Frequently asked questions and common misconceptions

Q - Is a dog a Carnivore?

Strictly speaking – No. A dog is an omnivore. Rather like man, a dog has evolved as an opportunistic feeder. Eating food in season, and when readily available. A diet rich in meat however, does seem to suit a dogs’ metabolism.

Foxes are a good example. In the countryside, Foxes tend to time their mating to coincide with the anticipated glut of young rabbits to feed to their cubs.
However, when a Fox consumes a Rabbit, it eats it all, guts and bones as well. The guts of a Rabbit contain vegetable matter in the process of being digested by bacteria that the Fox does not have in its digestive system. The bones of course provide a primary source of Calcium and Phosphorus.

Q - Why do some dogs eat unusual, and sometimes disgusting things?

Dogs in general are much closer in touch with their nutritional needs than we are. If a dog finds itself short of some nutritional element, it will actively seek and find it in its available environment. Never be surprised at what a dog will eat.

Q - Lots of dogs eat grass. Why?

There are many theories. However, in our opinion, dogs take grass in two different ways. Firstly, they will take one or two pieces of coarse grass which will then stimulate retching. This may well result in the grass being thrown out, amidst a pool of white or yellow frothy liquid. This could be the dog’s way of relieving pain, caused by stomach acid that has got ‘too strong’

Secondly, from late spring to early summer, many dogs appear to ‘graze’ relatively large amounts of grass, and do not vomit. We believe this may be the dog being aware of the rich nutrients and trace elements present in vigorously growing grass. The dog cannot digest the grass structure as it is made of cellulose. However it may get some nutritional benefits from the contents of the grass.

Q - Is a ‘Complete Diet’ really complete?

Legally – It has to be. However, who can define an individual dogs needs? Nutritionally, Dog Food Manufacturers have been aware of the species’ minimal daily requirement, of all the essential ingredients to a complete dog food. Without a doubt cost may restrict the overall comprehensiveness of the ingredient base, in order to maintain a manufacturer’s market price and placement.

Q - What is Protein in nutrition?

Protein can be sourced either from vegetable sources such as soya beans, or more commonly we use meat from animal and fish sources in dog foods.

Simply put, Protein is made up from a range of muscle building blocks called Amino Acids.

When an animal consumes Protein, it will, during the digestive process, split the meat into its building blocks. It will then take from them what it needs to replace and rebuild its own muscle tissue, damaged or destroyed during previous physical activity. Other things within the dogs metabolism are also potentiated.

Q - Why do different complete dog foods have different protein percentages?

Balance is the key to any diet. Balance can be achieved in many different ways by commercial food manufacturers. Protein has to be in balance with the available energy (fat & Carbohydrate). An imbalance of these two elements may well result in dietary looseness. (Scouring).

If a complete diet has a high level of digestible protein, there should be a correspondingly high level of available energy. This is usually achieved with oil or fat, some blended into the food, some sprayed on the surface to enhance palatability. As a result, only a restricted amount of cereal is required to provide the remaining energy requirement. These Energy and Protein rich foods ought to be carefully rationed, as overfeeding can lead to physical problems, both long, medium, and short term.

Standard Complete Diets tend to have lower protein percentages, which in turn means they do not need the high concentrations of available energy. These diets usually have higher levels of cereal, rather than the higher levels of Fat and Oil.

In turn, this means you have to feed more of the diet to provide the dogs
Daily needs.

It could be argued that naturally, dogs would prefer to have a full tummy after feeding anyway.

We believe that as long as a diet is in balance, then the ‘percentage’ of protein is less important than the dog being fed the correct ‘amount’ of protein on a daily basis.

For example, if feeding a 19% protein diet, you would need to feed about 25% more, than you would of a 25% protein diet, to input the same ‘amount’ of protein.

Q - Is their any proven link between the feeding of high protein dog foods, and hyperactivity, or other behavioural problems.

There are no ‘proven’ links between food and behaviour. Many dog people will tell you that they know there is a link, but in reality no scientific studies have come to this blanket conclusion. However, a salesperson would be foolish to disagree with the dog owner who ‘knows’ there is a link. Just offer a lower protein option from the range to satisfy their desires.

Q - Are meat and animal derivatives a bad thing?

The labeling regulations in this country demand that ingredients should be individually listed in descending order of inclusion. If a meat meal is a varying blend of meat sources e.g. Beef, Lamb and Chicken, then the label is likely to mislead. That is when the only alternative, legally, is to use the phrase ‘contains meat and animal derivatives’.

Similarly, if the carbohydrate sources are a varying blend of cereals, then the phrase ‘contains cereals and vegetable derivatives’ has to be used.

Like all ‘Premium’ and ‘Super Premium’ completes, Trusty ‘Premier’ Working Dog Completes have a full declaration in descending order of inclusion, as they are made to a ‘fixed formula’ of specific ingredients.

Q - Why are cereals used in dog foods?

