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All you need to know regarding Fido’s diet

Navigating the pet food world is not an easy thing to do, and to make a conscious and rational choice, it takes knowledge ...

For you – looking for the best diet, for them who cannot choose for themselves: it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to do so!

Navigating the pet food world is not an easy thing to do, and to make a conscious and rational choice, it takes knowledge and information.

Because of this, we compiled a list with all the existing diets in the pet world, explaining their characteristics and always describing them in relation to dogs’ and cats’ welfare, so that you can take note of each alternative and rate them yourself.

A homemade diet is that which you prepare especially for your dog and cat at home, using boiled meat, white meat, oily fish (because it contains less fat) and vegetables such as carrots, celery, zucchini, but it does not include your dinner leftovers. Eggs, oil and carbohydrates can also be used with moderation, while dairy products, onions, garlic and leeks, sweets and grapes are to be avoided. Note: A homemade diet is good, among the best for both dogs and cats, however it presents some problems. It takes a considerable amount of time to prepare and, above all, it needs to be well balanced. A complicated task, even for those who are experts at it. The balance is essentially the following:
  • 70-80% meat or fish, preferably boiled or grilled without salt (not roasted, and no sauces). It is best to opt for lean meat, but not completely free of fat. You can use offal, such as liver and heart, but it is best if it does not constitute 100% of the meat ration. Even giblets are to be cooked. If liver is used, do not exceed in quantity, as it is rich in vitamin A and can give hypervitaminosis. Also, it should never be given raw. In the case of fish, the head can be left on, whereas bones are best removed, unless they become very soft when cooked, or if they are so small that they don’t cause any issues.
  • 10-15% boiled vegetables such as carrots, celery, zucchini, squash, peas, beets. No peppers, no onions / garlic / leek (poisonous), better to avoid large amounts of tomato / spinach / lettuce because it may be irritating to the intestine. Mushrooms: are best avoided.
  • 10-15% cooked grains such as barley - but be careful because it contains gluten - rice or potatoes. We recommend to lightly cook them in the same water in which the vegetables were boiled. A tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil or of fish oil, as a source of fat and / or Omega-3 (a tablespoon for a medium-sized dog - 15 - 20kg). Dairy products: it is best to avoid them, especially if seasoned (containing a lot of salt), except for fresh ricotta, which can be used, or plain yogurt (both in moderation). Eggs: a couple of times a week you can give them eggs. Best if boiled, not raw. Fruit: apples, pears, plums / prunes, bananas and more depending on the season. Fruit can be given cooked, raw or dried. To be avoided completely: sweets (especially chocolate), grapes / raisins.

The BARF diet consists of raw meat, bones and offal. Like the homemade diet, you have to prepare it keeping in mind to ensure a proper balance. The amount of the ingredients is almost the same as the homemade diet’s, with the difference that it is all raw and, instead of cereals / tubers, fruit is added to the mix.

Note: The feeding of raw meat involves integrating supplements (dried seaweed, vitamin B, linseed oil, cod liver oil). Moreover, it is hard to digest. A warning - also reported by the Food and Drug Administration - there is a possible danger to consuming that raw meat as it may be a vehicle for dangerous microorganisms such as Salmonella and Listeria. The bone also may contain toxic elements, such as oxytetracycline, an antibiotic that can cause severe inflammation and jeopardize the health of dogs and cats.

Furthermore, in the case of the cat, there is the risk of toxoplasmosis. Cats can become infected either through the feces of other infected cats, or eating raw meat of animals that serve as intermediate hosts.

A vegan diet avoids meat, fish or other foods of animal origin. The basic elements that make up this diet are therefore cereals, soybeans, various vegetables, vegetable protein extracts, oils and fats.

Note: The dog, as an omnivore, can tolerate a vegan diet, although it is recommended as an elimination diet, in particular cases of food intolerance or other issues.

For the cat the vegan diet is cannot be complete. Being that the cat is an obligate carnivore, it must be considered as a complementary food or to be followed only for a short period of time, especially to evaluate if the cat is allergic or intolerant to one or more proteins.

Organic, as such, provides greater authenticity of raw materials and increased controls on the supply chain. Albeit with the legitimate precautions of the whole organic world, this type of products has proven to noticeably reduce chemical and pharmacological intolerances.

