How Dependence of Humans on Pets Is Driving the Pet Food Industry – IndustryARC

HYDERABAD, INDIA / ACCESSWIRE / October 5, 2021 / In the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, amidst the stay-at-home restrictions and lockdowns worldwide, work-from-home and quality time with family have assumed pivotal importance. Pets have become treasured members of household globally, and pet food has emerged as a significant constituent of the grocery shopping list of communities internationally. The stress and loneliness experienced by consumers during the pandemic have resulted in the increased adoption of pets like dogs and cats worldwide.

People have adopted pets for time immemorial. However, “pets” meaning was not necessitated to having them at home. Instead, it primarily means giving the animals food and a safe space to co-live with human beings.

The trends have been changing, the notion of taking care has expanded, and now being a pet owner solely means having a pet at one’s home. The idea was co-followed by another trend. A trend to treat your pets by providing them a wholesome meal. A meal that doesn’t just serve the proprietary of filling the pet’s stomach. It also provides them with all the beneficial ingredients and nutrients that will ease their lives and provide satiety in the caregiver’s life.

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Research has been an ongoing aspect of pet food and nutrition; Pet food is plant or animal matter to intake by pets. Commonly marketed in pet stores and supermarkets, it is particular to animal-like dog food or cat food. According to the American Pet Products Association (APPA), over 12 million American households possess a pet from the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic in March 2020. The pandemic should be the “pet-adoption boom period” owing to people relying on their pets for companionship during challenging times, resulting in the growth of the Pet Food Market. Even in the present recession-inflation bashed economy, people are caring for their pets using pet food owing to what Kipling popularly termed the dog’s ‘love unflinching that cannot lie.’

Pet food market Trends:

A) As per the pet food industry analysis by IndustryARC, the pet food market size was $50.23 billion in 2020. It is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.7% for the forecast period 2021-2026 to reach $70.14 billion.

Pet Food Market Size

Source: IndustryARC Analysis, Pet Food Market Report

B) Covid pandemic did not decrease or halt the number of pet adoptions. As per Rovers, nearly 49% of the Americans had got a new pet, mostly a dog, during the pandemic. Of all the adoptions, 53% bought a dog, 32% purchased a cat, and 14% adopted cats and dogs. Moreover, 40% of the pets adopted were from an NGO, and the other 24% were from another family. Lastly, 26% bought pets from a breeder in the USA.

C) Prevalence of millennials to bring home pets during the year 2020. The majority of the pets adoption by the millennials is due to the culture of “Work from home.” Therefore, people adopted more pets, even when they had pets. For example, only 13% of the adoptions were made by “first-time pet owners.” 66% of the studied population already had a pet before adoption. As large as 93% of the people felt that their mental health and physical wellbeing improved after adopting a pet in the pandemic.

Companies such as NomNomNow adopt different pet food marketing strategies to become “nose-to-tail” pet health companies. The trend known as macro-humanization is propelling the market forward. According to the company’s co-founder, Alexandria Jarell, people prefer food for their pets from trustworthy brands, have healthier ingredients, and offer more customization and personalization to each pet. The company’s primary pet food marketing strategy is to send custom-portion meals to the pet owners according to their weight and other supporting ancillaries. The following reduces the chances of overfeeding and underfeeding.

Moreover, the companies have now attributed various forms and surveys, which makes the pet owners answer several questions about their pet’s eating habits and the beneficial effects of consuming its offered products. The researchers can curate products that allow the pet to gain all the necessary nutritional elements by studying various surveys.

The below graph depicts how well- balanced the pet-based food market on the grounds of nutrition.

Pet food Ingredients

Source- Pet food institute

The “most used” ingredient for making pet based food is whole grains (1.8 million tons), and among the top 5 ingredients by weight; 3 of them are plant based offerings, thereby showing resilience on the former.
Pet food Top 5 Ingredients
Source – Pet food institute

The above graph represents the top-5 ingredients (in $) used in manufacturing pet food. The highest contributor being beef ($ 1.2 billion) while chicken broth constituted to around $353 million.

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Usage of Healthy foods and supplements:

Pet food manufacturers have incorporated various meals in their product portfolio that tastes well and has all the nutritional benefits present in a supplement to help pets from different disease condition as explained below;

Arthritis: Arthritis is a common ailment for aged dogs. The following condition develops as and when the cushioning between the bones starts to wear and tear. As a result, the bones begin to rub against each other, which causes common problems seen such as limping. As per studies, nearly 20% of dogs above the age of 1 and 80% above the age of 8 start showing symptoms resembling arthritis.

