Top 8 Questions on Dog Nutrition

Puppy Feeding/Nutrition, last updated 17th, Mar 2021, DogSpot

We love all things dogs. In our endeavor to bring education to pet parents, we collaborated with Dr. Anish Pillai, Veterinary Manager at Farmina. Farmina, an Italian pet nutritional company, aiming to deliver tailor-made nutrition to all pets. In conversation with Adnan Khan of K9 School. Dr. Pillai addressed multiple questions about pet nutrition, balanced diet and health care tips for pets. Read on for insights.

food snatching from the dog

1. Please share tips for new pet parents on selecting the most appropriate diet for their dogs.

A balanced diet for your puppy or adult dog is most essential. When buying dog food, the ingredients should be checked and as per the labeling law, they need to be mentioned in descending order. It is important to know how much energy the body will be able to absorb from the proteins and fats in the diet.

1 gram of fat will give you metabolic energy of 8.5 kilo calories and 1 gram of protein/carbohydrate will give you metabolic energy of 3.5 kilo calories each. Some quick calculations can help you understand the nutritional value of the food. 

Feeding bread, milk and biscuits to your dog does not give him the much-needed nutrition, thus leading to health problems and skin infections. For instance, while selecting pet food, Omega 6 fatty acids and Omega 3 fatty acids should be in the 5:1 - 10:1 ratio. In case your dog experiences skin problems, Omega 3 levels can be increased.  

If you plan to make changes to your dog’s current diet or introduce a new type of food, do it in very small quantities (1/10th portion increase) for 10 days until you completely switch.

2. What should the diet of a dog who went through a uterus removal surgery be?

Dogs that are in the recovery period should be offered the Convalescence Diet as their nutritional requirements are very different from those of healthy dogs. Once the dog has recovered, the transition to a Neutered Diet can be made. In case you need specific help, consult a vet or get in touch with a Nutrition Consultant.

Farmina has a range of nutritional prescription diets called Vet Life, which is great for dogs recovering from any surgery.

3. Which diet would be most appropriate for a large breed like Great Dane?

The N&D Pumpkin Lamb and Blueberry is a balanced diet and is highly recommended. Lamb, being soft meat, is good for sensitive stomachs and for working dogs. Pumpkin is also rich in soluble and insoluble fibers, has high antioxidant properties and contributes to a low glycemic index. 

4. Can boiled chicken be mixed with Farmina Vet Life Obesity food for a young dog?

Nothing should be mixed with the Farmina Vet Life Obesity diet and proper instructions should be followed while feeding your pet the same. Feel free to contact a Nutrition Consultant from Farmina for guidance on calculating the target weight and dosage. The right amount of exercise and the prescribed diet can work to reduce obesity in dogs. 

5. Can we add eggs to an adult dog’s diet who is being fed Farmina N&D Lamb and Pumpkin? 

The answer is no. The N&D diet is a balanced one and adding anything else may lead to interference in the absorption of other important nutrients. For instance, the diet consists of zinc which helps maintain healthy skin and healing wounds too. If you add an egg to the diet, it may decrease the absorption of zinc or other such essential minerals. 

6. Can dogs and cats be given 100% vegetarian diets? 

The first thing to remember is that dogs and cats are carnivores. The enzyme Salivary Amylase, helping in the digestion of carbohydrates, is negligible in dogs and absent in cats. Dogs and cats need energy from proteins and fats. Protein breaks down to essential amino acids and nutrients that the canine and feline bodies need for proper functioning.

One such essential amino acid is Taurine. It is found exclusively in animal-based protein and is essential to keep a cat’s heart-healthy and vision intact.

7. Does Farmina offer any gluten-free diet options? 

N&D Prime for Cats and N&D Pumpkin for dogs are 100% gluten-free. N&D Quinoa, also grain-free, is meant for pets with specific health conditions like recurrent skin allergies, obesity and more. 

8. Should water be added to kibble while feeding?

Since it is comparatively difficult for puppies to chew, some lukewarm water can be added to their meals. But once the dog begins to grow, it should stop. Dry kibble prevents tartar formation and once in the stomach, it also expands. Thus, extra water need not be added.  

Towards the end of the conversation, Dr. Pillai talks about the much-loved brand Farmina and tells us how it offers a wholesome experience for pet parents. He sheds light on how Farmina uses the twin-screw extrusion technology (increasing digestibility by 25%), the Vacuum Coater technology (ensuring that the nutritional value of the proteins and fats remains available for a longer time) and nitrogen gas while packing to retain the freshness of the food.

Made of all-natural ingredients, this food is not only healthy for your pet but also delicious! Truly a win-win, don’t you think?


DogSpot was in conversation with Dr. Anish Pillai. Dr. Pillai is the Veterinary Manager at Farmina, an Italian pet nutritional company, aiming to deliver tailor-made nutrition to all pets. After graduating from the prestigious Madras Veterinary College, he has contributed immensely to the pet industry in the last 12 years.  

Hosted by Adnan Khan of K9 School. K9 School is a unique place for dogs, where we provide training (behavior, obedience and socialization classes) and boarding services for dogs. They focus on training the dog owner on how to understand their dog’s behavior and train their pet themselves. This helps in achieving a lasting bond between the canine and its loving family.

Transcribed by: Ragini Mehra

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