Pet Food Frequently Asked Questions
Here you’ll find the answers to our most frequently asked questions regarding pet feeding guidelines, pet food ingredients, the right dog or cat food choices and other pet care topics. Browse the FAQs below listed by category, and click any question to see an answer.
What is the cooking temperature of your food?
Natura’s pet foods are manufactured by one of three different methods (baking, canning or continuous extrusion cooking) and the cooking temperature can vary depending on the method. Cooking does not influence our guarantee that all of the essential nutrients are available in the appropriate amounts in the final product.
Are any of the dog or cat food ingredients genetically modified?
Whenever possible Natura tries to avoid the use of GMO ingredients in our wholesome and natural foods and treats. Therefore, we avoid the two most commonly used GMO carbohydrate sources used in pet foods today: corn and soy.
What is meant by the word “meal” in a pet food ingredient listing?
“Meals” are created through the process of rendering, which is a cooking process used to reduce the moisture and fat from animal tissue. You should look at the word that precedes the word “meal” to determine the protein source that is being used.
Why isn’t taurine added to all of the Natura products?
Due to the high inclusion of meat proteins, it is not necessary to supplement taurine in every formula. Taurine supplementation is generally focused on cat foods and non-poultry- containing dog foods.
Do I need to add supplements to your food?
No. Natura cat and dog foods are not deficient in any essential nutrient. Our formulas meet or exceed the minimum requirements of the Nutrient Profiles set by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). Therefore, supplements are not required for normal, healthy animals consuming a Natura food. If you do wish to supplement, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian, who can help you to determine the recommended way to do so.
What are Prebiotics and Probiotics?
Both probiotics and prebiotics work to enhance the normal, healthy flora or bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract. Probiotics (also known as “direct fed microbials”) are live microorganisms that are added to the kibble, after the product has cooled during the coating step of kibble production. Probiotics or “good bacteria” are thought to improve the intestinal balance of microbes by introducing more, healthy bacteria into the gut, while inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria or “bad bacteria.” This is very similar to the live cultures that are present in yogurt.
Prebiotics are typically soluble fibers (oligosaccharides) that encourage the growth of “good bacteria” in the gut. They are not bacteria themselves, unlike probiotics. Prebiotics are typically added in small quantities during the dry mix step of kibble production. Common prebiotics include certain fiber sources as well as chicory root (inulin), fructooligosaccharides (FOS) and mannanoligosaccharides (MOS).
Why aren’t probiotics or prebiotics added to the California Natural foods?
Staying true to the “Pure & Simple” philosophy of this brand, these ingredients are not included as they might give rise to potential sensitivities and/or allergies.
How are your pet foods preserved?
Natura’s pet foods are preserved with Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols – alpha, beta, gamma and delta isomers) and Vitamin C. We do not use any chemical preservatives such as BHA, BHT, or ethoxyquin.
Why use chicken or turkey broth instead of spring water?
Broths add more flavor than water and an amount of very highly digestible protein.
What are you doing to ensure that your products are safe and free from Mad Cow and BSE?
Natura Pet Products, the makers of Innova, EVO, California Natural, and HealthWise pet foods, takes pride in our long history of providing high-quality, safe nutrition that enhances the health and well-being of our dogs, cats and ferrets. All ruminant based ingredients are certified free of “specific risk materials” (SRM). This means there are no head (including brain), spinal column, tonsils, intestines, or any other specific risk materials from beef or lamb in any of our formulas as these tissues have been linked to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE).
Natura Pet Products requires that our turkey, chicken and lamb suppliers do not process ANY cattle in the same facility as the ingredient(s) that they supply to us. Our supplier of beef is certified by the USDA to be free of these specific risk materials.
Natura Pet Products consistently requires all of its meat suppliers to be in strict compliance with the company's highest standards of quality and food safety as well as with all government regulations.
Describe the grade of meat used in your natural dog food and cat food.
