How Is Dog Food Made – Dry and Wet Food Making

The inquiry into how dog food is made is agelong. For the records, commercial canine food was not always in existence. There was a time when there was no such thing as dog food. Canine buddies in those dispensations had to cater for themselves in this regard.

The emergence of commercially produced dog food has its roots in England, by an electrician around the 1860’s. From that moment, pet parents have asked the question, “how is dog food made?”

How Profitable Is Dog Food Industry

The dog food industry is a money-spinning machine. As it stands, the earnings by commercial dog food manufacturers are proposed to run into tens of billions annually. 

For several hundreds of manufacturers, that is a great deal. Given the huge patronage, let us go over how dog food is produced.

In answering the question of how dog food is made, you should understand there are various kinds of commercially made dog food. These commercial options include dry food, canned food, and commercial raw food, among others.

When you walk into a pet store, observe the variety of dog food products available; you will agree that there is a wide range of options to choose from.

The competition has never been this intense. Despite this, corporate organizations in this facet get huge returns at the end of the day. This is no doubt due to the large number of dog parents that are concerned about their canine companion’s feeding.

Factors That Influenced Dog Food Evolution

From the early 1900s, various factors influenced the eventual outcome of the dog food industry. Most notable among them is competition, the second world war, and administrative oversight.

In terms of competition, various companies had to stay ahead of the game. They did this by coming up with new and enhanced products as well as packaging. In the early 1900s, companies started packaging canine food in cans. This leads us to the second influence.

Shortly after canning became the norm with packaging dog food, the war took its toll on the industry. As a result of the war, there was a need to conserve tin, glass, meat, and other items by the military.

This meant that the use of tin for packaging dog food was considered non-essential. As a result, the industry had to look for another alternative.

Furthermore, most dog meals were made from horse meat as a major ingredient. Those times, horses had not attained or were not fully perceived as sports animals. The war meant horses could not be used as the core ingredients in dog food. An alternative had to be sought in a good time.

As with the statement, “necessity is the mother of all inventions,” the industry came up with another worthy invention. In a bid to effectively package and produce high-quality meals, the emergence of dry food (kibbles) graced the stage.

Subsequently, companies began to produce life stage dog food. These meals were tailored to meet the nutritional demands of dogs at various stages of life. This meant that instead of purchasing a general item, you could buy dog meals according to your dog’s life stage.

For instance, you could buy puppy food rather than adult dog food. Furthermore, companies also produced health inclined dog food products. For instance, a dog with diabetes had commercial meals tailored to meet his needs.

These meals took into consideration the peculiarity of the dog’s condition and sort to relive the canine creature.

How Knowledgeable are Pet Parents About Dog Food

Down the line, the various administrative and customer inquiries into the meat constituents in commercial food played a part.

You should realize that the pet parent’s knowledge of canine food has always been progressive. They keep getting better and demanding more from the manufacturers. In retrospect, the first commercial canine meal was simply a special biscuit cake. The meaty component was not well explained.

It will also interest you to know the inventor was an electrician. Animal nutrition as a major part of veterinary sciences was not well instituted.

Bearing this in mind, many pet parents did not understand the nutritional requirements of their dogs. They simply accepted the expensive dog meals hook, line, and sinker.

However, the role of competition and administration positions to oversee the production of dog meals changed the game. For instance, around the early 1930s, it was common knowledge that dogs needed more meat than plant produce. As a result, companies got into massive production of meals using horse meat for this purpose.

To meet this need in the present time, there is a commercial raw food option. These products are synthetically produced with meats. Although they are not wholly organic, they are proven to do better at meeting the nutritional demands of canine creatures.

This is a brief exposition into the evolution of commercially made dog food from the 1860s to the present day.

If you prefer a visual explanation of this article, below is a detailed and helpful video.

Video: How Is Dog Food Made (Dry and Wet Food Making – Part 1)

How Is Dog Food Made

First, we have a wide range of canine food classification. These classes include dry food, wet food, raw food, and commercial treats. Furthermore, some pet parents are very particular about the food intake of their canine pals. As a result, they make homemade meals.

In this article, we will go through the process involved in making these kinds of meals. That also includes DIY meals as prepared by dog owners.

Precisely, the commercial dry meals rake in more profit than any other commercial canine food. This is because they are economical and cheaper; they also contain more calories in smaller proportions than the others. 

