Fish is central to what we do at SPECIFIC™.  However we use a range of ingredients all carefully selected to provide the appropriate nutrition.


Whole corn provides highly digestible carbohydrates as energy source for dogs and cats. It also contains protein, essential fatty acids (linoleic acid) and antioxidants (vitamin E and beta-carotene).

White rice

White rice is an excellent, highly digestible carbohydrate source for dogs and cats. As well as being an excellent carbohydrate, rice also provides other important nutrients such as protein, vitamins, and minerals. Rice is often used in SPECIFIC™ as an ingredient with exceptionally high digestibility, low allergenicity and without gluten.


Whole oats are a healthy carbohydrate source, relatively rich in soluble fibres. In selected SPECIFIC™ diets it is used for its low glycaemic index making it an ideal carbohydrate for dogs and cats with diabetes mellitus. The low glycaemic index promotes a gradual release of glucose from the diet, reducing the rise of blood glucose after a meal.


Whole wheat is an excellent carbohydrate source which provides energy for cats and dogs. It also contains well digestible, high-quality protein, rich in essential amino acids, and essential vitamins and minerals. Whole wheat is also a good source of fibre, which is important for the function of the gastrointestinal tract.

Soya meal

Soya meal is made from ground soybeans and is used primarily as protein source. However it also contains carbohydrates, fats, fibre and minerals.  

Just as all other raw materials used in SPECIFIC™, the soya meal is non-GMO.

Rice protein

Rice protein is a purified fraction of rice, rich in protein. Rice protein has excellent digestibility and provides essential amino acids, especially the sulphur containing fatty acids cysteine and methionine. Rice protein is used as selected protein source in the hypoallergenic SPECIFIC™ diets because of its low allergenicity.

Potato protein

Potato protein is extracted from potato and provides a concentrated high-quality protein source. Potato protein is highly digestible and has a high nutritional protein value, meeting amino acid requirements of cats and dogs.

Whey protein

Whey protein is a highly-digestible protein source derived from milk, with a high-quality amino acid profile meeting the amino acid profile of cats and dogs.

Maize protein

Maize protein is a concentrated protein source derived from maize. It is a high-quality protein source in pet food with an excellent digestibility. Maize protein is relatively low in minerals and so is especially useful for the formulation of low-mineral diets for the support of a healthy urinary tract in cats.


A few SPECIFIC™ diets use dried whole eggs as a protein source. Eggs are an excellent protein providing all essential amino acids to cats and dogs.
Eggs are also very rich in the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, which is essential for optimal skin and coat condition. Eggs are rich in lecithin, which acts as an emulsifier, enabling the mixing of water and oil and inclusion of eggs in a diet may benefit dogs and cats with poor digestion.
SPECIFIC™ CDD Food Allergy Management is based on egg and rice as novel protein and carbohydrate sources in order to help with food allergy.

As eggs are very low in purines CDD Food Allergy Management is also beneficial for dogs with urinary urate stones.   

Pork fat

Pork fat is used as a coating on the kibbles of most dry SPECIFIC™ diets. Fat is a good source of energy for cats and dogs and is important for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Pork fat helps the palatability of the foods and supplies the essential fatty acid linoleic acid (essential for skin and coat condition in dogs and cats) and arachidonic acid (essential fatty acid for cats).
Pork fat used in SPECIFIC™ diets is derived from pigs approved for human consumption and is free of pork protein and so will be tolerated by pets with a pork allergy.

Chicken fat

Chicken fat is used as a coating on the kibbles of a few dry SPECIFIC™ diets. Fat is a good source of energy for cats and dogs and is important for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Chicken fat contributes to the palatability of the diet and supplies the essential fatty acid linoleic acid (essential for skin and coat condition in dogs and cats) and arachidonic acid (essential fatty acid for cats).

Fructo Oligo Saccharides (FOS)

FOS are soluble, fermentable fibres which cannot be digested by the cat’s or dog’s digestive enzymes. FOS pass undigested through the small intestine into the colon where they work as prebiotics, supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria supporting good digestive health. Pathogenic bacteria as Salmonella cannot ferment FOS.

FOS is extracted from chicory roots.


The beta-1,3/1,6 glucans derived from baker’s yeast provide immune support.

The structure of these beta-1,3/1,6-glucans allows them to bind to receptors of immune cells, alerting the immune system and so supporting the immune response.

Psyllium husk

Psyllium husk is derived from the hulls of the seeds of Plantago ovata and contains primarily dietary fibres which have a great capacity to bind water. Psyllium is well known for its beneficial effect on the regulation of the gastrointestinal tract activity. Due to its mucilage-forming property it can form a protective layer on the inner wall of the intestines, Psyllium husk is often used in the management of constipation and diarrhoea in pets.  


Taurine has many functions in the body such as the conjugation of bile acids and the function of the cardiovascular system, nervous system and the retina in the eye.
Whilst dogs are able to make Taurine themselves, cats are not, and so must take in Taurine in their diet.