Rather than relying on the “grade” of meat, we focus on the specific nutritional qualities of the meat. We only use meat that fits our strict specifications for protein, fat, moisture, and ash. All animals have received ante- and post- mortem inspection at approved facilities with no evidence of systemic disease of animal and human health significance. The meat meets all USDA/FDA standards for product safety.
Why use meals instead of fresh meat?
The chicken, lamb, turkey, herring and salmon meals that Natura uses are concentrated sources of essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and fatty acids. Due to product design and finished product characteristics, it is not possible to use fresh meats exclusively in the dry foods. Using a high-quality meat meal adds important nutrients without adding a lot of additional moisture.
Are the fish in Natura’s pet foods wholesome?
Natura Pet Products uses only the highest quality and safest wild caught or farm raised fish in our products, including kibble, canned, and treat products. Natura’s formulas contain herring, mackerel, farm raised salmon, wild caught salmon and/or herring oil. When our products contain fish meals, they are naturally preserved and are shipped with natural antioxidants that are compliant with United States Coast Guard (USCG) requirements.
Natura’s rigorous ingredient and product testing procedures extend to all product lines, including fish formulas, so our customers can be assured of the safety, freshness and consistency of our products. Natura supports sustainable fishing practices, government regulated fishing requirements and quotas, and the use of only high quality fish species low on the food chain to reduce the risk of potential contamination with pollutants.
As an extra safety and environmental precaution, we also promote fish harvesting methods that protect dolphins and all other non-target marine species.
Why is sea salt used in some Natura Pet Products?
Sea salt is used in Natura’s foods to provide the essential nutrients sodium and chloride. In nature, the majority of dietary sodium and chloride comes from eating fresh prey. Not adding a source of sodium could rapidly lead to problems with the heart and kidneys and feeding a food deficient in chloride could lead to problems with the nervous system.
Natura does not use excessive levels of sodium to increase the food’s palatability, but rather relies on the inherent wholesomeness of our ingredients to make foods that dogs and cats love to eat. It is also worth noting that quite a few of our foods, while meeting the sodium requirement, are still low enough in sodium (< 0.4 g/Mcal for dogs and < 0.5 g/Mcal for cats) to be used by veterinarians on the rare occasions when a lower sodium diet is needed.
Why is sea salt used instead of another source of sodium?
Sea salt is used in Natura’s foods to provide the essential nutrients, sodium and chloride. Alternative sources for sodium were explored by Natura’s team of nutritionists but were rejected as a natural source like sea salt was preferred over using a chemically made ingredient. In addition, other seemingly good sources of sodium were not used as they were found to have comparatively low levels of sodium (e.g. raw kelp contains only 0.23% sodium compared to approximately 39% sodium in sea salt).
What does the Guaranteed Analysis (GA) tell me?
The guaranteed analysis is a specific set of nutritional information required by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to be printed on pet food labels. The guaranteed analysis states minimum or maximum nutritional values for a particular set of nutrients for a specific product. This provides information that pet owners, professionals, retailers, and veterinarians need to know when making decisions about the food and the amount to offer. Refer to naturapet.com for a complete list of all nutrients.
When should I switch my small breed puppy to an adult dog food formula?
You can switch to the adult food when you feel your pet has reached their full body frame size. This typically occurs around 12-16 months of age for smaller breeds. However, if you are concerned, we recommend speaking with your veterinarian to find out if your dog is ready to make the switch to an adult formula.
If there are Innova and California Natural adult foods that are for all life stages, why do we have puppy and senior foods? What makes these foods unique?
Requirements for dogs and cats are based on life stage. There are different requirements for different life stages; the highest requirements correlate with the most demanding stages of life (i.e., gestation, lactation, and growth), while adult maintenance requirements are lower because the animal is not subject to such drastic changes in nutritional needs. In order for a product to be labeled as “all life stages” it must meet the requirements and be appropriate to feed for every life stage (i.e., puppy, kitten, adult, senior, gestating bitch/queen, lactating bitch/queen).
For example, puppy foods are truly focused on the growth and development of puppies. However, most puppy foods are also appropriate for all life stages because they have been formulated to meet the higher requirements for growth. The nutrient requirements of puppies can be up to five times adult levels, so puppy foods typically contain higher amounts of protein, fat, fatty acids and vitamins to aid in the growth and development of the animal. In addition, special attention is given to the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, for eye and brain development.