As a result, many pet owners opt for food items such as kibbles. In light of this, let’s start with dry food.

How Is Dry Dog Food Made

These meals are largely produced commercially. However, some pet parents make homemade dry food for their dogs.

There are lots of differences between the two processes. For instance, the quantity produced is different while the machines and items used are not the same. Let us start with the commercial dry dog food.

Video: How Its Made … dogs food

Below is a video explaining commercial dry food production

Commercial Dry Dog Food – The Process

Overall, the nutrients used in these products consist of protein, vitamins, carbohydrates, and minerals. Furthermore, flavoring and fats are added at later stages of the production process. Depending on the brand, these nutrients are used in varying proportions.

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However, the formulas should not violate the dietary requirement of dogs. By nature, dogs need more of some nutrients to stay healthy. On the other hand, some nutrients are only required in little proportions.

Violation of these could cause complications for dogs. These complications range from indigestion to intestinal issues, and to more serious complications.

For instance, dogs need less amount of fat compared to cats. A feline’s dietary requirement is high on fat and protein. However, their canine counterparts are not able to digest a large number of fats well enough. 

Item Purchase

Firstly, the raw materials are purchased in large quantities. Considering the huge patronage, these companies purchase raw materials that fill up huge trucks daily.

These materials include meats in various forms. Depending on the company, a variety of meaty alternatives used include chicken, duck, sheep, lambs, and fish. For some, a combination of two or more of these meaty components is used.

Other raw materials purchased are grains, fats, vitamins, minerals, among others. For grains, options such as rice, barley, cereals, and corn are used.

Safe for Consumption

In line with the best standard practice, the purchased raw materials must meet certain standards. The meat used should be biologically fit for the animal’s consumption.

For example, in some climes, the meat should not be frozen or have preservatives at that point. They should be as ideal as preys caught in the wild. The same applies to the other items. The grains should be void of artificial additions. They should be safe for consumption in the long term.

Independent Storage

These purchased items are stored up in independent places. At this stage, the materials are put in the right shape. For instance, if chickens are used, the feathers are taken off. Also, chaffs and other parts not needed for the process are discarded. By and large, the items are prepared for the next stage of operation.

The automobile industry is not the only sphere to benefit from the assembly line. Thanks to Henry Ford’s assembly line invention, other facets such as the commercial dog food industry have improved production.

The use of these heavy-duty machines helps manufacturers produce large amounts of these products in a good time. Each production stage is an integral part of the assembly line. For instance, after the crushing stage takes effect, the ingredient mixture happens. 

Crushing Stage

At this point, large pieces of equipment play very important roles. Chief among these machines is the hammer mill. This machine is used to crush the raw materials into smaller and coarse forms. The process of crushing is essential in the eventual outcome of the product.

By grinding the materials, the subsequent process of mixing to achieve equity in nutrients is made easy. Without crushing the items, larger proportions of the nutrients may be residual in some parts as against the others. The process of grinding allows for the fair distribution of nutrients.

This way, dog parents do not need to be worried as products of the same kind have more nutrients than each other. Furthermore, the process helps the next process to a large extent.

Ingredients Mixture

In line with the capacity of the machine, large commercial blenders are used. At this stage, appropriate measurement and adherence to the nutritional formula are very important.

The dry ingredients are mixed in line with the intended outcome of the product. For instance, if the product is intended to be 60% grain, the addition of grain should be in that regard.

As a reminder, only dry ingredients are mixed. Plants residue and items with low moisture content are the only ingredients that go through this process. The vitamins and fat which are usually in liquid forms are added much later.

The separation of moist content for later stages is very important. This way, the watery extracts do not make the coarse form of the mixture uneven.

Extrusion Process

This stage practically defines the eventual look of the product. With a defined degree of heat, the large dry mixed items are forced through something known as a die. The shape of the die is what determines the look of the product.

For instance, if the product has a bone shape, that means the die will be of that shape. Most commercial dog food manufacturers have various kinds of dies to produce various shapes. If you are opportune to visit the factories, you would see options like the round, bone-shaped, rectangle, and other kinds of dies.

The product is formed by passing through the various dies at the right temperature, under extreme pressure. If the items need to be sliced, chopped, shaped, or further mixed, it all happens in this stage.

