Tackle Pesky Hairballs with Precise Naturals

Sure, cats aren’t typically huge fans of water, but that doesn’t mean that hygiene and grooming aren’t top priorities for your feline. In fact, your cat spends half of their waking hours grooming themselves and fellow kitties. Their barbed tongue, soft padded paws, and saliva are a cat’s perfect recipe for bath time—and hairballs.

This week’s blog post is dedicated to the pesky kitty dust bunny in honor of Hairball Awareness Day. Yes, there’s an entire day dedicated to your cat’s regurgitated hair. It’s important to note that if your feline is coughing up more than two hairballs per year it can become health concern. Lucky for you, we have a solution that may fix your hairy situation.

We’re talking about our Precise Naturals Foundation formula for cats.

When your cat grooms themselves, they consume the hair that comes off of their body. Sometimes if there is an excessive amount of hair, your cat’s tummy can’t digest all of the fuzz. When that happens, your cat hacks up a hairball. Precise Naturals Foundation Formula is high in fiber, helping to break down the hair and speed up digestion. This formula is also high in protein and is designed with ingredients to provide adequate vitamins and minerals for adult indoor cats. Precise Naturals Foundation Formula helps to sustain the building blocks for proper cat health, and those are just a few reasons why it’s our most popular cat food.

P.S. This formula is highly compatible with our kitten formula. So, when you’re little one is ready to make the switch, it will be a steady transition to adult food.

So, before you try at-home remedies to stop those pesky hairballs in their tracks, try a simple diet change for your feline. If you’ve noticed your pet’s hairball production has halted, share your story! We’d love to hear your testimony in the comment box below.

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Canned PHC Grain-Free Cat Food

It’s no surprise to us that wholesome, grain-free pet food formulas are on the rise. Pet parents want to feed their felines nutrition they can depend on—but with so many options to choose from, the decision-making process can feel quite overwhelming. We’re here to help. The Precise team would like to highlight our Precise Holistic Complete Grain-Free canned cat food formulas, to help with you decide what should be on your beloved cat’s dinner menu.


Wild at Heart River Line – Salmon, Tuna & Trout

Three well-loved seafood favorites, flaked variety, and essential vitamins fill our Wild at Heart River Line. Appropriate for kittens and full-grown felines, this formula further features select vegetables, botanicals and herbs to ensure that your playful cat receives all the nutrition they need for a healthy and happy lifestyle.

Grain Free – Flaked Beef

Is fish not your feline’s fave? No worries, that’s what our Flaked Beef formula is for. This formula is high in fiber, low in sodium, and features three different flavors to suit your feline’s peculiar palate. Most importantly, kittens and cats will appreciate the three main ingredients: beef broth, real beef, and beef liver.

Grain Free – Flaked Chicken

If chicken is more their style, we have three flavors that might suit their taste buds. Our main ingredients in this formula are chicken, chicken liver, and chicken broth – because who needs “meal” anyways? 

Grain Free – Flaked Pork

If you’re looking for a bit more protein in your pet’s diet, check out the 11.95% in our Flaked Pork formula. With pork broth, pork, turkey, and pork liver, your feline will be purring for more of this holistic goodness. If your pet enjoys their dry kibble too, our Turkey + Chicken and Pork Meal grain-free formulas compliment this pate pawfectly.

Each of our pates are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the Association of American Feed Control Official’s Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for growth and maintenance. Are you convinced its time to switch-up your feline’s diet, but want to learn more? Comment below, and we will help you find a retailer in your area with your desired formula!


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7 Things to Consider when Choosing the Right Food for Your Furry Friend

Your pet’s diet is one of the biggest factors of their health. Is your pet on the right track to a long and healthy lifestyle? Ask yourself these seven questions when grabbing your pet’s kibble off of the shelf:

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What stage of life is your pet currently in?

Your pet will have different dietary needs in each stage of life; from puppy or kitten, to adult and senior. A puppy or kitten, for example, needs food that will help them grow big and strong, while a senior might require food with more protein for extra energy, or a formula for bone health, so they can stay active and happy in their growing age.

What’s your pet’s size?

