Crude ash” is a term required by law, which in essence covers the minerals contained in the food. To simplify it, you may say: crude ash = minerals.
In nutrition, minerals are distinguished between quantity elements like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chlorine, and trace elements such as iron, copper, zinc, manganese, cobalt, selenium, and iodine, to name some of the most important ones. Many times minerals are viewed only in context with the skelleton. However, this is only one of the areas which is applicable for calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Further, quantity elements and trace elements have assigned tasks in the areas of nerves, muscles, water content, blood structure, pigments, as an element of metabolism enzymes and hormons, furtility, etc. Please note that especially because of these wide reaching and complicated tasks, surplus supply or lack or unbalanced supply can cause major problems. Therefore you should restrain from adding any minerals to our products. Otherwise you run a risk of unbalanced minerals and opposite results reached than what you hoped for when adding supplements. Many times those concentrates are given wrongly to prevent skelleton problems, especially when dogs are not fully grown yet. However, this is not neccessary in general.

“Crude fiber” is a term required by law, which in essence covers the fiber originating from plants contained in the food. To simplify it, you may say: crude fiber = fiber of plant origin.

Crude fiber mainly refers to fibery plant elements. Those hard-to-digest plant elements have different physical and chemic characteristics and therefore have an important function in the digestive system of pets. The regulating characteristics may show effects into two different directions. It may be stabilizing the stool or it may be stimulating. You might be familiar with those results from wheat bran, which is important in nutrition for humans. Wheat bran mainly consists of crude fiber. 
The digistion regulating effects are partially due to the ability to absorb water, the greater volume of stool for reasons of hard digestability and the effects on the bacteria cultures. Bacteria cultures refer to important and wanted bacteria which are also found in the colon of healthy animals. To maintain a healthy and natural colon function, cats and dogs need to take in a certain amount of fiber with their food, in a proper manner and in the right amount.

Due to the low digestability of crude fiber the amount of stool is significantly increased. However, a crude fiber content that is too high would influence the digestability and metabolism of other essential nutrients contained in the food. 
We would like to point out that besides crude fiber there is a number of other substances originating from plants that regulate the digestion. Those include resolvable plant substances that cannot be digested by the enzymes in the first part of the colon, but serve as an excellent source of nutrients for the bacteria in the later parts of the colon. This means that by carefully selecting dietary fiber, certain groups of bacteria can be well-supplied, and other bacteria, which for example may cause diaherria, can be slowed down in its development. The end result is a smoother digestion process.

This shows that not only the quantity of fiber matters, but the right combination of different easily and hard-to-digest fiber can make all the difference. So the crude fiber content, as declared, is more of an indicator for hard-to-digest fiber which should only be 2 - 3 % of the food content. Increased amounts, as stated earlier, may reduce the digestability drastically and result in great amounts of stool. Only foods that intentionally indicate a lowered content of energy (for example: Senior for older pets, Light for over weight pets) have a need for an increased crude fiber content. The most common carriers of crude fiber are grain products, vegetables, beet fiber, etc. As you know by now, crude fiber is not critical for the supply with nutrients. Its most important function is to maintain the digestion process and colon function.

“Crude fat” is a term required by law, which in essence covers the fat contained in the food. To simplify it, you may say: crude fat = fat.

Fat is not only an important carrier of energy. Fat elements, the so-called essential fat acids, are similar to vitamins in regard to the building up of skin and fur. They also serve different purposes concerning metabolism and the body defense system. Especially the Ω-3 and Ω-6 fat acids are of great importance. Since essential fat acids are very sensitive and easily damaged, they need to be protected by adding anti oxidants to prevent deficiency symptoms.

“Crude protein” is a term required by law, which in essence covers the proteins contained in the food. To simplify it, you may say: crude fat = fat.

Protein is existent in about every body cell of a dog or cat and has an important part in every life function. Hence, protein is a very important nutrient and deserves special attention in the nutrition. 
But why do dogs and cats react differently to a variety of foods, even though the (crude) protein content as declared on the bag is equal? The answer lies within the composition of the protein used, as well as the digestion and metabolism.

