Whilst the above is evident and obvious, analysis at a deeper scientific level reveals (as with much in science ) there are opinions that vary. The deeper you go, the more questions generally reveal themselves and sadly, fewer answers. We have taken things to a level we hope is appropriate for normal customers currently feeding raw or considering it. The primary source of our information is an organisation called FEDIAF. This is the EU authority on the subject of Canine Nutrition as far as the Production, Recipes and Labelling of Pet Foods is concerned. It operates through a panel of Vets and Canine nutrition Scientists from European countries. These people meet up regularly to keep abreast of the latest research in Canine Nutrition. They publish a comprehensive list of nutrients which can be updated on an annual basis - K9 A-Z formulas will adapt to the latest research on an ongoing basis.
The plan for this part of our new website is to gradually build the information available to those interested in Raw feeding to be as helpful as possible. We welcome submissions from anyone and everyone but have a natural leaning towards quantifiable items.
The FEDIAF nutrient recommendations are freely available and would be a good source for reference. http://www.fediaf.org/self-regulation/nutrition/
Some vets and representatives selling you herbal based alternatives much more cheaply than our own product throw out the scare stories concerning product recalls with scientific supplements. This is disingenuous in our opinion as Herbal based compounds and competitive products are almost always cheaper partly because they have no standards with which to comply or measure their products efficacy. Some suggest such low doses of their supplements as to render them useless. They are not tested in any comparable way or ever recalled which would suggest certain conclusions should be reached about them.
So, what are the nutrients a normal dog needs?
Water – Debatably the most important nutrient!
Macro-nutrients - Protein, Fat, Carbohydrate (not really essential except for lactating bitches Carbohydrates are a good energy source for Domestic dogs and they produce enzymes that are unique to break down carbohydrates which Wild dogs don't), Fibre (no actual nutritional requirement set but beneficial for GI function)
Amino acids – 22 amino acids and 12 are essential (Arginine, Cystine, Phenyalanine, Leucine, Histidine, Tyrsosine, Threonine, Methionine, Isoleucine, Lysine, Tryptophan, Valine)
Essential Fatty acids – Linoleic acid (n-6), Alpha-linolenic acid (n-3), Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; n-3), Docosahexenoic acid (DHA; n-3). Ratio of n-3 to n-6 may be important but no nutritional recommendation established.
Vitamins – A, D, E, K, Thiamine, Niacin, Cobalamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), Folic acid, Pantothenic acid, Biotin
Vitamin-like substances - Choline
Minerals – Calcium, Sodium, Chloride, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium (Calcium:Phosphorus ratio is also important especially for growing animals)
Trace Elements - Copper, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Iodine, Selenium
(A legal maximum exists for the Minerals and Trace Elements, Vitamin A, D – excess may be harmful.)
Antioxidants – Dogs have no requirement for Vitamin C as they can manufacture it themselves (unlike humans and Guinea pigs that must consume dietary vitamin C). However inclusion in the diet at the correct levels will not be harmful and is beneficial for dogs that are compromised in some way (stress etc) and/or exercising. Vitamin E is also an effective antioxidant in the body (there is a nutrient recommendation for Vitamin E).
Essential Fatty Acids - Whilst Omega 6 resides in normal Raw meat Omega 3 does not. We use Chia Seeds to deliver this to dogs and in balanced quantities. Dogs also get the benefit of Fibre from these seeds making poo less runny and giving their gut something to work on.
Please understand your reasons for feeding raw. Many people think it is a simple case of giving the dog food that is more suited to its ancestral heritage however many I speak with become pertubed to discover that Natural is not always best for their dog and furthermore what is natural?
People assume the Wolf is the optimum top of the tree predator and lives for 20 years plus but sadly its diet means it lives around 7 years only. This life expectancy can be improved with the benefit of science but we don't think dog lovers truly wish to emulate this lifespan with their own dogs.
Wolves and Domesticated dogs are DIFFERENT species. Canis Familiaris is a sub species of Canis Lupus. The similarity is approximately equal to Humans and Bonobo Monkeys who actually only eat fruit yet we would never use that as a reason to feed humans just fruit. It is a massive subject where humans share 99% of our DNA with plants and fruit. In fact every living entity on earth shares 99% of its DNA with us.
