Filling knowledge gaps for the animal feed and pet food industry.

Report Shows US Pet Food Manufacturers Feed Pets, Economy

What ingredients go into pet food? Are some ingredients used more often than others? How does the pet food industry support related industries up and down the food and agriculture value chain?

Ingredients Used in Pet Food

These, and other questions, brought the Institute for Feed Education and Research, North American Renderers Association and Pet Food Institute together in 2018 to conduct first-of-a-kind research to better understand what goes into the production of pet food.

The results, released in March 2020, were astonishing. Overall, the study found that the country’s 500+ pet food manufacturers not only provide balanced, safe meals for America’s dogs and cats, but also purchase ingredients, labor and services from related industries, stimulating rural and urban communities. With over two-thirds of U.S. households owning a pet and over $30 billion in pet food sales, this industry is making a big impact.

About the Study:

The partners commissioned Decision Innovation Solutions (DIS), an economic research and analysis firm, to examine the ingredients used in the production of dog and cat food. Using a reverse engineering methodology, DIS determined the ingredients used and value of those ingredients in various dog and cat food products, without uncovering the recipes. Using data from a representative sample of pet food sales from June 2018 to June 2019, DIS estimated the economic multiplier effect the pet food industry has on the broader agricultural community.





The report found that U.S. pet food manufacturers use roughly 8.65 million tons of animal- and plant-based ingredients for dog and cat food to provide the complete nutrition pets need, at a value of $6.9 billion. More than 500 safe and nutritious ingredients are used, demonstrating the diversity of options available to shoppers at various price points to fit their budgets. Often using leftover ingredients made from the production of human food, such as bakery or brewery items or parts of the animal that humans don’t eat, the report also highlighted the pet food industry’s commitment to reducing agriculture’s environmental impact.

Generating Economic Value

Learn more about the pet food industry’s positive impact from farm to bowl.





For more information, contact


Interested in Being Part of IFEEDER’s Future Research?

IFEEDER is the only public charity of its kind, conducting research about and for the entire U.S. animal food industry. Through proactive research performed in collaboration with stakeholders, like this animal food consumption study, IFEEDER is helping business leaders make informed decisions about the future of animal agriculture.

Support IFEEDER research now>>

When you contribute to IFEEDER, you join industry champions and external partners shaping the future of U.S. animal food.