Changing our pet's diet

Often, dogs are always fed with the same food, which means that a sudden change in their diet may take a while for their digestive system to adapt. Therefore, it is important to introduce the new food gradually. This allows your dog /cat to adjust to their new diet and also reduces the possibility of an upset stomach.

Start by mixing 25% of the new food with 75% of the old food. Slowly change the proportions over the next three to five days, gradually increasing the amount of new feed and decreasing the amount of the old feed. At the end of this transition process, your pet should be eating only the new feed.

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Extruded or non extruded feed

How does the process of extrusion affect the feed for our dogs

While thermal processing (extrusion) pet food offers a number of benefits, extensive processing can increase the variability, destroy essential nutrients and create bad products.

Thermal processing, also known as cooking or extruded pet food, offers a number of benefits, including convenience, better taste and texture, consistency, improved pathogen control whilst also reducing spoilage. However, extensive processing can destroy essential nutrients and create an unhealthy reaction through  its byproducts. From the perspective of a food formulator, this creates a dilemma on how to ensure that the product is sufficiently fortified avoiding excessive addition of nutrients.

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How much protein should I give to my dog?

As descendants of wolves, domestic dogs retain their carnivorous physiology. Although dogs can consume plant material and metabolize protein from vegetables and grains, animal protein from meat byproducts and meat is the best source of amino acids to a dog. A dog will eat until it has consumed enough protein to meet its needs for amino acids and nitrogen. The amount varies with the age, size and activity.

The fastest growth period occurs during the first six months of life. Large breeds reach maturity approximately between 12 and 16 months, the smaller breeds reach adulthood a little earlier. When they reach maturity, most will have increased birth weight between forty and fifty times. This enormous growth and development takes place in a relatively short period of time. For this to be a correct development is essential to provide our pet with a balanced diet.

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Potencial feed contaminants

Given the kinds of things that manufacturers add in pet foods, it is not surprising that bad things sometimes happen. The ingredients used in pet foods are often highly contaminated with a wide variety of toxic substances. Some of these are destroyed by processing, but others are not.

Bacteria of slaughtered animals as well as those who have died because of an illness, injury, or natural causes, are sources of meat and their byproducts. An animal that died on the farm ca not get to a processing plant until days after its death. Therefore, the body is often contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli.

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