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Breed-specific petfoods

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Abstract

Breed-specific petfoods Countries in which most dogs and cats consume industrially-produced foods have a mature petfood market. Sales of a particular brand can only grow at the expense of the competitors' business. As a result, petfood manufacturers continuously launch new products that accommodate nutrition trends or have increasing degrees of individualization. Life-stage nutrition versus a single, complete diet for all ages is one form of individualization. Breed-specific, life-stage diets are further individualized. There is insufficient information on the nutrient requirements of different breeds. Thus, breed-specific dog and cat foods may not contain breed-specific, optimum nutrient contents. Nevertheless, formulation of safe, breed-specific foods is possible. The foods could contribute to prevention of breed-dependent disease when formulated in the light of indirect argumentation. Production and sales of breed-specific instead of all-breed foods can be justified by marketing strategy. The concentration of each nutrient in a complete petfood must sustain optimum health. Long-term intakes below the minimum requirement of a nutrient induce overt signs of disease: the state of deficiency. Long-term intakes above the maximum tolerable level also cause health disorders: the state of toxicity. In the nutrient-response relationships, deficiency and toxicity states are separated by a range of safe and adequate nutrient intake, supporting health and performance. Within this optimum range, the animal can adapt absorption, metabolism and excretion of the nutrient in question in order to meet its need. At lower or higher nutrient intakes further adaptation is impossible and either deficiency or toxicity develops. The optimum range includes the recommended allowance. The interdependent width (expressed in grams of nutrient intake per unit of dietary energy) of the three nutritional states (deficiency, optimum, toxicity) can differ widely among nutrients and may be affected by age and breed. The width of the optimum state varies according to increased/decreased nutrient requirement and increased/decreased sensitivity to excessive intake. Breed differences Between breeds there can be differences in the nutrient-response relationship. Young, growing Great Danes require more calcium (expressed in grams per unit of dietary energy) for optimal skeletal development than young dogs of small and medium-sized breeds. Growing Great Danes also have a somewhat higher protein requirement. Some Siberian husky and malamute dogs have low efficiency of zinc absorption and thus need more zinc to prevent deficiency. In the nutrient-response relationship, the deficiency range is wider for breeds with increased nutrient requirement. Bedlington terriers often develop copper storage disease due to impaired biliary excretion of copper. Young, growing Great Danes are prone to calcium-induced osteochondrosis (impaired maturation of joint cartilage). In the two breeds, copper or calcium toxicity occurs at lower intake levels.
Creature Companion 2014; August: 54-55.
Anton C. Beynen
Breed-specific petfoods
Countries in which most dogs and cats consume industrially-produced foods have a mature
petfood market. Sales of a particular brand can only grow at the expense of the competitors’
business. As a result, petfood manufacturers continuously launch new products that accommodate
nutrition trends or have increasing degrees of individualization. Life-stage nutrition versus a single,
complete diet for all ages is one form of individualization. Breed-specific, life-stage diets are
further individualized. There is insufficient information on the nutrient requirements of different
breeds. Thus, breed-specific dog and cat foods may not contain breed-specific, optimum nutrient
contents. Nevertheless, formulation of safe, breed-specific foods is possible. The foods could
contribute to prevention of breed-dependent disease when formulated in the light of indirect
argumentation. Production and sales of breed-specific instead of all-breed foods can be justified by
marketing strategy.
The concentration of each nutrient in a complete petfood must sustain optimum health. Long-term
intakes below the minimum requirement of a nutrient induce overt signs of disease: the state of
deficiency. Long-term intakes above the maximum tolerable level also cause health disorders: the
state of toxicity.
In the nutrient-response relationships, deficiency and toxicity states are separated by a range of safe
and adequate nutrient intake, supporting health and performance. Within this optimum range, the
animal can adapt absorption, metabolism and excretion of the nutrient in question in order to meet
its need. At lower or higher nutrient intakes further adaptation is impossible and either deficiency or
toxicity develops. The optimum range includes the recommended allowance.