Larger breeds can benefit from extra protein and nutrients for muscle and bone health, while smaller ones have a totally different set of dietary needs. Choosing a food specific to the size of your pet can ensure that they’re getting exactly the nutrients they need to live a long, healthy life.

Is your pet lazy or active?

Are you and your pet gearing up for your next big hike? Make sure you are feeding them food for fuel! For our active pups out there, a “high octane” diet, such as the Precise Naturals Endurance Formula with extra calories and protein will give them the energy their need for your adventures. Less active pets won’t need extra calories or energy stores, so the proper food for their age and size will provide them will all the energy they need.

How’s your pet’s weight?

Be cognoscente of your pet’s shape. If your pet is over or under weight, then you might need to make a change in how much and what they you are feeding them. If your feline is beginning to resemble Garfield, you may want to try Precise Naturals Weight Management Formula with all the essential nutrients and none of the extra calories. For pets who can’t keep on weight, look for high-fat or high-calorie foods, even try foods for active breeds.

How’s their current health?

If your pet has special health conditions, such as diabetes, kidney or bladder issues, or digestive issues, then choose formulas with modifications to support they specific needs. Some pets have issues digesting grains, grain free food is not only great for tummy troubles, but they are also rich in nutritious proteins and fats. Might we recommend our Precise Naturals Grain Free formulas with multiple meat bases to choose from?

How about that AAFCO Statement?

The Association of American Feed Control Officials have set guidelines and standards that pet foods must meet in order to be considered ‘complete and balanced.’  Check your pet’s food label for an AAFCO Statement to ensure what you are feeding your furry friend is meeting these basic requirements.

What are the ingredients?

When deciding between pet food formulas check out the ingredients. Ingredients, by law, must be listed by weight, so look for meats and protein-rich ingredients to be at the beginning of the list – typically the top three items listed. Meats, fish, and eggs are easy for pets to digest and have a high biological value, so the more the merrier!

Remember, making a sudden change to your furry friend’s diet could have negative effects on their digestive system. It is better to slowly introduce the new food over the course of a week or so. Feed them a mix of the new food and the old food, adding more new food than old food every few days, until your pet is happily enjoying their new, nutritious formula.

“Bone” appetit!

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Dr. Jean Dodds Develops Revolutionary Food Intolerance Test for Pets

Hemopet, North America’s largest non-profit pet blood bank, has developed a new product that will help you diagnose your pet’s food intolerances! NutriScan predicts which ingredients your dog or cat will be sensitive to, by testing for the 24 foods that are most commonly ingested by our companion animals. These foods include ingredients like wheat, corn, soy and chicken, all of which are featured in many pet foods on the market. NutriScan requires only that the pet not be fed anything for at least three hours and collection of a saliva sample to complete the test. This means that you can diagnose the cause of problems such as itchy skin or irritable bowel syndrome from the comfort of your own home! The test yields results in almost no time in all, giving you an accurate analysis of potential problems in your pet’s diet in less than two weeks! Once your results are in, you will be able to work with your veterinarian to create the perfect diet plan for your pet!

“Over 10,000 tests have proven the patented NutriScan saliva test is the accurate way to identify food sensitivity in pets,” says Dr. Jean Dodds, veterinarian and President of Hemopet. “This gold standard test is changing the way we care for our pets’ diets, and it really works.”

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Dr. Dodds is a world-renowned veterinarian and a leader in the field of animal product research and development. In 1986, she created Hemopet, a non-profit licensed canine blood bank that also serves as a greyhound rescue and adoption program. The program helps to save tens of thousands of pet lives every year using blood from the rescued greyhounds. They are pre-selected to have the universal blood type safe for all dogs, and to be free of infectious diseases transmitted by blood. Precise’s dog foods have been one of Dr. Dodds’ preferred dog foods for the past eight years. Since joining the Precise Pet family, she has served variations of our formulas to her rescued greyhounds.