To get a better picture, you may compare the protein structure to a string of pearls, where the pearls depict the so-called amino acids. There is a variety of approximately 20 different types of amino acids. The arrangement of those amino acids on the string of pearls is determined by the DNA and is distinct for every protein particle. This is also true for the body protein of the dog or cat.

Some of the protein elements, the so-called amino acids, need to be contained in the food in a sufficient amount since a dog or cat cannot produce or substitute those amino acids. Understanding that the role of the digestion enzymes is to separate the string of pearls which holds together the amino acids makes it clear that a dog or cat is more relying upon a proper supply of amino acids rather than a supply of protein in general. As stated, the protein is stripped into its elements, the amino acids, when being digested. The amino acids are transferred from the intestines into the blood cycle and being transported to where ever the dog or cat has a need to build up own body protein. To do so, however, only those amino acids that have been taken in are available. The quality of the food determines how well the composition of the amino acids meets the cat’s or dog’s needs. 
The better the protein contained in the food can be used, the lower the protein content of the food may be to sufficiently supply the dog or cat with all the amino acids needed.

Therein lies the foundation for an observation confirmed by breeders: That feeding our products shows greater successes compared to feeding the products of our competitors, even though they might have an increased protein content. 
This is especially valid since surplus protein is being converted into urea which not only leads to a loss of energy but also to an additional load on the metabolism and certain organs (such as liver and kidneys). 
In conclusion, it’s not the amount but the quality of the food protein that makes the difference.

No, we do not use any soy proteins nor soy oils. Soy proteins are comparatively low priced, but they also contain a number of hard to digest carbohydrates, even after proper heating, which may result in soft stool or gas. Most of the soy grown world wide has also been genetically engineered by now.

No. We would like to point out that since 2001, the year of the mad cow disease crisis, it is strictly forbidden to use animal meals or other products (for example: animal fats) from institutes for animal body removal for any feeding purposes. This includes the area of pet food. Since 2002, only animals that have been cleared for human consumption can be used to produce food and pet food. This law is in effect on a EU basis.

We can ensure you that even before these laws have been in effect, at no point in time, we never used any animal meals or fats from institutes for animal body removal for our pet food. We have always been using products from animals purposed for human consumption. So those newer laws have never been any problem for us.

Generally, there is no need to switch up your dog´s or cat´s menue. They can have the same food for years if it is well-balanced and according to the dog's or cat's needs.

 In general, all of our foods can be given to the dog as they are, dry. Fresh water should always be available. The intense processing of the food ensures its optimum digestion. Hence, soaking the food may only result in a better intake by the dog, especially when it the food contains grain flakes and not only extruded food. To promote the acceptance by adding water at room temperature, we recommend 10-15 minutes of soaking time.

However, when preparing food for puppies, it is of high importance to do so properly. Mistakes may rapidly lead to undesired digestion complications. Therefore we recommend the following when preparing food for puppies:

1. Generally, feed only soaked food for the first 2-3 months.

2. The liquids used to soak the puppy food (water or even better, puppy milk) should be heated for the first weeks so that the food mash, at feeding time, has a temperature of 36.0 - 37.0 °C. Be careful to not feed it when too hot!

3. After 3. - 4. weeks of age the puppies should slowly be introduced to puppy food. To do so, soak smaller amounts of food in water or puppy milk an increase the amount of dry food slowly. In general, until the end of the 4th week after birth, you may offer 15 g of food per kg of the puppy's body weight. In the 5th week, we recommend 20 g per kg, in the 6th week up to 30 g per the puppy'sbody weight. Whenever the puppies have a consistent intake of 30-40 g food per kg of body weight, it is easier to loose them off the nutrition provided by their mother. The food quantity should be kept steady for the first days. After about one week, the amount may be increased according to the feeding recommendation provided on the bag.

4. The puppy food should not be given when too mushy or fluid. We suggest 100 ml of fluids (water at room temperature or puppy milk) per 100 g of dry puppy food. Since this mixture will not sufficiently cover the fluids the puppy needs, fresh water should always be available at room temperature.

