How Is Dog Food Made(Dry vs Wet Food)

If you’re a pet owner you probably asked yourself at least once ”what do they put in my dog’s food?”. Whether we’re talking about dry or wet food, it’s a mystery what goes in our pooch’s food and if it’s actually safe for their health.

Today we’re talking about just that. The making of kibble dry food and wet food, the ingredients that go into it, as well as the whole production of it. If you’re interested in knowing more about this topic, then keep on reading.

How Dog Food Is Made

Dry Dog Food

Dry Dog Food

Even though there are many pet food companies you can choose from, the making of dry food is mostly all the same with all brands. First, the pet food manufacturers are the ones to choose the kind of meat and ingredients they want to put into the dog food, and then it’s off to production.

The process of making the pet food dry is done by baking or extruding. This process is also used in making human food, producing puffed breakfast cereals, chewing gum, pre-made cookie dough, and pasta.

The first thing that’s done is making the ”dough” and gathering all the raw materials(meats, grains, veggies, fat, and vitamin concentrates). After the gathering of the ingredients, the second step is grinding them down to an appropriate size.

Grinding breaks down the raw ingredients into the right size, but it also helps to break apart the ingredients(like bones) so they are more nutritious. Grinding the raw materials is achieved by using a hammer-like tool that grinds the raw material into powder or flour.

The dough-like product is a mixture of raw, dry, and wet ingredients that are mixed together until they form a paste. The dough is put through a machine called an expander, that uses hot water to cook the ingredients. [Source]

An expander is a high-pressure machine that makes the dough puff up. Then, it is cut by special knives. All of the ingredients that are in your pet’s food must be nutritionally balanced and approved by professionals aka the manufacturing companies.

Pet food companies can use their own recipes for the production of pet food as long as the ingredients are approved.

The little cut-up pieces that come out of the machine are put through a drying process to lose their remaining moisture so it has a longer shelf life, and after that, they’re covered in fats, a mix of flavors, minerals, or vitamins.

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We already know what mostly goes into your dog’s food. It’s mainly made out of meat(usually liver, heart, kidneys, meat broth, etc…), eggs, and all kinds of veggies and fruits. Some fancier dog foods use sources of fatty acid like salmon, tuna fish, grains, cereals, duck meat, and others…

Wet Dog Food

Wet Dog Food

Wet food is mostly meat or fish, or something that’s described as meat(like muscle meat, lungs, or liver). These ingredients are the parts of the dead animal that are leftover from the production of human food.

In wet pet food products, the ingredients can arrive in the factory in either a fresh or frozen state. The meat is usually chopped or finely minced, and then is mixed with dry ingredients such as grains, vegetables, or cereals.

Other ingredients that are also included are oils, fats, vitamins, minerals, rice, pasta, fruits, and water. Just like dry food, pet food makers must consult with pet food manufacturers for the wet canned food as well. This way, your pup will get a well-balanced meal, as well as a size range and note of any food allergies. [Source]

Wet food can be packaged in either can, pouch, or tray. All three of these methods are sealed and go through a cooking process.

The temperature and time of cooking, are controlled in order to prevent spoiling and keep a longer shelf life of the product. The product is then cooled and labeled with all the information.

[Related Article: Wet Dog Food VS Dry Food: What Are The Pros And Cons?]

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Dog Food Made Of

Dog food is mostly made of meat(liver, kidney, heart, bones, etc…) but you can also find traces of grains, cereals, vegetables, fruits, vitamins, and minerals. The meat is usually the leftover meat that hadn’t been used for human food production.

What Kind Of Meat Is Dog Food Made Of

Dog food can really be made out of any type of meat or fish. The most common type of meat in dog food is chicken, beef, and lamb but there are many other variations and types of dog food.

How Is Pet Food Manufactured

Pet food companies are allowed to pick their own dog food recipes as long as their ingredients are checked and approved by their manufacturing companies.

The manufacturing companies are there to check if the food has any nutritional value as well as to check the quality of the food.

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[Related Article: How To Make DIY Dehydrated Dog Food At Home]


Dry and wet dog food is, of course, one of the most popular dog foods in the world. Just go to your local grocery store and you’ll see so many options you can choose from with different health benefits for your dog as well as different tastes and meats.

But where does dog food actually come from? Well, in the pet food industry pet food (no matter if wet or dry dog food) is made by pet food manufacturers that make sure that your furry child’s food is well balanced and safe enough for them to eat.

There is a difference between producing wet and dry food. The process of making dry dog food is called extrusion which is the same process for making breakfast cereal and pasta. Then, the kibble food is being dried and dehydrated by baking it.

Wet food is another story. All the ingredients(meat, grains, cereal, vegetables, water, and oils) are selected by the manufacturer and they’re either chopped or finely ground.

After the grinding process is over the food is being canned and cooked on proper heat to kill any germs. Then, the cans are being left to cool off to packaging and labeling.

Pet food products are being labeled accordingly to their ingredients, their life stages, and their nutritional value.

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