If the diet of a cat does not contain sufficient taurine, the cat will develop cardiac problems and degeneration of the retina in the eye, leading to blindness.

In diets for cats and dogs with cardiac problems extra Taurine is recommended to support the cardiac function.

Yucca extract

The Yucca plant grows in the south-western deserts of the United States and northern Mexico. It is the ability of the Yucca plant to bind ammonia at high concentrations that allows them to survive in these hostile environments.

Nowadays extract of Yucca schidigera is widely used in the pet food to bind ammonia and so decrease odours from stools.

There are many reasons why fish is healthy but the single most important of these are the high levels of naturally occurring Omega-3 fatty acids.  Here we aim to explain what they are and how they help.

What are Omega fats?

Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are involved in many functions in the body including building healthy cells and maintaining brain and nerve function. 

However the body is incapable of producing these and so they must be consumed in the diet.

Sources of Omega fats

Omega-6 fatty acids are available from a wide range of foods including most vegetable oils but also poultry, eggs, nuts and many cereals.

Omega-3 fatty acids can come from some vegetable sources such as flaxseed, or linseed oil and marine sources.  However the Omega-3 from vegetable oil is not in the form the body needs. The beneficial form of Omega-3 is only found in marine sources.

Not all Omega-3s are the same

It is Omega-3 from marine sources that is beneficial:  Omega-3 from vegetable sources such as linseed and flaxseed oil is the simplest form of shorter chain Omega-3 fatty acid - alpha linoleic acid (ALA).  However the Omega-3 that the body needs is, the longer chain, EPA & DHA.

Strict herbivores and carnivores who do not eat fish can convert ALA into EPA & DHA. However as omnivores our conversion ability is far less developed and only a very small percentage of the ALA ends up as the beneficial EPA & DHA.

This is why it is far more beneficial to consume pre-formed EPA & DHA Omega-3 from marine sources.

Omega-6 to Omega-3 ratio

Humans are believed to have evolved with an Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio of around 1:1.  However a modern diet, in particular the high use of vegetable oils, will have a ratio in excess of 10:1 (Omega-6:Omega-3) and sometimes as high as 30:1.  The idea ratio should be around 4:1.  Clearly, in order to get closer to that proper ration we need to consume more marine sourced Omega-3.

Why does Omega-6 and Omega-3 need to be balanced?

Bodies need a balance of Omega-6 and Omega-3 in order to help control the bodies inflammatory response.

Eicosanoids are signalling molecules that control a number of bodily systems mainly in the area of inflammation and immunity.

Eicosanoids derive from either Omega-3 or Omega-6 fatty acids with the eicosanoids from Omega-6 causing inflammation. 

Because the Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids both use the same enzymes and transport systems a strong presence of Omega-3 EPA derived eicosanoids will help block the production of Omega-6 inflammatory eicosanoids.

The discovery of the benefits of Omega-3

In the early 1900s dietary fat was seen as nothing more than a simple source of calories.  In 1929 George and Mildred Burr discovered that they played a much more critical role in health with a deficiency of these fats often leading to death.  They identified linoleic acid as an essential fatty acid and coined the phrase “essential fatty acids.”

In the 1980s a number of studies identified that Greenland Innuits had lower levels of heart disease than their Danish neighbours and identified the reason for this as being the high levels of Omega-3 they gained in their diets of fish, seal and whale blubber. (Kromann and Green 1980) (Bjerregaard and Dyeberg 1988).

In 1982 the Swedish team of Bergstrom and Samuelsson and the Briton John Vane won the Nobel Prize for their work in identifying that it was the part played by eicosanoids from Omega-3 that delivered the many health benefits. 

The dietary benefits of Omega-3

Brain and eye development: DHA Omega-3 fatty acids are the primary structural component of the brain and retina and plays a key role in building brain cell membranes; reducing brain inflammation, and the promotion of new brain cell formation. DHA Omega-3 accounts for more than one-third of the fatty acids in the retina and is believed to be essential for development of the retina.

Coat and skin condition: By inhibiting the production of inflammatory eicosanoids – Omega-3 from fish oils can help improve skin condition.  Also Fish oils promote the production of sebum, an oily waxy substance that lubricates, giving supple skin and coating the hair with a protective oily layer to give it a shine.

Joint Mobility: Key to joint pain is degradation of the Cartilage.  In a normal healthy body the ends of bones, where they meet at the joints, are coated with Cartilage, a smooth rubber like tissue. This cartilage protects the ends of the bones and provides shock absorption allowing for easy movement of the joints.
Cartilage is constantly broken down and replaced and, in a healthy body, the rate of rebuild matches that of breakdown.
However if the rate of rebuild is slowed, by factors such as old age, disease or genetics, or the rate of breakdown too high, as a result of factors such as vigorous exercise or excess weight, then the cartilage layer between the 2 bones is degraded allowing the ends of the bones to move over each other resulting in pain, irritation and inflammation.
By inhibiting the production of inflammatory eicosanoids Omega-3 from fish oils can help with the inflammation