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Why Farmina Uses Pet-Based Feeding Trials to Test Dog and Cat Foods

Science-based company believes they see better results when using real pets in university research framework

Healthy Dogs |  April 27, 2021

Farmina Manufacturer Profile

Collage of Dogs and Cats with Farmina Foods

Read Farmina’s Profile to learn more about why this company is one of our manufacturing partners.

How does a food manufacturer know a food provides all the essential nutrients your dog or cat needs to survive? And what about prescription food formulas?

If you’re Farmina, you partner with leading universities around the world so veterinarians and researchers can recruit pets and their owners for trials using your food. You then use that information to further refine all the food formulations you create, while the scientific community publishes the results of these studies in peer-reviewed journals.

Traditional Feeding Trials Versus Farmina’s Scientific Research

While 80 percent of food manufacturers don’t conduct feeding trials, the other 20 percent test their foods on animals who live in a laboratory and are not pets. These feeding trials can yield exact results and excellent data (how often do you think pet owners actually measure their pet’s food by the gram?), Farmina argues it’s more important to test foods on actual pets in real-life conditions.

To accomplish this task, Farmina contacts university researchers to test their foods (mostly prescription diets and their quinoa line) on pets who already have been diagnosed with a specific health concern. For example, pet cats who have reduced kidney function can eat Farmina’s foods and stay under the care of these university researchers. Farmina pays for the cost of the food and tests to ensure that the pets stay healthy. But the university pays for the research, and no matter what the outcome of the study, the research is published.

Traditional feeding trials and Farmina’s approach both have positive and negatives to consider. But Mud Bay commends any company that takes the extra step to conduct actual scientific research around their food because it show’s that company’s commitment to testing their formulations before producing them. 

Advantages of Farmina’s University-Based Research

Farmina contends that there are some advantages other companies should consider if they want to fund their own research into the foods they create. While it’s important to note that Farmina’s approach doesn’t allow the strict oversight and control of each animal’s genetics and food consumption, Farmina contends that the results they get are more likely to be the results pet owners can expect if their dog or cat eats the same food. That can be appealing to pet owners when they are searching for a prescription or non-prescription diet that prioritizes whole ingredients when possible.

Farmina also notes that they avoid paying the researcher’s salaries to try to eliminate bias and pay for food and tests. Studies are also double-blind, which means they include animals who receive the food being tested as well as a placebo food and the researchers don’t know which animals get which food until the end of the study. This research method is the preferred method for eliminating biases. 

Using Research Data to Inform All Farmina Formulations

Not every formula undergoes scientific research. Farmina prioritizes testing scientific formulas, but they use that research to inform all the recipes they create. In part, they’re able to do this because they have a team devoted to evaluating the research and applying that information to the products they make. Farmina’s International Formulation Team has six veterinarians (including one vet with a doctorate in animal nutrition), as well as nine other teammates with degrees in some type of food science.

Is Farmina Right for My Dog or Cat?

Mud Bay is excited to stock Farmina after two years of relationship building with this excellent company. But your pet is an individual, so we can’t recommend this food to all dogs and cats when we stock dozens of other foods that might be a better match for your own pet’s life stage, food preferences, and household needs. However, if you’re interested in feeding Farmina to your pet, visit your local Mud Bay to find out more! We can offer free samples of Farmina or any other food that we stock, as well as science-based information about these foods, before you make your decision.

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