FAQ's

FAQ's

Feeding and nutrition

Q.
How can I enhance the taste of my pet's food if my pet is a finicky eater?
A.
There are a number of reasons for your pet to behave like this. For example, she may be afraid of the new food or has previous bad experience with it. It could be due to poor palatability. Or simply because, she is a fussy eater.

Some dogs refuse food or skip meals when they consume more energy than they require (which is common in our experience). Small breeds are generally fussy eaters. Please make sure that you do not overfeed her. Monitor her body weight at least every month. If she continues to refuse, the most effective way to get your dog to eat her Pedigree™ food is to follow these steps:
  • Offer a small amount of your dog’s normal food.
  • Leave it down for a maximum of 20 minutes and leave the dog alone.
  • If the food has not been eaten after 20 minutes, pick the food up and let the dog see you throw it away.
  • Do not talk or fuss the dog, just ignore him. This is important!
  • If you do make a fuss at this stage, he will start to associate not eating with getting attention.
  • Do not offer any snacks or titbits.
  • A couple of hours later, repeat this step, and don't give him any attention or alternatives.
  • Keep repeating this process every couple of hours throughout the day.
  • If by bed time, your dog still hasn't eaten, let him go to bed on empty stomach – do not sympathise.
  • The following morning, repeat the same steps.
  • By the end of second day, he will probably be hungry and when you offer the food, he should eat.
This method of training should help to show your dog that he needs to eat when you offer him the food, otherwise he will have to go hungry. If he continues to refuse food, you need to contact your vet and check for any medical cause(s). In some instances, blood work may be required to find underlying cause.
Q.
Should I give milk and raw eggs to my dogs?
A.
No single ingredient / source of diet can provide all the nutrients and energy requirement of a dog. e.g. Cereals are rich in some vitamins but lack many nutrients required for a dog or puppy. Meat is a rich source of proteins but low in calcium and Vitamin A. Likewise, milk is low in iron and Vitamin D.

Also, dogs cannot tolerate too much of milk in their diet. A 7-kg dog can tolerate up to 250 ml of milk, and anything beyond this could lead to loose stools.

Raw eggs should not be fed to dogs as it can lead to poor skin and hair coat. Nutrients like biotin are not utilised in the body. Raw eggs are also a source of infections like salmonella, which can cause severe gastroenteritis in dogs.
Q.
What care should be taken while feeding my dog?
A.
Just like their owners, dogs need a balanced diet which contains just the right amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, several vitamins and minerals to ensure that they stay in peak condition. These nutrients must be present, not only in the correct amounts, but also in the correct proportion to each other to provide a nutritionally complete and balanced diet. Our research indicated that most homemade diets / baby foods fed to dogs in our country are inadequate and do not meet the recommended nutritional requirements.

Prepared pet foods from reputable pet food manufacturers like Pedigree™ come with a guarantee of nutritional adequacy, quality and safety. Please remember that it is not possible to feed your dog a consistent and adequate home-prepared diet without considerable time, effort, and expertise. It is difficult even for an experienced breeder to prepare balanced diet for dogs.

All you need to do is choose the right prepared pet food product as per your dog’s life stage and life style, and feed only the recommended quantity. You just need to give him clean fresh water. Besides, while your dog is fed balanced food like Pedigree™, there is no need to feed any supplements like calcium or home diet.
Q.
My puppy was on Chicken and Milk Puppy. After I shifted him to Meat and Milk Puppy, he vomited and developed allergy and swelling of face just after half an hour? What could be the problem
A.
Your pet may be exhibiting clinical signs that could be consistent with an allergy or anaphylactic reactions. Adverse reaction to food should be considered as one of many causes of this problem. This adverse reaction may be a food allergy, or your pet could be intolerant to a component of its current diet. Signs of food allergy are unlikely to develop within 30 minutes (although it is possible theoretically) and food allergy is frequently an over diagnosed problem by pet owners. Food allergies develop over time and are usually caused by something your pet commonly eats rather than by a recently introduced food. Changing to another brand of pet food rarely helps as many ingredients are common to many pet foods. The only accurate method of diagnosing adverse reactions to foods is to place the patient on a restricted diet of a single novel or hydrolyzed protein and a single (preferably novel) carbohydrate for a minimum of 8-10 weeks. For this reason, your veterinarian may recommend that you feed your pet hypoallergenic diets for six to eight weeks and challenge with suspected diets to confirm the food allergy.
Q.
How should I feed my dog in summer?
A.
Any variation in climate which your dog is yet to adapt to could lead to a change in his eating pattern. Dogs tend to eat less in hot and humid climates. Therefore, give him some time to get used to the new environment.

Though, there may be increased energy expenditure to lower the body temperature, for example during periods of increased panting in dogs. Hence, with increase in ambient temperature, energy requirement increases. This means they may need to eat more during hot summer.

We suggest introducing a well-balanced nutritionally complete diet like Pedigree™ that confers some protection against the effects of heat stress. Natural antioxidants present in Pedigree™ may help to prevent oxidative stress and cope up with heat stress. Do not feed any home food including rice while he is fed on recommended quantity of Pedigree™.

Please follow the guidelines below that may help you manage his feeding in hot and humid climate. If the problem persists, please take him to vet rule out any medical causes.
  • Increase the number of meals per day to accommodate the increased energy requirements.
  • Make sure that you feed total recommended quantity of Pedigree™ for your pet.
  • Preferably feed during cooler parts of the day.
  • Try different varieties from the Pedigree™ range - Chicken and Veg, Meat and Rice and Pedigree™ Active.
  • Monitor your dog’s body weight and body condition weekly to accordingly increase or decrease the quantity of Pedigree™ to be fed.
  • Remember to give plenty of water so your pet is not dehydrated in the warm weather.
  • Avoid exercising your pet in the midday heat and stick to early morning or late afternoon when temperatures are cooler.
Q.
Can cereals cause intolerance and allergies and are some healthier than others?
A.
A very small number of pets, like humans, may be intolerant or allergic to a particular cereal. All animals cannot be considered sensitive, or any one cereal can’t be counted as inherently bad. For example, a very small percentage of people have intolerance to wheat gluten. However, a vast majority of the population has no issues eating wheat, in the form of bread, on a daily basis.

If your pet has been identified as being intolerant/allergic by a vet, only specific ingredients should be excluded from his diet.
Q.
I have heard a lot lately about raw pet food diets. Are these safe for my pet?
A.
Raw feeding is the practice of feeding domestic dogs and cats a diet primarily made of uncooked meat and bones. This is also known as BARF -"Biologically Appropriate Raw Food" which appears to follow the concept of feeding dogs naturally, as they believe that dogs have been evolved to eat a carnivorous diet. They are commonly opposed to commercial pet-foods, which they consider poor substitutes for raw feed. The diet is based on feeding dogs as close to the prey model as possible. They believe that dogs are carnivorous (meat eaters) while vets and scientists are convinced that dogs are omnivorous (eat vegetarian and/or meat).
Q.
Should I feed my pet raw meat?
A.
Feeding your pet a raw, meaty diet can result in nutritional disorders. For example, dogs fed on chicken/meat-only diets have developed calcium deficiency and cats fed on raw rabbit diets developed deficiencies in vitamin E and taurine. The use of raw pet food to promote animal health has not been based on proven or known scientific facts, only anecdotal incidents. On the other hand, it is well known that animals fed raw diets (BARF or other) shed significant amounts of pathogenic bacteria (eg. salmonella) or parasites, which studies have indicated may put some people at risk, as compared to pets being fed commercially prepared or cooked, home-made diets. Raw meat can lead to frequent digestive problems in pets. Manufactured diets are cooked at high temperatures designed to destroy these contaminants and undergo tests to check if they are safe. Feeding whole bones to pets frequently causes tooth fractures, intestinal obstruction and gastrointestinal perforations. Similar problems are seen in wild animals, which suggests that a natural diet is not necessarily the best.
Q.
It seems that every time I turn around, my dog doesn't like what I buy her to eat or she gets sick of it. Other times, she won't touch it at all. I don't understand it, can you help?
A.
Sudden change in diet or change in the format of diets (wet or dry) may cause pets to refuse food. Likewise, any bad experience with a particular food can also result in refusal or sickness. All dietary changes should be made slowly, in order to avoid any problems with your pet’s digestion. Warming, hand-feeding or topping wet food on dry Pedigree™ are some of solutions that will encourage your pet to eat. Pets that are fussy eaters may benefit from being fed a different variety/flavor in the Pedigree™ or Whiskas™ range.
Q.
My dog is constantly hungry even though I give him the recommended amounts, what to do in such a scenario?
A.
If your dog wants more food, he probably needs it to fuel/match his activity level. Make sure that you are feeding your pet the recommend quantity of Pedigree™. Also, start observing him more carefully. Is he showing any signs of illness? Is he loosing or gaining bodyweight? Some medical problems like diabetes or drugs may also cause this problem. It could also be that he is simply bored—similar to humans, who tend to binge out of boredom, likewise, some breeds like Labradors would love eating all the time. The answers to some of these questions may help you find the underlying cause for his voracious appetite. For a closer assessment, please take him to your vet.
Q.
What quantity of food should I feed my pet?
A.
Please follow the feeding guidelines provided on the Pedigree™ food label. If your pet is a puppy, feeding guidelines are based on expected adult body weight. Adjust the intake by monitoring his body weight. In case you have any doubts, please call the toll-free number given on Pedigree™ label or consult your vet.

