Features November 2008 Issue

High Quality Dog Food in its Various Forms

High quality food now comes in several novel forms; checking ingredients and nutrient levels should still be a priority.

The commercial pet food industry has enjoyed strong growth in the past two decades – and spectacular growth in the past five years. According to Euromonitor International, an international market intelligence provider, sales of pet food in the U.S. exceeded $15 billion in 2007 – up from $12 billion in 2002. Some of this growth is due to an increase in the number of pets in the U.S. (Euromonitor estimates that there were 67 million dogs in the U.S. in 2007, 7 million more than in 2002.) But not all of the industry’s growth can be directly correlated to the increase in the number of canine and feline mouths to feed. The pet food industry, like the human food industry, has become increasingly savvy about marketing – essentially, selling more pet food than is actually needed. And empires are being built from the innovation of products that fill previously unnecessary “needs.” How did our dogs survive before they had special diets for seniors, large-breeds, small breeds, dogs of specific breeds? (Really? A food just for Yorkshire Terriers?)

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