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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).


42 diet samples prepared by 21 participants.


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.


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).


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

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association