4a Feeding Behaviour of Dogs, Cats, Horses Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 4a Feeding Behaviour of Dogs, Cats, Horses Deck (38):

What are the 3 main outcomes of digested nutrients?

- nutrient utilization and deposition
- satiety
- feed intake and feeding behaviour


Why is it difficult to determine natural feeding behaviours of animals?

- behaviour changes when a human put into their environment


Are feeding behaviours inherited?

yes and no


What are the main differences in feeding behaviour between dogs, cats and horses?

dogs: hunt in packs and omnivorous
cats: hunt solitarily and strictly carnivorous
- horses graze continuously, prefer ferds, strictly herbivorous


How do meal sizes differ between dogs, cats and horses?

dogs: fewer, larger, more variable meals (4-8, during day)
cats: 12-20 meals spaced evenly
horses: graze 10-17 hours/day on pasture, usually during day, up to 20-50% at night


How does energy intake differ between dogs/cats and horses?

- dogs and cats adjust energy intake to diet energy density
- not true of horses; increase weight in spring and progressive loss in fall/winter


How does water intake differ among dogs, cats and horses?

dogs: more water/BW than cats
cats: thought to be adapted to periods of water unavailability
horses: drink while they eat; infrequent (2-8 times/day)
- all species self regulate water intake


What are 5 general feeding recommendations?

- always provide fresh, clean water
- feed a balanced diet
- adult dogs only need to be fed once a day
- cats need to eat many small meals throughout the day
- horses should be allowed to graze/forage throughout the day


Describe the response to food variety in dogs.

- preferences for specific types of foods
- prefer novel foods and flavours to familiar foods


Describe why dogs eat too rapidly?

- social facilitation
- perhaps leftover of competitive behaviour


How stretchy is a wolf stomach compared to a dog stomach?

- after 7 day fast, wolf ate 17% of body weight and dog ate 10% of body weight


Describe garbage eating in dogs.

- normal
- preference of decomposing food
- health consequences (mild gastroenteritis or intoxication)
- prevention of access to garbage


Describe grass eating in dogs.

- dogs naturally would eat herbivorous prey
- viscera of prey often eaten first
- contains partially digested vegetable material
- dogs like taste and texture of plants


Describe begging for food in dogs.

- whining, barking, nudging and scratching
- increased with age
- treatment: ignore behaviour; feed before or after family has eaten


Describe hoarding/burying of food

- hide extra treats or food
- thought to originate from wolves


Describe coprophagy in dogs.

- consumption of feces
- more disturbing than harmful
- bitches eat feces of puppies during first 3 weeks of lactation
- behavioural problem


Describe pica in dogs.

- appetite for and ingestion of non food items
- causes: mineral deficiencies, permanent anxiety, zinc intoxication, behaviour, boredom


Describe the eating behaviour of cats

- strong predatory drive
- very sensitive to physical form, odor and taste of foods
- consume prey beginning at head (dictated by direction of hair on prey; oral tactile sensation important)


What flavours do cats find attractive?

- animal products: fat, protein, enzyme digests, meat extracts
- not attracted to taste of sugars as don't have receptors
- averse to flavours derived from plant products
- poorly accept food with powdery, sticky and greasy textures


What evidence is there that eating behaviour is learned?

- easily influence food preference of kittens with queen present
- queens trained to eat banana and mashed potato instead of meat --> kits followed


Are cats neophobic or neophilic?



Describe coprophagia in cats.

- normal behaviour in queens with kittens less than 30 days of age


Describe plant or grass eating in cats.

- natural behaviour
- grass not digested
- acts as local irritant to stimulate vomiting
- may serve as purgative to eliminate hair
- response to nutritional deficiencies, boredom, taste preference


Describe prolonged nursing in cats.

- non nutritional suckling normally subsides near weaning


Describe anorexia in cats

- few days of inappetence not detrimental to otherwise healthy cat
- malnutrition, reduced immune function, increased risk for hepatic lipidosis
- can be caused by stress, unacceptable foods or concurrent disease
- change to highly palatable food


Describe fixed food preferences in cats.

- food type on first 6 months of kitten's life influences food preferences
- only when fed a very limited number of food


Describe learned taste aversion in cats.

- adaptive response
- linked to negative digestive tract experiences
- up to 40 days


Describe cannibalism/infanticide in cats

- often normal behaviour in male and female cats
- queen cannibalize aborted, dead and weak kittens
- sometimes queens kill apparently healthy litter
- tomcats kill unrelated kittens


Describe polyphagia in cats.

- excessive food consumption
- can be mediated by disease, drugs, psychological stress and underfeeding
- presence of weight loss or gain is of key diagnostic importance


Describe the eating behaviour of horses.

- voluntary intake greatly distorted by palatability
- highly selective eaters; meal size and frequency affected by diet
- preference for what is known


What is group feeding in horses affected by?

- social status
- variation in appetites
- intake rate
- creates aggressive behaviour with limited feed provisions
- may require separation into different groups


What is grazing time affected by?

- seasonal eating
- rain, wind, and high temperature decrease grazing
- high humidity increased grazing
- snow cover can influence grazing time


Describe anorexia in horses.

- typically indicative of an illness
- may be caused by dental problems
- can be a learned behaviour
- typically unable to discriminate between normal and toxic weeds


Describe coprophagy in horses.

- not normal in horses
- adult horses will not graze in areas contaminated with equine feces
- foals will consume dan's feces up to 2 months


Describe geophagia in horses.

- not an uncommon behaviour
- may be used to acquire salt and trace minerals
- sand may create colic or diarrhea


Describe wood chewing in horses.

- undecided if this is normal or precursor to cribbing
- not uncommon in feral horses or thoroughbreds
- may cause small intestinal obstruction
- typically caused by inclement weather or lack of fibre in diet (increase heat production)


What are some stereotypic behaviours in horses?

- cribbing: incisor teeth grip object and gulps air; gastric ulcers
- stall walking: constant movement in circles around enclosed stall
- weaving: shifting weight from foreleg to foreleg while stationary, usually in a confined space


How can stereotypic behaviours be alleviated?

- feed management (more forage, less concentrates)