The advice of our veterinarian this Christmas

As Christmas approaches, our animals can sense the excitement of the holiday season. We may feel a slight twinge of guilt thinking we have neglected them or not spent enough time with them this year. If you feel like this, why not turn Christmas into an opportunity to strengthen your relationship and prove to them how much they matter to you?

And why not take advantage of the festive period by being more attentive to their diet?

Here are some tips from our experts to spend a happy (and safe) holiday season with our animals:

– In winter, our pets tend to use more energy than in the summer months as they need to burn more calories to keep warm so they have higher nutritional needs. If your dog or cat likes to spend time outside in winter, the daily amount of food should be increased by 40% compared to the amount you feed them in the summer.

 

–  If your animals mostly stay indoors and only go out occasionally in winter, the amount you feed them will only need to be increased by 5%.

 

–  If your pet stays indoors, it does not need additional energy so its food ration must stay the same! We know that some dogs and cats can be very persistent when it comes to begging for extra food, so do be careful not to give in!

 

–  If you leave a bowl of water outside, you must be extremely careful that the water does not freeze or get too cold, as this is not healthy for your pet. Position the bowl in an area that is sheltered from the elements. Check the water bowl and refresh regularly. You can even refill with warm water.

 

–  During the holiday season, keep an eye out for loved ones feeding them from the table. We tend to want to spoil our animals with treats, but human food can be indigestible for them and will give them stomach upsets.

 

–  Do not listen to those who ask you to lock up your animals, or worse, put them outside. There is no reason to inflict needless punishment on your animals. On the contrary, keep them with you… after all, it’s also Christmas for them!

 

– But of course as it’s Christmas, we want to spoil them just like we do with our other family members, so choose healthy treats specifically formulated for them so they won’t get indigestion!

 

– For dogs, which have a very developed sense of smell, you can mix one or two tablespoons of wet food in with their dog biscuits (kibble), this will make the meal more enjoyable for them, without risking complications the next day.

 

– For cats, you can organise a small treasure hunt by hiding treats around the house: this will stimulate their predatory instincts while providing them with a delicious snack!

 

– If you haven’t been paying attention to their diet, you can take advantage of this extra time spent at home to rectify this. Why not try our Alternative kibble (dry food) as well as our HFC wet food?  Be prepared to see an improvement in their appearance and their mood!

 

– If, on the other hand, you are spending the holidays with friends who do not allow you to bring your animals, perhaps you should review your friendship… ;-). Joking aside, if we decide to leave our animals at home, we must make sure to act the same as we would when we go to work or go out without them. This will make your pets understand that there is nothing to worry about..

 

– Once the Christmas holidays are over, some people like to go hiking. If you take your dogs with you, do remember to pack a kit with items to protect them from the cold weather. Remember that dogs sweat through their paws and when sweat comes into contact with cold surfaces such as ice, it can damage their paws and pads so it may be a good idea to use “boots” specifically designed for this purpose. The first steps your dog takes in these booties may be uncertain but they will soon become used to them.

 

– Avoid dressing your animals up in uncomfortable costumes such as reindeer horns or Christmas clothes. Pet clothes, like coats, are a good idea for animals that feel the cold but make sure you choose the right size: if it is too tight, the dog will have trouble moving and cause irritation. If, on the other hand, the coat is too big, the air can pass inside and prevent the animal from warming up.

 

– When you take your dog out in the snow, avoid grooming them while out as their coat is their first protection against the cold. Small crystals of ice may form on the coat, these should not be pulled, but melted with a hair dryer and then combed out when you get back from the walk.

 

– Finally, find out about the physical peculiarities of your dog’s breed. If this is the first time your four-legged friend has seen the snow, you can expect to witness some strange and fun behaviours. Eating it, rolling in it, jumping like a rabbit, digging, disappearing in the snow etc.  Enjoy this new experience together and create a magical memory this Christmas.

Which kind of meat can be used to produce kibble (dry food)?

To be able to feed your dog kibble (dry food) that you know the origin and the condition of the ingredients used, you need to be aware of two key points: The quality of the source and the physical state of the ingredients.

