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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)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To describe effects of lifetime food restriction on causes of death and the association between body-mass characteristics and time of death in dogs.

Design—Paired-feeding study.

Animals—48 dogs from 7 litters.

Procedures—Dogs were paired, and 1 dog in each pair was fed 25% less food than its pair mate from 8 weeks of age until death. Numerous morphometric and physiologic measures were obtained at various intervals throughout life. Associations of feeding group to time and causes of death were evaluated, along with important associated factors such as body composition components and insulin-glucose responses.

Results—Median life span was significantly longer for the group that was fed 25% less food, whereas causes of death were generally similar between the 2 feeding groups. High body-fat mass and declining lean mass significantly predicted death 1 year prior to death, and lean body composition was associated with metabolic responses that appeared to be integrally involved in health and longevity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results were similar to results of diet restriction studies in rodents and primates, reflecting delayed death from species- and strain-specific intrinsic causes. Clinicians should be aware that unplanned body mass changes during mid- and later life of dogs may indicate the need for thorough clinical evaluation. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:225–231)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association