Frequently asked questions
All you want to know about the production and ingredients of our dry food.
What is crude protein?
Crude protein is the total protein content of all ingredients. In the wild, dogs will mainly eat small animals which contain protein. We believe in emulating nature and because of this, the protein in our food is mainly animal protein, as this is easier for the dog to digest and has a higher biological value. We do not use any proteins, which are difficult to digest such as soya, wheat or derivatives such as feathers and hooves. Low value proteins which are not species-appropriate can damage organs and weaken the metabolism. We do not mix any raw fat into our products as it is not very appetizing. The fat in our product comes in a natural form, directly from the ingredients, and is cold-pressed.
What is crude fibre?
Crude fibres are very important for the digestion and can be found in our specially selected ingredients (see composition). In the wild, a dog will eat a lot of fibre by eating grasses, leaves, berries and the stomach content of its prey. Fibre is important for a healthy digestion and also helps to empty the anal glands.
Fibre deficiency can result in a toxin build-up in the digestive system, which can ultimately be responsible for many illnesses. We do not use fibres from brans, pulses, bread and peelings, as they are not suitable for dogs and can cause an irritation of the intestines.
Why do you add in ash?
It is a legal requirement that the crude ash value must be shown on any food product and in dog food, ash is not like it sounds. We do not add ash. This is an analytical value which is given after combustion. Contrary to what you may have heard, it’s not a filler intentionally used to dilute a recipe. Ash is what’s left over after any food has been completely incinerated. In other words, if you were to completely incinerate a can of dog food, all three major nutrients (protein, fat and carbohydrates) would burn away, leaving just the food’s minerals behind. Mineral nutrients (like calcium, phosphorous, zinc, iron, etc.) make up ash, the ultimate residue of food combustion. Our ash content is rather high, because our ingredients contain many naturally bound minerals. We do not add any earth minerals (such as stone meal or feed lime) because these minerals are difficult for dogs to digest and could result in health issues such as kidney stones.
There are many sources of calcium. Which one is in your food?
We do not use cheap sources of calcium such as feed lime or calcium carbonate as these would, amongst other side effects, bind the special stomach acid in dogs. This again would hamper the protein break-down. In the wild, dogs eat a lot of calcium by consuming the bones and ligaments of its prey. The dog needs this amount of calcium in its diet and its digestive juices breaks it down without any problems. We only use organically bound calcium naturally present in prey, which we get from ground bones and ligaments. Bones which are not ground and meant for human consumption are not suitable for dogs because they can result in constipation and damage to the intestines.
Do you use artificial Vitamin K3?
No! Meat, fish and green herbs are rich in vitamin K and our food contains a high quantity of these products. Grain (or corn) contains very little, but, because we are not using very much grain in our ‘as close to nature’ dog food, we do not need to add any vitamins. Analytical reports (available to all) show, that our food has a very high content of vitamin K.
Why does my dog drink more with this food?
The most common cause is overfeeding in the beginning.
If you are switching from a dry (extruded) food and your dog consumes the same volume of cold pressed food, he will be consuming almost double the amount as before. This is because our food is carefully and gently pressed and not blown-up like the extruded food. (This is demonstrated by placing a sample of both foods in water. The extruded food, like popcorn, will float, whilst, our food sinks to the bottom.) If your dog eats double the amount of food he also will drink the double amount of water.
If you are currently feeding a wet food your dog will already be consuming a high percentage of moisture in its meal. Wet food can contain up to 80% moisture. Our food contains only about 11% moisture and it is therefore normal that your dog will drink more to start with. If you keep to the recommended feeding guide lines (feed only 50% for the first 3 days) your dog will drink normally.
My vet says, that too much protein is unhealthy for my dog!
Because dogs are predators, they are able to process large amounts of protein unlike humans. For example the digestive system of a mouse is only the size of a thimble, the rest (meat, bones, ligaments, offal and coat) are protein compounds. These natural proteins are biologically very important and easy to digest. A dog’s digestive system can easily break these proteins down into smaller amino acids.
Inferior proteins, however, are difficult for the dog to digest because his digestive system does not recognize them. For example; vegetable protein extracts (90 % protein), greaves or dried skin (50% protein), dried semi-skimmed milk (36% protein) dried yeast (47% protein) wheat gluten (70% protein) feather meal (80% protein). Here your vet is right in warning you against feeding too much of these proteins. This is why we do not use any of these products in Markus Muehle dog food (see composition)
Feeding too much inferior protein (non-essential amino acids) can cause organ stress (especially to the liver and kidneys) and also can result in heart problems. If there are too many protein bi-products in the blood (ammoniac, uric acid, keratin etc.) the heart has to work harder to pump the blood through the body.