As there are more and more pet food choices around let’s talk about the different textures of pet foods.
Dry Food – These are the ones that are crunchy and can come in various sizes, from small for little dogs and range out the large specialty ones made for dental care. Dry food is made by preparing a recipe of dry and wet ingredients and mixed up. It is then put through a cooking process of steaming or using heated water. They are dried to remove the main amount of water. These processes were originally used for making cereal for people and then altered to prepare pet foods. The cooked food is then put through an extruder – this is the machine that makes it into the size and shape that is required for each food type. After it is cut up by knives at the end of the extruder, it is sprayed with oils, vitamins and other products. Several vitamins must be added here as they would dissolve or degrade otherwise in the cooking process. Now the dry foods made be bagged up in the appropriate sizes for transport and sale.
Canned Food – These foods have a different process. The materials are mixed together and then ground into smaller pieces. As the materials are mixed together, they start to increase the temperature of the mixer. It causes the starch ingredients to gelatinize the proteins and makes the texture of the canned food. Once the food is fully blended and cooked, it is sent through a filler/seamer machine, and the cans are filled. The final process is sterilizing of the cans. It is extreme heating that kills any potentially dangerous bacteria. They are cooled, labelled and sent on their way. The French army developed the process of canning dog food in the 1880s, and there have been some improvements over the years.
Semi-Moist Food – This third option is a spongy textured food that is not as soft as the canned food. It is only found in a few kinds of pet foods. The issue in the making it, however, is to keep it at that texture there is an abundance of salt and sugar used. It is not a good choice in a portion of pet food.
Regardless of the texture your choice of texture, you want to make sure that that food is of good quality and is correct for your pet’s health and stage of life. We can help you make healthy selections at the clinic.
If you have any questions, give us a call at 519.893.1360.
Written by: Lisa Clifford, RVT