Senior foods are formulated to address the more subtle changes that occur as an animal ages. Typically, senior foods contain higher levels of antioxidants, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate to act as chondroprotectives (when allowed – unfortunately, by regulation, cat foods cannot include these chondroprotectives), slightly less fat to help control body weight and body condition, and slightly more protein to maintain lean muscles. Senior foods are intended to help older animals continue to live long happy and active lives.
Is it okay for my dog to eat the cat food or vice-versa?
Cats and dogs have different nutritional requirements and in almost every case, the cat’s requirement is higher. Cats have the potential to become malnourished if they are fed dog food as their primary source of calories. Cats are true carnivores, requiring a diet high in meat and meat products, with a much higher protein requirement than dogs. And along with this higher protein requirement comes higher requirements for specific amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins. If cats happen to ingest a bit of dog food on occasion, it should not cause them any harm, but it should not be encouraged as a common feeding practice.
It is normally safe for dogs to consume cat foods, but this is not recommended for optimum nutrition.
My dog has loose stools. What’s wrong?
Loose stools or diarrhea can be associated with many causes. Three of the more common ones are over-feeding, switching to a new food too quickly, or a non-food related condition.
The reason that over-feeding can cause loose stools is due to nutrient density and highly digestible ingredients. Because of this, you generally need to feed less of our foods than you may have previously been feeding. When an animal gets too much food, it creates a system overload and their body reacts by producing loosely formed stools. By reducing intake to the appropriate feeding amount, the stool returns to normal in a day or two.
Switching foods too quickly often causes loose stools. It can take about 4-6 weeks for the average pet's digestive system to completely adjust to a new food. By taking up to three weeks to switch foods, you can make this transition much easier for them.
If you do not feel that either of these explanations fits your situation, we recommend consulting your veterinarian.
Is your food okay for dogs with copper sensitivities?
The copper level in our foods is formulated within the tolerance level established by AAFCO. Copper is a necessary part of some of the enzymes that help inactivate free radicals. Thus it plays a part in antioxidant protection. It is also used for making blood cells. It is active in the metabolism of iron. Copper containing enzymes are involved in immune function.
The copper levels in our dog foods are low compared to other premium quality dog foods, especially when you take caloric density into consideration. Because our foods have such a high caloric density, most dogs will actually eat less, so the intake of copper is reduced. Dogs with copper sensitivities (i.e., Bedlington Terriers and Dobermans) perform very well on our foods! Check out the Nutritional Analysis available on our Website and speak with your veterinarian if you have any additional questions.
How should I switch to a new pet food?
A new pet food should be gradually introduced to your animal by mixing it with their current food. For a nice, slow transition, replace the old food with the new food in small increments over the course of a three week period. It can take 4 to 6 weeks for a pet’s digestive tract to fully adjust to a new diet. If digestive upset occurs, transition more slowly.
Is your food suitable for animals with urinary tract problems?
Natura does not provide prescription type diets. Your veterinarian can help you to determine whether one of our formulas, if any, would be appropriate for your pet’s condition. Our Consumer Service Department will be happy to provide you with nutritional information for our dog and cat foods to help you and your veterinarian to make this decision. Your veterinarian is encouraged to reference naturavet.com for additional information about some potentially useful foods.
Why does my dog have gas after eating?
Small amounts of gas are a normal product of digestion. Some dogs produce more gas than others. Excessive flatulence may be caused by overeating, eating too fast, or a change in diet. If your pet has just switched foods, the problem may disappear on its own after a few weeks. If the pet is very young, the flatulence may diminish as their digestive system matures.
Things you can try:
- Feed smaller meals more frequently.
- Make sure the pet is being fed the appropriate amount.
- Cut out all other food supplements.
- Help your pet to eat more slowly by feeding them on a flat plate or cookie sheet, or putting a full, unopened can in the middle of their bowl, making them work around it to get the kibble.