Precise has been proud to fuel and sustain the brave dogs of Hemopet for the past eight years and we are extremely excited to see how NutriScan will revolutionize the way that pet owners treat food intolerances! For more information on NutriScan or Hemopet, visit their respective websites at http://www.nutriscan.org/ and http://www.hemopet.org/. If you are a veterinarian that is interested in ordering NutriScan clinic kits, check out NutriScan’s veterinary resources at http://www.nutriscan.org/veterinarian-resources.html.

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Are you confused about the role of antioxidants in pet foods? Well, you are not alone. Below we explain what antioxidants are, what their purpose is, and why we put them in our pet foods.

Everyone knows that like us, our pets need oxygen to survive. But it also causes oxidation, which is a process by which chemicals in the body are altered and become what is known as free radicals. Free radicals are generated when the body turns food into energy, and they are also a result of exposure to environmental factors like sun exposure, pollution, cigarette smoke, etc. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all share a voracious appetite for electrons, stealing them from nearby cells. This electron theft can radically change the structure and function of the cell, leaving it unable to complete it’s job properly. This can result in an increased risk of infection and disease, and accelerate the aging process in the body.

Antioxidants are the free-radical fighters that are produced by the body, or derived from the healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables, which are consumed. Precise calls them cell protectors. Antioxidants can protect and often reverse some of the damage caused by oxidation. They fight free radicals by generously giving electrons to the thieves, satisfying their voracious appetite. Essentially, they are electron donors.

There are hundreds of substances that can act as an antioxidant but the most familiar ones are vitamins A, C and E, lutein, lycopene, beta-carotene and selenium. These are found in many foods, and they are also available as dietary supplements. Some of the sources of antioxidants that Precise uses in our pet foods are apples, cranberries, blueberries, kelp, carrots, peas, sunflower oil, eggs, brown rice and citrus fiber.

The best way to ensure that your pet gets plenty of antioxidants is by providing a diet that contains some vegetables, fruits and whole grains. A variety of sources is also important as each antioxidant plays a slightly different role. There is good evidence that eating a diet with lots of different vegetables and fruits is beneficial because they not only supply antioxidants to your pet, but also provide a package of healthy substances like vitamins, minerals and fiber as well, that promote health.

In conclusion, antioxidants promote a healthy immune system and thereby increase the potential to lower the risk for certain diseases. Precise thinks that is good reason to celebrate antioxidants, because we all want our pets to live long and vibrant lives.

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Cats are carnivores and they need a combination of ingredients to stay healthy, including quality protein, fats, fiber, and an assortment of vitamins and minerals. But there are also many everyday foods that are hazardous to cats. Please look over the list of the 10 most hazardous foods to cats, because our pets are counting on us to keep them from harm’s way, by knowing what we can and cannot allow them to eat.

GARLIC – Part of the onion family, garlic is another ‘human food’ that your cat should steer well clear of. It is actually considered to be far more dangerous than onions, because the toxic properties in garlic are more concentrated. Many foods have garlic powder or garlic salts hidden within, so please take the time to check ingredients labels and make sure the food your cat eats is not harmful. If your cat steals food off of your plate, make sure they haven’t ingested any garlic, as this can cause a whole load of blood health problems. If you notice any peculiar behavior from your cat after eating garlic then it is best to get them to a veterinarian or clinic in order to make sure they’re okay. A veterinarian can perform a blood test to see if there are any abnormalities in their system, that could have been caused from ingesting garlic.

ONIONS – Onion in all forms — powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated — can break down a cat’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. An occasional small dose probably won’t hurt, but eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause onion poisoning.

DAIRY PRODUCTS – There is a common misconception that giving your cat a saucer of milk is a treat. After all, we have seen it time and again on TV and in the movies. But its not true. Most adult cats are lactose-intolerant. Therefore, giving them dairy products including cheese can cause digestive problems and diarrhea which can lead to dehydration. However, there are some lactose-free products available that your cat might like, without the harmful side affects.

RAW EGGS, MEAT & FISH – Raw eggs may contain high levels of bacteria, which can cause and e.coli and salmonella infection, both of which can be very dangerous for humans and cats. The egg white contains a protein called avidin, which can interfere with vitamin B absorption. Raw meat and fish, like raw eggs, can also contain high levels of bacterial which may cause food poisoning. And an enzyme in raw fish destroys thiamine which can cause serous neurological problems that may lead to convulsions or coma.

