It can be hard enough for us to follow a nutritious diet ourselves, so it’s no wonder some of us struggle with knowing how to best feed our pets.
Too often, we’re faced with choosing between premium brands that cost an arm and a leg, and cheaper food that doesn’t provide pets with the best nutrition.
So NOOD Premium Pet Food was founded with a simple vision – pet store quality food at supermarket prices. Working alongside leading animal nutritionists, the NOOD team created premium pet food with whole ingredients, containing ethical proteins, superfoods, probiotics and free from artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.
We asked the resident vet at NOOD, Dr Brooke Schampers about what you need to know when it comes to keeping your pets healthy through their diet, and what it is about NOOD that sets it apart from other pet food brands.
What should people be looking for to ensure they are buying nutritious food for their pets?
The first step is to ensure the pet food has been recognised by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO)/Pet Food Industry Association of Australia (PFIAA), which utilise standard labelling requirements, ingredient definitions and ensure nutritional adequacy for life stages based on feeding trials.
Cats and dogs require very different nutrient profiles – understand this is a vital step to buying nutritious pet food. Cat generate their glucose via amino acids from meat products whereas dogs’ physiological profile prefers carbohydrates for energy requirements. Cats also require a number of essential nutrients for survival that can only be generated from meat or meat by-products, not vegetables, so it’s essential pet owners look for meat being the first ingredient. Generally speaking, for the average adult cat, protein levels are required to be between 30-45%, fibre between 5-15%, fat 10-15%. For the average adult dog, protein levels are between 15-26%, fat 5-10%, fibre and <5%. Quickly checking this on the bag of food is an easy guide to ensure owners are purchasing the best food for their pet.
It is important to assess the first three ingredients on the list – often cheaper pet foods will opt to include soybean meal rather than meat as a source of protein, canola oil as a cheap fat source and cereals as fillers. These additives can reduce palatability and digestibility while increasing flatulence and the odour of stools. It is important to note soybean products do not contain the full range of amino acids and can interfere with digestion of other nutrients.
What are the benefits of having whole ingredients in pet food?
It is easy to assess the nutrient profile of these ingredients, being predictable and reliable as a whole ingredient rather than a component which naturally varies. Depending on the whole ingredient, it can also be associated with improved digestibility.
What is the difference between dry and wet pet food in terms of nutrition?
Nutrients on the label are represented on an as-fed basis, variations in moisture content between food make the direct comparison of nutrient content difficult. Plainly speaking, wet food is not as nutritiously dense as dry food. Wet food has a higher water content, which effectively dilutes the dry matter/nutritional content, meaning a greater amount of wet food has to be fed in order to meet the same nutritional amounts as the dry food counter parts. Wet food offers little assistance in dental hygiene and leads to an increased amount of tartar build up. It also has a lower fibre content, reducing satiety levels in pets, leading to increased hunger. This combined with feeding a greater quantity of food to achieve the same minimum nutritional standards can lead to weight gain in pets. Whereas dry food is nutritionally dense and has a light abrasion against teeth to somewhat reduce tartar build up.
Nutritionally, how does NOOD differ from other pet food brands out there?
Most critically, meat is the first ingredient on the food list indicating a high biological value and there are no soybean products used. Optimal fibre levels sourced from beet pulp provide a soluble and insoluble source of fibre which promotes good gut bacteria. Their ingredients meet the above discussed food standards while having an 86.6% nutrient digestibility content and excellent palatability indicating high quality ingredient use. This digestibility is one of the highest on the market. The transparency within packaging and food labelling with actual food ingredients rather than cereals as fillers speaks to its quality ingredients. NOOD diets include probiotics which are gaining greater traction in the veterinary medical field associated with improved gut health and reducing the incidence of gastroenteritis. It is also nice to know the proteins are ethically sourced.
Why do pets need 10 days to transition to NOOD rather than just immediately switching?
This ten-day transition is essential to allow the gastrointestinal bacteria to become accustomed to a new diet and reduce the risk of developing gastroenteritis associated with a dietary change.
How to switch to NOOD:
Days 1-3: 25% NOOD, 75% old brand
Days 4-6: 50% NOOD, 50% old brand
Days 7-9: 75% NOOD, 25% old brand
Day 10: 100% NOOD
NOOD Premium Pet Food is available now, exclusively at New World, Pak’nSave and Four Square stores. For more information please visit www.noodpetfood.co.nz.