• 1. Veterinary Pet Insurance. Top 10 reasons pets visit vets. Available at: www.petinsurance.com/healthzone/pet-articles/pet-health/Top-10-Reasons-Pets-Visit-Vets.aspx. Accessed Jul 16, 2014.

  • 2. Chesney CJ. Food sensitivity in the dog: a quantitative study. J Small Anim Pract 2002; 43: 203207.

  • 3. Proverbio D, Perego R, Spada E, et al. Prevalence of adverse food reactions in 130 dogs in Italy with dermatological signs: a retrospective study. J Small Anim Pract 2010; 51: 370374.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4. National Research Council. Fat and fatty acids. In: Nutrient requirements of dogs and cats. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2006; 81110.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5. Rees CA, Bauer JE, Burkholder WJ, et al. Effects of dietary flax seed and sunflower seed supplementation on normal canine serum polyunsaturated fatty acids and skin and hair coat condition scores. Vet Dermatol 2001; 12: 111117.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6. Mueller RS, Fieseler KV, Fettman MJ, et al. Effect of omega-3 fatty acids on canine atopic dermatitis. J Small Anim Pract 2004; 45: 293297.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7. Logas D, Kunkle GA. Double-blinded crossover study with marine oil supplementation containing high-dose eicosapentaenoic acid for the treatment of canine pruritic skin disease. Vet Dermatol 1994; 5: 99104.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8. Kirby NA, Hester SL, Rees CA, et al. Skin surface lipids and skin and hair coat condition in dogs fed increased total fat diets containing polyunsaturated fatty acids. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 2009; 93: 505511.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9. Suzman MM, Muller GL, Ungley CC. An attempt to produce spinal cord degeneration in dogs fed a high cereal diet deficient in vitamin A. The incidental development of a syndrome of anemia, skin lesions, anorexia and changes in the concentration of blood lipoids. Am J Physiol 1932; 101: 529544.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10. US FDA. Product regulation. Available at: www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/Products/AnimalFoodFeeds/ucm050223.htm. Accessed Jul 25, 2014.

  • 11. AAFCO. 2014 official publication. West Lafayette, Ind: AAFCO, 2014; 163164.

  • 12. WSAVA Global Nutrition Committee Nutrition Toolkit. Recommendations on selecting pet foods. Available at: www.wsava.org/sites/default/files/Recommendations%20on%20Selecting%20Pet%20Foods.pdf. Accessed Jul 30, 2014.

  • 13. Bren L. Pet food: the lowdown on labels. FDA Veterinarian Newsletter 2001; 16: 812.

  • 14. Verlinden A, Hesta M, Millet S, et al. Food allergy in dogs and cats: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2006; 46: 259273.

  • 15. Raditic DM, Remillard RL, Tater KC. ELISA testing for common food antigens in four dry dog foods used in dietary elimination trials. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 2011; 95: 9097.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16. Ricci R, Granato A, Vascellari M, et al. Identification of undeclared sources of animal origin in canine dry foods used in dietary elimination trials. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) 2013; 97: 3238.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17. Okuma TA, Hellberg RS. Identification of meat species in pet foods using a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Food Contr 2015; 50: 917.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18. Baldwin K, Bartges J, Buffington T, et al. AAHA nutritional assessment guidelines for dogs and cats. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 2010; 46: 285296.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 19. WSAVA Nutritional Assessment Guidelines Task Force. WSAVA nutritional assessment guidelines. J Small Anim Pract 2011; 52: 385396.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation

Advertisement

Evaluation of marketing claims, ingredients, and nutrient profiles of over-the-counter diets marketed for skin and coat health of dogs

View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.
  • | 4 Department of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate marketing claims, ingredients, and nutrient profiles of over-the-counter diets marketed for skin and coat health of dogs.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample—24 over-the-counter dry and canned diets marketed for skin and coat health of dogs.

Procedures—Data on marketing claims and ingredients were collected from diet packaging and manufacturer websites. Concentrations of selected nutrients were obtained by contacting the manufacturers and were compared against minimum values for Association of American Feed Control Officials Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult dog maintenance based on calorie content.

Results—Most diets incorporated marketing terms such as digestive health, sensitive, or premium that are poorly defined and may have limited relevance to skin, coat, or general health. The types and numbers of major ingredients (ie, potential to contribute protein to the diet) differed. The total number of unique major ingredients in each diet ranged from 3 to 8 (median, 5.5), but the total number of unique ingredients in each diet ranged from 28 to 68 (median, 38). Concentrations of nutrients associated with skin and coat condition also differed widely.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the large variation among over-the-counter diets marketed for skin and coat health may cause confusion for owners during diet selection. Owners of a dog with dermatologic problems should consult their veterinarian to select a good-quality diet that meets specific nutrient goals. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015;246:1334–1338)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate marketing claims, ingredients, and nutrient profiles of over-the-counter diets marketed for skin and coat health of dogs.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample—24 over-the-counter dry and canned diets marketed for skin and coat health of dogs.

Procedures—Data on marketing claims and ingredients were collected from diet packaging and manufacturer websites. Concentrations of selected nutrients were obtained by contacting the manufacturers and were compared against minimum values for Association of American Feed Control Officials Dog Food Nutrient Profiles for adult dog maintenance based on calorie content.

Results—Most diets incorporated marketing terms such as digestive health, sensitive, or premium that are poorly defined and may have limited relevance to skin, coat, or general health. The types and numbers of major ingredients (ie, potential to contribute protein to the diet) differed. The total number of unique major ingredients in each diet ranged from 3 to 8 (median, 5.5), but the total number of unique ingredients in each diet ranged from 28 to 68 (median, 38). Concentrations of nutrients associated with skin and coat condition also differed widely.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the large variation among over-the-counter diets marketed for skin and coat health may cause confusion for owners during diet selection. Owners of a dog with dermatologic problems should consult their veterinarian to select a good-quality diet that meets specific nutrient goals. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2015;246:1334–1338)

Contributor Notes

Support for Dr. Johnson's residency was provided by P&G Pet Care.

Address correspondence to Dr. Freeman (lisa.freeman@tufts.edu).