RAISINS – Although it is unclear why, raisins are extremely poisonous and can be deadly to cats. Even a small amount of raisins (or grapes) can be toxic. Repeated vomiting, diarrhea, decreased urination and lethargy are signs to look for if your cat has recently consumed raisins. Please keep raisins and grapes off counter tops and other places where you cat could get into them.

AVOCADO – This is another food that is highly toxic to cats. Although it is unlikely you are going to feed it to your cat, avocado contains persin which is quite poisonous to many animals. It can cause a host of health problems including heart, respiratory, and gastrointestinal upset, and can result in death depending on how much is consumed.

CAFFEINE – Any type of caffeinated food or drink can be harmful to your cat including sodas, tea, coffee and especially chocolate. In fact, chocolate is potentially deadly if your cat eats it. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, and fits. If you cat has helped themselves to any caffinated item, watch for signs of poisoning and then call your veterinarian for advice.

ALCOHOL – We all know alcohol can have negative effects on people, so for a small animal like a cat, the effects can be multiplied. Any type of alcohol, beer, wine, liquor, can be detrimental to a cat’s brain and liver, and it takes very little to cause the damage. Keep all types of alcohol away from your cat because a few teaspoons of liquor could cause a coma or even death in a 5-pound cat.

Fat Trimmings and Bones – If you’re used to feeding your feline friend the bits of leftovers from your plate, then you could be facing a trip to the vet at some point soon. Fat, both cooked and uncooked, is another food that can cause intestinal upset, vomiting, and diarrhea, which can then cause your cat to become dehydrated. Bones can be hazardous by causing a bowel obstruction or laceration. Although catching and eating a small bird, mouse, or other creature may not harm your cat, bones from cooked meat are more likely to splinter due to the heat. To be safe, avoid feeding your cat from your plate, and see a vet immediately if you notice any blood in the litter box or loss of appetite.

DOG FOOD – While dog and cat foods contain many of the same ingredients, dog food cannot be used as a substitute for cat food. Cat food is specifically formulated to meet a cat’s needs, which may include higher protein levels and certain vitamins and fatty acids. Feeding your cat a steady diet of dog food could result in severe malnutrition. Just don’t do it.

No matter how cautious you are, your cat may ingest one of the foods on this list. If that happens, call your veterinarian immediately or take him to the nearest emergency pet clinic. Or you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for advice at 888-426-4435.

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Ingredient Spotlight: Beet Pulp

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that we get about Beet Pulp. We invite you to read this ingredient spotlight as we answer those questions and discuss the reasons why we use beet pulp in our Precise Naturals pet foods and consider it to be an excellent source of fiber.

Q: Is beet pulp bad for my pets?
A: No. Beet pulp is probably the most misunderstood ingredient in pet foods today. Most people who believe it to be an undesirable ingredient don’t understand the function of beet pulp in pet food. Misinformation that was started many years ago has spread over the years, via the internet, and caused a movement to get beet pulp removed from pet foods. The information has no scientific basis. It is a myth.

Q: What is beet pulp and where does it come from?
A: First of all, beet pulp is not the same as garden beets. Sugar beets are commercially grown for the production of sugar. After the raw sugar is extracted, the remaining product is beet pulp, which is valuable as a source of fiber and energy and is widely used in commercial pet foods. There is very little, or no sugar remaining in the pulp.

Q: Isn’t beet pulp just a cheap filler that has no nutritive value?
A: No. While beet pulp is a readily available and therefore, affordable source of fiber, it is not just a filler. Fillers serve no purpose other than adding weight. It is true that beet pulp does not contain vitamins or minerals, per se, but it serves a specific purpose in pet foods. Beet pulp is often recommended as one of the best sources of fiber for pets.

