Nutrition is Holistic Science: Happy Pet. Happy You


Dr Marco Cavazzoni
Pets are in the heart of our family, and we love to see our pets happy. That is why making a happy pet is what motivates us to develop the best food for them, as we believe that nutrition is the key to improving and enhancing the quality of life for pets and their families, says Dr Marco Cavazzoni, Scientific Director, Farmina Pet Foods, Milan.
Nature is our inspiration, science our method
Farmina was started in 1965 in Italy. “We dedicate our mission to provide pet food of the highest quality especially into two different lines—the prescription line which is dedicated to the veterinarian called ‘Vet Life’ and the over the counter, maintenance diet which is called ‘Natural & Delicious’. Our focus is on highest quality and with solid scientific background to confirm to nutritional requirements,” shares Dr Marco Cavazzoni.
We Operate from
Farmina has four factories and they are specialist in dry and canned food. The company’s factory in Italy is for providing products to the country, North America and Asia. “We have a production plant in Brazil for entire South America and we have two production plants in Serbia—one for dry food for central Europe, North Europe and Russia and the other for wet food, which was inaugurated around 3-4 months ago to provide wet food for the entire world,” says Dr Marco.
Strengths of Farmina
“Farmina is a family owned company; so we are very flexible, easy for us to create new products, modify the existing ones and we take pride in using the best quality of raw material. This gives us an competitive advantage,” explains Dr Marco, adding that Farmina boasts a complete range of products for both canine and feline species.
“We use only natural antioxidants, without genetically modified organisms, we pack our products with nitrogen to preserve the quality. Into Farmina’s portfolio of products, we have five different lines and one of them is a functional line, which makes the link between the prescription and the maintenance diet. Prescription diets are products that are developed to fulfil the imbalance of body. We put together a line to put together the efficacy plus being complete, it can be used for the whole life of the concerned pet,” says Dr Marco.
Farmina has Internal R&D which is called the Farmina Vet Research. It works in collaboration with University of Naples and many other universities. “Our products are tested in a cruelty free way by people who have knowledge and are able to give us data for our research content. Our research is printed in various international journals, such as British Journal of Nutrition of Cambridge University and The Journal of Nutritional Science. Our latest study was published in the journal Veterinary Dermatology- a review of European society of veterinarian dermatologist which highlighted the use of one of our products in solving a specific pathology related to skin. We test all our diets as prescription diets need to be effective,” mentions Dr Marco.
Nutrition is the key
Nutrition is very important as it is connected in totality when the animal is feeling good and feeling sick. Nutrition can be a cause, solution or a support. It always plays a role. “Veterinary medicine as structured now does not give importance to nutrition, which is the reason why it is important for us as a nutrition company to also to speak to final consumers, who notice the efficacy of nutrition with their pets. If we are able to transfer concept of nutrition to the final consumer we will have a better educated society, and everybody will benefit from that. Veterinarian will realise its importance and ultimately pets will feel better,” tells Dr Marco.
Nutrition for Veterinarians as Diagnosis, Therapy & Support
For the veterinarians nutrition can be a great diagnostic tool, so that they can use nutrition in some cases to make diagnosis in diseases like allergies and food intolerance. One can also have a therapy through nutrition; for example, it helps animals suffering from diabetes, obesity, gastro conditions, etc. These problems can be solved with nutrition or with medicines and relevant diets can support side by side. Nutrition can be used to increase the efficacy of drugs.
Advice to pet parents
Dr Marco’s advice to pet parents is that they must read the labels. “On the label you will find two basic information—the composition and analytical value. In composition, the first ingredient is always present in the highest quantity, the first 3 to 4 ingredients will help pet parents to decide whether to feed a particular diet or not. A good product should be based on meat or fat because dogs and cats are carnivores, this is the first information you can get from the label. The analytical value is there, but one needs to be an expert to investigate,” he urges.
His advice to pet parents continues, “Never fix your attention on a single ingredient; always look at the total of the formula. What gets as a result is the balance of all the ingredients, not just a single ingredient. Read the composition and look at the total. Nutrition is a holistic science where in you focus on the complete picture.”
Focus on nutritional solutions
The growth has been tremendous in Asia in last few years enabling people to want and focus on quality products. “People look abroad to find new trends and concepts. For us nature is considered as the most important and unique source of ingredients for the food we make,” explains Dr Marco. He concludes that science permeates our routine with studies, collaborations, discussions and ideas that result in nutritional solutions.