Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Ingredients

HAVE YOU CHANGED THE PROFESSIONAL+ FORMULAS?

Yes. Our formulas now are grain-free. Like before, they contain no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors. To support digestive health, we include K9 Strain® Probiotics, developed specifically for canines. The premium ingredients in our formulas include cage-free chicken or pasture-raised lamb as protein sources.

I CAN'T FIND THE PROFESSIONAL+ FORMULA I WAS FEEDING MY DOG. DID YOU CHANGE THE NAME OR DISCONTINUE IT?

We changed the names of three formulas to reflect the ingredient changes in our new grain-free formulations. The protein source in each of the four formulas remains the same.

WHY DID YOU CHANGE THE FORMULAS?

Diamond Pet Foods listened to your feedback and evolved our formulas to better meet the needs of your pets. The starting point for the enhanced formulas is a change to grain-free.

ARE THERE ANY NEW INGREDIENTS IN THE CHICKEN & PEA FORMULA FOR DOGS?

Yes, we added premium ingredients, including lentils and sweet potatoes, to replace the grains that were in the previous formula.

WHY DID YOU CHANGE THE NAME OF THE FOOD TO LAMB & LENTILS FORMULA FOR ADULT DOGS?

We changed the name to reflect the changes in ingredients and help you easily identify what the formula is and what it contains. “Lamb & Brown Rice Formula for Adult Dogs” was revised to “Lamb & Lentils Formula for Adult Dogs.”

ARE THERE ANY NEW INGREDIENTS IN THE LAMB & LENTILS FORMULA FOR ADULT DOGS?

Yes, we added premium ingredients including lentils and sweet potatoes to replace the grains that were in the previous formula. We also added taurine, an amino acid, and salmon oil as a source of DHA.

WHY DID YOU CHANGE THE NAME OF THE FOOD TO CHICKEN & LENTILS FORMULA FOR SENIOR DOGS?

We changed the name to reflect the changes in ingredients and help you easily identify what the formula is and what it contains. “Chicken & Oatmeal Formula for Senior Dogs” was revised to “Chicken & Lentils Formula for Senior Dogs.”

ARE THERE ANY NEW INGREDIENTS IN THE CHICKEN & LENTILS FORMULA FOR SENIOR DOGS?

Yes, we added premium ingredients, including lentils and sweet potatoes, to replace the grains that were in the previous formula.

WHY DID YOU CHANGE THE NAME OF THE FOOD TO CHICKEN & LENTILS FOR LARGE BREED ADULT DOGS?

We changed the name to reflect the changes in ingredients and help you easily identify what the formula is and what it contains. Chicken & Pea Formula for Large Breed Adult Dogs” now is “Chicken & Lentils Formula for Large Breed Adult Dogs.”

ARE THERE ANY NEW INGREDIENTS IN THE CHICKEN & LENTILS FORMULA FOR LARGE BREED DOGS?

Yes, we added premium ingredients, including lentils and sweet potatoes, to replace the grains that were in the previous formula.

WHAT ARE PROBIOTICS AND WHY ARE THEY IMPORTANT?

Like humans, dogs and cats have both “good” and “bad” bacteria in their digestive systems. Probiotics help to maintain balance in the intestines by suppressing bad bacteria. This helps support healthy digestion and a healthy immune system.

WHAT ARE K9 STRAIN® PROBIOTICS?

K9 Strain® Probiotics, developed by Diamond Pet Foods for their canine formulas, are derived from bacteria strains naturally found in the canine GI tract and are proven to survive in your dog’s system.

ARE PROBIOTICS SAFE FOR PETS?

Yes, the probiotics are processed under strict quality and safety standards. Each strain is purified and guaranteed to be free of harmful pathogens or other contaminants.

DID YOU INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF PROBIOTICS IN THESE FORMULAS?

No. The guarantee has increased from 1,000,000 CFU/lb. minimum to 80,000,000 CFU/lb. minimum after research and testing showed a higher amount of live probiotics in the Professional+ formulas.

WHERE DO THE PROTEINS IN YOUR FOODS COME FROM?

The amount of probiotics in our formulas have not changed. Instead, our research and testing have showed us higher amounts of the viable probiotics’ colony forming units (CFU) are surviving and can be guaranteed per pound.

WHY DO YOU PUT SALT IN YOUR DIETS?

