Pet Food Glossary

More and more dog and cat owners are opting for grain-free food. The background is mostly the gluten protein, which is present in cereals such as wheat. Dogs can show an intolerance to this protein. Gluten intolerance in both dogs and cats can lead to gastrointestinal diseases, such as chronic diarrhea. As a result, important nutritional values ​​are excreted, which in turn lead to deficiency symptoms, such as iron deficiency. Iron deficiency, in turn, can lead to anemia and weight loss. A gluten-free diet is also beneficial for sensitive dog breeds. That's why we decided not to use gluten-containing raw materials. However, a gluten-free diet should not be confused with a grain-free diet. Cereals provide the dog with valuable carbohydrates and roughage. Gluten-free cereals such as corn, rice, buckwheat and amaranth add value to dog food. We use potatoes as the basic carbohydrate source.

"Hypoallergenic" means something like: "provided with few allergenic substances". In order to avoid allergens in dog food, hypoallergenic dog food should be fed in the event of a food allergy. Hypoallergenic dog food contains as few or none of the known allergens as possible. As a rule, these feeds consist exclusively of as “exotic” a type of meat as possible, such as springbok, water buffalo, kangaroo or insects as a source of protein. Why is that so? Because conventional types of meat such as beef, pork or poultry often trigger meat allergies in dogs. There are allergy tests for dogs to determine which allergens from the environment (e.g. house dust mites, mould, tree, grass, herb and grain pollen) the dog reacts to. The allergy test is less suitable for understanding which food your dog is allergic to. In most cases, the only option here is feeding according to the elimination process. This means that meat must be fed that the dog has never eaten before. If allergic symptoms are still not reduced by this feeding, it may be due to other intolerances (e.g. gluten intolerance), other food allergies or deficiency symptoms. With hypoallergenic dog food, the symptoms of the food allergy ideally subside within a few days to a maximum of twelve weeks. Even after the symptoms have disappeared, hypoallergenic dog food should continue to be fed. Subsequent sensitizations to the "new" food components are possible, but rarely occur.

There is no specific or legally binding technical definition for the term "superfood". Superfoods are individual foods that are said to have special functional effects. This can be related to health, energy, pain relief or any other aspect of the body, mind and spirit. Superfoods are particularly rich in nutrients and have high levels of vitamins, phytochemicals, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids or other valuable ingredients. Exotic foods are often associated with superfoods such as goji berries or inca roots. But we don't have to hide at all and accept long distances. We have a lot of local superfoods like flaxseed, blueberries, currants and walnuts.

Both products are feed for special nutritional purposes. Sensitive products are suitable for allergy problems, diet feed for overweight. Diet feeds clearly differ from common feeds due to adapted compositions such as reduced fat and protein content or manufacturing processes.

Feed materials are products of plant or animal origin that are primarily used to meet the nutritional needs of animals. As the name suggests, the feeds stand pretty much alone. They contain only a single component of the diet, such as insect meat or potatoes. Feed materials can be fresh or preserved, as well as the products of their industrial processing - eg potato flour. Organic or inorganic substances that are intended for animal nutrition, such as minerals or trace elements, also count as single feeds. They can be used as a carrier in premixes. Straight feeds are not intended as a balanced diet for dogs. Only in a mixture of several individual feedstuffs does the food become valuable. A mixture of at least two individual feeds is called compound feed. Compound feeds are formulated in such a way that they are optimally tailored to the needs of the animals. A compound feed can either be used as a complete feed or offered as a supplement to other feed (complementary feed).

Complementary feeds are compound feeds that consist of at least two ingredients and usually have a higher content of certain substances; especially minerals or trace elements. But due to its composition, a supplementary feed is by definition not sufficient to ensure an adequate supply of all nutrients over a longer period of time. It just serves as a supplement to the daily ration. Supplementary feed can be, for example, vitamin mixtures or meat mixtures to which no vitamins and minerals have been added. On the other hand there is the complete feed - a compound feed which, due to its composition, ensures the full supply of nutrients when sufficient quantities are consumed. This is a crucial factor in ensuring the health and welfare of the animals. According to German law, a complete feed must meet certain requirements in order to achieve the required values. The pet food manufacturers in Europe follow the composition of the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF). FEDIAF represents the federations of national petfood industries in the EU, approximately 650 petfood production sites in Europe, and provides recommendations to ensure the production of balanced and healthy petfood. Minimum recommendations and maximum levels of proteins, fats, trace elements, minerals and vitamins are given. This document is reviewed annually and updated whenever there are new relevant technological, scientific or legal developments in pet nutrition.

