Why does my kibble vary in color?
Natural Balance pet foods contain a large variety of meats and vegetables, all of which are given to natural color variations. For example, there are many varieties of potatoes including the Russet Burbank (long russet), the White rose, Katahdin and Red Pontiac. The color of their skin ranges from bright orange, creamy yellow to white, off white, buff color and red. (We use the whole potato since the skins are rich in vitamins, minerals, trace elements and they provide a natural source of fiber.)
Furthermore, the color of many vegetables depends on the geographic area in which they are grown and the method of harvesting. The same varieties of vegetables grown in Idaho, Maine, California or Washington will vary in color.
The color of meat also can and does vary greatly. All of us are quite familiar with the difference in “white” and “dark” portions of turkey. This color difference also holds true for meat from mammals.
One of the easiest ways to overcome the problem of color variations is to include color stabilizing chemicals and/or, more commonly used, is the addition of a dye to mask the natural variations. Using dyes does insure that the product has the same cosmetic appearance from batch to batch regardless of the color of the actual ingredients, but is there a benefit?
While coloring agents are thought not to pose a health hazard, we at Natural Balance feel that there is absolutely no reason to include these dyes or chemicals in any of our products. Edith van Marthens DVM
How is your food for All Life Stages? How do you know puppies are getting what they need?
In Nature, your pets would not have the choice of puppy or kitten formulas; they would simply live on a diet of mostly meat and some grain. In a natural free environment, animals instinctively eat more or less, depending on their age and activity level. Puppies will require a higher caloric intake than an adult, therefore we suggest feeding puppies up to 6 months of age two or three times a day. Natural Balance Products are scientifically formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition for all stages of your pet's life. We recommend that you do not add vitamins, minerals or any other supplements, except upon the advice of a veterinarian.
How much food should I feed to my puppy?
Because puppies are growing quickly their bodies need extra nourishment. All Natural Balance formulas provide the ingredients essential for strong growth and long-term health management. To determine the appropriate amount, use the adult daily serving suggestion for your puppy’s current weight and double the feeding amount suggested. For puppies six months and younger, we recommend splitting the daily amount into three meals per day. As your puppy gets closer to their adult size, their energy requirement will decrease, at which point you can adjust their daily feeding amounts accordingly.
How do I transition my pet from their current diet to a new Natural Balance® Formula?
When switching your pet’s diet, we recommend transitioning from the current diet to any new Natural Balance® Formula over a 5-7 day period. Replace 25% of the current diet with new Natural Balance® Formula each day until they are fully transitioned. If you do not have any of your current formula to mix, reduce the amount of formula fed for the first few days, feeding smaller more frequent meals and increase over time. If your pet is more sensitive to change, please allow 10-14 days to fully transition onto the new formula.
Do you offer a Frequent Buyer Program?
Yes. Our Natural Balance Loyalty Program is a Buy 12 Get 1 Free Program directly through participating independent retailers. Your participating store will issue you an NB Loyalty envelope with which they store your UPC’s from the bags of dry food that you purchase. Once you get to your 12th purchase, your next purchase is free. Guidelines for the program are as follows: To qualify, all twelve purchases must be the same size. (e.g., 10 lb bags) It is okay to rotate formulas, as long as the bags are the same size. For dog products, bag sizes of 10 lb or larger qualify. For cat products, bag sizes of 4 lb or larger qualify. The envelope must include the 13th Proof-of-Purchase (from the free bag) when it is sent in for redemption by your store. The envelopes must be redeemed within 14 months of the initial purchase. All of the purchases must be made through the same retailer who issued you the envelope.
What is your 100% Satisfaction Guarantee?
We know that one type of food won't work for all animals, so we keep working to give you the best possible choices in every category. If for any reason you are not satisfied, simply bring your receipt and unused portion back to the place of purchase for a full refund or exchange.
Why is Taurine in your dog food? Isn't it just for cats?
New studies have shown that extra Taurine is imperative for Cardiovascular Health in dogs, especially in Large and Giant Breeds. Natural Balance® has always added Taurine to our Ultra Premium Dog Food.
Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is one of the most common acquired cardiovascular diseases in dogs. In cats, a diet deficient in taurine clearly results in DCM, but in dogs, the need for dietary taurine has not been generally recognized because dogs are known to be able to synthesize taurine from the sulfur amino acids cysteine and methionine.
What is DCM?
DCM stands for dilated cardiomyopathy and is a type of heart disease some dogs can develop. This disease is characterized by the heart and its chambers becoming dilated making it harder for the heart to pump which can lead to a buildup of fluids in the chest. The cause of DCM has been investigated by the FDA and If you have questions about DCM, we recommend speaking to your pet’s veterinarian.
What has the FDA said about DCM?
In their most recent update, the FDA indicated they have not reached a conclusion on the role diet plays in these cases, or DCM in general, and is not recommending pet owners change their dogs’ diet. They have noted that they were investigating DCM in breeds of dogs that are not typically disposed to DCM. The FDA stated that these dogs were largely eating foods containing legumes like peas or lentils, other legume seeds, or potatoes as main ingredients.
While any amount of cases are too many, the American Veterinary Medical Association estimates there are 77 million pet dogs in the United States. From January 1, 2014 to April 30, 2019, the FDA received 524 reports of DCM (515 canine reports, 9 feline reports) as part of their ongoing research. Tens of millions of dogs have been eating food without developing DCM and Natural Balance® was named in less than 3% of these noted cases.
What is Natural Balance® doing about this report?
As pet owners ourselves, we want to make sure all dogs are happy and healthy. Like many in the pet community, we continue to review available research on this topic and work closely with industry partners and the FDA to identify a root cause. It is not clear what role diet plays in these cases, but the industry and the FDA are actively researching. We understand you may have concerns about the FDA’s ongoing research into the cause of an increase in heart disease among dogs. At this time, no conclusion has been reached by the FDA, and based on the information we have reviewed with vets having expertise in animal nutrition, it is not clear what role diet plays. Our in-house team is working with industry partners and the FDA and we’re hopeful this collaboration will identify a conclusive root cause.
Does this affect both dogs and cats?
The FDA’s recent research has mainly focused on dogs.
Can I still feed my pet grain free food and treats?
The FDA has not provided any guidance to pet owners to avoid specific treats and at this time is not advising dietary changes based solely on the information gathered so far. We are working alongside the FDA to further research this increase in heart disease occurrences. As always, any decisions we make with our food will be to ensure all dogs being fed our products are happy and healthy.