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1—
Introduction

Canine nutrient requirements may have changed little since dogs were first domesticated. However, knowledge and understanding of nutrient requirements and their applications have changed dramatically. The objective of this revision, in keeping with guidelines of the National Research Council's Committee on Animal Nutrition, is to provide from currently available published information a summary of the minimum dietary requirements of dogs for the essential nutrients. These requirements are presented in Table 1 (see p. 44) and are expressed as amounts per kilogram of body weight per day.

Dogs require dietary sources of energy, amino acids, glucose precursors, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and water. Suitable dietary sources of nutrients to meet these requirements include plant, animal, and synthetic products, provided that appropriate processing procedures are followed in their preparation and that consideration is given to variations in specific nutrients available from individual sources or combinations of sources.

Food intake recommendations are based on energy content of the diet. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that nutrient content of foods should also be related to energy content of the food. Minimum contents of essential nutrients for dog foods based on requirements for growth are listed in Table 2 (see p. 44) and expressed as available nutrients in units per 1,000 kilocalories (kcal) of metabolizable energy (ME) and on a dry matter basis. Expression of nutrient requirements on these bases will simplify and expedite comparisons of nutritional value of practical diets with widely varying energy and/or moisture contents.

These recommended requirements are intended to serve as a guide to the formulation of foods and to meet the requirements of dogs of average circumstances of age, function, physiological state, and environmental condition. Special circumstances and experience may warrant modifications of requirements to provide higher or lower concentrations of individual nutrients or groups of nutrients. The reader should be aware that dietary excesses and imbalances can be as detrimental to health as dietary deficiencies.

Finally, caution is advised in the use of these requirements without demonstration of nutrient availability, because in some cases requirements have been established on the basis of studies in which nutrients were supplied by highly purified ingredients where digestibility and availability were not compromised by the interaction of dietary constituents and effects of processing. Practical diets formulated from commonly used ingredients are not free of such interactions and effects, and therefore may provide less available nutrients than the amounts measured by chemical analysis. For this reason, such diets formulated to the chemically assayed nutrient levels expressed in Table 2 may prove inadequate in meeting the nutritional needs of dogs. Table 3 (see p. 45) indicates some of the factors that may modify dietary requirements. Therefore, users are advised to obtain evidence of nutritional adequacy by direct feeding to dogs.



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Page 1 1— Introduction Canine nutrient requirements may have changed little since dogs were first domesticated. However, knowledge and understanding of nutrient requirements and their applications have changed dramatically. The objective of this revision, in keeping with guidelines of the National Research Council's Committee on Animal Nutrition, is to provide from currently available published information a summary of the minimum dietary requirements of dogs for the essential nutrients. These requirements are presented in Table 1 (see p. 44) and are expressed as amounts per kilogram of body weight per day. Dogs require dietary sources of energy, amino acids, glucose precursors, fatty acids, minerals, vitamins, and water. Suitable dietary sources of nutrients to meet these requirements include plant, animal, and synthetic products, provided that appropriate processing procedures are followed in their preparation and that consideration is given to variations in specific nutrients available from individual sources or combinations of sources. Food intake recommendations are based on energy content of the diet. It is therefore reasonable to conclude that nutrient content of foods should also be related to energy content of the food. Minimum contents of essential nutrients for dog foods based on requirements for growth are listed in Table 2 (see p. 44) and expressed as available nutrients in units per 1,000 kilocalories (kcal) of metabolizable energy (ME) and on a dry matter basis. Expression of nutrient requirements on these bases will simplify and expedite comparisons of nutritional value of practical diets with widely varying energy and/or moisture contents. These recommended requirements are intended to serve as a guide to the formulation of foods and to meet the requirements of dogs of average circumstances of age, function, physiological state, and environmental condition. Special circumstances and experience may warrant modifications of requirements to provide higher or lower concentrations of individual nutrients or groups of nutrients. The reader should be aware that dietary excesses and imbalances can be as detrimental to health as dietary deficiencies. Finally, caution is advised in the use of these requirements without demonstration of nutrient availability, because in some cases requirements have been established on the basis of studies in which nutrients were supplied by highly purified ingredients where digestibility and availability were not compromised by the interaction of dietary constituents and effects of processing. Practical diets formulated from commonly used ingredients are not free of such interactions and effects, and therefore may provide less available nutrients than the amounts measured by chemical analysis. For this reason, such diets formulated to the chemically assayed nutrient levels expressed in Table 2 may prove inadequate in meeting the nutritional needs of dogs. Table 3 (see p. 45) indicates some of the factors that may modify dietary requirements. Therefore, users are advised to obtain evidence of nutritional adequacy by direct feeding to dogs.