Premixtures are a mixture of feed materials, mostly with several feed additives, which are not intended for direct feeding to animals. This mainly includes nutritional and technological additives for use in complete feed. Additives are substances, microorganisms or preparations that are deliberately added to feed or water in order to fulfill specific functions. Why are additives added? According to German law, a complete feed must meet certain requirements in order to achieve the required values. The pet food manufacturers in Europe follow the composition of the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF). The FEDIAF provides minimum recommendations as well as maximum levels of proteins, fats, trace elements, minerals and vitamins. All nutrients that are not sufficient due to the processed ingredients in dog food to provide the dog with optimal care are supplemented - in the form of additives. A distinction is made between three categories: ✓ Nutritional additives (e.g. vitamins, trace elements and amino acids - no minerals) ✓ Technological additives (e.g. preservatives and antioxidants, emulsifiers, stabilizers, silage additives, release agents) to positively influence flowability, stability or storage life . These include hydrocolloids such as xanthan, cellulose, carrageenan, guar gum ✓ Sensory additives (coloring and flavorings)

If you want to know what you're feeding your darling, you can't avoid looking at the label. The label contains all the secrets about the product, but it is important to understand them! And that's the crux of the matter - there are a few things hidden that an average Joe can't understand. We help you to become an Ingrid special consumer. Composition and declaration The composition, in the form of a declaration, gives the pet owner an indication of the ingredients of the dog food. Only the so-called "closed declaration" is mandatory according to the Feed Act. In the closed declaration, the individual feeds used in a compound feed are combined into groups and listed in descending order by weight. These groups include E.g. meat and animal by-products, oils and fats, minerals, grains and sugars. Each manufacturer can choose whether to list all of its ingredients individually (open declaration) or to group them together in the legally defined categories (closed declaration). He must choose one variant, mixing the two is not permitted. For example, if a feed contains beef meat and liver, this can be declared either as “Lean meat and beef liver” or as “Meat and animal by-products”. The difference is only in the way of naming. There are no percentages on the quantitative composition. Conclusions can be drawn solely based on the order of the components. Only the advertised ingredients - also known as claims - must be specified with a percentage by weight. The claims The claims and claims make it possible to see on the front label how much of the claimed raw material is contained in the feed. Usually “with” is advertised, e.g. B. with chicken, with carrot, with spinach. This means that at least 4% of this raw material is contained in the feed. For example, advertised on the front: rich in insects. The exact weight percentage must then be stated on the back label.

Other awards are:

"with X-flavor" Less than 4% X
"With X" At least 4% X
"Rich in X" At least 14% X
"X Dinner" At least 26% X

The open declaration is voluntary - so if a manufacturer makes an open declaration and gives an insight into all ingredients and their percentage distribution, that is already a quality feature, so to speak - we will of course investigate it!

group Description
1. Meat and animal by-products All meat parts of slaughtered warm-blooded terrestrial animals, fresh or preserved by an appropriate process, and all products and by-products from the processing of carcasses or parts of carcasses of warm-blooded terrestrial animals
2. milk and dairy products All dairy products, fresh or preserved by any suitable method, and by-products of processing
3. eggs and egg products All egg products, fresh or preserved by an appropriate process, and by-products of processing
4. Oils and fats All animal and vegetable oils and fats
5. yeasts All yeast whose cells have been killed and dried
6. fish and fish by-products Fish or parts of fish, whether preserved or preserved by a suitable method, and the by-products of processing
7. Grain All types of cereals, regardless of their presentation, and the products obtained from the processing of flour grains
8th. Vegetables All kinds of vegetables and legumes, fresh or preserved by a suitable process
9. Vegetable by-products By-products from the processing of plant products, in particular cereals, vegetables, legumes, oilseeds
10 Vegetable protein extracts All products of plant origin, the proteins of which have been enriched by an appropriate process to at least 50% crude protein in relation to the dry matter and may be restructured (textured).
11. minerals All inorganic substances suitable for animal nutrition
12. Sugar All types of sugar
13. fruit All types of fruit, fresh or preserved by a suitable process
14 nuts All kernels of tree nuts
15 seeds All seeds uncrushed or coarsely ground
16 algae All types of seaweed, fresh or preserved by a suitable process
17 mollusks and crustaceans All species of molluscs, crustaceans, bivalve molluscs, fresh or preserved by any suitable method, and by-products of their processing
18 insects All kinds of insects in all stages of development
19 bakery products All products from the manufacture of baked goods, in particular bread, cakes, biscuits and pasta