As per the interview by Dr. Jerry Klein- A chief veterinary doctor for American Kennel Club, she recommended that although there is no cure for arthritis for dogs, the impeding condition’s severity can be reduced by intaking Glucosamine.

Glucosamine is a naturally occurring compound used primitively to treat humans. Moreover, pets, especially dogs, can be given this to-

  1. Alleviate pain caused by hip dysplasia.
  2. Help in treating spinal disk injury.
  3. Aids in recovering from joint surgery.

Product inventions were seen for this ingredient, as a product under the name of Parnell offers “Glyde.” It is provided in “chews” and contains Glucosamine of power close to 600 mg a dose. Moreover, the Natural pet food market growth is driving the demand as the product is natural, gluten-free, and obtained from fair trade practices. Furthermore, Chondroitin is additionally given with Glucosamine to rebuild cartilage.

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Increasing usage of Omega-3 Fatty acids:

The advent of fish oil or omega-three fatty acids in the pet’s diet has proved immense use. It promotes heart health, silky coat and also helps in alleviating allergies and joint pain. Furthermore, regular intake of fish oil in daily food can cure canine cancer.

Fish oils are of three types, and one should be selected and given post the recommendation of a veterinarian:

  1. Natural triglyceride oil has the highest absorption rate but might contain impurities.
  2. Ethyl ester oil is a purified oil and has low absorption capacities.
  3. Synthetic triglyceride oil is obtained from synthetic formulations, is exceptionally pure but has minor absorption properties.

Additionally, research suggests that fish oil consumption led to improved plasma levels of the longer chain (C>20), had a high omega fatty acid(p<0.01), and low C- reactive proteins of 0.28.

Walkthrough of Pet Food with particular focus on Dog and Cat Food:

Dog Food – Dog food is food particularly formulated for consumption by dogs and other associated canines. Dogs are regarded as omnivores with a carnivorous slant. Dogs possess the stinging, pointed teeth and shorter gastrointestinal tracts of carnivores, more suited for meat intake than vegetable substances. They still have ten genes that account for starch and glucose digestion, together with the capability to generate amylase, an enzyme that performs to drill down carbohydrates into simple sugars – something that carnivores do not have. Companies commercially provide rendered meat food for Dogs in large proportions.

As per pet statistics, people with dogs as pets can reduce the possibility of heart ailment-associated demise by 36%. Another pet statistic indicates that Americans used up nearly $99 billion on their pets in 2020. The U.S. has the most excellent dog population globally at 69,929,000, followed by China at 27,400,000. Dry pet food diet, Novel pet-associated apps, and online Dog training courses are the critical trends in Dog food.

The demand for dog food increased during early COVID, owing to the accumulation of dog food to ensure their pet remains well-fed. Online dog food sales have spiked with, PetFlow,, and JustFoodforDogs, answering the spike in demand by providing contactless home delivery of dog food.

Table: Representative Dog Food Varieties By Category (September 2021)

Dog Food Major Ingredients & Type Profile & Applicable
Best Dry Puppy Foods
Farmina N&D Ancestral Grain Dry Puppy Formula

Deboned chicken, dehydrated chicken, whole spelt, whole oats, chicken fat

Grain-inclusive (includes grain)

All life stages

All puppies inclusive of large breeds

Wellness Complete Health Dry Puppy Food

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, ground barley, peas

Grain-inclusive (inclusive of grain)


All puppies including large breeds

Best Wet Puppy Foods
Wellness Complete Health Just for Puppy

Chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, salmon, ground barley

Grain-inclusive (barley)

All life stages

All puppies inclusive of large breeds

Nom Nom Fresh

Ground beef, russet potatoes, eggs, carrots, peas

Grain-free, refrigerated or frozen

All Life Stages

All puppies inclusive of large breeds

Best Large Breed Puppy Foods
Wellness Complete Health Large Breed Puppy Food

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, ground brown rice, salmon meal

Grain-inclusive (brown rice, oatmeal, barley, oats)


All puppies inclusive of large breeds

Orijen Puppy Large

Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, yellowtail flounder, whole eggs, whole atlantic mackerel