The extrusion machine is a large barrel with a cylindrical shape. This machine consists of various parts with options of pre-cooking, cooking, mixing, forcing the items into the die, among others.

Any mixture before the extrusion stage is void of moisture. However, the extrusion stage is the first contact between the dry and wet ingredients. Liquid Ingredients such vitamins and fats are added at this stage.

These liquid ingredients are strategically infused into the pre-mixed content. This is to allow for even distribution on all parts of the pre-mixed content. For the most part, the process is inch-perfect considering the high-quality machines used.

This process is not only peculiar to dog food makers. It is replicated in a variety of human products such as chocolate bars, among others. It is one of the most important steps in the entire process.

If something goes wrong at this stage, the outcome will be questionable. This could be in terms of the wrong shape, excessive crumbs, or uneven mixture. Bearing this in mind, these companies are very particular about this stage.

More so, there is one interesting observation of dogs that have affected the production of dog food using the extruder. Both canine and feline creatures may swallow small pieces of dry food without chewing properly. This can cause indigestion and other severe complications in the long run.

On the other hand, there is also a problem if the meals are too big. Dogs and cats would likely get uninterested in the meal. This is especially if they are not very hungry.

To avoid these extremes, these brands use the appropriate size of the die. The die is just the right size, as it is neither too small nor too large.

Removal of Heat

The use of certain degrees of heat is required with the extrusion process. If it remains that way, the eventual product is susceptible to mold and condensation. To avoid this, the extruded mixture is exposed to a defined amount of cooling.

The cooling procedure is performed by a commercial dryer. This is usually under the watchful eye of a professional to ensure there are no lapses.

The appropriate use of the dryer helps the product have the ideal look and feel. This is because the cooling process determines if the product will be too soft, moist, dry, or hard.

The cooling procedure is usually observed keenly. This is to make sure the products have the right look, feel, weight, moisture, and a couple of other properties. This process is as well important, especially because of the liquid ingredients.

The preference of the average dog is a major reason this stage is of the essence. Most dogs prefer wet and canned meals to dry products. The reason is not farfetched.

Wet and canned products have more moist content. This makes eating and chewing very easy. Also, indigestion is less likely to occur. Lastly, it is a greater deal for furry pals that consume a lot of water.

Unarguably, dry products cannot contain as much moisture as wet and canned products can. However, this stage helps dry meals retain a little moisture. It also moderates the dry food’s thickness under the appropriate automated temperature.  

Enrobing Stage

If you ever imagined how the chocolate bar has its outer delicious coating, then this stage will provide answers. At this point, depending on the brand and product, the top coating is applied. You should know this is the final stage asides from the packaging.

This is majorly to make the product appealing. The enrobing stage is one of the profound differences between homemade dry food and commercially produced ones. At this stage, some brands add artificial coloring. Other manufacturers use refined powdery substances.

We once came across a company that used a mixture of corn oil with refined power. This is considering the appealing scent of corn oil to dogs. As you may have rightly guessed, the product was a great delight for dogs.

Furthermore, one of the major differences between commercial dry dog meal and treat is the enrobing process.

The ingredients used in the enrobing stage of commercial treats are tailored to appeal to the dog. The inner constituents of the products may not be as healthy as expected. However, the dog is delighted by the look and scent.

Bearing this in mind, dog parents should not overindulge their canine pals with treats. We recommend that treats should not constitute more than 10% of the dog’s entire meal. This way you have a healthy dog from a nutritional stance.

Bagging Stage

Machine inclined packaging is one of the features of a commercial product. That also applies to the commercial dog food industry. The creativity that comes with bagging is one of the distinguishing features of various brands.

After the Enrobing Stage, the coated dry food products are stored temporarily in silos. This is with intent to gather them for bagging. The silos are strategically channeled to an automated bagging machine.

However, before then, the machine sieves away crumbs and unequal products. This is to ensure the dry meals are even in every bag.

After this is done, the kibbles are led into a machine with a sealer. In sealing the bottom, the machine puts designated measures of dry food into a paper or plastic bag. Slightly afterward, the sealer closes the top of the paper or plastic bag package.

The 3kg bag size is one of the most common in the commercial dog food industry. At one point or the other, dog parents who purchase kibbles have come in contact with a wide range of the 3kg bags.

Shelf Life of Commercial Dry Food

As a result of the amount of moisture removed from the ingredients, dry food has a longer shelf life compared to other kinds of commercial options.