Q: What are the benefits of beet pulp?
A: Beet pulp is a moderately fermentable, mostly insoluble fiber that adds bulk and moisture to animal stools while providing an energy source that can improve the health of the colon. This natural fermentable vegetable fiber is a food source (prebiotic) for pre-existing beneficial bacteria in the gut. In other words, it helps the good bacteria flourish and grow to create a healthy gut and that aids digestion. It is also helps to promote firm stools by adding bulk, which allows it to move through the digestive tract at a rate that insures maximum digestion and absorption of nutrients. This benefit is a contributing factor to the high digestibility of our pet foods. In cats, this aids in the prevention of hairballs.

Q: Will beet pulp turn my dog’s coat red or cause his saliva and tears to be red?
A: No. This is a myth that has generated momentum over the years, via the internet. However, we believe there is no scientific basis to support this. It is important to know that sugar beets are white in color, and that beet pulp that is used for fiber is actually gray in color and has no flavor.

Q: Does the presence of saponins in beet pulp cause bloat?
A: No. Saponins are chemical compounds that are found in over 100 plant families including most vegetables, beans, legumes, etc. They have the unique ability to form a stable foam and are actually added to many human products such as beer and root beer. Like many chemicals found in plants, saponins can be beneficial in small amounts but dangerous in large amounts. While micro-amounts are present in many pet foods, saponins provide health-enhancing benefits. For example, the ability to aid digestion and decrease of fecal odor. There is no documented proof that saponins cause bloat.

Q: Can beet pulp clog the villi in the small intestine?
A: No. There are no scientific studies that support this theory, but there are several studies that support the beneficial properties that beet pulp has in promoting a healthy digestive system. The villi are the finger-like structures in the lining of the small intestine that facilitate the rapid absorption and digestion of nutrients. When they become blocked, the culprit is not beet pulp, but usually the result of an insufficient or total lack of a probiotic colony in the gut. Another cause is the use of bentonite, an edible clay, that is sometimes used as a filler in cheap dog foods.

Q: Do you make any pet foods that are free of beet pulp?
A: Yes. Our entire holistic line of pet foods, Precise Holistic Complete®, uses citrus fiber instead of beet pulp. However, it is more expensive than beet pulp. But it offers an excellent alternative to beet pulp for those people who want to avoid it. Our Precise Naturals® line, which is our flagship brand, contains beet pulp. We would not use it if we were not convinced that it is safe and beneficial to pets.


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Ingredient Spotlight: Chicken Fat

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions that we get about chicken fat. We invite you to read this ingredient spotlight as we answer those questions and discuss the reasons why we consider it to be one of the key ingredients in our pet foods that sets Precise apart from many other brands.

Q: Why do you put chicken fat in all of your formulas?
A: Fats are a necessary part of a balanced diet for pets. They provide your pet with energy and essential fatty acids, and they give the food a great taste. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

Q: What makes chicken fat a healthy choice for your pet foods?
A: Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that is essential for life. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats and they provide many important benefits for good health. The fatty acids that your pet’s body cannot make are called essential fatty acids, which are divided into two groups called Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. These omegas must be provided in your pet’s diet in a balanced ratio.

Q: Where does it come from and what makes it so desirable?
A: Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid. It is then double-centrifuged, a process that removes impurities and antigens. That is why it is referred to as clarified or purified. Chicken fat is the most efficient fat available.

Q: My dog is allergic to chicken. Can he eat any of your pet foods?
A: Yes. It is the proteins in chicken that are the predominant cause of allergic reactions because they are such large molecules. Our chicken fat does not contain any protein, so you can feed our foods that contain other sources of protein with confidence. Our best selling formula for dogs that are sensitive to chicken is our Lamb Meal & Rice Sensicare Formula.

Q: What is the purpose of chicken fat in pet foods?
A: Chicken fat has many important functions in pet foods.

It provides your pet with energy. Because it is highly digestible, it is the first nutrient to be used by the dog’s body for energy, ahead of protein and carbohydrates.

Chicken fat promotes normal development and function of cells, nerves, muscles, and tissues.

Chicken fat is important for helping the body to absorb certain vitamins called fat-soluble vitamins. These include vitamins A, D, E and K.

Chicken fat keeps your pet’s skin healthy and coat shiny.

Chicken fat is highly palatable. It makes your pet’s food smell and taste good.

Chicken fat provides arachidonic acid with is an essential fatty acid for cats.

