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Animal Health
Disclaimer - The information on this site is not intended to replace that of qualified veterinarians.

PetfoodNZ cares about the health and wellbeing of the animals for whom our product is destined so we ensure our pet food is of the highest standard.

Our products meet the nutritional needs of the cats and dogs for whom it is intended. Recipes can also incorporate supplements for specific nutritional benefit, such as Green Lipped Mussel extract. PetfoodNZ's long term focus is to work in conjunction with nutritionists to formulate, refine, test and implement all our nutritional recipes to produce pet food with strategic functional outcomes to meet customer demand. By utilising novel proteins in specific recipes, those animals with intolerances, allergies and on restricted diets have a solution.

By using only top grade ingredients and careful retort cooking to kill potentially harmful micro-organisms along with a fast manufacturing process, PetfoodNZ product is fit for the purpose for which it is intended - to be fed to our beloved companion animals.

PetfoodNZ works with its distributors to develop unique recipes. All recipes use high-quality protein as the main ingredient without unnecessary colouring, flavouring, preservatives, fillers, antibiotics and hormones.

"Dogs cannot survive without protein in their diets. Dietary protein contains 10 specific amino acids that dogs cannot make on their own. High-quality proteins have a good balance of all the essential amino acids. Studies show that dogs can tell when their food lacks a single amino acid and will avoid such a meal. Dogs are known to selectively choose foods that are high in protein" National Research Council. (2006). Your Dog's Nutritional Needs, page 2.

"...as long as most of our dogs (whom nature did not endow with flat molars) are fed grain-based, high carbohydrate diets more suited to horses than carnivores, behavior problems will probably continue to abound." Campbell, W.E. (1999). Behavior Problems In Dogs (3rd Edition). Oregon: BehavioRx Systems. Page 141.

Switching to PetfoodNZ food

Our companion animals have their own different tastes and preferences; therefore they will have differing ability to incorporate new foods into their diets. If they have only known one type of food they may need a much slower introduction to a new food type. If the diet they are switching from has contained a lot of fillers, additives or flavourings, they may take time to adjust to a more wholesome, nutritious and for most animals highly palatable diet like that produced by PetfoodNZ. The long term results and benefits for your four legged friend will be well worth your trouble. There is no one food that will be perfect for all animals and we recommend incorporating a range of protein sources into the diet to benefit from their differing nutritional composition.

The following advice is the recommended strategy for changing from one diet to another:

"When a diet is changed, it is best to add the new food in increments of 25% of total diet volume while deleting 25% of the old food over a 4-day period. This allows intestinal bacteria to accommodate to the new food without the shock of instant change-over. Loose stools are avoided, together with their potential behavioral consequences of house-soiling." Campbell, W.E. (1999). Behavior Problems in Dogs (3rd Edition). Oregon: BehavioRx Systems. Page 143.

My cat is resisting changing to a wet diet from a dry biscuit/kibble type diet. What benefits will my cat enjoy by switching from dry food?

Cats need water in their diet, however, few cats on a dry only diet will seek out sufficient water to drink on its own, therefore the food in their diet needs to contain water. Cats who are not consuming sufficient water become susceptible to kidney and bladder ailments. The following is taken from www.catinfo.org website article by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, entitled 'Common sense. Healthy cats. Feline Urinary Tract Health: Cystitis, Urethral Obstruction, Urinary Tract Infection':

"Think of canned food as not only a proper diet for an obligate carnivore, in general, but also understand that it is the healthiest way to keep your cat's bladder flushed out and 'happy'... It makes absolutely no sense to feed dry food to any cat - especially one with urinary tract problems."

The following points are extracts from www.catinfo.org by Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, entitled "Feeding Your Cat: Know The Basics of Feline Nutrition": As an obligate (strict) carnivore (designed to meet nutritional needs by the consumption of animal-based proteins - i.e. high protein, moderate fat with little to no carbohydrates) cats lack specific metabolic (enzymatic) pathways and cannot utilize plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins. Dry foods tend to have fewer animal derived proteins. Cats need animal based proteins as they contain the essential amino acids required for optimum health, one of the most important being taurine, without which blindness and heart problems may occur. Taurine is not found in plants.<5> Plant derived carbohydrates in dry food vary from around 35-50 percent of the calories (cheaper foods may be more). Cats have no dietary need for carbohydrates and they can lead to health problems such as a rise in blood sugar, hyperthyroidism, as well as being hyperallergenic. Dry food is no more likely to promote oral hygiene. There are many factors - known and unknown - that contribute to dental disease in the cat such as genetics, viruses, and diet - and the fact that cats do not brush their teeth like humans do. Therefore there is no basis to feed dry over canned food for your cat's teeth. <5> "Cats, like children, often resist what is best for them. The two most frequent comments I hear from people when trying to convince them to feed their cats a healthier diet are "my cat won't eat canned food" and "but my cat really likes his dry food." Children really like potato chips and ice cream but that certainly does not mean those food items constitute optimal nutrition. The transition process often involves much more than just plunking down a new food item. Time, patience and tricks are often required."

