Delicate Care™ is Australian owned and made. Our entire range is made at our premises in Western Australia.
Delicate Care™ is made to human-grade food standards. Our manufacturing facility has received HACCP accreditation and is independently audited annually. Internationally recognised, HACCP is the highest level of food safety standard and quality assurance.
Delicate Care™ was established in 1998 by avid pet lovers Shirlyn Riemer and Peter Atsaros, two foodies who operate a successful food export business in Perth. With Delicate Care™ they are able to combine their passion for food and pets, and ensure cats and dogs can eat as healthily and safely as their owners.
A current list of Veterinary Clinics that stock Delicate Care™ can be found by clicking here.
We are constantly expanding our list of stockists. If your vet doesn’t carry our range, please email us and we will contact the clinic and see if we can make Delicate Care™ more easily accessible for you.
The Delicate Care™ range is formulated by emeritus Professor Nick Costa, who was the Head of Biochemistry and Nutrition at one of Australia’s leading Veterinary Schools. Professor Costa is regarded as one of Australia’s most well respected Animal Nutritionists and has consulted for a number of multinational companies in the area of pet nutrition. All Delicate Care™ formulations incorporate the latest nutritional science to address the dietary needs of your beloved cat or dog.
We believe that veterinary care forms a big part of caring for our pets. By making Delicate Care™ only available at vets, we know you’ll always receive the best nutritional solution for your pet’s life stage or condition.
Your pet’s health is our most important concern. Like you, we are pet lovers; we understand the joy of pet ownership and the unconditional love they give us. The aim of Natural Balance (makers of Delicate Care™) is to enhance the relationship you have with your pet by helping him or her live a long, healthy and active life.
We are totally against invasive animal testing. We do not keep kennels, catteries or laboratories for animal testing or product development.
Whenever a new recipe is developed, we enlist the assistance of a trusted group of breeders and Veterinarians who can complete the assessments for us based on their expertise and knowledge of each animal.
Delicate Care™ Puppy (High Energy)
Delicate Care™ Adult Dog (Regular Energy)
Delicate Care™ Weight Management (Lite Energy)
Delicate Care™ Dental Diet for Dogs
Delicate Care™ Skin or Stomach for Dogs
Delicate Care™ Mobility Support for Dogs
Delicate Care™ Skin or Stomach for Cats
Delicate Care™ Hypoallergenic Dental Treats for Dogs
We do not add any colours or dyes to our products. This means our kibble is subject to slight variations in colour with each batch of pet food we manufacture.
Natural means no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives (such as BHT, BHA or Ethoxyquin) are used in any of our formulations. Our raw material suppliers are also required to use natural antioxidants in their manufacturing process to ensure our entire range is 100% natural.
The entire Delicate Care™ range is naturally and carefully preserved with natural antioxidants which contain mixed tocopherols (Vitamin E) and rosemary extract.
In order to keep our products fresh and stable, we also utilise state of the art plastic films and oxygen absorber pads when we pack our products. These packaging materials ensure that no light, water vapour or oxygen comes into contact with our products once they are sealed in the bags.
As Delicate Care™ is highly digestible, you will immediately notice a reduction in stool size and odour.
You will appreciate the easy cleaning resulting from smaller, firmer stools. As your pet’s coat naturally regenerates, you will also notice the gloss that comes with the new coat.
This causes a lot of confusion with our customers, however, it is important to note that the manufacturing process is very different between our products, and foods that claim meat as their number one ingredient. We use meat meals as our protein source. This raw material contains 8% moisture, so it is a very concentrated product.
When fresh meat or offal is used, this form of protein already contains about 80% moisture. More water is added to the “fresh meat” to make a paste or slurry prior to the meat entering the manufacturing process. It is the presence of the water that makes this raw material heavy, thus enabling companies to claim that meat is their number one ingredient. However, as water evaporates in the oven the end proteins left in the dry matter is quite low.
If you read the ingredient listing you will find that formulations with meat as their number one ingredient need to be supplemented with additional protein sources (like meat meal, or vegetable protein sources) in order to meet the target protein content of the food.
We do not source any of our raw materials from China.
Wherever possible, our ingredients are sourced from Australian producers and suppliers. Our ingredients are GMO-free, naturally preserved and free from irradiation treatment. This ensures that all nutrients are protected so that we can deliver the best quality, natural nutrition for your pet.
Where a particular ingredient is not available from Australian sources due to availability or seasonality, we have to sometimes reluctantly source from overseas.