 

1) The quality of the source of ingredients

According to European Legislation, the meat or fish used as ingredients for pet food is classified in different ways:

a) “…. parts of animals slaughtered … which are fit for human consumption in accordance with Community legis­lation, but are not intended for human consumption for commercial reasons” (Regulation (EC) N° 1069/2009 Article 10 paragraph a)

b) … “parts originating either from ani­mals that have been slaughtered in a slaughterhouse and were considered fit for slaughter for human consumption follow­ing an ante-mortem inspection or bodies and the following parts of animals from game killed for human consumption in accordance with Community legislation:

(i)  carcases or bodies and parts of animals which are rejected as unfit for human consumption in accordance with Community legislation, but which did not show any signs of disease communicable to humans or animals;

(ii)  heads of poultry;

(iii)  hides and skins, including trimmings and splitting thereof, horns and feet, including the phalanges and the carpus and metacarpus bones, tarsus and metatarsus bones, of:

—  animals, other than ruminants requiring TSE test­ing, and

—  ruminants which have been tested with a negative result in accordance with Article 6(1) of Regulation (EC) No 999/2001;

(iv)  pig bristles;

(v)  feathers”

(Regulation (EC) N° 1069/2009 Article 10 paragraph b)

 

 

2) The physical state of the ingredients

Meat or fish used as pet food ingredients comes in three forms: fresh meat, dehydrated meat or meat (or fish) meal.

Dehydrated meat or meat (or fish) meal has already been cooked at least once before being used and re-cooked to produce kibble (dry food).

Fresh meat or fish arrives directly from the slaughter house and is cooked just once to produce kibble.

Furthermore, kibble made from fresh meat also benefits from the fact that:

 Proteins retain their bioavailability

– No preservatives or antioxidants are required to preserve the ingredients used as they are fresh

 

So, when you choose kibble (dry food) for your dog, we suggest you always consider:

 The source of the meat (how is the meat classified?)

– The physical state of the meat (fresh meat, dehydrated meat or meat meal)

For example, we only use fresh meat originally fit for human consumption as an ingredient in Almo Nature Alternative kibble (for dogs and cats).

 

Finally;

HFC is the term Almo Nature uses to describe the meat and fish in its pet food that’s originally “(…) fit for human consumption in accordance with Community legislation (…)” [according to Regulation (EC) N° 1069/2009 article 10, paragraph a)]

Understanding pet food ingredients, labels and regulations

Words should have the power to inform and to move, not to leave people confused! For this reason, we would like to provide all the relevant facts regarding pet food ingredients to ensure you have everything you need to make an informed decision when buying food for your cat or dog.

 

A) HOW PET FOOD INGREDIENTS ARE CLASSIFIED

Regulation (CE) 1069/2009 article 10 – paragraph a), identifies the parts of slaughtered animals originally fit for human consumption – Almo Nature refers to this meat as ‘HFC’.

Regulation (CE) 1069/2009 article 10 – paragraph b) i, et seq. identifies a qualitative scale of parts of slaughtered animals which are unfit for human consumption – Almo Nature calls this meat ‘PFC’.

 

B) HOW A DOG OR CAT KIBBLE (DRY FOOD) LABEL MUST BE WRITTEN TO COMPLY WITH THE LAW

Composition: defines, in descending order, all ingredients in the recipe, meat, rice, vegetables, etc. Ingredients can be listed individually or in categories.

Analytical constituents: this list shows the nutrient analysis of the finished product, defining the amount of protein, fibre, oils and fats, etc. The list of analytical constituents is just an index of quantity, not quality!

 

C) HOW THE LIST OF INGREDIENTS CAN BE EXPRESSED ACCORDING TO REGULATIONS

 There are two ways to express the list of ingredients:

-by ingredient: Listing each ingredient, such as chicken, rice, potatoes, etc.

-by category: using a category for all meat ingredients, a category for all cereals, etc. This kind of label, must use definitions as per Directive 82/475. For example, the meat category is called “meat and animal derivatives” because it contains different types of meats and non-fleshy parts, such as the liver, heart etc. The word “derivatives” does not refer to waste parts, it is simply a statutory definition.

It is more important when reading the COMPOSITION to understand the physical state of the ingredients. For example, is the meat in the recipe Fresh Meat, Dehydrated Meat or Meat Meal?

 

D) WHY JUDGING THE QUALITY OF A RECIPE BY THE PROPORTION OF CARBOHYDRATES IS A MISTAKE

Today, there is a trend to evaluate the quality of a kibble (dry food) based on the mistaken assumption that the higher the proportion of carbohydrate, the lower quality the product. This is not necessarily the case.