The answer to this question is simple! Dogs require it in their diet. Sodium and chloride are important minerals for dogs, especially for young puppies. Dietary sodium must be at a minimum of 0.3% on a dry matter basis for growth and reproduction for dogs. If we didn’t add salt, the food would not meet these minimum requirements. For adults, the minimum required is much lower. However, there is some research that supports higher “recommended” amounts. For adult to middle-aged dogs, that amount is 0.2–0.4% on a dry matter basis. As dogs reach senior status, the recommended amount drops slightly to 0.15–0.35%. Although our diets are not “salt restricted” like some prescription formulations, they are certainly not high in salt.

Feeding and Nutrition

WHAT WILL THESE CHANGES MEAN FOR MY PET? DO I NEED TO GRADUALLY TRANSITION TO THE REVISED FORMULAS?

We recommend transitioning pets from their current formula to the new formula by adding a small amount of the new food to the current food over a seven- to 10-day period, gradually increasing the amount of new food per feeding while decreasing the amount of the current formula.

DO THESE INGREDIENT CHANGES AFFECT HOW MUCH I SHOULD FEED MY DOG?

Yes. Please follow the revised feeding guidelines found on the Professional+ package.

IS IT OK TO SWITCH BETWEEN FORMULAS?

Many pets enjoy eating more than one Professional+ formula. To avoid digestive upset, we recommend limiting your rotation to two formulas and gradually mixing foods over a couple of weeks. When you transition between formulas, slowly reduce the amount of the old formula and increase the new formula.

THE OLD FORMULA IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE AT MY STORE SO I CAN'T TRANSITION MY PET GRADUALLY. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you can’t slowly transition your pet to the new formula, we recommend slowing down the eating process for one week. Try these tips:

  • Decrease the amount of food per feeding and increase the number of feedings per day.
  • Spread the kibble out on a cookie sheet or put a baseball in the feeding dish with the kibble to slow down their food intake.

WHICH OF YOUR FOODS WOULD YOU RECOMMEND FOR MY PET?

Each formula has a unique benefit for your pet, and we can help you select a formula. Please call 1-800-977-8797 to speak with one of our team members, and they will be happy to assist you. Our product specialists are available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT. You also can email our team at customerservice@diamondpet.com.

WHO DETERMINES THE NUTRITIONAL CONTENT OF YOUR FOODS? DO YOU WORK WITH A NUTRITIONIST?

All formulas produced by Diamond Pet Foods are developed by a team that includes nutritionists, research and development, and product development specialists.

HOW MUCH FOOD SHOULD I FEED MY PET?

There are feeding guides on every package. It is important to remember that the amounts listed on the package are expressed in the number of 8 ounce measuring cups (a standard kitchen measuring cup, not the Big Gulp® cup you found in your cabinet) to be fed per day. So, if it says 2 cups in the chart and you feed your dog twice daily, each meal should be 1 cup.

However, each dog is different. Do you have a friend who can eat everything and never gain an ounce? How about a friend who complains that she looks at food and gains weight? Well, people have different metabolic rates and so do dogs. They also have different activity levels. Feeding guides on pet food packaging designed for adult dogs use one equation, figuring that most adult pets are “moderately” active. Some dogs will need more food than the moderately active adult because of higher activity levels and some dogs will need less food because of their “couch puptato” lifestyle.

Puppies have a much higher energy requirement per pound of body weight than adult dogs do. Very young puppies need more calories than older puppies as well. So, if you have two puppies that both weigh 10 pounds but one is 10 weeks and the other is 10 months, you will find that the 10 week old puppy actually will need to be fed quite a bit more food than your 10 month old puppy.

Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s body condition. It is best for your pet’s health to be kept in lean body condition. Feed the amount of food that keeps your dog lean and fit, and remember it might not be the amount that is listed on the package. If you find that you are feeding less than half of what is recommended on the package for your dog’s age and weight, you likely need to consult your veterinarian and consider a switch to a lower calorie formula.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FEED MY PET?

This is a common question, and really a matter of personal preference, but also depends on your pet’s age and lifestyle.

Starting with dogs: If you have a very young puppy (less than 4 months of age), consider 3 to 4 meals per day. For toy breed puppies (5-10 pounds full-grown), you should feed 3-4 meals per day until they are 10-12 months of age to prevent hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. Between 4 and 6 months, feed 2-3 meals per day and after 6 months, feed 2 meals per day.

Some people leave food out all the time. However, in multi-dog households one dog may eat too much food and become overweight. Often pet owners compensate for the empty bowl by adding more total volume, so the “healthy eater” of the group will still eat too much but now the more timid eaters can get the proper amount. This method may also not reveal if a dog is not eating well, especially if you are using a feeder that holds multiple days’ worth of food. Illnesses may go undetected for some time because you are unable to see that your dog is not eating well.

