Full Ingredient Breakdown

Everything you need to know about ingredients used in the pet food industry can be found here. If you know a specific ingredient that you're looking for, you can use the links in the table of contents or the search bar below. We also have a glossary of terms you may come across below.

We have broken down this information into two sections: ingredients and nutrients. If we still haven't satisfied your curiosity, don't hesitate to ask us further questions.

 

Table of Contents

Ingredients


Nutrients


Ingredients

 

Apple

Apple is a source of carbohydrates and fibre. Apples are also a good source of Vitamin C, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids.

Resources:

  • De Godoy, M.R.C., Kerr, K.R., Fahey, G.C. Jr. 2013. Alternative dietary fibre sources in companion animal nutrition. Nutrients 5: 3099-3117.

 

 

Barley Flour, Malted

 
 

Malted Barley Flour is a source of dietary fibre and is used to increase the palatability of the kibbles.

Resources:

  • Beloshapka, A.N., Buff, P.R., Fahey, G.C. Jr., Swanson, K.S. 2016. Compositional analysis of whole grains, processed grains, grain co-products, and other carbohydrate sources with applicability to pet animal nutrition. Foods 5. doi:10.3390/foods5020023.

 

 

Barley, Whole Grain

 
 

Whole Grain Barley is a wholesome and highly digestible source of carbohydrates.  Complex carbohydrates, such as the starches available in Whole Grain Barley, are broken down and absorbed by the body in a slow and mediated matter.  Due to its low glycemic response, Whole Grain Barley has been identified as a starch source that is particularly well suited for diabetic diets.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elesvier, 2011. Print.

  • Beloshapka, A.N., Buff, P.R., Fahey, G.C. Jr., Swanson, K.S. 2016. Compositional analysis of whole grains, processed grains, grain co-products, and other carbohydrate sources with applicability to pet animal nutrition. Foods 5. doi:10.3390/foods5020023

 

 

Beet Pulp, Dried

Dried Beet Pulp is a source of dietary fibre.  Beet pulp is derived from a white sugar beet, not the red beet common to household dinner tables.  Dried Beet Pulp is 60-80% dietary fibre and is considered to be a high-quality source of this nutrient. Dried Beet Pulp aids in bowel regularity and improves stool quality, as well as promotes gastrointestinal health.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elesvier, 2011. Print.

 

 

Blueberries

Blueberries are an excellent source of antioxidants, fibre, minerals (Manganese) and Vitamins (C, E & K).

Blueberries are readily eaten by wolves and are beneficial in the diet of dogs and cats.  They increase base levels of antioxidants and are thought to help prevent muscle damage in highly active animals.

Resources:

  • Bosch G, Hagen-Plantinga E, Hendricks WH (2015) Dietary nutrient profiles of wild wolves: insights for optimal dog nutrition? British Journal of Nutrition 113: S40-S54.

  • Dunlap KL, Reynolds AJ, Duffy LK (2006) Total antioxidant power in sled dogs supplemented with blueberries and the comparison of blood parameters associated with exercise. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology 143: 429-434.

 

 

Carrot

Carrots are a great source of carbohydrates and fibre for your pet. High in Beta-Carotene and loaded with Potassium and Vitamins A, C & K, carrots are beneficial to the skin, and eyesight of companion animals.

Resources:

  • National Academy of Sciences. 1974. Nutrient requirements of domestic animals: nutrient requirements of dogs. Washington, D.C. pp. 71.

 

 

Celery Seed

Celery Seed has been found to contain a high amount of antioxidants that protect cells from free-radical damage. They are also a great source of omega-6 fatty acids and have been found to increase palatability in dogs.

Resources:

  • Craig, W., Beck, L. 1999. Phytochemicals: health protective effects. Canadian Journal of Dietetic Practice and Research 60.2: 78-84.

 

 

Chamomile

Chamomile is an herb that was traditionally used as an anti-inflammatory and pain-soothing agent. It has been found to have properties that enhance the appearance of your pet’s skin and coat, as well as promote dental health by reducing gingivitis.

Resources:

  • Máthé, Á. 2009.Essential Oils- biochemistry, production and utilization. In: Phytogenics in animal nutrition: natural concepts to optimize gut heath and performance. Steiner, T. (ed). Nottinghan University Press. Nottingham, UK.

  • Srivastava, J.K., Shankar, E., Gupta, S. 2010. Chamomile: a herbal medicine of he past with a bright future. Molecular Medicine Report 3: 895-901.

 

 

Chicken Fat

Chicken Fat is an excellent source of fat and the fatty acid Omega-6. Chicken fat is often added separately as chicken meal does not contain a high percentage of fat.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • AAFCO 2016 publication

 

 

Chicken Liver

Chicken liver is a rich source of protein and fats for both dogs and cats. Unlike humans, who require a large amount of carbohydrates for their energetic needs, your pets rely primarily on fat and protein metabolism to meet their requirements. Chicken liver contains a high level of vitamin A and many other minerals (vitamin D, several B-vitamins, iron, copper) that aid in the maintenance of regular body functions.

Resources:

  • Thompson A (2008) Ingredients: where pet food starts. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine 23: 127-132.

  • Dillitzer N, Becker N, Kienzle E (2011) Intake of minerals, trace elements and vitamins in bone and raw food rations in adult dogs. British Journal of Nutrition 106: S53-S56.