However, there is no definite span for every dry food product. The shelf life is determined by the moisture content, formulas used for the production, among others. On a general note, the shelf life of canine dry food is approximately between 11 – 17 months.

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We have come across some dog parents who feed slightly expired products to their dogs. This act should be discouraged. For one, these products are synthetically produced. As a result, there is the adverse effect of these expired items to battle with.

Bearing this in mind, never feed your dog expired products. It does not matter if he seems to like the meal. As regards to nutrition, dogs have a hard time distinguishing between what they want as against what they need.

For this reason, you should make sure your dog is not fed on expired products.

There are various advantages of commercial dry food products over homemade ones. For one, the periodic evaluation of these products by professionals such as an animal nutritionist is to be considered.

Furthermore, the precision and appropriate measurements by automated machines are usually inch-perfect.

These among other reasons validate the importance of commercial dry food products. If these products are produced using the right raw material, equipment, and production guidelines, they ensure your dog’s nutritional requirements are met to a large extent.

We have taken the time to explain the commercial dry dog food manufacturing process. In contrast, let us share the process behind the homemade alternative with you.

A Homemade Dry Food Recipe

When dog owners opt to make homemade meals for their dogs, it is mostly human inclined or wet meals. However, you could make your very own alternative to the kibble.

There are various recipes for making homemade dry food. While the process takes a lot of time, it has its benefits. For one, you can personally scrutinize what your dog consumes, considering that you are the manufacturer.

For some dog parents, this is very important considering the number of product recall witnessed. To make sure their dogs are exposed to the right nutrients, they dedicate their time, money, effort, and research to this venture. Considering this, let us share one homemade dry food recipe with you.  

To make this sort of dry food, you need some items. You can add to these ingredients based on you and your dog’s preference.

However, make sure the additions are not harmful to your dog. You should know some human meals contain toxins that are harmful to your dog. Some of these harmful human meals include grapes, chocolate, avocado, onions, among others. Be certain that any addition is safe for your dog.

The basic ingredients for this homemade dry food recipe are:

  1. Egg
  2. Corn Oil
  3. Flour
  4. Broth
  5. Milk
  6. Green Beans
  7. Peanut Butter

These ingredients have specific measures, mostly dependent on the quantity of food intended.

If you decide to prepare the meal based on our measurement, you will need the following: 

4 medium-sized chicken egg, 11/3 cup of milk, 71/2 cups of flour, 21/2 cups of broth, 1/3 cup of oil (preferable Corn Oil), 1 cup of peanut butter, and 1 cup of chopped and pre-cooked green beans.

You should get two large containers for these items. This is because two portions will be mixed separately before they are finally mixed. Also, we recommend that you use an electric mixer to whisk all through the entire process.

Step One

Empty the content of the 4-medium sized eggs into a mixing bowl. Afterward, whisk the eggs until the 3 visible yokes are blended.

Step Two

Add the entire broth into the whisked egg. Afterward, mix the entire content. To avoid spillage, you should be very careful when mixing.

Step Three

After the mixture of egg and broth, it’s time to add the oil. Considering the great scent and appeal it gives canine creatures, we prefer you use corn oil. In the absence of that, you can use regular cooking oil with the same measurement. Add 1/3 cups of oil to the pre-stated mixture.

Step Four

Add the entire peanut butter into the mixture. More than ever, you need extra caution to avoid spillage when whisking the entire mixture. Considering the sticky properties in the peanut butter, you need to whisk properly. At the same time, you should be very cautious.

Step Five

At this point, get the other mixing bowl ready. This is because you will be mixing another batch of items separately. Unlike the previous mixture, this new mixture will be a dry one. You would not be needing any form of liquid until you mix the entire ingredients.

First, add approximately 6 cups of flour into the bowl. This is because you would add the remaining flour subsequently. Secondly, add the entire milk into the bowl. Next, mix the dry flour and milk content.

Step Six

After you are done with mixing the dry content, add it to the previous wet mixture. You would need to use the electric mixer very well at this point.

You are to mix the content until it becomes a dough. Most notably, the dough should not be too sticky at the end of it all. You might need to add flour intermittently to achieve this. Do this until the moist mixture is not sticking to the side of the mixing bowl. At this point, you can move ahead.

