Pet Food Ingredients

The latest research, analysis and information on dog and cat food ingredients, proteins, vitamins and supplements that are added to create nutritious pet food formulations from the editors of Petfood Industry magazine and Dr. Greg Aldrich’s monthly column, “Ingredient Insights.” Register for free to access premium content.

ARTICLES

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Ancient dog diet Ω fatty acids: the eyes have it, guts too

Eyes and brains likely provided omega-3 fatty acids to dogs’ ancestors, but those organ tissues are not used in many byproduct pet food ingredients.
Eating what unfussy hunters and gathers eschewed, such as rodent eyes, may have provided sources of vital nutrients to dogs during domestication, including omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), along with omega-6 fatty acid alpha linolenic acid (ALA).
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Dog and cat diet omega-3 or -6 fatty acids recommendations

From outside to in, dogs, cats and other pets may benefit from omega-3 fatty acids in their diets. Learn the specific recommendations for omega-3 or -6 fatty acids at stages of dogs’ and cats’ lives.
Companion animal nutrition researchers consider both types of fatty acid as conditionally required, meaning they are most needed at certain life stages.
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High-protein cat food may reduce bird, wildlife predation

Compared to a control group, cats killed fewer wild animals in the groups that ate high-protein diets and that played with their owners. Those two groups of cats also brought down less prey than before the experiment began.
For those cat owners who let their felines roam the neighborhood, high-protein cat food may be one means to reduce predatory pressure on birds and other small wildlife.
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3 roadblocks to plant-based pet food ingredients

Dogs, cats and other pet food manufacturers can meet pets’ nutritional requirements, while still delivering a plant-based food to consumers, but it has to be properly formulated.
Three factors can stand in the way of acceptance of plant-based proteins as pet food ingredients. Dog and cat owners won't sacrifice taste and texture for their pets when converting to plant-based products.
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Coastal wolves, ancient clambakes and paleo dog food

Human food trends arose from people’s intentions to eat as our Paleolithic, or Stone Age, ancestors did, and these trends transferred to pet food.
For dogs, the paleo diet can mean meat and other items encountered around human camps during domestication. Although “discarded loincloth” will never become a dog food variety, other ancient flavors may remain to be revived as dog foods.
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5 dog, cat and other pet food ingredients from cattle

While beef is what’s for dinner in many pet’s diets, at least as a principal ingredient, various other cattle components appear in pet food.
While beef is what’s for dinner in many pet’s diets, at least as a principal ingredient, various other cattle components appear in pet food.
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