Effect of dietary fibre type on physical activity and behaviour in kennelled dogs

G. Bosch, B. Beerda, E. van de Hoek, M. Hesta, A.F.B. van der Poel, G.P.J. Janssens, W.H. Hendriks

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Dog diets may differ in their effectiveness of maintaining satiety after a meal. Consequently, sensations of hunger, feeding motivation, physical activity, and sensitivity to environmental stressors may be increased. Dietary fibre may be effective in prolonging postprandial satiety depending on type and inclusion level. This study evaluated the effect of fibre fermentability on behaviour in dogs. Sixteen healthy adult dogs were housed individually and fed a low-fermentable fibre (LFF) diet containing 8.5% cellulose or a high-fermentable fibre (HFF) diet containing 8.5% sugar beet pulp and 2% inulin. Dogs were fed two equal portions at 8:30 and 18:30 according to energy requirements. Behaviour of dogs in their home-cage was recorded and analyzed by instantaneous scan sampling (2 × 24 h with 15 min intervals) and focal sampling continuous recordings (10 min per animal per hour, from 9:00 until 18:00). Dogs were subjected to a behaviour test composed of the subtests open-field, sudden-silence, novel-object, and acoustic-startle. The behavioural responses of each dog were recorded. Scores for the scan and focal samples were expressed per clock hour and DIET × TIME effects were tested statistically using Residual Maximum Likelihood (REML). Data from the tests were examined using principal component analysis resulting in the compilation of two components. Data were tested statistically for DIET and DIET × SUBTEST effects using REML. Variables specific for the open-field and novel-object test were analyzed using analysis of variance. For the scans, a significant DIET × TIME effect was found for resting. At night and in the morning, HFF dogs rested more compared to LFF dogs, but they rested less between 14:00 and 17:00. For the continuous recordings, the main findings were a tendency for DIET × TIME effect for time spent resting with a pattern consistent with that for the scans. The interaction was significant for inactive-alert (lie with head up or sitting) with HFF-fed dogs having lower values around 10:00–11:00 and higher values hereafter. Finally, time spent tail wagging was significantly higher for LFF-fed dogs just before the evening meal that may indicate higher level of arousal. For the behaviour tests, no significant DIET or DIET × SUBTEST effects were detected. It is concluded that compared to the LFF diet, the HFF diet increased inactivity in kennelled beagle dogs likely through the prolongation of postprandial satiety. This effect did not change the reaction to stressful events in kennelled laboratory dogs. Enhanced susceptibility to environmental stressors at times of hunger in sensitive companion dogs may occur but requires further study
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-41
JournalApplied Animal Behaviour Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • glucagon-like peptide-1
  • in-vitro fermentation
  • gastrointestinal-tract
  • spatial restriction
  • chronic stress
  • pregnant sows
  • food-intake
  • responses
  • ghrelin
  • satiety


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