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Correlates of objectively measured physical activity in dogs and implications for the understanding of energy requirements in dogs

Morrison, Ryan and Penpraze, Viki and Greening, Ruth and Underwood, Tom and Reilly, John and Yam, Philippa S (2014) Correlates of objectively measured physical activity in dogs and implications for the understanding of energy requirements in dogs. Veterinary Journal, 199 (2). 263–267. ISSN 1090-0233

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Abstract

To increase physical activity (PA) levels in dogs and to better evaluate their energy requirements, there is a need to understand which factors or correlates are associated with PA and/or sedentary behaviour. Improving our understanding of these correlates also has implications for prescribed energy requirements in dogs. PA was measured using accelerometry in 62 dogs from two common breeds (Labrador retrievers and Cocker spaniels). Five potential correlates (age, sex, breed, neuter status, body condition score) were tested for associations with total volume of PA, light-moderate intensity PA, vigorous intensity PA and sedentary behaviour. Age and breed were associated with total volume of PA, light-moderate intensity PA and sedentary behaviour in the final models. Age was associated with vigorous intensity PA. The final models explained 60%, 40%, 63% and 44% of variance in total volume of PA, light-moderate intensity PA, vigorous intensity PA and sedentary behaviour, respectively. These results should improve understanding of the variation in energy requirements of dogs, as well as the development of age and breed-specific diets and the prevention and treatment of canine obesity.