Note: By definition it is a type of food considered optimal, both for the dog and to the cat.

It is the elimination of all grains.

Note: Grain-free foods can be successfully used throughout life. Although dogs and cats are able to digest cereals, there is scientific evidence to demonstrate that a grain-free formula does not create any type of deficiency or disorder. The harmfulness of grains can be attributed only to an excessive intake of Omega-6, which should be balanced with Omega-3, that can be found in sea fish and proteins of pasture raised animals. This type of diet, of course, is ideal for subjects intolerant to one or more cereals.

The gluten-free diet is characterized by the absence of grains containing gluten. Food used as the basis for this diet are meat and cereals such as corn, rice or sorghum.

Note: Neither the dog nor the cat suffer from any form of celiac disease like man does, except for the Irish Setter, but some can still be gluten intolerant. This diet, also, reduces the risk of allergies.

It is the diet that takes us back in time to the Stone Age, when man and dog hunted together. It is the wolf diet. Very similar to the grain-free one, it provides mainly meat proteins, fat for energy, carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables, fiber, and fat-soluble vitamins, salts and water.

Note: The same applies as for grain-free diet, given the similarity. You must still keep in mind that this type of diet, which focuses on great quantities of meat and protein, should not exceed the recommended percentage.

It is a diet that provides the abstention from consumption of meat, except for that of fish, that is not the only food allowed, but it’s the only source of animal protein. The fish should be given preferably cooked (even better if it is oily fish). To be avoided, however, crustaceans and molluscs.

Note: This kind of diet is good for both of our furry companions and ensures a good balance between Omega-6 and Omega-3. All the Nordic dogs have always been fed only with fish, never showing weaknesses or problems.

Forza10 is the name of our diets, simple and effective formulations born from 40 years of experience of a veterinarian who is very knowledgeable in nutrition and with a committed desire to pursue the well-being of all dogs and cats.

Dog and cat: formulations with a single source of protein, clean and top quality raw materials from Iceland, the Antarctic coast of Peru and New Zealand, the best balance of Omega-3 and Omega-6 and an accurate use of medicinal herbs. Controlled calorie restriction and highly digestible proteins. These are a few but extremely important key points which enable us to make the best diet possible, and of course the rejection of chemical and oxytetracycline elements, the antibiotics that’s widely and legally used in factory farming, which we have scientifically proven to be toxic.

Dr. Sergio Canello

Forza10 Founder and head of SANYpet’s Research and Development Department Veterinary surgeon and international expert in food-borne diseases

Recent Posts

Urinary Tract Infections in cats, also known as “UTIs” are caused by colonized bacteria in the urinary tract. The UTI can affect the cat’s urinary system, bladder, and urethra. This type of infection can be particularly painful for your cat and symptoms can sometimes be associated with other health concerns such as kidney failure. It is very important to recognize the symptoms early as some cases of this condition can be fatal. 

 

How To Tell if Your Cat May Have a UTI

 

If you think that your cat may have a urinary tract infection it is important to find out in order to have it treated as soon as possible. We have included a list of symptoms for you to watch out for. If you recognize these symptoms you should seek veterinary assistance. While UTIs affect both male and female cats, some cats may be at higher risk than others such as cats that are older, overweight, or have diabetes. 

 

UTI Symptoms and Warning Signs for Cats:

  • Fever
  • Urinating is done in short bursts rather than a continuous stream
  • Spending more time than usual in the litter box
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Crying or whining while urinating
  • Your cat is urinating before it can get to the litter box
  • Urine with any trace of blood
  • Excessive licking of the genital area
  • Unusual discomfort around the rear area when touched or pet
  • The cat is lethargic 
  • Urine smell is stronger than normal 

 

Why Is My Cat Having Frequent Urinary Tract Infections?

There are many reasons why your cat may be suffering from repeat UTIs, some may be preventable. While there is no way to guarantee your cat will not have another UTI, there may be some things you can do to reduce the likelihood of it happening. In some cases the cause could simply be the age of your cat. While there is nothing that can be done about that, other variables like the cat’s diet can be modified to help. 


Other causes of UTIs in Cats:

  • Poor hygiene near the genitile area 
  • Bladder stones
  • External or Internal Injuries
  • Tumors
  • FIV, also known as feline immunodeficiency virus

 

What Can I Do To Prevent Or Reduce The Likelihood of a UTI in my Cat?