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Chicken Meal

Chicken meal provides a concentrated form of protein. Protein is the main component of fur, skin, nails, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. By AAFCO standards, chicken meal is made by rendering clean flesh and skin from chicken with or without the bone.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • AAFCO 2016 publication

 

 

Chickpeas

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a high-energy plant-based alternative carbohydrate and protein source. It is high in protein (equivalent to soybean) with high dietary fibre. Chickpeas are known to be beneficial for the reproductive health and development of animals. As a plant-based protein source, Chickpeas have a lower digestibility value (biological value 0.52- 0.85) than meat-based proteins.

Resources:

  • Bampidis, VA Christodoulou V (2011) Chickpeas (Cicer arietinum L.) in animal nutrition: A review. Animal Feed Science and Technology 168: 1-20.

  • Remillard, RL (2008) Homemade Diets: attributes, pitfalls and a call for action. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine 23: 137-142.

  • Fascetti, AJ, Delaney, SJ (2012) Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition. John Wiley & Sons. 428 pages.

 

 

Chicory Root

Chicory root is an excellent source of inulin, a prebiotic, and can also be used as a carbohydrate source. Consumption of chicory is also known to benefit the immune system and digestive system.

Chicory root contains ~55% inulin and pets should not have more than 1-3% chicory in their diet.

Resources:

  • Grieshop C, Flickinger E, Bruce K, Patil AR, Czarnecki-Maulden GL, Fahey GC Jr (2004) Gastrointestinal and immunological response of senior dogs to chicory and mannan-oligosaccharides. Archives of Animal Nutrition 58: 483-493.

  • Heuberger R, Wakshlag J (2011) The relationship of feeding patterns and obesity in dogs. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 95: 98-105.

  • Thompson A (2008) Ingredients: where pet food starts. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine 23: 127-132.

 

 

Corn, Whole Grain

Whole Grain Corn is a source of highly digestible carbohydrate. In Whole Grain form, it also contains more fibre and protein and less starch than many corn-derived products. 

Despite public perception, Corn, when used appropriately, is a highly digestible source of carbohydrate. Mainstream thinking has banished it as a “bad” ingredient because some large-scale manufacturers have used it (or its constituents) as a primary protein source instead of using animal protein. This occurs because corn-derived protein is much cheaper to purchase than meat products, and to an uneducated consumer, can inflate the protein percentage in a dog or cat food.  Dogs may be omnivores, but for optimum nutrition the majority of ingested protein must come from animal sources.  If feeding primarily plant-based protein, you risk the animal having a deficiency in many of the essential amino acids (protein), vitamins and other nutrients.  Whole Grain Corn is an excellent source of starch (carbohydrates) that is readily used by your pet.  As long as Corn is used in limited quantities and treated as a source of carbohydrate, not protein, it is a highly nutritious ingredient in pet feed.

Many manufacturers that use Corn as a protein source will use a product called “corn gluten meal.” Corn gluten meal is a grain-sourced form of protein- it is what is leftover after you remove the starch, fibre and germ from dried kernels.  From a digestibility perspective, protein derived from corn gluten is not as digestible as animal protein, and although it is still protein, it lacks many of the essential amino acids dogs need in their diets (more specifically, these would be lysine, argentine and tryptophan).

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elesvier, 2011. Print.

 

 

Cranberries

Cranberries enhance the bladder and kidney health of your pet. They help reduce the incidence of urinary tract infections by deterring E. coli bacteria from binding to the body, ensuring it cannot fester and develop into an infection.

Resources:

  • Ofek, I., Goldhar, J., Zafriri, D., Lis, H., Adar, R., Sharon, N. 1991. Anti-Escherichia coli Adhesin Activity of Cranberry and Blueberry Juices. New England Journal of Medicine 324: 1599.

 

 

Egg Powder

Egg powder is a highly digestible source of both protein and fat- including 50% protein and 27% fat. Eggs contain one of the most biologically available sources of completely balanced protein (think of how they must contain a full nutritional spectrum for a growing chick throughout development).   This means your pets are able to use almost all of the protein found in eggs. Egg powder is dehydrated egg without the shells.

Resources:

  • AAFCO 2016 publication

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Fish Meal (Herring)

Fish meal provides a concentrated form of protein. Protein is the main component of fur, skin, nails, tendons, ligaments and cartilage. By AAFCO standards, fish meal is made from whole fish or fish cuttings that are put through the rendering process.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • AAFCO 2016 publication.

 

 

Fish Oil (Herring)

Fish oil is an excellent source of fat as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 and Omega-6 have been shown to be beneficial for healthy skin and joints.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • AAFCO 2016 publication.

 

 

Flaxseed, Whole

Flaxseed is a beneficial source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, amino acids and vitamins.  Omega-3s are known to help promote healthy skin and coats in dogs and cats.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • Rees CA, Bauer JE, Burkholder WJ, Kennis RA, Dunbar BL, Bigley CE (2001) Effects of dietary flax seed and sunflower seed supplementation on normal canine serum polyunsaturated fatty acids and skin and hair coat condition. Vet Dermatol 2: 111-117.

  • Snawnson KS, Grieshop CM, Clapper GM, Shields RG, Belay T, Merchan NR, Fahey C (2001) Fruit and vegetable fiber fermentation by guy microflora from canines. J Ani Sci 79: 919-926.

 

 

Ginger

Like in humans, Ginger promotes gastrointestinal health in pets, aiding with common ailments such as nausea and bloat by helping move food through the stomach.  It is also known as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Resources:

  • Shukla, Y., Singh, M. 2007. Cancer preventative properties of ginger: a brief review. Food and Chemical Toxicology. 45: 683-690.

