Cat and dog food (wet, dry, treats) are classified as complete or complementary. In some countries, it is mandatory to indicate the food as either complete or complementary.
A complete meal contains all the nutrients required by a cat or dog to stay healthy.
If a cat or dog eats only one brand of complete meal, it will get all the nutrients required to stay alive and healthy.
A complementary or supplementary meal do not contain all the nutrients required by cats or dogs to stay healthy.
Cats or dogs fed complementary food must have access to complete food to prevent health issues.
For example, if the complementary food does not have sufficient taurine, cats consuming only that brand on a long-term basis risk developing retinal degeneration leading to blindness and even heart failure and death.
Which to use?
It is not an issue to feed complementary food as long as the owners are aware and ensures that the cat or dog also consumes complete food.
For community animals, especially those who are not fed regularly, it makes sense to make sure they consume complete meals for their well being.
Food type information
Not all brands indicate the food type on the packaging.
To help pet parents make an infomed choice, we have indicated if the brand is a complete or complementary food.
This is also summarised in our cat care and dog care pages.
The information is put together through data from manufactuer website, verification with suppliers and in some cases based on their ingredeint list.
We present the information to the best of our knowledgment and we believe the information to be correct at the time of tabulation. If in doubt, please contact us or verify with supplier or manufacturer.
FDA, USA: “Complete and Balanced” Pet Food
FEDIAF : THE OBJECTIVES OF PET FOOD
Pet Food Manufacturer's association UK: tyoe of dog food
Here's why your dog's food has the important words 'complete' or 'complementary' on it