You can also follow the feeding guidelines provided on the website
Q.
Does my pet need to be fed other foods when given pet food?
A.
A nutritionally balanced diet is crucial for the healthy growth and development of a puppy/dog to prepare him for an active, long, and healthy life. Our research indicates that most homemade diets/baby foods fed to dogs in our country are inadequate for growth and development. For example, feeding only mutton meat could lead to skeletal/bone problems in large breeds. Pedigree™ Large dog food is developed and formulated specifically to meet all the requirements of dogs based on their life stage and lifestyle. It is difficult even for an experienced pet-owner/breeder to formulate a complete diet for dogs at home without any help from a veterinary nutritionist.
Q.
Can dogs digest Carbohydrates? I heard that they are recognized as sugars and easily stored as fat?
A.
We produce dry pet-foods according to the recognized guidelines of the AAFCO and NRC nutritional guidelines for cats and dogs. This means that all the nutrients are in the correct proportions required by the pet. Scientific studies investigating the effect of different carbohydrates (sugars) on pet health show that they are well-tolerated and not linked to risk of disease. Our extensive digestibility-tracking programs show that all our products that contain carbohydrates are highly digestible. Although dogs and cats can survive without carbohydrates in their diet, the carbohydrates used in dry pet-food provide a good source of energy and fibre. Available carbohydrates such as starch provide energy, whilst other complex carbohydrates, i.e. dietary fibre are known to promote a healthy digestive tract. Energy intake should match with the energy spent by the dog, as all the excess energy coming from either sugar, fat or proteins are stored as fat in their bodies.
Q.
I have read that dogs are carnivores and therefore require a meat diet. Is that true?
A.
Dogs are in the order Carnivora, but their feeding behaviour is best described as omnivorous. Their anatomy and physiology also support an omnivore diet. There are three feeding behaviour types (omnivorous, herbivorous and carnivorous) all of which can be found among members of the order Carnivora. The nutrient composition of an organ or meat, even including the bone, does not meet the known nutrient requirements of the dog; in fact, it is deficient in some nutrients like calcium and excessive in others. Dogs fed on only meat can develop skeletal problems. Yes, dogs like to eat meat and chew on bones. Most of us like some foods more than others, but a diet comprising of only the foods we like is not a complete and balanced diet. Dog foods today use both plant and animal ingredient sources. Most common source of nutrition in plants includes combination of soya derivatives, vegetables, corn, wheat and rice.
Q.
Can I feed my dog vegetarian food only?
A.
Dogs are in the order carnivora, but their feeding behaviors are best described as omnivorous, meaning they are capable of digesting and absorbing nutrients from plants as well as animals source. Therefore you have choice to feed you pet only vegetarian food. However, No single ingredient/ source of diet will provide all the nutrients and energy requirement of a dog. For eg., Cereals are rich in some vitamins but lack many nutrients required for a dog or puppy. Like wise Milk is low in iron and Vitamin D. The final nutrient profile of the veg food is most important factor in meeting your pet’s daily nutritional needs. If the food meets your pet's nutrient profile, it does not matter whether the sources of those nutrients are vegetables, cereals or soybean. The ingredients do however affect taste. We recommend feeding him manufactured balanced vegetarian pet food as It is difficult even for an experienced person to prepare balanced Veg diet for dogs at home. Most pet foods are designed to be very palatable because repeat sales of pet food are for the most part dependent upon the owner thinking the pet “likes” the food.
Q.
Can I feed my dog chapattis made of wheat? If not, why?
A.
Wheat and wheat products are a good source of carbohydrates, amino acids and vitamins. However, it lacks several essential nutrients required by dogs. Therefore, feeding chapattis alone is not adequate to meet the nutritional requirements of dogs or puppies.
Q.
What precautions should I take when feeding a senior dog?
A.
The energy requirement of senior dogs is approximately 20% less than that of young adults. The decrease in energy requirements is linked to declines in activity and changes in body composition. Consequently, all minima for nutrients have been increased by at least 22% to ensure that the correct amount of nutrients are available, with lower energy intake. Studies conducted at WALTHAM™ Centre indicate that muscle mass in dogs declines with age and therefore there is a valid basis for increasing the dietary protein. The Pedigree™ Senior Dog Food is formulated considering the above and with the objective of helping senior dogs to enhance their life expectancy, improve quality of life and help their bodies to prevent age-associated health problems. Antioxidants, Green lipped mussel for joint health, Prebiotics (MOS) and Omega fatty acids are supplemented for functional benefits in senior dogs.
Q.
How many millilitres of milk can I feed my dog on a daily basis?
A.
Milk is a good source of some nutrients only, but it cannot be a complete meal for dogs. Most dogs cannot tolerate excess milk and it frequently causes loose stools. Puppies and some dogs can tolerate up to approximately 250ml of milk for 7-10kgs of body weight.
Q.
How are proteins digested and used in a dog’s body?
A.
Proteins are converted into amino acids which are required for synthesis of many substances in the body like hormones, antibodies, enzymes, etc. They are required for all the vital functions in the body. Not all the proteins in food can be digested and absorbed, so the amount of protein an animal needs in its diet depends on how easily it is digested by the animal. The closer the supply of the complement of amino acids to the requirement, the lower the percentage of protein required in the dog‘s diet. Therefore, protein content in the diet depends on quality of protein source, particularly amino acids supply. Any product containing protein less than the recommendations of NRC or AAFCO and the products with digestibility of less than 75% should be tested in a long-term trial to support the data (hence value for protein would be more).

Contrary to the belief of some pet owners, protein which is surplus to the body's requirements is not stored as additional muscle. Excess amino acids or proteins are converted to energy and stored as fat tissue. Protein is a relatively inefficient and expensive source of energy in the diet, so there is no real benefit in feeding your pet a diet which contains excessive amounts of protein. This means benefits of 28% protein in Product A or 30% proteins in Product B or 24% Proteins in product C are all the same, when protein used is of similar quality.
Q.
How does a dog choose its food? What are the factors that affect palatability?
A.
‘Palatability’ comprises of the characteristics which makes the food attractive to eat e.g. taste, aroma, texture, temperature, visual attractiveness, etc. Palatability is a complex subject which is influenced by pets and their genetics, feeding behaviour, raw materials, processing and extrusion, moisture, kibble size and shape, coating to name a few. Likewise, hearing, sight, touch, taste and smell are all important. For example, small breeds are generally fussy eaters while Labradors eat most pet foods very well. No single agent or ingredient can make a product palatable. Therefore, it is a complex science and an art to design a palatable meal for pets. In fact, ingredients matter to many pet owners rather than pets, resulting from some marketing claims or advertisements (e.g. does not contain soy, corn, or wheat) The final nutrient profile of pet food is the most important factor in meeting your pet’s daily nutritional needs. The ingredients do however affect taste. Most pet foods are designed to be very palatable because, repeat sales of pet food are, for the most part, dependent upon the owners thinking that their pets like the food. Most dogs will quite happily eat the same type of food every day. This is perfectly reasonable if it is a balanced diet and contains all the essential nutrients. WALTHAM™ studies also shows that certain levels of energy derived from proteins and fat (besides meeting nutritional requirements) improves feeding performance and enjoyment in dogs. This is referred to as Macronutrient Profile (MNP). This MNP profile is used in Pedigree™ brands so that dogs also enjoy and eat our products consistently.
Q.
What exactly is fibre?
A.
Dogs have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates per se and none of the expert bodies make recommendations in this regard. However, carbohydrates are still an important source of utilizable energy for both cats and dogs. Fibre is a type of carbohydrate which is not completely digested by pets. There are different types of fibres - soluble or insoluble depending on extent of fermentation in the last part of digestive tract (large intestine).
Q.
What should I do if my dog does not drink his water?
A.
Adult dogs generally require about 40 to 60 ml per kg bodyweight per day. Most dogs drink water spontaneously while eating only dry pet foods. If your pet is getting his water requirement through other means like milk or liquids, he may not drink plain water. Make sure that fresh clean water is always available.
Q.
Why is it important to control the Calcium and Phosphorous levels in my dog’s diet?
A.
The Ca and P requirements are closely related and must be considered together. Their concentration in Pedigree™ is very well balanced to avoid any interactions. The ratio of dietary Ca and P may be as important but is of lesser significance than the absolute concentration of these minerals.
Q.
What precautions must I take while feeding my dog?
A.
Just like their owners, dogs need a balanced diet which contains just the right amount of protein, fat, carbohydrates, many different vitamins and minerals to ensure that they stay in peak condition. These nutrients must be present, not only in the correct amounts, but also in the correct proportions to each other, in order to provide a nutritionally complete and balanced diet. Our research indicated that most homemade diets/baby foods fed to dogs are inadequate and do not meet the recommended nutritional requirements. Prepared pet foods from reputable pet food manufacturers like Pedigree™ come with a guarantee of nutritional adequacy, quality and safety. Please remember that it is not possible to feed your dog a consistent and adequate home-prepared diet without considerable time, effort, and expertise. It is difficult even for an experienced breeder to prepare a balanced diet for dogs. There is no need to feed any supplements like calcium or home diet while he is feeding on balanced food like Pedigree™. The only thing in addition that needs to be given is clean fresh water. Therefore, continue feeding only the recommended quantity of prepared pet food. Choose which product to feed your pet with respect to its life-stage and lifestyle.
Q.
Do pets have the ability to identify/choose ingredients in pet foods? Does it really matter to pets?
A.
In fact, ingredients matter to many pet owners rather than pets, resulting from some marketing claims or advertainments (e.g. does not contain soy, corn, or wheat) The final nutrient profile of pet food is the most important factor in meeting your pet's daily nutritional needs. If the food meets your pet's nutrient profile, it does not matter whether the sources of those nutrients are beef, chicken or soybean. The pet does not care whether it is receiving the necessary essential amino acids for protein synthesis from chicken, fish or Soya.