 

 

Kale

Kale, like Spinach, is a great source of Vitamin K. Like all animals, dogs and cats have a metabolic need for Vitamin K. The best-known function of Vitamin K is its role in allowing blood to clot. It is a necessary component in the creation of many clotting factors in liver, bone and kidney tissues.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Kelp Meal

Kelp Meal is rich in natural salts, minerals, and vitamins essential for normal body functions.  Some of the minerals contained in kelp are iodine, iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, potassium, copper and selenium; as well as vitamins A, B1, B2, C, D and E. These minerals are vital for the proper functioning of all major body systems within your pet. They help to contract muscles, provide skeletal support, transmit signals within the nervous system, improve food absorption, transport proteins and hormones, and maintain water balance.

Resources:

  • Dillitzer N, Becker N, Kienzle E (2011) Intake of minerals, trace elements and vitamins in bone and raw food rations in adult dogs. British Journal of Nutrition 106: S53-S56.

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Lentils, red

Red Lentils are a healthy source of carbohydrates, protein, fibre and iron. Like peas, Red Lentils offer a lessened glycemic response in comparison to many grain-type carbohydrates. This means that once ingested, the typical spike in glucose and insulin levels associated with traditional carbohydrates is slowed.  As a result, Red Lentils and other legumes offer an interesting opportunity in the diets of obese or diabetic animals while remaining a great choice for grain-free feeds.

Resources:

  • Carciofi, A.C., Takakura, F.S., de-Oliveira, L.D., Teshima, E., Jeremias, J.T., Brunetto, M.A., Prada, F. 2008. Effects of six carbohydrate sources on dog diet digestibility and post-prandial glucose and insulin response. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 92: 326-336.

 

 

Limestone

Limestone is a natural source calcium carbonate.  The calcium found in Limestone is readily available to supplement the diet of pets. Calcium is a vital nutrient for growth and sustained pet health. It is a principal structural component of bone and teeth, facilitates blood-clotting binding-proteins, serves as a key conductor of nerve signals, initiates muscle contractions, activates select physiological enzymes, and buffers pH changes. See “Calcium-Phosphorus ratios” for more information on the importance of calcium in the diet.

Resources:

  • Wortinger, A. Nutrition for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses. John Wiley & Sons. 2013.

 

 

Oats, Whole Grain

Whole Grain Oats are a source of highly digestible carbohydrates.  Complex carbohydrates (starches) are more slowly broken down and absorbed by the body than refined carbs (like sugars), which can cause spikes in glucose and insulin within the bloodstream. Whole grains contain unrefined starches, reducing the overall effect of the carbohydrate on blood glucose levels. Accordingly, Whole Grain Oats are broken down more slowly than other grains, therefore making it an ideal choice in maintenance and weight reduction diets.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elesvier, 2011. Print.

 

 

Peas, Green

Green Peas are a legume that can be used as a source of carbohydrates (starch) and fibre in pet feed.  Although not as digestible as traditional grains, Green Peas offer many other benefits. A notable advantage of Peas is that they produce a lessened glycemic response. This means that once ingested, the typical spike in blood glucose associated with traditional carbohydrates is slowed. As a result, Green Peas and other legumes offer an interesting opportunity in the diets of obese or diabetic animals while remaining a great choice for grain-free feeds.

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elesvier, 2011. Print.

  • Carciofi, A.C., Takakura, F.S., de-Oliveira, L.D., Teshima, E., Jeremias, J.T., Brunetto, M.A., Prada, F. 2008. Effects of six carbohydrate sources on dog diet digestibility and post-prandial glucose and insulin response. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition 92: 326-336.

 

 

Peppermint

Peppermint is beneficial in reducing bad breath and easing indigestion in pets. This means it helps calm nausea and motion sickness in dogs and cats, as well as decrease flatulence.

Resources:

  • Berschneider, H.M. Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine and gastrointestinal disease. Clinical Techniques in Small Animal Practice, 17: 19-24.

 

 

Potato, Sweet

Sweet potato is a widely accepted carbohydrate and fibre source in grain-free animal feed. They are gluten free, jammed packed with beta-carotene and have a lower glycemic index value than white potatoes. Research has shown it contain many anti-oxidative properties as well as the Vitamins A, C and B6. It is a good source of Manganese, Copper, and Iron.

Resources:

  • Ravindran, V., Ravindran, G., Sivakanesan, R., Rajagutu, S.B. 1995. Biochemical and nutritional assessment of tubers from 16 cultivars of sweetpotato (Ipomoea batatas L.). Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 43: 2646-2651.

  • Jenkins, D.J.A., Wolever, T.M.S., Taylor, R.H., Baker, H., Fielden, H., Baldwin, J.M., Bowling, A.C., Newman, H.C., Jenkins, A.L., Goff, D.V. 1981. Glycemic index of foods: a physiological basis fir carbohydrate exchange. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 34:362-366.

 

 

Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a great source of fibre for pets.  It aids in digestive health and is high in beta-carotene (Vitamin A).  It is also a great source of carbohydrates and is found to increase palatability in cats and dogs.

Resources:

  • Dodds, WJ (2004) Nutritional Management of Thyroid & Immune Disorders. Proceedings of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association Annual Conference.

  • Dodds WJ, Laverdue D (2014) Canine Nutrigenomics: the new science of feeding your dog for optimum health. Dogwise Publishing. 326 pages.

