News You Can Use
20 August 2021
2021 American Society of Animal Science Meeting Highlights
Dr. Tayler Hansen
Dr. Trevor Faber
The Kentucky International Conference Center bustled with professors, university students and industry members for one of the first in-person scientific conferences since 2020. The American Society of Animal Science hosted the 2021 ASAS-CSAS-SSASAS Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY, which featured more than 1,000 scientific presentations and posters. Read on for three pivotal messages from the Companion Animal Sessions.
1. In 100 homemade diets, zero met all the vitamin and mineral requirements for dogs or cats.
Dr. Cheryl Morris, Associate Professor of Comparative Nutrition at Iowa State University, shared her experiences formulating raw food diets for pets. She found that homemade raw meat diets are typically deficient in vitamins A, D, E, thiamin, riboflavin and folate. In addition, almost all trace minerals are inadequate in homemade raw meat diets.
Dr. Morris explained dietary modifications for homemade raw meat diets, such as changing the ratio of meat in the diet and leveraging specialty ingredients for their nutritional value. Supplemental vitamin and mineral sources can be used to meet the pet’s micronutrient requirements. Although modifications to raw food diets can improve the nutrient profile, “complete and balanced” diets are the easiest way to meet a pet’s nutrient requirements.
2. Although owners with overweight dogs restricted typical dog food intake, they were more likely to overfeed other foods, such as table scraps and treats.
In a survey, Sydney Banton, M.S., Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Guelph, explored the link between dog owner dietary preferences and exercise regimens with dog weight. The survey was distributed in five countries – France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States – with about 650 respondents per country.
Every day, most dogs received other foods, including dog treats, table scraps, fruits and vegetables. Feeding excess treats and table scraps to overweight dogs can negatively impact animal health and cause weight gain. Novel, low-calorie treats could benefit pets to reduce pet obesity risk.
For more details on these findings, please visit the PLOS ONE article “Grains on the brain: A survey of dog owner purchasing habits related to grain-free dry dog foods” by Banton and colleagues.
3. Dietary fibers are common ground for health and environmental sustainability.
As obesity, diabetes and heart disease rates increase in both humans and pets, Dr. Mario Martinez from Aarhus University said we need to revisit dietary strategies for optimum health. Coproducts from fruit and vegetable juice production are high in healthy dietary fibers. However, Dr. Martinez explained nutritionists and formulators need to understand better the complexity and functionality of different types of dietary fiber. These different fibers have specific effects on the gut microbial community and health benefits. As these fibrous coproducts are incorporated into pet and human diets, health and environmental sustainability can improve.
Overall, presentations and posters at the ASAS-CSAS-SSASAS meeting showcased the wide range of new research in animal science. Trouw Nutrition regularly participates in industry events to stay current on the latest developments in companion animal nutrition. If you would like to learn more about a particular companion animal nutrition topic, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request that a member of our team write an online article on it.