All life stages

All puppies inclusive of large breeds (also safe for adults)

Best Small Breed Puppy Foods
Blue Buffalo Life Protection Small Breed Puppy

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, barley, menhaden fish meal

Grain-inclusive (oatmeal, barley, rice)


Small breed puppies

The Farmer’s Dog Fresh

USDA turkey, parsnips, chickpeas, carrot, broccoli


All life stages

Puppies and adults, all breed sizes

Best Dry Dog Foods
Wellness Complete Health Dry Dog Food

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, ground barley, peas

Grain-inclusive (oatmeal, barley, brown rice)

Instinct Original Grain-Free Dry

Beef, chicken meal, white fish meal, peas, chicken fat


Best Wet Dog Foods
Canidae All Life Stages Canned Dog Food

Chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver, dried egg product, brown rice

Grain-inclusive (brown rice, barley)

All life stages

Adults + all puppies

Merrick Classic Canned Dog Food

Deboned beef, beef broth, chicken broth, beef liver, peas


All life stages

Adults + all puppies

Best Raw Dog Foods
Aunt Jeni’s Home Made Dog Food Beef, Beef heart, beef liver, apple, celery, whole eggs  
Best Senior Dog Foods
Wellness Core Senior Dog Food

Deboned turkey, chicken meal, bone meal, lentils, dried ground potatoes, peas



Cat Food – Cat Food is food designed for intake by cats. Cats possess needs for their food nourishment. The U.S. has the most significant population of cats internationally at 74,059,000, followed by China at 53,100,000. As per Pet Statistics, nearly 44% of individuals prefer cuddling up with their pet instead of their life partner. Another pet statistic indicates that 17% of cat owners use almost $13.65 on their pet cats. Germany is the most significant dollar worth value of exporter of cat food in 2019, followed by the U.S.

One in three families possesses a pet feline in the U.S., with a mean of 2.2 cats per cat-possessing family. While on the one hand, Americans take care of their in-house pet felines, on the other hand, they also welcome the stray and feral cats available in their neighborhoods. Many families acquire their pet cats from relatives and friends, while 34% of American cat-possessing households adopt stray and ferocious cats. A minuscule 3% of cat-owners acquire their pet felines from a trainer.

Table: Cat Food Varieties Ranked Top In 2021

Cat Food


Rich Source Of Nutrients

Smalls Cat Food

New, just produced food prepared with human grade constituents

High in protein and dampness.

Very less content of carbohydrates.

Ziwi Peak Wet Cat Food

Includes 92% new and just produced muscle meat, organs and bone.

Abundant species-suitable animal protein.

Soaring high-quality source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Authority Chicken Entrée Adult Cat Food Pate Canned Cat Food


Ample quantity of high-protein animal constituents.

Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine

A protein-abundant diet fundamentally prepared from animal-sourced constituents.

Abundant quantity of protein.

Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain- Free Dry Cat Food

No artificial colors, flavors and preservatives.

Abundant quantity of nutritious animal protein.

Extremely less carbohydrates.

Open Farm Wild-Caught Salmon Dry Cat Food

They are prepared from accountably harvested fish.

Animal protein sources are the fundamental constituents of this food and include herring oil and salmon oil.

Abundant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Cat Person Chicken & Turkey Kibble

They are fundamentally prepared with animal-derived protein.

Do not include ambiguously termed constituents, and

include animal-extracted fat rather than plant oils.


Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken


Abundant in nutritious animal protein.

Soaring high dampness content assists in rinsing the urinary tract.

Less ash does not add to crystal formation.

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels Cat Food

Includes ensured levels of probiotics to back the immune system and digestive health.

Additional prebiotic fiber assists in the aversion of constipation that few raw-fed cats undergo.

Abundant in species-suitable animal protein.

Wellness CORE Kitten Turkey & Chicken Liver Recipe Classic Pate Review

Hydrating canned diet.

Abundant in protein and calories.

Others – Birds and fishes are other pets preferred in some households globally. Birds like parrots have favored pets in many families as parrots listen to people talking around and mimic their dialogue. A few friendly pet birds include Pionus Parrot, Dove, Budgerigar, and Eclectus. Pet birds that like to be cared for are canaries and finch. Pet birds that cuddle the most are Cockatiels, Cockatoos, Conures, and Green Wing Macaw. Some top parakeet or budgerigar foods in 2021 include Kaytee Egg-Cite! Forti-Diet Parakeet Bird Food, Kaytee Supreme Parakeet Bird Food, ZuPreem Natural Medium Bird Food, Lafeber Classic Avi-Cakes Small Bird Food, and Roudybush Daily Maintenance Mini Bird Food.

