How dsm-firmenich is making petfood more sustainable

How dsm-firmenich is making petfood more sustainable

There are around 844 million cats and dogs kept as pets around the world .And pet parents want the best for their furry companions. This means taking care to find food, treats and supplements that help pets live long and happy lives. But increasingly, pet owners also have sustainability at the heart of looking after their pets’ nutritional needs. 

Euromonitor data shows pet owners are more concerned about sustainability than non-pet owners. Nearly 70% of global pet owners say they are “worried about climate change” and are “trying to have a positive impact on the environment through my everyday actions”.2 At the same time, pet owners have traditionally tried to feed cats and dogs a meat-centric diet that replicated what they would eat in the wild, but this can come at a high environmental cost. In answer to this, petfood producers adopted the more sustainable approach of using by-products from meat processing for human consumption in pet applications. But this practice is declining in popularity as pet owners want more premium and human-grade options for their pets.

So, how can modern pet nutrition brands balance these conflicting priorities? 

Sustainability is more than a mindset. Our ingredient solutions make a real impact.

At dsm-firmenich, we set the standard for sustainability in every aspect of our petfood portfolio. With the most reliable, backward-integrated supply chain, unmatched by any other petfood ingredient partner, we deliver the ethical, safe and scalable solutions that give real peace of mind to petfood companies and pet parents alike. We help our customers meet their sustainability goals whether that’s reducing emissions, sustainable resource management or ethical business practices.

In fact, dsm-firmenich has been named as one of the Top Performers 2024-2025 by the Pet Sustainability Coalition (PSC) for the second year in a row. The PSC oversees and advances environmental and social business practices in the petfood industry and aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Top Performers are the highest achieving PSC-accredited companies – assessed for measurable improvement against science-based targets and independently verified for accuracy and transparency.

In addition to our human grade vitamin premixes with custom carbon footprint calculations and in-house Life Cycle Assessments, we use the latest ingredient technologies to go beyond the obvious. One example of this is our truly innovative meat-optimizing flavor ingredients that help petfood producers use valuable resources more efficiently and further appeal to sustainably minded pet parents. Our biotech platform and innovation capabilities unlock the opportunity to closely mimic meat flavors with few or no animal-derived ingredients. These aroma and taste optimization solutions go further than improving the sustainability of a formulation – they also drive palatability, pet sensory appeal and better nutrition through consumption.

The alpha of omega-3 ingredients

In recent years we’ve also witnessed significant growth in pet nutrition that highlights the health benefits of EPA and DHA omega-3 supplementation with on pack claims including support for immune, heart, joint, skin and coat, eye and brain health. However, sustainability is a big concern for pet parents looking for products containing omega-3s. One study suggests that 930 billion fish are removed from the oceans each year, just to supply the pet food industry with fish oil and meal. In response, we’ve developed two algae-based omega-3 ingredients to improve access to these beneficial nutrients, sustainably: Veramaris® Pets and DHAgold™.

Both of these innovative ingredients help mitigate supply risk while delivering better nutrition with less waste and more consistent quality compared to traditional fish-based sources of omega-3s.

Veramaris® Pets

Veramaris® Pets is the world’s most potent and complete omega-3 solution suitable for cats and dogs at all life stages. Containing 60% EPA + DHA, it offers more than double the potency of equivalent fish-oil alternatives. The solution delivers proven palatability and stability benefits compared with traditional fish-oil, for highly nutritious food, treats and supplements pets can’t wait to eat. 


DHA has been proven to support cats and dogs with eye, brain and immune health. With DHAgold™ petfood companies can easily add the nutritional benefits of DHA to any food, treat or supplement. This easy-to-use powder is made from fermented algae that is carefully dried to produce a robust ingredient with a high DHA content. By using the whole algae cell, DHAgold™ delivers superior sensory properties. DHAgold™ also has a scientifically proven claim to support brain health in dogs. In one study a group of 8 to 11 year old dogs were fed food containing DHAgold™ for 6 months and displayed significantly improved memory and visual performance.4

Our petfood promise

Petfood at dsm-firmenich is where decades of science-based research and expertise, leading technology and substantial investment in innovation meets a modern, high-quality, pet-first approach to health and wellness. Because we see pets as part of the family, we apply the same dedication to crafting delicious, nutritious and sustainable solutions for cat and dog food, treats and supplements, as pet parents do to caring for their furry friends. Focusing on science-backed fortification, pet-pleasing sensory solutions, trend-friendly microbiome modulation and sustainable practices throughout our supply chain, we help our customers craft sustainable, premium petfood for cats and dogs that’s good for pets, good for producers and good for the planet. 

You can find more information and free leaflet downloads here. If you need help with your next petfood formulation, contact one of our experts directly.

FAO, 2018
4 The oil-rich alga Schizochytrium sp. as a dietary source of DHA improves shape discrimination learning associated with visual processing in a canine model of senescence. [K.B. Hadley, J. Bauer, N.W. Milgram, Clinical Research Department, DSM Nutritional Products, Columbia, MD 21045, USA]

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Published on

08 March 2024


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