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Formulated Diets for Dogs

Dogs require specific nutrients, not specific feedstuffs. This fact and the remarkable adaptability of the dog have led to the successful use of commercial diets that differ widely in their ingredient composition. Commercial dog foods are of the three basic types, as described below, although foods with moisture levels ranging from 5 to 78 percent are common in the marketplace.

Dry Dog Foods

Low in moisture content (usually about 10 to 12 percent), dry dog foods commonly contain whole or dehulled cereal grains (e.g., corn, wheat, oats, barley), cereal by-products (e.g., wheat middlings, wheat germ meal, corn gluten meal), soybean products (e.g., soybean meal, soy grits), animal products (e.g., meat meal, meat and bone meal, meat by-products, poultry by-products), milk products (e.g., dried skimmed milk, dried whey), fats and oils (e.g., animal fat), and mineral and vitamin supplements. Crude fat content usually ranges from 5.0 to 12.5 percent on a dry basis. The higher fat levels (and improved palatability) may be achieved by spraying a liquefied fat on the surface of pelleted or extruded products. Dry-type foods may be marketed as meals, pellets, biscuits, kibbles (broken biscuits), or expanded (extruded) products. Processing methods should include sufficient heat to partially dextrinize starch for improved digestibility.

Semimoist Dog Foods

Moderate in moisture content (usually 25 to 30 percent), semimoist dog foods are protected against spoilage without refrigeration by their content of sucrose, propylene glycol, and sorbates. They also commonly contain animal products (e.g., meat, meat by-products, meat digests), milk products (e.g., dried whey, cheese rind), fats and oils (e.g., animal fat), soybean products (e.g., soybean meal, soy flour), carboxy-methylcellulose, and mineral and vitamin supplements. They may be shaped into "patties" of a size convenient for feeding or packaged as simulated meat chunks.

Most recently a modification of semimoist foods, namely, "soft-dry" foods, have been introduced to the market. These foods generally may contain lower proportions of fresh meat and meat by-products and depend for preservation on a low pH (4.2 ±) with the use of phosphoric acid or other acids, coupled with mold inhibitors.

Canned Dog Foods

High in moisture content (usually 74 to 78 percent), canned dog foods are commonly formulated to be nutritionally complete. The composition of these foods varies from premium foods containing high proportions of meat and/or meat by-products to formulations with low meat and meat by-product content. The latter foods are similar in composition to dry food to which water has been added prior to canning. A meat-based formulation may contain from 25 to 75 percent of meat and meat by-products. The latter products are usually designated as "dinners." Most such canned dinners also contain textured soy protein simulating the appearance of meat. These products have almost totally replaced earlier fortified "all-meat" foods. Typically ''dinners" or "all-meat" foods on a dry matter basis are high-nutrient-density foods. Higher energy density dictates higher concentration of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Although these foods are designed to be fed alone as complete



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Page 42 5— Formulated Diets for Dogs Dogs require specific nutrients, not specific feedstuffs. This fact and the remarkable adaptability of the dog have led to the successful use of commercial diets that differ widely in their ingredient composition. Commercial dog foods are of the three basic types, as described below, although foods with moisture levels ranging from 5 to 78 percent are common in the marketplace. Dry Dog Foods Low in moisture content (usually about 10 to 12 percent), dry dog foods commonly contain whole or dehulled cereal grains (e.g., corn, wheat, oats, barley), cereal by-products (e.g., wheat middlings, wheat germ meal, corn gluten meal), soybean products (e.g., soybean meal, soy grits), animal products (e.g., meat meal, meat and bone meal, meat by-products, poultry by-products), milk products (e.g., dried skimmed milk, dried whey), fats and oils (e.g., animal fat), and mineral and vitamin supplements. Crude fat content usually ranges from 5.0 to 12.5 percent on a dry basis. The higher fat levels (and improved palatability) may be achieved by spraying a liquefied fat on the surface of pelleted or extruded products. Dry-type foods may be marketed as meals, pellets, biscuits, kibbles (broken biscuits), or expanded (extruded) products. Processing methods should include sufficient heat to partially dextrinize starch for improved digestibility. Semimoist Dog Foods Moderate in moisture content (usually 25 to 30 percent), semimoist dog foods are protected against spoilage without refrigeration by their content of sucrose, propylene glycol, and sorbates. They also commonly contain animal products (e.g., meat, meat by-products, meat digests), milk products (e.g., dried whey, cheese rind), fats and oils (e.g., animal fat), soybean products (e.g., soybean meal, soy flour), carboxy-methylcellulose, and mineral and vitamin supplements. They may be shaped into "patties" of a size convenient for feeding or packaged as simulated meat chunks. Most recently a modification of semimoist foods, namely, "soft-dry" foods, have been introduced to the market. These foods generally may contain lower proportions of fresh meat and meat by-products and depend for preservation on a low pH (4.2 ±) with the use of phosphoric acid or other acids, coupled with mold inhibitors. Canned Dog Foods High in moisture content (usually 74 to 78 percent), canned dog foods are commonly formulated to be nutritionally complete. The composition of these foods varies from premium foods containing high proportions of meat and/or meat by-products to formulations with low meat and meat by-product content. The latter foods are similar in composition to dry food to which water has been added prior to canning. A meat-based formulation may contain from 25 to 75 percent of meat and meat by-products. The latter products are usually designated as "dinners." Most such canned dinners also contain textured soy protein simulating the appearance of meat. These products have almost totally replaced earlier fortified "all-meat" foods. Typically ''dinners" or "all-meat" foods on a dry matter basis are high-nutrient-density foods. Higher energy density dictates higher concentration of protein, vitamins, and minerals. Although these foods are designed to be fed alone as complete

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Page 43 and balanced diets, they are commonly used as supplements to improve acceptability of dry foods for feeding during more stressful situations. Although additions of canned food, milk, meat, eggs, or broths invariably improve palatability of dry foods, the nutritional value of properly balanced dry foods may not always be enhanced. Formulas for examples of products representing typical dry, semimoist, and canned foods are presented in Table 11 (see p. 62). These examples are intended only as illustrations of formulations from commonly available feed sources. Formulation for semipurified foods as commonly used in nutrition research may be found in any number of publications relating to vitamin and/or amino acid requirements of dogs (see References). Such diets frequently contain crystalline amino acids, casein, or isolated soy protein as the sole protein source, depending upon the nature of research being conducted.