2017 Food study

Food nutrition is very important to animals, from health to behaviour – a good diet can make all the difference, especially at a stressful time in their lives. Our Behaviourist Karen headed a trial to look at food use on site and what we can do to make our animals’ stay more comfortable for them.

Dogs and cats were split into 3 groups each
•    Mixed up selection from donated food (current system)
•    Single brand A
•    Single brand B

Brands were shortlisted for 
•    Quality of ingredients
•    Reasonable pricing
•    Ease of sourcing for adopters to continue with this feed
•    Ethical status of the company

Results were judged on
•    Palatability – did the animals eat it?
•    Kennel behaviour (dogs)
•    Faeces quality – e.g. diarrhoea or constipation?

The results shown were very interesting, and has meant that we have made changes to our nutrition plans on site. 

Results

Dogs. Brands used: Bath Cats & Dogs Home own brand Food for Life and James Wellbeloved.
Both kibble brands proved palatable, with dogs not requiring wet food to encourage eating.
For both brands, a quarter of the dogs showed improved kennel behaviour.
Conclusion: We will continue with Food for Life across site – using Adult, Senior/Light and Puppy as appropriate. Selected brands of wet food will be used for stuffing Kongs etc.*

Cats. Brands used: James Wellbeloved and Harringtons. 
James Wellbeloved dry food proved the most palatable, although their wet food was rejected by 17%. 
Conclusion: We will use James Wellbeloved food across site – using Adult, Senior, Light and Kitten. Wet food from a selected list* will be used to supplement those who will only eat wet food. A further study may look into wet food for cats once we see a long-term result from the dry food feeding.

Special exceptions

Some of our animals require more specialist diets, for example GI and Sensitivity food, after consultation from our vets. RAW food will also continue to be fed to some dogs, monitored individually. 
 

* Selected wet food list.

Dog
Butchers in jelly
Chappie
Pedigree in jelly
Webbox Chub rolls

Cat
Butchers in jelly
Felix in jelly
Kit-e-Kat in jelly
Whiskas in jelly