One large meal a day works fine for many dogs. However, large and giant breeds that are prone to bloat should be fed multiple smaller meals per day (at least two). One large meal tends to stretch the ligaments that support the stomach, and over time, this relaxed ligament will make the stomach more likely to twist if the dog bloats. Bloating is bad, but bloating and twisting is much worse.

 A final reason for feeding two meals per day is for those dogs that need medication on a daily or twice daily basis (for example: dog with diabetes needs insulin injections twice daily). When you are feeding two meals per day, it is easy to time the medication with the meal, which is some cases is a requirement.

IS IT OK FOR ME TO FEED MY PET TABLE SCRAPS?

It is best if you do not feed your pet table scraps. Some individuals choose to add human foods to their pets diet for variety, freshness and flavor. This is not necessary, but is not necessarily harmful as long as you choose wisely and your pet still eats adequate amounts of a complete and balanced diet so that nutritional deficiencies do not result.

The problem with table scraps is really the way that we cook. We often use seasonings that are too strong or even potentially harmful to pets. Garlic and onion are two things that pets should not consume. The way we prepare our meats is also problematic because of the high fat content. When veterinarians suggest feeding meat to a dog because of an upset stomach, we always say that the meat should be boiled. This gets rid of most of the fat in the meat. Rarely do we boil meat that we are going to be eating for our evening meal.

Feeding from the table encourages begging during meal times. Feed your pet his own healthy meal during your regular mealtime. This will ensure that he is satisfied and will not be begging for a morsel from the table. Feeding table scraps also encourages finicky behavior. Your pet may begin “holding out” for the stuff that comes from the table. You may interpret this as your pet not enjoying his food as much when this is not really the case, he just is not as hungry because you are feeding him from the table and he knows he might get something if he just skips that kibble in the bowl.

Do yourself and your pet a favor and feed a healthy, balanced diet that is designed for pets and stick with it. If you want to give a treat, try a spoon of canned food, a treat or biscuit, or even a dental treat to help keep the teeth clean.

WHAT DOES THE GUARANTEED ANALYSIS TELL ME? 

The guaranteed analysis gives you a lot of information about what is inside the bag of pet food. Once you understand how to read it, you will be much better equipped to compare different varieties of pet food.

By AAFCO regulations, the guaranteed analysis is only required to list four nutrients: crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber and moisture. However, many pet food companies add additional guarantees not only to provide you with more information about the food, but also as a mark of quality. The more things that are guaranteed, the more things that regulatory agencies can test for and fault a company if they do not meet the levels on the label. Added guarantees mean that the company is working hard to manufacture a precise formulation each and every time.

The first nutrient listed is crude protein. This is a measurement of the guaranteed minimum level of protein in the food. By AAFCO regulations, a diet that states a guarantee of 21% protein, may have no less than 20.4% protein. There is not a specified maximum, but the protein is typically within 2% of the target. So a 21% protein formula would range from 21% to 23%. Your dog will benefit from a food that has protein from animal protein sources. After you check the level of protein, look at the ingredient listing to see where that protein is coming from.

The next listing is crude fat. This is also a minimum guarantee, with a 10% allowed variance. If the guaranteed minimum fat content is 15%, the minimum allowed by AAFCO would be 13.5%. Most foods very closely target the fat level, so expect very little variance in this nutrient.

Next comes crude fiber. This is typically pretty low, 2-3%, and is a maximum level. In hairball formulas for cats and weight loss formulas, you will usually see a higher level of fiber, usually 6-8%. Higher fiber formulas will result in larger stools than low fiber formulas, but this is to be expected.

Finally, you will see the moisture guarantee. In dry formulas, this is typically 8-12% maximum and in canned formulas it is typically 75 – 85%.

Protein and fat will show the widest variance between different types of pet foods. Cat foods have higher protein than most dog foods. Formulas specifically designed for athletes, puppies, and low carbohydrate formulas for dogs will have high protein content and often high fat content as well.

 

WHY IS THE FOOD ONLY AVAILABLE IN ONE SIZE BAG?

In order to best serve our customers, we have chosen a 28lb bag for the Professional+ formulas. We have found this bag size is most convenient for pet owners who have a variety of different sized dogs. To maintain our promise of quality nutrition at an affordable price, we have selected one conveniently sized bag with an amount that will meet the needs of any sized dog.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO STORE MY PET FOOD?

