Weight measurements result in improved accuracy and precision in preparation of cooked homemade diets for dogs

Grace L. Boothby Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

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Jacqueline M. Parr Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

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 DVM, MSc, DACVIM
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Joseph W. Bartges Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

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 DVM, PhD, DACVIM

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Accurate measurement of ingredients for cooked homemade diets helps ensure diets are complete and balanced. Studies have demonstrated measuring dry dog food with measuring cups results in significant inaccuracy. Therefore, measuring ingredients by volume when preparing these diets may be inaccurate. The purpose was to determine the accuracy of preparing cooked homemade diets by measuring ingredients by volume (measuring cups and spoons) or weight (digital gram scale with a syringe for measuring oil only).

SAMPLES

42 diet samples prepared by 21 participants.

PROCEDURES

21 participants were instructed on homemade diet preparation based on weight or volume measurement methods. Diet samples underwent proximate analysis and mineral analysis. Data, expressed on a dry matter basis (DMB) and an energy density basis (EDB), from both groups were compared to the anticipated nutrient profile to determine which method resulted in more accuracy. Data from individual samples within each group were compared to each other to determine the precision of both methods.

RESULTS

Weight measurements were more precise for crude protein, crude fat, nitrogen-free extract, and potassium (DMB and EDB) and more accurate for ash (DMB and EDB) and iron (EDB). Comparatively, volume measurements were more precise for ash (DMB) and more accurate for iron (DMB).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Findings suggest weight measurements should be utilized to prepare cooked homemade diets for dogs to promote precision and accuracy.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Accurate measurement of ingredients for cooked homemade diets helps ensure diets are complete and balanced. Studies have demonstrated measuring dry dog food with measuring cups results in significant inaccuracy. Therefore, measuring ingredients by volume when preparing these diets may be inaccurate. The purpose was to determine the accuracy of preparing cooked homemade diets by measuring ingredients by volume (measuring cups and spoons) or weight (digital gram scale with a syringe for measuring oil only).

SAMPLES

42 diet samples prepared by 21 participants.

PROCEDURES

21 participants were instructed on homemade diet preparation based on weight or volume measurement methods. Diet samples underwent proximate analysis and mineral analysis. Data, expressed on a dry matter basis (DMB) and an energy density basis (EDB), from both groups were compared to the anticipated nutrient profile to determine which method resulted in more accuracy. Data from individual samples within each group were compared to each other to determine the precision of both methods.

RESULTS

Weight measurements were more precise for crude protein, crude fat, nitrogen-free extract, and potassium (DMB and EDB) and more accurate for ash (DMB and EDB) and iron (EDB). Comparatively, volume measurements were more precise for ash (DMB) and more accurate for iron (DMB).

CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Findings suggest weight measurements should be utilized to prepare cooked homemade diets for dogs to promote precision and accuracy.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Appendix S1 (PDF 501 KB)
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