Dog Health & CareReviews

Holistic Pet Food and Trends in the Industry

An increased conversion to “going green” has found a strong foothold within the pet-food industry. Never before have we seen such an interest in feeding our pets something better. We have become less complacent and susceptible to advertising that utilizes buzzwords like: “our food is highly palatable and nutritious”. The fact is, the food may be riddled with salt and sugar. It may be ‘highly nutritious’ in that it contains the required amount of vitamins and minerals (as all dog food must to be sold in a store), but that coupled with the other additives does not make a good food.
Written by a man passionate about nature and all living creatures, this book reads like a casual conversation you're having with a really good friend over a couple of beers. Someone who you've always respected and knew was really smart, knew what he was talking about. Don't be surprised if To Your Dog's Health! makes you apologize to Fido or Fifi for all the years you just opened up any old can or bag of food, put it in a bowl, and left it for the day. And then you get upset, maybe even mad, when you got home from work, tired and maybe a little cranky, only to discover your pet hadn't touched its food. To Your Dog's Health! just might be your wake up call.

The benefit of holistic foods has received a lot of buzz lately, and the pet-food industry is no exception, seeing a huge boost in sales. This has even astonished the pundits who predicted a significant down turn in the sales of higher end dog foods.

Holistic, in short, means the body’s ability to work in unison to more efficiently digest and utilize its food(s). And unlike the broad promises made about foods that wind up being fried and packed with chemicals, holistic foods are truly nutritious, featuring high quality ingredients, no fillers or by-products. They’re highly digestible and result in total health inside and out.

This tremendous interest in healthier foods has been superbly influential in the genesis of smaller pet food companies that put the emphasis on nutrition, not advertisements. Companies such as Orijen, Pet Curean, Vital Essentials, Northwest Naturals and Mulligan Stew have surfaced and become wise choices for concerned pet owners.

These companies are providing remarkable alternatives to superstore pet foods. Grain free, pressure-cooked versions that are not only a great dietary consideration, but also cost effective and highly palatable for our dogs and cats.

Thankfully, most, if not all of these relatively unknown pet-food companies are concentrating on a pet food void of any commonly found allergens in most store bought foods. Such allergens are:

  • Corn
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Brewer’s Yeast

We also are seeing a transition to alternative cooking processes. Fried is being replaced by pressure cooked and baked. Also, an insurgence in raw food diets has become entrenched in pet food circles. Despite veterinary doubt and outright condemnation, this diet is fast growing in popularity.

Companies such as Vital Essential, Northwest Naturals, K-9 Cravings, and Nature’s Variety are now providing alternatives to the cereal (carbohydrate driven) based foods. These companies are also providing freeze dried versions of their wonderful raw foods.

To confidently choose a great dog food one must do more than read the back of the package. Many factors need to be considered to effectively choose your best friend’s food. Age, weight, and to some degree, breed, are just a few.

So, take the time to shop smart. Think about what your pet would choose to eat and before you decide to stop by your local pet superstore, grocery store, or drug store, check out these wonderful companies. The renewed health and vitality in your pet will make you so glad you did.
Mark Poveromo is the author of To Your Dog’s Health!: Canine Nutrition and Recent Trends in Within the Pet Food Industry. For 17 years, he has run Thomaston Feed, in Thomaston, CT, which is the premier location for Holistic pet foods and supplements in the Northeast. He has raised and cared for more than 13 labs and is a supporter of the Animal Rescue Foundation. Mark has been seen on Better Connecticut TV,, and has contributed to articles in Dog Fancy and Pet Business Magazine.


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