 

 

Rice, Brewer's

It is commonly believed that Brewer’s Rice is rice that has been spent by the beer industry.  Despite public perception, AAFCO, the governing body of the Pet Food Industry, considers Brewer’s Rice to be rice that is broken or imperfect in form.  From a nutritional standpoint, these imperfect grains are equivalent to whole grain rice.  See Whole Brown Rice for more details.

Resources:

  • AAFCO 2016 publication

 

 

Rice, Whole Brown

Rice is one of the most digestible starches fed to dogs and cats. It is a source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are an important part of canine and feline nutrition as they vastly influence blood glucose levels. Complex carbohydrates (think: whole grains), like starches, are broken down and absorbed by the body more slowly than highly processed/refined carbs (think: sugars). Whole grains contain unrefined starches with lower glycemic indexes, minimizing the effect on blood glucose levels.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elesvier, 2011. Print.

 

 

Rosemary, Dried

Rosemary is used as a natural antioxidant and antimicrobial in dog and cat food. It also increases palatability.

Resources:

  • Bhale, S.D., Xu, Z., Prinyawiwatkul, W., King, J.M., Godber, J.D. 2007. Oregano and rosemary extracts inhibit oxidation of long-chain n-3 fatty acids in menhaden oil. Journal of Food Science: Food Chemistry and Toxicology, 72: C504-C508.

 

 

Rosemary Extract

Rosemary extract, is a common natural preservative in dog food. There are myths about a potential link between rosemary extract and seizures in dogs. There are no scientific studies that suggest there is truth to this statement. There is a loose connection between rosemary extract and seizures in epileptic humans, and even in this case it is extremely rare.

Resources:

  • Bhale, S.D., Xu, Z., Prinyawiwatkul, W., King, J.M., Godber, J.D. 2007. Oregano and rosemary extracts inhibit oxidation of long-chain n-3 fatty acids in menhaden oil. Journal of Food Science: Food Chemistry and Toxicology, 72: C504-C508.

 

 

Spinach

Spinach contains a wide array of minerals (notably Calcium & Iron), and is high in Vitamin K. Vitamin K is primarily synthesized by bacteria in the gut of cats and dogs, but adds a beneficial boost when incorporated into the diet. Vitamin K is actively involved in the blood-clotting mechanism.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • United States Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3167?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=50&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=spinach&ds=

 

 

Turmeric

Spinach contains a wide array of minerals (notably Calcium & Iron), and is high in Vitamin K. Vitamin K is primarily synthesized by bacteria in the gut of cats and dogs, but adds a beneficial boost when incorporated into the diet. Vitamin K is actively involved in the blood-clotting mechanism.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • United States Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/3167?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=50&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=spinach&ds=

 

 

Wheat Shorts

Wheat shorts are a source of carbohydrate. It is made from broken wheat kernels that are mechanically damaged during the milling process; resulting in a medley of bran, germ and floury endosperm. Wheat Shorts have a higher protein, fat and fibre than the whole grain, and is a beneficial ingredient for highly active canines. See “Whole Grain Wheat” for additional information on the benefits of wheat-based carbohydrates in animal diets.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elesvier, 2011. Print.

 

 

Wheat, Whole Grain

Whole Grain Wheat is a source of highly digestible carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates, like Whole Wheat, contain starches (think: whole grains), are broken down and absorbed by the body more slowly than highly processed/refined carbs (think: sugars) and result in a lessen glycemic response. Additionally, wheat has a higher protein level than many other grains.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elesvier, 2011. Print.

 

 

Yeast, Dried Brewer's

Dried Brewer’s Yeast is a form of yeast (Saccharomyces cervisiae) that has been used in the process of brewing beer. Brewing “kills” the yeast fungus cells, so they are no longer alive when used as an ingredient in pet food. Nutritionally speaking, it is a beneficial supplement when included in the diets of canines, felines and humans. It boasts a high percentage of protein, as well as essential fatty acids, B-complex vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9) as well as the minerals Chromium and Selenium. Like Inactivated Yeast (see below), this high level of B Vitamins can help promote healthy skin and coat, while increasing palatability of the food.

Additional Info:
Brewer’s Dried Yeast has been rumored to be a repellant for fleas, mosquitos and ticks.  Despite the many other health benefits of this ingredient, unfortunately this is an urban myth that has been disproven with scientific investigation.

Resources:

  • Marins, M.S., Sakomura, N.K., Souza, D.F., Filho, F.O.R., Gomes, M. O. S., Vasconcellos, R.S., Carciofi, A.C. 2014. Brewer’s yeast and sugarcane yeast as protein sources for dogs. Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition, 98: 948-957.

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • AAFCO 2016 publication

 

 

Yeast, Inactivated

Yeast is a cultivated, single-celled fungus that is high in protein, contains a wide range of amino acids, minerals (chromium and selenium), and a high concentration of the B vitamins. As the B Vitamins are linked to coat condition, inactivated yeast helps to promote healthy skin and coat while increasing palatability of the food.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 Swanson KS, Fahey GC (2004) The role of yeasts I companion animal nutrition. In: Re-imagining the feed industry: Nutritional biotechnology in the feed and food industries. Eds: Lyons TP, Jacques KA. Nottingham University Press. Nottingham, UK

 

 

Zucchini (Courgette)

Zucchini, also known as courgette, is a type of summer squash widely available throughout the Americas.  Zucchini contains a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, such as Vitamins A & C, Potassium and Manganese. Particularly beneficial in weight loss diets, Zucchini has a very low glycemic index that helps maintain low blood sugar levels (especially helpful for diabetic animals).