Analytical components The specification of the analytical components determined in the laboratory is subject to legal regulations. The terms crude protein, crude fat, crude ash and crude fiber are analytical values ​​of the so-called Weender analysis. In order to arrive at these nutrient values, the feed is subjected to classic procedures defined in the laboratory. The crude protein content is determined using the Kjeldahl method and is the sum of all nitrogenous compounds in the feed. The raw fat value is determined after acid digestion of the feed in an extraction with solvent lasting several hours and provides information about the fat content of the feed. To determine the raw ash content, the feed is burned in a muffle furnace for several hours. As a result, all organic components are burned and the residue - these are mainly minerals - is the raw ash content of the feed. Crude fiber is the part of a feed that remains as an indigestible component after treatment with diluted acids and alkalis. Finally, the moisture content indicates the water content of the product. The moisture content only has to be stated if it is over 14%. There is only a risk of spoilage if the feed is not preserved or made non-perishable by drying or sterilization. Therefore, the moisture content is given for wet food and not for dry food.

The feeding recommendation is apparently only dependent on the weight of the dog. However, there is much more to it than that. It is determined by scientific calculations by calculating an energy requirement in kcal/kJ from the analytical components. From this follows a subsequent calculation of the convertible energy (ME), which is decisive for determining the feeding recommendation. The feeding recommendation results from the weight of the dog, the metabolizable energy (ME) and a daily energy intake. This daily energy intake is also an important factor and reflects the energy requirements in relation to the dog's activity. Average values ​​are used to calculate daily energy intake, but these vary greatly depending on activity and breed (such as Newfoundlands, Great Danes and terriers). Therefore, it is only a feeding recommendation and must be determined individually depending on the species, age and activity.

Nowadays obesity in dogs and cats is more and more common. This can be explained by these differences in the energy balance. Of course, a house cat has to eat more to meet its nutritional needs than a lap dog. Likewise, a young dog has a higher energy and nutrient requirement, based on body mass, than an adult dog. Adult dogs with a low level of activity - that is dogs that only accompany their owner on his daily walk - need a food with a low energy density in order to avoid becoming overweight. From the age of seven (large breeds) or from the age of ten (small breeds), the lower level of activity and the onset of aging reduce the energy requirement by up to 30% again. For seniors who tend to be overweight, feed with a reduced energy density should therefore be offered.

The energy suppliers (macronutrients)

Energy is measured in heat units (kilocalories and kilojoules), whereby a basic distinction must be made between the total energy content (gross energy) and the biologically usable energy content (metabolizable energy) of a feed. This differentiation is made because part of the energy in the feed is excreted in the urine and faeces of the animals and is therefore not used by the organism. The intake of food serves to cover the required energy requirements. The daily energy requirement depends, among other things, on the age, activity, breed, reproductive status and housing conditions of the animals. For example, small dogs require more energy per kg of body weight than large dogs. What constitutes a balanced diet for the old dog is insufficient for feeding a puppy. Appropriately tailored food must be made available for the different ages and activity levels.