Our foods remain freshest when stored in a cool, dry location.The food can be stored in the bag, but make sure to protect it from pests that may be attracted to the food (or hungry pets that may take an extra meal). Many customers choose to dump the food into a bin or container. This is certainly a reasonable way to store the food, but make sure to follow these simple steps:

1. Finish all of the food from one bag before adding another bag into the bin. If you have a small amount left, you can transfer it to a plastic bag so that you can proceed to step #2.
2. Wash the bin with hot, soapy water and dry thoroughly before adding a new bag of food.
3. Cut out the production code and “best before” information from the bag and tape it to the top of the bin so that if you have any questions or concerns, you can provide this information to the customer support department.
4. Store the bin in a cool, dry location. Extreme heat can cause the food to spoil and excessive moisture can lead to mold growth in the bin.

ARE YOUR FOODS HYPOALLERGENIC?

We get this question quite often and the answer is no. There are very few truly hypoallergenic diets in the marketplace, and the ones that are out there are available only through veterinarians. Limited ingredient diets are another story. Limited antigen refers to a diet that contains only one protein source and one carbohydrate source. Usually, the protein source is something unique that many pets have not been exposed to before. An example would be a fish and potato diet.

Although we do not have any hypoallergenic diets, or true limited antigen diets, sometimes changing to a diet that contains different ingredients than the one you are currently feeding can eliminate some skin problems. All of our foods contain omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, nutrients that help protect the health of the skin and help decrease inflammation. Talk to your veterinarian to determine which type of diet is best for your pet.

DO YOU HAVE A VEGETARIAN DIET?

At this time, we do not have any vegetarian diets. We believe strongly in the value of high-quality animal proteins for optimal health and lean body condition. The blend of amino acids that are found in animal protein sources better meet the nutritional requirements for dogs. This does not mean that a balanced vegetarian diet is not possible, but we have decided to stick with quality animal protein sources for now.

WHY ARE CARBOHYDRATES IMPORTANT?

Carbohydrates are one of the six nutritional components of food. The others are water or moisture, fat, protein, ash and fiber. The sum of all these components must equal 100%. Carbohydrates provide energy for your pet. There are fast-burning sources of carbohydrates that provide quick energy (think sugar) or slow-burning sources of carbohydrates that provide long-lasting energy (think carb loading before the big race). Now, pets really do not have a requirement for carbohydrates in their diet except for pregnant or nursing dogs. However, if you do not have any carbohydrates in your food, this nutrient must be replaced by something else, and it would be impossible to make a dry pet food without ANY carbohydrates.

HOW MUCH WATER DOES MY PET NEED? 

Your pet should have free access to fresh water at all times. Most pets will drink the amount of water that they need. In very rare situations, dogs can develop a behavioral condition called psychogenic polydipsia. This simply means that a dog drinks excessive amounts of water with no apparent medical cause. This can be a real challenge to diagnose and treat, so if you suspect this, make sure to work very closely with your veterinarian.

Pets that are outdoors or very active will drink more water than pets that live indoors or lead a sedentary lifestyle. Monitor how much water your pet typically drinks. If he is suddenly licking the bowl dry faster than before, a visit to your veterinarian is important. An increase in water consumption can be an indication of many different health problems including: diabetes, kidney disease or even infections.

DOES THE HEAT OF THE COOKING DAMAGE THE NUTRIENTS IN YOUR FOOD?

Yes and no. It is true that some of the nutrients in the food are diminished by the cooking process. Because of this, we add higher than necessary levels of these particular nutrients so that the finished product provides optimal nutrition and meets our guarantees.

The food must be cooked under certain conditions (including heat of approximately 200 degrees) to guarantee that the starches in the food are gelatinized. This means that the chemical structure of the starches (or carbohydrates) in the food are altered so that they can be digested by the animal eating the food.

While there are some nutritionists who believe that raw foods are the only way to feed ourselves and our pets, we know that you can provide your pet excellent nutrition by feeding a high-quality, convenient dry product like ours.

Company

WHERE ARE YOUR FOODS MADE?

We have five manufacturing facilities, all located in the United States. One is in northern California, one in central California, one in Missouri, one in South Carolina and one in Arkansas.

Tour our facility to see how our pet food is made.

Health and Lifestyle

MY PETS ARE EATING GRASS. WHY?

Dogs will often “graze” as a normal behavior. If dogs are graze to the point that they vomit, you should contact your veterinarian. Your pet might be suffering from an upset stomach.

MY PET HAS DIARRHEA EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE. COULD IT BE THE FOOD I AM FEEDING? 

Diarrhea or soft stools is a common complaint from pet owners, especially dog owners who walk their dogs on a leash and cat owners who are responsible for cleaning out the litter box. Dietary intolerances can certainly cause digestive upset, leading to vomiting and/or diarrhea. However, if your pet is not tolerating something in their regular diet, you would expect to see signs of digestive upset everyday, not every once in a while.