The ingredients do however affect taste. Most pet foods are designed to be very palatable because the repeat sales of pet foods are, for the most part, dependent upon the owner thinking that the pet "likes" the food. Knowing the ingredient list only matters when a pet has a food ‘allergy’, better described as food sensitivity. The incidence of true food hypersensitivity (allergy) in the dog and cat population is not exactly known, but several published studies estimate the incidence to be very low.
Q.
How to handle a fussy eater?
A.
There are a number of reasons for your pet to behave like this. e.g. your pet may have a fear of new food, previous bad experiences with the food, poor palatability or simply, she may be a fussy eater. Some dogs may refuse food/skip meals, when they have consumed more energy than they require (which is common, in our experience). Also, small breeds are generally fussy eaters.

Please make sure that you are not overfeeding her and monitor her body-weight at least every two weeks. We suggest trying different varieties in the Pedigree™ range (e.g. Meat and rice).

If your pet is a small breed, then I would suggest feeing her " Pedigree™ Pro Small Breed" designed specifically for small breeds and has high palatability.

If he continues to refuse eating, then the most effective way to get your dog to eat his Pedigree™ food is to follow these steps:
  • Offer a small amount of normal food to your dog
  • Leave it down for a maximum of 20 min and leave the dog alone.
  • If the food is not eaten after 20 minutes, pick the food up and let the dog see you throw it away.
  • Do not talk to or fuss around with the dog, just ignore him. This is important.
  • If you do make a fuss, your dog will start associating not eating with getting attention.
  • Do not offer any snacks or tit bits.
  • A couple of hours later, repeat these steps, don't give him any attention or alternatives.
  • Keep repeating this process every couple of hours throughout the day.
  • If by the bed time, your dog still hasn't eaten, let him go to bed on an empty stomach - no sympathy.
  • The following morning, repeat the same steps.
  • By the end of the 2nd day, he will probably be hungry and when you offer the food, he should eat it.
  • Don't forget to make a fuss of your dog when he does eat.
This method of training should help to show your dog that he needs to eat when you offer him the food, otherwise he will go hungry. If he continues to refuse food, we suggest you contact your vet and discuss whether there may be medical causes for this and in some instances, blood work may be required to find underlying cause.
Q.
Is milk good for my dog?
A.
Milk is a rich source of nutrients but is low in nutrients like iron and Vitamin D. In general, puppies and kittens are more tolerant as they have more enzyme activity in their intestines and it decreases as they mature. Milk contains a sugar called lactose. The main issue with lactose is intolerance in adult animals. There are few dogs that are very sensitive to lactose (lactose intolerant) but most dogs and cats can tolerate a limited amount (approximately 250 ml for 10 kg weight dog). The principal effect of excessive lactose/milk intake is diarrhoea/loose stools. Dilute the milk or reduce the quantity to form well-formed stools. Proper complete nutrition is necessary for your puppy's health. The best idea is to get your puppy used to eating prepared foods from the very start.
Q.
Is it true that the food intake of dogs reduces with age? Does one need to change their diet as they grow older?
A.
As a rough guide, a dog can be considered senior when it enters the last third of its predicted lifespan. As dogs get older the ageing process affects them in the same way as humans. The energy requirement of senior dogs is approximately 20% lesser than that of young adults. The decrease in energy requirement is linked to declines in activity and changes in body composition. A balanced diet is vital for a dog to stay healthy. There are several manufactured, complete pet foods exclusively designed for senior dogs, and are available in the pet shops or vet clinics. Senior dogs (unlike cats) can digest the food as easily as adult dogs.
Q.
I give my dog dry packaged Pedigree™ dog food. And I am made to feel guilty by all my other friends (pet parents) for not giving her any meats. Is that necessary for her proper development?
A.
Dogs are Carnivores by classification, but their feeding behaviours are best described as omnivorous. Their anatomy and physiology also support an omnivore diet. Yes, dogs like to eat meat and chew on bones. However, that does not necessarily mean that the nutrient composition of such a diet is complete and balanced for the dog. Current advances in the knowledge of canine nutrient requirements (NRC, 2006, AAFCO 2011) have resulted in sophisticated, balanced and nutritionally complete manufactured diets for dogs. Their health and longevity are best achieved by feeding them nutritionally complete and balanced dog food. Most reputed dog foods today, use both plant and meat sources that are digestible and nutritionally adequate. Supplementing the package food with additional meat only makes the diet unbalanced.
Q.
My dog enjoys vanilla ice cream and chocolates thrice a week as a treat, otherwise she is on Pedigree™ food. Please let me know if ice cream is harmful for dogs. Do dogs develop cavities?
A.
Occasional feeding of snacks/treats like ice creams or cakes causes no harm if they do not contribute to more than 15% of his energy requirement/food intake. But chocolates are toxic to dogs, and large amounts make them sick. Some dogs may even die from eating chocolates.

Caries/cavities are uncommon in dogs. Dogs mouths do not contain bugs which are responsible for caries and a dog’s saliva is alkaline and has less amylase enzyme and more urea (that digests sugars) when compared to human saliva. However, plaque and gum diseases are very common in dogs. Regular feeding of oral chews like Dentastix is also recommended for preventing dental plaque or tartar.
Q.
How many times per day should I feed my dog?
A.
Young puppies up to 3 months of age should be fed at least 4 times per day, from 3 to 5 months of age they should receive 3 meals per day, then they are best fed twice daily. Adult dogs can be provided with 1 meal a day, however, many people enjoy feeding their dog twice, as feeding forms an important part of the relationship between a dog and his owner, and dogs generally enjoy these 2 meals.
Q.
Should I have fixed times for feeding my dog?
A.
Dogs like routine, so it is best to establish one when feeding your dog. This routine should also consider his exercise and rest periods and should ensure that he gets a chance to go outside for relief after eating.
Q.
I enjoy giving my dog snacks - how many treats can I give him every day?
A.
Treating your dog to a tasty snack is an important part of the special relationship between man and dog, and is much enjoyed by both parties. However, when fed excessively, tit-bits can lead to a nutritionally unbalanced diet and to the development of obesity. As a rule, no more than 10% of your dog's daily calories should be derived from snacks. When feeding a snack, choose a healthy alternative, such as a snack which has been specifically designed to support good dental health and hygiene, and which will give your dog an extra benefit. If you must watch your dog's weight, simply keep some of the dry kibbles of his daily diet allowance and feed them as snacks throughout the day.
Q.
Should I supplement my dog's food with extra vitamins and minerals?
A.
No - a balanced and complete dog food of good quality should never be supplemented with vitamins or minerals, unless your veterinarian prescribes it for a specific reason. Supplementing a balanced meal will indeed lead to an unbalanced diet and can have very harmful effects, such as the toxicity with fat-soluble vitamins, specifically vitamin A, and the imbalance of the calcium to phosphorus ratio. Supplementing a balanced and complete diet must also be avoided when feeding puppies during growth, as the effects of supplementation could be even more detrimental!
Q.
My dog is 10 years old - should I feed him a special diet?
A.
The age when your dog is considered 'old' or senior depends on his breed. Dogs are generally considered senior when they reach the last third of their life span, however, small breeds have a higher life expectancy than large or giant breeds, and therefore reach this time later. Small breeds are usually considered senior at the age of about 10 years, whereas giant breeds reach old age when they are only 5. Once your dog is considered senior, he is best fed a senior diet. As dogs become older, their metabolism slows down and their calorie requirements decrease by about 20%. Additionally, they may require softer foods or dry kibbles, which break more easily, and it is advantageous to increase their vitamin intake, as their vitamin needs increase with old age. All these aspects are best taken care of by feeding a food specifically designed for senior dogs.
Q.
My dog enjoys eating bones. Is this healthy for him?
A.
Some owners give bones to their dogs because they enjoy them a lot. Chewing bones is a good way to exercise their jaws, keep teeth clean, and keep them occupied for hours.

There are, however, many risks involved with feeding bones. WALTHAM™ recommends never to feed bones to dogs as they can splinter and the sharp pieces (or fish bones as a whole) can lead to severe internal injuries. Your dog can also injure his teeth on bones, and when ingesting parts of bones, he can develop constipation with the development of very hard faeces that are difficult and painful to pass.

If you want to give your dog something to chew and gnaw, it is best to choose a specifically designed commercially available dog chew, which is both hygienic and safe for your dog. WALTHAM™ has developed palatable, nutritionally complete oral hygiene chews (Dentastix™), which are not only fun for your dog, but also help to prevent periodontal disease and thus support your dog's dental health and hygiene.
Q.
When should I switch my puppy to ‘Adult’ and ‘Senior’ food?
A.
Large/giant breeds take longer than small breeds to grow and mature into adults.

