How are dry dog food or pet food (kibbles) made?
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Perfect Pet Food: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding How Dry Dog Food (Kibbles) Is Made


Curious about how dry dog food, cat food, or even pet food, in general, are made?

We usually feed our furkids a mixed diet of canned, dry kibbles, and sometimes fresh food from our kitchen tables. Most of the time, we tend to feed them dry kibbles.

Dogs Eating Dry Dog Food
Dogs Having Dry Dog Kibbles as Food

Most of us living in the city and working full time would not have the time nor energy to prepare home-cooked meals for our beloved pets. Since Roman times, dog biscuits and cakes have existed as pet food. It has been commercially available since the 1800s.

What Is Dry Pet Food?

Dry pet food looks similar to a biscuit or kibble and contains about 11% water. This contrasts to wet pet food that has about 75% to 78% of moisture content.

Nowadays, for convenience sake, we tend to buy the dry version for our dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and more. Dry pet food is affordable, can be stored easily, and has a relatively long shelf life. There are many premium brands that are of high quality, and provide well-balanced nutrients to our pets.

The whole process of creating dry pet food or kibble, also known as “extrusion”, starts first from the ingredients that go into it.

Ingredients Selected for Dry Pet Food

Currently, there are hundreds of different brands of pet food available. There are even different variations within every single brand, customised and created for different life stages of your pet. We are spoilt for choice in selecting one for our furkid.

Each product is based on a recipe that has been formulated by the pet food company based on their veterinarians’ and nutritionists’ recommendations. The golden recipe is passed to an accredited animal food manufacturer, where the manufacturer will follow the recipe,  prepare and pack the food to be sent to retail outlets all over the world.

Ingredients for Dry Food for dog cats pets
Dry Pet Food Ingredients for Dogs, Cats and Pets

Even though every brand or variety of dry pet food has its own individual recipe for nutrients, taste, and a unique selling point to cater to pet lovers, they must all follow and adhere to a standard of quality.

The food must be completely and nutritionally balanced so that the ingredients in the dry food mix fulfil the pet’s basic needs.

In the United States where most pet foods are manufactured, the standard would be regulated by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).  Common ingredients include food that is food for humans as well, such as meat proteins like beef, chicken, eggs, as well as grains, cereals, minerals and vitamins, and antioxidants.

The manufacturer will mix these dry and wet ingredients into a well-mixed, consistent dough to be made into dry kibbles.

The Manufacturing Process of Dry Pet Food: Extrusion

The consistent dough is then either baked or extruded into dry kibbles. The extrusion process is primarily created to make breakfast cereals. This cooking method has proved efficient in producing food that maintains its nutrient values with a good shelf life.

The consistent dough is then cooked by pressurised steam or hot water in an expander. The expander exposes the dough to hot temperatures and high pressure.

It would then extrude (or force) the material out through small specific sized holes (die-cut holes) that give the kibble its round, square, bone, fish, or some other interesting shapes. This small-sized dough will then puff up once they are out of the high-pressure zone.

Adding Nutrients into Dry Pet Food

Dog and Cats eating their dry Food
Dog and Cats Eating Their Dry Food

Once out of the pressure zone, the puffed pieces are then passed through a commercial dryer to dry out any moisture. When fully dry, this kibble will be sprayed with added ingredients such as fats, oils, vitamins, and minerals and then packed and sealed for freshness.

These added nutrients may be the special in a pet food brand’s special recipe as the nutrients play an important part for the pets. For example, taurine is added as it has been known that indoor cats and dogs may face taurine deficiency.

Taurine deficiency causes medical conditions such as heart disease or blindness from the lack of taurine as they no longer hunt fresh meat for their diet.

Different Brands, Different Varieties, Different Needs

Look at your pet’s stage of life. A puppy has different nutrient needs compared to a senior dog. Similarly, a kitten would need different pet food compared to a mature cat. You may opt for brands that differentiate between different life stages for the pet. Some brands are more nutritious than others.

Read the ingredient list on the packaging to identify the nutrients. The first ingredient listed is the main component of the pet food, followed by the 2nd, in descending order, from the highest to the least amount (this applies to human food as well, so you may want to check out the food you eat too)!

For example, if you want to feed more meat to your pet, you may want to check that “meat” is listed as the first ingredient. Or if you prefer seafood to be the main component, make sure “fish” or a seafood equivalent is listed at the top.

Dogs are omnivorous and will thrive on a diet of meat, grains, and vegetables. They can live well on a mixed and balanced diet. You can browse a wide selection of high-quality dry dog food.

Healthy Cats eat meats
Healthy Cats Eat Meats

Cats are carnivorous animals and do not digest vegetables or grains well. Hence, cat food should have a high content of meat, or you may even opt for cat food that has the “grain-free” label on them. Browse through this selection of high-quality dry cat food to start!

Is Dry Pet Food Better or Wet Pet Food?

While it’s a tricky question to answer, people who support wet pet food agree that wet pet food, like canned dog food, is superior to kibble.

This is because of several factors:

  • Wet pet food has a lower carbohydrate content
  • Usually contains more meat protein
  • Air-tight packaging means no synthetic preservatives and therefore a lower chance of the food spoiling
  • No artificial colourings nor flavourings
  • Ingredients are more similar to their original state and hence may be more tasty and appealing

As dry pet food is usually bulky and heavy, you can choose to browse and shop at the best pet shop in Singapore where we will deliver your selected pet food to your home. We keep a very low volume of stock to ensure that we only send pet food that is fresh from the factory and has the longest expiry date to you.

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