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How Pet Food Is Made

Many of the same processes used to make food people eat are also used to make pet food: baking for treats; canning; extrusion for dry kibble, which is also used to make many breakfast cereals; sous-vide, which is a gentle cooking similar to what is used for some pates; and other techniques.

Watch how pet food is made.

Dry Kibble

Dry kibble provides the largest portion of calories for America’s pets. Kibble accounts for more than 60% of all cat food and dog food sales in the United States. Dry products are available in packages ranging from boxes of just over a pound to large bags weighing 40-50 pounds.

Dry products are made through one of several different processes:

  • Extrusion/Expansion (similar to process used to make certain breakfast cereals)
  • Drying

Wet Pet Food

The most familiar form of wet pet food is sold in a can. Innovation in manufacturing processes can led to the development of new wet products sold in trays and pouches, similar to certain products people eat.

For more information on how pet food is made, visit our pages on How Dry Pet Food Is Made and How Wet Pet Food Is Made.

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