Blood vitamin concentrations in privately owned dogs fed non-standardized commercial diets and after intake of diets with specified vitamin concentrations


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The objective was to investigate in a survey study the blood vitamin concentrations in healthy dogs fed non-specified commercial complete diets and in an intervention study to determine the effects of defined dietary vitamin intakes on blood vitamin levels and hair and skin condition. Sixty-four privately owned dogs, aged from 1 to 8 years, without history of skin or coat problems were included. All animals were fed commercial complete diets with uncertain vitamin concentrations before enrolment. The animals were assigned, according to weight and gender, to four groups with graded vitamin intakes. The blood vitamin levels and skin and coat quality of the dogs were investigated at days 0 and day 122. Coat and hair condition was not influenced by the experimental diets. The retinol concentrations were reduced at the end of the experiment compared with the baseline levels, retinyl esters were not influenced. 25-Hydroxycholecalciferol decreased in all groups, α-tocopherol was constant or tended to decrease. Ascorbic acid, thiamine pyrophosphate and riboflavin concentrations were not affected by treatment, flavin adenine dinucleotide and pyridoxal-5′-phosphate were partially reduced on day 122. Cobalamin, pantothenate and biotin concentrations increased with higher dietary intakes, folate levels in tendency. In conclusion, this study gives a survey of blood vitamin concentrations in healthy dogs and provides a data base for the evaluation of the vitamin status in health and disease.