How Dry Pet Food is Made

How Dry Pet Food is Made

The creation of dry dog food is a meticulous process undertaken by pet food companies to ensure pets receive balanced nutrition in every bite.

Quality ingredients, including animal derivatives and grains, are selected and mixed. Through extrusion, this mix is cooked under high pressure to form kibbles.

These kibbles are then dried and coated with flavors, resulting in nutritious and appealing dog food that supports the health and well-being of pets.


Ingredient selection and sourcing

The foundation of high-quality pet food, including canned dog foods, lies in pet food manufacturers’ meticulous ingredient selection and sourcing practices. These companies prioritize nutritious ingredients that meet pets’ specific dietary needs. Here’s a closer look at how pet food makers ensure the quality and efficacy of their products:

  • Animal Derivatives and By-Products: Utilized for their high protein content, these ingredients include parts like liver, kidney, and lung, which undergo rigorous veterinary inspections to ensure they’re fit for consumption. Pet food makers contribute to sustainability while providing essential nutrients by choosing components surplus to human food industry requirements.
  • Meal Forms: Ingredients such as chicken or poultry by-product meal are processed through cooking and fat removal before drying. This process concentrates the protein content, making it a potent nutritional component of dry dog food.
  • Grains and Vegetables: Sourced for their carbohydrate and fiber content, these ingredients are milled or ground to ensure digestibility and nutritional availability. They play a crucial role in maintaining pets’ energy levels and gastrointestinal health.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Essential for rounding off the nutritional profile, these components are carefully balanced to meet the complete dietary requirements of pets, supporting everything from bone health to immune system function.
  • Quality Assurance: Pet food manufacturers engage in stringent quality control measures, ensuring that every ingredient sourced meets high standards for nutrition and safety.


Ingredient weighing and preparation

In the pet food manufacturing process, precise ingredient weighing and preparation are crucial for ensuring pet food safety and meeting the rigorous demands of the pet food market.

Each component is meticulously weighed to match the specific nutritional formula, ensuring consistency and quality in every batch. This step is vital in preventing contamination and ensuring that pets receive balanced and safe nutrition.

Manufacturers prepare these ingredients through careful grinding, sieving, and mixing to create a homogenous blend that forms the basis of high-quality pet food products.


Cooking and cooling

The cooking and cooling processes are fundamental in crafting dry and wet pet food, directly affecting the final product’s nutritional value, safety, and palatability. Here’s how these critical stages contribute to the quality of pet food:

Cooking Process:

  • For dry pet food, ingredients undergo extrusion, a high-temperature and high-pressure cooking method that ensures thorough cooking and sterilization.
  • Wet pet food benefits from cooking techniques like retort processing, which seals the food in cans or pouches, preserving its moisture and flavor.
  • This step is crucial for eliminating pathogens, enhancing food safety, improving digestibility, and making nutrients available to pets.

Cooling Process:

  • Immediately following cooking, pet food must be adequately cooled to stabilize it, essential for maintaining its nutritional profile and preventing microbial growth.
  • Cooling helps solidify fats and reduce moisture levels in dry food, preventing spoilage and extending shelf life.
  • For wet pet food, cooling is also critical after sealing to ensure the integrity of the package and the safety of the food inside.


Kibble coating

After drying and cooling, kibbles undergo a crucial enhancement step known as coating. This stage significantly influences the final product’s appeal and nutritional value.

Kibbles are tumbled in a revolving drum, evenly coated with flavors, vitamins, and minerals. This boosts the taste, making the food more palatable to pets and ensuring that each kibble carries an additional nutritional boost.

For pet food manufacturers, the coating process is an opportunity to differentiate their products, addressing both the taste preferences of pets and the nutritional concerns of pet owners.



Packaging is the final step in pet food production, ensuring freshness and safety. It involves using protective materials to seal the food and applying detailed pet food labels. These labels provide vital information such as ingredients, nutritional content, and feeding instructions, adhering to strict regulatory standards for transparency and consumer trust. This phase guarantees the product’s integrity from manufacturing to the pet owner’s hands.


Storage and distribution

The final stages of the pet food production process, storage, and distribution, are critical for maintaining product quality and ensuring timely delivery to the market.

Once packaged, pet food is carefully stored in conditions that preserve its freshness and prevent spoilage. This involves regulating temperature and humidity in warehouses to protect the integrity of the food.

Distribution networks are then leveraged to efficiently move the product from the manufacturer to retailers and consumers. This seamless operation requires meticulous planning and coordination, ensuring that pet food arrives in perfect condition, ready for pets to enjoy



In conclusion, the journey of producing pet food involves meticulous steps—from ingredient selection to packaging—each designed to ensure the safety and nutritional quality of the food we provide to our pets. Understanding these processes highlights the importance of choosing a reputable and high-quality source for pet food raw materials.

Hanseatic-Agri stands out as a trusted supplier, committed to excellence at every production stage. For those seeking the best in pet food ingredients, partnering with Hanseatic-Agri ensures access to premium materials that meet the highest standards.