- If symptoms persist, you may want to speak to your veterinarian to rule out any potential medical issues.
What is the food’s shelf life?
Every bag and can has an expiration date printed on it, which indicates one year from the date of manufacture for the dry foods and treats, and two years from the date of manufacture for the canned foods.
The expiration date is located on the bottom seal of the front panel on the larger bags. On the smaller bags, the expiration date is on the top of the back panel, or the top of the front panel. On the treat bags, the expiration date is located near the bottom of the back panel. And for all cans, the expiration date is stamped on the bottom of the can.
After opening a bag, we recommend using it within 3 months. Once a can is opened, refrigerate any unused portion and use within 72 hours.
How should I store the food?
For our dry dog and cat foods, we recommend that you keep the food in the original bag with the top tightly rolled down, and store in a cool, dry, preferably dark place. If you want to store it in another container, we recommend storing the entire bag in the container rather than dumping it out of the bag and storing the container away from excessive light and heat. We do not recommend freezing the food.
For our canned foods, they should also be protected from excessive heat. Opened cans can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for up to three days (72 hours).
What is a kcal?
The abbreviation kcal stands for kilocalorie. It is more commonly known simply as a Calorie. The Calorie is a measure of energy and is a standard part of most nutrition facts labels. When you see the term kcal on a label in a dietary context, it is simply referring to the caloric value of the food.
What are feeding recommendations based on?
While every animal is different, general feeding guidelines can be calculated based on the current life stage, weight of the animal and how active they are. These three factors determine how many calories are needed to meet their daily requirements. The recommended guidelines are suggested as a starting point and should be adjusted if necessary. Feel free to call Natura’s Consumer Service Department for specific product guidelines and always remember to consult your veterinarian when making any diet changes.
Can I feed the adult formula to my puppy or kitten?
Many of Natura’s adult formulas are balanced for all life stages, and can therefore be used for puppies and kittens as well as adult dogs and cats. In some cases the feeding charts on the packages of adult food, however, are calculated for the adult animals only. If you are feeding a puppy or kitten, please contact our Customer Service Department to obtain the correct feeding instructions.
When should I switch my large breed puppy to the adult dog food formula?
You can switch your large breed puppy to the adult formula when the dog has achieved its full adult size and weight. This age can vary depending on the breed, but typically occurs around two years of age.
What are the specific concerns with large breed dogs?
Natura has defined a large breed dog to be any dog with a mature size of approximately 60 lbs or more. The growth and development phase of a large breed dog (as well as any size dog) is the most critical and important phase of their life. Large breed puppies typically have a genetic tendency to grow too quickly and this can sometimes result in incomplete skeletal development and lifelong joint issues. Thus, it is crucial to control the growth rate of these larger puppies with the appropriate amount of calories and tightly regulated levels of calcium and phosphorus (the main constituents of bone).
As with any size of dog, it is important to keep large breed dogs lean and at an ideal body condition. Excess weight puts unnecessary stress on the joints of the animal and can cause a multitude of joint issues as the animal ages. The use of foods with lower levels of energy and minerals can be helpful in managing these larger breed dogs’ growth; therefore, large breed puppy foods are typically recommended or suggested as the best option.
Choosing a pet food?
Our companion animals’ health is just as important as our own. A pet’s diet, the biggest health variable controlled by a pet parent, is crucial to his or her well-being. That’s why selecting a tasty and healthful pet food is the most loving choice you can make for your pet.
It’s not always an easy choice to make. With so many different pet food products to choose from, it has become increasingly difficult to determine which pet foods are actually “healthful” for pets.
By committing to our Nutritional Philosophy, we believe that we have created dog and cat foods that are among the healthiest you can feed your pet. With a variety of flavors and formulas available, we’re sure that you can find one that suits your companion animal’s individual needs
Which pet food should I feed?
The choice between formulas really depends on the individual needs and preferences of your pet. Natura Pet Products makes four distinctive lines of pet foods, all of the highest quality and formulated to adhere to the strict Natura Nutritional Philosophy.
