Porcine tissues and other pig co-products have various applications in the creation of industrial, commercial and medical products. Another area where pig materials are a huge benefit is the pet industry. The use of porcine materials for pet food and supplements helps increase the usage of the pig after it has been harvested for human consumption. Since a little over half a pig’s total weight is used for human consumption, the rest of the materials are then harvested and processed to maximize its use and reduce waste.
Even though muscle meat is the most popular type of food harvested for human consumption, pig byproducts, such as organs (also known as offal), are still nutritious and provide the needed protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids essential in pet food. Since dogs and cats are essentially carnivorous, they need a diet that mimics the nutrients that they would typically get in the wild.
How is Porcine Used in the Pet Industry?
Complete Pet Food
In the pet industry, food can only be labeled as complete if it has all the required nutrients to provide an animal with a balanced diet. Because of this, the pet food industry sources their ingredients from a wide range of meats and grains to meet the specific needs of companion animals. Porcine materials provide high levels of vitamins and minerals, and organ meat that isn’t typically served in a Western diet are essential in pet food for their nutritional value.
Complementary Pet Food
Complementary pet foods are designed to be only part of an animal’s diet and doesn’t provide all the essential nutrition for a pet. However, these complementary pet foods can give pets extra enjoyment in flavors and textures and are often used as treats. Porcine materials are again used in pet treats, primarily in products like chews and rawhide alternatives. With pet treats, pig products are preferred when making rawhide alternatives because pig skin is easier to chew and digest.
As porcine tissues and other materials are used to create medicines and supplements for human health and wellness, these same ingredients are used to increase the quality of life for pets. As pet owners move their animals to alternative diets like raw, vegan or organic, pet supplements become more important when ensuring pets get the balanced nutrition they need, increasing pet care. Porcine materials are used to make these supplemental vitamins and medications with various organs, tissues, glands and fluids. Before the development of the pet food industry, many animals were simply fed table scraps and any other extras that needed to be consumed. Now, the pet food industry improves the lives of companion animals by giving nutritionally balanced meals treats. Many of these ingredients come from porcine materials, and this helps to reduce waste and promote sustainability.
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