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Comparison of the cognitive palatability assessment protocol and the two-pan test for use in assessing palatability of two similar foods in dogs

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  • 1 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A8.
  • | 2 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A8.
  • | 3 Fundamental Nutrition, Nestle Purina PetCare Research, Number One Checkerboard Square, St Louis, MO 63164.
  • | 4 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 1A8.
  • | 5 Division of Life Sciences, University of Toronto at Scarborough College, Scarborough, ON, Canada M1C 1A4.

Abstract

Objective—To compare preferences of dogs for 2 similar foods by use of 2 distinct methods (the cognitive palatability assessment protocol [CPAP] and the 2-pan test).

Animals—13 Beagles.

Procedure—6 dogs were trained in a 3-choice object-discrimination–learning task in which their nonpreferred objects were associated with a reward of a lamb-based or chicken-based food. The number of choices for each object was used to determine food preferences. Preference of the same foods was also assessed by use of a 2-pan test in which all 13 dogs were provided the 2 foods in identical bowls. The amount of each food consumed in 10 minutes was used to determine food preference.

Results—All dogs had a noticeable preference for the chicken-based food during the CPAP. Once established, preferences remained consistent and were not affected by satiety. The 2-pan test identified a preference for the chicken-based food in dogs with previous exposure to the food but only a weak and nonsignificant preference for the same food in dogs without previous exposure. Food preferences in the 2-pan test varied considerably. Total food consumption and the ability to detect a preference were reduced when dogs were fed prior to testing.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The CPAP provides a reliable measure of food preference that requires few test subjects. The 2-pan test reveals similar preferences but with variability in data that requires larger numbers of subjects and is susceptible to effects from prior exposure and feeding of the test foods to the subjects. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1490–1496)

Abstract

Objective—To compare preferences of dogs for 2 similar foods by use of 2 distinct methods (the cognitive palatability assessment protocol [CPAP] and the 2-pan test).

Animals—13 Beagles.

Procedure—6 dogs were trained in a 3-choice object-discrimination–learning task in which their nonpreferred objects were associated with a reward of a lamb-based or chicken-based food. The number of choices for each object was used to determine food preferences. Preference of the same foods was also assessed by use of a 2-pan test in which all 13 dogs were provided the 2 foods in identical bowls. The amount of each food consumed in 10 minutes was used to determine food preference.

Results—All dogs had a noticeable preference for the chicken-based food during the CPAP. Once established, preferences remained consistent and were not affected by satiety. The 2-pan test identified a preference for the chicken-based food in dogs with previous exposure to the food but only a weak and nonsignificant preference for the same food in dogs without previous exposure. Food preferences in the 2-pan test varied considerably. Total food consumption and the ability to detect a preference were reduced when dogs were fed prior to testing.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The CPAP provides a reliable measure of food preference that requires few test subjects. The 2-pan test reveals similar preferences but with variability in data that requires larger numbers of subjects and is susceptible to effects from prior exposure and feeding of the test foods to the subjects. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1490–1496)