One option for a healthy choice is Innova, the original holistic pet food. Innova dog and cat foods are formulated with whole, natural ingredients including high-quality proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Innova also features added ingredients which are known to promote health, such as probiotics (also known as direct fed microbials), prebiotics, antioxidant vitamins E & C, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate.
EVO pet foods were created to appeal to the carnivore in every dog and cat. If you like the idea of feeding raw pet food, but prefer a cooked food that matches the benefits of raw, frozen, or home prepared high protein diets then EVO is the food for you. EVO was the original and industry first grain-free, low carbohydrate, ancestral diet that provides the benefits of modern nutrition in a safe, convenient, natural food.
To keep things “pure and simple,” the California Natural line was created with the fewest possible ingredients. California Natural is completely balanced with all of the nutrients that your pet will need to thrive. Veterinarians have found that California Natural foods can be used as an elimination diet for pets with possible food allergies, as well as an excellent solution for pets with sensitive digestive tracts.
Finally, the HealthWise range of foods for all life stages was created to provide premium nutrition at a moderate price. Within the HealthWise range, there are natural, premium diets for all pet sizes and breeds. HealthWise pet foods combine highly digestible and flavorful proteins with wholesome grains and nutrient-rich vitamins and minerals to develop a nutritionally balanced meal for strong, healthy pets.
What natural dog food should I give to my large breed puppy?
One of the most important considerations when selecting the best puppy food for a large breed dog is avoiding excesses and providing well rounded nutrition. The right balance of highly digestible nutrition in the formula means less food wasted and more nutrients available to your dog to support and maintain healthy skin and coat condition, strong bones and joints, and a healthy immune system. Large breed puppies typically have a genetic tendency to grow too quickly and this can sometimes result in incomplete skeletal development and lifelong joint issues. Thus, it is critical to control the growth rate of these larger puppies with the appropriate amount of calories and tightly regulated levels of calcium and phosphorus (the main constituents of bone). For these reasons, Natura recommends our Innova Large Breed Puppy formula.
Innova Large Breed formulas were developed with the understanding that joint health, proper weight management and a healthy coat are all important considerations. For more information on Innova Large Breed, click here. Available in Puppy, Adult, and Senior formulas.
Does Natura make prescription-type diets?
Natura does not provide exclusively veterinarian prescribed diets. You can, however, review the average nutrient analyses of our cat and dog foods on our web site to see how the nutrient levels compare to a specific prescription diet. You should also consult with the Veterinarian who prescribed the diet for your pet.
Do any of your natural pet products come in small bites for small breed dogs?
Yes! We offer small bites in Innova Adult Dog food, Innova Red Meat Adult Dog Food, California Natural Lamb Meal & Rice Adult Dog food, EVO Turkey & Chicken Dog food and EVO Red Meat Dog food.
Other Natura formulas with fairly small kibbles include our HealthWise Active Dog food, and our California Natural Puppy foods. But, even our larger kibbles may be considered an appropriate size by many small breed dogs that like to chew a little more.
When should I switch my dog or cat to a “senior” food?
The majority of Natura’s adult formulas are balanced for all life stages of a dog’s or cat’s life. A normal, healthy older dog or cat can use the adult formula throughout their lifetime.
If difficulties develop such as digestion problems, joint problems, weight gain, and/or lower activity level, it may be necessary to switch to a senior, low fat, or weight management formula. These formulas are balanced for maintenance, and can be used for any cat or dog that is past the growth stage.
We offer a variety of senior pet foods, both for dogs and cats that were developed to meet the specific requirements of aging pets. Natura senior formulas include our Innova Senior (dog and cat, dry and canned), Innova Senior Plus (dry dog food), Innova Large Breed Senior (dry and canned dog food), EVO Turkey & Chicken Meal Senior (dry dog food), and California Natural Chicken Meal & Brown Rice Senior (dry dog food.)
What are the differences between the Innova Senior foods? Why would you choose one versus another?
