How Our Food is Made

The journey for our Fish4Dogs Salmon complete foods starts in one of the many small fish farms along the Norwegian coast.  

The waters off the long Norwegian coast are cold clean and clear and deep right up to the shore.  This creates an ideal environment for fish farming.

Fish are first reared in large pens and with strict controls on the numbers of fish per pen. During their life the fish are continually monitored and measured including measuring the levels of EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids.

In order to avoid waste and minimise pollution, feeding is monitored by underwater cameras.  Once the fish stop eating then the food is shut off, eliminating waste and reducing pollution from unconsumed feeds.

Good animal husbandry and natural methods are the preferred techniques.  The sea lice are controlled by introducing Wrasse fish (LipFish), who themselves eat the sea lice. 

Once grown big enough for  harvest the fish are shipped to the processing plant in boats with large seawater pools. 

As with the farms themselves this processing plant is a small scale operation – 3 red painted wooden buildings nestling on the shores of the fjord.

The fish are then transferred to water at -1°C, causing them to fall into a coma providing a natural, pain and stress free method of despatch – both ethically right and producing better quality meat.

The fish are then killed, gutted and filleted by machinery, meaning it can be done fast – from alive to fully processed taking only 20 minues.

The Fillets are sent off for human consumption and we have the remaining 50% of the fish.

The fish destined for Fish4Dogs Complete food are minced and liquidised to make a fish soup.   This “soup” is then driven to our manufacturing plant in Stavanger on the shores of the Riska Fjord. 

At the plant in Stavanger dry ingredients are ground and mixed and then added to the wet ingredients in a mixer. Once mixed together, they form moist dough.

The dough is then heated in a preconditioner and then moved to the extruder.  

It is in the extruder that the main cooking takes place with the dough being cooked under high pressure.

At the end of the extruder, hot dough passes through a shaping die and cut by a rotating knife.  The small pieces then expand rapidly into kibble once they are under standard air pressure. What comes out here is still soft and smells very much like freshly baked bread.

The final stage is to coat the kibble in Salmon oil and allow to cool. By adding the salmon oil after cooking we minimise the denaturation that occurs with exposure to temperature

Our plant in Stavanger is very new – it only started operating in 2008.  That means we have available some sophisticated technology and the control room for the plant looks like the bridge of a space ship.  These high tech computerised control systems mean that we are able to ensure exact quantities of ingredients and very fine temperature control.

Some manufacturers store the finished kibble in silos.  At Fish4Dogs we immediately pack into the sealed bags to ensure maximum freshness.  

We use farmed fish because it’s sustainable and of a consistently high quality.

We manufacture in Norway because it’s close to our source of the main ingredient – Fish - and a source of fish that is grown and processed in a fresh, hygienic and ethical way.

Pet Food Manufacturer's Association Ethical Company Organisation International Organization for Standardization