Nutrition for Dogs and Cats

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition” – Thomas Edison

A healthy body requires a vast array of nutrients necessary for all organs and systems to perform optimally. The food an animal eats should provide all of its nutritional needs for all organs and systems of the body to be healthy, work together and function properly. In addition, dogs and cats have specific and different dietary nutrient requirements based on their life stage. 


Food has a threefold purpose: its nourishes, induces growth and gives health protection. A properly functioning body prevents disease, enables growth, heals itself, metabolises food and gives us the ability to interact with the world through the five senses. It is important that the body receives complete nutrition (all its nutritional requirements) for every life stage to maintain all these functions otherwise health conditions and weaknesses become apparent.

Nutritional deficiencies (read our blog for more information on nutritional deficiencies) can give rise to emotional, physical, behavioural and nervous disorders. When an animal is ill a thorough assessment of its diet, environment and medical history is the first step in identifying the underlying cause of the disorder.  Many disorders can be treated and resolved by a change in diet and supplementing with essential fatty acids (EFA's), vitamins and minerals. A natural, species appropriate diet that meets nutritional requirements has a very large and effective influence on disease prevention in animals. 

The National Research Council (NRC) were the first governing body to research and determine nutrient guidelines for cats and dogs, based on sound scientific evidence. There are now three different nutritional guidelines developed for cats and dogs - the National Research Council (NRC), Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and FEDIAF which represents the European pet food industry, to formulate “complete and balanced” pet food. The nutrient recommendations, including daily minimum and recommended allowances, vary from one to another. AAFCO is a private organisation that operates within the guidelines of American legislation and is made up with officials that establish standard ingredient and nutritional requirements for commercial pet foods. Many of the representatives on the AAFCO subcommittees are from the pet food industry. AAFCO is the standard that pet food manufacturers follow to meet the nutrient requirements for their pet food. This is why you see the AAFCO label on commercial pet food, it means the food complies with the AAFCO requirements. However, AAFCO have modified many of the NRC nutrient guidelines to be more friendly to the pet food industry due to the nature of the raw materials used in their commercial production. FEDIAF, which represents the European Pet Food industry is based on the NRC nutrient guidelines but has also been modified to support the pet food industry. When formulating a recipe for a cat or dog, we formulate to the NRC nutrient guidelines for cats and dogs.


We have formulated balanced, fresh food recipes for both private and commercial clients, including Our Patch pet food. We are also honoured to have been asked by Dr. Becker to publish some of our recipes on the Forever Dog website, available here for free:

An animals overall health is vastly improved by modifying its diet and when diagnosed with a specific health condition, modifying your pets diet can actually restore it to full health and wellbeing. During a consult we will discuss how you can supplement your pets current diet for optimum health or assist you in transitioning your pet from a commercial pet food onto a natural, species appropriate diet.

The well-being package includes a nutritional consult with our qualified nutritionist and includes:

  • A one-on-one consultation

  • Assessment of your pets current diet

  • A discussion on what your pet should be eating for optimum health at their stage of life e.g. puppy, adult, senior, pregnant or nursing mom

  • Quantities to feed your pet, as these change from puppy to senior and when pregnant

  • Individual, customised and balanced (to the National Research Councils nutrient guidelines for cats and dogs) fresh, food recipes unique to your pet

  • How to supplement your pets current diet and how to transition to a species appropriate raw diet if desired

  • Follow-up online assessment to monitor your pet's progress on its new diet and adjustments where required

Contact us to book a consultation or to purchase a consultation, click here to go to our store

Dog Nutrution, fresh food meals