- Innova Senior “Classic” was developed in the mid ’90s when the current science indicated senior dogs would perform better and benefit from lower protein and lower fat diets. Innova Senior has performed for our senior canine friends for many years and has a strong consumer following. But, as time and research has progressed, it has been found that there is also a benefit for our senior dogs to have a higher protein intake similar to when they were younger adults. Therefore, Innova Senior Plus was developed to address the need for a higher protein senior dog food. Both Innova Senior Classic and Innova Senior Plus contain the highest levels of Vitamin E, glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate allowed.
- Innova Large Breed Senior is also available for large breed dogs.
- All three foods are appropriate for senior dogs, the decision is left to the consumer and their veterinarian as to which product they prefer and choose.
Comparing Innova Senior Diets Formula Protein Fat Joint
24 14 No Used for normal healthy adult dogs INN Senior
18 8 Yes Conventional way of thinking-lower both protein and fat as the animal ages; contain chondroprotectives to help with joint health (glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate) INN Senior
24 8 Yes Animals, like people tend to gain weight as they age, still require protein to maintain muscle mass, but require a less calorically dense food; chondroprotectives to help with joint health (glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate) INN
26 10 Yes Large breed animals, like people tend to gain weight as they age, still require protein to maintain muscle mass, but require a less calorically dense food; chondroprotectives to help with joint health (glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate); protein higher to ensure adequate protein intake as large breed dogs eat less calories per pound of body weight than small and medium breeds INN
18 8 No Used for less active animals prone to weight gain and sensitive to higher levels of fat
Which pet food ingredients should I avoid when choosing a pet food?
Which pet food ingredients should I avoid when choosing a pet food? CHOOSING - 7 To help you in the decision-making process, Natura has created a special How to Choose a Healthful Pet Food chart that outlines those ingredients that can help your pet, and those that can possibly negatively affect his or her health. Once you understand why certain ingredients are used - or avoided - you can make a well-informed choice when you're standing in the pet food aisle.
Download the How to Choose a Healthful Pet Food chart here.
Do you offer a frequent buyer program?
The Frequent Buyer Program is not a national program. Although Natura Pet Products supports distributors who choose to sponsor such a program, it is limited in availability. Participation is dependent on distributors and retailers in any given area. We regret if there is not a program available in your area.
What if my pet doesn’t like your food?
We are so confident that you will see a positive difference with our dog and cat food, that we offer a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. If you need to return the pet food for any reason, you can return it to the store where it was purchased. Depending on the store's return policy, you can get a refund of your purchase price, a store credit, or exchange for another product.
How much does your healthy pet food cost?
Pricing information varies between different locations. The individual pet food retailers in your area can provide you with their current prices and product availability. More information can be obtained from a retail store in your location. Where to Buy Natura Pet Food Products
Can I order your natural dog food or cat food online?
Natura Pet Products has a number of retailers engaged in online and eCommerce sales. We support our internet retailers in the same manner that we support our traditional brick-and-mortar retailers. Every Natura retailer must follow our date code system to insure the consumer of the freshest product possible, participate in technical product training, and support our Product Satisfaction Guaranteed Policy. We encourage you to support businesses in your local area, but if you choose one of the many fine Natura internet retailers you can expect to receive the same great quality, freshness and service that all of our retailers provide.
Does Natura offer a breeders program, or puppy packs?
We do not have a national breeder program or puppy packs at this time. Natura has always dedicated our resources to obtaining the best pet food ingredients that money can buy. Many breeders agree that funding is better allocated to our state of the art processing, food safety, and quality control to produce natural, healthy pet food.
You can inquire with retailers in your area that carry Natura products to see if they offer any quantity discounts for breeders and large volume users. If not, they still may be able to help breeders with literature and samples.
What does the Nutrient Analysis (NA) tell me?
The listing of the NA is much more comprehensive than the guaranteed analysis (GA). It often mirrors the AAFCO nutrient profiles. Some companies may also provide an abbreviated listing of these nutrients or computations to express the nutrients on a different basis, e.g. dry matter or metabolizable energy basis.
Will the Guaranteed Analysis and the Nutrient Analysis be exactly the same?