General recommendation of age for feeding Adult pet food is
  • 7-9 months for small breeds
  • 9-12 months for medium size breeds
  • 14-18 months for large breeds
  • 18-24 months for giant breeds
General recommendation of age for feeding Senior pet food is
  • 5 years for large breeds
  • 8 years for large and medium breeds
  • 10 years for small and toy breeds
Q.
What is fibre?
A.
Dogs have no dietary requirement for carbohydrates per se and none of the expert bodies make recommendations in this regard. However, carbohydrates are still an important source of utilisable energy for both cats and dogs. Fibre is type of carbohydrates which is not completely digested by pets. There are different types of fibres - soluble or insoluble depending on extent of fermentation in the last part of digestive tract (large intestine).
Q.
Is there any human food that is harmful to pets?
A.
Onions, garlic, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, chocolates are some of the human food items and snacks that must be avoided for pets. Pieces of onion, onion powder, or even cooked onion and garlic can cause damage to red blood cells, which could result in anaemia in both dogs and cats. The primary toxic component is n-propyl disulphide, which is thought to cause oxidative damage to erythrocytes, resulting in haemolysis. Toxicosis from fresh, dried, or powdered plant material has been reported in dogs and cats.

Some types of grapes and raisins have been shown to cause kidney failure in dogs when eaten in quantity.

Xylitol is a naturally occurring sugar substitute. Use of xylitol has recently expanded in popularity, and it is found in many sugar-free gums, candies, and other foods. Dogs appear sensitive to xylitol, as ingestion of 100mg/kg xylitol can result in rapid, life-threatening hypoglycaemia (no known toxicity exists for humans).
Q.
What is Macronutrient Profile (MNP)?
A.
Based on many studies carried out at WCPN, WALTHAM™ has discovered that when given the opportunity, dogs modify their feeding behaviour to achieve a preferred macronutrient intake so that daily metabolisable energy is consumed from protein (PER), from fat (FER) and from carbohydrate (CER). Therefore, dogs instinctively know what they like (instinctive preference). The entire Pedigree™ Professional range is designed to achieve the optimal balance of protein, fat and CHO for maximum dog enjoyment/satisfaction.
Q.
My dog is not drinking water. What do I do?
A.
Adult dogs require about 40-60 ml of water per kg bodyweight per day. Most dogs drink water spontaneously while eating only dry pet foods. If your pet is getting his water requirement through other food items like milk or liquids, he may not drink plain water. Though you need to make sure that fresh, clean water is always available.
Q.
Should I give milk and raw eggs to my dogs?
A.
No single ingredient/source of diet can provide all the nutrients and meet the energy requirements of a dog. e.g. Cereals are rich in some vitamins but lack many nutrients required for a dog or puppy. Meat is a rich source of proteins but low in calcium and vitamins. Likewise, milk is low in iron and vitamin D.

Dogs cannot tolerate too much milk in their diet. A dog weighing 7 kgs. can tolerate up to 250 ml of milk and anything in excess can lead to loose stools.

Raw eggs should not be fed to dogs as it can lead to poor skin and coat. Nutrients like biotin are not utilised in the body. Raw eggs are also source of infections like salmonella, which can cause severe gastroenteritis in dogs.

Puppy care

Q.
Does my puppy really need a special puppy food?
A.
Yes. Puppies grow very rapidly, thus need adequate calories and nutrients. They have specifically high requirements for proteins and certain amino acids (when compared to adult dogs), and need nutrients not only at specific levels, but also in the right proportions. Calcium and phosphorus are important minerals during growth, and only a specially designed puppy and junior food can ensure their adequate intake.

Small and toy breed puppies need to be fed puppy food until they are 9 months old. Medium breeds need to be fed puppy food until they are 12 months old, large breeds until they are 18-month-old and giant breeds need to bed fed puppy food until they are 24 months old.

Packaged food

Q.
Can I mix Pedigree™ with milk?
A.
No. We do not recommend mixing Pedigree™ with milk because of two reasons:
  • Dogs do not produce the enzymes to digest lactase. Hence, milk is not recommended for dogs beyond a limit.
  • Pedigree™ is a complete and balanced diet and adding milk can lead to an imbalance in the nutrient contents.
Q.
I am not able to see any results after feeding Pedigree™ to my pet?
A.
We recommend using Pedigree™ consistently for 6 weeks to find visible differences in skin & coat, dental health (lesser tarter, low bad breath) and activity level.
Q.
How many times in a day do I need to feed Pedigree™?
A.
We recommend feeding Pedigree™ twice a day for Small & Medium breeds, and ideally once a day to Large breeds. The recommended quantity should be divided in equal parts of feeding frequency.
Q.
Can I feed Pedigree™ along with home food?
A.
We recommend feeding only Pedigree™, as it is a complete and balanced food. Mixing home food can lead to an imbalance in the nutrient content of food.
Q.
What else do I need to feed along with Pedigree™?
A.
We recommend not feeding anything with Pedigree™. We advise you to only give plenty of water with Pedigree™.
Q.
Do I need to mix vitamins or calcium with Pedigree™?
A.
No. Pedigree™ is a balanced diet, with all essential vitamins and minerals to meet a dog’s requirements. Hence, you don’t need to mix any supplement with Pedigree™.
Q.
My dog is not eating Pedigree™?
A.
We recommend checking with the following:
  • Product: Is the variant relevant to your dog’s life stage? Give the Puppy variant to a puppy and Adult food to a grown-up dog.
  • Quantity: Please stick to the recommended quantity. Do not overfeed.
  • Water: Please ensure your dog is drinking plenty of fresh water.
  • Eating habit: Please ensure that your dog is not eating very quickly.
  • Variety: Please try a different variant.
Q.
After eating Pedigree™ my dog is drinking a lot of water?
A.
It is very natural process as Pedigree™ is a dry product, with less than 10% of water unlike home food that contains more than 70% of water. Dogs are supposed to drink a lot of water with Pedigree™ to compensate for their water requirement.
Q.
Is the palatability of Pedigree™ good?
A.
Every Pedigree™ product undergoes a series of tests on safety, digestibility, and palatability before being released into the market. The palatability tests are done by a consumer panel having more than 300 dogs from pet owners. The product is checked for dog’s preference, taste and enjoyment.
Q.
After feeding Pedigree™ -Puppy Large Breed, my dog had green colour faeces. What could be the reason?
A.
The colour of faeces in dogs is influenced by diet, level of digestion, microbes in gut and most importantly bile pigments. It will be of concern if all the dogs eating this product have developed this colour.

In my opinion, it is unlikely to be a result of our product or product ingredients. It is also natural to find change in colour of faeces with change in the diet of the dog.

Here are a few things you should check as the first step: Find out if your dog is eating grass or plant? Are you supplementing his diet with liver tonics or syrups etc.? Do you notice any signs of bacterial overgrowth or EPI? Does he have frequent episodes of loose motion/loose faeces? If any of these signs persist, stool examination and further tests may be required.
Q.
Can pet food (ingredients in pet food) cause health problems?
A.
No. There is stringent legislation in place to ensure that pet food is safe and of a high quality. Furthermore, pet food and pet nutrition is subject to intensive study to provide optimum nutrition. It is widely recognised by vets that pets are living longer, healthier lives and that improved nutrition has played an important role in this.
Q.
Can the ingredients in pet foods cause allergies and intolerances?
A.
The incidence of true dietary allergies or intolerance in pets is rare. Overall, the prevalence of allergies in the dog and cat population, is thought to be around 0.1%. Food allergies occur because of a defect in an animal’s immune system; they are not caused by a particular problem with the diet.

Food intolerance however is a non-immunological, abnormal physiological response to a food, for instance many adult dogs and cats lose the ability to digest the lactose in milk because of the changing physiology, from puppies and kittens to adults.
Q.
Can I give my pet a nutritional supplement along with Pedigree™?
A.
Pedigree™ dog food is specifically made to meet a dog’s nutritional requirements to have the optimum growth and body condition. Addition of supplements like vitamins or calcium can upset nutrients balanced in Pedigree™ and may cause imbalance, deficiency or toxicity. Therefore, supplements are not recommended when a pet is exclusively fed Pedigree™. All they need is fresh clean water.
Q.
How do I make a smooth switch to Pedigree™ pet food?
A.
Any dietary change should be made slowly to avoid any upsets to your pet’s digestion. Introduce Pedigree™ gradually, over a 5-10 days period by mixing very small amounts of Pedigree™ with the old diet.

It is best to mix Pedigree™ to their food by adding an extra spoonful with every meal, until the whole meal consists of Pedigree™. Make sure that fresh water is always available.

Remember, a quick changeover may upset your pet's metabolic balance, and they may lose interest in food.
Q.
Which pet food should I feed?
A.
Pet foods vary considerably in their quality and adequacy. There are many factors to consider during the selection pet foods. This is particularly important when a pet food is to be fed as a major part of a pet's diet. Some of the considerations include:
  • Is the food complete and balanced?
  • How palatable/digestible is the food?
  • How much does it cost to feed?
  • What is the reputation/credibility of the manufacturer?
  • Do they have qualified and experienced experts and veterinary nutritionists?
  • Do they have facilities to meet pet food standards?
  • Are they easily approachable to get further information on pet food?
But perhaps the most important consideration in selecting a pet food is its nutrient content, not just the level of nutrients but also the digestibility and availability of nutrients.

