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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Haute Cousine For Pets: What You Need To Know Now!

Photo Illustration: Bowl by Tony Cenicola, and dog by Fred R. Conrad, The New York Times

"Boeuf Bourguignon Again?" is the title of this witty yet illustrative article in today's New York Times that (sort of) pokes fun at the lengths humans go to please us dogs. Now, we're all for feeding your canine and feline friends the healthiest foods you can afford, whether it's free range chicken and veggies that you cook yourself, or a high quality kibble whose ingredient list you've memorized, analyzed and discussed ad nauseum with your friends (think Parental Unit). But does anyone remember, like, ahem, Parental Unit, when it was socially acceptable for your dog and cat to sleep outside, and most families fed their pets "scraps"? Perish the thought!

Seriously though, this piece does a great job of discussing the why's and wherefore's of the growing niche market for high quality, even gourmet pet foods, and conducts a bonafide taste test of eight premium brands by New York Times staffers (well, really their pets).

According to this article, a recent study of the pet industry "reports that those making more than $100,000 a year increased their share of pet-food spending and now account for about a third of the total market. "[And] these are precisely the health-conscious, label scrutinizing, restaurant-going consumers likely to indulge their cats and dogs at mealtimes,"claims the article's author, whose three cats eagerly participated in the taste test.

These "chef inspired" menus for Fido and Fluffy have actually been around for many years, but the market really took off after the commercial pet food recalls in 2007, "when contaminated gluten and rice protein caused fatal kidney failure in thousands of cats and dogs around the world." (For those of you whose pets became ill or died from eating this contaminated food, we understand that this is not just a bit of historical trivia.)

But we don't think that eating more healthfully and true to both human and other animals' natural instincts is an indulgence or a passing fad-we hope it's here to stay. What do you think, and what do you feed your beloved pet and why? We'd love to know!


Asta said...

I gets my wegoolaw dwy foods..I have not found one that satisfies Mommi yet hewe in Boo da Pest, although, I like Pedigwee just fine till she finds one she likes bettew, but mainly, What I love is getting a little taste of whatevew it is the hoomans awe having
(Mommi aways shawes unless it's something bad fow me like spicy ow chocolate ow gwapes ow almonds..I have twied a big vawiety of hooman foods and my tummie likes it fine)
smoochie kisses

Bocci said...

Thanks for such a thoughtful reply, Asta. Parental Unit wishes that human food "agreed" with me. Even when she adds a small bit of chicken and potato to my food, I get her up at least once or twice during the night to go outside. when I just eat my kibble, I sleep through the night!
But she can't resist just small amounts ans she knows it can't be bad for me...

Donna said...

I like food. Mmmmm. :)

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