Horse and companion animals nutrition (152099)

Course coordinator

Course description

Horse feeding includes lectures and exercises on the nutritional needs of certain categories of horses according to their age and training, and on the properties of feed materials and additives to the prevention of metabolic disorders. Will be considered nutritional needs throughout the life cycle according to AAFCO and NRC each group and categories of animals. In the section of the module of companion animals in particular will be processed chapters dogs, cats and exotic animals. Will cover nutritional needs and ways of feeding for each type and category of these animals, foods and supplements for pets. Food processing and effect processing on nutritional value. The physical properties of food. Eligibility and palatability of food and size of the meal. Feeding the sick animals. Food and allergies. Legislation and legislation. The preparation of food (a meal, feed mixture and mix and nutritional supplements) for companion animals.

Type of course

ECTS: 6.00

E-learning: L1

Teaching hours: 60
Lectures: 40
Practicum: 10
Seminar: 10

Associate teacher for exercises

Sufficient (2): 50-59 %
Good (3): 60-79 %
Very good (4): 80-89 %
Excellent (5): 90-100 %

General competencies

The course enables students for individual evaluating the content of nutrients in animal foodstuffs and determines the nutritional requirements of specific categories of horses and pets. Beside that students will be able to create meals based on different requirements for the animals, taking account of animal welfare and protecting the environment.

Types of instruction

  • Lectures
  • Auditory Exercises
    Calculating nutritional requirements and nutritive values of feedstuffs for certain species of animal. Practical calculating of compound feeds and rations for horses and preferred species of companion animal.
  • Seminars
    The seminar related to the feeding characteristics of horses or companion animals. Students independently prepare a final project in which they analyze complete nutritional management in preferred species of animals.

Learning outcomes

Learning outcome Evaluation methods
Explain the central role of digestion and metabolism in the assessment of nutritional values of feedstuffs and animal requirements. Written or oral
Identify the characteristics of feed materials used in the feeding of horses and companion animals. Written or oral
Emphasize differences in feeding dogs and cats by breed groups, and particular groups of companion animals. Written or oral
Emphasize differences in feeding cold-blooded and warm-blooded horses. Written or oral
Select feed material used in feeding companion animals. Written or oral
Create meals for horses. Written
Create meals for one type of companion animal. Written

Working methods

Teachers' obligations

• Lectures and auditory exercises.
• Assistance in the preparation of seminars and possible, graduate theses.

Students' obligations

• Participation in teaching.
• Preparation and presentation of a seminar paper.
• Design and oral exam.

Weekly class schedule

  1. The role of nutrients, signs of excess and deficiency, their utilization for maintenance, training and growth of the horse.
  2. Feeding breeding mares and foals, nutrition for growth, feeding to achieve the performance and during exercise.
  3. Specifics structure of the digestive system of horses, the importance of micropopulation in large intestine (cecum, colon) on digestion, nutrient absorption in the large intestine and their metabolism. Composition and regulation of secretion of bile.
  4. Nutritional diseases of horses, feed and supplements for horses, pastures and horses grazing, laboratory methods of determining the nutritional status of the horse, diet formulation for each category of horses.
  5. Characteristics, methods of manufacture and storage of food for the horses. Specific characteristics of food for horses by age and way of utilizing horses.
  6. Calculations of nutritive requirements for horses based on type of horse keeping.
  7. Formulation of diets and feed mixtures for certain categories of cold-blooded horses.
  8. Formulation of diets and feed mixtures for certain categories of warm-blooded horses.
  9. Requirements of dogs for nutrients as a source of energy, structural and active substances in the relevant periods of dogs life especially puppies and older dogs.
  10. Characteristics of dog’s food, palatability and acceptability of dog’s food and its labeling.
  11. Feeding of females, puppies, growing and adult dogs to the maintenance and activity level. The preparation of food for specific breeds and categories of dogs.
  12. Requirements of cats for nutrients as a source of energy, structural and active substances in the relevant periods cats life, especially kittens and older cats. Characteristics of cat’s food, palatability and acceptability of cat food and its labeling.
  13. Feeding kittens, growing and adult cats on maintenance level. Feeding old and fat and sick cats. The preparation of food for specific breeds and categories of cats.
  14. Feeding other companion animals builds on the knowledge from fish and poultry courses. The basics of feeding exotic birds, chinchillas and guinea pigs, ferrets hybrid (ferrets, reptiles (snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs and amphibians) and small animals (mice, rats, hamsters, voles, etc.).
  15. The specifics of digestion (food intake, composition and role of the gland secretions of the digestive system) in carnivores and rodents (denture, ceacotrofija). Examples of preparation of diets for certain types of companion animals

Obligatory literature

  1. Frape D. 2004. Equine Nutrition and Feeding (Third Ed.), Blackwell Publishing Ltd. UK
  2. Case L.P., Daristotle L., Hayek M.G., Raasch M.F., 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition (Third Edition), Mosby Elsevier. USA
  3. McNamara J.P., 2005. Principles of Companion Animal Nutrition. Prentice Hall. USA
  4. Internal material from Department

Recommended literature

  1. W. G. Pond, D. C. Church, K. R. Pond and P. A. Schoknecht (2004): Basic Animal Nutrition and Feeding, Wiley
  2. Pilliner, S. 1999. Horse Nutrition and Feeding. Blackwell Science, Ltd., Uk
  3. The Encyclopedia of Animal Nutrition (Ed, Fuller, M.F.). CABI Publishing, Wallingford, UK, 2004.
  4. Hirakawa, D.A. 2002. Feeding and Nutrition of the Dog and Cat. 451-477. In:Livestock Feeds and Feeding (eds., Kellems, R.O., Church, D.C.). Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, USA.

Similar course at related universities

  • Heimtierernährung, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien (BOKU), Austria  
  • Equine Reproduction and Nutrition, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Nutrizione e dietologia del cavallo sportivo in relazione alle principali patologie di origine alimentare, Universita degli studi di Milano, Italy 
  • Alimentazione degli animali da compagnia, Universita di Bologna, Italy

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