When you’re here, you’re family: pet food more than a meal

Pet food has passed the point of simply being food; it now plays a role in the bond between pets and their humans in a myriad of ways.

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Pets are family, now more than ever, and pet food plays a part in that bond. | (Nevena1987 | iStock.com)
Pets are family, now more than ever, and pet food plays a part in that bond. | (Nevena1987 | iStock.com)

I think it’s safe to say that pet food has, for many owners, become more than simply a way to feed pets. The humans in charge of purchases for their furry friends see the brands in their pantries as ethical statements, the act of feeding their animals as an experience and the kibble (or otherwise) in their pets’ bowls as preventive health. Pets are integrated into daily family life, celebrated on holidays and cared for with the same attention to detail as children. Pets are family.

Pet food taking on the strengthening human-animal bond

The human-pet bond is on full display in the May issue of Petfood Industry magazine. Our cover profile, RAWZ Natural Pet Food, was founded with a human-animal focus and a desire to give back right from the start (p. 10). Current mixers/toppers trends highlight the needs consumers have to feel like they’re nourishing their pets as well as treating them in new, innovative ways (p. 14). And packaging updates and redesigns are keeping up with the times, focused on getting through to consumers in quick, understandable ways while conveying the complex ideas of caring for pets through nutrition (p. 18).

“The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors considered essential to the health and well-being of both,” says the American Veterinary Medical Association on its website. “The bond includes, but is not limited to, the emotional, psychological and physical interactions of people, animals and the environment.”

Most pet owners would agree without hesitation. It’s no secret that pets have played a significant role in helping their owners make it through the past year, with isolation, worry, fear and stress at all-time highs across the world. Plenty of studies have been conducted that point out the mental, emotional and physiological benefits of owning a pet; now we all have a globe’s worth of anecdotal evidence to back it up … and even more to keep in mind as the industry continues to shift to meet consumer trends and expectations.


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