Resources:

 

Nutrients

 

Biotin

Biotin is a vitamin that carries carbon dioxide used to create both fatty acids and amino acids.

Biotin is naturally found in cooked eggs, liver, milk, legumes, nuts, corn, meat and bone meal.  Bacteria in the gut can produce biotin. It is thought that these bacteria can contribute a certain proportion of the body’s requirement of biotin.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • Murphy PNA, Mistry SP (1977) Biotin. Prog Food Nutr Sci 2: 405-455.

  • National Research Council (2006) Nutrient requirements of dogs and cats. First ed. National Academic Press. Washington D.C. Print.

 

 

Calcium Carbonate

Calcium Carbonate is a source of calcium. Calcium is a vital nutrient for growth and sustained pet health. It is a principal structural component of bone and teeth, facilitates blood-clotting binding-proteins, serves as a key conductor of nerve signals, initiates muscle contractions, activates select physiological enzymes and buffers pH changes.  See “Calcium-Phosphorus Ratios” for more information on Calcium.

Limestone is a natural source of Calcium Carbonate.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P., Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., Raash. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • Wortinger, A. Nutrition for Veterinary Technicians and Nurses. John Wiley & Sons. 2013

 

 

Calcium Iodate

Calcium Iodate is a source of Iodine. Iodine is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and the production of thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones regulate the rate of metabolism in the body and play an important role in normal growth.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P., Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., Raash. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p.: Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Calcium Pantothenate

Calcium Pantothenate is the pure form of the Vitamin Pantothenic Acid. “Pantos” is the Greek word for “all,” and is appropriately named as Pantothenic Acid is present in all body tissues and all forms of living tissues. It plays a vital role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and protein. This is a Vitamin that is readily found in many feed ingredients (meats, dairy, eggs, legumes), but is often added as a supplement to diets to ensure the pet receives the optimal quantity.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • National Research Council (2006) Nutrient requirements of dogs and cats. First ed. National Academic Press. Washington D.C. Print.

 

 

Calcium Propionate

Calcium Propionate is a mold-inhibitor (antimicrobial) often used in both human and pet foods. Calcium propionate is considered to be a stable preservative and rarely dissociates from its salt (calcium), it is a preservative of choice for low-acidic foods. Calcium Propionate is certified for the human food market, meaning there is more extensive research and practices behind the use of the product.

Resources:

  • Flink, JM (1977) Intermediate moisture food products in the American marketplace. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation 1: 324-339.

  • Lei J, Yang L, Zhan Y, Wang Y, Ye T, Li Y, Deng H, Li B (2014) Plasma treated polyethylene terephthalate/polypropylene films assembled with chitosan and various preservatives for antimicrobial food packaging. Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 114: 60-66.

  • Jay JM, Loessner MJ, Golden DA (2005) Food protection with chemicals, and by biocontrol. In: Modern Food Microbiology, 7th ed. Edited by: Heldman DR. Springer Science + Business Media, New York, NY.

  • FDA Regulations: https://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/gras/scogs/ucm260895.htm

  • European Food Safety Authority: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.2903/j.efsa.2011.2446/epdf

 

 

Choline Chloride

Choline Chloride is a commonly used feed source of the Vitamin Choline. The main roles of choline in the body are three-fold: 1- it provides a structural element in cellular and protein membranes, 2- it removes excess fat from the liver 3- it can readily be used to help make other amino acids.

Your pets’ body can synthesize choline, but it can help prevent issues associated with fat buildup in the liver if used as a dietary supplement.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • National Research Council (2006) Nutrient requirements of dogs and cats. First ed. National Academic Press. Washington D.C. Print.

 

 

Chondroitin Sulfate

Chondroitin is a glucosaminoglycan found in the cartilage within your pet’s body. It is often combined with glucosamine to help with joint health and reduce inflammation/pain. It does this by helping to normalize the thickness of fluid found within the joints and by helping to promote cartilage repair.  Therefore it serves a protective and a restorative purpose with long-term use. Pets are known to produce less chondroitin with age, therefore it if often paired with glucosamine and used as a supplement for older pets.

Chondroitin sulfate is a common form of chondroitin used in pet feeds. Chondroitin is naturally found in many carbohydrates.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • Hazewinkel H (2012) Nutritional management of orthopedic diseases. In: Applied Veterinary Clinical Nutrition. Eds: Fascetti AJ, Delaney SJ. Wiley-Blackwell. Sussex, UK

 

 

Cobalt Carbonate

Cobalt Sulfate is a source of Cobalt.

Cobalt is an integral component of the Vitamin B12. This is the only known Cobalt requirement for pets.  The body can synthesize Vitamin B12 if the diet does not contain adequate quantities. Cobalt Sulfate is not always a necessary addition to pet feeds if the pet is receiving adequate levels of Vitamin B12 from other ingredients within the diet. It is sometimes added in a small quantity to ensure that there is always adequate Cobalt for the body to produce Vitamin B12.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Copper Lysine

Copper Lysine is a readily available source of both the mineral Copper and the Amino Acid Lysine.  Lysine is an essential amino acid for dogs and cats. The demand for Lysine in the diet increases as the quantity of protein ingested increases. 

