GAPFA members recognize that collaboration and shared knowledge can benefit pet food makers, pet lovers and, of course, the dogs and cats we feed. GAPFA’s members share information on product safety and nutrition, all with the goal of providing consumer choice that allows pet lovers to select the most appropriate food for their cat’s or dog’s nutritional needs and of helping cats and dogs live long and healthy lives.
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Quality & Safety of Pet Food
All responsible pet food manufacturers take safety and quality very seriously and have their own defined processes and standards that help ensure the safety and high quality of their ingredients and products.
History of pet food manufacturing
A chance happening on an English quayside late in the 19th century changed the lives of pets throughout the world.
That single moment has been followed by more than 100 years of constant progress and improvement for the prepared pet food industry's purchasers and consumers. Today, the majority of dog and cat owners around the globe choose prepared pet foods for their nutritional completeness, convenience, variety, affordability and great taste. Read more in our dedicated factsheet
How pet food is made
There are several different types, or formats, of manufactured pet food including wet (can, pouch, tray), dry (extruded or baked) and complementary treats.
The method of production and the ingredients used varies according to format. Wet foods are made by mixing recipe ingredients together and cooking them within the can, tray or pouch, whilst dry pet foods are made by mixing dry and wet ingredients together to form a dough. Treats for cats and dogs come in a variety of forms. Some more common ways to make treats exist and are used by pet food manufacturers. Read more in our dedicated factsheet
How pet food is regulated
Pet food in developed countries is regulated at every stage, from the ingredients used, through the production process and through to marketing and sales.
Much of the legislation applies to pet food in the same way as it does to other product categories like, for instance, human food. Often more specific regulations cover both farm feed and pet food with specific legal provisions that are only applicable to pet food. Read more in our dedicated factsheet
The safety of pet food
Pet food companies' mission and duty vis-à-vis pets and their owners is to provide safe, nutritious and balanced food.
Pet food safety, be it wet, dry or fresh products, is the first essential to be observed. Good production facilities, hygienic collecting, transport, and maintaining the cold chain are securing the safety of pet food ingredients. Important is also to apply instructions of use on the pet food label, including storage and handling requirements. Read more in our dedicated factsheet