Step Seven

You would need a chopping board or an appropriate table at this point. The stage requires that you take the moist but thick dough out of the mixing bowl. But before that, you need to apply flour generously on the chopping board or table.

Also, apply the flour graciously on your hands. This will make your hands slippery enough to work on the dough. Afterward, you are good to proceed.

You should knead the dough for about two minutes. This way, you put finishing touches to those parts that the electric mixer left undone. Also, you do away with slightly less moisture. 

Step Eight

Next, you should begin to make the dough take shape. Cut the rubbed dough into kibble shapes. The DIY dry food size should be dependent on the dog’s size and preference. On a general note, large-sized dogs should have larger sized cuts.

The size of the homemade dry dog food is very important. This is because there are unfavorable consequences when a bite is too small or too large.

If the homemade kibble size is too small, the dog may swallow without chewing properly. This may cause indigestion and other severe complications in the long run. If the portions are too large, the dog may get uninterested easily. This is especially if the dog is not very hungry.

Step Nine

The next step is about solidifying the cut kibble. For this, you can use an oven. Better still, a dehydrator is a great option. This is because it would reduce the trapped moisture, making the kibble dry and long-lasting.

Arrange the kibble into the dehydrator tray or that of the oven. The kibble should be placed under moderate temperature to avoid getting burnt. The mid-high option should be alright. They should be heated until it snaps when broken. If you use the oven option, temperatures between 175 – 200 should make the kibble edible enough.

Step Ten

After you consider the kibble fit enough from the oven or dehydrator, you should put it out to dry. This is of the essence. Among other things, it makes the kibble less susceptible to mold.

As an addition, you may choose to add some artificial coloring. Although this is not a necessity. It adds spice and a touch of excellence to the eventual outcome.

In general, kibbles are harder than wet dog food. This is one reason why lots of dogs prefer the wet option. However, you can make things a lot easier by soaking the meals. 

With water, you can soften the kibble, making it more edible for consumption. This tip should be more observed for puppies and small-sized canine buddies.

Commercial Wet Dog Food

We have spent a large portion of this article discussing commercial and homemade dry food production. We understand that there are other kinds of dog meals available. Bearing this in mind, let us go over the process involved in commercial wet food production.

Ideally, a large amount of meat goes into the process. Also, vegetables and some other safe plant residuals are used.

There are a couple of machines used in the largely automated process. They include the frozen meat flaker, grinder, mixer and emulsifier, vacuum filler, forming machine, steam cooker, cutting machine, and a few others. As with commercial dry food production, wet meals maximize the assembly line to a large extent.

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Purchasing the Raw Materials

The quality of any commercial wet food product is largely dependent on the raw materials used. Asides from the impressive automated machines, good dog food companies pay attention to the source of their raw material.

These ingredients include meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits. Depending on the company, a variety of canine safe additions can be made. Let us examine the qualities of the raw ingredients that are used.

Meat

The meaty component is an essential part of the entire product. This is because dogs may be omnivorous, but a large portion of their dietary requirement is meat. To fulfill this requirement, dog food manufacturers purchase large amounts of meat.

From aggregate research, most companies use chicken meat to fulfill this requirement. This trend may be validated by the average dog’s love for chicken meat. However, there are other options used by some companies. These options include sheep, lamb, pork, among others.

Among other reasons, some companies use two or more meat alternatives to stay ahead in the corporate game. Ironically, as will be subsequently discussed, some companies try to cut corners regarding the addition of meat residue in their products.

Fruits and Vegetables

The choice of fruits and vegetables are largely dependent on the specific product. For instance, while product A has apples and mangoes, product B may have carrots and peas on the contrary.

The proportion of these ingredients also depends on the product’s formula. Different products have different formulas.

A couple of fruit ingredients used by these companies include apples, carrots, mangoes, pea, blueberries, and a host of others.

As a result of our canine’s ability to process some fruits with toxins, some items are and should never be added. Such fruits include grapes, avocados, cherries, lemons, and a couple of others.

The decision to avoid these items are for various reason. But generally, these items possess toxins that are harmful to dogs. For instance, some have an indigestible amount of sodium or solanine residual in them. This validates the decision to avoid using these items by manufacturers.

As regard vegetables, the same situation happens. Examples of greens safe and used by these companies include carrots, green beans, cucumbers, and a host of others. On the other hand, these companies steer clear of vegetables such as onions and tomatoes.

