Maintenance energy requirements (MERs) were calculated for 17 German shepherd and 20 Labrador retriever adult dogs using an in-home prospective dietary trial. The dogs were fed the same dry pet food and body weight, food intake, body condition score and physical activity were monitored for 10 weeks. Labrador retrievers were significantly heavier and had higher body condition scores than German shepherd dogs, but there was no difference between males and females within each group. Body weights remained stable over the study period, with an average daily gain of 9.1 g. Mean (SD) MER was 103.4 (16.3) kcal/kg BW0.75 , which was some 20% lower than that currently suggested for moderately active young adult dogs. Individual MER ranged from 66.8 to 141 kcal/kg BW0.75 . There were no significant differences in MER between the two breeds, or between males and females within and between the two breeds. There was a significant inverse relationship between MER and body condition score, reflecting the lower energy expenditure of adipose tissue. The lower MER of dogs in this study, relative to previous observations, may reflect climatic and environmental differences and highlight the necessity for accurate estimates of MER in relation to the production and feeding of pet foods.
Keywords: German shepherd; Labrador retriever; maintenance energy requirement.
© 2017 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.