Frequently asked questions
What is the meat content of the food?
The frequently used terms “meat content” or “meat ratio” are not scientific definitions and can, therefore, be interpreted very differently by the manufacturers.
Information on the “meat ratio” is only roughly comparable if it is defined as the proportion of animal protein in the overall protein content. In this case, the “meat ratio” in our Happy Dog Supreme products can be as high as 86.5 % (Fit & Well Sport).
In our recipes we do not use vegetable protein extracts as a substitute for high-quality animal protein. We only use the best food-grade raw ingredients of animal origin. The declared crude protein content is therefore almost equivalent to the animal protein content. We can only say “almost” because the plant-based raw ingredients (such as grain) are naturally roughly one tenth protein, and this is also included here.
If production methods require the use of top quality, but dried raw ingredients and if multiple animal protein sources are intentionally used in the recipes to recreate natural variety, then the amounts of such
raw ingredients that are included are understandably small. With extruded dry food (biscuits), the moisture content is between 8 % and 10 % at most. Fresh
meat, on the other hand, contains 45 % to 75 %
water, depending on the type and quality. If fresh meat is used in production in addition to dried raw ingredients, the water in the meat is “weighed” as well, and thus suggests a higher proportion overall. A true comparison is thus impossible.
The quality of a protein source can be identified from the declaration: “Meat meals” (dried and ground meat of food quality-tested animals from the abattoir)
are the highest quality level available on the market and contain smaller amounts of cartilage, bone and connective tissue. This makes them particularly highly digestible and well tolerated. Today the term “protein, dried” is often used instead of “meal”, e.g. “lamb protein, dried”.
What is beet pulp for?
“Beet pulp” (also known as sugar beet slices, molasses chips, etc.) are the cell walls of the sugar beet that remain after the sugar has been extracted during sugar production. In contrast to the molasses chips used to feed large animals, the beet pulp used as dietary fibre in pet food is almost sugar-free. It acts as
a high quality roughage (crude fibre) as it contains a great deal of pectin, for example.
Pectins help the colonic flora, have a positive effect on well-functioning digestion and encourage regular bowel movements.
What is “meat meal” and what is it used for in the dog food recipe?
Meat meal is stomach meat that has been rendered (in a special process). The result contains little bone (and thus few minerals). It is used in recipes to keep the proportion of minerals (primarily calcium and phosphorus) at an optimum level and to prevent an oversupply and its possible consequences (urinary calculi, growth disorders). Muscles are used for movement. They are always attached to bones and transition into nerves, so “meat meals” always have a fairly high mineral content. This is why pet food manufacturers always use a proportion of plant-based protein extracts (e.g. soya) or meat meal, in addition to the meat meals, to optimise the mineral content
in the recipes. Proteins of animal origin represent the natural food of dogs and cats, so we do not add plant- based proteins to Happy Dog and Happy Cat products. Instead we use rendered, low-mineral stomach meat (meat meal). It is only in the special single protein diet recipes that this is not possible. Meat meal provides nutritious animal protein which dogs and cats can easily digest and use. It also allows the ratio of minerals in the recipe to be optimally adapted to your dog’s needs.
What is the difference between meat meal and meat-and-bone meal?
The terms meat meal and meat-and-bone meal are often confused as they sound similar. Meat-and-bone meal is a product obtained from facilities for the disposal of abattoir waste (carcass meal). Its use in animal food has been banned in the EU since the BSE crisis in 2001.
As the two terms are easy to confuse, today the term “protein, dried” is increasingly used as a synonym for “meat meal”. Meat meal (such as poultry meat meal, lamb meat meal, etc.) originates from animals that have been declared as “food safe” by a vet at the abattoir. These animals are separated for slaughter at the abattoir according to species, and the meat is subsequently dried and ground.
Is the Happy Dog Sano N diet suitable for dogs with urinary calculi?
