Dog Food Snob
Hi my name is Kari and I once was a dog food snob. Everyone repeat after me, Hi Kari.
Years ago when I would find out my friends were feeding grocery store brands to their dogs I would turn into a dog food snob. I never thought less of them for feeding that food or thought they were harming their dog by feeding it. So I am not sure why really I acted like a snob when it came to dog food, I suppose I was just brain washed but I did put my nose up at the thought of it.
I spent years feeding Fred (Bloodhound) and Haylie (Labrador) grain free high quality best of the best food. Sometimes that food would cost me $120 a month (two 30pd bags). I thought it was what was best for my dogs to be honest; I think I really believed that they would live longer and healthier lives.
There were several of the foods that they just didn’t care for but I fed them anyway because it was top quality food. I was lucky that I could afford to feed them the good but I know there are people who can’t afford to feed that food and they shouldn’t feel bad about that. Any dog that isn’t going hungry is a happy dog.
I attended Blog Paws 2012 in Salt Lake City Utah this past year and I came home with several samples of Rachel Ray Nutrish dog food. It’s not grain free and actually it’s not rated as high as natural balance and wellness that use to be on the main food rotation.
You know what? Haylie loved it; I haven’t seen her so excited about food in years. Did I worry that I was feeding her a 4star food instead of a 5star? No. Did I feel like a bad owner because it wasn’t grain free? No. Do I love the fact that I can pick it up at my local target and grocery store? YES! Sometimes I forget I need dog food and its sunday evening and my Petco is closed.
Many of you have followed this blog through the short journey of Fred and his epilepsy that came on suddenly and now he is seizure free across the rainbow bridge at the young age of 4. Did the good quality food keep Fred alive any longer? No. Did the grain free food prevent any disease? No. If I would have known that I would have only had 4 years of life with Fred I would have feed him kibble and bits or gravy train without hesitation if it would have made him happy.
I’m not saying that one food is better than the other. All I’m saying is that we should feel confident about the food we feed our dogs and not feel any different about anyone for feeding their dog something different.
After Fred passed Haylie went on a hunger strike, partly because she was feeding off our sadness and partly because she didn’t have Fred around to stir up the excitement at meal time. At that point I decided I would do whatever it took to get her to eat more than a cup of food every few days. I started picking up different brands of food not caring if it was grain free or not. To be honest she loved Beneful and Rachel Ray wet food and Blue Buffalo and Merrick dry food. It was a breath of fresh air to see her excited to eat again on a regular basis.
I have a friend who feeds Beneful and Purina One to her dogs and they are 8 years old and never see the vet unless it’s for shots and they are the two healthiest dogs that I know. My old vet has a 16 year old dachshund that is healthy as can be living on science diet and grocery store food. I am sure there are tons of examples out there supporting both cases.
I just think it’s time to change the way we think about people who may not feed the “high quality kibble” that some feed. I have even talked to bloggers who are embarrassed to say what food they feed fido because they don’t want to hear the backlash of what people in blog land might say.
I would rather any dog eat Ol’ roy from Wal-mart than to ever go hungry. People sometimes don’t realize that some of these dog food brands do some amazing things for shelters and local communities in regards to monetary and food donations.
When I was at Blog Paws 2012 I met with some amazing people at Purina and had a great time and enjoyed all the conversations I had with them because I was able to speak freely and open about their dog food and things I have heard about their food.
They have invited me on an all expense trip next week to their dog food plant for a tour and to meet with people who are in charge of creating their dog food. I am not being paid for anything with Purina; I am not in contract with them as a sponsor. This is just a trip to get to know more about Purina as a company.
I have a chance to speak with the makers of the food and ask the questions people have wanted answers to or to bring up issues that people have about the company. I ask you for your help with a few questions. Answer them all or just answer some – either way all help is grateful.
1. What is the first thing you think of when you hear the word Purina?
2. Would you feed Purina to your dog?
3. If you do feed Purina can you tell me why?
4. If you wouldn’t feed Purina can you tell me why?
5. General question: Would you ever feed your dog grocery store food?