This listing of nutrient information may look slightly different than the GA. For example, the GA may list minimum protein % as 24, but the NA reports 24.53%. The difference is due to the fact that the formula is predicted to be slightly over the minimum so that the consumer gets equal to or more than they are guaranteed to receive.
In nutrients that are guaranteed to have a maximum amount in the GA, the NA may show levels lower than the guaranteed Maximum amount. These are nutrients or elements such as crude fiber and moisture for which amounts are measured in each formula, but where the pet food may contain less than the maximum estimated amount.
Will the Nutrient (Proximate) Analysis for protein, fat, ash, fiber, moisture, starch (NFE) and ash always add up to 100%?
They might not add up to exactly 100%. There are a couple of reasons for this:
1st – There can be rounding considerations (rounding up or down to the second decimal place) are common when dealing with nutrient information.
2nd – The nutrient information for the ingredients that go into a formula and the final product are based on both laboratory chemical analysis and calculated values.
- Chemical analysis: Most nutrient information is generated from laboratory chemical analysis and compiled over time into mean values in a nutrient database. There is variation associated with the ingredients, chemical methods used, and between laboratories. This variation in values is something that pet food companies learn how to manage in order to achieve the most accurate values possible.
- Calculated values: Some values, such as starch or NFE (which stands for Nitrogen Free Extract) are calculated from other nutrients; NFE=100 -(crude protein + crude fat + crude fiber + moisture + ash). This is where the idea of the 6 different components summing to 100% comes from. Depending upon when it gets loaded into a nutrient list, it may differ slightly from what would be required to yield 100% upon summing the 6 proximate components.
- Also, some ingredient suppliers and pet food companies will utilize a chemical analysis of starch. This has inherent variation associated with the outcome and would lead to an even greater chance for the sum of the 6 nutrients to deviate from 100%.
- What does all this mean?
- Since there is variation, and since the methods for the different components have their own inherent differences, the final sum may be slightly different than 100%.
What should I do if there is a nutrient change that I have questions about?
Please check our website, send us an email or call our customer service line. We will provide you with a timely answer to your questions with the most current information we have available. We want our customers to be confident that Natura Pet Products provides the absolute best in foods and nutrients for their pets.
What is the pH of Natura’s foods?
Urine pH is only one factor affecting cats with struvite urolithiasis (aka bladder stones or crystals). In almost all dogs with struvite urolithiasis, the problem is the result of a urinary tract infection and is treated with antibiotics, not diet. (Calcium oxalate urolithiasis is not affected by pH as was once thought.) Accordingly, all of Natura’s foods are designed to be slightly acidic; however, individual response to a particular food can vary. Therefore, we recommend that for cats where struvite urolithiasis is a concern that they work with their veterinarian to select the best diet and that the cat’s urine be checked after a couple of weeks on any recommended diet to make sure that urine pH, urine specific gravity, and microscopic evaluation of the urine are appropriate for struvite prevention. It should be noted that urine can become more alkaline (less acidic) following a meal due to a phenomenon known as the “alkaline tide”; therefore, urine should be collected before a meal or at least 6 hours after the last meal consumed to get an accurate picture of its typical pH.
My pet is eating grass and feces. Why is this?
Pets sometimes eat things such as rocks, wood, grass, etc. which can be a learned behavior, a sign of boredom, a sign of nervousness, anxiety or being kept in small, confined areas. Eating items like these is not connected to a nutritional deficiency.
Coprophagy or coprophagia is the consumption of feces and is believed to be more of a learned, emotional, or attention getting behavior, rather than the result of a dietary or nutritional deficiency. There are products available in the form of dietary supplements that make the feces less appealing. Behavioral training and removing the fecal material as soon as possible are also recommended.
Why did P&G acquire Natura?
P&G was attracted to Natura based upon the superior quality and performance of Natura’s brands and products. P&G has a long-standing commitment to excellence in pet care and pet nutrition and remains driven by their mission to “enhance the well-being of more dogs and cats.” This acquisition enables P&G to touch more dogs and cats through expansion into the natural pet foods arena with industry leading products and formulas.
