin and mineral supplements (too high levels of vitamins and minerals). The total energy intakes were comparable to previously published studies on maintenance energy requirements of adult dogs, but varied due to sex, breed and weight. Three quarters of the dogs performed some type of activity for one hour or more per day, but although substantial variations were recorded, there was no significant difference in energy intake that could be related to the amount of activity recorded. There was a tendency (P=0.07) that the general temperament of the dog had an influence on the energy intake. The analysed protein and fat content in commercial feeds was on average highly correlated with the declared values and with the recommended nutrient profiles. However, especially the calcium but also other minerals of commercial dog feeds often deviated from declared values, and did not always meet the AAFCO (2000) nutrient profiles. More expensive feeds had the same magnitude of deviation from declared energy and nutrient values as did feeds of a lower cost. This validated questionnaire could be used to collect data on dietary intake and activity in future epidemiological studies in order to quantify the influence of these factors of the effects on health and disease in defined populations of dogs.


Dog; canine; population; insured; demographics; telephone; questionnaire; survey; weighed record; Sweden; validity; repeatability; diet; feed; food; energy; protein; fat; carbohydrate; vitamin; mineral; activity; exercise; training; health; epidemiology

Published in

Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae. Agraria
2001, number: 290
ISBN: 91-576-5840-4
Publisher: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science

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