Pet food is a unique kind of food made primarily for domesticated animals and is designed to complete their dietary needs. Today, manufacturers have been obliged to switch their attention from synthetic to natural products as a result of rising consumer awareness about natural and organic pet food products.
During the lockdown, people took advantage of the opportunity to get a family pet while working from home. Numerous studies have revealed that as pets keep people company, pet owners report fewer problems like loneliness and despair. In the first few months of 2020, dog breeders and rescue organizations reported an upsurge in inquiries from people wishing to adopt dogs.
A wide range of foods has been created recently to cater to the unique needs of some pet owners. These consist of vegetarian foods, natural and organic foods, and raw food diets.
What is Pet Food?
Pet food is a type of specialty food specifically made for domesticated animals and is created to meet their dietary requirements. Meat, meat by-products, cereals, grains, vitamins, and minerals are typically found in pet food. One of the major categories of packaged food is pet food, which is produced in worldwide regions.
More than 3,000 different pet food options, including dry, canned, and semi-moist varieties, as well as snacks like biscuits, kibbles, and treats, are available to pet owners.
What Are Different Types of Pet Foods Available in the Market to Choose from?
1. Dry Pet Foods
Dry pet feeds have 90% or more dry matter and 6% to 10% moisture. Pet foods in this category include meals, biscuits, baked kibbles, and expanded (extruded) products. Although the final product is different, baked kibbles and biscuits are made in a similar way.
Various cereal grains, meat, poultry, or fish products, some milk products, vegetable fats/oils, and vitamin and mineral supplements are among the ingredients frequently found in dry pet diets. Dry pet foods are among the most popular types of pet food preferred by pet owners since they are very convenient for the owners.
2. Wet Pet Foods
Wet pet foods can be divided into two categories: those that offer a comprehensive and balanced diet, and those that also include a dietary supplement or treat like canned/pouched meat or meat byproducts. Wet diets that are complete and well-balanced may include mixtures of elements such as cereal grains, TVP (texturized vegetable protein), vitamins, and minerals, as well as muscle meats, poultry, or fish meats or byproducts.
The second category of wet food, frequently referred to as "meat products," includes the same kinds of meat as before but without added vitamins and minerals. These foods are not designed to be nutritionally complete and should only be used as a supplement to a diet that is already balanced and complete.
3. Semi-moist Pet Foods
Pet diets that are semi-moist have a water content of 15% to 30% and primarily consist of fresh or frozen animal tissues, cereal grains, fats, and simple sugars. The fact that these products have a smoother texture than dry pet foods helps certain animals accept and enjoy them.
Some pet owners prefer semi-moist pet foods as they usually come in convenient single-serving packaging and are typically less smelly than wet foods. Additionally, these foods come in a wide range of forms and textures that frequently resemble various kinds of meat products, including ground beef, meat patties, and chunks of beef.
4. Snacks and Treats
In recent years, pet owners have been more and more interested in snacks and treats. Pet owners buy treats for their animals out of love and devotion rather than because of the nutritional content. Giving pets "special" treats fosters the positive emotions that come with nurturing and the expression of affection.
Additionally, pet owners use treats as reinforcement for desired behaviors, to add diversity to the pet's diet, and to promote good oral hygiene. The pet's capacity to enjoy the treat is crucial because emotional benefits are the main reason people choose treats. Owners are on the other hand more focused on a snack’s appearance and popularity than it is on its nutritional content.
Pet humanization is a term that is increasingly used to describe how pet owners want to give their animals human-like experiences or products. Pet owners seek pet food that offers nutritional benefits, premium ingredients, increased digestibility, and animal safety since they view their pets as members of their families.