Pets: Healthy Nutrition Trends For 2022

Good nutrition is a crucial component for healthy and happy pets, so pet owners are tweaking their pets’ diets to improve their health.

Good nutrition is a crucial component for healthy and happy dogs. Pet owners seem to understand this fact. In March 2020, pet food sales in America grew by 77%. But pet owners are not just spending more on pet food. They are spending more time checking pet food reviews and purchasing high-quality products for their dogs and cats. 

Pet owners are also tweaking the diets of their fur babies to improve their health. They are turning to healthy nutrition trends like serving primal proteins, increasing vegetable/plant content, and reducing additives, flavorings, and preservatives in their pets’ foods. Read on and learn more about these healthy pet-nutrition trends.  

Turning to primal proteins

One of the fastest-growing trends in North America is feeding dogs and cats proteins that reconnects them to their primal hunter origins. Several pet owners have turned to serve gamey meats like wild boar, venison, and bison. Many others are feeding their pets insect protein. 

Unlike the traditional pet food proteins like chicken and beef, pet owners perceive game meat and insect proteins to be healthier. The argument for primal proteins is solid. The source animals are grass-fed and free from antibiotics and growth hormones. Also, insect protein is more nutritious and easier to digest. Of course, cats are obligate carnivores, so it’s essential that you provide a high-protein cat food made mostly from novel proteins like chicken, duck, and lamb. 

More vegetables and plants

The vegan and vegetarian culture is fast growing among humans. Many people perceive that an animal-free diet is healthier. Pet parents are also warming up to the idea of animal-free ingredients in pet food. There is a growing interest in feeding dogs plant-based treats and pet food. Pet parents perceive that meat-free diets for their pets would have various health benefits and is more sustainable.

Reducing flavorings and additives

Flavorings and additives improve the palatability of pet food. However, many pet parents are shunning pet foods with such ingredients. They view flavorings and additives as marketing gimmicks. Or clever ways to get pet owners to feed their furry companions cheap, unpalatable foods. As a result, several pet owners have turned to flavor and additive-free pet foods. Unless the manufacturer is reputable and there is sufficient research to back the benefits of an additive or flavoring, such entices are waning.

Goat milk for pets

Although milk allergies are common among dogs and cats alike, they are associated with cow’s milk. It is not the case for goat milk. It is perceived to be a better and healthier alternative. Promoters suggest the following benefits of feeding your fur babies goat milk and goat-milk products:

  • It reduces gut inflammation and can ease Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) in dogs and cats.
  • Goat milk (especially in fermented form) has prebiotic qualities. 
  • It is easier to digest. Thus, less likely to result in intolerances. 
  • It is more nutritious and boosts the pet’s immunity. 

More pet owners are replacing cow milk with goat milk. Several players in the industry have noted this trend and increased their capacity and products. Some products flying off shelves include flavored goat milk toppers, freeze-dried raw dog treats, and goat milk powder. 

Limited-ingredient diets (LID)

Still, on the issue of countering food allergies, more pet owners are turning to limited ingredient diets (LID). Fewer ingredients in pet foods also mean that the pet is less likely to suffer allergies. If the pet is intolerant to a particular component, it is easier to single it out.  

Knowledge about the exact ingredients in pet food is a big selling point for dedicated pet parents. It helps to address health issues and seal nutrition gaps effectively. Pet parents are not just turning to limited ingredient diets. They are particular about pet foods that meet Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards.  

Creative mealtime

Enrichment is crucial for a healthy and happy dog. Mealtime is an excellent opportunity for enrichment. Pet owners want to transform mealtime for their fur babies from mundane routines to creative and enriching experiences. It is no longer about pouring food into the bowl and finding it empty a few minutes later. Pet owners want their pets to have fun and enjoy their meals to the last drop. As a result, feeding equipment and pet food packaging are changing. 

From packaging that allows in-pack warming to interesting flavorings and poking holes in the pet-food pack, pet food manufacturers are helping to make mealtimes creative. Not only does it strengthen your bond, but it also boosts the animals’ well-being and cognitive abilities. 

Dogs healthy nutrition trends, a final word

There is no doubt that pet owners are turning to new foods and serving styles for their fur babies. But these trends show that they also want transparency from the manufacturers. Pet owners want to know what they are feeding their fur babies. For the manufacturers, it’s not just a matter of claiming a pet-food product is free of animal-based ingredients or 100% from primal proteins. They must give information about the source, the manufacturing process, and sustainability measures. 

Pet parents want to understand more about those entrusted with the well-being of their fur babies. In 2022, pet food manufacturers who resonate with pet owners’ values, address pets’ health needs, and develop innovative packaging will dominate the markets.