Sano N is primarily intended for dogs with chronic renal insufficiency. The function of the kidneys is severely limited in these dogs. It is therefore
important to reduce the protein, phosphorus and sodium content in their food.
Urinary calculi can be produced even if the kidney function is entirely intact. The composition of a bladder stone diet is designed to break up tiny bladder stones or urinary calculi and to prevent new stones being formed. A diet to support kidney function in cases of renal insufficiency is therefore unsuitable as a diet for urinary calculi.
Is vitamin K3 harmful?
Vitamin K promotes blood clotting and occurs naturally in the form of vitamins K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 is contained in plant-based raw ingredients. Vitamin K2 can be synthesised (created) via intestinal bacteria. If an animal has digestive problems or has had a course of antibiotics, the body is often no longer able to completely meet its requirements for vitamin K through the vitamin K2 formed in the intestines.
To avoid deficiencies that could lead to serious internal bleeding it makes sense – for reasons of product safety – to add vitamin K to the pet food. This is why responsible manufacturers have been using the synthetic but heat-stable vitamin K3 for more than thirty years now, since the quantities of K1 contained in plant-based raw ingredients are not heat- stable and are largely destroyed during the production process.
There are no negative effects whatsoever with the very small doses of vitamin K3 used in animal food production. On the other hand, vitamin K1 is still not available in the “heat-stable” (synthetic) form required for manufacturing animal food and the possible “side effects” have not yet been studied entirely.
Avoiding the use of vitamin K3 per se is also not without risk on account of the dangerous tendency to bleed that results from deficiencies. While it is still not scientifically proven that the amount synthesised by the dog itself is sufficient, we prefer – in the interest of your pet – to continue to work with vitamin K3, which has been proven for more than three decades.
Why does Happy Dog packaging not show the animal protein source (meat) at the top of the list for all products?
Happy Dog uses the individual declaration and thus lists all the ingredients e.g. poultry meat meal, lamb meat meal, salmon meal, etc., individually. Because the individual ingredients are listed in decreasing order by weight, the individual animal protein sources/ meat meals unfortunately slip down the list. If only one animal protein source is used in the recipe (just lamb meat, for example), then meat can rise to the top of the list in many recipes.
This would mean that the natural variety of animal protein sources is lost, however. Of course, recipes have to be adapted to the individual requirements of each pet. Older dogs should be given less protein as this reduces the stress on their internal organs. And, of course, this means that older dogs should also eat less meat meal. Puppy food and high-performance food must contain more protein, as puppies and hard-working dogs naturally have a higher protein requirement.
In short: It is only for very basic recipes (with just one animal protein source) or for recipes that are very high in protein (high-performance food or puppy food) that the animal protein source can be listed first. Consequently it cannot be seen as an indicator of quality.
The analysis results specify the crude protein, crude fat, crude fibre and crude ash. The carbohydrate content is generally missing. Where can I find information about a food’s carbohydrate content?
The carbohydrate content is often given as NFE.
NFE stands for:
nitrogen-free extract (another term taken from the chemistry lab).
The NFE can be easily calculated using the following formula:
NFE = 100 % – percentage of crude protein – percentage of crude fat – percentage of crude fibre – percentage of crude ash – percentage of moisture
A dry food has the following analysis data:
Crude protein 21 %, crude fat 10 %, crude fibre 3 %, crude ash 7.5 %, moisture 8 %
100 % – 21 % – 10 % – 3 % – 7.5 % – 8 % = 50.5 %
If the moisture content is not specified, it can be as- sumed to be between 8 % and 10 % for dry food. The moisture content only has to be declared if it exceeds 14 %.
But please note: This method only gives the value for the “nitrogen-free extracts”. Strictly speaking, this analytical chemistry term does not describe the exact carbohydrate content, but it is very handy as a criterion for comparing different foods.
The percentages listed in an analysis do not add up to 100 %. Why is that?
Most declarations do not include the NFEs and therefore the carbohydrate content. If they were included in the calculation, the total would be 100 %.