How are dry dog food or pet food (kibbles) made?
Ever wonder how dry dog food / cat food / pet food are made?
We usually feed our furkids mixed diet of canned, dry kibbles and sometimes fresh food from our kitchen tables. But for most of our time, we tend to use dry kibbles to feed them.
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, there are dog biscuits and cakes to feed the pets. Pet foods become commercially available since the 1800s.
Nowadays, for convenience sake, we would buy dry pet food for our dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc. Dry pet foods are affordable, can be stored easily and have a relatively long shelf life. There are many premium pet food brands that provide high quality, and 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 the pet food.
Ingredients Selected for Dry Food
Currently, there are hundreds of different brands of pet food available. There are even different variations within every single brand, customized and created for different life stages of your pet. We are spoilt for choices in selecting a pet food for our furkid.
Each of these products is based on a recipe that has been formulated by the pet food company based on their veterinarians and nutritionists recommendations. This golden recipe is passed to an accredited animal food manufacturer, where the manufacturer would follow the recipe: mix, bake and pack the food to be sent to retail outlets all over the world.
Each brand or variety has its own individual recipe for nutrient, tastes and something unique to cater to pet lovers, but they must all follow and adhere to a quality standard. The food must be completely and nutritionally balanced, that the ingredients in dry food mix must fulfill for the pet’s basic needs.
In the United States where most pet foods are manufactured, the standard would be regulated by AAFCO- Association of American Feed Control Officials. Common ingredients include food that is food for human as well, such as meat proteins like beef, chicken, eggs, as well as grains, cereals, minerals and vitamins, and antioxidants.
The manufacturer would mix these dry and wet ingredients into a well-mixed, consistent dough to be made into dry kibbles.
The Extrusion Process
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 pressurized steam or hot water in an expander. The expander subjects the dough under hot temperatures and high pressure.
It would then extrude (or force) the material out through small specific sized holes (die cuts hole) 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.
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 to dry pet food 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
Do understand your pet’s life stage. A puppy has different nutrient needs compared to a senior dog. Similarly, a kitten would need a 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 .
Do read the ingredient list on a pet food packaging to understand the nutrients. The first ingredient listed is the main component of the pet food, followed by the 2nd, in descending order, from the main to the least amount. (This is the same standard in human food as well, so you may want to check out the food you eat too!).
For example, if you wish 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 seafood equivalent is listed at the top.
Dogs are omnivorous and will do well on a diet of meat, grains, and vegetables. They can live well on a mixed, balanced diet. You may browse a wide selection of high-quality Dog Dry Food.
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” on them. Please do browse through this selection of high-quality Cat Dry Food.
As dry pet food are usually bulky and heavy, you can choose to browse and shop at best Pet Shop in Singapore where we will take delivery of your selected pet food to your home. We keep a very thin volume of pet food so that we always send pet food that is just fresh from the factory and has the longest expiry date for you.
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