The proportion of carbohydrates is calculated is using the following formula:

100% – (Analytical constituents i.e. proteins% + fibres% + oils and fat% + ash% + moisture%) = Carbohydrates

From this formula, it is easy to understand that the percentage of carbohydrates of a product is not only directly related to the protein percentage but to four other variables – the moisture, fibre, oils and fats and ash content.

But what people don’t realise is that the percentage of carbohydrates can be lowered (manipulated) by adding more water, oils and fats or proteins etc. sometimes beyond the recommended limit/real needs of the animal. In this instance, a lower percentage of carbohydrates is not an accurate index of good quality.

It is also important to realise that knowing the percentage of a constituent does not tell you the actual amount in the product. It just tells you the proportion ranked against the other constituents.

As you can see, evaluating the quality of a product just by calculating the proportion of carbohydrates is not an accurate measure. What should always be considered first is the quality of the ingredients i.e. is the meat or fish classified as HFC or PFC and does it contain fresh meat, dehydrated meat or meat meal?

 

Attention to quality should always be the very first thing you check. Calculation of the nutritional characteristics can be considered later, after checking the bioavailability of the ingredients.

Nutritional advice for healthy, happy cats

Almo Nature has formulated its nutritional advice for cats based on the following nutritional philosophy.

Because of a cat’s amazing ability to adapt and survive, it is often believed that they are a simple animal to feed. Unfortunately, this belief is completely false.

A cat’s digestive complexity means its strict food requirements have remained unchanged over time… even after millennia of coexistence with humans.

This is caused by two very important factors, let’s see below.

 

1. A cat has no instinct to drink

This innate ability can be found in the cat’s desert origins. Due to the lack of water sources in deserts, cats needed to preserve liquids gleaned through their food, which comprised small prey.

A cat’s body can preserve most of the fluids obtained through nutrition by urinating less, eliminating only small amounts.

If we see a kitten first approach a bowl of water, we will notice that it will do everything except drink. This skill will be learned through observing the mother or other animals.

To encourage a cat to drink, there are several solutions available on the market that stimulate intake of fluids (if necessary) and attract them to water… these systems are often of great help but not always sufficient on their own.

Nutrition based solely on dry foods, even if with an abundance of water sources available, often does not prove to be effective in maintaining a cat’s hydration levels. Over time, a cat’s sedentary lifestyle – given its lack of need to get food or escape from predators – coupled with other predisposing factors, can lead to health issues such as renal problems or cystitis, etc.

 

 

2. The cat is a strict carnivore

The small prey a cat hunts and eats in the wild ensures high protein consumption and keeps the cat in good condition. The intake of animal proteins for a cat is indispensable as it has a reduced ability to synthesize amino acids (protein components) from non animal proteins. Animal proteins are therefore essential for its survival and to prevent the development of serious illnesses.

Feeding a cat food comprising animal proteins but predominantly cereal and plant sources to address deficiencies is not always the right solution.

 

How can we help our cat?

Alternate between dry foods and wet foods to ensure a proper diet throughout the year, and get them used to the consistency of both wet and dry food as young as you can… imprinting the habit into their memories.

Increasing the ratio of wet food not only reduces caloric intake, it also increases our cat’s hydration levels and provides a good source of animal proteins containing essential amino acids.

In addition, alternating between white and red meat and fish recipes is not only good practice but an important tool to provide all the nutrients your cat requires without excesses or deficiencies.

 

How to serve these foods

Serving wet foods in the morning and evening – and not leaving it more than half an hour in the bowl – is useful to ensure a fresh meal; kibble can be left at cat’s disposal throughout the day and night.

 

Written by Dr. Benedetta Giannini – Veterinarian

Green Label, Rouge Label and Classic become HFC

Green Label, Rouge Label and Classic single serve pouches from Almo Nature change their look and become HFC.

HFC is the label that distinguishes Almo Nature products prepared with HFC ingredients originally fit for human consumption*.

To make it clear which products have this characteristic, we decided to group these recipes under the HFC label. In this way, a quick glance is enough to understand the quality of the product you are looking at.

 

HFC: more than 30 recipes in single serve pouches

Single serve 55g pouches allow us to offer our cat a portion of wet food while avoiding unnecessary waste.

