This may sound like a big claim to make, but let's explain why it's the case.... and how you can put it to the test for yourself.
Most commercial dog and cat foods are described as 'complete.' This implies they provide all the nutrients necessary to maintain good health in the pet the product is intended for.
Seems fairly clear, doesn't it?
all a food needs to do, to be legally labelled as 'complete' is to meet certain minimum nutrient content levels set by the EU.
And there are 2 major problems with this.
Firstly, the standards are flawed.
For example, there is NO recommendation for including any omega 3 fatty acids in foods for adult dogs, even though these nutrients are essential for maintaining healthy nerves, eyesight, skin, immune system responses, hormone regulation and many other vital organs and functions.
And so, EU regulations allow a pet food containing NO omega 3 fatty acids AT ALL to be described as 'complete' even though feeding such a food as the sole source of nourishment for any length of time, would result in a deficiency of this essential fatty acid and serious harm to health.
Minimum quantities of other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are set, based on 'ongoing research.' But how confident can we be that these will ensure a pet's daily nutritional needs will be met by an approved 'complete' food? It's the same group deciding on these levels after all, who failed to set minimum requirements for vital fatty acids.
Secondly,every pet is different, with their own, unique, individual nutritional needs.
Active dogs may need 2 or 3 times the calories of their more sedentary counterparts. Young, rapidly growing puppies of giant breeds need a far richer supply of calcium, structural amino acids and other nutrients for the development of strong, healthy muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints and bones. Those with a weaker than normal immune system, or recurrent anxiety need higher levels of nutrients which support the body's defence mechanisms and ability to cope successfully with stress.
And so on..
Given the above, it is impossible to create a single food, which ensures that every pet receives the nourishment necessary each day to maintain health.
An EU approved 'complete' food is based on the 'average' pet (even if it is for a specific breed and age group, as with 'lifecycle' foods), which means there is no guarantee that a particular dog or cat, will receive ALL the nutrients they need each day from such a diet.
How To Test Your Pet's Diet
If a diet is really complete, adding a nutrient dense supplement to it will have no effect because all the nutrients necessary for a pet to be as healthy as they possibly can be, will already be supplied by the food being fed.
If on the other hand, any aspect of mood, behaviour, health or well-being improves, this confirms that the supplement is providing nutrients that are beneficial for a dog or cat, which were previously missing from the diet.
And so, if you want to be sure your pet's raw, home-cooked or kibble diet is complete, add Vitality to their diet for 4-6 weeks, and judge for yourself.
Look out for one or more of the following:
- increased energy / activity
- improved mental awareness
- reduced anxiety
- less reactivity
- wanting to play more
- brighter eyes
- less itching
- better skin / coat / nails
- improved digestion
These are just few of the positive changes that can be see, and any of these confirm that giving Vitality would be healthy and nutritious to give long-term.