Further info will be written imminently
K90 A-Z Recipe Composition (Statutory Declaration):
Composition: Dried Yeast (26.9%), Alfalfa meal (25.1%), Dried seaweed (Ascophyllum nodosum; 25.0%), Monocalcium phosphate (18.9%), Minerals, Glucosamine HCl (0.37%), Chondroitin sulphate (0.12%)
Additives, Nutritional additives (per kg): Vitamin A 36585 IU, Vitamin D3 3659 IU, Vitamin E 975.6 mg, Vitamin B1 122.0 mg, Riboflavin 122.0 mg, Vitamin B6 48.8 mg, Vitamin B12 366 µg, Niacin 243.9 mg, Calcium pantothenate 182.9 mg, Folic acid 24.4 mg, Biotin 2439 µg, Vitamin C 609.8 mg, Choline chloride 16260 mg. Ferrous chelate of glycine hydrate 2710.0 mg, Zinc chelate of glycine hydrate 2345.2 mg, Manganese chelate of glycine hydrate 116.14 mg, Organic form of Selenium produced by Saccharomyces cerevisiae CNCM I-3060 212.2 mg, Cupric chelate of glycine hydrate 101.6 mg, Calcium iodate, anhydrous 9.6 mg
To learn more about each of the K9 A-Z ingredients individually, please Click Here and download a 42 x A4 page document for your perusal
Analytical Constituents (%): Crude Protein 16.7, Crude Fibres 10.1, Fat content 1.9, Crude Ash 28.7
Dog Weight in Kgs Supplement Volume Chia Seed Mls
5 – 10 15ml – 30ml 1 – 2
10 – 20 30ml - 60ml 2 – 4
20 – 30 60ml – 90ml (25 kg dog 41 gs) 4 – 6
30- 40 90ml – 120ml 6 – 8
40 + 120ml 8
Our Unique Selling Point of delivering scientifically defined amounts of each nutrient to meet the recommendations as published by FEDIAF as near as possible. The most reassuring fact is that the main reason Vets started recommending complete foods albeit mostly kibble was because the dogs life expectancy and quality of life was improved in their opinion versus what prevailed at the time with mostly scraps. It has also become apparent that Canis Familiaris unlike the wolf has a number of genes switched on that result in the production of enzymes in the dogs gut that specialise in making the energy from seeds and carbohydrates more easily metabolised.
The net result is that K9A-Z takes a similar approach to nutritional additives with the principle of defined amounts as appears in 90% of the Dry / Wet Food products to support their recipes. This, then, is our position. Unlike other herbal and similarly presented solutions and products they do not define or commit themselves to the amounts of each nutrient and whilst they refer to their products as natural and raw they may well contain more natural items but this also means they come with unnecessary elements. In the end it is all about getting the nutrient into the metabolism of the dog and often the purer form of a particular nutrient is more bio-available than when it is a small part of a herb, plant or flower etc.
Many proponents of Raw feeding are somewhat extreme and passionate about nutrients and are adverse to a product with synthetic additives in them due to fear rather than real evidence.
We are surprised (although disappointed) that a small number of vets and representatives of commercial supplements have negative opinions on synthetic nutritional additives and in principle scare owners with alternative truths about scientifically based products unsupported by evidence.
With the exception of unnecessary synthetic colours and preservatives and contrary to popular belief and misunderstanding the nutritional additives in tinned and commercial dry dog foods are essential for EVERY dog's health and well-being. All pet foods (even those that vets sell, especially as prescription formulas) will contain the same synthetic nutritional additives. Some of our ingredients are produced by fermentation. Only additives permitted for use in the EU may be used for pet (and other animal) food production. The European Food Standards Agency conducts stringent reviews of safety and efficacy before additives are permitted for use. Manufacturers of additives are tightly regulated and are independently audited to ensure product quality and safety. This can not be said for the Herbal producers and we only use manufacturers that we, under the guidance of our manufacturer approve. (approval is multi-layered but includes assessment of their accreditation with independent bodies and/or our own auditing process). Materials are tested at the point of manufacture by our suppliers scientists for undesirables and they must conform with EU legislation
It is true that all trace elements are potentially toxic at high levels but they have clear legally defined maximum inclusions and pet foods as well as our K9A-Z Supplement are designed carefully to account for this. All our nutrients at the levels used are as specified for well-being as this is genuinely in our best interests which are allied to the best interests of your dogs.. The fact that these ingredients can have other uses at vastly different levels is of no relevance and K9A-Z complies fastidiously in quality control at EVERY step.
The story that many transmit is probably an early example of a non news story. The Chinese pet food recall linked below is related to Jerky treats (and possibly only duck varieties but others may be involved). It is very disingenuous of the website to show a picture of a kibble feed. These treats do not include nutritional additives. There have been significant efforts to identify the cause of the issues with these jerky treats but as far as I know no causative factor has been identified. UK veterinary bodies remain vigilant to this but as far as I know there have been no cases in the UK. The 2007 recall was specifically linked to and limited to a single Chinese supplier adulterating a material with melamine (intentionally or otherwise) and not related to synthetic nutritional additive production.
Preservatives - Ethoxyquin is no longer permitted to be used and in the process of being withdrawn. BHA and BHT are permitted (with legal maximum levels defined) and need to be declared on the label when used however some research exists that MIGHT and I repeat "might" show a possible link to illness. They are permitted by EU legislation to be labelled under the category label of ‘Antioxidants’ and the manufacturer must disclose the levels added if requested by a consumer.
Cellulose - this is a good source of insoluble fibre that can assist with bowel function in pets. It also has abrasive benefits for dental care and can help prevent hairball formation in cats. Levels included in pets foods would be less than 4% so would maybe have a stool bulking effect but little else of concern.
Silica – this is used as a flow agent in some powder blends however not in K9A-Z and the inclusion level in the final product would be tiny so certainly not used as a bulking agent. It is inert.
Chondroitin – we only supply avian chondroitin exactly for the reason that marine sources in our view are unethical and not sustainable. We cannot guarantee it is from free-range birds and poultry production systems vary around the world. Poultry are not farmed for chondroitin production rather it is a by-product of the industry.