The interdependent width (expressed in grams of nutrient intake per unit of dietary energy) of the
three nutritional states (deficiency, optimum, toxicity) can differ widely among nutrients and may be
affected by age and breed. The width of the optimum state varies according to increased/decreased
nutrient requirement and increased/decreased sensitivity to excessive intake.
Breed differences
Between breeds there can be differences in the nutrient-response relationship. Young, growing
Great Danes require more calcium (expressed in grams per unit of dietary energy) for optimal
skeletal development than young dogs of small and medium-sized breeds. Growing Great Danes also
have a somewhat higher protein requirement. Some Siberian husky and malamute dogs have low
efficiency of zinc absorption and thus need more zinc to prevent deficiency. In the nutrient-response
relationship, the deficiency range is wider for breeds with increased nutrient requirement.
Bedlington terriers often develop copper storage disease due to impaired biliary excretion of copper.
Young, growing Great Danes are prone to calcium-induced osteochondrosis (impaired maturation of
joint cartilage). In the two breeds, copper or calcium toxicity occurs at lower intake levels.
Young Great Danes have unique calcium metabolism. Compared to other breeds, their calcium
requirement is higher for optimal bone development, but osteochondrosis develops at lower
calcium intakes. Consequently, the optimum range between calcium deficiency and toxicity is
narrower for Great Danes than for other breeds as illustrated below.
General nutrient-response relationship:
Deficiency Optimal health Toxicity
Low Adequate High
Nutrient intake (g/MJ)
Increased nutrient requirement and increased sensitivity to nutrient-induced toxicity:
Deficiency Optimal health Toxicity
Low Adequate High
Nutrient intake (g/MJ)
Nutrient supply
All-breed and breed-specific foods should be formulated using the same data set on nutrient-
response relationships. For all-breed foods, nutrient levels must fall within the optimum range for all
breeds. Breed-specific foods may address the breed concerned.
For six dog breeds there are data on calcium intake and skeletal health in young animals. However,
the data are too sparse to construct breed-dependent, nutrient-response relationships. For nutrients
other than calcium there is less or no information.
As mentioned, young Great Danes readily develop calcium deficiency or toxicity. A dry puppy food
for Great Danes should contain about 0.7 % calcium, or 0.47 g calcium/MJ of metabolizable food
energy (1-3). An all-breed diet should contain a similar amount. On the other hand, a dry puppy food
for small breeds, which are less sensitive to calcium toxicity, may contain up to 1.1% calcium (4-6).
Breed-specific disease
Ideally, breed-specific foods reduce the risk of breed-dependent disease. To this end, nutrient levels
may be adjusted or functional ingredients be used. There is breed dependency regarding the
development of obesity, joint disorders, urinary stones, cancer, heart failure and chronic kidney
disease. Common knowledge on nutrition and disease could be used to formulate breed-specific
foods with plausible efficacy in the prevention of disease associated with the breed at issue.
Practice
A pet owner does not look for a petfood but for a food suitable for his or her own pet. Breed-specific
foods have a clear marketing advantage. The consumer is being communicated that his or her pet
needs a food that is tailor-made for its breed. That communication is reinforced by a breed-matching
picture on the food label.
Literature
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excess on the skeletal development of growing Great Danes. J Am Anim Hosp Assoc 1985; 21: 377-
391.
2. Schoenmakers I, Hazewinkel HAW, Voorhout G, Carlson CS, Richardson D. Effect of diets with
different calcium and phosphorus contents on the skeletal development and blood chemistry of
growing great danes. Vet Rec 2000; 147: 652-660.
3. Lauten SD, Cox NR, Brawner Jr WR, Goodman SA, Hathcock JT, Montgomery RD, Kincaid SA,
Morrison NE, Spano JS, Lepine AJ, Reinhart GA, Baker HJ. Influence of dietary calcium and
phosphorus content in a fixed ratio on growth and development in Great Danes. Am J Vet Res 2002;
63: 1036-1047.