Fishes are maintained as pets in aquariums in domestic households and commercial establishments like restaurants and hotels. Some diverse varieties of fishes that make great fish pets include Corydoras, which are peaceful, Goldfish, which are challenging, Tetras which are small and swim in schools or groups; platies, Cichlids, Gobies, and Barbs. Good fish food requires to be both stable in nourishment and delicious to the fish in the aquarium. If the aquarium contains numerous catfish and additional vegetarian fishes, spirulina (blue-green algae) may be bought at affordable prices at pet stores and keep available in round sinking tablets. One needs to drop one or two in the water, allow them to sink to the bottom, and view the vegetarian fish devour them. Mollies enjoy this diet.

Fishes, like human beings, welcome a diverse and mixed diet. Freeze-dried live foods, including krill and bloodworms, are well-suited for a special treat, as are frozen brine shrimp, the ïce-cream” of fish desserts. Adding spirulina, freeze-dried treats, and the special frozen brine shrimp constitutes a healthy tropical aquarium. There are also fish superfoods available in the market, which may be purchased and tested out by some cheap fish pets in isolation. If the condition of the fish pets improves, then this fish superfood is an excellent addition to the fish pet food. The best practice is to stick to pet food brands for fishes that have been tried and tested and have been around for a long time to ensure the good health of the fish pets.

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Rising focus on sustainable production methods

Companies manufacturing pet food have seen a rising trend for following sustainable production techniques. Although the food obtained from the sustainable modes will cost a notch, the consumers (pet owners) are still choosing them over the conventional methods. Moreover, companies have started outsourcing labor-intensive practices to Asia. The regions have reported “forced labor” and “mistreatment of workers” as the common notion while producing pet foods. According to documented reports received by USDA, more than 57 common pet food ingredients are sourced from supply chains using child labor, while more than 16 have sources using modern forms of slavery.

Additionally, reforms are noticed in the livestock production methodologies. For example, in California, a law has been subjugated, which places requirements on the manufacturers and the original producer of the livestock to follow diligent livestock production practices.

While talking about sustainability, pet food brands are now adopting eco-friendly packaging that can be recycled and have low carbon emissions while producing. Furthermore, the sustainable protein in pet foods is currently observed to tackle the global issue of “food waste and degradation.”

Let us look at the sound nutritional diet for canine and cat owners as prescribed by the Pet Food Institute
Functions Description
Fat-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin-A It is essential for cell development, growth, and promoting robust immune function.
Vitamin- D3 It promotes skeletal health.
Vitamin- E It exhibits properties of antioxidants and promotes better fur health.
Vitamin-K It improves protein synthesis, which thereby helps in bone formations and reduces blood clots. It is present in cereal grains, and soya beans.
Water-Soluble Vitamins
Vitamin- B1 It Promotes tissue maintenance and energy metabolism. It is mostly present in sorghum diet.
Vitamin-B2 It helps in releasing energy from foods.
Vitamin-B3 It Helps in metabolizing fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.
Vitamin- B5 It Helps by synthesizing fats and proteins.
Vitamin-B6 It promotes Metabolism and cellular functions.
Vitamin-B9 It supports cell membranes
Biotin It helps in metabolic processes.
Choline It assists in neurotransmission
Calcium Phosphorous It Supports bone development along with cell conduction and neuro developments.
Sodium It Helps in maintaining the balance of fluid cells.
Magnesium and Potassium Maintains electrolyte balance and helps in nerve transmission.
Chloride Assists the pet’s body in supporting growth.
Iron, Zinc, Manganese, Iodine, Selenium, and Copper All the listed belong to the category of trace minerals. All of them aids in better skin coat, increased RBC count, and other nutritional values.
Protein and Amino Acids
Arginine, Histidine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Threonine, Tryptophan, and Valine The following helps in muscle, bones, blood, organs, skin and coat development, and maintenance.
Essential Fatty Acids The pet’s body cannot synthesize the following, and hence is an essential component for the development and maintenance of eyes, immune system, and skin & coat for the animal.
Dietary Fibers It promotes a healthy gut function.