Labels provide some useful information in deciding the merits of the food, such as: ingredient list, analysis, nutritional adequacy statement, energy density and suggested feeding regimes. Currently, regulations state that all pet food labels must contain the following: product name, net weight, name and address of the manufacturer, guaranteed analysis for crude protein, crude fat, crude fibre, and moisture, list of ingredients in descending order by weight (from maximum to minimum), a statement of nutritional adequacy or purpose of the product and the method that was used to substantiate the nutritional adequacy claim.
Q.
When should I switch my dog’s diet to a "senior food?"
A.
Large breeds are considered senior by the age of 5 years; large and medium breeds by 8 years; and small and toy breeds are considered senior by the age of 10 years.
Q.
My dog does not eat the dry kibble. What do you recommend?
A.
Try Pedigree™ Wet food or Pedigree™ Wet as a topping to encourage eating dry kibbles. Check to ensure that he has no painful teeth conditions.
Q.
Is Pedigree™ pet food 100% complete and balanced?
A.
Yes, it is 100% complete and balanced. It meets all the nutritional requirements of dogs based on life stage (puppy, young, adult and senior) and lifestyle (large breed, small breed, active).
Q.
How should I begin feeding Pedigree™?
A.
Gradually introduce Pedigree™ over a 5-10-days period by mixing very small amounts of Pedigree™ with old diet. Remember that a very quick changeover may upset your pet's metabolic balance and they may also lose interest in food.

Mix Pedigree™ into the food by adding a spoonful at a time, until the whole meal consists of Pedigree™. Make sure that fresh water is available always.
Q.
How do I know how much to feed?
A.
Please read the instructions provided on the Pedigree™ label (package) which provides information on feeding based on body weight/breed and life stage, or consult your nearest veterinarian.
Q.
When should I begin to feed adult pet food to my dog?
A.
The amount of time taken for a growing puppy to achieve adult bodyweight varies considerably, with larger breeds having a longer growth period than smaller breeds. Toy, small and medium breeds reach 99% of their adult weight at around 9-10 months, whilst large and giant breeds reach this point at approximately 14-16 months and 18-24 months respectively.
Q.
My veterinarian has recommended a prescription type of diet for my dog. Can I feed Pedigree™ instead?
A.
Pedigree™ is a complete food for growth and maintenance in healthy dogs. Prescriptions diets are formulated to manage some of the diseases in dogs like diabetes, kidney failure or heart diseases. These diets will have varying amounts of proteins, minerals and other nutrients.
Q.
I had given good quality dog food to my dog but his bone development was not proper. Why so?
A.
The causes can be several:
  • Firstly, check with your vet about the nature of bone problem: make sure that common bone problems in growing puppies or degenerative diseases are ruled out.
  • Feed the recommended quantity of only reputed brand of food as per life stage and lifestyle:
  • Nutritional adequacy and pet food label information should meet NRC/AAFCO and FDA consumer recommendations respectively.
  • Do not supplement calcium: no homemade diet or supplements particularly calcium or phosphorous. When fed supplements on a complete balanced diet, it can alter the Ca:P ratio and absorption.
  • Do not overfeed: overweight dogs with excess energy are prone to bone problems, particularly puppies of large or giant breeds.
  • Ensure adequate exercise, non-slippery floors and bedding as per the requirement of the breed
  • Do not breed bitches with history of inheritable bone problems like hip dysplasia etc.
Q.
After feeding Pedigree™, my dog suffered from hair loss. How do I manage the hair loss problem? Why do dogs shed so much?
A.
The culprit is dog’s unique hair growth cycle and seasonal hair shedding. For example, photoperiod (light intensity) is the main factor. Besides, nutrition, genetics and health too can cause the dog to shed hair excessively during some seasons and it is physiological/normal. Dogs also may shed excessive hair because of stress, harsh climate and general illness. If the degree of shedding appears abnormal, or if he has signs of serious skin problems or fleas, consult your veterinarian for medical conditions such as thyroid.

Disease or skin allergies can cause excessive shedding also. Some tips to prevent or reduce hair shedding include - brush, brush, brush.

Brushing: A daily brushing works best because it helps to get rid of all your dog's loose hair. If you can't brush him every day, aim for at least two good brushings per week.

Give him a bath: Bathing your dog regularly with a rich oatmeal shampoo will help to keep his coat healthy, without leaving his skin dry. A healthy coat is less likely to have a lot of loose hair to shed.

Feed him a high-quality diet: A diet that is rich in fatty acids, minerals like zinc and digestible proteins will keep your dog's coat strong and healthy, and will help decrease excessive shedding. e.g. Pedigree™ Active for adult dogs.
Q.
Are pet foods tested on animals?
A.
Most pet foods are routinely fed to animals to ensure the products are palatable and nutritious. Companies may use their own feeding panels and usually also have groups of pet owners who regularly volunteer their pets to taste the same foods in the comfort of their own home.

In addition, the pet food should be formulated and tested as per standards set out by nutritional authorities like NRC or AAFCO.
Q.
You have mentioned the ingredients on the pack. Why don’t you mention the quantity of each ingredient?
A.
As per AAFCO recommendations, pet food label should indicate the ingredients in the descending order of content but quantity of ingredients could be a part of the secret recipe of product.
Q.
Are the Pedigree™ products same in India and in other countries?
A.
All Mars unit follow similar protocols and standards in the manufacturing facilities and the science behind all Pedigree™ products is same all over the world. The minor differences will be only in source of raw materials procured for manufacturing. The quality and safety remains the same.
Q.
How to determine the best in pet food based on ingredients?
A.
The ingredients list cannot and should not be used to assess the quality of dog food. Ingredient quality is poorly misunderstood by pet owners and leaves them subject to very slick marketing gimmicks. Please disregard the self-proclaiming pundits who say you can. It simply cannot be done. In fact, AAFCO and FDA guard against it. The animal based materials used in pet foods come from animals which have passed veterinary inspections as fit for human consumption, but are surplus to the requirements of the human food industry. There is no "grading" system of ingredients; in fact, there is no grading system for any pet food ingredient. These materials meet the very high safety and quality criteria laid down in the Animal By-Products Regulations 2005.
Q.
Which ingredients are typically used in the manufacture of pet food?
A.
The animal based materials used in pet foods come from animals which have passed veterinary inspections as fit for human consumption, but are surplus to the requirements of the human food industry. These materials meet the very high safety and quality criteria laid down in the Animal By-Products Regulations 2005.

Members only use materials from species which are accepted in the human food chain. The members use materials of beef, lamb, poultry, pork, fish, rabbit and game. The plant based materials some manufacturers may use include: cereals, cereal flour, pulses, root vegetables and seeds.
Q.
What is meant by the term "meat and animal derivatives" found on pet food label?
A.
The term ‘meat and animal derivatives’ refers to the animal based ingredients in pet food.
Q.
Where can I get more information on the ingredients in pet food?
A.
Industry recognises the importance of providing thorough information to help pet owners make the important decision of what to feed their pet, and we work hard to ensure pet owners are well informed. Member companies provide information on labels, on websites and many run consumer care lines. A number of these have dedicated teams of veterinary nutritionists. The PFMA website provides generic information which includes advice on the different pet foods available, how they are produced, what ingredients are typically used and some feeding guidance.
Q.
Why don’t pet food labels provide more information on ingredients?
A.
There is limited space on a pet food label and it is important that the legally required information (e.g. statutory statement, description and directions for use, ingredients and feeding guidelines) is clear to the consumer. To support consumers, pet food manufacturers often provide full product information on company websites. Many companies also provide a customer care help-line.
Q.
When a label says meat and animal derivatives (4% chicken) on the pet food label does this really mean that there is only 4% meat in the products?
A.
No. Each recipe includes a blend of different ingredients including meats such as chicken, lamb, beef etc. which are all combined into a food which will meet, in part or entirely, the daily nutritional requirements of the pet animal. The 4% declaration is a legal labelling requirement which represents the minimum percentage content of the named ingredient guaranteed to be present by the manufacturer.
Q.
Are additives dangerous to pets?
A.
No. Like with human foods, the use of additives in pet food is strictly regulated by the EU. The EU authorises additives on the grounds of safety, technical need and efficacy. The authorisation process is rigorous and food/pet food additives are regularly reviewed to ensure safety.
Q.
Why does the pet food industry use additives?
A.
Pet food manufacturers only use additives when necessary and then at the minimum level required and within the limits set by the law.

Additives may be used for example, to protect the nutritional values and goodness of a product or enhance the nutritional profile of a product so that it can deliver complete nutrition (e.g. the addition of vitamins, trace elements, amino acids). Over the years, research has emerged highlighting the benefits of antioxidants. Some manufacturers may add biological antioxidants e.g. vitamins C & E to pet foods to help promote good health and combat free radical damage to the body. Some producers may use small amounts of colours to redress the natural variations in colour which arise from the heat processing of products.