Due to the ingredients and the manufacturing process used when producing dog food the weight and volume of the food varies. Therefore, when changing to a different type of food, make sure to check on the volume that the used measuring cup actually holds. Then adjust the new food amount accordingly. 
Otherwise there is a risk for surplus or low supply with nutrients for your dog. 
So don't forget to scale the new food!

The amounts stated in the feeding recommendation tables are guidelines and may need to be altered under certain circumstances, depending on accomodation and nature of the dog. In order to define the exact amount, it is important that you carefully observe your dog and maybe even check weigh it. Mature dogs should be fed in a manner that maintains their breed specific weight.

Occasionally, try to feel your dog's ribs with your finger tips. You should be able to feel a thin layer in between the skin and the ribs which would be the ideal. 
If you feel that the skin is just covering bare bones and the overall appearance of your dog is skinny and boney, then this is a sign that your dog has an insufficient supply with nutrients (if it is in good health overall). In this case you should increase the amount of food by about 10 - 15 % or switch to a food with a higher fat content. Keep watching your dog closely and after a while, try to feel it's ribs again. If the desired results have not been reached yet, increase the amount of food again in small steps.

If you can barely feel your dog's ribs or they are lying under an obviously thick layer of fat, your dog is over weight and needs to be put on a diet. Therefore reduce all extra treats and additional portions, even if they seem to be a favor for the dog. If that is not enough, reduce the amount of food given or switch to a low-energy product (light product). Be sure that the product is a light product in actuality. Those products should not contain more than 7 % of fat (crude fat 7 % or even less). The energy content should be lowered by an increased fiber content (crude fiber 4 % or more). 
Your dog over weight, remember that the associated problems are similar to the problems humans face, heart disease, joints and skelleton problems, resistance, and furtility.

For our food we use carrots (dehydrated), peas (dehydrated), leek (dehydrated), and spinach (dehydrated). We purchase from German whole salers.

(We would like to point out that we declare all ingredients in detail on our Premium products so that you may be able to tell easily which raw materials are used in which product.)

"Yeast" is referring to dehydrated yeast from German breweries.

(We would like to point out that we declare all ingredients in detail on our Premium products so that you may be able to tell easily which raw materials are used in which product.)

Yes. And since there are numerous rumours and falsehoods spread about anti-oxidants, here are some interesting facts:

1. What effects do anti-oxydants have?
Dog and cat food needs to contain certain fats and essential fat acids (for example: certain acids and other Ω-3 and Ω-6 fat acids) as well as vitamins (for example: vitamin A, E and K). When stored, those essential nutrients are constantly under circumstances that are harmful and that cause damage. What triggers the damaging of fat acids and vitamins is the oxygen in the air. Heat, ultra violet rays and certain additives accelerate this effect.

Oxygen attacks the fat acids and vitamins, which causes a "radical", which in turn attacks other fat acids and vitamins, and starts the descentegrating process. This process goes until all fat acids and vitamins are destroyed. The results are peroxides, aldehydes, acids and polymerisation products which cause a bad odor and taste of the fats. Eventually, the fat turns bad. In this process there are also by-products produced which are harmful to cats and dogs. Anti-oxidants slow down this process signiticantly. As the name reveals, they work against the oxydation of nutrients, essential fat acids, soon there will be complications in health or growth, fur, skin, shedding of hair or increased infection of skin. Long-term lack of un-saturated fat acids will eventually result in heart problems or infertility. If vitamins are destroyed, typical lack symptoms may show.

In conclusion, vitamins and fat acids are essential for cats and dogs and have to be preserved from oxydation. This is why there is a need for anti-oxydants.

2. Which anti-oxydants are permitted?
Currently, as of spring 2005, there is a variety of 15 different anti-oxydants that are permitted. Common are: BHA (E 320), BHT (E 321), propylgallat (E 310), extracts containing tocopherols of natural origin (E 306), as well as different synthetic tocopherols.