Q: What if my pet gets too much fat? Do I need to be concerned about his cholesterol level?
A: Our pet foods contain approximately 10-15% fat, which is optimal for your pet’s health. If he is consuming too much fat, it is usually due to overfeeding or consuming table scraps and/or treats. But you don’t need to worry about cholesterol because most pets don’t suffer from the same problems as humans who consume a high fat diet. Just make sure he gets enough exercise to keep him fit and healthy.

Q: What if my pet is not getting enough fat?
A: Potential problems that can arise by a diet that is too low in fat include dry, itchy skin and a dull coat, inflammation, lowered immune function, and sometimes heart disease and diabetes.


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Introducing Grain Free Precise Holistic Complete

We recently launched our Grain Free Precise Holistic Complete and have had a great response! Wondering why we decided to add this formula? Here’s some background from the Precise team (Ramona Keith, marketing manager; Dr. Lisa Drapela, staff veterinarian; Mike Compton, vice president of operations; and Linda Arndt, “The Great Dane Lady”).

Introducing Grain Free Precise Holistic Complete
With the recent explosion of grain free formulas in the pet food market, we knew that we needed to develop grain free options for our customers as well. Pet foods that would combine the same exceptional nutrition of Precise Holistic Complete, with the rising demand for grain free diets. But we were concerned with the possibility of compromising our superior foods by rushing into products that were not well conceived.

So after careful consideration and research, we developed our formulas with moderate levels of protein, that are tried and true, common sense levels that work well for all breeds and all life stages of dogs and cats. The meat sources of the protein include lamb, turkey, pork, and chicken. We use garbanzo beans (also known as chick peas), a low glycemic and gluten-free alternative to potatoes, in our canine formulas to provide necessary carbohydrates. Our feline formula uses Spring Yellow Peas, which also provide a wonderful source of carbohydrates that are lacking when the grains are removed. Both types of peas provide extra protein, fiber, and other beneficial nutrients and minerals. Plus, the valuable protein they provide does not interfere with the delicate mineral balance of the food, thus eliminating the need for more added minerals in the final product.

Once we had these major considerations established, we knew that by combining them with the Life Circle Essentials of our original holistic line, we would have foods that are nutritious and safe, and that address concerns such as allergies, obesity, and digestibility. Quality proteins, natural antioxidant vitamins, balanced fatty acids, probiotics and prebiotics, and select herbal and botanical ingredients. Plus the remarkable supplements that offer unique benefits to our pet foods.

We think our new Grain Free Precise Holistic Complete formulas were worth the wait. Same exceptional nutrition, zero grains. And as always, exceptional nutrition that promotes health, happiness, and harmony . . . for a lifetime.

Precise Pet Products is a subsidiary of Texas Farm Products Company, an 80 year-old, family- owned and independently minded company, that makes our own food and has a 100 percent safety record. The company has developed a reputation of integrity that is generated by a large number of animal-loving employees who are dedicated to producing safe, reliable, and wholesome products that provide the best possible nutrition for the animals we love.

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Ingredient Insight: Ester-C®

We’re very proud of the premium ingredients found in our foods. In our Ingredient Insight series, our in-house vet Dr. Lisa Drapela provides an in-depth look at how these ingredients protect and boost your pets’ health and energy, why we chose them and what makes them unique. Read all of our Ingredient Insight blog posts here.

I’m sure most of you are familiar with the vital role vitamin C plays in a healthy human diet. While vitamin C is not a “required” nutrient for our pets, supplementation can be as beneficial for them as it is for us.  All of our Precise formulas feature a unique source of vitamin C for your pets: Ester-C®. Ester-C® Calcium Ascorbate is a special form of vitamin C that is important in many of the daily body functions.

Ester-C® promotes higher levels and longer retention of vitamin C in the body, providing support for the immune system. It has also been found to help decrease arthritis pain. Its water-based manufacturing process results in a pH neutral, or non-acidic, product that is easy on sensitive stomachs.

Want to know more? Check out the Ester-C® webpage to read all about its benefits and learn why we consider it an essential ingredient in our pet food.

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