Raw Research Results
INITIAL FINDINGS FROM A UNIVERSITY STUDY ON RAW
Nature's Variety is proud to present the initial findings from a University Research Study that is currently being conducted to assess the health benefits and nutritional adequacy of Raw Frozen Diets for pets. Below is an abstract from the study.
Fecal characteristics, nutrient digestibility, blood cell populations, and serum metabolite concentrations of adult dogs fed raw meat diets
Alison N. Beloshapka1, Laura Duclos3, Kelly S. Swanson1,2
1Department of Animal Sciences and 2Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801, 3Nature’s Variety, Inc., Lincoln, NE 68504.
Raw diets are now commercially available for canines, but have been poorly studied. The objective of this experiment was to determine the effects of feeding poultry-and beef-based raw diets with or without inulin or mannanoligosaccharides (MOS) on fecal characteristics, total tract macronutrient digestibility, blood cell populations, and serum metabolite concentrations in healthy adult dogs. Six adult beagles (5.5 ± 0.5 yr; 8.5 ± 0.5 kg) were randomly allotted to the following six test diets using a Latin square design: 1) Beef control; 2) Beef + 1% inulin; 3) Beef + 1% MOS; 4) Chicken control; 5) Chicken + 1% inulin; and 6) Chicken + 1% MOS. Each treatment period lasted 21 days (d0-14 adaptation; d15-20 total fecal/urine collection; d21 fasted blood sample). All dogs were fed to maintain BW throughout the study. Food intake and refusals were measured daily. Fecal output (on a dry matter and as is basis) was lower (P<0.05) in dogs fed the beef-based versus the chicken-based diets. All diets were highly digestible: dry matter (92.7-95.5%), organic matter (96.2-97.6%), and fat (98.9-99.2%). Dry matter and organic matter digestibilities were greater (P<0.05) in dogs fed beef-based versus chicken-based diets, but fat digestibility did not differ. Digestibility was not affected by inulin or MOS. Fecal scores were in the desirable range (2-3 out of 5) and fairly consistent across treatments. However, fecal scores were lower (P<0.05; drier and harder) in dogs fed chicken-based versus beef-based diets. Fecal pH was higher (P<0.05) in dogs fed beef-based versus chicken-based diets. Few changes were noted in blood cell populations and serum metabolites. Blood triglycerides were greater (P<0.05) in dogs fed beef-based versus chicken-based diets. In dogs fed beef-based diets, blood cholesterol was greater (P<0.05) with the inclusion of inulin or MOS, but was lower (P<0.05) in dogs fed chicken-based diets including inulin or MOS. White blood cell count was lower (P<0.05) in dogs fed diets containing MOS, but was unaffected by protein source. Based on this study, raw meat diets appear to be highly digestible, maintain desirable stool quality characteristics, and result in minor changes in blood cell populations and metabolites in healthy adult dogs.