Study of ingredients and nutrient composition of commercially available treats for dogs
Forty-one dog treats were selected from the market with the aim of providing more insight into supplemental pet food composition. Thirty-two products (four biscuits, nine tender treats, two meat-based strips, five rawhides, eight chewable sticks, four dental care sticks) were analysed for proximate nutrient composition and quantification of minerals, hydroxyproline (Hyp), starch, glucose, fructose and sucrose. Labelled ingredients were often expressed as non-specific categories. A treat supplied a mean of 332.0±39.2 kcal metabolisable energy (ME)/100 g, and the most energy-dense product was a tender treat (475.0 kcal ME/100 g). Small dogs receive the highest percentage of maintenance energy requirement when producers’ feeding instructions are followed. Treat categories revealed variability in dry matter, crude protein, ash, Hyp and starch. Rawhides showed the highest Hyp content. Simple sugars were identified in most treats, and sucrose was the most prevalent. Results of the study suggest treat labelling should include more information on the ingredients used, and the varying nutrient and caloric density of treats should be considered. Specific attention should be given to the use of treats in dogs with specific ingredient sensitivities or nutrient considerations.