Dog owners accuracy measuring different volumes of dry dog food using three different measuring devices

16 Nov 2019

Coe, J. B., Rankovic, A., Edwards, T. R., Parr, J. M.

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Prior research demonstrates significant inaccuracy when repeatedly measuring the same amount of dry dog food using a dry-food measuring cup, bringing into question the accuracy of measuring devices. This study aimed to determine dog owners’ accuracy when measuring different volumes of dry dog food using different types of measuring devices. One hundred dog owners, randomly assigned one of three measuring devices (a one-cup dry-food measuring cup, a two-cup graduated-liquid measuring cup or a two-cup commercial food scoop), were asked to measure 1/4, 1/2 and 1 cup of dry dog food. Accuracy was assessed with an electronic gram scale by comparing measured volumes with the correct weight in grams. Individual accuracy ranged from –47.83% to 152.17% across devices and volumes. Measuring accuracy was found to be associated with the volume of food measured (p<0.001) and the type of measuring device used (p<0.001). Findings highlight approaches for decreasing excess intake of calories by dogs, including promotion of tactics to improve measurement accuracy (eg, gram scales, volume-calibrated dry-food measuring devices), especially for measuring small volumes.