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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

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