We believe that the best way to ensure health and longevity in our dogs is through correct breeding and good quality food and nutrition.
The dog food market is a total minefield. There are so many suppliers and variations of food on the market, it can be very confusing as to what to feed.
We believe there are only two best options;
- A DRY complete feed
- B.A.R.F (Biologically, Appropriate, Raw, Food)
Frankly, there are only around 5 manufacturing sites for DRY food in the UK. They manufacture from stock ingredients then blend them to the supplier’s recipe. The brand then applies a margin to the manufacturing costs and market the food. A good quality food can be purchased for around £30-£40 per 15 kg bag. The quality of the food can be interpreted from its ingredients list and composition. Generally, the first ingredients represent the largest % constituent of the feed and should be meat based. In terms of protein contribution, fish is better than chicken, which is better than red meat. White rice, barley, wheat and cereals should be minimised or not used at all, these are just included to pack out the food and do not add nutritionally to the mix. At Fortiscorde we feed wild Salmon based dry food. Puppies are started on a higher protein food until around 6 months old and then move onto something with less protein. For dogs which are less active, most of the basic range salmon foods are suitable. Our dogs also have cold pressed extruded salmon oil on their food. We feed half in the morning and half in the evening.
We do not use wet or tinned meats. It adds to plaque build-up and generally produces more waste after feeding.
The BARF Diet
This is an excellent method of feeding but can be very easy to get wrong, However, combining BARF with a dry food can give your dog variation and an additional source of protein. We tend to feed when available chicken wings / carcasses. These aid with digestion, coat quality and teeth cleaning.
Why we feed a Salmon based diet.
Salmon as a Source of Fat
Fat is the dog’s most important source of energy. Fat provides your dog with the essential omega-3 and -6 fatty acids, both of which are necessary for maintaining the dog’s bodily functions.
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in fat sea fish such as mackerel, herring, eel and salmon. When compared to other fish, salmon has the highest content of omega-3 fatty acids. The health enhancing effects of omega-3 are mainly due to the fatty acids known as EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). These two fatty acids are found only in fish and nowhere else in nature. In addition, salmon also contains omega-6 fatty acids.
Using salmon as a source of fat allows us to transfer the essential omega-3 and -6 fatty acids found in salmon to the dog’s food. The food’s high Omega-6 content has a positive effect on the dog’s skin and coat, and helps to counteract coat problems, such as allergies, dry skin, shedding, itching, dandruff, and dull coat. Furthermore, the feed’s high Omega-3 content helps to strengthen the immune system, to increase fertility and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Salmon as a good Source of Protein
When the feed is digested, it’s proteins are broken down into amino acids. These amino acids are then absorbed into the bloodstream and distributed throughout the body. These amino acids help to build, maintain, and repair tissue, muscles, bones, and the dog’s internal organs.
The dog is able to create most of the amino acids it needs by itself. However, it is important to make sure that the dog receives the amino acids it cannot create by itself from it’s diet. There are 10 essential amino acids that the dog is unable to create by itself. If just 1 essential amino acid is missing, the remaining 9 will be burned off as energy, and will not be used for building, maintaining or repairing the body. As a result of this, the dog’s muscles may stop growing, among other things. Proteins from salmon contain all of the essential amino acids. Using salmon as a source of protein ensures that the dog receives all the amino acids it needs.
Proteins from salmon have a very high biological value. The biological value is a measure of how large a part of the proteins the dog is able to exploit. Salmon proteins have a biological value of 94%, which is very high compared to other animal protein sources (see The Protein Scale). This results in an easily digestible feed with a very high utilisation rate, the result of which is a lower feed consumption, and a reduced amount of faeces.
Salmon alone is, of course, not enough
This is why our feed is composed of the best possible quality controlled raw materials. It is also correctly balanced with regard to nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Choline Chloride and lecithin are added to the feed, both of which help to increase the dog’s metabolism. As a result, the dog will need less feed to receive the same amount of energy, and will eat less.
During extrusion, the ingredients are heated up at high pressure to more than 130 degrees centigrade. This kills off all bacteria, and causes the starch in the cereal products to react with water, producing easily digestible carbohydrate. In other words, the starch from the cereal products is made available to the dog, which results in increased absorption and better feed utilisation.
What antioxidants are used?
Only approved food grade antioxidants are used in production. This ensures a healthy and tasty feed, which enjoys a very high acceptance rate among allergy sufferers.
The dog’s body creates so-called “free radicals”, which cause the dog’s cells to change. These “free radicals” may weaken the immune system, and even cause cancer. Antioxidants neutralise these “free radicals” and improve the dog’s health.
So there you have it. We don’t think you can do much better for your dog than a good combination of BARF and a Fish based food. Honestly, the best indicator of if you are feeding the correct food….your dog…..Are their coat shiny and in excellent condition? Are their teeth white and plaque free? Are their stools firm and moist, Is their temperament as you would expect it? Are they the correct weight for their breed?