the european pet food industry

The objectives of pet food

An objective: satisfying pet owners

Prepared pet foods differ from so many products in that the consumer is not the purchaser. It follows, therefore, that there are two very different "customers" to satisfy.

A pet owner buying prepared pet food has two prime concerns. First there must be assurance that the product provides a healthy diet. Secondly, the pet must enjoy eating it, The owner may have other concerns, which the manufacturer must be aware of - ranging from presentation and packing to variety and price. But the ultimate test will come from the other "customer" - the pet. The owner will judge the product on the continuing good health of the pet and the pet's satisfaction when eating.

The industry also recognises the need to cater for the various tastes of pets - which are often surprising. For example, cats and dogs, which live within a family, can sometimes acquire eating habits which stem directly from their owners. They can certainly be just as individual in their tastes!

Only by being attentive to the needs of both pets and their owners, while constantly innovating to provide even better value for money, can the manufacturer continue to satisfy both "customers" - pets and pet owners.

Nutritional objectives

The nutritional requirements of cats and dogs are different from those of humans and any error in feeding may have serious consequences on their health. A badly-balanced diet, composed of table scraps and over rich foods may cause disorders (obesity, digestive problems, dysfuntion of the liver, renal insufficiency, bone problems...). In other words, shorten the life of the animal.

A balanced diet for a cat or dog is achieved through a precise dosing of meat, cereals and vegetables in order to meet their needs in terms of amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins, minerals, trace-elements and vitamins. Besides, the nutritional requirements of an animal will vary according to its size, age and activity. A hunting dog will not be fed in the same way as a house dog, just as a puppy will not be fed in the same way as an ageing dog.

The rations on offer by the manufacturer are adapted to the needs of the different kinds of pets. Whether they represent a daily ration (complete food) or are used in conjunction with other foods (complementary food), industrially prepared pet foods contain all the right components in carefully prescribed proportions for a pet to lead a healthy life.