For dogs that have occasional diarrhea, the most likely culprit is something they ate that was not part of their regular diet. This could be a treat or it could be something tasty that they found in the yard or on your walk around the neighborhood. It is impossible to prevent a dog from EVER picking something up and swallowing it that they should not. Some dogs do this very infrequently but some dogs do this on a daily basis. If the diarrhea occurs every time you feed a certain type of treat or a certain type of people food, try stopping this particular item and see if the problem stops.

If your dog seems to occasional suffer from a bout of diarrhea, talk to your veterinarian about adding a probiotic to your routine. Probiotics are healthy bacteria that support good digestive health. Yogurt is an example of a food that contains probiotics. Plain, nonfat yogurt added to your pet’s dish once in a while may work wonders (not all pets tolerate yogurt and this is not recommended for all types of pets so talk to your vet first).

CAN TOO MUCH PROTEIN CAUSE KIDNEY PROBLEMS?

Absolutely not. Dogs that have been diagnosed with a kidney problem should be treated with a prescription diet (low protein content) that is designed specifically for these animals. This will help control the advancement of the disease and likely help the pet survive longer.

This does not mean that a normal healthy pet, even a senior pet, should eat a diet that is restricted in protein – that diet does not prevent kidney disease.

In recent studies, it has been proven that protein restriction for senior animals can lead to muscle wasting, protein deficiency and shortening their normal lifespan. We are starting to see diets for senior pets that have the same level or even higher levels of protein than diets designed specifically for adult dogs.

Choosing a diet that contains healthy animal protein sources will help keep your pet healthy and in ideal body condition for a longer, happier life.

DO I NEED TO SUPPLEMENT MY PET'S DIET?

Do you need to? No. All of our pet foods are complete and balanced. If you want to, though, you can – with caution. In most cases, supplements will do no harm. However, it is important to remember that human supplements may contain things that are harmful to pets, and you should always check with your veterinarian prior to using any supplement for your pet.

Sometimes veterinarians will prescribe supplements to treat specific conditions. It is becoming more common that veterinarians turn to natural therapies, either in combination with traditional therapies or alone, to treat different conditions. One example would be the use of probiotic when an antibiotic is prescribed. Probiotics add back “good” bacteria to the digestive system to keep it healthy. Many antibiotics will also kill the good bacteria in the digestive system, leading to diarrhea. Probiotics, when administered at least one hour before or after antibiotics, will help to minimize the digestive upset that can be associated with the use of antibiotics.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DOG IS CONSIDERED A LARGE BREED?

Typically, dogs that weigh more than 50-55 lbs. are considered large breed dogs.

HOW CAN I TELL IF MY PET IS TOO FAT OR TOO THIN?

Body condition score is now more commonly used for assessing whether a pet is too fat or too thin. It is not very common that we see a pet that is too thin, as the obesity epidemic in pets is mimicking that of the human population in the United States. Nearly half of all pets that are seen in veterinary clinics are overweight or obese.

If you are concerned that your pet is too thin, please contact your veterinarian right away. To determine whether your pet is too thin, look at them from the top and the side. If you can see the outline of each rib, your pet is too thin. Also, if you can see the hip bones when looking down on your pet, this is also an indication that your pet is too thin. If you are seeing these things, but your pet has a large belly, there is most likely a medical problem that needs to be addressed immediately. In this case, your pet’s weight may be normal, but the body condition score is too low.

A normal, healthy pet will have a nice waistline and a tucked-up abdomen. From the side, your pet’s belly should go up at the end of the ribs. You might be able to see the last rib and this is OK, but you should not see more. If you don’t see any ribs, this is probably OK too; just rub your hand gently across your pet’s ribcage. The ribs should be easy to feel, with very little fat between the ribs and the skin. From the top, your pet’s waist is visible. Between the rib cage and the hips should be a nice indentation. Unless your dog is very furry, you will probably be able to see the outlines of the major muscles in their legs.

If you think your pet is too fat, he probably is. If you have to press your hand against your pet’s side to feel the ribs, there is too much fat. Also, if you look at your pet from the side and the abdomen does not go up at the end of the ribcage, there is too much fat in the belly. And finally, when looking from the top, if your pet is a solid sausage with no waistline, he is too fat.

Being overweight is not only a burden to your pet’s bones and joints, but is also a health hazard. Dogs that are overweight are more likely to suffer from pancreatitis and heart disease than dogs that are at a healthy weight. Research has proven that dogs live longer when they are kept at an ideal lean body condition than if they are allowed to be overweight.

Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s body condition score and start making an effort to get your pet to the ideal lean condition.