Frequently asked questions


The intestine’s bacterial population is very different from one animal to the next and depends on age, breed, diet and many other factors. This sensitive flora means that change in diet should only take place very slowly in order to enable the bacteria to get used to the new nutrients and to prevent abnormal digestion and also diarrhoea. A transition over three to five days is ideal. The new and usual food is mixed together, whereby the amount of new food is steadily increased. This may cause temporary mild diarrhoea but it will be self-regulating. Normally, the dog’s intestinal flora will quickly get used to the new food and digestion will become normal again by itself. However cases of diarrhoea which last longer than four days should always be seen by a vet as it could be caused by an infection.

At around one year of age you should start moving on to normal food for adult dogs. For large and extra-large breeds it is recommended that feeding with normal food should start at nine months to avoid energy intake from being too high. It is important that young dogs are not allowed to get too round. The bones’ growth joints don’t close until after twelve months of age. Every kilogram of extra weight causes stress to these unstable bones and joints so that if it comes to the worst, chronic joint problems could occur. In particular very large breeds must move on to food for adult dogs in good time in order to prevent the supply of energy from being too high which would cause obesity. Feeding should be carried out in such a way as to show an average, and not a maximum, growth curve.

At one year of age or at nine months of age in the case of large and extra-large breeds (Great Dane, St. Bernhard, Hovawart etc.).

Dogs become seniors at very different ages depending on their breed. Small dogs won’t become part of the senior age group until about 14 years of age or older, while very large dogs such as Great Danes are already seniors at 5 years of age. It must be decided with each dog individually when it has reached a senior age. If the dog’s level of activity hasn’t changed, even though it has theoretically reached a senior age, it needn’t necessarily be fed a different food. 

 A rule of thumb for the senior age group Small breeds: 
from 12–14 years Medium 
breeds: from 8–10 years
Large breeds: from 5 years"

Not all dogs necessarily need to move on to Senior food. If the dog is still healthy and shows the same level of activity, there is no reason why it shouldn’t continue to eat its normal food. However if there are some age-related problems and activity is becoming restricted, you should move on to Senior food in order to prevent obesity and to provide relief for these ailments through the medicinal herbs contained in Terra Canis Senior.

As the dog gets older its energy requirements often drop due to a lower rate of metabolism and the reduced level of physical activity. Fat-free body mass and muscles are broken down as part of the ageing process which means the protein reserves are smaller. As older dogs are more prone to stress due to their susceptibility and possible illnesses, it is important to compensate for the missing protein reserves by adding high-quality, easily digestible protein. For this reason the dog now requires lots of valuable meat and as little fat as possible in its diet in order to meet its changing metabolism requirements. The main aim of an older dog’s diet is to support its health, to maintain on optimum weight and to prevent chronic illnesses. Stressful situations, sudden changes to the daily routine and every other kind of stress should be avoided.

Senior dogs should not be given any more grain in their food in order to prevent digestion and utilisation of nutrients from being put under any more strain. A perfect balance of medicinal herbs helps to prevent or alleviate age-related problems with the heart, kidneys, joints and immune system. Illnesses which are caused by a hormonal dysfunction, such as an overactive thyroid or diabetes mellitus, but also tumour diseases or limited digestive function/enzyme disorders which may, among other reasons, be the result of impaired functioning of the pancreas, may - particularly in older dogs - mean that dogs need not less, but more energy, and that the amount of feed they are given therefore needs to be adjusted appropriately. This means that the amount of feed can, of course, always be adjusted to the individual metabolism of the older dog in question. For older dogs who are always hungry but need to keep their fat intake down, the Terra Canis Garden Casserole is a great option for a snack between meals.

Our general recommendation when switching food is to do it over the course of 3 to 5 days by replacing more and more of the usual food with the new food. This applies to both wet food and dry food. When switching to a different type of food e.g. from dry food to wet food, you can offer a small amount of wet food every day and increase the amount until one portion of the dog’s food a day comprises wet food, and eventually both portions. Combined feeding of wet and dry food is also possible if the dog can tolerate it. However, due to the different digestion times for these two types of feed, a time interval of 8 hours should be observed.

Even for healthy dogs it is fundamentally important that there is a gap of at least eight hours between feeding wet and dry food. This is due to the digestion times of the two kinds of food. Wet food is broken down and digested in only six hours. Dry food needs 10–12 hours to be digested due to its different composition. If these two digestion processes overlap, waste products are created and fermentation occurs in the dog’s gastrointestinal tract, attacking the dog’s mucous membrane. This can cause bloating and intolerances.

