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The Effects of Processing Diets for Companion Animals

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Title: The Effects of Processing Diets for Companion Animals
Author: Owens, Tiana
Department: Department of Animal Biosciences
Program: Animal and Poultry Science
Advisor: Shoveller, Anna Kate
Abstract: An alternative to seeking new diets and ingredients for the animals we feed, is to investigate ways to improve existing diets. The overall objective of my thesis was to assess the effects of various treatments on companion animal diets. For my first study, the objective was to assess the effects of soaking and steaming hay on nutrient content, horse preferences for processed hays, and if these processes affect the glycemic response in horses. It was determined that soaking for 30min reduced soluble carbohydrates and potassium, while steaming for 60min conserved these nutrients. The glycemic response of Standardbred racehorses was not affected by processed hays, and these horses preferred dry and steamed hay to soaked hay; therefore, we conclude that steaming is an effective method to treat hay to conserve nutrients in hay for performance horses. The objective of my second study was to determine if liquid methionine hydroxy analogue (Alimet), which is also an organic acid, could mitigate bacterial contamination in raw ground meat when thawed from frozen in a refrigerator, as would be the case for raw diets for pets. Alimet included as 1.25% of the raw meat mixture reduced Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes by up to 20% and 26% relative to the control, respectively, and warrants further investigation as an antimicrobial. Overall, the work presented in this thesis has demonstrated how simple changes can improve the nutritional integrity, hygienic quality, and palatability of existing companion animal diets.
Date: 2019
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