Dogs' health and wellbeing is of great importance to their owners. The most common nutritional problem for pet dogs is obesity, with 22-40% of pet dogs being classified as overweight or obese. With many adverse health effects associated with obesity, this is a major concern for owners and veterinarians. The degree to which dogs enjoy consuming certain foods can have substantial implications for their body weight, so it is important to understand which aspects of foods make them appealing to dogs. This study aimed to determine whether nutritional aspects of commercial dog foods predict dogs' preferences for those foods. It was found that consumption preference is positively correlated with protein content (p < .001), therefore implying that the protein content of commercial dry dog foods may predict dogs' consumption preferences. Consumption preferences were not predicted by other available measures of food content or caloric value. Dogs' preference for foods high in protein content may be due to the satiating effect of protein. Since foods high in protein both reduce the amount of energy consumed and are found to be palatable to dogs, high-protein dog foods may offer a way for dog food manufacturers, veterinarians, and pet owners to combat obesity in pet dogs.
- Nutritional Factors Influencing Canine Food Preferences
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