Pet owners are increasingly prioritizing their pets’ health and wellness. 

With nearly 66 percent of U.S. households owning a pet, the growing demand for transparency and high-quality ingredients in pet food is at an all-time high.  

In addition, consumers are mirroring trends in human nutrition – such as natural health claims and certifications like Organic and Non-GMO – to provide their pets with the same level of care they would for themselves.


Benefits of Vegetable Oils

Vegetable oils, such as high-oleic sunflower, pomace olive and Non-GMO canola oils, can indeed play a vital role in a pet's health, particularly in providing essential fatty acids and other nutrients necessary for their well-being. Here's how:

  • Source of Essential Fatty Acids: Vegetable oils, such as Non-GMO canola oil, is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential to a pet's overall health, supporting immune function and promoting proper development.
  • Healthy Skin and Coat: Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids found in vegetable oils can help alleviate skin conditions in pets, such as dryness, red spots, itching, and inflammation. Regular supplementation of these oils can contribute to a shiny coat and healthy skin.
  • Joint Health: Some vegetable oils have anti-inflammatory properties. These can be beneficial for pets suffering from joint issues, such as arthritis, by reducing inflammation and improving mobility.
  • Supporting Immune Function: Essential fatty acids found in vegetable oils also play a crucial role in supporting your pet's immune system. They help regulate immune responses and can aid in fighting off infections and diseases.
  • Heart Health: Certain vegetable oils, such as olive oil, are rich in monounsaturated fats, which can contribute to cardiovascular health in pets by helping to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Organic oil drums by CVOSource: Columbus Vegetable Oils


Innovation in Oils

Coconut oil has gained popularity as a superfood for pets in recent years, largely due to its potential health benefits and the trend of humanization in pet care. Coconut oil contains shorter fatty acids often referred to as medium-chain fatty acids. These are also found novel product known as Medium Chain Triglycerides   (MCTs) which can help nourish your pet's skin and coat. MCTs are also easily digestible and can provide a quick source of energy for pets. Also, coconut oil contains antimicrobial properties that can help promote a healthy balance of gut bacteria while protecting against infections. 

“As our pets continue to play an increasing role in our lives, consumers are willing to spend more money for higher quality ingredients. In some cases the quality of the pet food ingredients is even higher than what is used in human food. We do see some ingredients that are more common in the human industry gaining popularity, such as High Oleic Sunflower oil and Coconut oil,” said Rick Cummisford, director of quality at Columbus Vegetable Oils.

Practicing Industry Standards

Another benefit of vegetable oils is that it’s able to absorb additives needed to extend shelf life of the product – an appealing option when choosing an oils supplier. Most vegetable oils are a single-ingredient product and do not contain any additives unless requested by the customer. However, additives are easily soluble in vegetable oils, which helps to extend shelf life of both the oil and the finished product. 

When storing or processing fats and oils, you want to limit the rate of oxidation. Oxygen, UV light and high temperatures will increase the rate of oxidation, which negatively affects the fat or oil’s odor, flavor and shelf life, and could affect the palatability for pets.

Balancing the inclusion of oils and fats in pet food formulas is vital for delivering healthy products. Too much or too little fat can negatively impact the nutritional profile and palatability of the food. Therefore, adhering to industry best practices in selecting, storing, and processing oils and fats is essential for maintaining their integrity and health benefits.

CVO Butcher's Boy Soybean OilsSource: Columbus Vegetable Oils

Selecting the Right Partner

According to Forbes, Americans spend nearly $58.1 billion on pet food annually. Manufacturers have an opportunity to educate pet owners by leaning into ingredients that have natural health claims to promote a wellness lifestyle for both them and their pets.  

The pet industry's growth and the increasing emphasis on pet health and wellness present manufacturers with both challenges and opportunities. Understanding and responding to consumer demands for transparency, quality, and innovation are key to success in this dynamic market.

Columbus Vegetable Oils manufactures and supplies more than 200 fats and oils in addition to custom blend options based on specific formulation needs. For nearly 90 years, Columbus has provided quality products, expert service, competitive pricing, fast turn around and timely delivery. 

“With supply disruptions, partnering with ingredient suppliers that not only have a robust portfolio but also a proven track record, industry certifications, rigorous lab testing and world class service is a must-have,” said Cummisford.