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Copper Proteinate

Copper Proteinate is a chelated source of mineral Copper. The role of Copper is tightly tied to that of Iron within the body of your pet. Copper is necessary for the absorption and transport of ingested iron, and is crucial for the proper functioning of hemoglobin (See Ferrous Sulfate for the role of Iron and Hemoglobin). Copper is also important for skeletal development and is a necessary component of some antioxidants. Naturally, it is found in high concentrations in organ meats.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Copper Sulfate

Copper Sulfate is a salt source of mineral Copper. The role of Copper is tightly tied to that of Iron within the body of your pet. Copper is necessary for the absorption and transport of ingested iron, and is crucial for the proper functioning of hemoglobin (See Ferrous Sulfate for the role of Iron and Hemoglobin). Copper is also important for skeletal development and is a necessary component of some antioxidants. Naturally, it is found in high concentrations in organ meats.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

DiCalcium Phosphate

DiCalcium Phosphate is a source of the minerals Calcium and Phosphorous that are readily available to dogs and cats. For more information on Calcium and Phosphorus and their importance in animal diets, see “Calcium-Phosphorus Ratio.”

Resources:

  • Baker, D.H., Czarnecki-Maulden, G.L. 1991. Comparative nutrition of cats and dogs. Annual Reviews of Nutrition 11: 239-263.

 

 

DL-Methionine

DL-Methionine is an essential amino acid supplement. Methionine is usually the first limiting amino acid in most pet foods, it is synthesized into other amino acids like cysteine, taurine and in cats it is converted into felinine. Methionine improves liver health and through synthesis into Taurine it plays an important role in the production of stomach acid, eye health, normal functioning of the heart, and reproductive success in dogs and cats. As a supplement, it can also be used to help acidify the urine of cats to help reduce the risk of struvite stones developing in the kidneys.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elesvier, 2011. Print.

 

 

Ferrous Sulfate (Iron Sulfate)

Ferrous sulfate is a commonly used source of iron. Iron plays an important part in the protein molecule hemoglobin (>65% of stored iron) and in the myoglobin cells. Hemoglobin is a protein in the red blood cells that binds oxygen from the lungs and transports it throughout the body. Myoglobin binds oxygen for immediate use by the muscle cells. Iron is a micro-mineral, meaning it is required in the body in very small quantities.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • Case, LP (2005) The dog: it’s behaviour, nutrition & health. Second ed. N.p: Blackwell Publishing. Print

 

 

Folic Acid (Folacin)

Folic Acid is a transport molecule in the body.  It helps minerals bind and allows them to react with other molecules and enzymes. It plays a crucial role in the synthesis of DNA. A shortage of Folic Acid leads to a DNA deficiency, resulting in a decrease in cellular growth and maturation. Intestinal bacteria of dogs and cats can synthesize Folic Acid or it can be acquired through a diet that includes organ meats and green leafy vegetables.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • National Research Council (2006) Nutrient requirements of dogs and cats. First ed. National Academic Press. Washington D.C. Print.

 

 

Glucosamine Hydrochloride

Glucosamine is an amino acid sugar that is found in the extracellular matrix of the joints. It is considered a “neutraceutical,” a compound that helps regenerate and protect connective tissue/cartilage in the joints of your pets. As a result, it is thought to be hugely beneficial to pets with arthritis and joint pain.

Glucosamine hydrochloride is a salt form of glucosamine. It is known to have protective and restorative properties, especially when combined with chondroitin. These properties include reduced inflammation, increased cartilage repair and proper lubrication of the joints. Better joint health means better mobility for a more active, happy pet.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Lecithin

Lecithin is a molecule that plays an important structural and functional role in cell membranes. In pet feed, it is known to help with the digestion, absorption and transportation of fats across cell membranes.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Vitamin C)

L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate is a natural source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for normal bone and connective tissue formation, acts as an antioxidant, and plays a role in the immune function of pets.  Unlike humans who require a dietary source of Vitamin C, dogs and cats can synthesize their own Vitamin C within their livers.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • Innes, J.R.M. 1931. Vitamin C requirements of the dog: attempts to produce experimental scurvy. University of Cambridge Institute of Animal Pathology: Second Report. pp. 143-150

 

 

L-Lysine Hydrochloride

L-Lysine Hydrochloride is a digestible salt version of the amino acid, Lysine. Lysine is an essential amino acid for dogs and cats, meaning they must get it from their diet. Research suggests that the need for Lysine in the diet increases with increasing protein content. 

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Manganese Methionine

Manganese is a mineral that is important for skeletal development and reproductive health. It also found in many enzymes within the body.

Methionine is an amino acid that is considered an organic provider of sulfur to the body. It is important in the development of another amino acid, Cysteine.

Cats have a higher need for Methionine (and Cysteine) than dogs. Methionine is also a building block of the essential amino acid, Taurine. Cats cannot synthesize their own Taurine, therefore proper Methionine inclusion is an important component of cat food.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Manganese Proteinate

Manganese Proteinate is a chelated form of the mineral Manganese. Manganese is important for skeletal development and reproductive health. It also found in many enzymes within the body.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Manganese Sulfate

Manganese is a mineral that is important for skeletal development and reproductive health. It also found in many enzymes within the body.

Manganese sulfate is commonly found in pet feeds as a source of manganese. It is readily found in legumes and whole grains and in a lesser quantity in poultry and fish.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • National Research Council (2006) Nutrient requirements of dogs and cats. First ed. National Academic Press. Washington D.C. Print.

 

 

Niacin Supplement

Niacin is a vitamin that is also known as nicotinic acid. It is involved in transferring hydrogen atoms between molecules to increase or decrease their stability. Niacin is important for the breakdown of fat, carbohydrates and protein.