Fish Component

A couple of manufacturers understand that fish has a peculiar fleshy nutrient. Therefore, they add it to the product. However, with the help of an animal nutritionist, the choice of fish is very important.

In plain terms, fish is a great meal for dogs. However, it should be the right choice, as well as in the right state. For one, a lot of fish have an indigestible amount of oil residue in them. To avoid complications in this regard, the fish should be cooked properly. Also, any bit of bone should be removed.

The average dog food manufacturer understands this and puts that knowledge to use. They avoid sea creatures with excessive mercury. In light of this, options such as tuna are ruled out. On the other end, a common fish alternative is salmon. 

How Is Commercial Wet Dog Food Produced

The production of the average wet dog food may be termed a complex process. Before the canned wet food ends up on the shelf, a huge chunk of raw materials goes through various stages. These stages are also designed to ensure hygiene and global best practice at large.

At this point, let us examine what goes on before your dog feasts on that sumptuous wet food.

Pre-Processing Stage

Some manufacturers send some of the raw materials for pre-processing. Some smaller companies carry out this operation. However, this is optional as lots of companies have designated sections that handle this operation.

The meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits are pre-processed for the eventual grinding, mixing, steaming, and other processes.

At the pre-processing stage, the meat is deboned by a machine. This implies that a large amount of the bones (if not all of it), is removed mechanically. Among other reasons, this aids the mixture of all ingredients subsequently.

Also, in this phase, the meat is frozen. This is majorly to avoid contamination. This is because a high level of hygiene is required in these factories. A couple of administrative bodies periodically ensure that this is the case.

In like manner, the bones and excessive oil content of the fish are removed. The need for a high level of meticulousness explains why some companies hire smaller but more professional companies to handle this process.

Also, the vegetables are chopped into the appropriate size. The uniformity of the chopped fruits and vegetables is only guaranteed but automated machines. As a result, these companies invest heavily in heavy-duty machines capable of giving that touch of perfection, even at this stage of the entire process.

The procedure requires the services of experienced animal nutritionists. To a large extent, the fate of the final product is dependent on this process. Because of this, companies ensure a high level of scrutiny at this stage. A combination of humans and machines work to make sure all ends well.

The Assembly Line

After the pre-processing stage which can be carried out in or outside the company, the pre-processed raw materials go through some production stage. Let us examine them as they unfold on after the other.

Frozen Meat Flaker Phase

This stage is carried out on a large machine. The equipment is responsible for breaking down large blocks of frozen meat into pieces. The frozen meat flaker does this in several turns, depending on its ability. This machine speeds up the processing time very much.

The large-sized frozen meat is fitted into a tray. Some of these trays have a lever-operated automatically. The operator engages the right buttons that enable the tray to turn, throwing the meat into the main part of the equipment.

In some other type of meat flaker, the meat is put on a rolling platform rather than a tray. The large meat rolls into the sharp and thick blades of the flaker. In no time, the once compressed meat is down in small pieces.

The size and time taken are dependent on the grade and type of meat flaker. The process continues until all the frozen meats are cut into small sizes.

The same process applies to frozen fish. However, they are cut with lesser intensity as adjusted by the operator.

Bowl Cutter Phase

Next in line is the use of the bowl cutter. Before then, factory workers may have to separate some parts of the previously cut meat. For instance, the thigh may be separated from the skin component. This is because the processing of these varying parts requires different conditions.

For instance, the thigh will be processed faster than the skin. To get an even and well-balanced product at this phase, factory workers quickly sort the meat components. This is so that the bowl cutter will work on similar patterned parts of the meat.

As with the flaker, this machine cuts the meat and fish into mince sized shapes at the very least. At the extreme, it is rendered moist and a little sticky. This is as a result of the high-quality metal blades, designed for this purpose.

Mixer and Emulsifier Phase

After the bowl cutter experience, the meat and fish must have gone through a great deal of cutting and grinding. In turn, the meat is less solid than in its first state.

At this point, other ingredients are added to the minced or mushy meat and fish. The other ingredients are added in a machine called a mixer or emulsifier.

This machine blends the entire mixture into a very moist, slippery, and mushy state.

Screw Feeding Phase

The pappy mixture is in turn fed from the mixer and emulsifier into a machine called a screw feeding machine.