Proteins (also proteins) are important components of many body tissues, enzymes and hormones. Proteins are made up of combinations of 21 different amino acids. Humans, like all animals, need these amino acids, although they are also able to produce sufficient amounts of individual amino acids themselves. Other amino acids, on the other hand, cannot be produced by the body itself and must be ingested with food. These amino acids are called essential, ie essential to life. In dogs and cats, 10 amino acids are essential. Every species (human, animal, plant) has its own amino acid chains (primary structure), which are connected to form different spatial structures (= secondary, tertiary and quaternary structure of the proteins). Among other things, they are necessary for the formation of protective and defense functions through the formation of hemoglobin and antibodies as well as the maintenance and regeneration of tissue. The quality of a nutrient is determined by its biological value, ie how well dietary protein can be converted into endogenous protein. The term "biological value" is usually used to refer to protein and not to the other feed components, although of course these also have a biological value. The protein is classified as more valuable, the better the amino acid sequence of the feed protein matches the amino acid sequence of the body protein to be formed and the higher the digestibility of the feed protein. The biological value is therefore a unit of measurement for the degree of utilization of the digested protein by the body. B. Meat, liver and kidneys are already highly digestible in the small intestine and thus easily usable for the animal. Furthermore, they have a high-quality amino acid spectrum. In contrast, components rich in connective tissue and containing bones are less digestible and have a less favorable amino acid spectrum. As a result, the animal has to consume a higher amount of protein overall in order to cover the need for essential amino acids. It should also be noted that the analyzed protein content (raw protein) does not allow any statement to be made about the biological value of the protein used. The protein requirement in our products is mainly covered by the use of insects. But the plant-based ingredients such as potatoes, flaxseed and spinach also provide the necessary amino acids.

Fats are present in every cell in the body. Along with proteins and carbohydrates, they are the most important source of energy in food. Any excess is stored in the form of body fat. Fats also serve to absorb fat-soluble vitamins in the intestine and improve the taste of the feed. Fat is composed of fatty acids, whereby a distinction must be made between essential and non-essential fatty acids. A lack of essential fatty acids is reflected in a dull and dry coat, poor growth and an increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. Linoleic acid is essential for dogs and cats. Alpha-linolenic acid, arachidonic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and docohexaenoic acid are also important because they are only produced to a certain extent by the animals themselves. Especially in reproduction and growth, the supply of these fatty acids is of essential importance.

Carbohydrates are chains made up of sugar building blocks (e.g. starch) and primarily serve as a source of energy. In addition, certain carbohydrates are also important as raw fiber suppliers. A basic distinction must be made between "valuable" carbohydrates (such as those found in wholemeal bread, fruit, etc.) and "empty" carbohydrates (such as sweets or white flour products). While empty carbohydrates provide energy only in the short term, the valuable ones are substances that perform many complex functions. They include the group of dietary fibers. These sources of crude fiber or "roughage" give a greater feeling of satiety and affect gut motility, which in turn affects stool consistency and volume. A high crude fiber content leads to a larger volume of faeces as well as more frequent defecation. On the other hand, feed that is low in raw fiber can lead to digestive problems in the animals.

Non-energy suppliers (micronutrients)

In principle, minerals are divided into two groups: bulk and trace elements. Nutritionally, however, they are considered a unified group, since different interaction mechanisms take place between them. The amount and form of each mineral consumed affects how the others are absorbed in the gut. Therefore, the balance of minerals in the diet is of crucial importance. Bulk elements Calcium and phosphorus are bulk elements, as are sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium and sulfur. These are important for bone formation, nutrient transport and electrolyte balance.

Calcium must be present in a large proportion in comparison to the other minerals in every feed. A calcium deficiency or an oversupply can result in various clinical pictures. The nutritional importance of calcium lies in the area of ​​bone formation (in connection with vitamin D3), blood clotting and the transmission of nerve impulses. A one-sided calcium oversupply can cause severe bone development disorders in large dogs and also lead to a reduced absorption of phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and probably copper in the intestine. The calcium requirement of an animal depends on the respective phase of life. Young, growing, pregnant and lactating animals have a significantly higher requirement than adult animals in the maintenance metabolism. The minimum calcium content for adult dogs is 0.5 g per 100 g of feed (dry matter). Phosphorus is extremely important in all metabolic processes in the body, especially in energy metabolism. It is also significantly involved in the formation of bones and teeth.

The ratio of calcium to phosphorus and the form or compound in which phosphorus is present in the diet are important. If there is an excess of phosphorus in the feed, especially phytin, the absorption of calcium, iron, zinc and magnesium in the intestine is negatively affected. Phytin is a storage form of phosphorus found in many plant raw materials. As a rule, the ratio of calcium:phosphorus should be between 1:1 and a maximum of 2:1; ideally for dog food between 1.3-1.4:1.