To pass permission, all anti-oxydants had to be tested not only for efficiency but also for potential harmful side effects. The responsible committees of the EU are currently re-evaluating all permitted additives. For this purpose, new or updated proofs are required that show the efficiency and harmlessness of those additives, to improve the safety thereof. This, of course, also includes anti-oxydants. 
Some of these anti-oxydants may show side effects in extremely high dosages. Therefore there are laws in effect which regulate the maximum amounts for pet food, which require such low amounts that even if these amounts are increased multiple times, there would be no danger for the animals at all. Varying by product, some of the anti-oxydants would have to be over-dosed up to 100 times to show any harmful effects on animals. This means that by law there is a huge span for safety purposes to keep the animals from any harmful side effects.Opposing statements that anti-oxydants would enhance the risk of cancer, scientific proof shows that actually the opposite is true. For example, propyl-gallat clearly demotes the tumor-causing substances.

Sadly, certain lobbies however as well as competitiors keep trying to bring anti-oxydants into bad light, where they use statements that the possible side effects of extreme over-dosages would be effective, even when anti-oxydants are used in small dosages common for food. However, this is not true for any of the anti-oxydants. If it was true, those anti-oxydants would have never been permitted for the usage in food to begin with. All additives are being regularly evaluated to ensure the effects and safety of those products. In conclusion, anti-oxydants play an important and essential part, especially when extended preservation of vitamins and essential fat acids is critical.

At bosch Tiernahrung we stabilize the sensitive fats exclusively with a combination of natural tocopherols and propyl-gallat. We mainly put extracts containing tocopherols of natural origin to use which originates from plant fats. The efficiency is being significantly enhanced by a minor addition of propyl-gallat, a component of the group of gallats, which are commonly found in nature found. 
Compared to synthetic anti-oxydants (such as ethoxiquine, BHA or BHT), those substances are easy on the metabolism due to their organic structure. The combination of anti-oxydants we use is complementary, which means that the over all effect for sensitive fats and vitamins is enhanced and better than the single result of the individual anti-oxydant in theory. Tocopherols and proyl-gallat is not only permitted for pet food, but also for certain foods for human consumption. In this context we would like to mention that side effects observed in babies cannot occur in pets, since the reason is related to a differency in the metabolism of human babies younger than 6 months. We do not use the synthetic anti-oxydants BHA and BHT. 
The natural tocopherol is grouped with vitamin E, but it has a significantly smaller vitamin effect compared to the real vitamin E (vitamin E acetate), which in turn has a significantly smaller effect as an anti-oxydant in pet food. Vitamin E has an effect on the metabolism of animals, where in turn the tocopherols, used as an anti-oxydant, have no effect.

In conclusion, we learned that anti-oxydants are important for the quality of the food as well as for the health of the pets and that they are being scientifically researched and not harmful in approved dosages. The negative effects of destroyed vitamins and essential fat acids is by far worse for the health and well-being of our dogs and cats.

On a site note, all anti-oxydants need to be declared on the bag of food. For all bags under 10 kg net it is required by law to only declare "anti-oxydants: EG additives". All sacks over 10 kg net need to state the type of anti-oxydants also, for example: "extracts containing tocopherols of natural origin".

No. Our standpoint on animal testing is clearly defined by our quality management handbook:

The developping of new products is based on projects which rest on a scientifically researched and recognised foundation. We are strictly against any kind of animal testing which majorly affects the life of animals or which is associated with any kind of pain or suffering. Therefore we judge all animal testings associated with torture and pain that recently became public news and in which sadly pet food companies had been involved also. 
In our opinion, the tests, pain and suffering is in most cases in no relation to the results and consequences for which purpose the tests are taking place. Sometimes there is even an impression that tests are misused as a cover to promote marketing statements.

