Dry dog food
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Have you ever thought about how commercial dry dog food is made? In this article, we will reveal the basics about dry dog food production process.

1. Raw Material Assembly

For dry dog foods, the main raw materials are meat, fat, and grains along with concentrated vitamins and minerals. These raw materials typically arrive at the factory in train cars or in semi-trucks in loads of 10,000 to 40,000 pounds. The concentrated minerals and vitamins often come in large bags weighing 25 to 50 pounds. The raw materials are stored in different holding areas until they are ready for processing.

2. Grinding the Raw Materials

The pet food manufacturer must prepare the raw materials for use by grinding them down to the appropriate particle size. Not only does grinding render the raw materials into the right size, but it also helps to break apart the ingredients so the nutrients they contain become more readily available. The most common piece of equipment used to grind raw materials is a commercial hammer mill which grinds the raw material into a coarse flour. It is very important that uniform particle size be attained for the sake of cooking and water absorption.

3. Compounding and Mixing the Ingredients

The next step in the process is to compile and mix the ground raw materials at the appropriate rate. A large ribbon blender is typically used to blend the ground raw materials in batches up to 2,000 pounds at one time. During this stage in the process only the dry materials are mixed – they are then stored until ready for the next step.

4. Extrusion

The process of extruding is very similar to that of bread making – the materials are mixed, kneaded, proofed, shaped, and sliced. To begin the process, a pre-conditioner is used to measure out the dry mix and to blend it with the right amount of liquid ingredients to create the wet mix before transferring it to the extruder. An extruder is a cylindrical barrel with multiple segments and a large screw that moves, mixes, and cooks the material before forcing it through a die where it is cut to the appropriate size.

5. Drying and Cooling

After extrusion, the pieces of kibble will be soft and spongy due to moisture content. The next step in the process is to dry out the pieces of kibble and then to cool it – this process is closely regulated because if the product is tried too quickly it could break apart or if it doesn’t cool before leaving the dryer it could develop condensation and mold.

6. Enrobing

The final step in the process through which dry dog foods are made is enrobing. In this stage of the process, a liquid or powder is added to the outer surface of the kibble to enhance the flavor and palatability of the final product.

While different dog food formulas are made with different ingredients, the process through which those produced are blended and cooked are largely the same. After the product is ground, mixed, preconditioned, extruded, dried, cooled, and coated it then gets transferred to packages in precise amounts by weight and then sent to distributors for sale.

Exposure to air, light, hot temperatures and humidity speeds up the rate at which foods degrade. To limit these effects, keep dry foods in their original packaging. High-quality dog food bags have been designed to keep out the elements. Open the bag carefully so you can roll and hold the top closed with a clip or otherwise reseal the package in between uses.

Plastic, glass or metal bins can also help protect dog food from the elements and from insects, rodents and other vermin; but owners should still place the food inside its original bag rather than pouring the kibble directly into a container. Store the bag or container off of the floor in a cool and dry location.

Ideally, dry food should be consumed within six weeks of opening the bag, so pick your bag sizes appropriately. Kibble can be left out in bowls for a day or so, but make sure you don’t offer more than what should be consumed in 24 hours. Larger meals limit your ability to monitor a dog’s appetite and put pets at risk for overeating and obesity. Wash bowls used for dry food at least once a week in hot, soapy water.

Large dogs, like Mastiff, Doberman, Saint Bernards, have a number of biological differences when compared to their smaller counterparts. For example, large dogs are typically more likely to suffer from joint problems, such as hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis. So it’s important for the owner of large dogs to find a quality large breed dry dog food to address their pet’s specific dietary needs.

Understand the dry dog food ingredients function and the difference between the food made for large and small dogs can help us to make the proper purchase decision. Here are the key factors when selecting the best dog food for large breeds:

  1. The best large breed dry dog food should contain joint supplements, such as glucosamine and chondroitin. As we all know, large breed dogs are extremely susceptible to hip dysplasia and other joint diseases, and these two supplements can help reduce the discomfort and damage associated with such conditions.
  2. The best dry dog food for large dogs should contain a moderate amount of calories. Super-high-calorie foods can lead to obesity, which is a significant problem for many large breeds, including Rottweilers, Mastiffs and Great Danes, among others. Furthermore, overweight will make their joint disease issue above more seriously.
  3. The best dry dog food for large breeds should feature large kibble to avoid the chances of bloat. Dogs who eat too quickly may be at increased risk of suffering from this life-threatening condition, but large kibble will make your dog chew the food more thoroughly. This can help reduce the chances of dog bloat occurring.
  4. The best dry dog food for large dogs should contain a whole protein as the First Listed Ingredient. Dogs are omnivores, but the bulk of their calories (within reason) should come from whole protein sources, such as chicken, beef, lamb or fish. Single-ingredient meat meals are also a good source of protein, but it should be featured farther down the ingredient list.
  5. High-quality dry dog foods come from high quality and safety standards. Even Most dog foods in the market are usually safe to consume, but it is wisest to select foods made in the countries with higher quality and safety standards, such as USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or Western Europe.
  6. The Best dry dog foods don’t Include Unidentified Byproducts or Meat Meals. While byproducts and meat meals are valuable and nutritious components of many dog foods (even if they seem unpalatable to owners), it is important that the animals used in their creation are from high-quality sources.
  7. One of the best ways to do so is by avoiding meat meals and byproducts that are not attributed to a single protein source. For example, “duck meal” is perfectly acceptable, while “meat meal” or “animal meal” is not.
  8. The best dry dog food for large dogs don’t contain artificial dyes or flavors.Dogs typically like foods that are made with high-quality ingredients, so artificial flavors and dyes are unnecessary. Both of these types of additives can trigger food allergies in dogs, they are best avoided.
  9. Top dry dog foods contain a number of Omega-3-Rich Ingredients.Omega-3 fatty acids are important for limiting inflammation and avoiding chronic diseases. Some omega-3-fatty-acid-rich ingredients include things like salmon, venison, olive oil and flaxseed, among others.
  10. Probiotic Supplements is necessary for excellent dry Dog Foods. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria, which help your dog’s body absorb nutrients from his food. They also regulate the digestive system and help to crowd out pathogenic species.