Fresh pet food is perishable and requires strict temperature control to ensure the safety of our fur babies

Every year, $75 billion is spent on pet food and medication. Of that staggering total, nearly half is of the organic or health-conscious variety. Out of that, $30 billion was delivered directly to pet owners’ homes. With so many people opting to mail fresh pet food and medicine, a new problem is arising.

Fresh or organic pet food and refrigerated medications are far more sensitive and, in some cases, perishable. Shipping them to pet owners homes at their optimal freshness presents a challenge in logistics and packaging. The same focus on maintaining safe temperature ranges during transportation that is required for human food must also be applied to our furry, feathered, and scaled friends.

Importance of Temperature Control 

As more companies are entering the home delivery market, they may be underestimating the importance of cold-chain logistics. That’s the science of getting perishable, often refrigerated products to their destination on time and within proper temperature ranges.

Items shipped with inadequate packaging are at risk of becoming either too hot or too cold during the shipping process. Poor temperature maintenance will cause foods to spoil or become rancid, while medicine may become ineffective at best and harmful at worst. In other cases, excessive condensation or moisture may occur with rapid changes in ambient conditions such as going from a freezer to a warm loading dock. Correctly choosing the best packaging and pack out designs is the best way to avoid those risks.

All the technology in the world cannot overcome a bad start, so the first step in the process is to ensure that initial storage at the manufacturer or retailer is performed correctly. That yields a longer shelf life for the product and ensures that it will be safe to consume at the end of its journey.

Tux loves when his refrigerated food is delivered to his house 
Our experts can design proper packaging to withstand the harsh environment when you need to mail fresh pet food and  refrigerated medication

Packaging for Thermal Maintenance 

Since weather cannot be controlled, an effective solution requires packaging that can maintain the necessary temperature. Which typically consists of a good insulator, such as a cooler and a cold source such as frozen gel packs. After all, your pet’s food, treats, or medicine will be delivered by truck, airplane, or ship, and pass through several climate zones before arriving at your doorstep.

Regardless of size, all temperature-controlled shipping methods must be lightweight to keep costs low, yet extremely effective at reducing the rate of heat loss or gain during transport throughout all four seasons. This delicate act of balancing thermal protection with size and cost feasibility is critical to ensure the safe delivery of animal food and medicine while sustaining a realistic business model.

In addition, packaging must protect the product for the duration of the journey, regardless of how rough the handling. Those conflicting design goals have pushed packaging designers to embrace the latest in materials science, thermal engineering, and ingenuity.

Experts Solve the Challenges 

The safety of fresh pet food and medicine must be a top priority for any retailer joining the perishable and temperature-sensitive shipping market. With so many things that must be accounted for during packaging design and transportation, consider taking advantage of the expertise of The Illuminate Group.

Our in-depth knowledge of food and animal science, as well as food and biological engineering, is combined with packaging science to develop optimal cold chain solutions. We have more than 35 years of experience in developing temperature-sensitive transportation solutions. With a love of our six cats, two dogs, a dozen fish, and a rabbit, we are passionate about creating safe and effective packaging systems for all the ‘fur babies’ out there.