The above list helps in understanding the nutritional requirements for a pet, especially a dog. Moreover, the nutritional composition of various products offered to the pet has more or less all the listed dietary components.

For example, as per Purina, the dietary fiber in a pet’s diet offers more value than listed. Additionally, it helps in achieving satiety at a faster pace owing to the low caloric density. Furthermore, dietary fiber improves the fecal consistency as the water absorption function improves multitudes.

Recent Innovations In The Pet Industry:

Innovation is finding its way in the pet industry by innovative startups to be at the top of pet food market share by brand. Described below are 14 novel startups that are providing rare methods of coddling pets.

  1. DogVacay – It offers an effortless substitute for kennels. Dogvacay assists in discovering overnight boarding or daycare for the dog. DogVacay provides Airbnb-kind assistance with helpful online booking, screened sitters, 24/7 customer service, and regular photo updates.
  2. PetChatz – Provides a Skype-like solution for “pet parents” who do not get to interact with their pets in the daytime. PetChatz permits viewing, listen and talk to the pet utilizing a smartphone or computer.
  3. FitBark – People like to control their health and wellbeing through wellness stats gathered through numerous wearable instruments. FitBark permits the same facility for the pet dog. FitBark utilizes sensors to track the sleep and activity levels of the pet dog.
  4. Whistle – Offers a GPS pet tracker that points at the accurate location of a pet dog. Whistle guarantees that the dog is healthy and secure.
  5. Fresh Patch – Fresh Patch is a clean box of live grass that imbibes fluids and regulates smells. It is a helpful alternative for dog owners who need to work long hours, possess an aged or hurt a dog, or want to refrain from traveling outdoors on chilly, turbulent days.
  6. TurboPup – People enjoy an energy bar when they stroll out the door. A dog pet can now indulge in an energy bar too. TurboPup is a human-grade, all organic, grain-free Bar for dogs.
  7. Out Bar – A condensed meal substitute bar for dogs, OUT Bar is yet another on-the-go alternative for those with an active lifestyle. Instead of providing the pet dog treats, which is similar to giving candies to a kid, the pet dog can be offered a nourishing, stable OUT Bar to maintain its health and happiness.
  8. BarkBox – Leaping on the subscription box retail trend – with companies like Blue Apron and Birchbox being the leaders- BarkBox provides bundles of toys, treats, and gadgets from the tiny business that may otherwise not be discovered.
  9. Raw Bistro – The current trend is the raw food diet amidst consumers with health awareness, and it may also be influencing the pet industry. Raw Bistro offers dog food prepared with unprocessed, 100 percent grass-fed, free-range, natural constituents.
  10. Wagfield Academy – Online courses provide exceptional usefulness and access for an array of students and they are now designed to assist in tackling behavioral issues in dogs. Wagfield Academy provides a series of e-learning solutions for pet owners.
  11. Your Perfect Puppy – Discovering the suitable dog for the household may be a complex procedure. Your Perfect Puppy is an all-inclusive dog concierge service to assist in the favorable exploration of this procedure.
  12. PetPartner CRM – A mobile solution for veterinary clinics, PetPartner CRM permits users to request appointments, receive reminders, record medications, control pet insurance, and purchase diet and medicines through an app.
  13. Pretty Litter – The cat’s litter assists in checking their health. This is the concept behind Pretty Litter. It alters colors to inform about possible health problems with the cat before it continues into advanced ailments. The company’s “chief feline officer” appears on ABC Family’s novel reality show Startup U.
  14. VetOnDemand – VetOnDemand is the earliest telehealth app for furry friends in one’s life. By way of the app, one may access real-time video consultations to assist in the evaluation of the seriousness of signs of illness the pet is undergoing.

The Pet Industry is making rapid strides of technological advancement with these innovations and paving the way for a digital era with healthier pet diet options.

Pet Food top 10 companies include – Nestlé Purina, Mars Incorporated, Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc., Blue Buffalo Pet Products, The J.M. Smucker Company, WellPet LLC, Diamond Pet Foods, Deuerer, Omega Protein Corporation, and Nutriara Alimentos Lt

Related Reports:

A. Pet Food Ingredients Market

B. Pet Food Processing Market

For more Food and Beverage Market reports, please click here

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