Niacin is naturally occurring in meat, legumes and grains. Dogs can synthesize small quantities of niacin within their bodies; cats cannot and must acquire all their niacin from their diets.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • National Research Council (2006) Nutrient requirements of dogs and cats. First ed. National Academic Press. Washington D.C. Print.

 

 

Potassium Chloride

Potassium Chloride is potassium salt, making it a source of Potassium. Potassium is important in the body as it helps to maintain proper hydration in the cells, is vital in enzymatic reactions, and is necessary in transmitting nerve signals for muscle movement and contraction, making it a very important mineral for the heart.

Supplemental potassium is a common pet food ingredient to ensure proper nutrition in both dogs and cats.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)

Pyridoxine Hydrochloride is a water-soluble vitamin that fulfills many roles within the body of your pet.  Primarily, it is involved in the break down of food to help produce energy. As a result, its main role is to break down amino acid chains, but it is also involved in glucose and fatty acid metabolism. It is also important in the production of hemoglobin and producing the vitamin niacin.

Pyridoxine hydrochloride is a commonly used vitamin source in pet food, but is found naturally in animal tissue, fish, wheat germ and whole grains. The requirement of pyridoxine is directly related to protein intake. As protein intake goes up, so does the need for pyridoxine to break down the amino acid chains.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • Bai SC, Sampwon DA, Morris JG, et al. (1991) The level of dietary protein affects the vitamin B-6 requirement of cats. J Nutr 121: 1054-1061.

 

 

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Riboflavin is a vitamin that is important in the release of energy from carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Microbes in the large intestine of pets can synthesize riboflavin, although it is uncertain if they can produce a sufficient quantity to meet the need of your pet. As a result, riboflavin is often added to pet food to assure adequate intake.

Riboflavin is commonly found in milk, organ meat, whole grains, and veggies.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • Case, LP (2005) The dog: it’s behaviour, nutrition & health. Second ed. N.p: Blackwell Publishing. Print.

 

 

Salt

Salt, also known as sodium chloride, is important for proper growth and development of your pet. Once ingested, the body breaks it down into its two components: sodium and chloride. Sodium and chloride are used to transport nutrients across cell walls, while keeping your pets body fluids from becoming too acidic or basic. The body also uses chloride to make hydrochloric acid, which is used by the stomach to digest food. 

Unlike in humans where a salt-rich diet can lead to hypertension and increased blood pressure, pets are capable of ridding excess salt in ways humans cannot. Dogs and cats continuously lose salt through the urinary system and use this mechanism to optimally balance salt levels within their bodies. As a result, they do not suffer from the same salt-derived health conditions as humans. Although many ingredients contain some salt naturally, it can be beneficial to add a small mineral salt component to the diet of pets to ensure adequate levels of sodium and chloride.

Resources:

  • Jay JM, Loessner MJ, Golden DA (2005) Food protection with chemicals, and by biocontrol. In: Modern Food Microbiology, 7th ed. Edited by: Heldman DR. Springer Science + Business Media, New York, NY.

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • AAFCO 2016 publication.

 

 

Selenium Yeast

Selenium Yeast is a source of Selenium. The form of Selenium produced by yeast is known as “selenomethionine.” In humans, this source has been found to be better tolerated by the body and more closely resembles the form found in fresh food, making it more biologically available than selenium salts.  Selenium is naturally found in cereal grains, yeast, meat and fish and is an integral part of antioxidant compounds that protect cell membranes from oxidative damage.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • National Research Council (2006) Nutrient requirements of dogs and cats. First ed. National Academic Press. Washington D.C. Print.

 

 

Sodium Selenite

Sodium Selenite is a source of Selenium. Selenium is naturally found in cereal grains, yeast, meat and fish and is an integral part of antioxidant compounds that protect cell membranes from oxidative damage.

Additional Information

There appears to be controversy over the use of sodium selenite to supply trace amounts of selenium to a dog food. Those opposed to sodium selenite — or its close chemical cousin, sodium selenate — are concerned about what they believe to be a notably thin margin of safety between an effective “dose” of the mineral and the amount that could cause toxicity. So, a supplement supplier that provides slightly too much selenium to a commercial nutrient mix could make it easy for a dog owner to unknowingly administer a toxic dose to her pet over an extended period of time.  This rumour has historical merit dating back to the mid 1900’s where there were a few incidents of mineral suppliers administering excess selenium to a pre-mix resulting in toxicity in a small number of dogs. Through advancements in science and technology, there have been no incidents of death due to sodium selenite overdose since these times. Yet, despite decades of safe inclusion of sodium selenite in pet feed, the perceived controversy of its safety remains today.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • National Research Council (2006) Nutrient requirements of dogs and cats. First ed. National Academic Press. Washington D.C. Print.

 

 

Taurine

Taurine is an amino acid that is involved in many aspects of the body. It is involved in the breakdown of food, the creation of stomach acid, eye health and normal functioning of the heart. It also plays a critical role in the reproductive health of both cats and dogs.

Unlike most mammals, it is an essential amino acid in cats, as they are unable to produce it on their own. Taurine is readily found in fish, poultry, and rodents. It is found in high concentrations in algae.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • National Research Council (2006) Nutrient requirements of dogs and cats. First ed. National Academic Press. Washington D.C. Print.