Of course, our products have to be "evaluated" through animals, in order to see the influence of e.g. new raw materials or a new manufacturing process on the quality of our products. Dogs and cats are living creatures, and reactions cannot be foretold. Therefore, when developping new products, there might be an acceptance test which only proves the acceptance and digestability of the food. The manners of intaking food, stool consistancy, fur quality and, if applicable, the over all development and condition of the animals is monitored by the pet owner. Those acceptance tests take place in either private house holds or in proper kennels and are administered exclusively by the owner himself. Since it's in the best interest of the pet owner to keep inconveniences from his pet, the acceptance tests we use have nothing in common with animal testing.

Yes. And since there are numerous rumours and falsehoods spread about K3 vitamins, here are some interesting facts:

For years there's been discussions about the harmful side effects of vitamin K3. Therefore, we would like to inform you that those discussions, based on our current information, have no scientific foundation at all. Up to this day there hasn't been any scientific research to prove any harmful side effects of vitamin K3 when used in dosages common in pet food. All hints derive from the same source. Sadly this kind of wrong information is intentionally spread by self-made "experts" and picked up by the press quickly, without carefully checking the original sources and the actual truth of the matter.

The veterinary university of Hannover, Germany, has done recent researches about the side effects of vitamin K3. In a study with the duration of six months among birds there were no negative health effects proven*. Hence, the statements found on the internet could not be confirmed.

In the same manner the committee of counselors of the federal institution for risk evaluation of Germany released the following statement in August 2004: "In agreement with all members of the committee there are currently no scientifically based hints that would require a re-evaluation of K vitamins or vitamin K-active substances."

This obviously also reflects the standpoints of the EU committees. Currently the EU also has no intentions for intervention in forbidding vitamin K3 as an addition to pet foods. Currently all substances that are approved for addition to pet food (including vitamins) are being re-approved by the committees of experts, where possible side effects are being checked on. This is not taking place because of any doubts about the safety or efficiency of those food additives (like vitamins), but due to a general re-approval of all additives according to the new food additive law (VO (EG) No. 1831/2003 of Sept. 22, 2003). The reason that vitamin K3 is forbidden for humans is due to the special fact that new-born babies have an insufficiency of the enzyme needed to unlock vitamin K3 and their inability to produce it. However, this inability applies to humans only. There have been tests with birds where a 1,000 % over dosage has been given, without any negative side effects. Online ther! e have been reports published where vitamin K3 in high dosages has been injected under the skin or into a muscle. Those methods cannot be compared to feeding vitamin K3, since they are not according to the normal way an animal would take vitamin K3 in. Therefore, according to science, there is no truth in any of the critical statements about vitamin K3. Of course, will keep up with any new developments.

Opponents of vitamin K3 request that vitamin K3 should be substituted with vitamin K1. To our knowledge, however, the praised vitamin K1 has not been used in pet food in a significant manner, since it has tremendous technical disadventages. As an example, vitamin K1 is by far not as stable as vitamin K3. And what good does it do to the pet if there are instable vitamins added?! On a side note, vitamin K1 had not been approved for consumption by animals until 1999. That means, that until 1999 all animals exclusively received vitamin K3. If that same vitamin really would have been as dangerous as claimed, there should have always been, ever since the invention of pet food, ill pets. And this is absolutly not the case, the opposite is true. Even from this you can see that the claims can't be true.

To our knowledge, all studies on the efficiency of K vitamins on animals have been accomplished using vitamin K3. There are no complex researches about vitamin K1 used in animal nutrition. To our knowledge, there has also been no or insufficient toxicologic research about vitamin K1. Also, there is no information available about possible side effects of vitamin K1 in relation to an increased intake through food for pets as well as for agricultural animals.

As you can see from the presentation, we currently use only very small amounts of vitamin K3 for safety purposes. The amount is about 0.0001 % or 1 mg per 1000 g of food. We consider this addition reasonable, since the value of natural vitamin K might be reduced under certain circumstances. This is how a minor, but efficient addition creates extra safety in extreme situations and prevents a lack of vitamins.

