Palatants: what attracts your dog or cat to their food?

As pet owners, we all know the struggle of trying to get our furry friends to eat their food. Whether they’re picky eaters or just don’t seem interested in their meals, getting them to eat can be a frustrating task. Before I worked in the pet food industry, I had no clue what attracted my dog to his food. So imagine my surprise when I realized that the solution to this problem could be as simple as adding a palatant to their food?

Palatants are substances that are added to pet food to make it more appealing to animals. They can come in many forms, such as liquids, powders, or pastes, and can be made from natural ingredients like meat and fish, or synthetic ingredients like flavors and aromas. On the ingredients label, you won’t see anything specifically saying palatant but if it’s there, it’ll be under flavors or other ingredients as it’s not a main ingredient. Also, a side note, ingredients are listed from highest percentage to lowest on a label, no matter if a human or pet product, typically.

Palatants work by triggering the animal’s sense of smell and taste, making the food more appealing and attractive to them. This can be especially helpful for pets who are picky eaters, older pets who may have a decreased sense of smell and taste, or pets recovering from illness or surgery. In other words, enhancing a chicken flavor might encourage more food consumption, for example.

Palatants can also be beneficial for pets who are on a special diet or have certain health conditions. For example, a palatant that is high in protein can be added to a diet for a pet recovering from surgery, while a palatant that is low in fat can be added to a diet for a pet that is overweight. After my dog had surgery and couldn’t eat high protein, the best way for me to get him to eat his food was by adding a little topper from Wellness to his prescription meal which created that extra protein and aroma desire. As a pet owner, you take care of your pet like they’re your baby so had to find a way to get my dog to eat and this worked.

Just like the ingredients on a human product, review the ingredients on a pet food package and consult with your vet if you’re not sure if it’s appropriate for your pet.

In conclusion, palatants can be a great tool for getting your pet to eat their food and can also be beneficial for pets with special dietary needs. They can be a simple and easy solution to the problem of picky eaters and can help ensure that your pet is getting the proper nutrition they need. So next time your pet turns up their nose at their food, consider adding a palatant to make meal time more enjoyable for both you and your furry friend.

Stay well!

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