Additives may be artificial or natural. Pet food manufacturers can provide further information on any additives in their products.
Q.
Are the additives in pet food linked with behavioural issues in pets?
A.
There is no peer-reviewed scientific evidence currently available, or that we are aware of, to suggest a link between behavioural problems in pets and additives in pet food. Common causes of behavioural problems in pets include poor socialisation or training and inadequate exercise. Professor Peter Neville, a leading companion animal behaviour therapist and founding partner of the Centre of Applied Pet Ethology states that in over 20 years of veterinary referral behaviour practice, he has never seen a single case of a behaviour problem in dogs that could be directly linked to nutritional additives in food or that could be verified in any form of physiological test.
Q.
Why do manufacturers use the term "EC permitted additives"?
A.
This is a legal requirement. The labelling of additives in pet foods is controlled by the Feeding Stuffs Regulations 2005. Prepared pet foods must give information about the presence of three classes of additives if these are added during the manufacture. These are antioxidants, colourants, and preservatives, which are usually declared on label with the words "Contains EC permitted antioxidants(s), colourant(s) and preservative(s)" as appropriate.
Q.
What are the by-products that are used in preparing pet food? Are they as good as the original products in supplying the nutrients?
A.
By-products are the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes: lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defeated low temperature fatty tissue, and stomach and intestines free of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth, and hooves. If its name describes a certain kind of animal, it must correspond to it. All the ingredients in pet-food are there for a purpose. They are either a source of protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins or minerals or they are there to improve safety, pet enjoyment or owner satisfaction. By-products are concentrated sources of animal proteins, fats and minerals. All the meat and animal derivatives used in pet-food come from the same food processing chain as the meats sold for human consumption.
Q.
What are rendered meals and are they safe?
A.
Meat meals are produced by cooking animal carcasses and then removing some of the fat and drying the material. The low moisture content, and relatively low-fat content means the material is at less risk of spoilage. There are different types of meat meal, and some low-quality meat meals have very high levels of minerals (ash). For the meat meals that we use in pet-food we specify a minimum protein content, which ranges from 45 to 60%, and a fat content up to a maximum of 20%. (By comparison fresh meat has 10-20% protein, and less than 10% fat when delivered.) We never buy high-ash meat meals. We only use meat meals that meet our specification for key nutrients. There are clear and transparent EU rules about type of animals and animal materials that can be used in pet-food. Only materials from animals that have been passed as suitable for human consumption at the time of slaughter are permitted. This means that all the meat and animal derivatives used in pet-food come from the same food processing chain as the meats sold for human consumption.
Q.
Which preservatives are used in pet food and can they harm my pet?
A.
Consumers alarmed by nutritional gossip may elect to avoid feeding preservatives or additives to their pets for the same reasons they avoid these compounds in their own foods. Like with human foods, the use of preservatives or additives in pet food is strictly regulated by the EU. The EU authorises additives on the grounds of safety, technical need and efficacy. The authorisation process is rigorous and food/pet food additives are regularly reviewed to ensure safety. Pet food manufacturers only use additives when necessary and then at the minimum level required and within the limits set by the law. There is no peer-reviewed scientific evidence currently available, or that we are aware of, to suggest a link between health or behavioural problems in pets and additives in pet food. Additives may be artificial or natural. Pet food manufacturers can provide further information on any additives in their products.
Q.
How are ingredients and finished pet foods tested?
A.
The animal based materials used in pet foods come from animals which have passed veterinary inspections as fit for human consumption, but are surplus to the requirements of the human food industry. These materials meet the very high safety and quality criteria laid down in the Animal By-Products Regulations 2005. The members only use materials from species including plants which are accepted in the human food chain. Most pet foods are routinely fed to animals to ensure the products are palatable and nutritious.

Companies may use their own feeding panels and usually also have groups of pet owners who regularly volunteer their pets to taste the same foods in the comfort of their own home. In addition, they follow feeding and testing protocols laid down by respective regulatory agencies like AAFCO.
Q.
Where is Pedigree™ pet food manufactured?
A.
Pedigree™ products are manufactured in Hyderabad at our state-of-the-art Mars pet food plant.
Q.
Where do the ingredients of Pedigree™ come from?
A.
Pet food manufacturers can use and are allowed to use only the quality of any ingredient allowed by the pet food regulations.

For Pedigree™, all the raw materials are procured from sources in India and abroad which meet our global specifications on quality and safety. Mars India, the large commercial producers of dog and cat food, maintains advanced testing facilities to evaluate the nutritional efficacy, palatability, quality and safety, and the practicality of the ingredients used. Further, we have a Vendor Assurance Program, which makes sure that the supplier is updated on quality and consistent supply.
Q.
Where can I buy Pedigree™ pet food?
A.
Pedigree™ Regular is available in all retail stores, super stores and pet shops in India. While Professional Pedigree™ range is available only at pet shops and veterinarians’ clinics.
Q.
Which pet food ingredients should I avoid when choosing a pet food?
A.
You need to avoid the pet food which contains an ingredient to which your pet has developed intolerance or allergy (proven by your vet). Food allergies occur because of a defect in an animal’s immune system; they are not caused by a particular problem with the diet. Food intolerance however is a non-allergic, abnormal physiological response to a food, for instance many adult dogs and cats lose the ability to digest the lactose in milk because of the changing physiology, from puppies and kittens to adults. The incidence of true dietary intolerance or allergies in pets is rare.

The animal based materials used in pet foods come from animals which have passed veterinary inspections as fit for human consumption, but are surplus to the requirements of the human food industry. These materials meet the very high safety and quality criteria laid down in the Animal By-Products Regulations 2005. The members use materials of beef, lamb, poultry, pork and fish etc. The plant based materials some manufacturers may use include: cereals, cereal flour, pulses, root vegetables and seeds.
Q.
Meat vs Meals, help me clarify the difference.
A.
The AAFCO definitions are as follows:

Meat is the clean flesh derived from slaughtered mammals. It is limited to that part of the striate muscle, which is skeletal, or that which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart, or in the oesophagus. It may be accompanied by overlying fat and the portions of the skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels that normally accompany the flesh. If it’s a name describes a kind of animal, it must correspond to it.

Meat meal is the rendered product from mammal tissues, exclusive of any blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents, except in trace amounts where included unavoidably during good processing practices.
Q.
Why add fibre to pet food?
A.
Dietary fibre, although not considered essential, can make an important contribution to gastrointestinal function and health and a moderate intake of less than 5% on a dry matter basis, composed of fermentable and non-fermentable fibres, is generally recommended.
Q.
What are antioxidants and does Pedigree™ pet food contain any?
A.
BHT and BHA are antioxidants which, as the name suggests, are used to prevent the oxidative deterioration of fats in a wide variety of food products for many species, including man. It would be irresponsible to animal wellbeing to leave antioxidants out of pet food which is not in a hermetically sealed container. In such pet foods, antioxidants are a necessity for safety. There is no scientific evidence to suggest these additives, when used within the legally permitted levels, present any health concerns for pets. The pet food industry only uses additives legally authorised by the EU; the authorisation process is rigorous. Food additives are regularly reviewed and if research raises serious doubts about a food additive, permission to use it is withdrawn.

In the case of BHT and BHA studies have shown no adverse effects in dogs at intakes of more than 50 times the current legal limit of use for BHT and BHA. BHT and BHA are permitted in human foods and, in this case, safety assessment must rely on data from studies in other animal species. For dog foods, we have results from studies on the target species, so our assurance of safety is even better than that for human foods.
Q.
What is the information provided on the pet food label?
A.
Labels provide some useful information in deciding the merits of the food, such as:
  • Ingredient list
  • Analysis
  • Nutritional adequacy statement
  • Energy density
  • Suggested feeding regimes
Currently regulations state that all pet food labels must contain the following:
  • Product name
  • Net weight
  • Name and address of the manufacturer
  • Guaranteed analysis for crude protein, crude fat, crude fibre, and moisture
  • List of ingredients in descending order by weight (from maximum to minimum)
  • A statement of nutritional adequacy or purpose of the product
  • The method that was used to substantiate the nutritional adequacy claim e.g. by feeding caloric density is optional.
The caloric density also affects the interpretation of the guaranteed analysis values. Foods containing more calories provide more metabolizable energy. While two foods may have the same guaranteed analysis values, the caloric density may differ, therefore, this value is most important when comparing levels of protein, fat, carbohydrate, and other nutrients in the food.
Q.
What is the content of Green Lipped mussels’?
A.
While the exact mechanisms of the effects of GLM are unknown, there are some proposed mechanisms for its action. GLM contains a high percentage of Eicosatetraenoic Acid (ETA), a unique omega-3 fatty acid that has been shown to reduce inflammation. The GLM powder contains Glycosaminoglycans (chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine), Omega-3 Fatty Acids (EPA and DHA) as well as other key nutrients and factors of bone and joint health such as complex proteins, glutamine, antioxidants (vitamin E and C), minerals (manganese, zinc, copper) and amino acids, that may act in synergism to protect joints and regenerate damaged articular cartilage and synovial fluid. GLM is superior to Chondroitin Sulfate and Glucosamine.
Q.
What is premium dog food?
A.
Premium products have a much greater variety and they can be used to feed dogs at different ages (e.g. junior, senior), of different lifestyles (e.g. active, light) of different sizes (e.g. small adult dogs, large puppy). Also, their range is often more diversified than that of the economy category. Premium foods often contain ingredients that have additional advantageous influence on the animal’s health, e.g. ingredients protecting against urinary system in small breed, green lipped mussel for joint health in large breed puppy or colostrum in weaning. These ingredients allow maintaining the pet’s health in top condition. They also often contain a large amount of meat, which is the main source of protein and energy in the food. Premium foods are mostly prepared according to the so-called ‘closed recipe’ which means that the list of ingredients is determined and does not allow for any changes or variability in the raw materials used (in terms of both quality and quantity). This is very important for example for dogs with food sensitivity, but it does have a significant impact on the price of the finished product.
Q.
Why are commercial pet foods better for my pet than homemade foods?
A.
The nutritional profile of any diet—including homemade diets—depends on how the recipe is formulated, the nutrient content of the ingredients, and how the owner prepares the diet. Homemade diets may also contain contaminants and food-borne microbes if the owner is not as careful as he or she is about his or her own foods. Federally regulated and commercially prepared foods have processing methods and quality assurance programs that limit the potential of food-borne illnesses in pets and offer guarantees, a nutritional profile, and bioavailability. It is extremely difficult to create a home-prepared food designed to deliver the correct nutrition for a pet at a given life-stage.

