Complete or supplementary food – which is best for my dog?
Complete food contains all of the ingredients, vitamins and minerals that your dog requires for a balanced nutrition. Supplementary foods are designed to complement or enhance your dog’s daily diet.
What do the terms “crude ash”, “crude fat”, “raw fibre” and “crude protein” mean?
When you look at the ingredient list of many pet foods, you will spot a section labelled “analytical constituents”. This is a quantitative chemical analysis of the substances contained in the food. In most cases, this section will show the percentage of crude protein, crude ash, crude fat, raw fibre and moisture in the food, and may also give an analysis of the vitamin and mineral content. Crude ash represents the sum total of all minerals and trace elements in the food, whilst raw fibre includes plant-based, indigestible constituents. Crude protein measures the total amount of vegetable and animal proteins, and crude fat measures the total animal and vegetable-based fat content.
What does “grain-free” mean?
A dog’s digestive system works in a similar way to that of its ancestor, the wolf. It is designed to digest mainly animal proteins. Most dogs do not suffer any ill-effects from the inclusion of cereal in their food, however dogs with sensitive digestive systems can suffer from allergic symptoms as a result of eating grain, as their systems struggle to process the starches in common grains. Grain-free dog foods, such as those without wheat or maize, can help to alleviate these symptoms.
Which type of food should I choose for my sensitive dog?
Dogs with sensitive digestion respond well to easily digested dog foods with a single source of animal protein. These types of food help you to monitor exactly what type of meat your dog is eating and can also help you to pinpoint and avoid ingredients that cause a reaction. Grain-free foods can also help.
Secondary plant compounds or phytonutrients – what are they?
Secondary plant compounds or phytonutrients are naturally occurring compounds that are created in certain types of plant cells. Phytonutrients have beneficial effects in promoting good health and are increasingly being used to improve foods for humans and animals. These compounds have been found to help regulate digestion, work as antioxidants and reduce blood pressure. Domestic dogs’ ancient ancestors took advantage of these nutrients through selective eating of different plants and plant constituents.
How much food does my dog need?
How much food your dog needs depends on what type of food you choose, as well as on the dog’s age, breed, activity levels and feeding habits. Please consult the food packaging for feeding guidelines.
What should I feed my puppy?
Puppies have particular needs when it comes to nutrition. A good puppy food should provide all of the right nutrients for harmonious development, healthy bone growth and a long, healthy life. As well as being vitamin-enriched, their food should also contain a higher dose of calcium to promote good bone development. Puppies also need to consume more calories than adult dogs. MATINA offers a variety of different foods that have been specifically developed for growing puppies and young dogs of all breeds and sizes.
What does my older dog need?
As your dog ages, it may start to suffer from age-related aches and pains. Senior dogs tend to be less active, which means that they do not need to consume as many calories. However, they still need good nutrition. The ideal food for an older dog is a lower-energy option, that is full of essential nutrients and easy to digest. As many older dogs suffer from dental problems, a specially designed kibble can help them to eat dry food.
When should I feed my dog treats, and how many?
Dog treats and snacks make a great reward for between meals, but they should only be a small part of your dog’s daily diet. How many you should feed depends on your dog’s age, breed and activity levels, as well as on their general feeding habits. Check the packaging for further advice and tips.