DOG FEEDING TEST FOR ASSESSING THE NUTRITIONAL ADEQUACY OF PRACTICAL DIETS
The nutritive value of dog foods declared by the manufacturer as nutritionally complete and balanced can be best assessed by feeding trials with dogs. A protocol of a feeding trial has been developed and tested with working dogs fed two different commercial complete and balanced diets for 8 weeks. The parameters used for evaluating the effect of diets were general health status, body and hair coat condition, change of body weight, haematological parameters (white blood cell (WBC) count, red blood cell (RBC) count, haemoglobin, packed cell volume), and biochemical parameters in blood serum (alanine aminotransferase, urea, albumin). The trial protocol proved to be appropriate to monitor the dogs’ nutritional status and to reveal differences between diets. This method of evaluation is recommended for use in supporting the nutritional claims (labelling) of dog foods.
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