Pet Food & Nutrition: Frequently Asked Questions
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We recommend a slow transition from your current product to Loyall or River Run diets. While diets may appear similar from the label, they may contain very different sources of nutrients that your pet will need to adapt slowly to. It is recommended to transition diets over a 1 week period starting with ¾ of the daily amount of your previous diet and ¼ of the daily recommended amount of your selected new product. Change these amounts every 2 days by ¼ of the daily allotment until you fully convert to your new product completely on day 7. As with all foods, the recommended amounts listed on your new packaging should be adjusted based on your individual pet to maintain a desirable body condition.
True allergies are actually rare. There are dogs that have skin or digestive sensitivities, which can cause gastric upsets, loose stools or skin irritations. For these dogs, if the customer is on one type of protein source like poultry, it is best to try a new protein like lamb meal and rice. If the sensitivities continue, recommend they take their pet to the vet. If it is a true allergy, the pet will need to be on a special type of diet prescribed the vet.
Puppy formula is recommended for dogs up to 12 months of age because it contains nutrients like EPA and DHA and enhanced levels of vitamins and trace minerals, which are important for development. After 12 months, it is best to transition a dog to an adult formula.
This depends greatly on the breed of dog you have. Larger breeds age faster, and typically have shorter life spans, than do their smaller counterparts. In large breeds, a dog may need a senior food around age 7 or 8, while miniature or toy breeds may not need a senior food until 10 or 11. Some individual dogs may never need a senior food!
The best thing to do is keep an eye on your own dog, rather than focus on a particular birthday. If you see changes in skin or coat condition, a struggle to maintain weight, or increased stiffness in the joints, it may be time to consider a switch to a senior product.
One of the big misconceptions about feeding overweight dogs, is just to feed him less. What you really want to do is reduce the calorie intake and not the vitamins or minerals and some of the other essential nutrients. So when you have a dog that’s overweight, the first thing you want to do is switch them to Loyall® Lite that actually reduces calorie intake but leaves the other nutrients at a high level.
About Pet Food
The term “real” suggests that others use “fake” meat. Sounds kind of like veggie burgers. maybe? In reality, the use of “meat” can be used to pull the wool over the customer’s eyes. “Meat” contains a LOT of water. In fact, most meats contain around 70% water. When petfoods are baked, that water must be harshly cooked to make it evaporate ... otherwise, your petfood would mold. Some companies chose to use “meat” as the first ingredient on the label. In some cases, this may mean that there is about 20% of a formula that is made of meat. After cooking the water off, this “meat” only contributes around 6 to 8% of the final product, = meaning that its final contribution to the diet is much less than the second, third, fourth, or in some cases the fifth ingredient on the actual label. We won’t do that to you. We use animal proteins that are concentrated into high content proteins, fats, and minerals, meaning that the label is really telling you the order of ingredient that your companion will experience.
Grains are not “bad” for your pet. Some individual animals can have food allergies or sensitivity which may affect how they respond to specific grains. In the Loyall™ lineup of products, you will find selections of different grain sources that will help you select what is right for your companion.
Grains deliver starch and specific fatty acids and fiber to the diet that is important in the overall nutrition package of the diet. It is important that products are “cooked” correctly to get the most out of them. You wouldn't eat corn or rice without cooking it, but you have probably been served corn or rice that has been on the stove too long. You know that cooking can be too much…or too little. Our “Opti-Cook” process was developed to ensure that grains and other ingredients are cooked correctly to help provide a diet for your friend.
Prebiotics are the ingredients that enhance the growth of good microbes or the good bugs in the digestive system. An example of a good bug is Lactobacillus. Since prebiotics encourage the growth of the good bugs, there generally isn’t room for the bad bugs to grow.
Trace minerals are an essential component of a pet’s diet. Trace minerals are important for sound growth and development, as well as everyday maintenance of health and specifically optimal skin and hair coat quality.
AAFCO is an acronym for the “American Association of Feed Control Officials”. This is a group of US and Canadian, both state, and federal “feed” regulatory officials. As a group, they publish a book annually known as the “Official Publication” that provides a model regulation for ingredients, nutrients and labeling that may be selected by individual states as law.
For the most part in the US, petfood labeling defined in AAFCO’s Official Publication governs what appears on petfood labeling. One part of AAFCO’s labeling for petfoods, is a statement that defines how the diet was designed and for what lifestage of the pet. While the regulatory options are complex, in general terms they define the lifestage of the animal (ie, adult maintenance, growth, or reproduction) along with whether the diet was designed to meet or exceed scientifically proven nutrient requirements or if the diet or diet family was “tested” in a prescribed format to verify that the product meets the lifestage needs of the animal.
Arguments are made by companies trying to defend how they have chosen to design and test diets. AAFCO publishes a listing of nutrients required as a minimum (or in a few cases maximum) to satisfy the nutrient needs of a particular lifestage of pet. These levels are selected by a group of scientists and professionals that are not affiliated with any specific company and which are not influenced by the “costs” of delivering needed nutrients. Our Loyall™ lineup of products are designed to exceed the nutrient levels established by AAFCO for various lifestages to ensure that your companion is able to perform.
Other companies may chose to “test” diets and in some cases they suggest that “testing” is somehow better than formulating to the nutrient profile of AAFCO. The reality is that arguments can be made in both directions regarding the applicability of testing to ensure that the diet is appropriate. “Testing” facilities may or may not be equal to how any individual is housed and certainly activity levels of pets will almost always be different than those used in a testing kennel. We have chosen to utilize the well established benchmarks that have been published after thorough review across many different types of animals and across many different locations as published by AAFCO to be the basis of the nutritional claims on our packaging.