All recipes are free of chemical additives, preservatives and artificial colours.

To prepare our recipes, we use only the ingredients we list on the label and nothing else.

None of the current recipes have changed: we know how is important to give our cats what they love the most… always.

 

HFC line composition

The HFC line comprises a variety of sizes and recipes, but what they all have in common is the quality of the ingredients we select to prepare them.

In the HFC line you will find:

– HFC Natural 70g – the most popular and long-established Almo Nature recipe

– HFC Natural 140g & 280g – ideal for hungry cats or multiple cat households

– HFC Natural 55g – the smart alternative to a tin: a single-serve pouch

– HFC Raw Pack 55g – 75% fresh meat or fish, bain-marie cooked inside the pouch

– HFC Cuisine 55g / 70g / 140g – select ingredients to satisfy even the most discerning palates

– HFC Jelly 55g / 70g /140g / 280g – recipes in jelly for light, anti-hairball aid

– HFC Light 55g / 70g – ideal for weight control

– HFC Kitten 55g / 70g / 140g – complete food to satisfy kittens’ specific needs.

 

HFC recipes in a cat’s daily diet

HFC wet recipes are the ideal choice to provide our cats with natural daily nutrition and hydration.

To respect their nature as strict carnivores that don’t have an instinct to drink, Almo Nature suggests a diet alternating between wet food – such as HFC recipes –  and dry food (such as Alternative dry) which together are the ideal choice to offer a 100% HFC diet!).

 

 

 

* According to Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 Article 10, paragraph a)

The importance of including wet food in your dog’s summer diet

Kibble + Wet Food = Nutritional Balance

The well-being of dogs starts at the bowl! A balanced diet that includes all the nutrients and satisfies water needs is essential, especially during the hot summer months.

Unlike a cat that is unaccustomed to drinking water, the dog is an animal which drinks spontaneously. For this reason, high quality complete dry food can be the basis of its daily diet.

But we shouldn’t forget the consumption of water: hydration is essential!

In fact, although dogs have the instinct to drink, Almo Nature’s nutritional advice for an optimal nutritional balance is to base a dog’s diet on dry food (alternating between meat and fish recipes) and to add a small percentage of HFC wet food – originally fit for human consumption – the highest quality possible. 

Dry foods have a moisture content of around 8% while wet foods have values that range between 75% to 86%. So, meals comprising wet foods permit natural hydration.

 

The function of wet food: nutrition and satisfaction!

Adding a small percentage of HFC wet food helps stimulate a dog’s sense of smell and makes a meal highly rewarding. Furthermore, wet food is an important source of micronutrients contributing to a dog’s general well-being.

Wet food can be considered a true “condiment”: its addition to the usual ration of kibble (reduced by about 10%), is useful to control calorie consumption in our four-legged friend’s meal. 

Furthermore, the choice of ingredients is essential to ensure good digestibility and proper assimilation. To meet this need, Almo Nature formulates a range of wet food for dogs made with pure ingredients that are originally fit for human consumption, such as the HFC Classic Dog line: the selection of the finest cuts, supplies our dog with proteins and micronutrients detectable only in meat and fish muscle – a high profile nutritional intake adapted to physiological needs of the animal is guaranteed!

 

Full belly, proper intake of nutrients and … satisfaction!

Do not forget that dogs are social animals and their gratification also passes from the bowl through a delicious meal that also stimulates its sense of smell: Almo Nature has thought of that too.

 

How to prepare the bowl

Now you can prepare your dog’s meal using just a few simple steps:

– Pour a small amount of wet food into the bowl

– Add the kibble

– Add the remaining portion of wet food as condiment

– Stir to mix

 

A tasty and balanced meal for your dog: bon appétit!

Cats. Eating according to nature: the principle of rotation

Given their great ability to adapt and survive, cats are often thought of as animals that are easy to feed. Unfortunately, this belief is often proved wrong.

Cats, which have a very complex digestive system, have preserved the same, strict eating limitations over time, even after thousands of years living with human beings.

This is due to two very important factors. Let’s take a closer look at them.

Cats lack the natural instinct to drink.

This innate feature comes from the fact that cats were originally animals of the desert, where they had to save as much fluid in their bodies as possible. The right fluid intake was ensured by eating small animals, the only possible source of hydration.