The trace elements include iron, copper, zinc, manganese, iodine and selenium. Trace elements are only needed in small amounts by the animals, but they have important functions in the body. For example, they are components of enzymes, ie compounds that regulate metabolism.

Vitamins are organic compounds that the body cannot produce itself or can only produce in insufficient quantities. They are therefore among the essential nutrients. Their function lies in the exercise and maintenance of metabolic processes.


Bananas are a natural source of energy. They are not only very popular with athletes but also with our dogs. They are particularly rich in potassium, which is essential for muscle metabolism and the transport of nerve stimuli. In addition, bananas also contain a lot of magnesium and vitamin B6, which is also relevant for protein and muscle metabolism.

Chia seeds are also considered power seeds. Because they contain five times more calcium than milk. Calcium is essential for tooth and bone formation. The deficiency can lead to growth disorders, which is why the calcium content must be guaranteed to be covered, especially in young dogs. Calcium also plays a crucial role in the calcium:phosphorus ratio.

The berries contain many healthy ingredients such as vitamin A, minerals such as iron, magnesium, potassium and a large amount of antioxidants. Antioxidants act as natural radical scavengers. They are anti-inflammatory and strengthen the immune system. Not only with us but also with your dog. Due to the antibacterial effect of the berries, they can, for example, alleviate inflammation of urinary tract infections such as bladder infections. Cranberries can also help with loss of appetite and diarrhea.

The eggshell powder serves as an animal source of calcium. The fine degree of grinding ensures high bioavailability and a balanced calcium:phosphorus ratio.

Flea seeds and psyllium husks can not only help us humans. They can also be used in dogs and cats, especially to regulate digestion. They have a dual mechanism of action. They can regulate both constipation and diarrhea in an animal. They make faeces that are too soft harder and faeces that are too hard softer. Flea seed shells contain water-binding mucilage. In the case of constipation, they can absorb the excess water in the intestine and increase the time it takes for it to pass through the intestines, or in the case of diarrhea, increase the volume of the intestine to stimulate the defecation reflex.

By spices we don't mean salt and pepper. But dried parts of a plant that come from flowers, fruits, buds, roots, bark, seeds, bulbs or parts thereof. They can be used fresh, dried or processed and serve as a seasoning or flavoring ingredient because of their natural content of flavoring and odoriferous substances. This allows us to dispense with chemical acceptors, sugar and salt.

Hemp is trendy. Why all of a sudden? Hemp is one of the oldest crops in the world, having been used in China for at least 10,000 years. Nevertheless, the various effects of the plant have not been used in our country for that long. The hemp seeds in particular are among the highest-quality seeds in terms of nutritional physiology and are thus developing into superfoods. From a strictly botanical point of view, the nutrient-rich hemp seeds belong to the nuts. The pulp contains a lot of oil (28 to 35%) and plenty of protein (20 to 25%) and is surrounded by a thin, glassy skin. Hemp seeds contain readily available vitamins, minerals and important enzymes and antioxidants, which act as cell protectors to fight free radicals.

Yeast represents a healthy plus in the diet of dogs. We use brewer's yeast in our products. Brewer's yeast is a by-product of beer production. After fermentation, it floats on the beer as beer sludge. In most beers these days, manufacturers filter out the brewer's yeast. Brewer's yeast is a purely natural product and contains no chemical additives. The main groups of ingredients are amino acids B vitamins. The B vitamins support many bodily functions such as metabolism and cell structure. In addition, brewer's yeast is a natural source of yeast beta-glucan. According to many scientific studies, beta-glucan is one of the most effective natural influencers of the immune system. However, the dog's body stores the vitamins insufficiently, which is why our four-legged friends have to absorb them regularly through food or supplements.

Our potato products serve as a valuable source of carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Raw potatoes and potato peels contain solanine, which is toxic to dogs and can be very dangerous depending on how much the dog consumes. Therefore we only use processed potato products such as potato flour, potato flakes and potato starch. The starch is the pure starch from the potatoes. Flour and flakes also provide important proteins.

