The Whole Bowl

How Is Pet Food Made? Follow the Journey from Nutrients to Bowl

As the President and CEO of the Pet Food Institute, I have an opportunity to speak with people from around the country about pet food safety, nutrition and ingredients. Two of the most common questions I’m asked are, “What’s the best dog food?” and “How is pet food made?”

We developed a new white board video to answer the latter—a quick visual summary of the process used to make most dry food. This quick-hitting video provides useful information, from the nutrients required by healthy cats and dogs and the types of ingredients used to provide total nutrition, to procedures throughout the manufacturing process that help ensure the safety of the pet food you choose to purchase.

If you’re interested in a deeper dive about how dry dog food is made, this illustrated, more detailed narrative provides information about the making of other types of pet foods, including wet, fresh, raw-infused and treats.

With all the information available today pointing to the mental and health benefits of sharing your home with a companion animal, it’s important to do all we can to help make it as easy as possible to have a pet. For PFI members, who make 98 percent of U.S. pet food and treats, bringing transparency to the pet food making process is just one way we can help.  You’ll find lots of other information elsewhere on our website.

In answer to the first question (“What’s the best dog food?”), that’s an easy one. Look for pet food that provides complete and balanced nutrition (which means it provides each of the more than 40 nutrients a dog needs at its given life stage). Then, choose what your dog prefers to eat and what you prefer to feed, without guilt or worries.

Cathleen Enright, PhD

President and CEO

Pet Food Institute