A dog’s set of teeth, as with a wolf’s set of teeth, is that of a predator which is made up of long fanged teeth and thin chewing areas. The belief that dry food has a cleaning effect on teeth is therefore wrong. The hard pellets in dry food are not chewed thoroughly, but are swallowed so that no cleaning effect can occur. Bones or solid dog chews are suitable for dental hygiene.

Feeding ill dogs

If your dog does not have a sensitive stomach we recommend that you feed our CLASSIC line with a low amount of gluten-free, nutritional pseudograin to provide extra energy. The energy content can also be increased by adding oil. Mixing in the PUPPY line, which is richer in energy, is also possible. The feeding recommendation stated for the desired weight always applies.

In this case, it should be clarified with your vet whether the most recent test results point towards it being better for your dog to change to a specialised kidney diet, or whether preventative feed would come into consideration for the moment. 

You can find a kidney diet in our range of veterinary products. Alimentum Veterinarium (AliVet) Low Protein is a product with a low phosphorus content specifically to reduce strain on the kidneys. 

If your vet says that a specialised kidney diet is not yet necessary, you could start by reducing the protein content of your dog’s meals to protect the kidneys, as they play a central role in excreting metabolic waste products which are formed during the breaking down/conversion of protein, among other processes. In order to reduce the protein content of your dog’s meals, you could, for example, combine the Senior Menus with the Terra Canis Garden Casserole in a ratio of 80:20.

It is important that your poorly pet be regularly seen by a vet to check his or her kidney values.

For leishmaniasis patients, the Low Protein from the ALIMENTUM VETERINARIUM line is ideal. It has been specially designed with a low purine content.

In our ALIMENTUM VETERINARIUM line we also offer Low Mineral as a bladder diet. This is an acidifying diet and suitable for the prophylaxis and dissolution of struvite crystals and struvite stones. For use with other types of crystals, please consult the vet treating your pet.

The basic idea of an elimination diet is to avoid all potential allergens which are known to the immune system. If different sorts of meat are used which the animal has never yet eaten there are no antibodies for this sort of meat. Consequently an immune response cannot be triggered. For this reason ‘exotic’ or generally unusual kinds of meat such as kangaroo, ostrich or buffalo are fed to allergic animals. One of these must be chosen at the start of an exclusion diet. This meat is then fed for at least 8 weeks on a continuous basis, except if symptoms worsen at the beginning. In this case, the animal should be switched to a different protein. If the right protein is chosen, gastrointestinal symptoms should improve rapidly but skin lesions can require up to 14 weeks to heal with treatment and accompanying diet. During the diet, it must be ensured that the dog cannot eat other kinds of animal protein, for example from the rubbish bin, the neighbour’s food bowl, dog food or treats. Other foods, in addition to different meats, can also be a potential cause of allergy for the dog. Grains which contain gluten are very often a cause of an allergic reaction. But artificial preservatives, soya products or artificial aromas can also provoke reactions.

For this, we recommend our LIGHT menus from the Terra Canis product range or Low Fat menus from the ALIVET line. It is important that the fat mass is broken down without muscles being broken down. To achieve this the dog requires high-quality protein which at the same time contains less fat. Simply halving the amount of food is not helpful as this only causes muscles to be broken down. Take a critical look at the amount of treats that are fed as they may have to be deducted from the daily amount of normal food. Some breeds are prone to obesity, such as Labradors, retrievers or also bulldogs. Neutered animals also tend to gather small areas of fat around the ribs. In order to prevent obesity, dogs which are prone to storing fat should be watched particularly carefully and given enough exercise. The amount of food should be adjusted until the dog has reached its ideal weight. The quantity which is stated for the desired weight applies. Example: Max weighs 15 kilograms but his ideal weight is 12 kilograms. So he should be fed the daily amount for a dog which weighs 12 kilograms.

The diabetic menus in our ALIMENTUM VETERINARIUM line provide a specially designed diet for diabetics.

For dogs with acute or chromic diseases of the pancreas, the Low Fat menu in our ALIMENTUM VETERINARIUM line is ideal.

For kidney problems, we recommend our ALIVET Low Protein line.

