We have always been cordial with the other pet businesses in our area. We don’t really view them as competition because there are more than enough dogs in our town to keep us all busy. So we were sad to learn that Pac Ave Pets was closing last month. They have been a part of our neighborhood for years and we will miss them.
Shortly after they closed we got a visit from a salesman who represented one of the BIG players in the pet food industry. He informed us that we were being considered as a replacement for Pac Ave Pets to carry their line of pet food. He showed us numbers and statistics that painted a pretty picture of the lucrative profits we could earn if we brought in their line of products.
I let the salesman know I objected to the prevalence of corn and other grains in his company’s food. He presented me with a nutrition book that appeared to have all the heft of Oxfords English Dictionary and referred to the tons of research that his firm had sponsored to find the right way to achieve proper canine nutrition with corn based food.
I thought about his presentation with the big fat book, the research and all the so-called science behind his company’s product. As I mulled this stuff over in my brain a couple of things bubbled to the surface.
One: if a company can afford to spend a bajillion dollars on research to justify corn based dog food, then there must be a heck of a lot of money in manufacturing pet food!
Two: It is entirely possible that they have found a way to manufacture nutritional dog food for a carnivorous animal out of vegetable matter. But this begs the question: Why? If we know that dogs are carnivores, (and we do) why would we move heaven and earth to find a way to feed them corn? The obvious answer is:
MONEY. They use corn because it’s cheaper than the dog’s natural protein source which is meat.
Corn is used in dog food to make the food cheap to produce and cheap to buy. There is no other reason to put corn in dog food. Yes, the manufacturers can produce a corn-based kibble that provides complete nutrition according to the AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) but is it the best for the dog? No, it’s the most profitable for the company that makes the food.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with making a profit. I just wonder what else they’re willing to compromise to make money. The answer is right there on the ingredient label, “poultry byproduct meal”. This is the stuff they can’t even use to make chicken nuggets. They can’t feed it to humans. They don’t even have to tell you what kind of bird it came from. Who knows?
At the end of the day the well informed consumer will make the decision:
Do I want to feed my dog a food that is cheap or do I want to feed my dog the food that most closely resembles the natural diet of canines?
When you see more than 150 dogs every week, you get a chance to see the results of those decisions. Some dogs can eat the cheapest food available and get away with it, at least while they’re young. It’s kind of like people, I guess. I used to be able to eat junk food every day without any ill effects. Now that I’m older the results are very different. A week of junk food means lower energy and a bigger number when I step on the scale.
Since dogs eat the same food every day, it’s important too feed them a healthy diet. Just like us, a sustained junk food diet will eventually lead to health problems and medical bills.
We won’t be stocking the BIG brand that is full of corn. You can already get that stuff at the grocery store if you want it. You will see some changes in our food soon though. We’re looking for a reasonably priced upright freezer so we can stock in some raw bones and other healthy stuff!
Jon & Lyn Borcherding