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Revista Brasileira de Zootecnia

On-line version ISSN 1806-9290


SABCHUK, Tabyta Tamara et al. Digestibility and behavior of dogs housed in kennels or metabolic cages. R. Bras. Zootec. [online]. 2012, vol.41, n.1, pp.118-122. ISSN 1806-9290.

The objective of the present study was to compare the apparent digestibility coefficients of a commercial dog food, fecal consistency and behavior of dogs housed in kennels and metabolic cages. Six adult Beagle dogs were distributed in cross-over experimental design, with six replicates per treatment. Dogs were housed in two environments: metabolic cages and in masonry kennels with solarium. Dogs were fed for a five-day adaptation period, and the five following days were used for total feces collection. Dogs behavior was recorded during a 48-h period, with 10-min intervals. Apparent digestibility coefficients were not different between treatments. However, dogs housed in metabolic cages produced lower weight and more consistent feces as compared with dogs housed in kennels. Dogs spent most of the time sleeping in both housing systems; however, dogs housed in the metabolic cages slept more than those in kennels. Stress-related behaviors (barking, whimpering, stereotypies, etc) were observed for no longer than 15 minutes per day, and were not different between dogs in kennels or in cages. There is no difference in food digestibility evaluated in dogs housed in metabolic cages or kennels; however, dogs kept in metabolic cages eliminate drier feces and spend more time inactive than those kept in kennels.

Keywords : animal diets; fecal consistency; metabolic trial.

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