Porcine Materials and the Pet Industry
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
Even though muscle meat is the most popular type of food harvested for human consumption, pig
byproducts 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.
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. 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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