Why did Natura choose P&G?
Natura’s founders, John and Ann Rademakers and Peter Atkins, identified P&G as the right company to grow and nurture the Natura business. Their belief was that P&G’s mission and philosophy are aligned with Natura’s mission and philosophy. The acquisition by P&G allows Natura to continue developing new, healthy pet food solutions so that even more pets experience the benefits of Natura’s high-quality, super-premium brands.
Will there be any changes to where Natura products are manufactured?
No. Natura will continue to produce all of its dry kibble formulas at our U.S. manufacturing plant in Fremont, Nebraska.
Will Natura change any of their products or ingredients?
Natura has always and will continue to upgrade its formulas based on the latest nutritional advancements. We continue to be transparent with our ingredient updates and innovation at SeeBeyondTheBag.com.
Will Natura continue its commitment to no animal testing?
Yes. Natura’s commitment to pets and their health remains unwavering. Natura strongly believes in the humane and healthful treatment of our companion animals. Natura will continue its commitment to only non-invasive field trials of our pet foods, meaning our trials only consist of palatability, digestibility and stool quality studies.
Our new parent company, P&G, makes the same commitment to animal welfare and does not test any products on animals unless required by law to do so. Over the past 20 years, P&G has emerged as a clear industry leader in the development of alternative methods to animal testing and has spent over $265 million in developing more than 50 alternative methods which are now used broadly across the consumer products industry and accepted by regulatory agencies. P&G remains committed to developing alternatives until the need for animal testing has been completely eliminated.
Will Natura continue to offer the same quality products?
Yes. We have the same commitment to quality, the same ingredients, the same formulas and the same manufacturing processes. Our high-quality, natural brands are the same as before the acquisition. Our nutritional philosophy is the same and will remain unchanged.
Will Natura continue its policy on green and environmentally-friendly efforts?
Yes. We’re proud to be on the forefront of the pet food industry’s efforts to be eco-friendly, and we are excited that so many of our fans can feel good about feeding our products while knowing they are also doing their part to protect the water, air, and land around their best friends.
Over the years, Natura has made numerous advances in greening our business operations. Our most impressive initiative involved the construction of our eco-friendly Davis, California office in 2009. Part of Natura’s environmental initiatives also included making the switch to hybrid cars for corporate and sales teams. By using hybrids, we reduced our yearly gas consumption by 2,000 gallons – a decrease of 30% – which cuts automobile pollution and produces a measurable reduction in CO2 emissions and smog, while conserving natural resources. We also recycle paper and plastic goods at our home office.
Will P&G compromise nutritional quality by using cheaper ingredients?
No. P&G is committed to protecting the superior performance and quality of Natura products. Natura will continue to use whole, real fruits and vegetables and high-quality proteins without compromise. You will continue to see the same high-quality ingredients in all Natura products.
Will Natura be offering any new products in the coming months?
Yes, but we can’t say what – yet. We have new products in the works and we are close to launching some exciting new formulas. We have heard from our customers about what they want next in pet food, and those are the formulas we are working on today. We will continue to strive to lead the industry in innovation with new products and new formulas in pursuit of our mission to be the maker of the healthiest pet foods in the world.
Has Natura been acquired by P&G?
Yes. In June of 2010, Natura Pet Products was acquired by The Procter and Gamble Company. Natura will operate as a separate business unit under the P&G Pet Care division.
Who is P&G?
Procter & Gamble (P&G) is the maker of some of the world’s most trusted and recognizable brands, including Tide, Pampers, Olay, Bounty, Charmin, Pringles, and Gillette. Procter & Gamble was founded in 1837 as a manufacturer of soap and candles. More than 170 years later, P&G has grown to serve over three billion consumers every day. Throughout its history P&G has remained steadfast in a single goal: to Touch Lives, and Improve Life. Recognized for its corporate citizenship outreach, P&G supports many philanthropic national and community charitable programs, including Children’s Safe Drinking Water, Tide Loads of Hope, and Pantene Beautiful Lengths, among many others.