This machine quickly does two major things. First, it renders the content into a much finer paste. Secondly, it sends the paste vertically into the next phase of the production. With the aid of a pipe, it sends up a defined amount of smooth pasty feed mixture into the vacuum filler and forming machine. 

Vacuum Filler and Forming Phase

These machines are very much used for making human sausage. However, the usefulness of this machine is not exclusive to humans. From the screw feeding machine, the paste is passed unto the vacuum filler.

At this point, the machine begins to form the item with the desired coating and designated temperature. This is done before the steaming and varying level of cooking.

Cooking and Cutting Phase

With the designated amount of water, the machine cooks the formed item under moderated degrees. This process is well observed as the product must retain and not exceed a certain amount of moisture. This measurement must be even across all similar products.

Next in line, the cooked substance is cut into equal sizes by a cutting machine. The cut substance is slid off to a large body of water. This is to cool off the substance to a reasonable extent. If this is not done, the heat of the substance will make the outcome susceptible to mold. This also ensures the product has a long shelf life.

The Autoclave Phase

At the point, the packaging is beginning to take its course. Most commercial wet dog foods are packaged in sealed cans. Without sterilization, tin cans have properties that make them susceptible to bacteria and other unsafe organisms. To avoid this possibility, the cans are sent into a machine called an autoclave.

At the autoclave, the cans are exposed to a high degree of heat for a lengthy period. Precisely, for about 3 – 4 hours, the cans are exposed to 120 degrees of heat. This ensures the products are stored up in high quality can, free from harmful organisms.

Afterward, the tins are placed in rollers that position them strategically to be filled with wet food. The process is mostly automated and inch-perfect most times. This is considering how the same amount of product and moisture is released into each can.

Furthermore, another attached machine is responsible for imprinting the brand’s design and inscriptions. Parts of the content of the inscription includes the brand name and logo, ingredients used for production, evaluative team, and specifications for use.

Conclusively, it is stored up for packaging by huge trucks. As you would have observed, the production process is a segmented and lengthy one. A lot of evaluation and quality control assessment is expected to go into various stages. Also, we like to think the production of wet food requires more effort than kibble.

In line with modern-day practice, if produced under the right standard, the products should not have preservatives, colorants, and salt. The subject of salt is one major difference between human and canine nutritional demands.

Dogs are unable to digest large amounts of sodium properly. Bearing this in mind, animal nutritionists at these factories ensure that little or no amount of salt is added to the product’s ingredients. 

Other Alternatives for Packaging Commercial Wet Food

As so many dog parents can tell, a large portion of wet dog food is packaged in lid sealed cans. However, there are other options seldom applied by manufacturers.

The packaging option for wet food is extended to pouches and trays. Except for the content, there are similarities between the human and canine canned food products. For instance, the use of a vacuum filler is common with sausage production.

How Homemade Wet Food Is Made

We have spent a reasonable amount of time talking about commercial wet food for dogs. We would also like to explain that various homemade recipes could fit into the wet food category.

We will share one of these cheap recipes that you can make from the comfort of your kitchen.

Also, there is an advantage to this. Lots of dog parents are worried about the rate at which commercially made dog food brands are getting recalls. As a result, they prefer to take sole responsibility for what their dog consumes. If you fall into such a category, you could prepare this option for your dog.

Another advantage is that it is relatively cheap. Asides from the time and effort needed to make homemade dog meals, many think the process is expensive. This is particularly true for most recipes. However, you can save as much with this recipe. The ingredients needed for this recipe include:

  1. Olive Oil
  2. Chicken, Beef or Turkey
  3. Pre-cooked Pasta
  4. Pre-cooked carrot
  5. Green Beans
  6. Organic Tomato Sauce

As for the measurements, you would need 1 tablespoon of Olive oil, 31/2 pounds of Chicken, 2 cups od pre-cooked pasta, 1 can of tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of cut and pre-cooked carrot, and 1 cup of green beans.

Pre-Cook Some of the Ingredients

Beforehand, you should pre-cook some of the ingredients. For instance, pasta should be precooked. For the choice of pasta, you can opt for macaroni, as well as any other type. You should ensure the pasta is not too soft. This is because it would still undergo further cooking with the entire mixture.

You should also pre-cook the chicken, beef, or turkey. Do not forget to cut it into edible sizes suitable for your dog. As with the pasta, do not make it too soft at this stage. The process should take about 12 – 16 minutes. The carrot should be cut into reasonable sizes and precooked as well.