No cat owner wants to see their beloved pet suffer from a UTI. To keep your cat feeling great and reduce the chances of a UTI occurring, follow these guidelines:

  • Always provide your cat with fresh water
  • Ensure your cat’s litter trays are clean and easily accessible 
  • Keep an extra litter tray available 
  • Maintain a stress-free environment for your cat 

By following these guidelines you can do your part to help keep your cat healthy, happy, and free of urinary tract infections. If you suspect any symptoms, keep an eye on your pet’s behavior, if symptoms persist or worsen, contact your vet. 

 

Which Remedies or Treatments Can Be Used When Your Cat Has a UTI?

While the severity of the infection plays a key role in what treatments may be used to help your cat when it has a UTI, a minor infection may be treatable at home. 


Due to their acidity, cranberries, just like in humans, may be used to help cure a urinary tract infection. The acidity in the cranberries can be effective at lowering the pH of your cat’s urine, helping to reduce the symptoms, or beat the infection altogether. While you may be tempted to treat your cat’s UTI with cranberry juice, it may be better to use cranberry pills or powder due to the high sugar content of cranberry juice. 


Another treatment option for your cat’s UTI is apple cider vinegar. This also helps reduce the pH in your cat’s urine. Since your cat will most likely not want to eat the apple cider vinegar on its own, you can try adding a half teaspoon to their food each day or mix it with an onion-free broth. 


Before giving your cat cranberries or apple cider vinegar, test their urine for alkaline levels with an at-home kit or specialized cat litter. You can also have the test done professionally by your veterinarian. 


Here are some other products that you can use to help support urinary tract infection in your cat:



If your dog just started throwing up and refusing to eat, it may be nothing to be too concerned about, but just in case, it is good to know the warning signs for pancreatitis in dogs. Pancreatitis is a condition that will need to be treated, sometimes at home but certain circumstances mean it is time to take your pet to the vet. 

The pancreas is a gland within the abdomen that helps digest food and control blood sugar levels. When the pancreas becomes inflamed, this is known as pancreatitis. It is important to be aware of the two types of pancreatitis in dogs, acute and chronic pancreatitis. While acute pancreatitis can be reversed it can come on strong and lead to extreme illness. Chronic pancreatitis occurs when permanent changes have occurred in the pancreatic tissue. 

This means that while a case of pancreatitis can pass on its own after a short period of time, sometimes it can be a lingering issue.  

Symptoms of Pancreatitis in Dogs 

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Fever 
  • Low body temperature
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargic
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dehydration
  • Irregular heartbeat

While some of these symptoms can pass on their own and do not necessarily mean your dog is suffering from pancreatitis, if you see them lasting for more than a day it may be time to consult your veterinarian.

Although your vet may be able to diagnose your dog based on symptoms, they will most likely need to do some testing to be sure. These tests usually consist of either bloodwork or an ultrasound which will allow the vet to see what is going on within the dog’s digestive system. 


The Potential Causes of Pancreatitis in Dogs

Now that we have a better understanding of the symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs, it is time to look at what causes it. While the cause of pancreatitis is often unknown, here are some factors that it can frequently be associated with: 

  • A high-fat diet - the likeness of this being a contributing factor is even higher in dogs who eat one large serving of fatty food in a single sitting
  • A poor or unbalanced diet
  • Excessive consumption of human food
  • Dog is overweight 
  • Hypothyroidism 
  • Severe blunt trauma near the abdomen
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Some medications and toxins  
  • In some instances it could simply be genetics. Some breeds such as Miniature Schnauzers and small terriers may be more likely to suffer from pancreatitis than others. 

It is important to keep these potential causes in mind and to do what you can to avoid any habits that could contribute to your dog developing pancreatitis. Beyond that, veterinarians agree that a diet rich in fiber along with probiotics can be effective in reducing the symptoms of pancreatitis in dogs. It may even help them recover sooner in the event that they are already dealing with it. 


Here are some additional products from Forza10 that may help your pet deal with this condition:
 

We told you why we chose Iceland as the source for the ingredients of our diets, and we explained why we established two factories in this Icelandic untouched oasis.