A cat’s body is able to absorb most fluids introduced with food by minimizing their loss. Urine is concentrated and only small quantities are eliminated.

A kitten that approaches a bowl of water for the first time would do all sorts of things with it but drink the water. The act of drinking water is learned by watching their mother’s or other cats actions.

There are many different products available on the market that encourage cats to drink water. They either stimulate a higher intake of fluids, or try to attract cats to water. These are all important and often very helpful to cat’s systems, however they are not always enough.

A dry food only diet, even if accompanied by large sources of water, is often not the most effective way to ensure hydration. Over time, a cat’s sedentary lifestyle – due to the lack of need to hunt for food and run from predators, combined with other predisposing factors – may cause health problems such as kidney stones, kidney gravel and cystitis.

Secondly, and just as importantly, cats are strict carnivores.

The small animals hunted by cats are full of protein which has created an extremely strict diet. For cats, the intake of animal proteins is essential, as they have a limited ability to synthesise amino acids (protein components) from other sources. This is why animal proteins are essential to a cat’s survival as they aid in the prevention of serious diseases.

A diet lacking animal proteins and mainly based on cereals, vegetables and supplements to make up for the missing nutrients is not always a good solution.

How can we help our cats?

It is important to introduce your cat to a dry and wet food diet from a young age to ensure they eat a correct diet throughout the year.

Increasing the amount of wet food helps to reduce the calorie intake, increase the hydration of our cats and feed them high value animal proteins with all essential amino acids.

Rotating between white meat and fish recipes is not only a good practice, but an important habit to ensure that all nutrients are supplied, with no excess.

How should this food be given?

The right portion of wet food should be given in the morning and evening, so that it is not left in the bowl for more than half an hour. Kibble (dry food) instead, can be left in the bowl throughout the day and at night.

Dr. Benedetta Giannini
Veterinary and Nutritional Expert

Should a dog eat only dry food or wet food?

One of the most common questions I get asked is about the type of food to give a dog: only dry or only wet?

To answer, we need to understand how a dog approaches its food: by sight (as we often do)? By taste? Or by smell?

Well, we can put the food’s visual appearance in last place: a dog certainly does not pay attention to whether the food offered is presented nicely.

So, taste and smell remain. A good recipe will therefore be one that attracts their attention. Let’s take a look at the differences to see which sense prevails in their choice of food.

TASTE PERCEPTION 

No. of taste buds

– Human 9.000
– Dog 1.700
– Cat 470

SMELL PERCEPTION 

Square centimetres of olfactory mucosa (where the smell receptors are found)

– Human 3-4 cm²
– Dog 18-150 cm² (size will vary according to the conformation of the dog’s nose)
– Cat 20 cm²

A dog actually chooses its food first and foremost using its nose and then tastes it.

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However, we should also explore the behavioural aspect that affects nutrition. The dog is a social animal used to living in a (family) pack; its meal plays a key role in its co-existence with other dogs and, in our case, humans. Food gratification is a method often used by humans to encourage appropriate behaviour and to strengthen the relationship between them and us. To serve our dog, a rewarding meal is not only a gesture of affection but also a behaviour that will lay a solid foundation in our relationship with our four-legged friend.

Considering the choice between dry and/or wet food from a nutritional point of view, we can say, without a doubt, that if we choose a high quality dry food, the needs of the dog will be totally satisfied. The dog – unlike a cat – has no problem with fluid intake: if fed only kibble (dry food), they will drink more water to keep their hydration at optimum levels.

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On the other hand, if we serve just dry food, we could lose much of their food gratification because a biscuit will never be as aromatic as a wet food. We would also lose some of the “natural” nutritional benefits of a wet food, such as vitamins and minerals; being less processed than kibble, a wet food also retains more nutrients naturally contained in the ingredients.

If we just feed our dog wet food, we could lose the many benefits associated with chewing – our furry friend would eat the meal much faster avoiding mastication, which is the first stage of digestion. In addition, soft food does not massage the gums, which helps when dogs are teething, nor does it help with dental cleaning.

What to do? 

One tip is to feed your pup both dry and wet food to take advantage of the positive features of each option.