The Cooking Proper

Add the entire 1 tablespoon of Olive oil into the cooking pot. At medium temperature, allow the oil to get heated for about 1 minute. Next, add the entire pasta into the pot. Mix carefully as you do this. Afterward, add the precooked and cook pieces of meat into the pot. Repeat the mixing procedure at this point.

You should allow the entire mixture to heat up for about 4 – 7 minutes. Then add the entire tin of tomato sauce. Mix the ingredients against until satisfied.

Next, you would need to add the vegetables. First, add the pre-cooked carrot and the green beans afterward. We recommend that you wait for about 2 – 3 minutes before mixing the entire ingredients. After mixing, wait for an extra 2 – 3 minutes before putting out the heat. You should not serve the meal while hot. Rather, allow the food to get cool.

As we always like to stress, there is no one size fits all approach to the quantity of food that should be served. This should be dependent on the dog’s size, breed, physical activity level, age, medical condition, and a couple of other factors.

However, you might need a general yardstick if you do not know how to evaluate these factors. On that note, you can serve about 1 cup for every 30 pounds your dog weighs. For instance, if your dog weighs 60 pounds, your canine buddy should have around 2 cups of this meal.

This is because larger sized dogs require larger portions of food to stay healthy. Also, if you have a large-sized dog, you should stare clear of cutting the meat into very tiny bits. Rather, the meat should be large enough for them to chew properly. On the other hand, it should not be too big as this might make them uninterested.

As earlier mentioned, this is not a definite measure. It could be subject to further changes. Also, be attentive to the physical and health state of your dog. This is key to understanding how much food he needs to consume.

How to Buy the Right Commercial Canine Food

Undoubtedly, the quality of the product you buy for your dog is very important. You should look out for certain things before you purchase any processed food for your dog. Let us go over some of these things.

Manufacturer’s Track record

Ever heard that a good name is better than rubies, this is also true about dog food manufacturers. Before you purchase any dog food product, you may want to check out the history of the company.

Some dog food manufacturers have a consistent history of having product recalls. You should not trust such companies with meeting your canine’s nutritional demands. Especially given the benefit of the digital age, this information can be gotten within the snap of a finger. Put your inquisitive nature to use in this regard.

Stay Away from Preservative

Preservatives contain a measure of synthetic properties unsafe for your dog. Although they preserve the shelf life of the product, they have adverse effects on your dog.

As a result, you should steer clear of such products. These are very common with commercial treats, as well as other kinds of commercial products.

Check Out for the Expiry Date

You would be shocked by how this can help you make the right decision. Some products declare the use of organic ingredients in their processing. Ironically, these products have a very long shelf life.

We recommend that you steer clear of such products. For one, organic ingredients would not have exceptional shelf life without the aid of synthetic additions. In that regard, choose organic inclined products that have a shorter shelf life.

Baked Over Conventional Kibble

Kibble form a large proportion of dog meals purchased. While this is optional, we recommend that you opt for it. The trendy baked kibbles offer more in terms of nutrients.

Considering the extrusion process that the conventional kibble undergoes, a lot of nutrients are lost in the process. To make up for this, some of these nutrients are spread back into the product. On the other hand, the baked variety of kibble allows the ingredients to retain more nutrients.

In light of this, we recommend that you opt for the baked sort of kibble and dry food at large.

On a Final Note

The constituents in the regular commercially made dog food are important to the average dog parent. As a result, we have answered the question of what dog food is made of.

In doing this, we traced the commercial dog food emergence in England. Afterward, we examined the various factors that have influenced the dog food in various stages. As a reminder, such factors include the institution of animal nutrition as a part of the veterinary sciences.

Other factors include the 2nd world war, government inclined evaluation teams, animal protection groups, as well as the ever-increasing knowledge of dog parents on the subject.

Over the years, the average dog parent has become more aware of the nutritional demands of his/her dog. Therefore, they buy products that meet these dietary requirements.

Particularly, we explained the entire production stages of both the commercial dry and wet food. The possibility of a homemade recipe was also stressed with two examples.

Conclusively, we should ensure that the commercial products purchased for our dogs are appropriate. Taking the segment on how to know the right dog food seriously, ensure that your dog is feed right.