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The wide range of species, which makes up the pet population calls for an equally diverse range of prepared food. There are even many different offerings within each category - just like humans, pets enjoy a varied diet.
Think of pets and you think immediately of cats and dogs. But, in a whole world of pets, these are only two of the popular favourites.
Birds, fish and turtles have equally devoted owners. Canaries, budgerigars and parrots play equally important roles as companions; exotic varieties of fish provide relaxing company as they swim lazily in brightly lit aquaria; and the range of small pets, often for children, includes hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits.
In each case, they are pets just like cats and dogs - even if they have been chosen for different cultural reasons. Birds are chosen for the beauty of their plumage and the harmony of their song - and sometimes, perhaps, for the touch of the exotic they can provide.
Fish and turtles take their owners into a different world - a fascinating environment that can be watched for hours. The marine setting created for such pets makes an aquarium an elegant addition to many homes.
Rodents, such as hamsters and guinea pigs, make ideal playmates for young children. It is no coincidence that some of the most famous cartoon characters come from this branch of the pet world.
It follows, though, that this huge variety among the pet population calls for pet food significantly different to those enjoyed by cats and dogs. Birds, fish and rodents, therefore, need specific ingredients according to their specific requirements.
Birds and rodents must be given the appropriate grains, mixed according to precise formulas and completed with the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Fish and turtles must be given complete food in flake or pellet form or, as an alternative, natural products. The raw materials have to be selected with care and processed. And it must not be forgotten that the eating habits of fish vary considerably according to their origin. There are countless varieties of fish from the five continents of the world, many requiring their own individual diets.
It follows, in view of the knowledge and experience required, that only specialist companies with long traditions of research and development can provide the correct prepared food for these smaller members of the pet world.
These are the companies within the prepared pet food industry, which devise, produce and market through efficient distribution networks food for the small pets, which have such a major economic, cultural and social value.