Diet and exercise patterns in pet dogs

J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1995 Jul 15;207(2):186-90.


A study was conducted to provide baseline data on pet dog diet and exercise patterns. In addition, the repeatability of a telephone questionnaire to determine these patterns was evaluated. Dogs seen at the Texas Veterinary Medical Center that were less than 3 years old and of medium, large, or giant purebreeds or mixed-breeds were included. Information was collected about background variables, brands, quantities, and types of foods fed, and types and frequency of exercise. Daily intake of metabolizable energy, calcium, fat, and protein were calculated from the diet. Sixty-nine dog owners completed the study. Most dogs were kept as pets in an urban/suburban environment. Most were also fed dry food. About 60% were fed dog biscuits or some other dog snack or treat, and about half of the dogs in the study were fed twice daily. Meat scraps and bones were the table foods most commonly fed. Most owners considered their dogs to be moderately or very active. Greater than 70% of the dogs were confined to a fenced yard. About 65% of the owners took their dogs for walks. Forty percent of dogs in the study exercised with other dogs daily. More than half of the owners reported playing retrieving games with their dogs, including playing with a flying disk. The questionnaire was shown to be repeatable.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / statistics & numerical data
  • Animals
  • Diet / statistics & numerical data
  • Diet / veterinary*
  • Dogs / physiology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • New York
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / statistics & numerical data*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telephone
  • Texas