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August 28, 2020

Health & Nutrition FAQs

  • Nutrients
Dacshund dog reaching for treat

Who formulates your recipes, and what are their credentials?

Petcurean recipes are developed by a team of qualified and passionate nutritionists. Our Nutrition Manager, Natalie Asaro, has a MSc in Companion Animal Nutrition and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science from the University of Guelph. Also on the team is one nutritionist with both a Bachelor of Science in Companion Animal Health and a Master of Science in Animal Science from the University of Alberta, plus an additional nutritionist with a Master of Science degrees in animal nutrition from the University of Guelph. Thus, each nutritionist has at least six years of post-secondary education specializing in nutrition.

How are kcals determined in your recipes?

AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) has approved a calculation method to report the energy content of pet food using modified Atwater factors whereby food with the same protein, fat, and carbohydrate levels would have equivalent energy values, regardless of the type of ingredients used in the recipe. Please use our feeding guidelines to determine the appropriate amount of food to provide for your pet. And, as always, you should increase or decrease the amount you feed to achieve an ideal body weight for your dog or cat.

How do I find the nutrient levels of a food e.g. percentage of protein, phosphorus, sodium, or carbohydrate?

You can find out the levels of specific nutrients in our foods by referring to the Nutrient Profile for that recipe. To find the Nutrient Profile, navigate to the recipe page you want and click on the Nutritional Information tab. There you will see a button which says ‘Download Nutrient Profile’. Click on the link and you will see all the information you need.

How do I find out how much meat is in your recipes?

Animals need nutrients, not ingredients. One small piece of kibble must contain every nutrient - the proteins, carbs, fats, and vitamins and minerals - your pet needs to sustain and nourish its life. Many different ingredient combinations can be used to achieve this. Meeting nutrient requirements through a wide variety of ingredients is what makes Petcurean different, and we’re proud of it. We report the full nutrient profile of all of our recipes on the individual product pages on our website.

Do you make prescription-type foods or recipes for specific disease states?

Although many of our foods meet the parameters required and work well for various health issues, we do not make specific prescription diets. If your pet has a specific medical concern and you’re wondering which food might be best, we encourage you to call our Health and Nutrition Specialists toll-free at 1.866.864.6112. We’ll help you find the food that’s right for your dog or cat, even if it isn’t our own.

Do you perform feeding trials?

In order to have "complete and balanced" in the nutritional adequacy statement, a dog or cat food must either meet one of the Dog or Cat Food Nutrient Profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) OR pass a feeding trial using AAFCO procedures. Both ways are considered acceptable to determine if a food meets nutrient requirements.

Our raw ingredients and finished products are laboratory tested for nutrient composition to ensure our recipes meet AAFCO nutrient profiles. We perform non-invasive tests which include palatability, stool consistency, digestibility, and urine pH during our product development process. With over 20 years of experience in the pet food industry, we feel confident that our products meet the nutritional requirements of dogs and cats.

My dog has a yeast infection. Do you have potato-free or low carbohydrate recipes?

It has been suggested that eating foods that contain carbohydrates increases the risk of a dog or cat developing a yeast infection. Yeast does indeed need carbohydrates (i.e. glucose) for growth, however, glucose can be produced in the body from other nutrients, such as protein.

It’s highly unlikely for food sources to cause an infection because normal, healthy bodies are very good at regulating blood glucose levels, preventing an excess of glucose available in the blood for the yeast to feed and thrive on. If a yeast infection does occur, it is much more likely that the body has been made vulnerable by an unrelated illness or allergy (environmental or foodborne). Pets with diabetes, however, have problems with the production or function of the hormone insulin, and can be more susceptible to yeast infections due to elevated blood glucose levels. These pets could benefit from a veterinarian-monitored insulin program and strictly controlled diet.

My pet is allergic to chicken. Can he eat eggs?

Eggs are a different protein structure than chicken and are tested separately on allergy panels. Pet’s that are allergic to chicken may be able to tolerate eggs.

Adverse food reactions can be challenging for pets, and often a trial and error is necessary to find a solution. Removing the ingredients that your pet has eaten in the past, and choosing a single source protein option, with a shorter ingredient list, often works best.

Is it okay for my cat to eat the dog food or vice versa?

Dogs and cats have different nutritional requirements, so please do not allow them to share each other’s food.

Dog and cat sitting at table

What is ash?

The total mineral content in a food is referred to as its ash content. These minerals are essential for pets. All foods contain ash, regardless of whether it is raw, extruded kibble, or baked.


Michele Dixon

Michele Dixon

Health and Nutrition Specialist

Michele studied animal nutrition through Colorado State University and the Companion Animal Sciences Institute. Involved in animals and nutrition for over 25 years, Michele had the pleasure of receiving a High in Trial with her first Borzoi Yascha at an early age.