Protein and amino acid bioavailability of extruded dog food with protein meals of different quality using growing mink () as a model

J Anim Sci. 2016 Sep;94(9):3796-3804. doi: 10.2527/jas.2016-0526.


The present study evaluated growing mink () as a model for dietary protein quality assessment of protein meals used in extruded dog foods. Three foods with similar CP content but of different protein quality were produced using different protein meals. The protein meals varied with respect to CP digestibility and AA composition and included lamb meal (LBM), poultry meal (PM), and fish meal (FM) with low, intermediate, and high protein quality, respectively. Nitrogen balance, BW gain, protein efficiency ratio (PER), and apparent total tract digestibility (ATTD) were used as measures of protein and AA bioavailability in growing mink. Standardized ileal digestibility (SID) was used to measure protein and AA bioavailability in adult dogs (). The mink study (3 × 3 Latin square design) included 12 kits aged 8 to 11 wk. The dog study included 12 dogs divided in 3 groups allocated to 1 of the experimental diets. The growing mink responded in accordance with the different AA supply between diets, as determined by the first limiting AA. The LBM diet deviated from the other diets with lower ( < 0.001) values for N retention, BW gain, and PER, and the diets differed ( < 0.001) in ATTD of CP and all AA, except for hydroxyproline. Retention of N was 0.66, 1.04, and 1.18 g·kg·d; BW gain was 8.2, 26.8, and 35.3 g/d; PER was 0.38, 1.39, and 1.71; and ATTD of CP was 66.8, 73.8, and 82.1% for the LBM, PM, and FM diets, respectively. In dogs, SID of CP and AA differed ( ≤ 0.017) between diets and was generally lowest for the LBM diet, intermediate for the PM diet, and greatest for the FM diet. For CP, SID was 71.5, 80.2, and 87.0% for the LBM, PM, and FM diets, respectively. The contents of digestible CP and AA (based on SID) covered the minimal requirement for adult dogs set by the NRC for all diets, except for the content of digestible Met + Cys in the LBM diet. Despite this, dietary content of Met + Cys in the LBM diet agreed with the recommended level set by the NRC and the Association of American Feed Control Officials for adult dogs but was below the level recommended by the European Pet Food Industry Federation. It was concluded that growth studies with mink kits can provide valuable information in protein quality assessment of extruded dog foods. Furthermore, the study showed that to ensure nutritional adequacy of dog food and to be able to compare protein quality of dog foods, information on AA composition and digestibility is crucial.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids / pharmacokinetics*
  • Animal Feed / analysis*
  • Animals
  • Biological Availability
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism*
  • Dietary Proteins / standards
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Female
  • Ileum / physiology
  • Male
  • Mink
  • Models, Animal


  • Amino Acids
  • Dietary Proteins