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Things You Must Know About the Natural Pet Food Segment With its holistic, unpreserved and humane elements, natural pet food is the solution for the food quality concern that pet parents have been struggling with since ages

By Bhupendra Khanal

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As a pet parent, one of the most crucial decisions to make is picking the right food for your fur baby. After all, the kind of food you feed them makes a substantial impact not just on their health but their behaviour as well. However, with numerous pet food brands offering a dizzying array of products ranging from all-meat to pure vegetarian, it is no longer a simple choice for pet parents. While the conventionally processed packaged foods still continue to be a popular option, modern-age pet parents have now started shifting towards minimally processed natural substitutes.

In fact, among the major pet food trends observed in Global Pet Expo 2017 held in Orlando, the emergence of natural pet food segment in the industry dominated. And this trend is projected to experience a robust growth of 9.08per cent CAGR during the period 2017-2021, as forecasted by the Technavio analysts in their Organic Pet Food Market report.

Furthermore, the natural food segment is expected to significantly aid in the robust growth of the global pet food industry in the coming years. As pet parents increasingly become aware of the harmful ways in which the preservatives, colourings and other chemicals used in processed food affect their furry ones, here are a few things to know about the exponentially flourishing natural pet food segment:

The Emergence of Natural Food Segment

Humanization of pets is the main factor that has contributed to the growth of natural pet food segment. A large number of pet parents now consider pets to be a part of their family. Driven by the belief "what is good for me is also good for my pet", they have started asserting on the quality of food they are feeding their furry children. Instead of processed food, they are opting of natural and caters-grade pet food that caters to the nutritional requirements of the furry companions. At the same time, certain pet food manufacturers have begun to closely evaluate the entire food manufacturing process, thereby ensuring an optimum quality of the produce.

The Term "Natural'

Any food that is marketed as "natural' or "organic' must meet the regulatory definition of the term "natural'. While the definition provided by regulatory agencies may vary depending on the country and its demographics, natural pet foods typically contain whole ingredients including meat, vegetables, fruits and dairy products, and consciously avoid heavily processed ingredients such as animal byproducts, chemical preservatives, refined grains and fibre sources.

Why Natural Pet Food is Expensive

Just like human food, natural pet foods are priced relatively higher than the conventionally processed products. A pet parent may wonder whether the added expense will prove to be beneficial for their four-legged companion's health and well-being. While at the surface level, the nutritional standards of natural and regular pet foods may seem to not differ significantly, the latter may consist of fillers such as animal byproducts, diseased tissues and gluten which may impact the well-being of the little ones, rendering them sick. Additionally, the preservatives, pesticides, artificial flavours and colourings used in traditional pet foods may cause not just allergies or discomfort to your pet, but severe illnesses as well. For instance, certain pet foods have preservatives such as BHT, BHA and Ethoxyquin that are known to cause cancer. Natural pet food, on the other hand, only contains non-synthesized ingredients and isfree of such additives and toxins.

Impact on Pet Health

Packed with vital nutrients, natural pet food caters to the dietary requirements of the furry ones along with promoting internal health and boosting their immune system. Pets on a natural diet tend to show higher energy levels and fewer digestive disorders. Since there are no additives, natural pet food is relatively better aligned with the metabolic capabilities and physiological needs of the canine companions. These obvious health benefits explain why the natural pet food segment has grown significantly in recent years. The increased demand is based on the premise that such products are high in quality, human-grade, free of additives, safe to consume and made from ingredients that cater to the nutritional needs of the pets.

Natural pet food has emerged as a respite for pet parents, giving them a peace of mind about the good health of their fur-kids. With its holistic, unpreserved and humane elements, natural pet food is the solution for the food quality concern that pet parents have been struggling with since ages. As they have increasingly begun shifting towards natural pet food, pet parents have found themselves relieved of the stress pertaining to the well-being of their little ones.

Bhupendra Khanal

Founder and CEO at Dogsee Chew

Bhupendra Khanal is the Founder and CEO at Dogsee Chew, India’s first all-natural dog treats brand made with 100% yak and cow milk. He singlehandedly incepted the parent company Khanal Foods Pvt. Ltd in September 2015, while Dogsee Chew came into existence in February 2016 thanks to his expertise in product innovation and business strategy, along with an undying love for dogs.

At the innovative and dedicated brand, focused on the health and wellness of dogs, Bhupendra is responsible for driving the mission and vision, while also overseeing the day to day operations of the brand.

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