No. Instead of focusing on the level or percentage of protein, we choose our protein ingredients based on their quality, digestibility and mix of essential amino acids, with the aim of delivering the best mix of nutrients to your pet. Our levels of protein are carefully structured so that this meets your pet’s requirement for optimum growth and maintenance. All nutrients like protein must be balanced to energy in order to deliver the best nutrition for your pet.
Corn gluten meal sometimes gets unwarranted bad press. CGM is a safe, nutritious source of protein and amino acids. Its sulphur-containing amino acids help to acidify urine and dissolve some types of bladder stones such as struvite. The corn gluten meal present in our formulations is GMO Free and sourced from New Zealand.
Digest refers to food material from animal sources (meat and offal) that has been treated with acid to help breakdown or “digest” the protein into smaller products such as peptides and dipeptides. Digests are perfectly safe and are used as a palatant in pet food to make it taste delicious to your pet.
Tallow is beef or lamb fat that has been cooked from fat trimmings. Our tallow is beef based and sourced from an export-accredited abattoir that processes tallow for us on site from the human food chain.
The term ‘essential’ in nutrition means that this nutrient is essential in the diet because the body cannot make it from other means. ‘Non-essential’ means the body can make this amino acid if there is sufficient energy and total protein in the diet. Both “essential” and “non-essential” amino acids are equally important in meeting your pet’s protein needs for muscle, bone and metabolism.
Omega-6 and omega-3 are essential in your pet’s diet as they cannot make these fatty acids in their body. Omega-9 fatty acids are made in your pet’s body mainly from carbohydrates like glucose, so they are not essential. So a pet food like Delicate Care™ that doesn’t contain omega-9 is not nutritionally inferior.
Our Omega Magic™ oil blend is a potent blend of Omegas 3 and 6, delivered in the optimum proportion that produces a healthy skin and shiny coat in your pet.
No, grains are not bad for pets. Modern day dogs have evolved to have the necessary enzymes for efficient digestion of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are present in both grain based and grain free diets (potatoes, sweet potatoes or legumes).
Cats have a lower tolerance for carbohydrates and quality cat foods like Delicate Care™ Skin or Stomach for cats deliver a low carbohydrate load of 20gms or less per day if cats are fed according to the recommended feeding guides.
No salt (sodium chloride) is added to any Delicate Care™ formulation. Salt, if present in our formulations, is naturally occurring.
EPA (Eicosapentaenoic Acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic Acid) are both essential omega-3 fatty acids. High quality fish oil is the best source of EPA and DHA. EPA plays a critical role in regulating many body processes including skin/coat, reproduction and immunity.
DHA is critical for neural development especially in young animals. DHA is also important in maintaining neural and cognitive function in older animals.
Puppies can be switched to Delicate Care™ Adult (Regular Energy) when they reach their mature size as adult dogs. The growth time can vary from relatively short periods in small breeds (e.g. 8 months for breeds such as Maltese) to much longer periods for giant breeds (e.g. up to 2 years for Great Danes).
The following Delicate Care™ Formulas are suitable for Large Breed Puppies:
Delicate Care™ Puppy (High Energy)
Delicate Care™ Skin or Stomach for Dogs
Delicate Care™ Mobility
Delicate Care™ Dental
All the above formulations are carefully designed with the large breed puppy in mind as these breeds have the most stringent requirements when it comes to nutritional balance. Our Puppy (High Energy), Skin or Stomach, Mobility and Dental formulas for dogs are suitable to be fed to all breeds including large breed puppies. The protein, calcium and phosphorous levels fall within the safety limits as recommended by AAFCO and are designed to meet the nutrient requirements of all breeds of puppies with a scientifically supported safety margin to deliver optimal nutrition as recommended by expert nutritionists.
Energy is the first and most important nutrient which provides the power that drives all the body’s processes such as building muscle, using the brain, keeping the heart pumping and lung breathing. Energy is essential to all life. In pet foods such as Delicate Care™, food energy is often called metabolisable energy (ME) which is the energy available for metabolism. This energy is measured in calories or joules.
It is important to first determine what allergies your pet has and whether or not the allergy or intolerance is in relation to food. Sometimes allergies can be brought about by environmental factors such as grass seeds, fleas or even mosquito bites. We highly recommend you involve your veterinarian in diagnosing the basis of your pet’s allergies to determine if food is the cause.