Manufactured pet-foods do not contain ingredients that are potentially toxic to pets. Common human foods such as chocolate, grapes and onions are toxic to pets. Other foods such as cow’s milk is not well tolerated by cats and dogs. Manufactured pet-foods are rigorously tested to ensure that they are safe from microbial contaminants such as salmonella.

Prepared pet-foods always have a feeding guide to help the owner ensure the pet is fed the correct number of calories for its life-stage and life-style.
Q.
What is the digestibility of regular and Professional range of Pedigree™?
A.
Digestibility of regular Pedigree™ is consistently above 80% and generally varies from 84-86 %, while the Professional range has the digestibility of 88-92%.
Q.
Is Royal Canin better than Pedigree™?
A.
It is like comparing an apple to an orange. The products have similar objective of meeting nutritional requirements of dogs or cats but differ only in delivering some functional health benefits. For example, some RC products are designed for specific breeds like Boxer or Labradors. Likewise, Pedigree™ Regular and Professional varieties are specifically designed and developed keeping in mind the needs of Pet Parents in our country and requirements for Indian dogs. Therefore, it is Pedigree™ is a product that offers value for money.
Q.
After opening the bag there is bad smell of food, why? What to do to avoid it?
A.
Storing pet food is very important to retain flavour and taste. Keeping pet food in sunlight or poor storage condition can make the product undergo oxidation quickly. Take all possible measures to reduce exposure of pet food to air, moisture or heat and from insects or rats. Buy only the quantity required for a few weeks and store in cool and dry places.
Q.
Do you have a money back guarantee?
A.
There is a money back guarantee available, if your dog does not eat when fed as per recommendations. Please provide complete details including your address.
Q.
How should I store the Pedigree™ pet food?
A.
Must be stored in clean, cool and dry place in an airtight container. The storage area must be rodent and insect proof. Pedigree™ food should be not placed/stored near strong smelling areas or pesticides/chemicals. We recommend not to expose Pedigree™ bag to sunlight.
Q.
Are the Pedigree™ products same in India and other countries?
A.
All Mars unit follow similar protocols and standards in the manufacturing facilities and the science behind all Pedigree™ products are same all over the world. The minor differences will be only in source of raw materials procured for manufacturing. The quality and safety remains the same.
Q.
Does Pedigree™ satisfy or meet the nutritional requirements of my dog?
A.
Yes, Pedigree™ guarantees to meet the nutritional requirements of your dog. Every serving of Pedigree™ ensures that your dog is provided with all the vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, proteins, carbohydrates and fibre your dog needs for healthy muscle development, energy, proper digestion, healthy skin, shiny coat, alert eyes, good reflexes and strong bones. The crunchy texture of Pedigree™ helps to keep your dog' s gums healthy and teeth clean.
Q.
What are the benefits of feeding Pedigree™?
A.
At Pedigree™, we share a passion for supporting the health and happiness of dogs through enjoyable nutrition. Years of research have led us to believe that the healthiest and tastiest ingredients are to be found naturally occurring in cereals, meat and vegetables. That's why at the heart of every Pedigree™ meal is a perfect balance of wholesome naturally occurring ingredients providing quality nutrition, superb taste and great everyday health and enjoyment for your dog.

Pedigree™’s 5 signs of health: The guaranty to bring him everything he needs as well as pleasing him. Dental Health, Strong Muscles, Digestive Health, Immunity and Skin and Coat.
Q.
Do I need to cook Pedigree™?
A.
No, Pedigree™ is ready-to-eat food.
Q.
Do Pedigree™ manufacturers use cow meat in their pet food?
A.
No. We use only use ingredients from animals (chicken, sheep and goat) generally accepted in the human food chain in India. Pork and beef are not used in Mars India manufacturing facility.
Q.
What is WALTHAM™ that is mentioned on Mars pet care brands like Pedigree™?
A.
WALTHAM™ is the fundamental science centre for Mars Petcare and focuses on the nutrition and wellbeing of dogs, cats, horses, birds and fish, and their benefits to humans. At Mars Petcare, we are committed to creating a better world for pets and the knowledge generated by WALTHAM™ is vital in bringing this vision to life.

At WALTHAM™ we take pride in sharing our key findings with the scientific community, enabling pets around the world to benefit from our work. Since our first scientific publication 50 years ago, we have communicated our expertise through over 1700 publications, including more than 600 peer-reviewed journal articles.

In addition, WALTHAM™ researchers collaborate with the world's most renowned veterinary and nutritional scientists. Together, we share our research findings at esteemed conferences and events around the world, including our open forum, the WALTHAM™ International Nutritional Sciences Symposium WALTHAM™. It has pioneered many important breakthroughs in pet nutrition. In collaboration with the world's foremost scientific institutes, it provides the science and expertise underpinning leading Mars Petcare brands including WHISKAS™, Pedigree™, NUTRO™, TRILL™, CESAR™, SHEBA™, KITEKAT™, AQUARIAN™, WINERGY™, BANFIELD™ PET HOSPITAL™ and ROYAL CANIN™.

Please visit Waltham.com for more information
Q.
What is AAFCO or NRC and why is it listed on pet food labels?
A.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is a non-profit organisation which sets standards for the quality and safety of pet food in the United States. AAFCO establishes standard ingredient definitions and nutritional requirements for animal feed/pet food. Most countries outside USA have adopted the AAFCO models or use them in the regulation of pet food. Products that are substantiated to be "complete and balanced" by feeding trials/analysis bear the label statement "animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that the product provides complete and balanced nutrition." Every country has their own regulatory agencies like in Europe or Japan. There are also popular agencies which publish nutrients requirements of pets. National Research Council (NRC) and WALTHAM™ Center of Pet Nutrition (WCPN).

NRC or WCPN currently have no regulatory responsibilities to the pet food industry. These periodic revisions of their nutrient requirement recommendations include amongst other things, signs of toxicity and deficiency, so are a useful source for researchers.
Q.
Can I give my pet a nutritional supplement along with Pedigree™?
A.
Pedigree™ dog food is specifically made to meet a dog’s nutritional requirements to have the optimum growth and body condition. Addition of supplements like vitamins or calcium can upset nutrients balanced in Pedigree™ and may cause imbalance, deficiency or toxicity. Therefore, supplements are not recommended when a pet is exclusively fed Pedigree™. All they need is fresh clean water.
Q.
Do you have food for puppies?
A.
Yes, we manufacture and sell puppy food also. You can choose from: Regular Pedigree™ Puppy food (Chicken and Milk) and Pedigree™ Professional Puppy range of food, which has additional health benefits for growing puppies (Starter Mother and Pup, Large Breed Puppy, Small Breed Puppy).
Q.
Can I mix Wet and Dry food?
A.
A dog's diet can be made up of different proportions of complete and balanced foods, depending on what suits you and your dog best. It is, however, important to calculate the amounts you are feeding carefully, as this type of feeding regimen can easily lead to overfeeding (just by adding a little bit more of each type of food) with undesirable weight gain and possibly even obesity of your dog.
Q.
How long can your canned/pouch food last in the refrigerator after being opened?
A.
We recommend feeding as early as possible and not to store in refrigerator. However, it can be fed up to 6 hours after opening, if it has been stored in stable condition and at room temperature.
Q.
My dog does not eat the dry kibble. What do you recommend?
A.
Make sure that he has no painful teeth conditions or oral disease. Try Pedigree™ Wet food (cans or pouch) or Gravy as a topping to encourage eating dry kibbles.
Q.
What is the shelf life of your Pedigree™ pet food?
A.
For general Pedigree™ brands, the shelf life is 12 months. Whereas for Pedigree™ Starter Mother and Puppy, it is 9 months.
Q.
Why Pedigree™ Starter Mother and Pup uses "colostrum"?
A.
Loose motion or diarrhoea is often seen in puppies, e.g. due to scavenging, change of diet or stress. Besides being a problem for the owner, it is a health risk to the dog due to loss of fluids, vitamins & minerals, lack of nutrient uptake and weakening of the body.

At this stage, puppies may have well developed immune system and digestive tract. Starter Pedigree™ contains functional ingredients: prebiotics that support digestive health by promoting good bacteria and strengthen immunity.

