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MEAT ADDITION TO A DRY-BASED DIET ?

What are the conditions, for a dog breeder or a dog owner, for feeding meat to his dog(s), without inducing the disbalance of the diet ?

Meat is commonly used by some dog breeders or dog owners for various reasons :

  • economical : when a meat source is accessible for a cheap price,
  • palatability : to stimulate the appetite of some finicky eaters, or who have a tendency not to consume enough in training or competition period (i.e : sled dogs),
  • nutritional : some people are convinced that fresh meat is better than meat which is used in dryfood.

Unhappily, in home-made diets, the denomination "fresh meat" covers a large range or ingredients : according to the species, the age of the animal, the anatomic origin, the nutritional value of the meat varies a lot.

Horse Beef lean / fat Poultry Hen / Duck Lamb lean / fat Pork lean / fat Dry matter % 25,0 36,0 - 55,0 34,5 - 56,0 37,5 à 48,0 40,5 à 47,5 Protéins % DM* 84,0 54,0 - 24,5 49,0 - 20,5 56,0 - 30,5 40,5 - 30,5 Fats % DM 8,0 44,0 - 74,5 49,0 - 75,5 25,5 - 66,5 55,5 - 66,5 Energy kcal / kg 1100 2250-4300 2270-4230 1690-3450 2740-3410 Proteic energie (% total) 76,0 34,6 - 12,5 31,0 - 11,0 49,7 - 17,0 24,0 - 17,0 * DM : Dry matter

Proteic quality

Meat is a "humid" food : an average of 60 to 70 % of water. Though the real amount of proteins consumed by the animals must be deducted from the protein content of the crude meat:

example : a beef meat contains 40 % of dry matter, 45 % of proteins on DM. On crude, it contains:
45 x 40 / 100 = 18 % of proteins.

100 g of this meat provides 18 g of proteins when 100g of AGR 36 brings twice more proteins.

When we consider the proteic supply, lean meats are the most interesting (cf table above).

The more apparent connective tissue (tendons, ligaments, muscular aponeurosis) there is, lower is the quality of the meat : this is measured through the collagen level. Raw collagen has got a very poor digestibility, and its biologic value is very low : it is deficient in indispensable amino-acids, especially in tryptophan. Collagen should not represent more than 25 to 30 % of the total proteins.

Fat quality

Fats represent an important part of the dry matter of the meat. The energetic intake depends on the fat content of the meat : it has to be taken into account to eventually reduce the dry food basis.

The fatty acids balance influences the nutritional value of the meat : unsaturated fatty acids are undispensable for the metabolism, but they get oxidized easily. Then, the conservation of meat rich in unsaturated fatty acids (Pork, Poultry ... ) is more difficult.

Phospho-calcique disbalance

The ash content of the meat does not vary a lot:

- 7 to 10 mg of calcium / 100 g ; or about 0,01 to 0,03 % of the DM - 150 to 200 mg of phosphorus / 100 g ; or about 0,35 to 0,65 % of the DM - ratio calcium / phosphorus, 1/20 to 1/ 35

Then, boneless meat does not meet at all carnivorous requirements. To prevent from disturbing the balance of the diet, at least 75 % of the caloric intake must be supplied by a complete dry food. (It means that daily quantities recommanded by ROYAL CANIN must not be reduced of more than 25 %.)

Carbohydrate content

Glucose is stored in the liver and the muscles, under glycogen form. However, these energetic reserves are neglectable compared to the fat storage. A meat-based diet does not supply any carbohydrates.

Transportation and storage of fresh meat makes the strict respect of the "cold chain" necessary. It is useful to regularly check the absence of any abnormal bacterial contamination. Bacteriological examination can be asked to the local laboratories that work with the official veterinary services.


Donated by the Borg Cardona and Co. Ltd. visit Borg Cardona website



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