As a valid and useful source of longer term energy. Protein will provide about 10% of a dogs’ daily energy requirement, the remainder will be found in Oils, Fats and Cereals. Oils and Fats are a very useful and palatable source of short term release energy. The cereals digest, and release their energy more slowly.

Cereals are also a good source of dietary fibre, to help regulate digestive transit

Q - Why are some dog foods sold as ‘For Working and Sporting Dogs’?

The VAT regulation states that where a dog food is clearly labeled for the use of Working and/or Sporting Dogs, VAT should not be levied. It is not the responsibility of the seller of that food, to determine whether the dog intended to consume the food, is indeed ‘Working’ or ‘Sporting’.

Q - Do these foods differ in any way from normal ‘Pet’ complete dog foods?

Some foods are manufactured, and specifically marketed at certain ‘Sporting’ dogs. Racing Greyhounds are a good example of this. However many Greyhound trainers in reality use ordinary Pet foods as the base of their feeding regime. Nutritionally, a dog is a dog, and the only difference in food requirement is the amount, and type of exercise experienced by the dog. Another factor, which has little bearing in the U.K. is extremes of temperature.

Q - Can people add ‘scraps’ to your complete diets.

Yes – with provisos. If for example you have some spaghetti Bolognese left over, a large dessert spoonful mixed through the complete will not drastically alter the nutritional value for a medium sized dog (e.g. Labrador). However, it will change the flavour of the food, and stimulate appetite.

If you wish to add significant amounts of scraps however, the amount of complete food should be reduced accordingly. You will also risk destroying the ‘balance’ of that day’s food intake, and may well see the results the following day, (Dietary Looseness).

Q - How do Trusty Dog Foods compare to the best selling products?

The range of Trusty Dog Foods has been put together in order to provide value for money alternatives to the best selling dog foods on the market. Nutritionally, Trusty Dog Foods will meet head-on, and in most cases exceed the comparable products out there. The formulations are either unique to us, (primarily the ‘Premium’ range), or adapted by us from standard products, manufactured in bulk by both of our manufacturers, (primarily the ‘Standard’ range).

Q - When being developed, are Trusty Dog Foods tested in laboratories?

No. The only testing done by us, is on our own pet animals, and those of long term customers, who happily merely check for palatability, and whether the food gives the dog(s) any tendency towards looseness.

Nutritionally, individual formulations have to balance out in theory, before they are manufactured. The testing is just to check the formulas are correctly balanced in practice.

Q - Why do Eurotec Nutrition supply digestive supplements, if Trusty Dog Foods are complete, and balanced?

Our range of supplements are designed to help provide complete digestion. Any animal, bird or fish that ferments its food to release the nutrients will benefit from the Bio-Tec Supplement.

Q - What are the supplements made from?

The two fixed ingredients in all the supplements, are our ‘Live’ yeast probiotic, and Chicory derived Inulin prebiotic.

Q - How do they work?

The live yeast ‘controls’ stomach acidity, which in a dog is responsible for about 70% of the digestive process. The chemical environment, if wrong, restricts the numbers of helpful digestive bacteria. If the environment is maintained correctly, then the digestion of nutrient is ‘optimised’.

The Inulin is a range of sugars that are not digested by enzymes, but are consumed by bacteria, and fuels their reproduction. Some of the inulin is consumed in the stomach, but most of our Inulin survives to be consumed by ‘friendly’ bacteria in the gut. This ensures the numbers of bacteria present are sufficient to complete the digestive process.

A common disorder that disappears rapidly, after the consumption of Bio-Tec Supplement, is Flatulence.

Q - Can the supplements help with any other digestive disorders?

Yes. By delivering digestive efficiency, the supplements tend to help with other common digestive complaints, such as dietary looseness, which many dog owners will think is Diahorrea.

More serious complaints that can be helped or even prevented, are Colitis, and by controlling the fermenting activity in the gut, the risk of Torsion and Bloat can also be dramatically reduced.

Q - Are the supplements only for dogs?

No. A development of the basic Bio-Tec ‘Plus’ Supplement, is the Bio-Tec Equine Supplement. This delivers the same benefits as Bio-Tec ‘Plus’, but in addition we blend in a variety of essential oils of bitter digestive herbs, such as garlic, onion, peppermint etc.
This ‘spicy’ flavour helps stimulate enzyme production, and can also encourage ‘poor doers’ to consume more feed. Conversley, during the winter, by delivering digestive efficiency, the supplement could also result in reduced hard feed costs.

Q - How does the Health and Fertility Supplement work?

Again, utilizing the Bio-Tec ‘Plus’ Supplement as its base, we add Copper, Zinc and Selenium yeasts. These are the three main elements required by animals in order to ensure fertility in both the male and female of the specie.

So in addition to the digestive benefits of Bio-Tec ‘Plus’, it has been proven in Boars to reduce the numbers of broken tailed sperm, thus helping to ensure impregnation. In the female, it provides her with the wherewithal to optimize litter size, and produce healthy offspring at full term.