Pet parents going organic for pets too!

Rising number of nuclear families, particularly in the urban areas, accompanied by the increase in the per capita disposable income, is fuelling the rise of pet adoption rate across India. Correlated to this is also the robust growth of the pet food industry in India.

According to the India Pet Food Market Forecast and Opportunities 2019, the pet food market in India is projected to cross $270 million by 2019.

With around 85% pets in India being dogs (as stated in a report from 2013), dogs are more popular pets than other animals like cats, birds, fish, etc.

This has created a significant opportunity for the pet food companies in the dog food segment which is expected to remain a dominant contributor towards the revenue in the forecast period, followed by cat and fish food segments.

The growth in the industry is being positively impacted with a change in the way pet parents treat their pets. Pets have increasingly become a part of their families and pet parents are making sure that they conduct a thorough research about their pet’s dietary requirements, just like they would have done for their biological children.

Pet parents are now all the more concerned about their pet’s health and want them to have a proper intake of nutrients with food that they enjoy. This includes pet food that is packaged and ready-to-eat. These foods are available in dry, wet and treat form.

While a wide variety of products are available in the market, however, in the last few years the preferences of the pet parents are changing.

Pet parents have begun to buy products that have ingredients that they know or can understand or can track their origin. The phenomenon is also reflecting in the change in the age-old assumptions like “all meat-based products are good for pets”.

Pet parents are realising that not all meat sources used in the packaged foods are good for their pets. Hence, they are much more open to making alternate choices now.

Pet parents globally are becoming aware that even grains aren’t good for their pets, especially to dogs and hence, the habit of feeding the dog what they have been eating, is also changing.

The biggest trend is the movement towards natural pet food. The shift that’s happening in the human food industry towards natural foods is also being reflected in the pet food industry. Pet parents are getting increasingly aware of the harmful effect that preservatives, colorants and other chemicals are having on their pet’s body. Therefore, they are going an extra mile to include ingredients which provide great nutrition naturally.

This trend is even more prominent and important in the dog treats segment under the dog food industry. Since there are multiple occasions on which pet parents feed their pets with treats, be it while training or rewarding them, they have started seeking treat options that are 100% natural and provide a balanced nutrition instead of just satisfying the need for good taste.

Among the various natural pet treats being produced, one distinctive example is the recent advent of yak milk as a dietary source for dogs.

Owing to the fact that yaks lead a non-domesticated and highly active life—surrounded by rough terrain resulting in constant exercise, roaming freely and grazing in open fields and forests—enables them to obtain a lot more minerals and nutrients from nature, making yak milk highly nutritious and beneficial for dogs. 

Some yak milk-based products have protein as high as 60%, low in fat and rich in vitamins & minerals. Their Lactose content is also lower than 1%. People and their pets in the Himalayas have been thriving on Yak milk since ages and now the same nutritional benefits are being provided to pets globally, thanks to the new age pet food companies.

Be it yak milk-based products or other natural products, the pet food industry is on growth trajectory and thanks to the factors highlighted earlier in the article. From the home-delivered pet food to packaged food that can be customised at home according to personal preferences, the future of the pet food industry looks very promising. 

Pet parents have now become all the more proactive about preventive healthcare for their pets, and are seeking an increase in the intake of high nutrition food. With products such as Yak milk treats discussed above, the pet food industry is now shaping itself according to the consumers and the nutritional demands for their four-legged family members.

(The writer is founder and CEO, Dogsee Chew)

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Pet parents going organic for pets too!

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