Selenium digestibility and bioactivity in dogs: What the can can, the kibble can't

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There is a growing concern for the long-term health effects of selenium (Se) over- or underfeeding. The efficiency of utilization of dietary Se is subject to many factors. Our study in dogs evaluated the effect of diet type (canned versus kibble) and dietary protein concentration on Se digestibility and bioactivity. Canned and kibble diets are commonly used formats of dog food, widely ranging in protein concentration. Twenty-four Labrador retrievers were used and four canned and four kibble diets were selected with crude protein concentrations ranging from 10.1 to 27.5 g/MJ. Crude protein concentration had no influence on the digestibility of Se in either canned or kibble diets, but a lower Se digestibility was observed in canned compared to kibble diets. However, the biological activity of Se, as measured by whole blood glutathione peroxidase, was higher in dogs fed the canned diets than in dogs fed the kibble diets and decreased with increasing crude protein intake. These results indicate that selenium recommendations in dog foods need to take diet type into account.




Van Zelst, M., Hesta, M., Gray, K., Beech, K., Cools, A., Alexander, L. G., … Janssens, G. P. J. (2016). Selenium digestibility and bioactivity in dogs: What the can can, the kibble can’t. PLoS ONE, 11(4).

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