Some kibbles are coated with animal digests to increase palatability. The texture of dry food is very different to canned food and cats are very resistant to such a drastic change in the texture of their food.

When switching to canned food, do it slowly and with patience. The most important issue is actually making the change, not how fast you accomplish it - the biggest mistake is reverting to dry food. For less resistant cats gradually decrease the dry, taking about a week (perhaps longer if they do experience diarrhea) to fully switch the cat over to 100 percent canned food.

For 'resistant-to-change' cats, you will need to use the normal sensation of hunger to help with the transition. Stop free-feeding dry food, establish set meal times (two or three per day). They are not going to try anything new if their bowl of junk food is in front of them 24/7, however, do not attempt to withhold food for long periods of time (greater than 24 hours). You need to 'convince' them that a high quality canned food really is good for them, rather than to try starving them into it, which at worst could lead to hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease). Most cats will lose some weight during the transition to canned food, but as well as the health benefits listed above, they are likely to enjoy more lean muscle mass and become more active. Leave the food down for 20 minutes, and then remove any uneaten portion. Repeat in 8-12 hours. During the first few days of transitioning to a set schedule, you can offer canned food during the dry food meals, or in-between meals. All cats will eventually eat canned food if their caregiver is determined, methodical, and patient enough. Once your cat is on a schedule of meal-feeding instead of free-feeding, try feeding a meal of canned food only. Do not put down dry food if the cat refuses to eat the canned food, rather offer the canned food in a couple of hours. Once it has been more than 18 hours since anything has been eaten, allow a small amount (approximately 1/4 cup) of dry food. Exercise the cat before presenting the canned food. Make sure the canned food is at least room temperature (especially after removing from a refrigerator). If required various treats can be incorporated into the canned food until they are can be eliminated (e.g. small amounts of tuna or parmesan cheese or even crumbling the dry biscuits over the top).

The three most important reasons to switch to PetfoodNZ's high quality canned cat food for the health of your cat are: PetfoodNZ food is made from optimum high quality animal protein (which incorporates taurine one of the most important amino acids) providing a high biological value and is therefore species appropriate. Carbohydrates (grains) are minimal The water content is high (it is critical for cats to ingest a water-rich diet)

How often should I feed my dog?

PetfoodNZ recommends feeding your adult dog twice a day and puppies up to six months three times a day. Fresh water should be available at all times and should specifically be offered during periods of activity. Following feeding, dogs should avoid strenuous activity in order to allow full digestion to occur. This is especially important for dogs susceptible to bloat and other digestive related concerns or for those dogs whose work is physically challenging.

How do I know if my dog is the ideal weight?

The pamphlet by National Research Council. (2006). Your Dog's Nutritional Needs, page 10 provides the following guidelines for determining if your dog is the ideal weight:

Underweight - Your dog is not getting enough to eat if you can easily see its ribs, vertebrae, and pelvic bones, feel no fat on the bones, and possibly notice some loss of muscle mass. If chronically underfed, adult dogs may experience impaired ability to nurse young and perform work, and increased susceptibility to bacterial infections and parasites; puppies may be stunted in their growth; adult dogs may develop osteoporosis.

Ideal - Your dog is at an ideal weight if you can easily feel its ribs. The waist should be easily observed behind the ribs when viewed from above. An abdominal tuck is evident when viewed from the side.

Overweight - Your dog is overweight if you cannot feel its ribs, see fat deposits over its back and the base of its tail, discern no waist behind the ribs when viewed from above, and see no abdominal tuck in profile.

The value of Taurine

Taurine - "A colourless crystalline substance, D2H7NO3S, formed by the hydrolysis of taurocholic acid and found in the fluids of the muscles and lungs of many animals." (dictionary.com)

Taurine is a water-soluble amino acid, which is very beneficial to various components of the mammal skeletal system such as heart, kidneys and blood.

Many people are aware of the requirement for cats to receive adequate levels of taurine in their diet, however, dogs also enjoy similar benefits from its incorporation into their diets.

Taurine's main purpose is to act as a catalyst facilitating the flow of vital elements to and from cells. Elements such as Sodium, (Na), Potassium, (k) and Calcium (ca) depend on Taurine in order for them to move from one cell to another. Taurine is most abundantly found in the retina and cases of blindness have been linked to Taurine deficiency in kittens. Taurine is very beneficial for the heart.