Palatability Affects the Percentage of Metabolizable Energy as Protein Selected by Adult Beagles

Cristina L. Tôrres, Sabrina J. Hickenbottom, Quinton Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The percentage of protein that dogs voluntarily choose and the effect of palatability on the quantity selected were determined. Six beagles were offered a choice of two isoenergetic purified diets containing 0 vs. 25, 9 vs. 32, 18 vs. 32, 18 vs. 48 and 25 vs. 48% metabolizable energy from protein (MEp). To examine whether palatability modifies the choice, the dogs were offered 0 vs. 25% MEp, with the 0% protein diet containing 2.9 times more sucrose than the diet containing 25% MEp. To determine the effect of concentration of protein in the diet on dietary choice and plasma amino acid concentrations (PAA), dogs were adapted to 9% MEp, followed by a choice of diets containing 9 vs. 32% MEp. The choice was repeated after adaptation to a diet containing 32% MEp. Dogs selected diets to obtain 21-27% of the MEp (mean, 25% MEp; median, 27% MEp) when sucrose was kept at 6.4%. When the protein-free diet contained 25% sucrose, dogs selected 17% of MEp, but increased food intake to ingest about the same amount of protein per day. PAA did not correlate linearly with protein intake. Food intake and total PAA were the lowest after consumption of the 9% MEp diet. We conclude that when fed equally bland diets, dogs select food to ingest ∼25% MEp. As a palatability enhancer, sucrose increases food intake and selection of the diet containing the higher sucrose concentration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3516-3522
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2003


  • Dogs
  • Food intake
  • Palatability
  • Plasma amino acid concentrations
  • Protein choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Palatability Affects the Percentage of Metabolizable Energy as Protein Selected by Adult Beagles'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this