Good Food Blog
A dog's dinnerPosted at 4:02PM, 16 July 2008 by Graeme Allister - Blogger
Though we're renowned as a nation of animal lovers, even the British draw the line at serving our pets better food than we eat. The Americans, however, are increasingly putting down the tin and choosing a more creative meal for their pampered pet. No longer just the folly of eccentric millionairesses, giving your dog a mix of duck and sweet potatoes with cranberries and green beans is a growing trend.
For the sweeter tooth, your pup can enjoy cookies with blueberries, honey and apple sauce
That meal is courtesy of Fromm Family Food, a company who claim to be America's first premium pet food company. They cater for both cats and dogs and use a range of traditional American ingredients (including, bizarrely, lashings of Wisconsin cheese). Other companies provide an international flavour. Inu Treats sell "all-natural, holistic dog food", including Alaskan salmon and seaweed biscuits. And, for the sweeter tooth, your pup can enjoy cookies with blueberries, honey and apple sauce.
What about something to wash it all down with? Yes, that's been covered too. I redirect you to the "rebarkably refreshing" K9 Water Co. With a sense of humour which almost lets them get away with it, they sell vitamin-enriched, meat-flavoured water under names like "toilet water" and "puddle water".
Gourmet pet food is now a big business, with an estimated value of $15 billion dollars. Even America's favourite Oscar-winning hawker of barbecue sauce, Paul Newman, has got in on the act and isn't doing it by halves. The beef in the pet food is proudly organic and free-range; the website testifies that "the animals are treated extremely well and, according to an animal behaviourist at Colorado State University, exhibit very low stress levels. They even have their feet washed and are bathed regularly." Do you know that much about the beef you eat?
Though it's easy to dismiss as a fad, there is genuine feeling behind these products. A suspicion has emerged surrounding the quality of traditional pet food after a spate of incidents including contaminated pet food, killing hundreds of pets across America in the past few years. Also, as people look for organic, gluten-free, pre- and pro-biotic food, it isn't much of a step to doing the same for your cat or dog.
The question is whether gourmet pet food will remain an American craze or whether Britain's dogs could soon be enjoying pheasant with brown rice, or our cats a salmon and caviar dinner. Certainly there are moves in that direction, with some much fancier treats available, but surely we're still a long way from the phrase "looking like a dog's dinner" becoming a compliment. So, to all you pet owners - would you buy it?