Enzymes have been administered by veterinarians for years, while they are still relatively new in pet foods. Scientists have been studying their benefits and uses for quite a while. They have given praise to these natural molecules for their positive effects in both humans and animals. Since enzymes can be found living naturally inside of all organisms’ bodies, ingesting them with food is a great way to catalyze the body’s natural performances. Enzymes help to speed up chemical reactions and are easily incorporated into any diet. They have become an increasingly popular trend in aiding in digestion, especially for pets!
Few dispute the benefits that digestive enzymes offer to animals. Increasingly, pet food brands are offering products that advertise enzymes within the food mix, which can directly break down food molecules, helping animals better digest their food and absorb more nutrients. Veterinarians may suggest enzyme-rich foods or enzyme supplements for pets experiencing digestive problems.
Certain brands lead the way in this regard. In the growing U.S. pet food market, these brands have looked to carve out a niche in offering additional value to conscientious consumers who are placing extra consideration on the nutrition of their household pets. These are some brands that use enzymes in their pet food and advertise their benefits to customers.
1. Holistic Select
Holistic Select has been in the business of producing pet food for almost two decades, focusing on providing natural, healthy foods for cats and dogs. The company advertises probiotics, prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and natural fiber as key ingredients to aid digestion in pets.
The company promotes itself as using guaranteed levels of digestive enzymes in their products with the goal of making sure that household pets receive as much nutrition from their food. Some of the enzymes the company uses include alpha-amylase, protease, and cellulase sourced from Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus oryzae. Holistic Select also uses papaya in some of its products, which contains the enzyme papain.
The company offers a range of flavors, including chicken meal, anchovy, lamb meal and more. In addition to these, they also have grain-free options for animals with specific dietary requirements. Grain-free options include meats and meat meals, as well as pulses, such as lentils.
Holistic Select’s marketing clearly put the company forward as a premium pet food producer. Their products suggest a balance of food types, and they even include pâté options in their range. These product names imply additional nutritional value for their intended canine and feline recipients.
Nature’s Logic offers both dry and wet food for dogs and cats. Their product range features a variety of meats, including beef, chicken, duck, lamb, rabbit, sardine, turkey and venison. This amount of choice draws a comparison to the selections offered to humans in supermarkets and restaurants. It reinforces the idea that pets are given premium treatment with their options.
Nature’s Logic provides milligram-accurate nutritional information on the vitamins and minerals present in each of its products.
All of Nature’s Logic pet food products include enzymes, which they visibly advertise. They state that their pet foods use “a multi-enzyme blend of plant-based enzymes” including protease, amylase, cellulase, and lipase. A quick analysis of their ingredients lists reveals that they source their enzymes from Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus oryzae, and Trichoderma longibrachiatum.
The protease in Nature’s Logic pet food is an enzyme that catalyzes protein hydrolysis, breaking down long protein chains into their smaller contingent molecules. These smaller molecules are known as amino acids, and the bodies of humans and other animals use them for cell growth and repair.
Wellness formed in the 1990s, working alongside veterinarians, animal nutrition experts, and scientists. Their stated goal at the time was to “revolutionize the pet food industry.”
Although Wellness owns several different pet food brands, the CORE brand offers the most comprehensive enzyme-rich options. CORE RawRev is boosted by raw pieces that include extra protein and enzymes for dogs and cats. It is part of a trend towards raw food that offers consumers a safer option by confining the raw food to a sterile bag, minimizing the chance of bacterial infection.
These raw ingredients are freeze-dried, which leaves enzymes in an inactive state. Once exposed to moisture and warmth in the animal’s saliva, the enzymes reactivate and can begin digesting food molecules in the kibble.
CORE by Wellness is a good option for consumers looking to bestow the benefits of enzyme-rich food on their pets while participating in the raw food trend. It has an advantage over other raw meat options in that it remains sterile, thus posing a lower risk.
4. Raw Paws
This relatively new company began operating in 2014 with a stated mission to provide “practical, affordable and accessible” pet food to owners. Even as the market trends towards premiumization, brands are still finding success by marketing value for money.
Raw Paws does maintain a strong emphasis on nutrition and has additional marketing that encourages consumers to think of their pets as natural carnivores. They encourage buyers to consider the impact their pets’ natural feeding habits should have on their diets.
Their range of products is huge, including foods, treats, and chews. Raw Paw does, as their name suggests, provide raw options for pets. Their website offers frozen patties and organs of many varieties, stressing the potential nutritional advantages of raw foods.
Studies suggest that raw food diets are potentially dangerous, both for animals and their owners. Despite this, professional breeders use raw foods in the diets of sled dogs and racing greyhounds for a long time. If kept sterile and given due precaution, there is no reason it cannot be a safe option.
Raw Paws advertises enzymes in some of their treats. They claim to contain five “carefully selected dog digestive enzymes” that restore digestive health.
5. “I and love and you.”
This brand has an original name and primarily advertises its food as grain-free, using sweet potato, garbanzo beans, and lentils instead of rice or wheat. Their quirky image represents their humble beginnings as a pet food store in Boulder, Colorado.
Many of their products contain enzymes, as part of their HAPPY TUMMEEZ marketing, suggesting improved digestion for pets. Their “NUDE FOOD” product line contains enzymes that “I and love and you” purports help deal with more pronounced digestive issues.
“I and love and you” has a wide catalog of products in multiple lines catered to both cats and dogs. Their basic approach emphasizes the idea that their pet food is natural and healthy. Their marketing makes references to superfoods and premium ingredients, indicating that the brand is part of the broader movement towards premiumization in the pet food industry.
Trends and Observations
Most brands advertising enzymes in their products gear themselves more towards the premium end of the market. This potentially means they can achieve higher mark-ups on a per-product basis, partially by including enzyme blends or using other enzyme sources in their pet food.
The prevalence and prominence of advertising enzymes suggest consumers view the inclusion of enzymes positively. Despite this, there still appears to be relatively few brands that use enzymes in pet food. This suggests there may be a gap in the growing U.S. pet food market that other companies can fill.
Pet Foods for The Future
The future of pet food looks positive, as current trends show improved consciousness towards better quality products. Many brands have been improving their food’s nutritional components. Leading consumers to know what is in their pet’s food by making the facts readily available on their product’s label. Protein hydrolyzing enzymes are one of the most popular ways companies are working towards better products, since they increase pets’ ability to absorb nutrients in the food they are consuming. As we look into the future, there is a greater chance we will see more enzymes in pet food. An increase in market share, are all in the name of better pet health.
This trend has taken a positive upswing for pet owners on a multitude of levels. Beyond the food, they’re starting to become more aware of how different components of a dog’s lifestyle affects their overall health. Specifically, it is becoming increasingly prominent among veterinarians to promote higher quality food choices in an effort to stop diseases and other issues in dogs. Owners can be especially thankful for this, as a healthier dog means less future vet bills and costly medications. Above all, healthier pets are going to lead to longer and more meaningful lives!
In recent years, nutrition has become a greater priority for humans as well as their pets. It is becoming increasingly more important to feed both ourselves and our furry friends with the right foods. Digestion is certainly no exception to this trend, as shown by the large upswing in brands offering higher quality food products with digestive-friendly compounds.
The booming U.S. pet food industry, which is currently valued at $25 billion, with a projected increase to $30 billion by 2022, shows no signs of slowing down. With an increased focus on healthier options, especially with enzymes; manufacturers are doing research to find new ways to properly feed their pets. The future of pet foods remains uncertain. But if one thing’s for sure, it’s that our furry friends are getting the attention and quality ingredients they deserve!