Problems with feeding

Increased defecation can have many causes. There is often an intolerance to one or more parts of the food. This may be due to allergies (reaction to feed ingredients), but can also be due to restricted digestive capacity (e.g. reduced production of certain enzymes). Increased defecation is a sign that the dog cannot absorb all the nutrients from the food but excretes many of them unused. In this case, it is important to clarify the cause. The treating veterinarian can work up the problem and discuss the feeding in a targeted way. In very sensitive dogs, a too rapid change of food or switching between dry and wet food can also lead to irritation of the intestines and changes in defecation. In such dogs, care should be taken to switch the food slowly over a period of several days and a time interval (8 hours) should be observed between feeding dry and wet food to prevent mixing and abnormal fermentation processes in the gastrointestinal tract. In individual cases, it should be ascertained whether the affected dog feels more comfortable with just one type of food. Signs of problems may include flatulence, belching and stomach ache.

Just as with food, tastes are different when it comes to water – one dog may prefer water fresh from the tap while another dog would rather wait until it has been standing in its bowl for a while before drinking. Particularly tough candidates need to be made to drink using special tricks – animated water fountains may prove useful here. Dogs who don’t drink much should always be fed wet food or soaked dry food to ensure that a large portion of water is consumed with every meal. In addition to wet food each dog requires roughly 10 ml of water for every kilogram of its weight every day.

Gulping down food is the natural way of taking in food that the dog has inherited from the wolf. The anatomy of the dog’s teeth means that it is not designed to slowly chew food before swallowing. A carnivore’s teeth only serve as tool to intake food and roughly cut up the bits of meat which are then quickly pushed along into the oesophagus. They do not have the molars with large surface areas that plant-eaters have in order to thoroughly grind down their food. So the dog is allowed to gulp down its food. If two dogs live in the same household they should be given separate feeding places so that jealousy over food does not cause them to choke or cause other problems.

Product details

A food’s protein content must always be seen in relation to its energy requirement. The correct ratio of these values is taken into account in all Terra Canis menus. All menus contain lots of valuable and very easily digestible protein thanks to their very high muscle meat content. The LIGHT line with its reduced calories and fat is suitable for somewhat fatter dogs. The amount of protein remains the same as we wish to reduce the amount of excess fat mass, not the amount of muscle mass. In the case of liver or kidney illnesses, the amount of protein must be reduced. This must be carried out in agreement with the vet. When considering the amount of meat, it was our aim to have the optimum protein value for the dog in all Terra Canis menus. Veterinary medicine gives a clear recommendation here of a protein content of at least 18%, which we use as a basis for all our products. In order to be able to more easily compare foods with each other, it is normal for vets and nutrition specialists to compare the content of each product’s dry mass after the natural fluid in the food has been removed. This is the only way of accurately comparing the protein values of each product with each other. Lots of pet food manufacturers on the market use less meat than we do. Instead they use meat meal or other sources of vegetable protein. As the information on the amount of protein is only a quantitative value, this statement does not provide any information about the quality of the protein. This is why it is important to look at the composition of the product. High-quality dry foods should always have the amount of meat listed as the first ingredient.

The calcium-phosphorus ratio in feed for fully grown dogs should be between 1:1 and 2:1. This is taken into account in all our Terra Canis menus. The increased calcium requirement for young dogs is already taken into account in our PUPPY food line, meaning that no additional calcium supplements are necessary.

Our grain-free menus for the GRAIN-FREE, LIGHT, SENIOR and MINI menus comprise exclusively meat, vegetables, fruit & herbs. A ‘binding’ component is absent. When heated in the can, water escapes from all these ingredients, which in the raw state consist of 70-90% moisture, and remains in the sealed can. Unlike in normal cooking, for example, where the escaping water evaporates and reduces the cooking mass, the water in the can cannot escape and remains there. Due to the lack of grain and binding agents, the consistency of grain-free menus is therefore always somewhat softer and sometimes contains some jelly or free water. This water is also present in the Classic menus, but is  bound by the pseudograin and is therefore less ‘visible’. The jelly or free water should always be fed in addition to the rest as it contains countless micronutrients from the ingredients. It is also important because dogs ingest a large proportion of the moisture they need from wet food. The somewhat softer consistency should therefore not be regarded as an indication of ‘poorer quality’. Rather, it is the result of the grain-free recipes and the absence of binding agents.

Our gourmet and test packs are prepared in advance so that there are always enough of these packs available. Swapping menus after the packs have been prepared is therefore very time-consuming.

The most reliable way of testing if the actual net weight is the same as the grams stated on the label is to weigh the can while it is still closed. The empty weight of the can including the lid should then be deducted. This value is the net weight of the contents of the can. Here are the weights of the empty cans with lid: 100g: 26g; 200g: 37g; 400g: 51g; 800g: 95g Variations of +/- 1-2g are possible. 