Delicate Care™ formulas are hypoallergenic and do not contain the most common food allergens such as chicken, beef or wheat. The Delicate Care™ Skin or Stomach formulas for dogs and cats utilise novel ingredients such as kangaroo, duck and sorghum and may be suitable as an elimination diet.
The Delicate Care™ Mobility formula utilises the same base as the Skin or Stomach formula with the added benefit of supplements to target mobility issues. Your veterinarian will be able to provide valuable insight, support and evaluation on which Delicate Care™ recipe is best suited to your pet.
Overweight dogs risk many problems including diabetes, pancreatitis and painful osteoarthritis.
Losing weight is not easy, however even small weight losses (eg 3-5%) can ease the pain of osteoarthritis.
Controlling the amount of calories is important, and can be supported by feeding Delicate Care™ Weight Management (a lower energy density food) or Delicate Care™ Mobility Support. These two formulations contain L-carnitine which assists with the conversion of dietary fat into energy rather than being stored in the body as fat.
Please also be careful with the amount of “treats” or additional food given to your pet on top of Delicate Care as these supply extra calories.
Your veterinarian will be able to provide valuable insight, support and evaluation regarding a suitable weight reduction plan for your pet.
All Delicate Care™ formulations are complete and balanced, containing all nutrients including calcium.
This is added at exactly the scientifically recommended amounts to ensure optimum nutrition without supplementation.
Prior to using extra supplements, we would highly recommend you seek advice from your Veterinarian.
Should the dog get into the cat’s bowl or vice versa, there is no cause for alarm.
However, the nutritional needs for dogs and cats are different and all Delicate Care™ formulations are designed with these specific needs in mind.
In order to ensure that your dog or cat’s nutritional needs are being met over the long term, dogs should be fed dog formulas and cats should be fed cat formulas.
“All Life Stages” means that the food is formulated for all pets ie puppies and kittens, adult dog and cats, breeding bitches and queens, working dogs and show dogs. Thus, an “All Life Stage” food will suit any dog or cat at any life stage without the need for any supplementation.
Delicate Care™ Skin or Stomach for Dogs, Delicate Care™ Mobility for Dogs, Delicate Care™ Dog Dental Diet and Delicate Care™ Skin or Stomach for cats are suitable for “All Life Stages”.
AAFCO stands for Association of American Feed Control Officials. AAFCO is the internationally accepted official body for recommending nutrient requirements for pets. AAFCO relies on a panel of nutrition experts to decide upon the nutritional recommendations for dogs and cats.
Each year AAFCO publishes tables of these nutrient requirements for Growth & Reproduction (i.e. puppies, kittens and reproducing females) and Maintenance (for adult dogs and cats). All Delicate Care™ formulations meet and safely exceed all AAFCO nutrient specifications.
This is a marketing trend that has gained popularity in Australia in recent years. It is important to note that grain free does not mean starch or carbohydrate free.
The carbohydrate in grains, just like the carbohydrate present in grain free formulas, are digested by pets and used for energy.
Whilst some pet owners may be of the opinion that their pets have difficulty in digesting grains, scientific research shows that modern day dogs have evolved and have the genes to digest starch rather efficiently. Modern day dogs have developed copies of the gene for producing amylase, an enzyme that assists in the breakdown of starch in the gut. Most grain free dog foods have replaced traditional grains such as wheat and corn with potatoes or legumes, all of which are not starch or carbohydrate free.
Delicate Care™ is produced though steam and pressure cooking. This is an important step to sterilise the final products and make them safe for your pets.
The heat treatment immobilises microbacteria and pathogens like e.coli and salmonella so that the final products are shelf stable without the need for refrigeration.
Although cooking may affect some of the nutrients in the food, we compensate for this by including a scientifically based “safety margin” for nutrients in our formulations in order to deliver optimal nutrition to your pets.
Delicate Care™ Skin or Stomach for Cats is suitable for cats suffering from chronic struvite accumulation in their urethra and bladder.
The low magnesium content decreases the propensity for struvite crystals to form and the Ammonium Chloride acidifies the urine which dissolves any struvite crystals that might have formed in the urethra.
The combination is the safest way to reduce the risk of struvite-based feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).
When calcium and phosphorous levels are too high, this will affect the growth of puppies, in particular large breed puppies where it is critical to keep these two nutrients at the right levels. Too much calcium and phosphorous will have a negative effect on bone development in a growing puppy. Additionally, too much calcium will affect your pet’s ability to absorb the mineral zinc, which is extremely important in maintaining skin and coat condition.