Mixing one tablespoon of wet food into your dog’s dry food will also help make the meal an important event between you and them, as it will not only satisfy their hunger, it will also satisfy their taste buds. Furthermore, the dry food will play its role, aiding nutrition, digestion (chewing) and teeth cleaning, and the wet food will play an equally nutritious role providing a small amount of nutrients while satisfying the senses of our faithful friend.

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Dr Benedetta Giannini, veterinarian and nutrition expert

 

Nutritional advice for dogs by Almo Nature

Almo Nature’s nutritional advice for an optimal nutritional balance is to base a dog’s diet on dry food, alternating between meat and fish recipes.

The association with a small percentage of wet food helps stimulate the dog’s sense of smell and makes a meal highly gratifying.

Wet food – when prepared with premium ingredients – is a great source of micronutrients which contribute to the general dog’s wellbeing.

To ensure the optimal nutritional balance of a healthy dog, Almo Nature recommends a varied diet, which rotates between different sources of protein: white meat, red meat and fish.

Stimulate your dog’s sense of smell!

Overweight cats: the ideal diet

Today, more and more cats are overweight: reduced physical activity and overeating are the main causes of this condition. So what should we do to remedy this situation? What is the ideal diet for an overweight cat? How can we get them back in to shape? We follow the advice of the veterinarian!

 

First, we must distinguish between an obese cat and an overweight cat

Obesity occurs when a cat’s body weight is a lot higher than their ideal weight, fat tissue accumulation is particularly visible and the cat has difficulty moving. This situation could undoubtedly be the consequence of the owner’s failure to control food intake but it could also be a sign of a primary disease such as hypothyroidism.

 

Features of an obese cat:

– Ribs – difficult to perceive under a thick layer of fat

– Base of the tail – thickened and covered by a blanket of fat

– Side view – no waistline, fat hangs from the abdomen

– Top view – the back is greatly enlarged

ObeseCat

 

 

 

 

 

Treating an obese cat

In this situation, a “do it yourself” diet comprising periods of fasting is dangerous, to the point that the cat might run into serious problems. Here’s why…

If an obese cat is suddenly deprived of its daily ration of food, the fat contained in the tissues will be mobilised in order to produce energy; the fat pours in to the blood stream and liver and can cause a blockage. This phenomenon is called hepatic lipidosis and is very dangerous.

So, when we are faced with the fact that our cat is no longer lean and agile, but more like a fur ball with legs, we must seek advice from a veterinarian, who will rule out any underlying medical conditions before creating a safe, low calorie meal plan for our pet.

Fortunately, most cats are not obese, but just slightly overweight. You can tell by touching them: the ribs are barely palpable, hips are the same size as the stomach but the cat jumps and moves easily.

 

Features of an overweight cat:

– Ribs – difficult to perceive under a blanket of fat

– Base of the tail – slightly thickened, you can feel the bones

– Side view – no waistline

– Top view – the waist is slightly thickened

Overweight

 

 

 

 

 

Treating an overweight cat

Again, a “do it yourself” diet i.e. weighing the cat, buying a ‘light’ food, checking the dosage on the label, and administering its ration may be a mistake.

Here is some useful advice help get an overweight cat back into shape.

If a cat weighs 6kg instead of 4kg, we must not give them the ration for a 6kg cat or the result will be to maintain the current weight. We should, instead, evaluate the dosing for a 4kg cat and that of a 6kg cat, and decrease the ration for the current weight to that of the target weight very gradually over a couple of months.

Another important tip is to use more wet food than dry: the calories in wet food is generally much lower than dry food and gives a greater sense of fullness satisfaction, while also helping keep the cat hydrated naturally.

Among the Almo Nature product lines that suit a weight-loss journey, are:

– Wet foods:  Classic – in particular the ‘Light’ line in 55g pouches and in 50g cans

– Dried foods: Orange Label kibble and Sterilised kibble

In general, the advice is not to wait for the cat to become obese, but to seek advise from your veterinarian at the first signs of a weight issue to discuss the proper food potions and combinations best suited for your cat.

 

Testing on animals: Almo Nature’s position

Almo Nature is against animal testing

We do not test our products on animals. A choice that influences the company’s entire nutritional philosophy, and in turn, the products it produces. We exclude medicated feeds i.e. those with curative purposes, from our product range.

Almo Nature is convinced that food should feed while veterinarians and medicines should heal.