 

 

Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1)

Thiamin is a component of the coenzyme thiamin pyrophosphate. It plays an important role in the breakdown of carbohydrates for energy and helps to convert carbohydrates to fat. It also plays a role in the breakdown of fatty acids, nucleic acids, steroids and some amino acids. It is necessary in the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Thiamin mononitrate is the form of the vitamin that is commonly found in pet feeds. Thiamin is naturally present in beef, liver, pork, wheat germ, whole grains and legumes.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • Case, LP (2005) The dog: it’s behaviour, nutrition & health. Second ed. N.p: Blackwell Publishing. Print.

 

 

Vitamin A Supplement

Vitamin A is crucial for vision, bone development, reproduction and skin/coat maintenance. At the base of these compounds are carotenoids, which are created by plant cells (think carrots sweet potatoes and vision) and then ingested by animals. It is within the gut of animals where Vitamin A is created, and then stored. Dogs can make their own Vitamin A from carotenoids, but cats are a different story. Cats cannot create their own Vitamin A and must get it from the diet. Natural sources of Vitamin A for cats include fatty meats, eggs and dairy.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Vitamin B12 Supplement (Cobalamin)

Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamin, can only be synthesized by microorganisms and is the only vitamin that contains a trace element: cobalt. It is vital in many biochemical reactions within the body, and is important in carbohydrate and fat metabolism. 

It is found naturally in foods of animal origin, mainly meat, poultry, fish and dairy.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Vitamin D3 Supplement

Vitamin D3 is the “pro-vitamin” form of Vitamin D, the same vitamin we humans get from the sun. Dogs and cats, with their thick fur layer, need to consume it in their diets in order to get it in their bodies. Also known as a cholecalciferol, it is great nutritional importance to omnivores and carnivores. It is a compound that regulates how calcium and phosphorus are used in the body. Thus, it is crucial for normal bone tissue development and maintenance.

This vitamin is commonly found in high levels in cod liver oil and is found in moderate amounts in egg yolk, liver and fish.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • How KL, Hazewinkel AW, Mol JA (1994) Dietary vitamin D dependence of cat and dog due to inadequate cutaneous synthesis of vitamin D. Gen Comp Endocrinol 96: 12-18.

  • Morrie JF (1999) Ineffective vitamin D synthesis in cats is reversed by an inhibitor of 7-dehydrocholesterol-delta-7-reductase. J Nutr 129: 903-909.

 

 

Vitamin E Supplement

Vitamin E is the term that is used to cover a variety of closely related compounds called “tocopherols.”  The main role of Vitamin E within the body is to be a potent antioxidant by protecting tissues and fats from becoming free radicals. Vitamin E also plays a role in the formation of cell membranes, cell respiration, and in the metabolism of fats. It is essential in keeping the cells of these organs alive and functioning.

Vitamin E is also used as a natural preservative for Chicken Fat and Fish Oil. This is why you sometimes see the words “Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a form of Vitamin E” after these ingredients in ingredient decks. This is because Vitamin E acts as a natural antioxidant (preservative) in fat-based ingredients just as it does within the body of your pets.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Vitamin K Supplement

Vitamin K is a common name for a group of compounds, quinones. Dogs and cats require Vitamin K in their diets, but bacteria found within the gut fulfill a quantity of this requirement. Vitamin K plays an important role in blood clotting. Naturally, Vitamin K is found in high levels in many leafy greens, such as spinach, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, but is also found in liver, fish, and egg.

There is only one Vitamin K supplement that has been approved and recognized by AAFCO. There are natural sources of the vitamin but there are concerns of how these natural sources typically found in leafy greens handle the extrusion process.  

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

  • AAFCO 2016 publication

 

 

Yucca Schidigera Extract

Yucca Schidigera is a small evergreen tree that grows in the deserts of North America. We use it in our food to help increase palatability and to reduce fecal odour. It is also an all-natural ingredient that offers anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory properties.

Resources:

  • Cheeke, P.R. 2000. Actual and potential applications of Yucca schidigera and Quillaja saponaria saponins in human and animal nutrition. In: Saponins in Food, Feedstuffs and Medicinal Plants. Oleszek, W., Marston, A. (Eds.) Proceedings of the Phytochemical Society of Europe 45: 241-254.

 

 

Zinc Methionine

Zinc Methionine is a zinc atom bound to the amino acid, methionine. When metal ions are bound to organic material, they are commonly referred to as a “chelated,” mineral. This means it is a more natural and more readily accessible form of the mineral.

Zinc is the second most abundant trace mineral in the body, after iron. It is an essential for pets to get from their diet. Zinc is present in most tissues throughout the body and plays an important role in proper immune function, wound healing, protein & DNA synthesis, cell division and normal reproductive functioning. Zinc also supports normal growth and development for your growing dog or cat.

Methionine, on top of being an amino acid itself, is considered to be an organic provider of sulfur to the body and is essential for the body to create another amino acid, cysteine. Cats have a higher need for methionine & cysteine than dogs as cysteine is a precursor for the development of taurine, another essential amino acid that cats must obtain from their diets.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.

 

 

Zinc Sulfate

Zinc Sulfate is the salt form of zinc. Zinc is the second must abundant trace mineral in the body, after iron. It is an essential mineral that pets must get from their diet. Zinc is present in most tissues throughout the body and plays a role an important role in proper immune function, wound healing, protein & DNA synthesis, cell division and normal reproductive functioning. Zinc also supports normal growth and development for your growing dog or cat.

Resources:

  • Case, L.P. Daristotle, L., Hayek, M.G., and Raash, M.F. 2011. Canine and Feline Nutrition: A Resource for Companion Animal Professionals. Third ed. N.p. Mosby Elsevier. Print.