4. Gershoff SN, Legg MA, Hegsted DM. Adaptation to different calcium intakes in dogs. J Nutr 1958;
64: 303-312.
5. Nap RC, Hazewinkel HAW, Van den Brom WE. 45Ca kinetics in growing miniature poodles
challenged by four different dietary levels of calcium. J Nutr 1993; 123: 1826-1833.
6. Dobenecker B, Kasbeitzer N, Flinspach S, Köstlin R, Matis U, Kienzle E. Calcium-excess causes
subclinical changes of bone growth in Beagles but not in Foxhounds, as measured in X-rays. J Anim
Physiol Anim Nutr 2006; 90: 394-401.
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Article
Full-text available
Numerous investigations and reports have covered the potential negative effects of an excess of calcium (Ca) in the skeletal development of young dogs. However, it still remains unclear why not all puppies, particularly of larger breeds, develop clinical signs of skeletal disorders after an overexposure to Ca. This trial with the small Beagle breed and a larger Foxhound-crossbred dog (with an adult weight of around 35 kg) investigated the effects of Ca-excess on parameters of bone growth. The employed small breed is known for its chondrodystrophic predispositions, no such data are reported for the slender hound-type Foxhound-crossbred dogs. The Ca-supply had no influence on weight development and general health of the dogs. The measurements of bone lengths and widths in X-rays of the forearm of Beagles and Foxhound-crossbred dogs at 6 weeks of age, and again after a period of overexposure to Ca at about 27 weeks of age, revealed a growth-reducing influence only in Beagles, without influence on clinical parameters of skeletal health.
Article
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Article
The skeletal development of three groups of great dane dogs, fed a diet composed according to the published nutritional requirements for dogs (controls) or with increased calcium or calcium and phosphorus content, was examined radiographically, histologically and biochemically. The diets were fed from the time the dogs first began eating food in addition to their dam's milk, until they were 17 weeks old. Thereafter, the calcium and phosphorus intakes of the dogs in the high calcium groups were normalised for a further 10 weeks. The dogs fed the high calcium diet without a proportionally high phosphorus intake became hypercalcaemic and hypophosphataemic, and had severe disturbances in skeletal development, growth, and mineralisation which were typical for rickets. After their calcium intake was normalised the lesions of rickets resolved but osteochondrotic lesions became apparent. The dogs fed the high calcium and phosphorus diet became slightly hypophosphataemic, their growth was retarded, and they had disturbances in skeletal development resembling osteochondrosis, which had only partly resolved after 10 weeks on the normal calcium and phosphorus diet.
Article
To study the musculoskeletal development of Great Dane puppies fed various dietary concentrations of calcium (Ca) and phosphorus (P) in fixed ratio by use of dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), determination of serum insulin-like growth factor 1 and parathyroid hormone concentrations, radiography, and blood chemistry analysis results. 32 purebred Great Dane puppies from 4 litters. At weaning, puppies were assigned randomly to 1 of 3 diets. Blood was collected for biochemical analyses and hormone assays, and radiography and DEXA were performed through 18 months of age. Changes in body weight, bone mineral content, fat tissue weight, lean mass, result of serum biochemical analyses, hormonal concentrations, and radius lengths were analyzed through 18 months of age. Bone mineral content of puppies correlated positively with Ca and P content of the diets fed. Significant differences between groups in bone mineral content, lean mass, and body fat were apparent early. The disparity among groups increased until 6 months of age and then declined until body composition was no longer different at 12 months of age. Accretion rates for skeletal mineral content, fat, and lean tissue differed from each other and by diet group. Ca and P concentrations in the diet of young Great Dane puppies are rapidly reflected in the bone mineral content of the puppies until 5 to 6 months of age, after which hormonal regulation adjusts absorption and excretion of these minerals. Appropriate Ca and P concentrations in diets are important in young puppies < 6 months of age.
Article
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