Our commitment to respecting animals, starting from nutrition formulated “from their point of view”,  is so strong that in 2004, we took a firm stance against animal testing. We actively support stop Vivisection and the European petition to encourage a tangible evolution towards scientific research without animals.

 

No tests, just a taste check

All our recipes on the market have been checked for palatability by a registered group of cats and dogs that have been put forward by their owners to sample new products.

Once the R&D team together with veterinarians, who are experts in nutrition, perfect a new recipe. We then produce a small amount which is sent out to our volunteers along with the product information. So that the pets can taste it in the comfort of their own homes.

After a trial period, the results are collected and the R&D team decides if the new recipe has successfully passed palatability tests and can therefore be appreciated by all our four-legged friends.

 

Missing information?

Almo Nature is listed on PETA’s website as a cruelty-free producer, but this information does not appear on our product packaging. It’s a case of less marketing, more information for the consumer.

Absolute respect for our customers, their pets and their overall experience. Which means our time and attention is focused on providing maximum clarity and transparency about the ingredients on the labels. And we make sure our cat or dog consumers are eating the best food possible.

Complete or complementary? What is the difference?

Customers wanting to understand the difference between complete and complementary dog and cat foods is one of the most frequently asked questions we receive, so we’d like to explain in a simple and clear way.

 

Complete products are supplemented with vitamins and minerals, this enables the recipe to meet all of the cat’s or dog’s needs within each and every meal. From a nutritional point of view, a complete food could hypothetically be given every day, forever. However, this would not be advisable because feeding the same food every day would fail to provide the variety necessary to contribute to the nutritional well-being and the individual needs of the animal. It is easy enough to observe our pets’ behaviour to realise how their nutritional requirements change: for example, in winter they live a more sedentary life, while in summer their activity levels increase. As you can see, the different needs of our pets need to be matched to the their particular, nutritional requirements that a single food, even if declared as complete, cannot meet.

 

Complementary products are foods which, individually, are not sufficient to meet all the nutritional requirements of a dog or cat in a single meal because they have no supplements added. But this is exactly what happens in nature and in our (human) diet too: we do not ask if our lunch is complete, because we know that our diet provides us with balanced nutrition, with no deficiencies or excesses, if we alternate between different food sources.

So how to choose?

The ideal solution is to propose a diet that closely reproduces the same variety of food sources as found in nature, replicating the natural balance of meats, vegetables and carbohydrates.

It is from here, that the nutritional advice of Almo Nature for cats and dogs originates and is based on the practice of alternating between dry and wet food for cats, and on feeding a primarily dry food diet for dogs, varying between protein sources and types of ingredients used in the recipes.

 

Complete + Complementary = Unbalanced?

It is a pretty frequent question: does combining a complete food (for example, kibble) with a complementary food (such as a wet Classic recipe) mean the meal’s nutrition is unbalanced? Absolutely not: from a nutritional point of view, just as in human nutrition as already mentioned, the cats or dogs’ requirements will be wholly satisfied over a number of meals but not every day in every single meal.

 

HFC: natural wet recipes – Almo Nature tradition

HFC wet recipes are the traditional choice for a high-quality food for cats; the ideal solution to satisfy even the most discerning palates.

Why choose these products?

1. Recipes that respect the cat’s nature
In the wild, a cat’s diet consists of small prey: mice, rodents, insects, amphibians, birds etc. Predator-like teeth and short digestive systems are the physical characteristics that enable the cat to metabolise its “wild” diet which is rich in liquids and proteins but low in carbohydrates – just like the HFC recipes.

2. The quality of ingredients – 100% HFC*
All HFC recipes are prepared with wholly HFC* ingredients i.e. ingredients originally fit for human consumption: the highest quality of natural, fresh meat.

3. The variety of recipes
The chicken, fish, meat and shellfish in the HFC lines provides a full range of protein sources perfect to ensure a diverse intake of essential amino acids, which are key to providing our cats with a balanced diet in compliance with the nutritional advice of Almo Nature.

HFC recipes are:

  • Genuine: the ingredients are simply cooked, packaged and preserved in their cooking broth
  • Appetising and digestible: thanks to the prime cuts of meat, HFC recipes are tasty and easily digestible

 

* Almo Nature has named the ingredients originally fit for human consumption (according to Regulation (CE) No 1069/2009 article 10, paragraph a) “HFC”

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