Cheese is good for the vitamin D level: Hard cheeses such as Gouda and Parmesan in particular contain a lot of vitamin D3. And a high vitamin D content leads to unconscious feelings of happiness. Vitamin D improves serotonin synthesis. Serotonin is known as the natural happiness hormone and is one of the most important messenger substances in the human body because it takes on a number of tasks. It is made from the essential amino acid L-tryptophan in the brain. This has to get into your body through your diet and is commonly found in foods like nuts, cheese, and red meat. A tryptophan deficiency can lead to lower serotonin levels, which in turn can lead to mood disorders such as anxiety or depression. Of course we want to avoid that. That's why we add both cheese and L-tryphtophan to our wine-red products.

Just like spices, herbs are also often used as mixtures. So also with us. Herbs have long been used as a healthy food supplement as a flavoring for various dishes. But they are not only suitable for seasoning but are also very popular as medicinal plants against all kinds of diseases and ailments. Plants are not only good for us - herbs can also be a real enrichment for dogs. That is why we do not use well-known herbal mixtures such as herbs de Provence, but a mix of medicinal herbs such as nettle, chamomile blossoms, fennel, buckhorn, knotweed, spruce needles, sage leaves, thyme, mistletoe and rosemary.

Just like psyllium husks, flaxseeds help with stomach and intestinal problems such as diarrhea or constipation due to the high proportion of fiber and mucilage. Ground flaxseeds are used to properly digest the flaxseeds and take their full effect with you. Large dogs over 15kg can consume around 10g of flaxseed per day. Small dogs up to 15kg should consume about 7g. But linseed also has a lot to offer in terms of ingredients. For example, a very high content of polyunsaturated omega 3 fatty acids. But also numerous vitamins such as vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6.

A large number of additives that are added to the product in order to meet the demand according to the FEDIAF guideline are summarized as minerals. Many manufacturers do not want to communicate openly about this, since these are chemical supplements that sound scary at first. They only help the dog to have a healthy diet. These include, for example, potassium tripolyphosphate (for potassium and phosphate), calcium carbonate (for calcium), magnesium carbonate (for magnesium), choline chloride (for chloride) and also salt as sodium chloride for sodium and chloride. Not as bad as you might thought.

Baking soda (or caustic soda or sodium bicarbonate) has certainly been in everyone's hands at some point. And while baking. Sodium bicarbonate is an ingredient in baking soda. Baking powder also contains acid and starch. If the caustic soda comes into contact with the moisture in the mixed dough, gas bubbles are formed which make the pastry fluffy. That's why we use sodium bicarbonate in our baking mix.

Oils also play an important role in a healthy diet for dogs. Many wonder which oil is right for their dog. The higher the proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids, the higher the quality of the oils. The dog's body needs these fatty acids, but it cannot produce them itself. Therefore, in addition to sunflower oil, we also use high-quality oils such as hemp oil, safflower oil and salmon oil.

When it comes to salt for dogs, opinions differ. Of course, seasoned meat and salty kibble are taboo for dogs. In large quantities, salt can damage the animal's heart and kidneys. Nevertheless, the following applies in principle: the dosage makes the difference. Every mammal on earth needs salt in certain amounts. Salt in the form of sodium chloride supplies important minerals and is required, among other things, for the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. It also regulates the entire water and acid-base balance and forms the basis for the excitability of nerves and muscles.

Spinach is a popular vegetable side dish - not only at Popeye. It provides an extra portion of vitamins and minerals. Spinach provides dogs with vitamins from the B group, calcium, magnesium and iron. It is also very low in calories and therefore also suitable for overweight dogs.

All the vitamins that cannot be covered by the ingredients are supplemented in the complete feed. Vitamins are organic compounds that the body cannot produce itself or can only produce in insufficient quantities. They are therefore among the essential nutrients. Their function lies in the exercise and maintenance of metabolic processes. Amino acids also have crucial functions in the body. Therefore, they are often supplemented if they are not produced by the body in sufficient quantities and have to be ingested through food. That's why we add L-tryptophan to our wine-red varieties to release the happy hormone. L-tryptophan is an essential building block for the formation of the happiness hormone serotonin. L-carnitine is added to the golden-yellow products. L-carnitine is made from the amino acids lysine and methionine and plays an essential role in energy metabolism.