Wageningen University & Research has developed guidelines for a different approach to testing the quality of pet food: at the pet owner’s home. This ‘in-home’ test provides additional information about the quality of the food in the eyes of the pet and its owner. Dogs and cats depend largely on what food their owner provides them with, making quality an important consideration. Pet food manufacturers regularly conduct quality assurance tests at testing facilities.
Research shows that testing the quality of pet food only takes a few days. Pets adapt to the new food within a day or two, after which only one (in the case of dogs) or three days (in the case of cats) of faecal collection by the owner determines the digestibility of the food. Enough to do. Studies also show that both dogs and cats are able to identify whether they like food within a short period of time. Food choice, measured by degree of consumption, is also an important quality aspect.
Every pet is unique.
Pet populations vary greatly. For example, there are 400 different breeds of dogs that weigh between 1 and 100 kilograms. Additionally, pets vary in age and activity level.
This variation is important in selecting and sizing test groups. ‘The number of animals that should be included per test depends on the desired accuracy of the results, dose and population variability,’ says Evelyn Bose. ‘For example, the greater the difference in age, the more animals are needed to get accurate test results.’
The role of the owner
Bose earned his Ph.D. in this unique study. No study with this scope has ever been conducted to examine indoor pet food. An important aspect of home testing is the role of the pet owner. The owner can play a positive role by observing how their pet reacts to new foods. He can also interpret the behavior because he knows the animal best. The owner is the person who will ultimately buy and distribute the food, so his opinion is a relevant factor within the test.
On the other hand, the owner may unintentionally influence the animal and vice versa. ‘Such things can happen’, says Bass, ‘but we should not exaggerate the fear that the owner could influence the test results.’ Additionally, most households have more than one person caring for a pet.
Pets and pet food are increasingly important.
The emotional bond between owners and their pets is strengthened. Dogs and cats are considered part of the family, and as a result, owners are being careful about what food they buy. A study has even shown that some dog owners are more concerned about providing healthy food for their dogs.
Pet food production is a huge global market. Last year, 35 billion tons of pet food were produced with a total value of 110 billion euros. This is expected to grow to 150 billion euros in a few years. Manufacturers routinely test their products for taste and digestibility before they go on the market.
/public release. This material may be provisional in nature, and has been edited for clarity, style and length by the originating organization/authors. Mirage.News does not take institutional positions or sides, and all opinions, positions and conclusions expressed herein are solely those of the authors. See full Here.