(* source: Inaugural Dissertation Dr. Carolin Hupfeld: Untersuchungen an Ziervögeln (Agapornis spp.) zur Verträglichkeit unterschiedlich hoher Vitamin K3-Gehalte im Alleinfutter, 2003)

First of all we would like to point out that the meat content does not determine the quality of the food, although this is a wide spread belief. For logical reasons a food with a high crude protein content has a higher meat content since protein used in pet food mainly originates from animals. The higher the protein content, the higher the meat content. But even at an equal protein content the meat content does not indicate the actual quality of the food. Meat is not just meat. There is high fat meat, low fat meat, meat rich in bone.

To reach an equal protein content, e.g. the amount of high fat meat has to be increased, since it has an automatically lower protein content. Vice versa, you automatically need less of a low-fat meat, since it contains less fat and more protein.

When comparing pet foods you also need to consider that there are more sources of animal protein (for example: whole eggs, powdered milk, fish meal, etc.) which also have a significant part in protein (or, even better, amino acid) supply for the pets. The meat content has to be reduced to the extend that those animal proteins are used to not run the risk of surplus protein supply. Especially for dogs, a surplus protein supply has to be avoided.

The meat content also depends on the recipe and on the protein content of other components. For example, if a food has a lot of low-protein components (e.g. grain meals), the content of animal proteins has to be automatically increased, since there needs to be a balance with other protein sources. Those few examples illustrate that the meat content is not a proper way to measure the quality of the food.

Further we would like to inform you that the percentage of raw materials from animal origin equals about 1 % per 1 % crude protein, which means that a food containing 25 % crude protein contains about minimum 25 % from animal origin.

We use whole grain which mainly originates from the south of Germany. We use: corn, wheat, barley. Rice mainly originates from southern Europe (northern Italy). Some products also contain grain meals (for example wheat flour from the south of Germany).

(We would like to point out that we declare all ingredients in detail on our Premium products so that you may be able to tell easily which raw materials are used in which product.)

This category covers dehydrated meat products of all animals commonly consumed in Germany: poultry, lamb, beef and pork. The raw materials originate from edible animals, which have been cleared for human consumption and slaughtered. We do not use products from institutes for animal body removal, so called carcass meals or by-products which are not for consumption, such as horns or claws. The meat products are being heated and dehydrated in the production facilites, according to the strict German and European requirements. All meat products originate from Germany and bordering countries of the European Union. The only exception is lamb meal, since not enough lamb meal can be produced in the European Union to cover the needs and therefore has to be imported mainly from Australia or New Zealand.

(We would like to point out that we declare all ingredients in detail on our Premium products so that you may be able to tell easily which raw materials are used in which product.)

We use carefully dehydrated whole egg powder, originating from Germany and France.

(We would like to point out that we declare all ingredients in detail on our Premium products so that you may be able to tell easily which raw materials are used in which product.)

This category covers raw materials that are a significant source of fiber, such as beet pulp, originating from Germany, and wheat middlings, originating from German mills, as well as special fiber, such as inuline, and hard to disolve fiber. Further we use linseed, originating from Germany, maize gluten, originating from Germany, and wheat germs, originating from Germany.

(We would like to point out that we declare all ingredients in detail on our Premium products so that you may be able to tell easily which raw materials are used in which product.)

This category covers fats of animal origin (high quality poultry and beef fat). The originates exclusively from edible animals which have been cleared for human consumption.

This category covers high quality and carefully dehydrated fish meal from deep sea fish (for higher content of Ω fatty acids) originating from Germany to ensure optimum freshness.

(We would like to point out that we declare all ingredients in detail on our Premium products so that you may be able to tell easily which raw materials are used in which product.)

Since a dog's stomach has a fairly big capacity, one meal per day is generally sufficient for mature dogs with low demands and hence a small amount of food needed. For sensitve dogs which have tendencies towards digestion irregularities or for dogs with high demands, the daily amount of food should be split into 2-3 meals. After each meal the dog should be able to rest for 2-3 hours to digest the food properly. For dogs with high demands, the last meal should be given at least 6 hours in advance before the dog has to perform. The first meal after performing the duties should be given after 2-3 hrs. Irregular feeding times should be avoided due to the disadventages of insufficiently digesting.