The filling quantities are regularly checked by the Weights and Measures Office and by ourselves. It is always best to weigh the sealed cans and subtract the weight of the empty can with the lid. It is also important to completely remove and weigh the contents together with the liquid.

CANIREO is the first dry food available from German retailers that is made with 100% ingredients in verifiable human-grade quality. This means that every ingredient officially meets the standards required to make it fit for human consumption at the time of processing. In general, the following applies: human-grade quality ingredients are much more cost-intensive (up to 6 times more expensive) than ingredients that are not of human-grade quality. When manufacturing CANIREO, we use 64% fresh muscle meat (single protein). This fresh human-grade quality meat is many times more expensive than the animal by-products, meat, bone, animal and fish meal, protein hydrolysates and non human-grade quality meat normally used in such products. All the vegetables, fruit and herbs used in CANIREO are also of human-grade quality and therefore cost more than the other non human-grade ingredients that are used as fibre, such as sugar beet pulp. We also do not use any grain or thickeners in the form of wheat, corn, maize flour, soya flour, barley, rice and rice flour. These relatively cheap ingredients often make up a relatively large proportion of the total composition of other dry food products. All these points combined explains the higher price of CANIREO. In return, you get a product that is unique in the dry food segment, based on pure fresh meat, grain-free and with a high biological usability.

Barley grass grows from the barley grain in the form of a long green stalk, similar to freshly grown kitchen herbs. The superfood barley grass may have a name that sounds like it is a grain, but other than that, it has nothing to do with the starch-producing plant. Barley grass is gluten-free and grain-free and contains an unrivalled variety of nutrients. The green nutrient powerhouse combines a wealth of vital nutrients, vitamins, minerals, secondary phytochemicals and antioxidants. It is also rich in the green ‘super nutrient’ chlorophyll. However, barley grass is not just packed with vital substances, but also supports intestinal health, intact skin, a balanced acid-base balance and healthy metabolic processes in the organism.

The inner lacquer coating system (white lacquer - protection against corrosion on the inside of the cans) is free from bisphenol A (BPA) and is suitable for contact with food, i.e. it fulfils the requirements of EU Regulations No 1935/2004 and No 1895/2005, and is produced and used in accordance with EU Regulation No 2023/2006. Even if your dog occasionally unintentionally consumes particles from the inner coating, this does not pose a danger to health.

Ordering, transportation and delivery

The insides of our tins are coated in a plastic layer, meaning that no harmful substances can leak into the contents. This plastic coating also means that even if the tin is dented, there is no longer any cause to worry. The tins that we use are not pet food tins as is normal for cat and dog food, but human-grade food tins. These tins are normally used for food such as soups, etc. We regarded the internal coating as necessary to guarantee a flawless product due to the possible penetration of heavy metals from the can. A high-quality coating means that no heavy metals can leak into the product even if the tin is damaged. We can confirm that no phthalates (plasticisers) are used in the paints and sealants we use. Bisphenol A is used in the resin of the interior paint systems. There is a Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1895/2005 dated 18 November 2005 on the restriction of the use of certain epoxy derivatives in materials and articles intended to come into contact with food. Migration limits for BADGE and some of its derivatives: 9 mg / 6 dm. The amounts found in our products fall well below these values. This is why we have had expert reports commissioned for all the paints we use. We also confirm that the water-soluble rebate sealing compound used by us complies with the requirements in accordance with Art. 3 Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 and section 30 as well as section 31 (1) of the Foodstuffs and Consumer Goods Act (LMBG), if it is used as part of a consumer good in the sense of section 5 (1) LMBG. If the tin has not been pierced and the food smells normal, you can feed the contents without hesitation.

Customer account

When shopping in the Terra Canis online shop, you will automatically receive one reward for every full €50 you spend and will thus be credited 50 cents. Once you have collected 10 rewards, you will automatically receive a voucher that you can redeem on one of your next purchases in our shop.
When shopping in the Terra Canis online shop, you will automatically receive one reward for every full €50 you spend and will thus be credited 50 cents. Once you have collected 10 rewards, you will automatically receive a We provide the direct debit option for the majority of our customers. Sometimes, however, we must decide in favour of speed and security. Some payments are therefore not permitted to be paid by direct debit for security reasons. An automated security program runs in the background when each payment is made and in individual cases, it determines that a payment method other than direct debit must be used. Unfortunately, we do not see the exact reason for this, but it may be due to the following reasons: 
  • Input error with the bank details 
  • Negative entry

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