In addition, Starter Pedigree™ has Bovine Colostrum, which is an excellent source of quality protein. It also improves faecal quality in puppies. Pedigree™ Starter is the only product in India containing colostrum. The many benefits of colostrum to mother and puppy are:
  • Inclusion in the diet may assist in protecting puppies from diarrhoea around the time of re-housing and improve faecal quality
  • Increased intestinal micro flora diversity resulting in reduced risk of pathogens colonising gut
  • More stable micro flora following stress for a reduced risk of gut upsets
  • Increased faecal IgA level to support immunity in digestive tract in puppies and mother
  • Support to enhance immune response in puppies and mother
Q.
How can DentastixTM help prevent dental problem in dogs?
A.
DentastixTM efficacy is delivered by a unique combination of a special cleaning texture and active ingredients. Gentle abrasive texture helps remove plaque, thereby reducing tartar build-up. Sustained chewing stimulates saliva flow, which helps wash away any debris. DentastixTM contains special ingredients Sodium Tripolyphosphate & Zinc Soleplate that help to slowdown build up and accusation of tartar. DentastixTM is clinically proven to reduce plaque & tartar by up to 80% when used daily and is developed by WALTHAM™, the world’s leading authority on Pet Care & Nutrition. This study has been published here: Brown and McGenity (2005) Jr of Vet Dentistry, Vol 22, No1, pp 15-19
Q.
How is the palatability of Pedigree™?
A.
Every Pedigree™ product undergoes a series of tests on safety, digestibility, and palatability before being released into the market. The palatability tests are done by a consumer panel having more than 300 dogs from pet owners. The product is checked for dogs’ preference, taste and enjoyment.
Q.
What and how much should I feed a pregnant dog?
A.
The average duration of pregnancy is 63 days and her energy requirements increase rapidly over the second half of gestation. A satisfactory regimen would be to increase the amount of food by 15% of her consumption each week from the fifth week onwards. Feeding a concentrated diet, such as Pedigree™ Active or Weaning or Puppy products designed for puppy growth, and ensuring adequate intake by offering smaller, more frequent meals can also be beneficial.
Q.
Should I change my dog’s feeding pattern during lactation period?
A.
Lactation is the most nutritionally demanding life stage for female dogs, and at peak lactation (3 - 4 weeks after whelping), she may need to eat up to four times normal maintenance allowance. Failure to meet these needs means that she will nurse her young at the expense for her own body reserves, with a resultant loss of weight and condition. If she is unable to produce enough milk or unable to eat the amount of food she needs, then early supplementary feeding of the puppies may be necessary for both her and her puppies to thrive.

Behavior & training

Q.
My dog gets scared during Diwali, after hearing firecrackers. He does not eat food after that. What do I do in such a situation?
A.
Even the most confident dogs can be scared of fireworks. Signs of stress or fear may include shaking, trembling, barking, howling, excessive drooling or hiding when crackers are being burst.

If your dog is well socialised as a puppy and is used to hearing lots of different sounds and has been exposed to lots of different experiences, he will always react in a positive way.

Take your dog for a good walk during the day before the fireworks start. Always keep him indoors during the cracker bursting celebration. Keep your windows shut and the curtains drawn to mask sounds and flashes of fireworks. Turn up the volume on television or radio to help mask the sounds of fireworks. Keep your dog distracted by playing with him or giving treats like Pedigree™ or DentastixTM. Do not comfort your dog if he is showing fearful behaviour as this may reinforce the behaviour.

Act normally, as if there is nothing at all to be afraid of and reward your dog when he is calm and not looking afraid. Never punish your dog in any way for being afraid. Provide your dog with a suitable safe place where he can hide and do not disturb him when he goes into this area.
Q.
What is stress and how do I manage it?
A.
Stress is a very broad term - difficult to define, and it manifests in many ways in pets. Stress could be physiological or abnormal. Signs of stress include abnormal behaviour, change in appetite, abnormal elimination behaviour, anxiety, lethargy etc. It is difficult to measure stress in pets. One of the most important aspects to ensure a happy relationship between you, your family, and your dog is to ensure that your dog's requirements can be matched by your lifestyle and environment.

Make sure that pets live in a comfortable and relaxed environment, and get mental and physical stimulation. This could be in the form of play, toys, exercise etc. in addition to lot of love and affection. Good socialization and interaction with family members, and other pets will also help in minimizing stress.

Health & grooming

Q.
Is it a problem if my dog eats grass?
A.
Dogs are omnivores, which means they eat meat as well as plants. They don't need grassy nutrients anymore because most commercial dog foods are nutritionally complete. Many dogs eat a small amount of coarse grass regularly, only for it be vomited, covered in frothy saliva, a few minutes later.

Contrary to the common perception that grass eating is associated with observable signs of illness and vomiting, results from a study by behaviour specialist Dr. Benjamin Hart, indicated that grass eating is a common behaviour in normal dogs unrelated to illness and that dogs do not regularly vomit afterward.

Vomiting seems to be incidental to, rather than caused by, plant eating. Grass eating is seldom harmful, provided grass is not sprayed with pesticides or toxic chemicals. There is no reason to worry whether your dog eats grass or not. You can read more about this behaviour here.
Q.
What is the problem when a dog eats its own faeces?
A.
Coprophagia, or eating of faeces, is very common in dogs, and is often seen in puppies. It is not dangerous to the dog's health, but can be an unpleasant habit to live with. Treating the problem can be simple and involves thinking ahead. Any faeces deposited in the garden should be removed as quickly as possible. A dietary imbalance or parasites can, on occasions, cause coprophagy. Ensure that your dog receives a complete and balanced diet and is dewormed regularly as Coprophagy can transmit parasites as well.

One method of training is to walk your dog on a longer leash and be purposely directed towards some stools. As soon as he stoops to try and eat it, pull him away gently and effectively while commanding with an unpleasant distracting "NO”. Immediately after this, make him sit and praise him with some kind words and physical contact for obeying. Do not punish him as he will not associate the punishment with the action. This type of exposure should be repeated several times. Professional training is advised if it is associated with behavioural problem.

Some advice products containing (or spraying) pepper or mustard on faeces are ethically questionable and feeding a slice of pineapple or peppermint oil may work in some dogs.
Q.
If my dog vomits or has diarrhoea occasionally but is not ill, what do I feed him?
A.
Vomiting or diarrhoea are merely signs and may be a result of many disorders (digestive and non-digestive like kidney, liver etc.). Most cases are acute and reversible, and require only supportive and symptomatic therapy. Generally, it is advised to withhold food and water for at least 24 hours and introduce highly digestible food like rice, and avoiding high fat diets.

In contrast to acute problems, chronic ones are rarely self-limiting and it is usually essential to establish specific diagnosis (with help from lab tests/investigations) and appropriate therapy.
Q.
What should be done to avoid worms? What is the de-worming schedule for dogs?
A.
Deworming regularly using safe broad-spectrum drugs like Drontal Plus once in 2-4 weeks for puppies, and once every 3-6 months for adult dogs will help to control common parasites. Similarly, deworming pregnant dogs from the 45th day until 3 weeks post whelping also controls transmission of parasites from the mother to puppies. You should also follow the recommended preventive health care procedures and cleaning protocols for the kennel. Read more about this here.
Q.
My dog developed a gastric bloat due to dog food? Why? What should I do to avoid it?
A.
Acute Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) is an over distension of the stomach with gas, fluid, or ingesta combined with rotation of the stomach on its mesenteric axis. The risk factors for Gastric Dilation (bloat) include increasing age, large-breed size, deep and narrow anatomic thorax, family history of GDV, a nervous temperament, and a faster speed of eating.

There is no evidence that suggests that pet food (dry or wet) is the sole cause of GDV in dogs. Amongst other factors, feeding from a raised food bowl, feeding once daily, and feeding a large volume of food per meal have been associated with an increased risk of GDV. Therefore, feeding frequently in small quantities is recommended in addition to controlling the above-mentioned factors.
Q.
What is the proper age for mating in male dogs?
A.
The age of mating depends on size of dog or breed.

Small and medium sized breeds generally mature by the age of 6-9 months. Large breeds mature at around 12-16 months of age. Giant breeds take longer to mature – at about 14-24 months.
Q.
How to manage overweight/obese pets?
A.
What you must remember is that the diet you feed your dog should be complete and balanced. This means that his balanced diet will provide all the required nutrients and meet the energy demand, regardless of life stage or lifestyle. Homemade diets depending on the sources, vary with respect to quality, digestibility, nutrient content and therefore are not balanced and complete.

If your dog is overweight it will affect his life in many ways. He will be less active and may be prone to developing health problems like arthritis, heart problems, diabetes etc.

Any diet should ensure that weight loss is steady, ensuring that your dog is not deficient in any nutrients or doesn’t remain hungry.

Your vet can advise you about appropriate food and intake amount. A target weight should be set for your dog, which must be initially targeted to lose 15% of his current body weight. If more weight needs to be lost then next target should be a further 15% reduction and so on, until the ideal weight has been achieved.

Your dog will also need to increase his exercise. Please contact your vet for further details including a correct diet. Read here about a few more tips on managing your dog’s weight.
Q.
How do I brush my dog's teeth?
A.
Start by putting a small amount of the toothpaste on your finger, and gently rubbing it on your dog's front teeth and gums. After a few times, switch from a finger to a dog's or a child's toothbrush - one with soft, rounded bristles. Start by brushing the front teeth only, with a downward motion on the top teeth and upward motion on the lower teeth — the same way we brush our own teeth.

After your dog gets used to this new activity, you can start brushing the teeth further back in the mouth, brushing the premolars, and then the molars in a similar fashion.

If you still want to know more about oral care for your dog, read our article here
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