Did you know there are different types of pet food?

There is not just one type of pet food, but there are many. Do you know what distinguishes these products from each other? It is their method of processing, ingredients, and method of preservation. Not only that but they can also be separated based on their nutritional content, formulation procedure, and quality of ingredients.

The dry, wet, and semi-moist feeds are one of the biggest divisions of commercial pet foods, dividing items based on the processing method, storage methods, and moisture level. A number of feeds have been produced in recent years to fulfill special demands. Natural and organic foods, raw food diets, and vegetarian items are among them.

1.   Dry pet foods

In dry pet foods, there is very little or no moisture at all. Biscuits, baked kibbles, dinners, and enlarged (extruded) items fall under this category of pet foods. Biscuits and baked kibbles are made in the same way, even though the shape of the finished product varies. All of the ingredients are mixed together to form a uniform dough and then baked.  

Biscuits are prepared by shaping or cutting the dough into desired forms and baking the individual biscuits in the same way as cookies or crackers are baked. The dough is stretched out onto huge sheets and baked to make baked kibble. The huge sheets are divided into bite-size pieces and packaged after chilling. Baked biscuits are used in many dog and cat treats, and only a few firms still make complete and balanced baked kibble.

Advantages and disadvantages

These types of pet foods are the most popular type for consumers. Some of their advantages are that they are economical and easy to store anywhere. They are also beneficial because of their dental hygiene properties. And lastly, especially high-quality dry foods are nutrient-dense and have good digestibility. This means little quantity is needed to be digested but the nutrient absorption is high, with little stool content.

The disadvantages, when compared to semi-moist and wet pet foods, are that they are less appetizing. This is caused due to low-fat ingredients in these products.

2.   Wet pet foods

Wet foods have the highest moisture content. Mixing and grinding the protein sources, or meat ingredients are the first step in making wet food. After that, a gravy with vitamins, minerals, and grains is added. After that, the food is cooked and sterilized in order to make the canned product. As a result, wet food contains far more moisture than dry food. There are two types of pet foods. Those that are produced in the form of canned or pouched meat and made up of meats such as muscle meat, fish meat, poultry, textured vegetables, and cereal grains. And the second one also has similar products but the only difference is that it comes without any minerals or vitamins.

Advantages and disadvantages

The main advantages of wet pet foods are that they have a longer shelf life with easy accessibility. These cans and pouches are well sterilized and sealed which allows them to be kept for longer periods. They do not require any special storage space. Also the nutrient and fat content in these foods make them very appetizing as compared to dry foods.

However, they also come with disadvantages. And the biggest one is that because of their ingredients they tend to give extra energy which cats and dogs do not necessarily need in excess. This in turn makes it an unhealthy food as it results in obesity.

3.   Semi-moist pet foods

Semi-moist pet foods consist of water, frozen or fresh animal tissues, simple sugars, cereal grains, and fats. These are very soft as compared to dry foods, which makes it easy and appetizing to eat. Mainly the simple sugar content in these types of pet foods makes it desirable.

Advantages and disadvantages

The biggest advantages of these type of pet foods are that they contain less odor as compared to other pet foods. They also have a lower fat content which makes them calorie-dense and does not contribute to weight gain.

However, their drawbacks are that when left in open air or a bowl they tend to dry out and lose their appeal. They do not remain as delicious as it was when they came out fresh from the package.


At the end of the day, each pet food has its own unique properties. However, when it comes to buying ingredients from food ingredient suppliers you must be cautious as not all of them sell high-quality ingredients. Pets foods are only appealing if the ingredients used are high quality. If the ingredients are bad, so will the final product.

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