Venison is a novel protein source that’s getting some love and attention from some OEM manufacturers. Why? Because pet food manufacturers get to help environmentally too. You see, deer are considered a nuisance that wreaks havoc on forest vegetation.

Deer me

While deer are loveable creatures as portrayed in cartoons and children’s books, their impact on forest vegetation is serious. Their eating habits have lasting damage[1] on forests as they prefer to eat native plants “over certain unpalatable invasive plants.” As such is the case, deer hunting is encouraged in many parts of the world.


Prices of venison are quite expensive and “holding at their record levels”, according to one report. “Apparently some of the premiums being achieved are due to demand from US pet owners. The demand for the ‘by products’ of venison, which goes into pet food, contributes approximately NZ$70 per carcass back to producers or $1 per kilogram of the $10- $11 producers are receiving.”[2]

Venison’s Advantages 

In a nutshell, venison is red meat that’s low on saturated fat. In fact, venison has 50% less fat than beef and high in protein content. It is rich in linoleic acid for heart health, iron and B vitamins to help convert food into energy, and play an important role in brain and nervous system functions. Pets will definitely have the best source of protein from venison.

“Pet foods containing venison are a good option for dogs who may have food sensitivities or allergies to other protein sources such as beef or chicken. Since venison is a novel protein, it may help reduce allergens and skin irritations in pets with food-related issues.”[3]

Sourcing venison

Being New Zealand’s largest dry food manufacturer, Addiction Foods sources its meat proteins from the verdant valleys and lush forest farms where deer are allowed to graze. The recent upgrade of our manufacturing plant now allows us to incorporate a high percentage of fresh meat injections in small-batch, low-temperature processing. That way, we keep in the nutrients of the meat and preserve the integrity of other ingredients we use in our manufacturing process.

So why not try having venison in your private label pet food? Let Addiction help you formulate your recipe well for your own pet food. We can even help your product get into China! Partner with us to find out why we have become the premier choice of brands pursuing the global marketplace. Start your journey now!

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