Companies that produce pet foods, especially those that are aimed at treating particular conditions through improved nutrition (such as old age, arthritis or obesity) may carry out research using animals in order to develop new products. In some cases this may involve experiments that simulate disease conditions in the animals. In other cases, new diets may be tested out using animals with a pre-existing (naturally occurring) condition. Research is also carried out on healthy animals to examine the effects of different nutrients and on food preferences.
Most pet food manufacturers are owned by larger parent companies. These are often multinationals that include a range of industries, such as pharmaceuticals, processed foods and household products. Such companies would be involved in a range of animal-based research and testing.