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Sara Sechi and colleagues comment: Sarah Abood and colleagues express their concern about the lack of veterinary nutritionists and those trained in veterinary behaviour being involved in our study. We would like to point out that two of the authors (SS and RC) belong to the board of veterinary experts in behaviour of the Italian veterinary federation (www.fnovi.it/albi-e-iscritti/ricerca-iscritti-per-ambiti-professionali?ambito=2). Concerning the need for veterinary nutritionists, we did not feel the need to include any nutritionists since Dr Sechi and Professor Cocco are clinically trained and therefore have the required knowledge to evaluate any metabolic improvement and nutritional requirement. Moreover, dogs were fed commercially available diets which are, therefore, nutritionally balanced according to the FEDIAF standards (www.fediaf.org/self-regulation/nutrition) (FEDIAF is the association representing the European pet food industry).
As to the conflict of interest, we clearly disclosed in the manuscript that: ‘This research was performed in collaboration with some scientists from the Division of Research and Development, Sanypet SpA, Padua, Italy (as indicated in the author's affiliation) according to scientific and ethical principles of the scientific community.’ Sanypet-Forza10 only provided both the control and nutraceutical diets, whose commercial names were not cited in the article, and therefore did not get any commercial benefit. We also clearly stated that: ‘This study was supported by Fondazione Banco di Sardegna (Italy)’, which funded the …
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