Probiotics are live bacteria, and are present in foods such as yogurt or probiotic supplements in tablet form.
Although the live bacteria can be beneficial, heat (such as the process of cooking) and stomach acids kill these live cultures.
Prebiotics, on the other hand, are an indigestible fibre being both heat and acid stable. Prebiotics act as a food for the good bacteria already present in your pet’s gut.
As these good bacteria are nourished, this improves the ratio of good vs bad bacteria in the gut and can be beneficial as a first line of defence against diseases.
Delicate Care™ formulas all contain Prebiotics in the form of Fructo-Oligosaccharides (FOS) derived from inulin, as well as Mannan-Oligosaccharides (MOS) from yeast.
It is preferable to split your dog or cats daily feed into 2 equal amounts and feed them twice a day.
A puppy’s daily feed can be split into 3 equal portions and given 3 times per day.
Adult cats can either be fed small amounts through the day, or fed once a day and letting them choose how often they eat.
Dogs that tend to overeat, put on weight or don’t like to exercise should be restricted to two or three small meals per day.
Deep chested breeds such as Basset Hounds, Rottweilers etc. should be fed several small meals per day, especially in hot weather, to reduce the risks of bloating.
When changing to Delicate Care™ from another diet, we recommend that you allow 7-10 days for transition. Introduce Delicate Care™ pet food slowly by mixing with your pet’s previous food and gradually increase the amount of Delicate Care™ until you are feeding this exclusively. This gradual transition will reduce the chance of stomach upsets. A careful, progressive transition allows the gut to adapt to the new food, especially the gut microbiome and water balance.
The body is 65% water and must be kept in balance. Water is essential for life and it is critically important your pet has access to fresh water at all times, especially when feeding a dry food such as Delicate Care™.
If your pet has just started on Delicate Care™, soft stools are an indication that the transition has not been staged gradually enough. If your pet has been on Delicate Care™ for some time and has loose stools for more than a few days, please check with your veterinarian for possible infections, parasites or allergies.
The most common reason for your dog vomiting is that your dog has eaten too much food, too quickly.
If restricting the amount of food does not resolve the vomiting or if vomiting persists for a few days, please check with your veterinarian.
Many pet parents offer treats to their pets as a reward. It is important to look at the ingredients and nutritional panel of the treat and take into account your pet’s condition, weight and special dietary requirements. Treats are not a complete and balanced food and should not be given as a sole or major source of sustenance for your pet.
All Delicate Care™ formulations are complete and balanced, so they can be used for long term nutritional sustenance.
Each bag of Delicate Care™ is hand packed at the factory. Our packing crew ensures that each bag is “de-aired” to remove as much oxygen from the bag prior to sealing.
You will notice that there is a small oxygen absorber pad/sachet inside each Delicate Care™ bag.
This sachet is included in the sealed bag to absorb whatever oxygen is left in the bag to keep the product fresh.
Oxygen is the main cause of oxidation and rancidity. As this little pad absorbs oxygen inside the package, the bag can look vacuum packed.
While this is not ideal, there is no need to panic as the oxygen pad is not toxic to your pet.
The sachet contains iron, carbon, salt and calcium carbonate that are all non-toxic when ingested by your pet. The only danger in your dog swallowing a sachet is the potential of this being a choking hazard.
All Delicate Care™ products are naturally preserved without the use of any artificial preservatives.
The main culprits in spoiling dry pet food are oxygen, humidity and light. Our aim is to preserve the freshness of our products through the use of the most up to date technology in packaging.
All our plastic bags are multi-layered plastic laminates, with a metallized layer in the middle.
This metallized layer delivers the lowest oxygen, light and water vapour transfer rates, which serves to protect our pet food.
You will also notice that in each bag of Delicate Care™, there is an oxygen absorber sachet. Once the bag is sealed, the oxygen absorber pad will absorb all the remaining oxygen in the bag, so much so that sometimes our bags look vacuum packed.
Dry pet food should always be kept in a cool, dark place, away from sunlight. Once open, the bags should be resealed to maintain freshness. If the bags do not have a resealing feature, it is ideal that the food is transferred to an airtight container.
The use by dates printed on our products are conservative to ensure freshness. If the product is stored properly prior to opening, the products may be used for up to 6 months past the printed use by date. We would recommend that you smell the product and check for signs/smells of rancidity and discard products that smell rancid.