Dog Food Manufacturers – Whole Dog Journal

Many of you might be already conscious that some pet meals corporations personal and function their very own manufacturing amenities and a few of them don’t. You could have already discovered that some manufacturers of pet meals are made in a number of completely different manufacturing vegetation in several components of the nation. Some of you might be accustomed to the interchangeable phrases co-manufacturer, co-packer, and contract producer, which consult with an organization that makes merchandise for various different corporations.

(Funny reality: Some of us know a ton about these pet meals manufacturing amenities, and completely nothing concerning the possession or administration of the manufacturing websites the place our personal meals is produced. Take from that what you’ll.)

We’re typically requested: Which of those conditions is healthier? Is a pet meals made in a plant that’s owned and operated by the identical firm whose title is on the label higher than merchandise made by a co-packer?

The reply, like so many issues having to do with pet meals, shouldn’t be so minimize and dry; there are particular benefits and downsides of both scenario. While it’s fascinating (and typically advantageous) to know the place a selected product is made, we wouldn’t base our number of a product based mostly solely on the data – until we have been conscious {that a} product was made at a facility that had been cited for various well being violations. In that case, we wouldn’t care who owned or operated the ability; we’d simply keep away from any merchandise that originated there.


When WDJ was first revealed in 1998, it was just about unattainable to seek out out something about pet meals manufacturing websites. It took years of asking corporations to share details about their manufacturing amenities earlier than we made any inroads. The strategy that lastly levered this info out of some makers of high-end canine meals? “You say you have nothing to hide and that your manufacturing facilities are the best – so, prove it!”

A number of corporations lastly determined they’d nothing to lose and the whole lot to realize. Most of the businesses that disclosed details about their manufacturing websites, or went as far as to ask us to tour these amenities, have been comparatively new to the market – and all of them have been competing in the costliest strata of merchandise which are variously known as pure, holistic, and/or super-premium.

When the phrase bought out that we had toured various dog-food vegetation and didn’t print any photographs secretly taken with a digital camera hidden in our coat buttons or publish detailed accounts of our visits, we obtained extra invites. To date, we’ve toured greater than a dozen dry dog-food vegetation, three canned-food amenities, two human-food vegetation that manufacture really – legally! – human-grade dehydrated diets for canines, and a handful of raw-food and freeze-dried dog-food manufacturing vegetation. About half of the amenities we’ve seen have been co-packers.


Our conclusion about “which is better, self-made, or co-packed?” after seeing all these manufacturing amenities? It relies upon! The largest self-owned and self-managed amenities are inclined to have the very best quality management and constant merchandise; additionally they have a tendency to make use of less-expensive elements and extremely standard formulation. Some of the nicest-looking and -smelling elements we’ve seen have been getting cooked up at co-packing amenities – a few of which have been small, previous, and never almost as clear as the larger vegetation we’ve seen. 

As so many issues having to do with pet meals are involved, it’s incumbent on you to seek out out what kind of manufacturing facility makes your canine’s meals – name the corporate and ask! – and to take duty to your selection. (It’s informative even when the corporate gained’t say the place its merchandise are made, in case you get our drift.) At the very least, if you understand the place your canine’s meals is made, and a recall of that model is introduced, you may be a step forward in realizing whether or not or not you must cease feeding the meals. 

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