Which is better - dry or wet food?

Moist food ("canned food", today also in bowls or bags) contains approx. 80% moisture. This means that the animal consumes a lot of liquid, but also has to eat a much larger amount to meet its nutritional needs. Wet food is usually higher in protein, while dry food contains more carbohydrates.

Dry food only has about 10% moisture and is therefore more concentrated, so your pet needs a much smaller amount of food. Dry food is therefore found to be more convenient by many owners.

Dogs can be fed equally well with dry and wet food. You can choose the food according to your and your dog's preferences. A combination of wet and dry food is also possible.

Cats should be fed at least partly with moist food. On the one hand, it is more satisfying, and on the other hand, you can ensure sufficient fluid intake. Cats can also be fed only wet food, they do not need carbohydrates. Wet food corresponds more to natural food in terms of its rough nutrient composition.

What are complete and complementary feeds?

The law requires that a feed must be declared according to its intended use.
A Complete feed must therefore contain all the nutrients the animal needs on a daily basis - see question "How do I choose the right complete feed for my animal".

Supplementary feed are by definition not suitable for feeding alone. They do not contain all nutrients in sufficient quantities - especially minerals and vitamins - and must therefore be combined with other feeds. Typical supplementary feeds are, for example, pure meat cans, which must be supplemented with cereal flakes and a mineral feed. Barf mixtures and treats also belong to supplementary feeds.

How do I choose the right ready-made food for my pet?
The food should be appropriate to the species, age and life stage of the animal. A "complete feed" must contain all the nutrients the animal needs on a daily basis. Promises such as "high meat content" "natural" or "without additives" are not decisive criteria, as they say nothing about the quality of the ingredients or the nutrient content. Reputable manufacturers adhere to the legal conditions in the EU. They also do not engage in aggressive advertising and do not spread negative rumours about their competitors. Above all, the food must taste good and be well tolerated!

Does commercial feed really only contain harmful waste?
No, that is certainly not true. There are strict legal regulations that dictate what may and may not be processed into dog and cat food. For example, only parts of animals may be used that would also be suitable for human consumption. The food must not endanger the health of the animal. It is true, however, that our dogs and cats are leftover food processors. What is not suitable for human consumption can be processed into dog food. This includes, for example, cartilage, offal and grain residues. Offal in particular is high-quality feed and therefore not waste in that sense. Many "leftovers" are also processed into chewing articles, such as pig ears or oxen pizzles.

Are additives harmful?

All additives must undergo a very extensive and elaborate authorisation procedure before they can be used in animal feed. This ensures that they are not harmful to health.

By the way, additives do not only include technological aids (such as preservatives), but also trace elements and vitamins (=nutritional additives), which are vital for the animal and must be added to a complete feed in order for it to be a complete food.

Do additives really cause cancer?

Additives include, for example, preservatives that prevent dog food from becoming mouldy or rancid. Trace elements and vitamins are also included, which are even necessary in precisely calculated amounts to give a dog a balanced diet. Copper and zinc, for example, are important for skin and coat.

A connection between cancer and additives has not been proven.

Do ready-made foods contain addictive substances?
Of course not. But it is true that flavourings such as liver extract or animal fats are used in ready-made food. Something that smells delicious gives dogs an appetite, but in no medical sense is it addictive.

Is it true that wheat causes allergies?
Allergies due to food are quite often suspected in dogs: however, it is difficult to prove a real food allergy. Wheat is not the trigger more often than other ingredients. It is mainly proteins from e.g. poultry, beef or lamb, but also from dairy products, to which dogs react with itching, skin problems and diarrhoea.

What do I have to pay attention to if I want to prepare the food myself?
Above all, the feed must be balanced and contain all the necessary nutrients so that your animal is not malnourished. Knowledge of the nutrient requirements and the composition of the feed is a basic prerequisite for this. You have to combine the different feeds sensibly or supplement the ration with a suitable mineral feed. Recipes that you find on the internet and in books or magazines are unfortunately not always balanced.
Of course, no harmful or even toxic ingredients may be used.

 

Is it allowed to feed kitchen scraps?
There is nothing wrong with feeding something from the table every now and then. However, a dog should not be fed exclusively on leftovers, as this will lead to deficiency symptoms in the long run. With homemade food rations, the right supplementation with minerals and vitamins is the decisive factor. Simpler and (mostly) safer in this respect remains feeding with commercial food.

Is raw feeding ('BARF') really healthier?
BARF means Bones and Raw Food or Biologically species-appropriate feed. It is a current trend in the feeding of dogs and cats to follow the diet of their wild ancestors (wolf, wild cat). However, one should bear in mind that in the course of evolution our domestic animals have adapted to living with humans and live under completely different conditions than their wild ancestors. Even genetically, they have adapted to a starch-rich diet, just like humans. Therefore, barfing should not be ideologised too much, as is unfortunately often the case. For many, but not for every dog and every owner, barfing is the best form of feeding.

 

What are the risks of BARFing?

There are two main risks to BARFing that need to be considered:

1. Hygiene deficiencies. A variety of pathogens can be transmitted through raw meat: Bacteria (Salmonella, E. Coli, Campylobacter, EHEC,...), parasite larvae (tapeworms...), protozoa (Toxoplasma...), viruses. These pathogens can not only endanger your pet's health, but also your own. Particularly at risk are small children, pregnant women, senior citizens and the chronically ill. Here you have to pay special attention or prefer to cook the meat.

2. Nutritional deficiencies. Experience shows that the majority of bar recipes do not meet the requirements and malnutrition as well as deficiencies are very common. Growing dogs and breeding bitches are particularly at risk. One must not succumb to the misconception that a supposedly natural diet does not have the same nutrient content requirements as other forms of feeding.

 

Do dogs need a fasting day?
Fasting is certainly not harmful, but it does not bring any health benefits for the dog either. To avoid obesity, the right amount of food and sufficient exercise are much more important.

For which forms of nutrition do you offer counselling?
We create feed plans for all types of self-prepared rations:

  • Cooking rations
  • Veggie plans
  • BARF rations / raw feeding

We also prepare rations with ready-made feed as well as combinations of the individual feeding forms.

Should I brush my dog's teeth?
It depends a bit on the breed. In dogs with a long muzzle, the teeth are usually correctly positioned in the upper and lower jaws. You don't have to brush them. Short-nosed breeds such as Pugs or Pekinese are different. Their jaws are shortened, the teeth have less space and are often crooked. With these dogs it makes sense to brush regularly to prevent the formation of tartar and inflammation.

 

My animal is sick. Does it have to be a diet food from the vet?

Dietetic feed, in simple terms feed for sick animals, is subject to its own EU directive. This ensures that the conditions are met that an animal with a disease needs. They contain special ingredients and a detailed declaration. Dietary feeds from the vet meet these criteria.

Supposed "diet food" from the supermarket or pet shop, on the other hand, does not always meet these requirements. Therefore, always consult your vet or myself if you want to give a diet other than the one prescribed or if you prefer to prepare the food yourself.

 

Where can I find the study on water supply in cats?

The study on water supply in cats accompanied by Dr Julia Fritz is available on request.